For those of us who watch AMC's Breaking Bad religiously, it’s been a tough year waiting patiently for the show’s return. The first half of season eight ended with a grueling cliffhanger: Hank seated upon the throne, reading Walt Whitman when the epiphany struck. Walter is Heisenberg.
While you’ve probably spent the past dozen months trying to prevent yourself from pulling your hair out, it is a joyous time. Breaking Bad
is back. And it is good.
Let’s start with episode nine, entitled “Blood Money.” The episode commences with a mysterious flash forward, just as it did at the beginning of the fifth season. Walt is grizzly, his house is trashed, and he’s packing a machine gun. He breaks into his own house to grab the vile of Ricin
, which was supposed to be used by Jesse many episodes ago to kill Gus. The Ricin was never used, and thus, it will inevitably come into play.
After the opening credits, the show returns to the present, moments after Hank’s jaw-dropping discovery. With everything that’s occurred, the realization triggers Hank to experience a full-blown nervous breakdown. Jesse also has a nervous breakdown due to Mike’s disappearance, and so he chucks his rolled up millions throughout a local neighborhood. By the episode’s end, Mike and Walt are finally face-to-face in Hank’s garage, where punches are thrown and accusations are made. Walt, who all but admits to the truth, ends the episode beautifully with the line, “I suggest you tread lightly.”
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“Blood Money,” as anyone who watched it would most likely agree, delivers. Breaking Bad
has never failed to build tension. So, with Hank finally knowing the truth, the now-present struggle between uncovering evidence, whilst Walt covers his tracks, has turned this show into a footrace. We also now know that Walt’s cancer is back, leading three crucial pieces in play for the finale: Hank’s pursuit to bring Walt down, Walt’s inevitable battle with his cancer, and, of course, the ricin, which one could only assume Walt will use on his brother-in-law. As any season’s return should produce, “Blood Money” offers more questions than answers.
The tenth episode of the season, “Buried,” served to stir the pot of the of whole Shakespearian situation. It did not deliver the answers that we are all patiently awaiting, but brought us forward in a beautifully suspenseful manner. The key elements of the episode are as follows: Jesse seems to have truly slipped and, after being found in a playground in the same neighborhood where he tossed away his money, he’s been picked up by the police and held for questioning. Meanwhile, Walt has hid all of his money in the desert, and Marie and Hank continue to sift through resources to uncover evidence, most notably through Walt’s wife Skylar. However, Skylar refuses to talk. The highlight of the episode takes place in a diner when Hank is trying to sway Skylar to his side. She causes a scene, screaming “am I under arrest?” before storming out. Hank’s suspicions are growing, and after hearing the news that Jesse has been picked up for questioning for his philanthropic tirade, Hank sees an opportunity. The episode concludes with Hank entering the interrogation room to talk to Jesse.
Realistically, Jesse has every reason to rat on Walt, though he doesn’t truly know it. He does not have proof that Mike is dead, nor does he know whether or not Walt is responsible, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe it. He also doesn’t know about the two other times that Walt has thoroughly screwed him, by allowing Jane to die and by poisoning Brock to maintain Jesse’s loyalty. If he knew all of that, there is no doubt that Jesse would spill the beans on the entire operation. However, with him still in the dark, “Buried” leaves the viewer wondering just how loyal Jesse is at this point toward Walt. It also leaves the viewer wondering about Skylar’s destiny. Considering that she is guilty, it is up to Hank to decide if keeping the family together is enough to push her involvement under the rug.
Nevertheless, it seems obvious that Hank will not show the same mercy toward Walt. After piecing the whole story together, Hank has enough to conclude Walt’s responsibility in the ruining of dozens of lives, and may be the cause for his run-in with the cartel. All the evidence shows, either by the cancer, or by the hands of his brother-in-law, Walt is going down.
[Feature Photo credits