TV Recap: Breaking Bad “Rabid Dog”

Last week’s cold open hangs its head in shame.

This week, we get Walter White, stumbling into his own home, gun held outward. Shaking. Nervous. Decidedly un-Heisenberg. We haven’t seem much of Heisenberg in these last four episodes at all, come to think of it. The one-two punch of both Hank and now Jesse becoming his mortal enemy has entirely unmoored our Walter White.

So, Jesse is nowhere in sight, but gasoline is all over the floor and Saul’s car is in the driveway, so Walter does what he can to cover everything up before Junior and Skyler get home. The gas smell won’t go away, so Walt comes up with an epic, brilliant lie to smooth things over as usual. Oh wait, no. He tells a stupid bullshit lie that not even his son believes. There’s this pump, see. And it went ker-chunk and gas got all over him and he of course immediately jumped in his car and went home and…it’s just too embarrassing to repeat. Off the top of my head, Walt: “I was mowing the lawn in the front yard. The mower ran out of gas. I got the can in the backyard and instead of walking around the house, I got lazy and decided to cut through it. I tripped in the living room and the can went flying”.  Boom, done. Maybe even Skyler would’ve bought that one.

So they all go to the nicest hotel in New Mexico, not even bothering to fake like they’re on a budget anymore, and Skyler gets drunk at the mini-bar while Walt, Saul and Bill Burr have a chat in the parking lot. Saul wants to take down the rabid dog that is Jesse. Walt is shocked and appalled, but what can you expect from dirty ol’ Saul? He insists he simply needs to talk to Jesse and that will fix everything. Saul is understandably dubious.

Back at the hotel, Skyler is blown away that this asshole is still fucking lying to her. She calls out that she saw him talking to Saul. Walt actually tries to aim for “outraged”, all “you were spying on me?”

Skyler brushes that off with all the contempt she can muster. Walt admits the truth, only lying once when he says Jesse has never hurt anyone. He says he needs to talk to Jesse. Skyler wants assurance that “talk to Jesse” is in big fat air quotes. Walt doesn’t know what she means. Lady Heisenberg means that after all they’ve done and after all the men Walt has killed. What’s one more? She downs her drink.

That’s two people that actively want Jesse dead.  I suppose I’m supposed to be angry or shocked at Skyler, here. But her point is solid. Jesse is a junkie burnout who is a direct threat to her family. She doesn’t know what a cuddly, kid-loving, catchphrase-spouting blowfish he is. She doesn’t know about Jane, or Brock, or that adorable little red-headed kid in the meth house.

Anyway, Skyler is good and damned ultimately, but her words here are completely understandable to me.

So we flash back to Jesse pouring the gasoline, and we learn that Hank is the one who stops him. Aaron Paul’s guttural cry, “He can’t keep getting away with this!” is heartbreaking. Hank, slides easily into the role of yet another parental protector of Jesse. He assures Jesse this won’t happen, if Jesse will help him. He guides Jesse out to his car, even buckles him in. But instead of going to the DEA, they go to the Schrader household.

Marie has an amazing scene with her therapist Dave, where we learn that Marie is basically cracking up in a big way and fantasizes about murdering Walt. She gives no details to Dave, and insists that she would never act on her fantasies. But…man. What a great scene. After 4 and a half seasons of me not really caring much about Marie either way, the writers and Betsy Brandt sure have made me sit up and take notice, first with her confrontation with Skyler, then at the restaurant, and now this. I don’t know if this scene was just intended as a nice character moment for Brandt to play, or if Marie will actually be an active participant in the End Game. Either way, I’m glad they put this in there. More crazy Marie, please!

Marie arrives home and Hank tries to get her to go away for a few days because the men on this show constantly think they can order around the women, even though it never ever works. Hank admits hehas Jesse Pinkman in the guest room. He clearly still hasn’t told anyone at work anything. We get a brief shot of Marie and Jesse finally in the same frame, as Jesse sleeps off his meth high.

Then we get another great character scene where Walter Junior comforts his dad by the hotel swimming pool, declaring that they’ll beat this cancer no matter what. All this does is twist the knife even further for when Junior finally, finally is in the loop.

The next morning, Marie gets Jesse a coffee, while Hank sets up a video camera for Jesse to confess all. And…Gomey’s there!  Hey, Gomey!  Hope this doesn’t mean you’ll be dead soon.

Hank’s bedside manner is terrible as a clearly nervous Jesse tries to tell him that Mr. White is retired and there’s no real evidence linking him to anything meth-related. Hank barely even looks at him, just starts rolling. Afterward, Hank realizes any real evidence will come from a taped meeting between Walt and Jesse. Jesse’s terrified that if he meets with Mr. White, he’ll be killed. Hank assures him that won’t happen and ultimately tells him he has no choice. Privately, Gomez wonders if “the kid” is right. Might Walt kill him? Hank says “the kid” is a murdering junkie and if Walt kills him, well hey, they’ll have it on tape.

Oh, Jesse. Betrayed by yet another father-figure.

And out-of-nowhere, Hank has broken bad as well. Unlike with Skyler, this seems far more evil. Hank’s life is not being threatened by Jesse, or even by Walt. Hank can simply walk away from all this right now, and quietly wait for Walt to die and then continue his life as normal. But that will mean that Walt has won, and Hank can’t allow that. Even if he has to go off the grid, breaking tons of DEA procedures. Even if it means Jesse has to die. Shitty, Hank. Real shitty.  I’m running out of people to root for. Good thing I’m so gay for Jesse.

At the meetup, Jesse is spooked by a scary looking bald dude standing near Walt, and he balks. He calls Walt from a payphone, promising to hit Walt not in his home, but where he “really lives” and hangs up. He then gets back in the car with a furious Hank and tells him there’s a better way. I dunno, Jesse. This would’ve all been over in another twenty minutes. I think that was the best way.

Because of course, Walt had not intended on killing Jesse. At least not then.

But now …

He makes a call to Todd, saying he has another job for his uncle.

Just when Walt thought he was out ….