Breaking Bad Episode 511 “Confessions”

511aimages“Eat me.” Jesse’s first words.

This was my favorite episode so far this summer. Holy shit. So much to discuss. But first:

I gotta do it. I TOLD YOU SO in last week’s predictions that Jesse would find out about Brock and the poisoning. Yeah bitch!

So, are we getting ourselves into a Chekhov’s Disappearer situation now? That’s the second time that someone on the show has tried to use Saul’s last resort and the second time it hasn’t worked out. Walt was going to do it back in 411 “Crawl Space” but then he went to the crawl space to get the money and Skyler had given it to Ted for his IRS fiasco.

Now Jesse gets even closer to using this “out.” Saul tells Jesse, “This is it. Once I make the call, no take-backs.” Saul makes the call and asks for “a new dust filter for a Hoover Max Extract Pressure Pro Model 60,” Jesse’s at the pickup site, it’s all good to go…and then he just wants to smoke a little pot and the whole plan goes up in smoke. (Much more on that coming up.) So a second attempt to use the disappearer is thwarted. Will the third time be the charm? Will Walt (and family?) end up using the guy later on? Is that how Walt ends up in New Hampshire? Will this “gun” ever go off?

I swear, next year at the Emmys, they’re going to have this unprecedented situation where they’re just going to have to give it to both Aaron Paul and Dean Norris. That was some seriously amazing and nuanced acting from both of them throughout the episode, and it was great to see them play against each other. Hank’s a little desperate here. He needs this from Jesse. Skyler won’t talk. He has no direct evidence. Walt found his GPS tracker. He wants to be the man who caught Heisenberg and he knows that it’ll end his career so he wants to go in with solid proof. Jesse’s his last chance.

And what Hank says to Jesse is true. They have some common ground. They’ve been played like fiddles by Walt. A few months ago I saw this article looking at all the things Walt had done to Hank and to Jesse, and both lists were impressive and long. Both of their lives were made worse by knowing Walter White.

And Jesse, his face, oh man. You can see that surprise when Hank says he knows Heisi is Walt. And then when Hank says, “He really did a number on you, didn’t he?” Jesse’s face kills me. Such an acknowledgement. Such sadness. When Hank says Jesse wants to talk, I think Jesse does. He’s been consumed with guilt. He’s seen who Mr. White is and he’s scared to death. I think, on some level, Jesse’s always wanted to talk, to confess, to be judged and punished, to atone. Some have pointed out that the shot when Hank is about to talk to Jesse at the end of “Buried” looks almost like a confessional, and there’s something to that. But mostly, it’s Jesse’s face that gives away that he wants to talk.

But, “Not to you,” Jesse says. And I was proud of Jesse. I know Walt deserves to be ratted on, but I think it goes back to that idea that there’s this code, that the worst thing is to roll on someone. And I think it underlies the series as the unspoken most important rule. I’ve written about that before. Jesse and Walt have been loyal, to extreme degrees, to each other. They’re also both loyal in their relationships–neither is a cheater. Mike was loyal to his nine guys even when maybe he shouldn’t have been. Even though in a way it cost him his life (maybe he and Walt wouldn’t have gotten in that argument if Mike had given him the names). The Salamanca clan and their cohorts (Don Eladio and co) were all loyal to each other. Family and loyalty are huge underpinnings in the world of Breaking Bad.

So, much as Walt absolutely doesn’t deserve Jesse’s loyalty anymore, I was glad that Jesse was still loyal. For now. It sorta brought up the end of Season 4, when Walt and Jesse are at odds with each other, had that horrible fight, Walt told Jesse to go to Mexico and cook and come back in a barrel, Jesse told Walt to get the fuck out and never come back, but still and always, Jesse said no to Gus’s wish to kill Walt. This scene in the interrogation room was similar. Jesse’s even more disillusioned with Walt than he was then, and he wants so badly to unburden his soul, but he won’t do it. He won’t talk.

I also thought, you know, Hank could try a little harder with that deal he offers Jesse. Seriously? All he’s going to do is make the current deal with the APD go away? Saul can handle that. Although I have to say, it’s not clear what Jesse was charged with but it was something because Saul tells the disappearer that Jesse is out on bail. Hank should’ve offered Jesse DEA immunity for the whole meth operation and all that. It just wasn’t that sweet of a deal on Hank’s part, but I think that was purposeful. He probably can’t offer anything DEA-related because he hasn’t talked to the DEA about any of this.

