[alert-announce] Verdict: Four stars out of five. The chickens truly do come home to roost for Walt, as the consequences of his actions tear the Whites apart once and for all. Just as Vince Gilligan promised in the teaser “Ozymandias”, we look upon his works and despair, and Hank, Gomie, Jesse, Marie, Skyler and Walt Jr all pay the price of Walt’s hubris. After the knot-inducing tension of the last four episodes, this one is slightly anti-climactic, but no less devastating. I’m still recovering as I write this Breaking Bad review. [/alert-announce]
They say you can never look back. But aptly for a show that has just two episodes left, showrunner and creator Vince Gilligan begins this installment of Breaking Bad by winding the clock back four seasons, all the way to when Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) did their first meth cook. We get the mustachioed, disheveled high school teacher in his tighty whiteys, and the dim dropout who could barely tie his own shoelaces.
“The reaction has begun,” declares Walt, a nice little reminder of the chemistry metaphor that has run throughout the series, as well as of why Walt got into the meth business in the first place: his family. Which is perfect for when we arrive at the moment where he finally loses them for good, and there is truly no turning back.
Then we are back in the present, and the gun battle that ended off the last episode, when Hank (Dean Norris) and Gomie (Steven Michael Quazada) were about to haul Walt off to jail. Enter Walt’s white supremacist best friends, who unleash enough bullets to invade Syria, despite his request for them to back off. Suffice to say that the battle doesn’t end well for the DEA agents. Though the (somewhat surprising) sight of Walt pleading for Hank’s life is almost enough to redeem him. Almost.
It’s typical of Walt’s hubris that he turns his rage onto a new target: Jesse. Everything’s out in the open, including all the terrible things Walt ever did to Jesse (hint: just think back to the time when Jesse was still a junkie). And it’s even more typical that Heisenberg still thinks he can get away with it, and that his family can somehow accept what he he has become. As Chris Hardwick pointed out on Talking Bad, it feels apt that after his surrogate son – Jesse – turns on him, his own son should also reject him. Walt’s statement – “What the hell is wrong with you? We’re a family!” – may well be the most heartbreaking line of this season, and possibly the series.
Meanwhile, there’s still two more episodes of this brilliant, brilliant show. The next episode is entitled Granite State, which is the nickname for New Hampshire (hmmmmm?). Walt’s family may be – sort of – out of the picture, but Jesse is still very much in play. While Lydia is still waiting in the wings…
You can check out our previous reviews of this season’s Breaking Bad episodes here.
Have you recovered yet? What did you think of this week’s Breaking Bad? Tell us!