BREAKING BAD: 5.11 “Confessions”
I must be rather gullible, because the title of this episode, and the way the previous episode ended with Jesse about the be interrogated by Hank, had me convinced that he was going to start talking. Perhaps he wouldn’t reveal the entire extent of the Heisenberg operation, but I thought that Hank was going to be able to squeeze at least a little bit of useful information out of him. I should have known better; Breaking Bad doesn’t work like that. It rarely conforms to your exact expectations. Instead of a confession, Jesse resisted (albeit a bit weakly), Saul blew into the room threatening lawsuits, and Hank slinked away looking somewhat defeated.
The “Confessions” from the episode title instead refer to Walt’s video message that he passed to Hank and Marie over their superbly awkward lunch at the chintzy Mexican-food chain restaurant. At first, I foolishly wondered if Walt really was going to come clean (there’s me being gullible again). Instead, Walt turned the tables, accusing Hank of being the meth mastermind and forcing him, the mild-mannered teacher bravely fighting cancer, to cook for him. Walt’s audacity is simply breathtaking; it sounds like a crazy story but there was just enough truth in the message to make it potentially plausible, and the hard fact that Walt paid for Hank’s medical treatments probably permanently tie the two together in the eyes of the law (or a jury). If Hank takes Walt down now, the best he could hope for is an utterly ruined career; more likely, he’ll probably find himself in prison for aiding and abetting in some manner. While it may be hard for me to imagine Hank giving up, he certainly seemed defeated after watching the video with Marie, and right now it looks like Walter has held him firmly in check.
Like many things in life, though, once you put down one problem, another pops up in an entirely different location. I spent the entire episode in a state of tension, building from a slight tweak in my shoulders to a crushing anxiety by minute 45, in fear that poor Jesse, who I would love to see survive the series (there I go again, being gullible), would be murdered. I expected Walt to shoot him in the desert, and again I expected him to be blown away when Saul’s fake identity contact pulled up to smuggle him away into a life of anonymity in Alaska. Neither happened; instead, in a complicated sequence that I’m still not sure I understand (really, the show did a poor job explaining how he made the connection here), Jesse somehow realized that Walt was responsible for poisoning Brock after all. He goes from utterly despondent to boiling over with rage in no time at all. Skipping out on his last chance to escape and find a new life (and likely signing his death warrant in the process), Jesse returns to beat the truth out of Saul, and then zip over to the White residence and douse it in gasoline. I don’t know if he’ll manage to burn the place down, but I do expect him to be put down like a “rabid dog,” as the next episode is titled. I don’t think it’s gullible to suggest that Jesse is about to learn that righteous, justified fury is no armor.
*image from Yahoo! TV