We finally meet Marie’s therapist, Dave.
And Jesse finally gets some lasagna sans scabs. Marie says she’ll heat some up.
This was a tough episode. It’s funny, in my big Predictions post, when I updated after “Confessions,” I was going to write (and at this point I’m not even sure I didn’t) that I had a feeling that “Rabid Dog” might be a bit of a low point, but that everything after (and I’m especially looking forward to “Ozymandias”) is just going to rock. And I’ve seen a lot of complaints already about “Rabid Dog”–and people are upset for a whole variety of reasons–and for me as a viewer, as a fan, it made me uncomfortable. It’s not a fun wild ride like some. It’s unsettling. I couldn’t sleep at all afterward. But after watching it a second time, I see it differently. I appreciated so many things about this hour of television. It’s a bitter wine, but good nonetheless
In a way, that title should’ve been plural. I look at the main characters who were featured in this episode–Walt, Skyler, Hank, Marie, Jesse and Saul–and almost all of them could be described as a rabid dog about something. In a twist, the only one who wasn’t rabid was Walt. That was a surprise.
But, more importantly, almost all of them do something unforgivable in this episode, go beyond what we would ever expect them to do. Skyler floats the idea that Walt should murder Jesse. Marie considers poisoning Walt. Hank uses Jesse as a pawn worse than Walt has. Jesse rolls on Walt. Walt orders a hit on Jesse. But I also think, for each of these characters, this has been brewing and it’s possible to see the reasoning and the buildup behind it, what pushes each of them over the edge. The only exception to this part is Saul. He’s been floating the same idea about many different people for as long as we’ve known him. But for all of the others, they cross these invisible lines we never thought they would cross, even if it was set up and suggested previously. Each of these five do something that goes against their own moral compass, however flawed that compass may be, in a major way.
And that brings me to another point, which is, I don’t think this was an episode that was supposed to go down easy. The days of bad boy criminal fun and narrowly averting disaster or detection, the days of keeping the family and other relationships intact despite all the betrayals, are a thing of the past. The stakes have gotten too high. Season Five has, even last summer, had such a darker feel. Shit’s getting realer than it ever has before. This is leading to the end game. These invisible lines must be crossed. And still, none of them go too far. They each take a big step (instead of a flying leap) across the bounds of their moral code. There is worse they could each do.
But still some of it was hard to stomach. So I’m going to look at each of our five main characters and their unforgivable yet understandable choices one by one. Then there’ll be some discussion of the episode as a whole, some of the funny lines and interesting filming choices. And as always, predictions at the end.
Luckily, this episode had more funny lines than we’ve had in a long time. I laughed the most this summer so far during this one, even as it gave me the worst insomnia.
My very favorite line might be when Saul says to Walt, “Okay, but say, you know, for the sake of argument the kid’s not in the mood for a nuanced discussion of the virtues of child poisoning, what then?”
Walt: How much have you been drinking?
Skyler: Not nearly enough.
Let’s do Skyler first. She was actually the most shocking to me. I never disliked her until last night. Couldn’t believe that Skyler, who was once appalled by Walt’s violence and was terrified of her husband once she learned how he bombed Gus at the nursing home, would suggest killing Jesse. Skysenberg’s no joke.
And still, I get it. She’s been turning for a long time now. Of course she’s been laundering Walt’s money and keeping his secrets for awhile, but ever since the first episode of this season, she’s gone a bit beyond that. When she saw Ted in the hospital in 501, she was a little empowered by his fear of her. I don’t think she liked that in herself but it was there. And then, since Hank found out about Walt, she’s become a bit rabid. She wouldn’t talk to Hank. When Walt suggested turning himself in, she told him not to. She said they should stick it out.
To that end, she essentially let her relationship with her sister go. And she supported Walt’s confession video which would sever any chance of repairing that relationship with Marie and Hank. She did that, I think, because Marie had tried to take Holly and then tried to lure Junior to her house. She wanted to keep her kids and she wanted to keep them in the dark about Walt’s drug dealing and murdering ways. And now she’s committed and she thinks her kids and herself might’ve been in danger from Jesse. So the mama bear claws came out and Skyler did the unforgivable thing of floating the idea that Walt kill Jesse.
