Welcome back, fellow Breaking Bad fanatics, what a wild ride this episode was huh? Anyone else need a Valium? No? Just me? Alright, let’s get started on the recap for Breaking Bad, episode 11, “Confession”
We begin with a close up of our old, trigger-happy pal, Todd, lighting a cigarette. He really looks like a watered-down Matt Damon doesn’t he? Anyway, he takes a drag on his cigarette, and then punches a number into a cell phone. “Hello, Mr. White,” he begins. We can only assume he is leaving a message because Todd mentions he is probably “busy with retirement”. The camera pans back to show him pacing in a Café Route 66 parking lot. He goes on to explain there was a disagreement with Declan and things got a little “messy”, but while it’s all been sorted, he just wanted to give Mr. White a heads up about the “change in management”. Well, isn’t Todd thoughtful? This could no way be a way to try and lure Heisenberg back, right?
Next, we see Todd in the café, with his uncle and another associate, bragging his face off about the train heist. He’s excitedly reliving the details of how they almost got caught, yet just got away. (He leaves out the shooting of an innocent kid on a dirt bike who may or may not have realized what he’d seen.) His uncle and friend seem to be enjoying the tale, and Todd says it was “perfect” how it all went down. From plan to execution. (Pun intended) “Mr. White told me it was like the biggest train heist ever, like potential money wise” was the last thing Todd said before a hesitant looking waitress came over to refill their coffee and ask if they needed anything else. They ask only for the check, which she places on the table. All three men watch her walk away, and then after a moment, turn toward Todd with serious, down to business expressions. They wanna know if Todd is ready to cook. Is he up to running his own lab? Todd is emphatic he is ready and capable. The two men agree and go off to the restroom, where one waxes nostalgic about when you could smoke on airplanes, and the other man wants to smack kids wearing bike helmets, “for their own good”. One of men finds blood on his shoe, cleans it off and flushes the DNA evidence. As the drive off down the interstate, in a pick-up, hauling a tank of you can only guess, and we pass a sign welcoming them to New Mexico.
And its title sequence time.
We return to a close up of a worn out Jesse in the interrogation room. A fast-forward time lapse, showing the two gumshoes from last week questioning him, and in limps Hank. First, he turns off the camera, none of this is going on the record. It can’t. Hank’s career is at stake. He’s got to play this very carefully.
“Mr. Pinkman, how are you today?” Hank begins with the pleasantries. He knows he needs to gain Jesse’s trust and he isn’t going to do that by rushing in and cuffing him by the throat, as much as he may want to at this point. Hank is fast to reveal he knows Heisenberg was his brother in law. A flicker of “Oh S**t crosses Jesse’s face and Hank catches it. But, he isn’t interested in Jesse. He wants Walt. So, he makes Jesse an offer. He can help him out of the trouble he’s in if Jesse gives up the info on Heisenberg. Jesse’s counter offer is, “Eat me”. Hank’s reply is “Sure you wanna play it like that?” Jesse suggests he beat it out of him, since that’s his thing and what he’s done to him in the past. Hank continues by suggesting he is just a puppet and Heisenberg has the strings, and he’s desperate, just like he was with Skylar last week when she threw a hissy fit in the diner. Hank is hitting a nerve with Jesse and he can tell. He asks if Jesse would like to talk, and Jesse glares at him and whispers, “Not to you.”
Then, as if on cue, in walks Saul with one of his grand entrances. Saul is always swooping in to save the day, and don’t you just love that about him. “Agent Schrader, beat any good suspects lately?” he goes on to explain to the gumshoes the history between Hank and Pinkman and how last time they met, Agent Schrader put Jesse in the hospital. Hank’s window for a confession out of Jesse is now nailed firmly shut. Saul clears the room of law enforcement by threatening a “civil law suit the size of Montana”, before he lays into Jesse about what his little money tossing stunt is costing everyone. Saul asks what he said to Schrader, and Jesse says, “Nothing, Jesus, just chill out.” Saul isn’t going to chill anytime soon. Because, as he puts it, things have gone “nuclear”. “I imagine Schrader shared with you his recent discovery, well then you get my complete lack of chill. He then exhales and throws up his hands, as if to say, “What am I going to do with you?”