Saul does handle it, but as he says, things have “gone nuclear…so you get my complete lack of chill.” Saul’s been a really prominent character this season, more than others. Preparation for the spin-off? And wow, he had some amazing outfits in this episode. My fave was the one he wore in that scene with Jesse.

Speaking of wardrobe, wow, Skyler and Walt have seriously gotten the beige memo. Ugh. Not a fan of neutrals personally, so I’m hoping their palettes change as the season progresses, but it’s very symbolic. They are now the Gretchen and Elliot of the story in a way. Successful. Rich. And they are on the same team still. Watch out if they start wearing different colors. Loved Jesse’s outfit later on, what a great coat that was. Love him in red always.

But the most impressive wardrobe choice in the episode was that MARIE DIDN’T WEAR PURPLE! We have seen her in yellow before, but it was yellow with some purple, or purple accessories. Now she’s in black. That is a first. I think it’s to symbolize how dark her character has gotten. I think she’s actually darker than Hank now. He wants to kick down Walt’s door and bust him. Marie wants Walt to kill himself. Holy shit, that was intense! Yeah, she’s the darker of the two at this moment.

511bimagesAnd what an amazing dinner scene that was! I actually still think Jesse’s dinner at the Whites’ was more awkward (and definitely more funny). Trent the waiter was perfect with his table-side guacamole. One thing I noticed is that Walt commands the conversation here. He has the upper hand. He starts out. He calmly maintains control even when Hank and Marie interrupt or contradict him. The Schraders don’t budge on their position, so it’s not complete control, but still.

The episode is called “Confessions” and someone pointed out on my Predictions and Clues post that that’s Confessions with an s–Plural, bitch!–and that the title was likely to have layered–“like nachos”–meanings. I counted five confessions. Todd confesses (almost) all the details to his Uncle Jack and Jack’s buddy (I think his name’s Kenny) about the train robbery. Walt makes that amazing confession video. Skyler sort of confesses that Walt is in fact Heisenberg. So far the two of them have been extremely careful not to say anything incriminating but this time, though Walt tries to stop her, Skyler lets it slip a little, in order to make the point that it’s all in the past. Marie confesses the source of the money for Hank’s treatment. And then of course Saul confesses his involvement in the Brock poisoning.

There were so many callbacks and references to old episodes in “Confessions.” Todd details the robbery from 505 “Dead Freight.” Kenny wipes Declan’s blood from his shoe, which is a callback to Mike wiping off a smidge of Victor’s blood in the bar in 402 “Thirty-Eight Snub.” Jesse references Hank’s beating him up in 307 “One Minute.” Walt’s confession video is a callback to the pilot episode. When Jesse yells, “It’s all about you!” to Walt in the desert scene, that was a callback to Walt exclaiming that this (Gus having Mike work with Jesse, the staged robbery that Jesse prevented while in the car with MIke) “is all about me!” Oh yeah and the whole ricin cigarette and Brock poisoning brings up several old episodes.

All right, let’s talk about the video. WOW. Maybe we all should’ve listened when Vince Gilligan or whoever it was said we might need some adult diapers for these final eight episodes? Was anyone else ready to shit themselves when Walt started making that confession video? And then to do it again, and again, and again as the actual video played out? Wow. It was so brilliant and so diabolical. It starts out nearly verbatim from the video Walt made in the pilot episode when he thought the sirens were for him. Back then he said, “My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negro Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87104. To all law enforcement entities, this is not an admission of guilt.” This time, he starts the same way, then goes into, “This is my confession.” First shit-your-pants moment. And it was set up in the last episode, when Walt was lying on the bathroom floor talking to Skyler and suggested giving himself up, to make us think it would be a real confession.

And then he weaves the most incredible fabrication we’ve seen Walter White execute thus far. And that’s saying something. Actually this episode was FULL of Walt’s manipulations. Some exquisitely executed, some terribly see-through. But this video was…priceless. Walt may be the (with some glaring exceptions) the best liar ever to exist in a TV drama. He plays it perfectly. And he does what he’s become good at: he weaves in a whole lotta truth.

