I’m guessing this will be the big Emmy submission episode for season five (part 1!) of Breaking Bad next year. You’ve got Cranston giving last year’s “I’m the one who knocks” speech a run for its money with his monologue in the desert to the Phoenix boys wherein he insists they “say my name.” Then there’s the big fight between Jesse and Walt at Vamonos and the final confrontation between Mike and Walter and you’ve got three big fucking scenes in one happening-heavy episode right there, one that begins and ends with some loud-ass bangs.
Walter lays it out for the Phoenix boys and we the viewers in the cold open, shouting to them that if they buy out Mike with the five million he’s owed then Walter will let them take over Mike’s old job of distribution. Thing is, this also means that they get roughly Mike’s old cut of 35 percent. They’re skeptical at first but then Walt tells them that he’s got Coke Classic and that he is the man who killed Gus Fring, the one they call Heisenberg – deal made, done and done. How Walt is planning on guaranteeing these scumbags give him his proper cut and don’t try to fuck him I don’t know, but maybe they’re the reason he comes back to ABQ with a fucking machine gun a year from now…
Jesse complains that he wants his five million, insists he’s still out, but Walter shrugs him off. They pick up the methylamine from the car wash where he’s been keeping it and Skyler does some light grilling about where it came from and in turn Walter does some light putting her in her place while Jesse awkwardly looks on. Mike parts ways saying that he’ll cover the legacy costs with his cut and then insists Walt pick up the bug from Hank’s office before anyone sweeps the headquarters.
Mike gets word that the restraining order failed and that the DEA’s warrant went through, which sets Mike to work getting rid of his laptop and a huge cache of guns and setting up a car at the airport with an escape fund and a gun in the trunk of it. The DEA comes by and nope, no dice. Then we watch Mike’s lawyer pal Daniel Waxburg distribute the legacy costs via a bunch of separate safety deposit boxes, with a particularly big chunk of change going to Mike’s granddaughter.
Walt tries to play it cool and make Jesse forget all that bullshit about quitting the life but Jesse holds firm, even after Walter’s big speech about the pride of being the best at something and pointing out that Jesse has nothing else going for him and will probably end up back on the pipe. (We don’t know for sure Jesse broke up with the lady-friend, though.) They part badly with Walt refusing to pay Jesse his money, just some bad form shit all around. Walt does a cook with Todd who is no Jesse but certainly seems to want to learn, even asking not to be compensated until he’s better at all the steps.
We get in on a little quality time with Hank and learn that he’s been slacking on his more bureaucratic duties that came with the promotion in favor of putting a lot man hours on the Fring case. The director tells him that Mike is to no longer be trifled with so he takes a different tact, having Gomey follow the lawyer for all the legacy earners. This ends with Waxburg being picked up at the bank in a cute scene, but one that makes little sense. Hopefully we get an idea later as to how they were allowed access to all those safety deposit boxes so quickly in the future but right now my money’s on that they’re not gonna explain how they were able to take him down.
When Walt goes to pick up the bug from Hank’s office (this time he has to suggest the coffee run instead of Hank just bolting outta there at the first sign of crying) he learns that the lawyer has given up Mike. Walt calls Mike then Jesse and Walt meet up with Saul and get a call from Mike who wants his getaway bag picked up and brought to him. Though Mike wants Saul to do it, Saul says there’s probably a bunch of agents looking to tail him (which, if it’s true, hopefully they don’t take any pictures of Walt leaving the office that Hank will see anytime soon). Jesse wants to go but Mike doesn’t want to drag him back into trouble, leaving it up to Walt.
Walt picks up the bag then meets Mike down by a river. When Walt asks for the names of the legacies Mike refuses, which if you think about it is actually a dick move on his part. Without the guarantee of the payments to their families, payments that Mike will no longer be able to make as the whole thing went tits up with the lawyer, Walt should know their names, either to be able to kill them or to maybe even keep paying them somehow. (Unlikely for Walt, but still.) This leads to a screaming match where Mike says what only looks he’s thrown Walt have conveyed for a long time, talking about how everything has been Walt’s fault and that if he’d just been less of an egotistical shit he could have worked for Gus in peace for years and years to come.
Walt *somewhat* impulsively puts a bullet in Mike (he’d already lifted the gun, after all) and then realizes as Mike drains out on the riverbank that he could have just asked Lydia all along. Mike tells him to shut the fuck up and let him die in peace, he slumps over, the end. Pretty huge stuff, broke badasses, pretty intense too. I always figured that Mike had to be taken down by Walt but I thought it would be more about them butting heads as partners and Walt wanting more control in their arrangement, not right on the eve of Mike hightailing it and with him not even being a part of the business anymore. But, you know, who can complain about a good surprise?
So what do you guys think about next week? Are we gonna have Walt going all baptism scene of The Godfather, wiping out everyone on the list with the help of Todd and Lydia? Is he gonna hide Mike’s body and tell everyone that Mike made it out okay or is he gonna just say fuck it and leave everyone to deal with his decision? Something else? Only one more episode of the show for 2012 and goddamn am I sad to see it go!