There is no better way to begin this review than by simply saying WOW! I think that this was the best episode that I have seen throughout the entire series. We are 5 seasons in, everything is coming to a head, and it is hard to believe that this show can get any better. The thing is, somehow I know that it will, and that kind of scares me.
We left off last episode with Jesse just about to get questioned by Hank. We pretty much start this episode right there. So far we have seen a Jesse that is just about completely broken and detached from the world. Where Jesse’s state of mind is, I wouldn’t have put it past him to give it all up to Hank in this interrogation. He didn’t, but he came oh so dangerously close. Just in the nick of time, your favorite lawyer steps in. Oh what timing does Mr.Goodman have.
This brings us to Walt. Bryan Cranston is simply amazing in this role. He runs the emotional gamut in this episode: we see a vulnerable and caring dad, a conniving genius, a helpless victim, a stone cold killer, and a frantic fool. All of which are as close to reality as you can get.
Conveying his caring dad role, Walt attempts to hide what is going on from his son, Walt Jr.. Meanwhile, Hank seems completely stuck when it comes to figuring out the best way he can turn his brother-in-law in. Which brings us to his conniving genius and helpless victim roles: Walt seems to have figured out a brilliant way to get Hank off of his back for the time being, a video confession. Walt’s so called “confession” was a criminally genius move that ultimately attempts to implicate Hank as the brains and brawn behind Walt’s meth empire. Making himself look like the victim, Walt uses several key points throughout the series (including the White’s generous $100+ donation to Hank’s rehabilitation, for example), to weave one hell of a story that has more traction than I ever would have thought. It looks like it can work. I did not see this coming from a mile away. Well done.
Knowing good and well that Jesse is a liability, the scary, stone cold killer in Walt comes out. There is a monster behind those eyes and we see that monster come out in an emotionally charged scene in the desert between Walt and Jesse. Intense? Yes. Being the “caring father” that he is, Walt tries to convince Jesse to make for dodge and get the hell out of town for his own good. At this point, Jesse doesn’t buy a thing Walt says. Walt killed Jesse’s friend, Mike to protect himself. What makes Jesse think Walt won’t do the same to him. Heisenberg comes out at this moment and it is scary. I feared for Jesse’s life. If delivering an intense and emotional story is what the storytellers intend on doing, they are masters of their craft.
The buildup of this episode boils down to Jesse coming to grips that he needs to leave for good. Just when he thinks he is out, Jesse makes a revelation that will shake Walt’s world: Walt was responsible for poisoning the son of Jesse’s girlfriend.
Hell bent on revenge, we end things with Jesse pouring gasoline in Walt’s home in a blind rage. All the while, the frantic fool of Walt grabs a hidden revolver from his car wash reminding us that he was but a high school teacher not too long ago.
As I said earlier, this is the best episode of the series that I have seen. The story, the acting, the cinematography…EVERYTHING came together so perfectly in this episode. I can’t think of television getting any better than this, folks. It just can’t, but I know that we have a few more episodes to go, so it just might. Then where are we going to be when it’s all said and done? What’s next? That scares me.
Note: I simply don’t hand out 10s lightly. This episode is a masterpiece. For that, I give it a 10.