511imagesThere’s the factual truths–Hank took him on a ride-along, Hank and Marie had the kids for three months, Walt paid Hank’s medical bills, Walt built the bomb that killed Gus, Hank did give Walt the black eye. There’s even truth in the timeline as Walt mentions his fiftieth birthday and his cancer diagnosis. And there’s the emotional truth. Of course, he’s putting it on a bit, playing it up, but some of that struck as real emotion. I think Walt really may feel that he has no way out, and of course he really did worry about leaving his family with nothing after the cancer diagnosis. And then there are the parts that are made up but could read as true. Hank’s falling out with Gus Fring could seem real since Hank went rogue in his pursuit of Gus, investigating Gus on his own without the DEA when no one else at the DEA suspected Gus of anything. It could also explain why Hank got shot (though the details are a bit off), and why there was a “hit” on him that required him to be put under protective custody at the end of Season Four. Walt’s video confession would also explain why Hank’s been so single-mindedly focused on the blue meth case, even when he’s supposed to be working other cases too. All this to say this video could read as very, very believable. Well played, Walt.

Under serious investigation, some of Walt’s claims would look suspicious but he hit on everything that could implicate Hank. I was waiting, during the last two episodes, for the bit about Walt paying Hank’s medical bills to come out. I’m going to be honest, I was starting to wonder if the writers had just dropped that thread altogether, but I shouldn’t have worried. This was the perfect way for Hank to find out. What an impact it has on Hank. And just like after the jail killings, Hank doesn’t lash out and start screaming or being a total dick to Marie. I think when he’s pushed so far beyond any hope, he just shuts down. The word that comes to mind is deflated. It’s a little unexpected for a character like Hank, and I like that.

These couples are sticking together still. Hank, as upset as he may be at Marie for accepting Walt’s drug money and not telling him about it, doesn’t actually seem mad at her. And Walt, in his video, says some things to protect Skyler, says she didn’t know anything about his criminal activities and was horrified when she found out, completely covering up her complicity.

It was hard for me to understand, at first, why Skyler would go along with this. Things were bad in the last episode, but Hank still thought Skyler could come to her senses. And with Skyler and Marie being the ones who are family in the blood sense, it was hard for me to believe she would sever that tie so completely, which is what this video does. It shows Hank and Marie just how diabolical Walt and Skyler can be and there is just no coming back from this. Skyler is hesitant; she’s reluctant to get up from the table at the restaurant.

But then it occurred to me, it’s about the kids. She really thinks that if they just hang on–and they may be so close given Walt’s cancer coming back–she may be in the clear and her kids will never know about it. But it’s also about Marie trying to take the kids, Holly in the last episode and Jr in this one. And it’s the first thing Marie says at dinner, that the kids should live with her and Hank. Skyler doesn’t want to lose her kids. So this confession threat video is what they do. And it seems to work.

Another successful orchestration is Walt’s manipulation of his son. Again, he plays it perfect. Again, he uses truth–his cancer, the chemo, “pushing himself too hard,” which is a nice euphemism for digging an enormous hole and burying seven barrels of money in the desert. The best part of what Walt says to Jr? “So why don’t you go on and help your Aunt Marie and we’ll talk about this later.” He does the opposite of asking Jr to stay, and it works to make Jr stay. He plays the buildup so well that he can nonchalantly throw that in and knows that Jr will do exactly what Walt wants him to.

Again, well played, Walt.

What’s not so well-played is Walt trying to use Skyler’s makeup to cover up his black eye. There were so few moments of humor in this episode that you have to take the tiny glimpses when you get them, and that was one.

But Walt’s worst play is with Skyler at the carwash. Oh, we had to know the happy state of the Whites’ marriage, where Walt is honest and tells Skyler things like the truth about who Lydia is couldn’t last. He screeches up to the carwash and checks on Skyler then walks around trying to seem calm and spins that horrible “latch on the coke machine” story, then says that he just remembered he has to go get a prescription. It reminded me of when Walt made up that story trying to explain away his second cell phone back in Season Two. Someone said it on the podcast and it’s true: Walt’s not good at lying to Skyler. She isn’t fooled at all. Her “Great” says it all. She knows he’s up to something and not telling her. Again.

And she’s not okay. She’s been shaken ever since that dinner. Even before Walt comes in all fake calm but really kinda crazy she’s making the wrong change, hiding in the office and generally freaking out. Seriously pay attention if Walt and Skyler aren’t still on the same color palette sometime in the next few episodes.

Walt’s other major manipulation in “Confessions” is the one he tries to pull on Jesse in the desert. Probably my favorite scene of the episode. In a weird way, I think this is Walt’s most muddy play, in that I’m not sure Walt knows whether he’s lying or not. With the video and with Jr, Walt is very deliberate, logical, playing each note at the exact exquisite time to serve his story. But with his pitch to Jesse, he’s relying more on emotion than logic, and Walt is better at logic but Jesse responds more to emotion. So there’s some purposefulness in that too, Walt knows how to play it. Still I think the lines are just blurrier.