On the podcast for this episode, the writers describe her as having The Fallacy of Sunk Costs and the way they explained that expression is that if you’re gambling, and you’re losing, you can’t quit because you’re already down so far. The only move you think you can make is to keep playing and try to get back on top. It’s a fallacy so it may not be the best idea but these aren’t characters who’ve often made good choices, any of them. So that’s what Skyler suggests, keep playing just a little longer. And she has weathered a lot at this point and is probably so run down by all of it, but it’s also the fact that she made that video. She went that far, did that much, and in doing so, lost so much. She can’t quit. And so, once she knows how the gasoline got all over her floor, she’s pushed over that edge.
“We’ve come so far, for us, what’s one more?”
I don’t think she takes joy in it. I don’t think, as things stand now (and they could certainly change quickly depending on how the things put in play at the end of the episode play out) that she would take it far enough to, let’s say, kill Jesse if Walt had stuck by his original inclination not to. In fact, in a strange way I don’t see her decision to tell Walt to kill Jesse as even particularly aggressive, I see this as Skyler collapsing in on herself like a dying star, defeated, resigned to this life she has committed herself to even as it gets worse and worse and compromises her moral code more and more. The Fallacy of Sunk Costs.
Didn’t Vince Gilligan say sometime shortly after the pilot episode that this, Walt’s decision to break bad, can’t end well for anyone?
“Dave, can we seriously just focus on my feelings here?” LOVED that line, so funny. And just as good was Dave’s, “Last week you were upset about the new parking rules.” These two lines say everything about Marie in therapy. Betsy Brandt said on Talking Bad that her thought is that Marie’s shoplifting issues never really went away, they’ve just been under the radar, not enough to rile up Hank or get Skyler almost arrested. So we can envision Marie quietly shoplifting in the background.
Marie has always had some moral ambiguities (as do most people). She shoplifts and makes up stories and steals spoons from houses. She’s horrible at keeping secrets. She likes to subtly (and sometimes not so) put down her sister and she’s kind of a snoop. But looking up untraceable poisons for six hours online? That’s a bit…much. She’s done her research too. I’m not sure if she’s actually thinking of trying to poison Walt or just, as she tells Dave, “It just feels so good to think about.” Honestly? I think she’s somewhere in-between.
With her, it’s not too hard to see what led her to this. She’s gone rabid ever since she found out about Walt and specifically once she found out that her sister knew about it and didn’t say anything from before Hank got shot. The fact that Walt may have had (tangential) responsibility for Hank’s attack is that line-in-the-sand dealbreaker. “You have to get him,” she told Hank two episodes ago, and in the last one she told Walt to kill himself. And that was before she saw the confession, saw that she had made things worse for Hank and his chances of catching Walt with the DEA by accepting the drug money from the Whites unknowingly. As far as she can tell, Walt’s won. So she starts looking up poisons. And she’s sincerely worried about the kids living with Walt and Skyler.
And it’s hard to get a handle on how serious she is or not. It could just be indulging in fantasy, which would be understandable, even natural. Sometimes when situations are this hopeless one way to vent the frustration is to think about these things without ever intending to act on them. It reminds me of once, when I was in a horrible, horrible relationship and felt like there was no way out (complicated situation), I thought about writing a story about a woman who murders her husband. Sometimes you gotta release the inner darkness somehow. It’s a far cry from actually doing it (in my case, I never even wrote the story; it was one of those “Just gotta write it down is all” type deals).
But man, Marie’s detailed. She’s found the shellfish poison saxitoxin as a contender. It mimics respiratory failure, which is especially convenient for a man with lung cancer. And notice how she talks about the way it leaves the victim conscious. She wants Walt to suffer. Right now she’s thinking about it, but I feel she’s purposefully, deliberately reigning herself in, as if it takes some effort. Coming up with a fantasy of killing Walt is pretty dark, but with a push she could take it further.
