I deeply appreciate the elegance of Walter White’s solutions to problems. The DVD confession of how his overbearing DEA brother-in-law forced him to use his chemistry knowledge to cook meth … and when he was in a vulnerable state from a cancer diagnosis … and even took his kids for three months to keep him in line … and got into a drug kingpin war with Gus Frane … and forced Walt to pay $177,000 of his medical bills after Frane’s attempted hit … and and and … that was some seriously inspired writing. Walt even gets to proclaim Skyler’s innocence in a documented way. Everything fits the facts. In some ways, Walt’s fake confession comes across more plausible than the reality.
I loved the contrast between the festive Mexican restaurant — they make the guac right at your table! — and the tensions between Team Hank and Marie versus Team Walt and Skyler. The internet has been expressing surprise all week that Skyler didn’t flip to Hank. I get why Walt and maybe Hank were morons about her motivations, but I think her behavior has been totally consistent.
Skyler has never been about morality. Skyler has always been about control. She threatened Walt with divorce, when he did not want one. As soon as he signed, then she held the power by not signing. She liked controlling Walt and threatened him with his kids etc. when she lost control. Skyler never actually thought that Flynn or Holly were in danger; that was just a weapon to be sanctimonious at Walt with, in order to gain the upper hand. Even Skyler seems like she can’t believe Marie thinks she actually meant that BS.
Hank and Marie don’t actually care about morality or ethics much either. Marie is a shoplifter who has her DEA husband make her problems go away. I think bully Hank and competitive Marie are both just bent out of shape because they enjoyed lording it over Walt and Skyler and feeling like they were richer and more powerful and better than their in-laws. In case I’ve been at all circumspect here, I totally hate Marie, Skyler, and Hank, in roughly that order.
I’m kinda with Jesse on the ham-handed way Walt handled stuff with him. Walt is conflicted about Jesse and it makes the way he interacts with him sloppy. On the one hand he wants to control him. Would controlling Walt have been able to get Jesse safely out of town by telling him it was something Walt needed and that Jesse Pinkman needed to do him this favor or end up dead? But there is still a bit of high school teacher Walt left and he actually wants to give Jesse good counsel. Walt really does believe he is dying, the clock has run out for him, and there are no more second chances and no new options. Walt is being neither totally manipulative nor totally sincere with Jesse, so the whole thing comes off wrong. I think Walt meant it, when he hugged Jesse. I think Saul Goodman meant to make things go more smoothly when he had Huell sneak the marijuana out of Jesse’s pocket.
Saul didn’t realize that getting pick-pocketed by Huell would make a light bulb go off for Jesse on what actually happened with the poisoned cigarette. Here he had been wracked with guilt over what happened to little Brock and the whole thing had been a setup. I do wish Jesse had gotten out of town though.
I mean, now we have a pretty good guess as to how Walt’s house got trashed and why Heisenberg is spraypainted on the wall. But I don’t think this bodes well for Jesse. I was really hoping he was going to make it and get to start over. I have family and friends I would miss, and no criminal record, and credits some people wouldn’t want to leave behind … and sometimes the idea of getting a whole new life sounds kinda awesome to me. I guess Jesse owns his house, but he hasn’t reconnected with his brother and there is basically nothing else he seems like he would miss. Poor Jesse just has really unfortunate taste in both women and high school teachers.
Episode 511: Confessions
Jesse decides to make a change, while Walt and Skyler try to deal with an unexpected demand.
Written by: Gennifer Hutchison
Directed by: Michael Slovis