Breaking Bad – “End Times” – review

Lots of action yet again in this week’s episode of Breaking Bad, though really “End Times” was a lot about waiting and miscommunication.  For a while there I was thinking we wouldn’t see Walt for the rest of the episode, thought maybe they should have called that shit “Where’s Walto?” or some shit like that. (Not proud of that one but I’m keeping it in there all the same.)  But then in the home stretch we got some great Walt shit (or should I say Heisenberg shit?) to close out this beast.

So Skyler and the kids hole up with Hank and Marie while Walt barricades his house with his sweet fucking .38 we saw him purchase early in the season.  (Love his ominous “spin the bottle” solitaire game with the gun.)  We watch Marie, Jesse, and Skyler all try to reach him, Hank too impressed that he got a rise out of somebody in the Cartel to worry too much about Walt.  That said, is anybody else annoyed at this point by how absolutely oblivious Hank is to Walt’s shadiness lately?  Yeah, he’s preoccupied but with the car crash last week and the gambling explanation and Walt risking his life to work at the car wash…seems like a lot of stuff for a sharp guy like Hank to just blindly accept.

But in the win column for Hank this week is his needling Gomey to search the laundry, and man, does Gomez ever schmooze his way in there.  Doesn’t find dick, but it was still cool to see Steven Michael Quezada get to be cool this week instead of just one brick in Hank’s endless wall of DEA cockblockers.  Love the track down shot between floors to reveal Tyrus and Jesse waiting for them to leave.  Jesse gets a phone call from Gus, saying that obviously this is Walt’s doing and doesn’t it fucking suck, but Jesse holds firm, tells Gus to leave his boy alone.

Then he gets the call from Saul, goes to see him and gets back all his money, Saul saying so long for now, put in a good word for me with the chief, if you please. (Really hope Gus dies so Saul can stick around next season – he’s been a pretty stand up guy lately, when he’s not calling his secretary Honey Tits, that is, HT for short.)  Then Jesse gets word that Brock is sick, figures out that his lucky ricin cig is missing from the pack.

Here’s where the Nerd crosses his arms a bit.  I thought, like anybody would, that it would turn out that Brock stole his cigarette and smoked it, got some ricin in his system that way.  But Jesse immediately runs over to Walt’s and attempts to kill him, figuring he poisoned Brock to get back at Jesse for being so buddy-buddy with Gus while he’s on the outs.  Walt talks him out of the situation by figuring that Gus knows all, probably knew that Jesse had the cigarette all along and wanted to frame Walt for the crime.  The only way he can kill Walt and have no issues with his cook is if his cook does the killing, after all.

But this really doesn’t sit right with me, personally.  No matter how mad Jesse got, and yeah, he got pretty fucking insanely mad, would he really think Walt would do something that fucked up?  And Gus, who has been shown to be pretty much supernaturally intuitive at this point (as the final scene of this episode also drives home), would he really count on this ploy to absolutely work out for him?  That yeah, of course Jesse will blindly kill Walt because two plus two barely equals four?  Weak shit, don’t buy it.  Really, I’m hoping it turns out that Brock just snuck the fucking cigarette and Gus has just been waiting for the right moment to kill Walt, though I don’t think that’s actually the case.

Moving past this quibble, though, it was cool to see Walt and Jesse get back together and work out a good plan to kill Gus, with Jesse shirking his meth duties and getting Gus to come see him at the hospital so Walt can blow him up (go science!).  Sadly, Gus can tell something’s fucked and thus avoids getting into the car – cue credits.

So what do you guys think is gonna go down next week in the season finale?  Is Hank truly out of the picture for a while now that Gomey couldn’t find drugs at the laundry?  Is there gonna be an actual attempt made on Hank next week?  Is Gus gonna be dead this season or will that come next season?  Does anybody else want Tyrus to really get a nasty fuck-you-in-your-mean-face death scene?  Is Saul gone for good?  How’s Mike doing, by the way – I worry about that guy.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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7 comments for “Breaking Bad – “End Times” – review

  1. October 4, 2011 at 1:47 am

    totally agree about the cigarette. I really think it will turn out to be a simple case of Brock stealing the cig. It should be. It’s a bad play for Gus to make and frankly, if Gus wants someone dead – he’s fucking dead. No games with trick cigarettes. A ten year-old kid is no Don Eladio that you need to sneak tainted tequila in to take him out.

    This season has really accelerated nicely though. Slow, satisfying start to a blazing end.

  2. Patti Abbott
    October 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Also totally agree about the cig. First real misstep. I don’t believe Jesse would ever think Walt, with two kids of his own, would do such a thing. Nor that if he did think that, he would be turned around so quickly because it would mean he truly believed Walt was more evil than Satan.
    Other than that, it was terrific. I think Gus needs to go. I can’t see another 13 episodes of this cat and mouse game although it worked well this season. I think the writers here can pull off almost anything–except that cigarette.

  3. October 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I have never understood why Walter hasn’t whipped up some more explosives until now (especially given his success with it in S1). Regardless, he throws down a batch and they set up a nice probability that the detonation might fail, and yet, rather than have Gus be lucky, they choose to have him be clairvoyant, which, I don’t know, just seems a bit off. Wouldn’t he have already thought of such possibilities ahead of the situation? And why would he park so remotely on the ramp anyway?

