Breaking Bad recap: Gliding Over All

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September 3, 2012 by Susan Miller

Well-played, Gale,

Well-played, Gale,

Well, there you go.  Hank found out, and Vince found a way to do it using the only repeated object in this season that hasn’t been dissected to death.  Tricky devil.   I can’t believe how simply it all ended up and how obvious it should have been.  Of course Walt would be successful.  Of course he would be unfulfilled by it.  Of course there would be too much money and he would finally quit.  Of course Jesse would go back to using and living a sad, useless life.  Of course Hank would find out just as we see the Whites happy and whole again.

It’s all so simple and perfect that I don’t really know what to say about it.  I miss all the supporting characters that make this show so fun.  I miss Walt flailing about trying to survive.  I have no idea what the final 8 episodes will look like, and after the first 8, I feel almost too defeated to try.  I’m exhausted from this season and trying not to think too hard about the next, since it is, after all, a full year away.  But just for kicks, let’s go back and see all the things we got wrong.

Susan’s predictions:

1. “The Hank and Walt showdown will happen at the end of these 8 episodes.”

The Hank and Walt showdown did not happen at the end of these 8 episodes, but at least Hank knows… something.. now.  Also, it’s not explicit from that final moment, but I’m going to say I was also wrong about Hank suspecting Walt this whole season.  He appears to be blindsided by the Gale connection.

2. “Skylar comes up with a new plan to put Walt back in his place.  And it leads to his escape to New Hampshire.”

Skylar’s plan did not result in Walt leaving for New Hampshire.  I suppose she could make him leave next season, but that seems improbable right now.

3. “After Hank runs Walt off, he gets in trouble with the cartel and Walt has to come back to save him.”

It is still possible that Hank could run Walt off to New Hampshire and then get in trouble with the cartel/Declan/Lydia/LandryTodd.  I doubt that any of Walt’s business partners are too keen about Walt quitting the blue business, and if Hank is seen as the reason that he skipped town, it’s possible that Walt would have to come back to save him.

4. “Mike doesn’t end up dead at the end of this season.  He ends up in jail.  And it’s Lydia’s fault.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

5. “Walt’s Icarus speech was directed at Jesse.”

Nope.  Turns out this was more directed at Walt than anyone else.  Walt certainly wasn’t thinking about himself then, but it is certainly what has happened now.  He kept that book around, moved it back into the house, even smiled at it when he unpacked it.  We saw him reading it in season 3, but we have no idea if he knew about the inscription or if he remembered it.  Just like the watch that Jesse gave him, Walt keeps and flaunts gifts that his partners gave him without ever thinking of the consequence.  And that’s how he got burned.  I wonder now if Jesse had anything inscribed on Walt’s beloved watch.

6. About Landry/Todd’s role in the show: “I think Walt will win him over and try to get him to help take down Mike.  Or maybe he has higher aspirations too and wants to edge out Jesse?  Perhaps he’ll propose running extra security during the cooks?”

If you spin this one a bit, it actually turned out to be more true than false.  Landry/Todd DID help Walt take down Mike… out of the trunk and into a barrel, anyway.  And he did have higher aspirations and ended up taking Jesse’s spot.  And while he didn’t end up needing to serve as security during the cooks, he did connect Walt with the right people to eliminate the 9 guys in prison.  So pretty much a victory there.

7. “Jesse’s work around with the agitator motor doesn’t work and we have our first meth lab explosion on the show.”

I’m so bummed this didn’t happen.

8. “Will Hank find out?  Will Skylar make a move?  Will Walt Jr. eat more breakfast?  Will Walt skip town?  Will the roofing hammer return? 

Yes!  Yes!  No! (truly shocking)  No!  Of course not.