Yes, he wants Jesse to leave town, so that Jesse won’t rat on him, so that he’ll never have a reason to kill Jesse. He needs this. But when Walt says, “Jesse, will you let me help you. I don’t like to see you hurting like this,” I think that’s real. And maybe because it comes off a little cold, a little pissed off. If it was pure manipulation, I think Walt would’ve played it softer, put more feeling in to sell it. And the way he says it, without that added softness and feeling, actually sounds like a dad who’s irritated and a little lost as to how to help his son who’s clearly hurting.

His whole sales pitch Is like when he first went over Jesse’s in 509 and tried to tell him to move on, put this all behind him and live a normal life. As someone who does, as he has admitted before, consider Jesse family, I think Walt honestly wants that for him. And that trading places bit? I think Walt might mean that too. It’s funny because his delivery of that bit, to me, comes off the most canned, and totally reminds me of when he manipulated Jesse into breaking up with Andrea, but knowing what I know about Walt, I believe him. Jesse still has the chance at a happy family life in the future; he actually has the chance to live that decent life Walt was talking about. Walt is dying (which Jesse and Saul presumably don’t know) of cancer and as much as things are better with Skyler and Jr, their family life is riddled with lies and mistrust.

I’m getting a little convoluted here but what I’m trying to say is that I think this play walks that thin line between truth said to manipulate Jesse and Walt’s real emotional truth, and teeters over onto both sides of that line throughout.

But Jesse doesn’t see that. Jesse sees only that, once again, Walter White is working him. This thought has already been on Jesse’s mind lately. He never believed Walt in 509 about Mike, and earlier this episode, Hank brought up all that talk about Walt doing a number on him, so Walt and his puppet strings and how Jesse’s been on the wrong end of that is all on Jesse’s mind.

If it’s possible, I love my Jesse-pie even more than ever before after this episode. Even with his Hello Kitty celly celly bling bling later on.

He’s amazing in this desert scene, and what really struck me is that it takes a lot of guts to say what Jesse says. And maybe some of that comes from his state of guilt and despair and depression, but still. To say what he does to Walt, after everything he knows about what Walt’s done, that takes courage. And I think it’s also Jesse gathering some strength. This moment in the desert is where the shift in Jesse starts. Yeah he accused Walt of killing Mike back at his house in 509 but look at his demeanor then (much more detached, voice barely audible) and now. This is Jesse coming back to life and he’s calling Walt on his bullshit (that may not actually all be bullshit). He’s asking Walt to be real with him, and that takes some balls. Here’s what he says, since I just can’t help quoting it:

“Yes. Yes, you are. All right, just drop the whole concerned dad thing and tell me the truth. I mean you’re, you’re acting like me leaving town is all about me and turning over a new leaf but it’s really, it’s really all about you! I mean, you need me gone cuz your dickhead brother-in-law is never gonna let up. Just say so. Just ask me for a favor. Just tell me you don’t give a shit about me and it’s either this, it’s either this or you’ll kill me the same way you killed Mike! I mean, isn’t that what this is all about? Us meeting way the hell out here? In case I say no? Come on, just tell me you need this.”

511cimagesAnd then, the hug. It’s weird because I’m not sure exactly what motivated Walt to hug Jesse–maybe Jesse broke through to Walt with some of what he said, maybe Walt really saw how much Jesse was hurting, maybe Walt felt a little guilty, maybe he thought hugging Jesse was the best way to get Jesse to do what he wants–but while watching Walt approach Jesse, myself and others who were over at my place watching the episode said, at almost the same time, “He’s gonna hug him.” So we saw it coming but I can’t say exactly what’s going through Walt’s mind there. I do think it’s sincere though. To me it feels nothing like the creepiest of creepy hugs that Walt gave Skyler at the end of 501 when he said, “I forgive you,” That was icky. This feels real, which in a strange way was what Jesse asked for. Jesse never hugs back, and looks uncomfortable at first, but he does give into the hug, putting his head on Walt’s shoulder and crying. It reminded me so much of the scene when Walt went to go get Jesse from the crackhouse after Jane died.

And dude, Saul. He looks soooo uncomfortable on his little “walk.” Saul doesn’t do desert meeting very often.