And there has to be a reason for this scene. If the only point was Marie’s thinking about poisons, wouldn’t they just show her googling this stuff? It would take a lot less time in the episode, and for filming. How much is Dave putting together? He wanted more details. Will Marie not reign herself in the next time? Might Dave have to report Marie’s intentions to harm another? If he figures out the “close family friend” Marie intends to harm, he would also, by law, have to inform Walt. I just think this has to play out somehow, coming up soon.
“We’re not brainstorming here.”
Hank’s been a rabid dog ever since he saw the inscription in that Leaves of Grass book book in Walt’s bathroom. Ego is a big issue on Breaking Bad, and I think along with all the feelings of outrage and betrayal that Hank and Marie have been experiencing, there’s also the humiliation that they’ve been had. Hank has been hunting Heisenberg for over a year and never figured it out, even though Walt was right under his nose and there were numerous clues he didn’t put together. He didn’t see Walt for who he really was. He couldn’t. And you can see it eats at him.
And ever since, Hank, who for the most part, though often a blowhard and sometimes a total asshole (remember his recovery?) is mostly, not perfectly, a moral man. He’s made a difficult choice once before to own up to what he did that was totally out of bounds (beating the crap out of Jesse) for his job, when everyone else suggested he cover his own ass. But Hank has hubris and ego, and it was wounded by learning the truth about Walt. Skyler called him on it two episodes back when he tried to prevent her from talking to a lawyer. He wants Walt at all costs. In the last episode, he tries to talk to Jesse despite his history with him, he puts Gomie’s guys on Saul and Jesse even though it’s something he clearly can’t justify to his boss Ramey, and he makes it clear at that dinner that he’s not going to back down. No appeal about the kids or Walt’s cancer, or suggestions of Walt committing suicide are going to slow him down.
So he tails Jesse himself and follows him to the White house and catches him trying to burn it down. He puts a gun on Jesse and has him come with him to the Schrader house, gets Jesse’s confession on tape and then sets up a “sting” on Walt by putting a wire on Jesse. When Jesse’s afraid Walt wants to kill him, Hank talks him down, tells him he has no choice, and then confides in Gomie that if Walt does indeed kill Jesse, so what? Sure, Hank’ll put Jesse’s seatbelt on (awkward!) but when it comes to whether his life matters, Jesse’s just “Oh, you mean the junkie murderer that’s dribbling all over my guest bathroom floor?” He’s using Jesse worse than Walt ever did, because as bad and manipulative as Walt’s been to Jesse, I don’t think he’s ever been this cold, ever not cared if Jesse would live or die.
And using Jesse this way, as much as he has always thought Jesse was a little shitstain, has to be against his moral code. He could rationalize it sure, tell himself what he told Jesse, that he didn’t think Walt wanted to hurt him, or that Jesse was the egg that was broken to cook an omelette, means to an end. But he felt guilty beating him up, and I think if Jesse did go through with the plan and got killed, Hank would suffer guilt later. But now? All he sees is getting Walt.
And honestly, Hank’s plan isn’t all that great. Walt wants to explain why he poisoned Brock. Maybe while having “a nuanced discussion on the virtues of child poisoning” Walt could end up talking about killing Gus, but I don’t even know how likely that would be. Walt always talks in euphemisms and business terms. He could easily say that it was necessary for moving forward, working on their own terms, saving Jesse from the evil influence of Gus, vague terms like that without directly admitting to killing Gus, or to cooking meth, or any of it. They’re in public after all. It’s not like Walt’s going to, in the course of this discussion, start talking about all the meth they cooked, all the people they murdered, where he buried the money, or any of that. The only thing Hank would probably get is a confession about poisoning a kid who is now totally fine. Less useful than Jesse’s confession which Hank says he can’t use.
“Just the word of one nutjob methhead vs. Mr. Rogers has a lung tumor.”
