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Breaking Bad’s

Final Four: “To’hajiilee”

Image courtesy of AMC.

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Note: This whole thing is a spoiler alert. If you haven’t watched the Sept. 8 episode of Breaking Bad, you need someone to explain how spoiler alerts work before pressing on.
Solve The Riddle Of How Showing Some ‘Stinkin’ Badges’ Could Have Saved A Couple Of Bodies From Bullets, And How A Monologue Doomed A Villain

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By Serene Dominic
Special for Modern Times Magazine

Sept. 9, 2013 — It’s a long way to To'hajiilee, and it’s a long way Walter White knows all too well.

With evidence mounting that the former chemistry teacher has fully crossed over into an immoral monster, this episode proves unequivocally that he still has a sentimental streak. Not only has he chosen to bury his money at the site of his and Jesse’s first cook, he has to hire Nazi Jack and his white supremacy gang to kill Jesse because he can’t do the job himself.

“Jesse is like family to me. Painless. No suffering. No fear.”

Does that sound like the tone of a guy who would force-feed ricin to a little kid like Brock? Nah! But in order to kill Jesse, who in all fairness, kind of threatened Walt’s family at the end of last week’s episode, Walt needs to flush Jesse out. So he goes to Andrea and Brock to give her Jesse’s Hello Kitty phone number and hopefully draw Jesse into a humanitarian, painless, no suffering, no fear shot to the head from the Jack Pack.

Meanwhile, Jesse’s plan to draw Walt out so Hank and Gomez can catch him was to hit Walt where it hurts. This turns out not to be an attempt on Skylar or Junior’s life, but a threat to Walt’s buried money. In the frantic car ride to the To'hajiilee Indian Reservation, Walt tells Jesse that every kill was to protect Jesse and Walt’s family. An ungrateful Jesse threatens to burn 10 Gs a minute and instructs Walt not to hang up or the whole fortune is going up in flames. Of course there is no cell phone provider on earth that won’t drop a call in mountainous areas such as the one Walt went off-roading in. So Walt is left not knowing if Jesse is bluffing until he gets there.

The last 10 minutes are like an old-time western when two man go out to face each other. In this case, it’s three men facing each other, as Hank and Gomez  arrive and tell Walt to give himself up. Walt uncharacteristically does so without trying to talk or lie his way out of it. Perhaps seeing Jesse is cooperating with Hank convinces Walt to surrender. After giving Jack the GPS coordinates so they can show up and kill Jesse, he calls to cancel the hit. But Jack, eager to improve the quality and blue hue of his meth, wants Walt to cook for him one more time as a payment for performing the hit on Jesse and isn’t about to be waved off this detail. Natch, the whole gang arrives come and the show ends in a shootout with Hank and Gomez outgunned and outnumbered.

If only Hank hadn’t wasted all that time making Walt walk backwards and fall on his knees like some weird ritualistic sobriety test, and then make that vaingloriously boastful call to Marie, they would have all been down at the station, pressing Walt’s guilty fingers onto a stamping pad. Whatever happens to Hank,  all this shooting and stand-offing can’t be good for his limp.

Jack insists Hank and Gomez show them some badges. No stinking badges are produced and the shooting begins, with helpless handcuffed Hank n the car unable to get Jack to call it off. Gomez is hit, but we’re left not knowing Hank’s fate. The fact that Jesse is the only one with free hands indicates that he will probably save Walt who he continues to distrust, but deep down still loves.

Because he is family.
Other revelations learned tonight that might come in handy in the next three shows:
• Junior sees Saul at the carwash and Saul tells him that the bruises on his face are an occupational hazard. Chances are Junior isn’t going to use Walt’s meth money to go to law school.
• “Have an A1 day” isn’t quite the catchy catchphrase “Better call Saul” is.

• Matt Damon look-alike Todd is sweet on Lydia, going so far as putting his hand on her shoulder and drinking from her lipstick stained coffee cup. My guess is if he is ordered to kill Lydia later, he will choke.

• Please note that little Brock, who was not given the ricin but was poisoned by some crushed Lilly of the Valley berries is eating Fruit Loops. This could be another red herring, since all the various Fruit Loops( despite hinting at being different fruity flavors) are all flavored the same. So no Lily of the Valley berry conspiracy there. Walt seems to take too keen an interest in seeing Brock eat this cereal and as of yet we still don’t know how he got the kid to eat the berries, although we know Walt gave him a judicious amount, not enough to kill him, just make him sick. Kind of like how every bowl of Fruit Loops is.

Serene Dominic is a freelance writer.
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