Breaking Bad Episode 5-11 Review – “This is my confession.”

breaking badOh man. Every week, Breaking Bad is outdoing itself. This week delivered in two very major ways, and there’s so much to talk about. So if you’ve seen “Confessions”, click on through.

So far this season, Jesse has kind of taken a backseat to the drama of Hank discovering the identity of Heisenberg, and Walt and Skyler dealing with that. This week, the focus was split and Jesse made a breakthrough realization that will change everything.

The scene relied a lot on viewers remembering past episodes, which with the Breaking Bad audience is a fair assumption. If you’re watching Breaking Bad, you’re probably paying pretty close attention. And if your memory fails you, you’re likely interested enough to go online and piece the information together. For the most part, I knew what was going on – not just because I remembered the episodes, but because I read so much online that I recalled a few things the creator of the show had said about Walt, Brock and ricin online.

“For once, stop working me”

The scene with Walt and Jesse in the desert was fantastic. Walt has become a much better liar and manipulator through his transition into Heisenberg, something that served him well several times in this episode. With Jesse, the lines are always a little blurred – Walt’s advice to Jesse is always self-serving, but is there any percentage of him that genuinely cares for the guy? Walt convinced Jesse to get a new identity and start over somewhere else. Sure, that fresh start was probably in Jesse’s best interest, but Walt was suggesting it because it served him to have Jesse disappear.

Jesse knows he’s being manipulated, and he knows he has no one. That Mr. White barely cares about him, if he cares at all. But he has so little that he still breaks down when Walt hugs him. It was so sad.

After a déjà vu moment in Saul’s office, Jesse finally realized something – that he’d been right, that Walt had been the one behind poisoning Brock. It’s rather convoluted, involving lifting a cigarette off Jesse yet not actually using that cigarette as poison. The only thing I care to remember is that for Jesse, Brock wasn’t poisoned all that long ago. And for Jesse, this has been something he’s been obsessing over. So I believe that Jesse figured this out, particularly because I feel that Breaking Bad has always required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief.

I don’t think Jesse will rat on Walt, even though I wish he would. But he was so angry when he stormed back into Saul’s office, and he was angry enough to consider burning down Walt’s house, so I do wonder what he will do. One drawback of the fantastic flash forward we got in episode one, is that we know Walt house remains unburnt. Still, it was quite the revelation.

“What would really help me out is if we all stayed positive.”

Jesse asked Walt to stop working him, but Walt is a master manipulator now. I don’t think he knows how to interact with people without working them anymore.

Walt used his cancer diagnosis to prevent Walt Jr. from visiting Hank and Marie. He did it without a second thought, and was a perfect liar. But the real masterpiece was his “confession”. Equal parts brilliant and frightening, I was captivated the entire time.

On camera, Walt wove a completely believable story about how Hank is Heisenberg, and Walt has been acting as his lowly lab geek. The story interwove real life events like the ride-along after Walt’s cancer diagnosis, and paying Hank’s medical bills, and pinning terrible things that Walt did on Hank. It was a genius move, and Hank clearly felt stunned and outplayed. It was exciting and fascinating to watch.

I have a teensy problem though, in that I don’t really believe that Hank would have sat on this knowledge for so long. Hank is not dumb, the show established that. Hank had enough evidence to interest the DEA, to warrant an investigation. Hank would know that the longer he sat on the knowledge, the riskier it would become. Hank wouldn’t want to go down with Walt. Sure, Hank is a prideful man but I do not think he would so stubbornly refuse to report what he knew. But he had to sit on the information to allow Walt the opportunity to make this brilliant move, so here I feel that the seams in the storytelling were allowed to show.

That said, the acting performances from the lead and supporting characters were outstanding, and I remain on the edge of my seat. I’m interested to hear what y’all have to say, so please leave a comment!

Stray thoughts:

  • In the flash forward we saw, Walt is risking returning to the house to retrieve the hidden ricin. Given Jesse’s realization this week, that’s even more intriguing.
  • Skyler seemed less confident this week about her “stand by your man” tactic. Will she crack?
  • Todd has become what Jesse once was – a student, eager to please Mr. White.
  • I’ll have some tableside guacamole, please! The whole Mexican restaurant scene was a great mix of tension and humor.

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