Hank’s getting reckless. He’s going roguer with the DEA, now involving Gomie too without contacting their superiors. Holding Jesse at his house. Hatching this not-so-thought-out plan and using his only willing witness as murder bait. Getting a little rabid for the glory of catching Heisenberg isn’t he?
Gomie’s ideas might be a little better, a little more cautious and rational. Go after Lydia (she’d implicate Walt in a heartbeat to save her ass), look into Drew Sharpe (no evidence there), look into Vamonos (would Todd and his Uncle still be using that as part of the viable operation Walt left and as a cooking cover? Even if not, there are plenty of people there, Ira and all, who could identify Walt). You know, actual detective work, building a case. But that would take time, and might not go anywhere. Hank wants to get Walt now, no matter what it takes.
How far might he go?
“I first met Mr. White, Walter White, in junior year chemistry. He was my teacher.”
Holy fucking shit, Jesse rolled on Walt. Out of all the extreme, almost out-of-character decisions these characters make in this episode, this was probably the easiest to see coming. Of course, it goes against Jesse’s criminal moral code, that his word is his bond, he’s no snitch, not a guy who rolls. But we always knew that if he were ever to find out about Walt’s complicity in Jane’s death or that Walt poisoned Brock, the dynamic duo would be over. Even before that though, this turn was a long time coming.
“What, I’m like, under arrest?” Then, “Yeah, sitting around in DC waiting to be a witness against Mr. White is gonna go great for me.”
It was so expected that I think I’m actually more disappointed that Jesse’s back on meth.
It was sad to watch though, Jesse’s roll. As horrible as Walt has been, and often to Jesse, it felt like a major loss. Walt hasn’t deserved Jesse’s Old Yeller level of loyalty in awhile, and Jesse had every reason to break his own code and turn, but still it was brutal. On the podcast, Vince Gilligan said that the DVD version of the final season will include Walt’s uninterrupted confession video (without the reaction shots of Hank and Marie) and Jesse’s full confession to Hank.
Drew Sharpe changed things. Kids are Jesse’s Achilles Heel, as we’ve seen over and over. And then when he saw Walt whistling happily while he worked, that’s when Jesse’s view of Mr. White changed, and Jesse started to distrust this man he’d been so loyal to. Walt said he was upset, kept up at night by the boy’s death but his actions weren’t bearing that out. Then there was that horrible, awesome argument when Jesse wanted to get out in 507 “Say My Name.” Walt’s manipulations, taking one tack then another, were so obvious. Then Walt orchestrated the killing of the ten guys in two minutes at three different prisons. In the extra scene on the DVD of Season Five Part One, Saul tells Jesse about this and gives Jesse a gun for self-protection against Walt. Jesse figures out that Walt must’ve killed Mike, his “other dad” because there’s no way Walt could’ve orchestrated the prison killings if Mike were still alive (Lydia deduces the same thing the same way). And then he figured out the Brock thing and Saul confirmed it, and it involved a kid, and not a random stranger he didn’t know, like Drew Sharpe, but someone in Jesse’s “instant family,” someone Jesse loved. And then Hank catches him and puts a gun on him, telling him to put away the lighter or be killed. Hank finds him right after Jesse learns about Brock. The scenes don’t follow each other directly in the episode, because of the way they play with time in this one, but in the time of the story, they do. Jesse is overripe to say something.
“He can’t keep getting away with it! He can’t keep getting away with it!”
So Jesse rolls. In the last episode, before he figured out Brock, it was all over his face that he wanted so badly to unburden his soul, to confess to his crimes, to stop Walt, but he didn’t. But the Brock thing, and how badly he was played, pushes him far enough. But even as he does, he basically tells Hank, I can tell you about all this but it’s not going to help you, he’s retired, he left no trace, he’s smarter, he’s luckier. “You guys are just guys.” Basically, you’re no match for him.
“Mr. White, he’s the devil.”