We cut to Walter, who is at his house, in his bedroom, looking out the window and arguing with Saul on the cell phone. He’s saying just use the money you have and tells him to “Make it happen and call me when he gets out.” We can only assume they were having a heated discussion over bailing Jesse out and what’s the next move. Walter hangs up the phone just in time for Flynn/Walt Jr. to come home. Walter calls to him that he’ll be right out. Flynn/Walt Jr. asks if he went to work today, as he was out really late the night before. Walt goes into the bathroom, giving a clumsy explanation about losing track of time. He searches for make-up to cover the very noticeable damage to his face. Flynn/Walt Jr. tells Walt he’s going to head out, when Walt asks where, he says Aunt Marie called, and something is wrong with her computer and she needs Flynn/Walt Jr.’s help, and he is also staying for dinner. Walter springs into action very quickly, wiping the make-up off and running to catch his son before he leaves. Walter is nothing if not a master manipulator, so before his son leaves, he tells him the cancer has come back. He gives a very bright, optimistic outlook, but Flynn/Walt Jr. still looks very distressed, as I’m sure Walter knew he would. He also explained that he passed out, and that’s what happened to his face. So, now instead of going to Aunt Marie’s, Flynn/Walt Jr. is staying home. With his family. Ever though Walter gives him the go ahead, Flynn/Walt Jr. is allowed to think he made the decision himself. When really, like Schrader suggested, everyone is the puppet and Walter is pulling the strings.
Next, we check in with Marie at the Schrader residence, when Hank is limping in from work. Marie asks if Flynn is with him, and Hank wonders why he would be with him. Obviously, she didn’t clue Hank in on the plan to sneak Flynn/Walt Jr away. She proceeds to nag him about whether or not he’s shared his recently discovered information about his brother in law with his co-workers at the DEA, to which he snaps back that if he goes to them with this, without solid proof they will laugh his limping ass out of the building, further scolding her for trying to tell him how to do his job.
We rejoin Walter back at the White residence, where he and Skylar look to be making a taped confession, of which we don’t get to see, before we see Walter and Marie at a very loud, colourful Mexican restaurant. Marie and Hank join them, Walter thanks them for coming. No one looks pleased to be there, except for their enthusiastic waiter Trent. He recommends margaritas and their special table side guacamole. Walter says they need some time with the menu and Trent rushes off to bring them some water. Skylar looks catatonic. Walter brings up the fact they are there to discuss the kids, when he is interrupted by Marie, suggesting they stay with them. End of story. Walter begs them to leave Flynn/Walt Jr. out of this. He’s already been through enough this year. Why put him through seeing his dad and mom as Hank suggests, because she is on Team Walter, thrown into prison for what will most likely be the rest of Walter’s life and a considerable amount of time for Skylar. Hank promises to kick the door down, and Walter reminds him he’s got nothing. If this investigation were to ever even get moving, which it probably won’t, why tear the family apart. Hank and Marie just look disgusted, and Trent comes back with the water and a hard sell on the table side guacamole. He notices no one is jumping at the chance to place an order and all seem to want to kill each other with their glares, and decides to give them a few more minutes. Marie brings up the kids again, suggesting they are safer with them. Skylar promises they are safe. Marie reminds them Skylar was the one who brought them over before, and Skylar says, “And I brought them back!” As if saying, “Only I know what’s best for my children.”
Skylar then goes on to further reiterate, there is no bad situation at all. This is all in the past. There is nothing to go after. They are just two people. Owning and running a car wash. And that is all anyone is ever going to find out. Marie is having none of it. She asks how they can believe anything these two have to say? Who knows where the line of lies begins and ends? She even questions whether or not the affair with Ted ever actually happened. Walter interjects by admitting Flynn/Walt Jr. now knows the cancer is back, and that’s a pretty heavy burden to know your dad is dying, but to heap this on as well, that would just be wrong. Hank doesn’t care for that at all angrily insists Walter not give him any suggestions on what’s right and wrong. I mean after all, he’s been building a drug empire. Walter starts to defend himself by asking what he need to do to make Hank believe, when Marie calmly ask, “Why don’t you just kill yourself?” Walter and Skylar are shocked at the audacity to just blurt out an absurd request like that. Marie continues, “This whole thing dies with you, right? That’s what you’re thinking, is that Hank should just let it go and wait for you to die. Maybe you should just go ahead and die then. A horrified Skylar whispers, “That is not a solution.” Hank agrees, but only because he so badly wants to see Heisenberg go down for this. He wouldn’t be happy if Walter just suddenly dropped dead at that very table. Hank wants the satisfaction of defeat. He’s not going to let Walter “negotiate” his way out of this thing. Only option is Walt grows a pair and admits what he’s done. Skylar and Walter exchange looks, Marie looks crestfallen. Hank looks like he’s trying very hard to reign in the urge to rip Walter’s head off. Walter gets up to leave, but lays a disc on the table before he goes. The voice over begins as we see Walter and Skylar leave Hank and Marie at the restaurant wondering what the hell just happened?
“My name is Walter Hartwell White.”