    Getting past these issues, it’s cool to see Heisenberg back on the scene.

    It seems that Gus had the situation pegged by maneuvering Hank out of action. That was very well played, guessing exactly right about how Walter would play his move.

    What I don’t directly understand, is why it matters so gravely that a cook, or even a dozen, might be missed. With no immediate Cartel competition, if Gus were truly smart (and not greedy), he’d get the severance papers out and use the time to start over without all the baggage. Maybe not, I don’t know, but it sure seems like meth junkies in the Southwest have a discerning taste for quality if that 97%+ is so gravely important.

    Just taking some pokes.
    I’m highly entertained. Wondering what the big (hinted at in early interviews)reveal will end up being. Can’t even make a guess.

    I do think that Mike will resurface at some point, but I’m kinda picturing him on a beach right now, sipping on an uncharacteristic margarita.

  4. Nathan Pettigrew
    October 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    What’s weird about Mike is how disenchanted he was with Gus after he killed Victor, but then as the season progresses, stuck to not only being his #1, but giving him advice and defending him so vigorously.

    Have to admit, that’s the one weak development of this series so far that I didn’t buy either -where Jesse thinks that Walt is responsible. The only convincing argument to make this work is like Jesse said, Walt was THE ONLY ONE WHO KNEW about the cigarette. It could only work if Jesse didn’t Want to believe it was Walt, but convinced himself that it was since he was the only one that knew about the cigarette. Still, it’s reaching.

    And it’s extremely odd he wouldn’t figure Brock got into the cigarettes on his own, but then again, after I think about it, Jesse was arguing how he never let the cigarettes leave his sight. He had the cigarettes before he went to work, and after -that’s what he told Walt. Even if that’s true, how would Walt have gotten to the cigarette?

    And even if Brock got sick on his own, and it has nothing to do with the poison, because that was actually never confirmed, then where’s the cigarette?

    What I can buy is Tyrus taking them out of the locker. The timeline fits and it works that way. How Gus knew is another matter, but if Gus is Gus, then Gus always knew and has Jesse’s house bugged. Why would he have Walt’s house bugged in Season 3 and not Jesse’s when trying to learn more about him as he did with Walt? He taps and bugs everything. Before the Brock being poisoned development, I thought it was weak how Gus Didn’t have Jesse’s place bugged. That’s just how he operates. It would be sloppy of him not to have it bugged.

    What I think happened is that Gus is responsible, not to have Jesse turn on Walt, but to give Jesse an ultimatum -Brock for Walt. “I”m on the board at this hospital” and can save Brock’s life, if you give me Walter’s. But then before they could even get that far, Jesse gave himself and Walt away when he told Gus that the boy was poisoned, letting Gus know that he knows when nothing official like that has been released by any doctors. How would Jesse know that without confirmation? That’s where Gus then got suspicious, and thus the whole scene with the car and turning around.

    Patti Abbott said it best: This cat and mouse game can’t go on. It was fun this season, but Gus vs. Walt needs to wrap up this season, and I’m convinced they will wrap it up next week. I don’t think it’s ending on another cliffhanger either -Vince Gilligan (I think) has said in interviews that it’s not happening like that this year, that there will be resolution. Whatever happens, it should be the best hour of television this year.

  5. Meme
    October 5, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Walt has finally learned from Gus – and is manipulating Jesse by poisoning Brock (but not with ricin).

    When Walter is spinning the gun, the third spin is CLEARLY meant to indicate to Walt some other avenue of fighting back than taking his own life or letting himself be killed. The Insider podcast talks a lot about this shot and the special and visual effects that went into creating it – especially the fact that on the last spin, when the camera pans to what Walt is looking at (a plant – the root of various poisons known to a chemist), they had to digitally replace the table with a CG table in order to obscure the special effects mechanism that stops the gun where they want it to stop. This was a very important shot for Gilligan.

    After this scene, Walt dissapears for the entire day until Jesse visits him at night – not answering his phone when Marie or Skylar or Jesse call. Why not? If he’s just barricaded in the house, why not reassure his wife that all is well? Why not answer the phone to his partner (to find out what he wants)? Or why not a quick shot for the audience of him pacing nervously and not answering his phone? These are intentional moments inserted in the script to let us know that Walter is not responding to phone calls for some reason. What is he doing? He is concocting a plan and putting it into operation with Saul’s help.

  6. Patti Abbott
    October 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, Meme. That is diabolical if you are right. Has Walt become that evil? With his knowledge of chemistry, could he poison a kid and know he won’t die but just worry Jesse enough to bring him home to Daddy. WOW!

  7. Tom
    October 7, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I don’t think Jessie really thought Walt did it. He was just so racked with pain and anger he wasn’t thinking straight. In the mind of a paranoid, anything can be warped into fact. The fact that Walt managed to talk Jessie down shows us that Jessie conviction about it being the truth wasn’t concrete. I think Jessie was just mortified at the thought that he might be responsible for Brock (maybe) dying, and he’s just praying there’s someone else out there to blame for it all.

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