Jesse goes a step further though. He threatens Walt. Earlier he said that he thought Walt wanted to kill him, that he was a threat and Walt has a zero tolerance policy for threats. So what is his game here? What’s the plan? He’s playing with more fire than he did when he had that lighter hovering over the gasoline in Walt’s living room. But Jesse knows Walt, possibly better than anyone and he’s come up with some good plans in Season Five. So his plan, it could be something. Why is he goading Walt though? What’s the point? I’m scared. For Jesse.
When Walt sees Saul’s face and asks if Jesse did that, Saul says, “Yeah but you gotta understand, deep down he loves me.” Of course, he’s playing off something that victims of domestic abuse will often say, and there have been a lot of parallels between the Walt and Jesse dynamic and an abusive relationship. One has the power. One continually manipulates the other. One gets the other, over and over, to stay, against all better judgment. One has caused the other to become more isolated from his support system. But to add to the complexity of this situation, what Saul says is actually true about Walt and Jesse. Deep down, Walt does love him, to a point. But Jesse’s had enough.
Another thing that was finally clarified is that Jesse does want to live. Hank says to him, “I don’t want to kill you and you don’t want to be killed.” And he doesn’t. In the last episode, I think Jesse could’ve gone either way with his will to live. He was so scared of Walt that I think in some way he was just waiting around for the day that Mr. White would waste him. He didn’t seem that invested in living at the start of that desert scene and he called Walt on some shit knowing full well Walt might, and could, kill him for it. But now he’s awake and he wants to live. He’s been getting stronger and that came to light here. He essentially tells both Hank and Walt that he’s not playing by their rules. About time, bitch!
“I’m not doin’ what you want anymore, okay asshole?”
In the last scene of the episode, Walt orders a hit on Jesse via Todd’s Uncle Jack. Everyone’s telling him to kill Jesse–Saul, Skyler–but he holds out. In a reverse of expectations, what’s surprising is not what Walt does that goes against his compass, deciding to have Jesse killed, but that it takes him so long to get there. Everyone is thinking about murder and death–Walt’s and Jesse’s–except Walt. He’s the calm one, the non-violent one, while everyone else is getting a little rabid. Until Jesse threatens him anyway.
At its heart, this is the crux of this episode, to get Walt on board with killing Jesse, and to get Jesse ready to…well, whatever his plan is.
At first, Walt won’t consider it. He gets mad at Saul. “You’re full of colorful metaphors, aren’t you Saul? Belize, Old Yeller, you’re just brimming with advice. Do not float that idea again.” He defends Jesse, tries to protect him. When Skyler asks Walt, bitterly, if Jesse’s ever hurt anyone, Walt says no, he hasn’t and tries to distract Skyler with talk about Baby Holly. When Skyler doesn’t let go, Walt says that Jesse didn’t go to the house to hurt anyone. It really sounds, in this conversation, like he is talking about a wayward son. He tries, as he always does, to use talk and reason to get others to submit to his plans or way of seeing things but Skyler won’t have it. Even so, he plans to try the talking strategy with Jesse.
My favorite line of that Walt and Skyler scene might be when Walt says that Jesse is upset “over something he thinks I did,” and then corrects himself. “I did do it.”
When Walt leaves that message for Jesse about meeting in the civic center, I thought he meant it. And I kind of loved Walt for that, for going that far to not kill Jesse, to say that if Jesse wanted to come put a bullet in his head so be it (though really it was a public square so how likely was it really?), and said he was in Jesse’s hands.
Until that phone call. Jesse says he’s going to get Walt “where you really live.” And that’s it. Walt’s in. Call neo-nazis, stat.
I totally understand why Walt wants Jesse dead now, he probably thinks his family is in danger, but it’s a little cowardly to try to do it through Uncle Jack. I think if Walt wants Jesse murdered, he has to do it himself, and if he does, he will suffer. That is the one murder, aside from a member of his family, that I think even if Walt finds necessary, will seriously hurt him psychologically to carry out.
