This week’s Breaking Bad found Walt acting like the more relate able guy we know from the early seasons of the show, the guy who is scrambling and fumbling and improvising poorly, not “the Devil” that Jesse describes to Hank. This is a Walt who doesn’t want to do what it takes because, as Hank points out to Jesse, when it comes to Jesse, Walt is always fatherly. It was nice and kind of heartbreaking to be reminded of that aspect of Walt before, you know, Jesse forces Walt’s hand into making a very devilish phone call before the end credits.
“Rabid Dog” starts out with Walt assuming that Jesse just changed his mind about torching Casa de White. He quickly overpays some professional cleaners to take care of the gas but they say it’s impossible to get the gas smell out of such thick carpet, hence Walt coming up with one of his lamest lies to date (again, not the super-genius Jesse tells Hank about). Walter Junior helpfully makes the lie better by suggesting his gas mishap had something to do with his cancer but when they get to the hotel (sweet room, by the way) Skyler confronts him and finds out what really happened.
This is the harshest light we’ve seen Skyler in to date. She straight-up demands Walt take out Jesse, that they’ve come too far and done too much to have it all go to shit from one guy’s testimony. Saul obviously suggests something similar only for Walt to shoot down the suggestion. Even after Walt has a heart-t0-heart with his real son Junior Walt is still thinking that he can “make Jesse understand.”
Then we get Jesse’s side of the story. Turns out he stopped Jesse just in time from setting the fire and got him to come stay with him at the Schrader compound. He even tries to get Marie out of the house but when she finds out the living arrangement has to do with bringing down Walt she is pumped to stay. Jesse supposedly is honest across the board with Hank and Gomey and they get it all on tape but that’s still not enough to get Walt. But then Hank gets Jesse’s voicemail (isn’t everyone voicemail password protected?) and gets the old-standby idea of having Jesse wear a wire and getting on tape Walt’s “explanation” of himself.
Yeah, Walt might have a dastardly plan to kill Jesse in the middle of the plaza but then they’ll just convict Walt of that. And with just Gomey and Hank on the case, no SWAT at the ready, that’s a very real possibility but Hank could give a shit. Saul, Skyler, Hank – none of them give a shit about Jesse. Walt is the only one who cares yet Jesse can’t see that right now. So when Jesse freaks out and thinks a big guy waiting for his kid is actually there to kill him in the plaza (no one in the audience believed for a second that Walt’s plan could be that dumb and obvious) and runs to a pay phone (those apparently exist) to assure Walt that he’s going down, it was quietly tragic for me. And then, of course, we find out that Walt had no plan at all, was honestly just going to talk to him? Yeah, it’s a real bummer.
So Jesse supposedly has a better way to bring down Walt than Hank’s classic movie cliche and I’m dying to see what it is. Also, Walt has finally been moved to do what he should have done all along and calls Todd to ask the assistance of Uncle Jack (though Todd himself has proven pretty capable murderwise – plus he never even told Uncle Jack about shooting the kid when he related the train robbery experience to him). And, seeing how the “next week on Breaking Bad” teaser was Mad Men teaser levels of vague, I’m guessing some pretty awesome shit is coming our way…