At this point, even though Saul and Jesse expect it to some degree, I don’t think Walt would kill Jesse. That could change, perhaps, but family’s off-limits and I think he does think of Jesse as family. If he didn’t, he would’ve killed Jesse (and Hank) a long time ago, and several times over. And Jesse has done a lot for him, jumped in front of (mostly Mike’s) guns for Walt. Walt owes Jesse his life for the Gale shooting because Walt was a dead man. Jesse kept Gus from killing Walt when Gus had every opportunity and desire to do so. I honestly don’t even know if Jesse trying to burn down his house would be enough to push Walt to want to kill Jesse.

But if Walt does kill Jesse? He’s dead to me. If Jesse dies, I know I’ll cry like a little bitch baby, but if Walt does it he’s so dead to me.

Hank also goes on a walk. He seems completely out of it at work, unable to focus on the paperwork that comes with being the ASAC like the sexual harassment policy and the order forms for office supplies. When Gomez comes in and tries to find out what’s going on with Hank, why he has his guys watching Saul and Jesse, especially given Hank’s history with Jesse, Hank shuts him out. It seems clear Hank isn’t going to go to Ramey with anything now that the confession video trump card has been played, because Gomez presents it like you have to either pull the guys off this detail or justify this to Ramey. Where do you think Hank is going? Clearing his head? Trying to find Walt? Skyler? Jesse? and try various tactics (depending on the target) to get them to fess up? What?

Before I get into the last bit of the episode, there’s still the first scene and Todd to deal with. He and his Uncle and Kenny have just wiped out Declan and his men (or should I say they had a difference of opinion and things got a little…messy?), are eating at a diner, and then taking the rest of the methylamine back to New Mexico so Todd can start his own lab. But even before all that, Todd calls Walt. I think there are a lot of different ways to read that call. Out of respect for Walt as Heisenberg, to simply check in and keep him in the loop, or because he still wants Walt to come back. I think it’s partly because Todd isn’t in fact confident about running a lab on his own and so he reaches out to touch base with Walt.

Seriously though, I don’t think it’s good news for anyone that he told these guys about the train robbery in every detail (except, you know, that he shot a kid, Todd conveniently forgot that detail). I get that this is his in with his creepy uncle, his way to be part of the gang, a badass, but it’s just not good for anyone. Doesn’t he remember that no one was ever supposed to know, that that’s why he shot a kid? And he used names. This Todd and Lydia story has to be building to something that will tie back in to our main characters soon, and Todd talking about the train robbery, and about how intricately Mr. White planned it, and about Jesse, just made me uneasy. You can bet that Walt, Jesse, Mike and Kuby never told a soul about it.

Jesse decides to take Walt’s plan, use the disappearer and leave town. It actually made me like Jesse more that he chose Alaska over Florida. No offense meant to Florida or anyone there, I just think the two places have a really different feel and I like that Jesse thought of Alaska. It seems to me when he starts talking about it that Jesse starts to feel hope for the first time in a long, long time. When he wants to smoke a little pot in Saul’s office, one for the road, Saul freaks. This was set up by Jesse smoking pot in the office two episodes back.

Saul has some great lines there. “He’s hot. Not hot hot, just a little hot, currently out on bail.” And “Some people are immune to good advice.” I think that’s true of just about every single character on Breaking Bad. They have ALL been given good advice, sometimes over and over, that they haven’t taken.

So now, the crux of the episode. Jesse’s standing out there, waiting for his new life and again tries to smoke some pot for the road, but the pot he put back in his pocket is gone. All he has is a pack of cigarettes. He starts looking at those cigarettes, and the angle is similar to when he looked at a pack of cigarettes back in 412 “End Times” and suddenly it all goes to hell. It’s been awhile, so here’s a detailed refresher of how WW poisoned Brock and what happened to the ricin cigarette (as well as some thoughts on how Jesse put it all together) to clear up any confusion about what went on leading up to this point and how Jesse figured it out.

As soon as Jesse started looking at his cigarettes, I was flipping out and putting my face in my hands and wanting to scream O.M.G. JESSE KNOWS!!!

Jesse realizes Huell lifted his pot (if you go back and watch, you can see Huell do this), and this reminds him of another time he thought Huell pickpocketed him and suddenly he knows. He knows Huell switched cigarette packs back then and that all his original suspicions were true. Walt poisoned Brock. HOLY SHIT! Everything that follows is just quintessential BrBa intensity and drama. Amazing, amazing sequence. And what a way to close out the episode and pack so, so much into the last few minutes. Oh God I loved it.

