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Breaking Bad Recap: Rabid Dog

by on September 2, 2013

walt-495x330Interesting night this was, don’t you think? Just when it seems like it’s all figured out, almost every key character on the series takes a major turn and we’re left just as clueless to how it can all end as we were the week before. Jesse turned on his former partner and began working with Hank. Marie mentioned not only killing herself but Walt too. Skyler encourages Walt to murder Jesse, and Hank is willing to get Jesse killed if it means catching Walter White. Up until the final scene of this episode, Walt is the only main character not to have murder on his mind.

Contrary to the retrieval of the gun at the end of the previous episode when Walt stops his car just outside his house as the episode begins, Jesse’s own vehicle is still on the White’s lawn, engine running; he has no intention of harming his former protege. Instead he wields the gun like a kid playing “cops and robbers” making a show of checking the house, but finding it empty save for the gasoline soaked into the carpets.

Hoping to keep the peace at home and not alarm his family to the potential danger Pinkman poses, Walt tells an over-complicated lie about an exploding gas pump to an incredulous Walt Jr. and Skyler. Thing is… Skyler doesn’t buy it. Moreover, his over-sell makes the story so unbelievable even Walt Jr. can tell it’s a lie. unfortunately for young “Flynn,” his head is on the right track but his heart’s on the wrong train, innocently mistaking the lie as an attempt by Walt to cover-up another cancer related incident.  Still, Skyler see through the bullshit, especially when Walt suggests they move to a hotel for the night.

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Cut to Walt in the car with Saul: “Pinkman’s like a bad penny, sooner or later he’ll turn up,” Saul frets, going on to compare the Pinkman problem to Old Yeller, implying that Jesse might need to be put down like a (title of the episode) rabid dog. Walt doesn’t take too kindly to this idea; he wants Jesse found alive. In spite of what Jesse believes, Walt still cares about him.

When he returns to his room, he’s confronted by Skyler. She presses him for the truth about Jesse and Walt does his best to give her only half the truth, but she’s done believing his bullshit. Realizing that lying to Skyler is no longer an option, Walt puts the ball in her court, asking her what she thinks he should do. Skyler doesn’t mince words: They’ve already done so many things to keep their family safe, so what’s one more? She’s out to protect her family at all costs, and that means she wants Walt to pull the trigger on Jesse Pinkman.

Speaking of which, we’re then pulled back to the the opening of the episode, a flashback to Jesse pulling up onto the grass of the White House, kicking the door in and dumping gasoline over the living room. He grabs some paper, ready to burn the place to the ground. Then Hank appears, gun drawn: He’s been following Jesse since he left Saul’s office (in the previous episode) and begs him not to light the fire. They want the same thing, to see Walt pay for his crimes. Pinkman breaks down, insisting, “He can’t keep getting away with it!” Hank remains calm, offering, “You wanna burn him down? Let’s do it together.”

The plan is to first get Jesse’s whole story on tape, a plan which Jesse makes clear is a bad one — “it’s just my word against his, I have no proof.” This is echoed by Agent Gomez, who Hank invites over to his house to work the Walt case, still not officially on the books with the DEA. That’s got to come back to bite Hank in the ass eventually, right? Meanwhile, Marie has forgone her signature purple for all black. She meets with a shrink and laments about killing herself and having fantasies about killing Walt. She’s not handling any of this very well, and we’re officially putting Marie on DEATHWATCH from here on out.  In the meantime, it seems that all she wants is to see Walt burn, making her more than welcoming to having Jesse in their home, presumably hiding out from Walt.

Walt leaves Jesse a message asking him to meet up in a very public square to discuss things and settle this dispute in a non-violent manner. Hank wants to use this as the opportunity it is, a chance to wire Jesse and catch Walt talking about poisoning Brock. Jesse (and to a less vocal degree Gomez) worries the meet up is a trap: ”You two guys are just guys. Mr. White, he’s the devil. He’s smarter than you, he’s luckier than you. Whatever is supposed to happen, the exact opposite is going to happen,” Jesse yells. Hank doesn’t care, telling Jesse he has no other option. Although moments later, after Jesse has left for the bathroom, Gomez wonders if Jesse is right. What if Walt just kills him? Hank doesn’t care. “Then, we will get it all on tape.”

Our players all converge on the public square; Walt sits on a bench waiting for Jesse to arrive, unaware that on the other side of the square Jesse, wired by Hank, slowly approaches, hyper-aware that this could be a carefully laid trap. At the last minute, only a few feet away, Jesse is spooked by an imposing bald man seemingly watching Walt. Instead of talking with Walt, Jesse hurries to a nearby payphone, calling Walt’s cell phone. “Nice try, asshole,” Jesse tells Walt. “I’m not doing what you want anymore, okay, asshole? This is just a heads up to let you know I’m coming for you. See, I decided that burning down your house was nothing, next time I’m going to get you where you really live.” Jesse gets back into Hank’s car, telling the pissed off cop that “I’m thinking there’s another way, to get him, there’s another way. A better way.”

Walt, genuinely saddened by this, walks away, passing the bald guy who was only in the square to meet his young daughter. Jesse’s paranoia was misplaced, Walt truly had no intention of hurting him, but the phone call changed that. Walt realizes Skyler and Saul were right, Jesse is unpredictable. He’s a threat. With a heavy heart, Walt calls Todd, telling him he has another job for his (ultra-violent) Uncle, and so Jesse is also officially on DEATHWATCH.

Quick thoughts:

  • What’s Jesse going after? Where does Walt really live? Our guess? He lives within his own ego. The prediction is that Jesse starts cooking again, bringing Hank deeper into the business to snare a wider net of criminals and hit Walt where it’ll hurt him the most… his pride.
  • Fascinating that Saul’s first answer for most problems seems to be killing someone. Is that how he always has been or has hanging around Walt turned Saul’s blood a bit colder than it used to be?
  • WILD PREDICTION – Todd’s uncle tracks Jesse down to the Schrader house and shoots the place up… possibly killing Marie? Maybe Skyler is there with the kids to talk thing through with her sister and they’re all gunned down? Wouldn’t that be something if Walt’s ordered hit took out his own family?
  • We got another shot of Walt sitting by a pool. The LAST time we had a shot of him quietly contemplating it led to Brock being poisoned. What devious end is he cooking up as he ponders poolside?
  • A week is too long to wait for more!