Steven’s predictions:

1. Episode 5.1 Is Walter White’s identity really safe? “I’m going to say, Yes.”

Okay, okay, so obviously hindsight — being what it is — has proven this wrong, but I still think the major danger is not the DEA. There’s been some speculation out in the speculative entertainment world as to what Hank will do with his newfound knowledge about W.W. I predict he will take the information and, still not sure what to do with it, conduct his own investigation, private eye style.  Maybe there will be a bribe in it for him.  Maybe he’ll pretend to take it but in the end turn on Walt.  Gomez: “What is that?” (points to a heaping mound of blue crystal meth).  “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”  I think the series will end with a nod to every great crime movie every made.

2. Episode 5.3 Where was Hank this episode?  “Building a case.  Last time we see him, he’s discussing Gustavo with his commanding officer, Merkert, and running into brick walls in his case with Mike. The next logical step, in my mind, is for Hank to put the last piece in the puzzle and act.”

Apparently he needed a few other pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  Or rather, he needed Walt to place those pieces right next to the puzzle for him and say, “There.  That one.  Doesn’t that stand out for some reason?”

3. Episode 5.6 What is Walt’s plan? “To sell Declan the methylamine, then to orchestrate an elaborate heist involving a sick elephant, road barriers, flares, and fake police officers, then siphon the methylamine out of Declan’s truck and back into a pre-prepared hole in the ground. Then they’ll replace the stolen chemical with kid’s mouthwash, which Walt has rigged to explode upon the first cook.”

Well, I guess I got the first part right.  Also, where did Declan go? Now he’s just selling to Lydia?  Are we just supposed to be polite about this dropped ball and assume Declan’s actually on a business retreat for three months and left his less-than-fastidious cousin in charge of his meth empire for the time being?

Some things we got right:

Steven: Episode 5.5 “What happens when Mike can’t pay his guys off?  Here is yet another loose end that could get them all put in prison. YET-ANOTHER…  But really: Walt is going to kill everybody.”

Well, technically Walt didn’t kill anyone.  The men in prison did.  But yes, basically, Walt killed everybody.

Susan: “Children are constantly used as bargaining chips on this show, so I’m guessing it will come down to that.  She’s just coming up with the perfect strategy.”

Skylar’s plan did involve the children.  Yay!  I can figure out Skylar!  That’s… not as impressive.  Also, I don’t really know what it does for the overall endgame of the show.

Susan: Will Hank ever find out?: “Fearless prediction?  It will happen in the next episode.”

Yay!  One correct, though not at all how I thought it would be.  Best kind of being right.

The rest of the things we obsessed over that went nowhere:

The roofing hammer turned out to be nothing.  We still haven’t met a crooked cop.  There appears to be no mole in the DEA. Lydia didn’t have a secret back story or connection to Gus.  Landry/Todd just existed to be a bland partner with a jail connection.  The investigation into Madrigal brought up nothing.  Badger and Skinny Pete never turned up again.  In the end, the lawyer is the only one who flipped, and it meant nothing because Walt disappeared everyone before they could give up anything.  Walt Jr. expanded his role from breakfast eater to babysitter, a plot twist no one saw coming.  We still have no idea if the cancer is back, when the ricin will be used, if Declan served a real role, if Ted is still alive and Jesse still has no idea about Jane, Brock or Mike.

For all the episode’s unexpected twists and turns, it was a beautiful and nostalgic episode.  So many callbacks in the dialogue and images.  There was the paper towel dispenser that Walt punched when he found out his positive cancer diagnosis.  The scene with Jesse talking about their RV adventures.  Gale’s book.  The shower scenes.  But more than that, there were three images in a row that opened the final scene in the White’s backyard that were featured in the finale of season 2: ABQ.   What does it all mean?


Luckily (maddeningly) we have a year to figure it out.  Thanks for following along with us on our very first TV blogging adventure.  We are so happy to take a break from Walt and his psychological torture.  Stay tuned for news about our new blog home, and a full series of Emmy predictions before the big show on September 23rd.  Then, in October, we’ll find out whatever happened to the Morgans on Dexter, check in on Carrie, Brody and Saul on Homeland and cheer on Emily Thorne and her beautiful band of well-dressed avengers on Revenge.  TV!  You can never watch too much.

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