This week’s episode, “Confessions,” shows off Walt’s acting skills in his latest curveball thrown at Hank, and Jesse’s time bomb go off as he makes a major discovery. Let’s break down the biggest developments from this week’s episode of Breaking Bad.
This episode opens with Todd and his uncle Jack going to a diner after the meth lab coup. Todd calls Walt before going in and tells him that there’s been a change in the business. He then recounts the train robbery story to the gang, all the while making himself look creepier and more evil with his nonchalance. Funny that you left out the detail about how you killed a boy in cold blood.
Picking up from last week’s episode, Hank is face to face with Jesse, trying to get Jesse to empathize with him and play informant. He reveals that he knows that Walt is Heisenberg, that Walt had been lying to him for over a year and using him. He says to Jesse, “Maybe you understand that feeling.”
Back at the White residence, Junior asks his dad if he can go over to aunt Marie’s, who called him over to “fix her computer,” and Walt panics. He calls for Junior to wait, and decides that this is the best time to drop the news that his cancer’s returned, clearly to keep Junior from going to the Schraders. All I could think during this scene was poor kid. He’s the ultimate innocent casualty in the war that has essentially killed his real parents and replaced them with morally-devoid criminals who wear his parents’ clothing.
Hank comes home to a waiting Marie, who asks if “Flynn” is with him. He has no idea what she’s talking about. She changes the subject and eagerly asks how it went at the DEA. He says he didn’t tell them. Marie is clearly upset, but he says he has new leads and then smacks her down with “don’t tell me how to do my job.” It’s the usual Schrader dynamic in any time of crisis.
Next we see Walt sitting on his bed and Skyler asks him off screen, “Are you sure about this?” Walt says, “It’s the only way.” A video camera is revealed and after Skyler presses record, Walt starts to give what sounds like a confession.
The next scene is major. The Walts invite the Schraders to eat at a Mexican restaurant. The tension between the foursome is palpable, and only juxtaposed further by the cheesy Mexican decorations and the annoying, peppy waiter who stepped right out of Chotchkie’s from Office Space. Hank asks Walt, “Are you here to confess?” Walt says, “There’s nothing to confess.” Walt brings his pawn, Junior, into it yet again, pleading with Hank that this would have irreparably damaging effects on him if he hears about this, especially on top of just learning that his dad’s cancer is back. Marie is still insisting that the kids live with them because they’re not safe, and Skyler’s inner lioness comes out as she says, “They are safe.” At the height of the heated discussion, Walt asks exasperated, “What do I have to do to make you believe?” And Marie says without skipping a beat, “You should kill yourself.” Damn. Skyler says that that is no solution, and Hank seconds her opinion, but because he doesn’t want him to get off that easy. What he has planned for Walt is much worse than death. He tells him again that there is no solution but to step up and be a man. The Whites exchange a look and get up to leave, but not before leaving the taped confession with the Schraders. But it’s not what you think!!!
Hank and Marie watch Walt’s confession, and boy are they in for a doozy. Walt proceeds to “confess” that Hank has been running a meth empire this whole time, using Walt for his chemistry experience to cook for him. Hank has been forcing him this whole time, and when Walt tried to refuse, Hank would get violent and threaten him. He even gestures to his scar from fainting and says that that was from his latest attempt to quit. He’s making the confession because he can’t take it anymore; he’s tired of living in fear that his brother-in-law will murder him or worse, hurt his family, all the while crying with restraint like a veteran actor. Such a drastic contrast from the confession he blurts out in the first episode, when his feelings and actions were genuine and not those of a calculating mastermind. The confession proves yet again just how smart Walt is, much smarter than Hank, in fact, as he drops several details that the DEA can back up: Gus Fring’s involvement in the business, Hank’s attempted hit (as a result of his falling out with Fring), Hector Salamanca’s involvement, Fring’s murder by bombing (Walt confesses that he made the bomb, but under Hank’s orders), the Schraders taking his kids for months, and the amount of money Walt paid for Hank’s medical bills after he was shot. This last bit of information is news to Hank, who confronts Marie about it. Marie says she thought it was gambling money and she hid it from him because she knew he’d refuse, and she just wanted him to be able to walk again. He says, “That’s the last nail in the coffin.” It’s understandable that Hank feels defeated, as Walt now has the upper hand. But Jesse could still be Hank’s last resort.