And thus begins, Walter White’s confession. He gives the whole story. The ride along, Gus, Hector, the shooting. He even says he was forced to pay Hank’s medical bills after the shooting, of which totaled 177,000. Only he alters one significant detail. In his heartfelt admission, he says it was all Hank. WHAT??? That was the first OMFG moment of the night. He says Hank was the leader of the whole thing. Not Walter. Hank. ASAC Hank Schrader of the DEA, was now being implicated as a drug lord. Walter was being forced. Hank even “stole” his kids for three months as blackmail. He says he tried to stop and that’s how his face got beat. It’s the performance of his life. He even breaks down at the end, saying he fears for his life’s as well as his family’s. Hank and Marie are both standing, watching in disbelief. Marie quickly tries to put a spin on it, saying it’s crazy, no one would believe that, when Hank looks at her and says, “177,000 dollars?” Oh, right, because he didn’t know. Marie is now the one who looks sick. She goes to sit down and try and explain she thought it was gambling money and she only took it because the insurance wouldn’t cover the care he needed and if they hadn’t taken it, he may have never walked again. But, in effectively, what has happened is Hank’s investigation has now been shut down. For now, anyway.
Now, we’re in the desert with Saul and Jesse and Saul’s fancy ride. Saul suggests just should be more nervous and expresses his disdain for the desert, while Jesse watches a spider and I wonder if he is thinking of Drew. Saul is wringing his hands nervously, when we see Mr. White pulling up in his fancy ride. Mr White gets out of his car and starts inspecting the underneath of Saul’s car, looking for one of Hank’s fancy little GPS trackers. Saul assures him they are clean, wouldn’t be there if they weren’t. Then he shows Mr. White another fancy gadget that will read radio signals and will make finding tracking devices much easier.
Without so much as a “How do ya do?”, Mr. White turns to Jesse and asks, “What does he know?” Jesse responds by saying what we already know. He’s connected the Heisenberg dots, but not much else, or they would be having this conversation behind bars. Mr. White wants to know exactly what Hank said, and Jesse explains he wants Jesse to spill all he knows. He goes on to mention he doesn’t think Hank has spread the world through the rest of the DEA. When Mr. White asks how Jesse knows that for sure. Jesse informs he was there by himself and acting kind of shady, being very private. Saul interrupts with his flourish of words to ask if they are going to discuss the “Rain of caca”, Jesse’s little late night money tossing stunt, has brought down upon them. Heisenberg suggests Saul go take a walk. Reluctantly, Saul shuffles away, leaving Jesse alone with Heisenberg.
“Jesse, will you let me help you?” a kinder, Mr. White asks, as if he hadn’t been the one to put the poor kid in the position he’s in.
He tells Jesse, he doesn’t like seeing him hurting like this and maybe a change would do him some good.
Jesse is suspect of this, as anyone would be, and asks with a puzzled expression, “What kind of change?” Mr. White says he doesn’t know, maybe he should just leave all this behind. He was acting as if he was just making all this up on the fly, but he is far too methodical for that. Also, Saul just so happens to know a guy who can create a whole new identity and life for you, far away and Jesse would have the chance to start over completely. He makes it sound like he is selling Jesse on a new time share, like isn’t he lucky he gets to have this chance? Only a fool would pass it up, right?
Jesse calls bulls**t on him right away?
“Would you, just for once, stop working me?” he asks, letting Mr. White know he’s done with the whole, “concerned dad thing”. He just wants Mr. White to be straight up, and ask him to do a favour. Jesse just wants the damn truth. It’s all about the fact that Mr. White needs Jesse out of the picture. And while I do think Mr. White genuinely cares for Jesse, or he would have sent him to Belize along with Mike, Jesse sees it as being played.
“Just ask me for a favour” Jesse pleads, “Just tell me you don’t give a s**t about me, and it’s either this, or you’ll kill me the same way you killed Mike.” Jesse yells, finally admitting his suspicions. Mr. White just watches as Jesse continues to fall apart. Saul is standing off to the side, still looking nervous. Instead of admitting any fault or misdeeds, Mr. White grabs Jesse, and hugs him. Jesse is resistant at first, but he falls into it, and just sobs while Mr. White holds him, and pats his head reassuringly, and for just a moment, looks as if he actually cares.
Side note: Performance of the week is a tie between Aaron Paul and Bob Odenkirk. Aaron Paul is so good at making your heart break for him. He is so hurt and conflicted and I can’t imagine what he has to do to get into character or how much of himself he has to destroy to get to that point, but bravo. And Odenkirk is just fantastic, with his one-liners, and his entrances are always entertaining. He gets his point across with just enough humor to make him amusing, but not so much as he looks like a clown. It’s a fine line to walk, and he does it effortlessly.
Flash forward to Walt, back to normal at the car wash, wishing customers an “A1 day”. He pops in the office where Skylar is still pretty much catatonic. He has to call her name several times, before she finds herself back in the present. Walt’s got chemo, so he needs her to watch the register. Walt, obviously knowing what’s troubling her, promises “it worked. We’re fine” She nods, but hardly looks convinced.
