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TV Recap: Breaking Bad “Granite State”

After the edge-of-your-seat tension of Ta’hajiilee, and the devastation of Ozymandius, the gang at Breaking Bad wisely feel that it’s time for a little break. Of course, in the land of Breaking Bad, a “break” means that one woman will be threatened, and another murdered, and our main character will be reduced to paying a virtual stranger ten thousand dollars to hang out with him for an hour.

The cold open begins with the disappearer-er pulling into his vacuum repair shop. Hey, it’s Robert Forster!  From Jackie Brown! And other things!

But who should exit the car? Not Walt, No, it’s Saul.

Aw, Saul. I feel an abundance of pity for our favorite criminal lawyer. . I get the impression he was a two-bit con man, who encouraged people to exaggerate their neck injuries from work, or to slip and fall at the grocery store. He never wanted all this. He never wanted to be Michael Corleone’sconsigliere, poisoning children and the like. And now a man with a larger-than-life personality who plasters his face on every billboard in town will have to live out his days in anonymity, another victim of the cancer that is Walter White. See what I did there? Cancer? Get it?

But if you thought Walter White hit rock bottom last week, good news. It ain’t happened yet. He has big plans for Uncle Jack. He wants Saul to call all the hit men he knows, but Saul doesn’t know anyone. He wants to get his money back. Saul, ever with the good advice, tells him to give himself up, barrel of money in two and maybe, maybe he’ll be able to keep Skyler out of jail and allow her to be free to raise the kids. But Walt doesn’t want to give up. He leans in close to Saul, all threatening, just like before—and is interrupted by a coughing fit. Saul leaves with Robert Forster, headed for Nebraska. Series wrap on Saul, I’m assuming. See ya in the prequel, buddy.

While Walt waits for his own transportation, we see what’s happened with poor Jesse. The Nazis have stolen his confession tape from the Schrader home, and are laughing and throwing popcorn at the screen while Jesse pours his heart out, talking about Gale, and then later Drew Sharp. It’s really a kick in the gut watching these assholes mock the most powerful moments in the series. When Jesse tells how Todd killed a little kid, Todd very nearly beams with pride. Jack wants to kill the rat right then and there, but Todd really wants to keep cooking. For Lydia, of course. What follows is a great scene where crazy paranoid Lydia attempts to severe her relationship with Todd, until she learns that the latest batch was 92% pure. She still has concerns over the fact that Skyler knows who she is (even though she really doesn’t, but Lydia doesn’t know that) and despite Todd’s assurances that Skyler will keep her mouth shut, Lydia doesn’t seem as sure. I’m thinking this will come up later. Gulp. Big, huge shout out to Jesse Plemmons, who is killing it as psycho Todd.

(Fantasy scene: Lydia for some reason decides to kill Skyler herself, showing up at the house and a lengthy fight follows, ending with Skyler getting the better of her and killing Lydia dead dead dead. Not gonna happen, but a boy can dream).

In the meantime, Jesse continues to cook against his will. This is after being tortured and nearly killed and being told that his former partner watched his girlfriend die and did nothing to stop it. But if you thought Jesse hit rock bottom last week, bad news, it ain’t happened yet. After a daring but ultimately failed escape attempt, the Nazis keep Jesse in line by killing Andrea in front of him and promising Brock will be next. Oh, man. How does this end with a “V” for Jesse? What does that even look like at this point? Time to put the rabid dog to sleep, for his own sake.

Walt has it no better in New Hampshire. Virtually imprisoned himself, in a cold empty cabin. No TV, no internet, no people to talk to, nothing to do but ruminate on all his horrible life choices. After several months of this, after he learns that Skyler lives in an apartment and works part-time as a taxi dispatch and is still quite possibly still going to prison, inspiration strikes. He will box up 100 thousand dollars of his money, walk into town and mail it off to Flynn’s friend Louis. He calls Flynn at school to tell him of this plan, but Flynn is enraged, telling him in no uncertain terms that he can fuck right off and die. Walt’s finally defeated. Even if he were to find a way to get the money to his family, his family no loner wants anything to do with him or it. He calls the DEA in New Mexico, leaves the phone off the hook, and waits for the end.

But as he waits, he occupies himself with a drink at the bar, and casually watches TV. On the screen is something rather surprising. It’s his old dear friends and former business partners, Elliott and GretchenSchwarz. They’re doing a bit of damage control. Seems their company is losing money after it got out that their co-founder was a meth kingpin. Elliott and Gretchen baldly lie, and say that Walt contributed nothing to their company. Walt stares, stunned and fuming. Then the interviewer mentions that the blue meth is back in New Mexico and even parts of Europe. Walt is rocked again. Gretchen says Walt is dead. The sweet caring man she knew is long gone, but she doesn’t know about this “Heisenberg” person.

And something in Walt snaps. By the time the cops arrive, he’s no where to be found. I don’t think he had enough time to go back to his cabin. Which means he has 100 grand in a box. Enough to buy a car, a big fucking gun, and a big tip to the waitress at Denny’s. He has very little else. But he does, it seems, have a plan.