Jesse and Saul are in the dessert waiting for Walt. He pulls up and after searching for any tracking devices on Saul’s car, he launches into the whole “how much does Hank know?” discussion. Jesse reassures him that he must not know much, or else Walt would be locked up already. And that it doesn’t seem like he’s told the DEA, from the way he was acting in the interrogation room. Walt tells Saul to take a hike and puts on his fatherly act with Jesse. After four and a half seasons, Jesse can see through his bullshit, and so can the audience. It just makes me uncomfortable now to watch Walt pretend to care about Jesse. Everybody and their grandmother knows that when he uses that “caring” voice, he’s only looking out for his own interests. So when Walt suggests that Jesse call Saul’s disappearer guy and gives him the second-chance spiel — get out of town, get a job you like, meet a girl, hell, even start a family; you have your whole life ahead of you! — Jesse cuts through his bullshit immediately. “Would you for once stop working me?” Walt pleads ignorance. Jesse says he knows that the reason why Walt wants him out of town is so he won’t be able to play informant for Hank. “Drop the concerned dad act and tell me the truth . . . just tell me you don’t give a shit about me, and it’s either this or you’ll kill me, like you killed Mike.” He’s crying and trembling at this point (is he going to be like this all season, because that would start getting old), and Walt goes over and hugs him without saying a word. There’s something so sinister in the way Walt hugs Jesse, because it’s not to comfort him but to rein him in. After everything that’s happened, Jesse is clearly still holding onto the hope that Mr. White has some trace of humanity left in him, that he hasn’t consciously put Jesse in jeopardy with every single decision he’s made. He’s holding out hope, but would rather be freed from it, and therefore wants Walt to just tell him to his face. It’s exactly like when you’re sick of being jerked around by a boyfriend or girlfriend and you wish they’d just tell you they don’t love you already, so you can be free. Because you’re still too weak to free yourself.
Back at the DEA office, Steve Gomez is not happy that Hank went to see Jesse without telling him, and that he put Gomez’s guys on tailing him. He reminds Hank that Jesse could still sue over the beatdown situation — as if that’s anywhere near Jesse’s concerns right now. Hank agrees to pull the guys off the case and leaves the office, canceling his appointments for the day.
Saul is now finalizing the details of Jesse’s disappearance. He makes the call and the deal is set. Jesse is told to meet the guy somewhere in an hour. Half listening, Jesse lights up a joint, which Saul makes him put out. He asks for his bag of weed, but Jesse sticks it back in his pocket. As Huell comes to retrieve Jesse for the meet, he nicks the bag of weed from Jesse’s pocket. When Jesse’s waiting at the meetup spot, he goes to light another doobie, but the weed’s not in his pocket anymore. When he goes to get a cigarette instead, he puts two and two together: Huell lifted the weed, but he must have also lifted something else in the past. The ricin. His guy pulls up, but Jesse walks past him and the van drives away. Damn it, Jesse!
Jesse bursts back into Saul’s office and starts attacking him. He locks the door and grabs Saul’s gun. Saul asks, “What did I do?” Jesse says he knows that Walt tried to poison Brock and that Saul helped him. At this point, Jesse looks capable of killing everyone there, including the unsuspecting secretary — that’s how angry he is. Saul confesses to the poisoning scheme, but says that Walt insisted it was to save Jesse; otherwise, he would have never agreed to do it if he had known it was to poison a child. Saul is telling the truth here, but it doesn’t matter. Jesse snatches Saul’s car keys and takes off. Saul makes a call on his cell and screams, “We’ve got a big problem!” Could this be the call that Walt received during chemo in the first episode of the season??
Walt rushes back to the car wash, clearly after learning about Jesse’s confrontation with Saul, and he stealthily lifts a hidden gun from the soda machine at the car wash.
Next we see Saul’s car pull up to Walt’s house, driving over the lawn. Jesse breaks into the house and starts dousing everything in gasoline. Guess we now know how the house burns down — unless the writers throw us another curveball, which at this point we should just expect. How will Walt rein Jesse in now? And what’s Hank’s next move?