Checking in with ASAC Schrader, we find him going through papers, hanging onto hope he will find the one piece of evidence he needs to make the jump. Gomez comes in, p***ed he’s got agents watching Saul’s business because this isn’t their problem, it’s APD’s problem to watch Pinkman. Doesn’t Hank realize they could be sued if Saul or Jesse figured out they were being trailed by the DEA without probable cause. Giving no further argument on the matter, Hank orders Gomez to just take them off the stake-out. OK. Done. But, then for some reason, Hank up and leaves. His secretary reminds him he’s got a 3:00 appointment, but Hank says it will have to be another day.
Back at Saul’s, Jesse is sitting in a chair looking distressed, while Saul is advising him, this is the last chance for him to say his goodbye’s if he has any and what not. Jesse says there is no one. Saul reminds that once he makes the call, that’s it. Jesse looks like he could start sobbing again. Clearly there is a large part of him that does not 100% love this plan.
“Uh, I need a new dust filter for my Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro, Model 60” Saul makes the request on the phone and as we know from a season ago, this is the code of needing the assistance of this guy to disappear you.
And the process has begun. They have one hour. Saul goes on to explain the price, and that his, ’benefactor’ has arranged for seed money to get started where ever it is he will be going. While Saul is getting things together, Jesse sparks up another joint. Saul demands Jesse put it out and informs this guy will not take him if he’s high, and asks Jesse to hand over the dope. Jesse puts out the joint and wraps his stash back up and puts it back in his jacket pocket, and Saul gives what made be my new most favourite line, “Some people are immune to good advice.”
Saul leaves the room to get bags for the money, while Jesse just looks around, terrified. Saul returns with bags, and says Huell (bigger henchman) is going to drop him at the pick-up site. He then gives Jesse a just in case phone that has Hello Kitty on it. Jesse asks, “Are you kidding.” Saul reminds him this is a beggars-choosers situation here. Saul continues snapping instructions, Jesse wonders if he will get to pick where he goes and then expresses a fondness for Alaska. Yeah, Alaska might be nice. Saul tells Jesse to take care, and when he is pushing past Huell, we notice Huell reaches in Jesse’s pocket and snatches the weed. He and Saul give each other a knowing nod.
Next, we see Jesse standing alone on the side of the road, obviously where he will soon be picked up. He’s alone and pacing. He reaches into his pocket and then starts frantically patting himself down. Something is missing. The weed is gone. He looks in his cigarette pack and he starts to remember. The guy comes to pick up Jesse, but Jesse walks away and the guy doesn’t stay for long before he speeds off.
Jesse heads right back to Saul’s office, and despite Huell’s insistence that he can’t go in there, Jesse bursts into Saul’s office. Saul, thinking he’s back because the guy was a no-show, gets up and asks Jesse why he didn’t call, when Jesse punches him right in the face, knocking him down, where Jesse proceeds to kick the s**t out of him, while Saul is yelling, “Stop! Code Red.”
Saul struggles to open a desk drawer to get a gun, only Jesse gets to it first, and when Huell and Francesca open the door to see what the commotion was about, they meet with Jesse pointing a gun directly at them. “Back off.” He demands, and to Huell, “You, stay right there”. Saul is screaming, “What did I do?”
“You took it off me.” Jesse yells, referring to the dope. But it wasn’t just this time. Jesse has now finally figured it out. Huell was also the one who took the ricin cigarette. Making him think he lost it, so Mr. White could poison Brock. Saul pleads with him to “Calm down”, while he is staring at the business end of a handgun being waved toward him by someone who is clearly melting down and irrational. Jesse comes back with his best Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction, “Say it again. Tell me one more time to calm down. Come on!” Saul confesses, but said it was because Walt made him. Walt said he was doing it because he was saving Jesse and if Saul had known what he was really going to do, he would never have agreed to it.
Still waving the gun at everyone, Jesse steals the keys to Saul’s fancy ride and takes off. Saul struggles to his knees, making a call to you know who. “Hey. It’s me. We got a big problem.” He says, in the understatement of the year.
Back at the car wash, Skylar is giving incorrect change to old men, and Walt is makes the feeble excuse that he is going to fix the coke machine, because he’s been noticing the latch is catching. Skylar agrees, as if somewhere inside, she just doesn’t want to know anymore. Walt goes to retrieve a frozen gun from the coke machine, and then informs Skylar he’s completely forgotten to pick up a prescription. She mindlessly agrees again. She’s clearly phoning it in.
Finally, we see the White residence, and we see Jesse crashing Saul’s car into the driveway. He goes to get something out of the trunk. It’s a giant red canister of gasoline. He kicks in the front door and begins pouring the gas all over everything, angrily grunting like a wild, very angry, animal.
And that is where they left us. Whoa. Starting to get an idea as to why the house was condemned, as see in the flash forward from two episodes ago. The picture is coming in clearer. So, what’s going to happen from here?
Not long now, kids. We are almost at the halfway point.