Storywise, it was time for Jesse to learn one of the truths of what Walt has really done to him. It wouldn’t make sense for it to be Jane because Walt was the only person there. No one knows he watched her die but Walt, so there’d be no way for Jesse to learn about that unless Walt told him. And Mike, well Jesse suspects that so strongly–that’s a huge part of what’s set him on his current trajectory of anguish and sorrow–that getting that confirmed wouldn’t be a huge revelation. It had to be Brock. Now Jesse sees a whole new dimension of how Walt has played him.

After telling Hank to eat him, Jesse asks Hank, “Why don’t you try to beat it outta me? That’s your thing right?” And in the end, it’s Jesse who beats a confession out of Saul. So now it’s certain. And the best part of that scene? “Code red!” from Saul. I don’t think it means anything to him, he just says the first thing that comes to mind that sounds like a distress call. What’s funny is I think Code Red usually means fire, which plays into what Jesse does with the gasoline.

Last time when Jesse suspected Walt poisoned Brock, he went to Walt’s house and put a gun on him. I was very, very glad that the writers didn’t play out that same scenario again. For one thing, it would’ve been a little redundant, but also, though not a lot of time has passed on the show, these characters have all changed. Jesse is not the same Jesse we saw at the end of Season Four, though he is most definitely coming back to life. Sometimes anger can pull a person out of a funk, give them back some vitality, and Jesse has got some livid hot rage.

He pours gasoline all over Walt’s house. All he has to do is light a little match.

Code red!


Note: These are (somewhat) based on the previews, the episode title and description, and pictures released from AMC. So if you don’t want to know ANYTHING about the upcoming episode, stop here. Some of this is also analyzing the long-term picture of the rest of the season.

So, it seems clear from the previews that Jesse doesn’t burn Walt’s house down. He must get stopped somehow. Many have suggested that Jr’s home but his car’s not in the driveway. It’s possible he comes home while Jesse’s in the act (which may be the reason for the clip of Jr saying, “Just tell me the truth,” in the previews). Or does Walt find him first? Or does Hank somehow come across Jesse?

I will say this. A lot of people are saying Walt will find Jesse and the gasoline and kill him. Jesse could be the “Rabid Dog” (title of the next episode) that needs putting down. I don’t think so. I honestly doubt Jesse dies in the upcoming episode. If he does it just can’t be right away. Aaron Paul has said that Jesse gets some great “bitch!” moments this season, including one that’s as memorable and epic as “Yeah bitch! Magnets!” And so far, Jesse has not said “bitch” at all this summer. So he’s gotta stick around at least a little while more.

And I’m still not convinced that Walt would kill Jesse, even after the gasoline. I’m also not convinced that Jesse would talk to Hank, even after the Brock poisoning. Maybe I’m putting too much faith in both of them. Jesse could talk to someone else though, which would do a double duty of getting Walt and Hank in huge trouble, as Hank will definitely look much more complicit in Walt’s operation if someone else in the DEA finds out about it first and they realize Hank’s been sitting on it. Like Marie said originally, Hank could go to jail. It may even lend some credibility to Walt’s confession video if that somehow makes it to the DEA. I think I’m going with this as my prediction: Jesse talks to someone other than Hank which puts both Walt and Hank in hot, hot water.

It also looks via imdb that Andrea is going to be in a few episodes. She and Jesse getting back together? Maybe Jesse will escape with her and Brock to Alaska at the end? A moose in the background?

The Lydia/Todd thing will continue to heat up. I’m going to guess they are going to run into some trouble soon. Or Lydia’s Czech connections get involved. She and Todd have been building their empire sorta separate from our main characters but that can’t last. It has to tie back in. That whole storyline wouldn’t be building, sprinkled into every episode, if it’s not going to all blow up somehow. I strongly think that it’ll be a big piece in the end game. Feeling pretty certain the M60 is for that crew or others associated with them. Nothing else really makes sense. Is Walt going to take out a DEA squad or something? I don’t see it. So far we’ve been getting bits and pieces of the Lydia/Todd story but it’s going to get bigger.

Which makes me think the Hank storyline, Walt’s main antagonist right now, could get smaller. But I still think it’s possible that Walt comes back to rescue Hank, though I still think Jesse makes the most sense. It has to involve one of the main characters. It wouldn’t have the impact of the end of the series if it’s not one of Skyler, Hank or Jesse.