One thing’s for sure. Uncle Jack will not kill Jesse. There isn’t enough dramatic payoff in that, Uncle Jack is too minor and too new a character. Still, Walt has made the unforgivable but understandable decision to have Jesse killed.
THE EPISODE AS A WHOLE
So much is at play here. So many characters have murder and death and letting others get killed on the brain. So many characters are rabid. So many relationships on the show are fractured–Walt and Skyler with Hank and Marie, Jesse with Walt–and I can’t state enough how much I think all of this was totally necessary. This wasn’t supposed to end well for anyone. There’s just no way that Walt gets away with what he’s done and keeps everyone on his side. Eventually the fallout of what he’s done has to start falling out. Families and friendships get torn apart by a hell of a lot less. Even the devil’s luck runs out. Or it doesn’t and he “wins” but loses too many people around him.
I do still wonder if Skyler and Walt will have a falling out of some sort. Skyler’s so committed, but I just think of how shaky and unsettled she was after the last episode. And let’s be dark and honest, Walt dying would sort of solve things for her. She might be able to repair her relationship with her sister and Hank if Walt were dead. She could claim she was too scared to go against him, or something. Her family wouldn’t be under any threat anymore. She said it herself when she was holding on, waiting for his cancer to come back.
I also wonder about Walt and Jr. Jr still doesn’t know the truth about his father (totally called it from that preview that Jr was asking about the gasoline on the carpet, not Walt’s criminal activity). Last week Walt hugged his “other son” and this week Walt hugged Jr in a very sweet hug. And Jr was heartbreaking early on, afraid that his father had passed out because of the cancer and didn’t want to admit it. It was also a better story.
These fallouts have been happening in order, moving closer and closer in. Walt’s lost his in-laws, then Walt loses his surrogate son. Something has to happen, and soon, to Skyler or Jr. Either the relationship Walt has to either one of them or both is severed beyond repair, or one of them dies in a way that makes Walt feel responsible. Walt “loses” one or both of them in some way. And soon. Seems like the natural progression the course of the story is taking.
But that’s really dark. There were still a lot of funny lines from the episode that haven’t been discussed yet.
The way Walt says he got gasoline all over “my arms, legs and my, my groin.” And of course he’s in tighty-whities once again. Walt!Saul: I never shoulda let my dojo membership run out.
Walt calls Badger “Beaver.”
Kuby (about putting a bug in Skinny Pete’s place): For three hours straight, all he talked about was something called Babylon 5.
Jesse’s Hello Kitty cell phone is still funny, and now we have the ringtone too!
Jesse sleeping with his mouth open and drooling is kind of funny to me, but also freakin’ adorable (can’t help it).
Jesse meeting Marie at looking at all the details of the Schrader house. “The lady, your wife.”
It was a little mercy as the writers tormented us to include any humor, and over at my place we were cracking up over every drip of it. So, so important as the story turns so dark.
There were also some great artistic and camera angle choices worth noting:
-Great angles as Walt walks through his house with his gun, looking for Jesse. Opening the sliding door and the doorknob stand out most.
-The pool scene was so rich in color, gorgeous.
-Also great color and lighting in the scene where Walt gets in the car with Saul and Kuby. Loved the green tones.
-What an amazing, visually awesome hotel.
-Angle on Jess at the payphone
“This is a person.”
What’s heartbreaking about this episode, for me anyway, is that no one gives a shit if Jesse lives or dies…except Walt until the end. He doesn’t have anyone. He and his parents gave up on each other so long ago. He’s been isolated from Skinny Pete and Badger for awhile now. Walt manipulated him into breaking up with Andrea and Brock. There is no one looking out for him. Skyler wants him dead, Hank doesn’t give a fuck if he dies as long as it’s in the interest of catching Walt. Saul wants Walt to put him down, and now Walt’s on board with that too. Everyone else has someone, at least for now. Walt has Skyler and Jr. Hank and Marie have each other. Saul has his A-Team. It’s the thought that Jesse has no one that does me in.
