Breaking Bad Recap of "Rabid Dog": Jesse Wakes Up

Breaking Bad Recap of "Rabid Dog" Jesse Wakes Up

This week’s episode of Breaking Bad, titled “Rabid Dog,” sees Walt nervous for the first time in a while, Skyler continuing to become the female Heisenberg, and Jesse finally taking things into his own hands. Walt fails to talk Jesse down from the ledge after his discovery in the last episode, and Hank fails to get Jesse to play by his rules. Looks like Jesse’s the one in control now. Keep reading as we break down the best moments from this week’s episode of Breaking Bad.

The episode opens with Walt coming home to find the remnants of Jesse’s gasoline party. Walt sneaks in the back patio door with his gun cocked and ready, expecting to find Jesse there and ready to kill him, only to find an empty house doused in gasoline. He finds no trace of Jesse except for Saul’s car with the door open and a cocaine-stained CD on the dashboard.

The locksmith comes and asks about changing the locks, but Walt insists that he keeps the old locks intact, so that the old keys can still work. Wonder if there’s any significance to that. The carpet cleaners try to get the gasoline smell out to no avail. Walt asks Huell to swing by Walt Junior’s school to see if he’s safe, then he leaves a message on Jesse’s phone, pleading for Jesse to talk to him. He thanks Jesse for changing his mind about burning the house down and says (I can’t believe he still thinks they can do this) he wants to fix things. When Skyler and Junior come home, Walt feeds them a story about how he went to get gas and there was a pump malfunction, and as a result he was splashed by gasoline. When he stripped off his clothing in the house to take a shower, the gasoline from his clothes soaked into the carpet. Even Junior can smell the bullshit in his story, only he thinks his dad’s just hiding something about his cancer. It’s just sad at this point to see Junior so clueless and naive, and still so caring about his dad. It’s such a painful juxtaposition against the increasing brutality and hopelessness of the situation. Walt suggests that they all stay at a hotel until the new carpets are installed, and the wife and kid comply.


Walt meets up with Saul and Kuby to see if they have any leads on where Jesse is, but they can’t find him anywhere. Saul makes another metaphor, comparing Jesse to Old Yeller — ” he was the best, most loyal dog there was, but one day he shows up rabid, and Timmy, for Old Yeller’s sake, had to . . .” Walt cuts him off and, like the conversation about sending Hank to Belize, tells Saul to never float that idea again. He tells him to just find Jesse.

In the next installment of Skyler’s transformation into Mrs. Heisenberg, Walt comes back to their hotel room to be confronted by Skyler, who knows he was just talking to Saul, but more importantly, she knows that Walt’s gas pump story was bullshit. She demands to know what’s really going on. Walt reminds her of Jesse Pinkman, that kid who came over for dinner that one time, who recently got upset over a thing Walt did, a thing that Walt had no choice in doing. As Walt continues to explain and reassure Skyler that Jesse is harmless, she becomes resolved that there is only one course of action. He did try to burn their house down, after all. “You need to deal with this,” she tells him in a slow and controlled voice. With everything that’s happened recently, with their status with Hank and Marie, “We’ve come this far,” Skyler says. “What’s one more?” Who are you and what have you done with Skyler?! This further confirms that she is filling up the Heisenberg role as Walt continues to recede.

Next we see the gasoline incident from Jesse’s point of view. He’s obviously coked up as he pours the gasoline all over the house, but just as he lights up a magazine and is about to burn the house down, Hank bursts in with a gun pointed at him, and tells Jesse to put the fire out. Jesse starts to spout off about Walt and what he’s done, including attempting to poison an 8-year-old boy. Hank says, “I know, Walt’s a bastard, but if you really want to bring him down, let’s do it together.” Jesse puts down the lit magazine and gets in Hank’s car, looking catatonic once again.

During Marie’s therapy session, she reveals bits and pieces to the therapist about a recent betrayal that has made her so angry that she’s been looking up untraceable poisons on the internet. (Hope you had your private browsing on.) The therapist says it’s fine if she can’t divulge any details, but there is no problem that gets solved with violence. She says, “Don’t worry, I wouldn’t hurt anybody, but it just feels good to think about it.” Is this foreshadowing? Is Marie going to have a science experiment of her own and make some kind of shellfish poison?