Thoughts? Predictions? Confessions?

~Emilia J

Next Episode: Rabid Dog

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15 thoughts on “Breaking Bad Episode 511 “Confessions”

  1. WOW! Fantastic analysis. I’m not sure if I buy Andrea’s return, as she’s in “The Bridge” now. I agree: it’s going to come down to Walt vs. Skyler/Hank/Jesse. I think we could see him have show downs w/ all three. I could Lydia and Todd trying to throw Walt under the bus in some way, but not sure how (Czech’s come after Lydia?). They could just be fodder for the show.

    Hank won’t just stop. Neither will Marie, for that matter. I could see Skyler giving her life for Walt in the kids, which would be stupid, but heroic, as Walt is on death’s door. Is there still a possibility for Jesse and Hank to team up? Could Jr kill Jesse? Is there ANY reason (as of right now) that Hank would save Walt? If Walt saved Hank, would/could that restore the relationship?

    I’m so excited!!!

    • Hey Eric, I’m so excited too! Just a few days until the next episode.

      I agree, whatever goes on in the end, Jesse, Hank, or Skyler (a combination?) have to be a major player. I don’t know if Emily Rios being on The Bridge (how is that show btw?) would mean she can’t be on BrBa also, the filming might have been done at different times or they could have “borrowed” her for some scenes. But you bring up a good point. And they’ve had things a little off in the past (usually more incomplete than including wrong people but still).

      Can’t wait!


        • Thanks Eric! Maybe I’ll have to check out The Bridge. I’m not even sure what it’s about but it would be a good idea to get some other shows going to help me through the inevitable post-BrBa-finale existential crisis and ensuing meltdown. The fact that I start classes (including ones like physical chemistry) doesn’t help. I’ll check the show out, thanks for the rec!


  2. Emilia, thank you for your explanation for why they didn’t use Jane’s death (I was wondering about that) and how you pointed out so many little things that make the story richer (Jesse using gas vs. a gun, code red, etc.). It must be rewarding for the writers when viewers notice and appreciate (and publicize!) their careful attention to detail.

    I agree it’s way too soon for Jesse to exit. Maybe the rabid dog is Hank? He’s been chasing Heisenberg for ages and while he was indeed deflated the last time we saw him, he could get a second wind, and like dog who gnaws off his paw to free himself from a trap, come after Walt with the mindset of having nothing to lose (fear of Walt disappearing or dying without consequences could motivate him too), forcing Walt to physically stop him with the gun. When Marie can’t get a hold of Hank, concern for his safety could remove her motivation to keep quiet and knowing this, Walt and Skyler will have to try and skip town/country quickly. Whether anyone but Walt makes it out is still unknown, of course. Had they bought tickets for Europe or were they just thinking about it? I don’t remember. Seems like with 5 eps to go, it’s too early for such a move, but if they slow time down… 511 only covered morning to early evening, correct? Hank’s assistant gave the time and Saul probably did too (on the phone to his disapperer), but I don’t have access to watch it at the moment. Anyway…

    For Hank to do this, his hatred for Walt/Heisenberg would have to outweigh (or blind him to) his love for Marie and the kids. I think a rational man would choose love, but a humiliated, betrayed, hopeless (at the thought of going to jail), justice-oriented, rage-filled man might not. Plus an ending where Hank simply loses his career or gets locked up is sort of anti-climactic (imo) and it would make sense for him to go before more primary characters like Skyler or Jesse. Does he still have any other obvious purpose plot-wise? …Or maybe Hank threatens to shoot Jesse at the house and Walt shoots Hank to protect Jesse?

    Regarding Walt’s reason for returning to ABQ, do you think it’s possible he’s coming back to avenge a death? He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry (demeanor in restaurant and at the house) and if he were coming to rescue someone in danger, it seems like he would be moving with more urgency. Maybe the ricin’s slow, painful effects are for the person(s) he holds responsible?

    Sorry this is so long! -“bogdan’s eyebrows” from AMC forum

    • Hey Bogdan’s Eyebrows (always loved that name, it’s a good one)!

      You know, when the episode titles first came out, way before anything aired this season, I always assumed the “Rabid Dog” might be Hank. It would kind of be nice for him to get a second win. I don’t think he’ll be defeated this early on. Something more has to happen. You’ve got some great scenarios there. And I think you’ve keyed in to Hank’s mental state.