I couldn’t sleep the night after this episode and it was mostly because I was so worried about Jesse. I know some people think he deserves to die because he rolled, I read a lot of that, and I understand it. And the great thing about this show is that everyone has such different opinions because so much exists in gray areas and there are so many different angles to take. But I want Jesse to live. I’m loyal like Old Yeller (in real life too, maybe that’s why I relate to Jesse in some way. I also relate to some of the family issues). Walt may often get my respect for his intellect, and sometimes (and actually lately it’s been often) my sympathy, and my mind with his chemistry, but Jesse has my heart and soul. I’m not even mad that Walt ordered the hit–the great thing, again, is that there’s such complexity that it’s possible to see where even conflicting characters are coming from–but I desperately want Jesse to live.
It could go either way. Walt is our protagonist and this whole episode, as it involves Walt, was about convincing Walt to have Jesse killed, and we as audience naturally identify with that protagonist. And we have that rolling, which Walt doesn’t even know about. I thought that maybe the writers were setting us up to accept Jesse’s death. It’s a pretty good possibility. It was all I could think about as I tossed and turned Sunday night. All I wanted was someone to hold me and tell me Jesse would be okay. And yes, I knew it was ridiculous, that I was way too concerned over a show and its fictional characters, but it’s a testament to the acting, the writing, to get this invested.
But my guess, and trying to be objective (ish), is that Jesse lives for at least awhile more. I discussed in the section on “Granite State” in my Predictions post why I think Jesse has to be a major player in the end game, looking at it simply from the storytelling angle. He better have a good plan, yo.
The other aspect that’s so prevalent in this episode is that characters are in the dark about things. None of this, if known, might matter or change anything, but still. Skyler doesn’t know what the thing that Walt did do was, that he poisoned a child, that Jesse has saved his life before, that Jesse has become like a son to Walt. Walt doesn’t know that Jesse is working with Hank. Jesse doesn’t know that Walt’s cancer is back. Jesse doesn’t know about the “confession” DVD Walt made. Walt doesn’t know it was Hank who stopped his house from being burnt down. I don’t think anyone other than Dave knows about Marie’s extensive internet research on untraceable poisons. Jesse doesn’t know that, against all odds, Walt actually truly cares about him and meant him no harm. That’s the saddest one. Walt is the only one in this episode who sees Jesse as a person.
In the argument between Hank and Jesse, when Hank points out all the ways Walt’s demonstrated how he cares about Jesse–the rehab, making him an equal partner, running over the child-killing drug dealers to save Jesse’s life–and Jesse points out all the ways Walt has ripped him off and run games on him, they’re both right. For Walter White, feeling love for people and manipulating them aren’t at all mutually exclusive. But Jesse can’t see the other side.
“Yeah, Mr. White’s gay for me, everyone knows that.”
For the second time ever in the series, Jesse refers to Walt as something other than Mr. White. I’m not sure how significant it was because he didn’t say it to Walt directly, just for the video, so he might’ve just used Mr. White’s full name in order to be all official and shit.
Another interesting parallel was Walt and Hank dealing with their wives. Both are getting them out of the house and originally don’t divulge all the details of why. Both men eventually do fess up to what’s going on. Walt’s story isn’t half-bad. It’s way, way better than the coke machine latch bit, but he just talks too much. When Walt gives himself away, it’s almost always through too much verbal diarrhea.
Walt had some strange hubris about his cancer when talking to Jr by the pool. What was that about? He’s not just thinking he can run out the clock but what, beat the cancer and ride off into the sunset?
“Thinking there’s another way. To get him. There’s another way. A better way.”
Usually I give a warning here that some of this is based on previews and next episode pics but that’s NOT the case this time. They were totally useless as far as figuring anything out.
I’m going to take a total wild guess and predict that neither Walt’s hit on Jesse nor Jesse’s plan on Walt work out as expected. If one does, it’s Jesse’s. Like I said, no way Jesse gets killed by Uncle Jack, because it would rob a Jesse death (if that should be part of the story) of its dramatic potential. There is NO WAY that’s happening. If Jesse dies in the next episode, it’s not a Jack hit.