Marie comes home to find her purple luggage packed and in the foyer. Hank tries to convince her to go away for a little while as he works out a new development in the thing with Walt, and he’s even booked a spa resort for her, but at this point in the show, nobody’s buying anything. He’s forced to reveal that he’s got Jesse in his custody, and shows her a passed out Jesse in the guest room. She asks if this would be bad for Walt, he says yes, and she says “I’m staying. I’ll make lasagna.” A phone rings and goes to voicemaile. Hank listens to it. It’s Walt leaving the message on Jesse’s phone from earlier in the episode.

Walt and Junior have a touching moment by the hotel pool. Junior asks if everything’s OK, Walt says it’s just business, but Junior brings up the cancer again. It’s starting to become tedious, the whole Junior worrying nonstop about his dad’s cancer while his dad is worried about everything but the cancer thing. When is that kid going to get a clue? Walt reassures his son that he’s not going to let cancer get him down, and they share a hug by the pool, but there’s something strange frantic about it. I’m really hoping that these scenes are more than just filler, that they’re significant and hint at what’s to come between Walt and his son.

Back at the Schraders’, Jesse wakes up, and it’s a deeply symbolic awakening, as the rest of the episode sees him truly awake for the first time in a while. Marie asks him if he wants some coffee and Hank and Gomez are in the kitchen waiting for him. Hank sets up a camcorder to record Jesse’s statement. Jesse tells his story, starting with how he met Mr. White in his junior year chemistry class. “He was my teacher,” he says. What a metaphor. He certainly did teach that kid a thing or two in the last year. Out on the balcony, Gomez points out that there’s still no physical evidence, so where do they start? Hank plays Walt’s voicemail, in which he asks Jesse to meet at a plaza to talk. Hank’s plan is to get them to meet while Jesse wears a wire, so they can obtain proof from their conversation. Jesse strongly objects to meeting with Walt, and is baffled by how little the two DEA agents understand the man. He points out that since he’s still in town, he’s a threat, and Walt has a zero tolerance policy with threats. Hank argues that Walt is like that with everyone but Jesse, that he has shown over and over again that he cares about him. Jesse argues back: “Mr. White is the devil.” When the agents are alone again, Gomez asks Hank, “What if he’s right? What if it’s a trap?” Hank calmly answers, “I hope he’s right. Pinkman gets killed, and we get it all on tape.” Damn, that’s cold.


Everything is in place at the scene, Hank straps the wire to Jesse, and all systems are a go. Jesse starts walking through the plaza, visibly nervous and hesitant. He spots Walt on a bench, but also sees a large man staring at him from behind a structure. He calls off the plan and takes off in a different direction. Jesse goes to a pay phone and calls Walt. “Nice try, asshole,” Jesse says. Walt asks where he is, reiterates that he just wants to talk. Jesse states that this is his way of saying he’s coming for him, that burning his house down was nothing, “Next time I’m gonna come get you where you really live.” We all know where that is: Walt’s empire. Or perhaps his pride. What’s Jesse’s move? Is he going to burn down Walt’s empire instead, destroying everything he’s built, and thus his pride in the process? After Jesse leaves the plaza, we see Walt walk by the large guy, who turns out to be a completely random bystander who was waiting for his daughter.

Hank is livid as he pulls Jesse back into their surveillance van. He asks, “What were you thinking?” Jesse answers, “I’m thinking there’s another way, to get him. A better way.” Next we see Walt get in his car and call someone on his cell. “Todd, I think I might have another job for your uncle.”

Is he saying what we think he’s saying? Is he going to try and off Jesse? Or is the hit meant for Hank? Or someone else entirely? That’s the beauty of this show: we never know where it’s going to take us. It was good to finally see Jesse back, with a will to live, with a will to win. It’s a three-way showdown between Walt, Hank, and Jesse, and the only thing we’re sure of is that there will be at least one corner of the triangle taken out.

What did you think of this week’s episode?


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