      It does seem too early for a big family move. Maybe they start putting things in motion?

      I think that the Europe thing was an idea, that Walt and Sky were thinking of a second honeymoon in Europe. It was mostly just Marie talking about it to Hank in the car so we didn’t get the full details but I didn’t get the feeling anything was already booked.

      And no worries about the long reply, it’s great! I love reading all the theories and the little things people notice and the scenarios. We are some dedicated people to this amazing show.


  3. Great review as always. I like how you point out the colors each character is wearing because it’s something I forget take note of while watching.

    I like how Jesse found out about the ricin. I know some fans found it too confusing, but It felt natural like deja vu and without holding the hand of the viewer.

    I’ve read some interesting thoughts about how Walt takes on some habits from the people he’s killed like Gus’ towel thing. Haven’t you noticed any other habits?

    • Hey Sidekick, I really enjoyed your review this week too! I always think it’s so great to go and read all the different things people write – how the interpretations and focus are always different.

      I totally agree on Jesse’s discovery. I like that it didn’t handhold or include flashbacks (but I also do get why why it was confusing to some). I thought it was done well dramatically. It felt natural to me too.

      The habit I most remember Walt taking on was cutting off the crusts of sandwiches after he killed Krazy-8. But did he do that before then? I guess we don’t know. Some people think that flashforward in 501 indicates that he killed Skyler or feels responsible for her death because he’s picking up her bacon habit. I don’t know, that could simply mean he’s missing her. Hard to tell.


  4. I disagree about Marie wearing black. On my screen it’s aubergine…. very very dark dark aubergine. Still a purple.

    Excellent recap/analysis :)

    • That’s interesting Jenny. I was thinking aubergine at first too but when I replayed it on iTunes on my computer, it really looked black. It could show up differently on different screens maybe? Hahaha maybe we should submit it as a question to Talking Bad since Betsy Brandt will be on it this coming Sunday. Was Marie wearing black or very dark purple, we need to know!

      Thanks so much for reading and your comment :)


  5. Great review, Emilia

    I just can’t see Walt killing off Jesse at any time. For Walt no matter how manipulative he might be with him, Jesse is like a son. By the way Walt is manipulative with every person, no matter friend , relative or foe.( see Walt Jr. this episode): No matter how angry Jesse has become with Walt, Walt will not hurt Jesse, because he deeply admires him for having a healthy moral compass.

    Yes he wants Jesse to leave NM because for him he is a lose canon . who might spill the beans any time, but another side also wants him to get well and start all over again. And that ist sencere. He might also feel guilty for the state Jesse has been into and wants Jesse to move on.

    Will be interesting to see how everything develops next Episode.


    • Hey Marcel,

      I hope you are right and that Walt would not (intentionally) kill Jesse, even now. I thought the same thing as you, that Walt really does want Jesse to move on, have a better life. I thought there was Walt’s self-interest (wanting Jesse not to talk) and real concern for Jesse’s well-being in there.

      Walt is not a completely good man, clearly. He’s also not entirely evil. He’s complex with layers and gray area, and I think that’s what makes him interesting.


  6. Hi Emilia,

    Yes I agree. Walt is a very complex character. However in this Show no one is painted “black and white”. This is what makes the show so believable.
    Regarding predictions: I think the Promo indicates, that Walt Jr (Flinn) will somehow get in the middle of the “fight” between Jesse and Walt and will demand that his father tells the truth of whats happening. And at this moment : Walt might show his son the “confession” tape that was directed at Hank. I think that would be awesome, because then Flinn would turn against Hank ( and Marie?) and never even consider moving to them with his little sister. And for Walt this would be a short term win-win situation.

    all the best


    • Hi Marcel!

      Sorry this is a bit late, it’s been kinda crazy around here. So true that no one on the show is shown in black and white. They are all complex. Like real people. That’s one of the things I love most about the show.

      Even though it didn’t happen in “Rabid Dog,” I think there is still potential for Walt Jr to find out about his dad, or to find that confession DVD and believe the worst about Hank. I think we haven’t seen the last of that DVD yet.

      And hey, I’m going to move your other comments to the “Rabid Dog” post since they are about that episode. I hope that’s cool. I think it’ll just keep things from becoming confusing, and also if someone comes to this post who hasn’t seen 512 it will help prevent spoilers.


  7. Pingback: The science of Breaking Bad: Confessions | weak interactions

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