There could be a death, and I think it’s either Sky/Jr, or Jess, in that order. Something really bad and dramatic and huge has to happen to set up Walt leaving ABQ, and I just think that has to mean something happens to someone in his remaining inner circle.
I really think it’s either at the end of the next episode, 513, or the beginning of 514 that Walt leaves town. So stuff has to really heat up for Walt between now and then. It could be Jesse’s plan. It could be stuff with Lydia and Todd and Jack. It could be Marie trying to poison him. It could be all of the above and then some. I also think there could be some of that loss in Walt’s immediate family that I was talking about earlier. Someone dies, or Jr finds out and disowns his father, or something pushes Skyler to take off with Jr and Holly. Walt’s crimes could become public. I know I’m not making any specific predictions here, really just looking at the overall shape of the story. My guess? It’ll be a few of these things, and Walt puts the plan in place to skip town. He goes back to To’hajiilee to get the money, I think for Saul’s guy.
I think it’s also possible that Todd and his guys don’t just agree to Walt’s job. It’s of course possible that they do and Walt goes back to dig up money to pay for that. But maybe they want something in exchange, like Walt getting involved again. This next one will be the episode when the Todd/Lydia/Jack storyline ties in again, strongly, to the Walt/Sky/Hank/Jess world. They may want Walt’s help in exchange for the hit. Or maybe Walt ends up selling Jesse into servitude cooking with those guys (reference to what Walt says Hank did to him with Gus in his false confession) so as to get rid of Jess in a way that makes both parties happy. Jesse told Hank that “I’m the only near as good as him.” That’s been said too much since Jesse got “out” of the business for it not to come back into play somehow.
Another thing that is not happening? Jesse physically hurting or killing one of Walt’s family members. I’m not sure what he means about burning Walt down where he really lives but he doesn’t mean killing his wife or child, he just doesn’t. He might mean telling Jr about his dad. He might mean somehow going after Walt’s ego and meth recipe (not sure how), maybe trying to get Walt cooking again so he can get caught. He might mean going after the money, the “empire” Walt has built in some way. Or going public somehow with Walt’s crimes. Or who knows, maybe it’s just a threat and doesn’t relate to the plan.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if Jesse somehow pretended he was Heisenberg and that’s how the “I’m the only one near as good as him” comes into play? That would certainly go after Walt’s ego and legacy, where he lives, and it would drive Walt insane, worse than when Hank thought Gale was the genius mastermind. I don’t think Walt could take it! It’s probably so unlikely, but what the fuck? I’m calling it. You heard it here. And if Jess goes that route, he might also try to use the Todd crew. Wouldn’t that be funny?
Like I said, not many real specific predictions, more overall shape. And a few things that I would bet some fat stacks won’t happen.
“Do not float that idea again.”
More About “Rabid Dog”
- Tucker’s Hole
- Sidekick Reviews
- Insider Podcast
- AMC Talk Forums Topic for “Rabid Dog”
- Weak Interactions – The Science of Breaking Bad
- Tim Goodman – Bastard Machine Deconstruction
- If “Rabid Dog” Took Place Entirely on Facebook
More Breaking Bad Topics
- Season 5 Part 2 Predictions and Detective Work – updated frequently
- Hank’s Dilemma in All its Dimensions
- Chekhov’s Ricin
- Walter White’s Moral Demise and the People Jesse Pinkman Loves
- How Walter White Poisoned Brock and What Happened to the Ricin Cigarette
- 511 “Confessions”
- 510 “Buried”
- 509 “Blood Money”
- 508 “Gliding Over All”
- 507 “Say My Name”
- 506 “Buyout”
- 505 “Dead Freight”
- 504 “Fifty-One”
- 503 “Hazard Pay”
- 502 “Madrigal”
- 501 “Live Free or Die”