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TV Monolith

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 11 "Confessions"

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The only thing I need to confess about is how I should have put these reviews out last year as it aired. I intend to start doing episode reviews for another show (depending on what I choose) but then again, perhaps I should work on the first four seasons of Breaking Bad once I finish this final season? I dunno, eventually I plan to do it all over time, but variety is good too, right? I'm trying to build a portfolio of sorts, so we'll see what happens. Anyway, lets shed some light on this episode.

The first image we get is pretty much the spark to one of the most anticipated reveals of the series. The lighting of a cigarette, done so by Todd. It's a good play on the parallel that has existed so far since "Buried" and it is possibly the very symbolic bookend to this episode that will cause these different worlds to collide later on (think about it). He leaves a message for Walt saying that Declan is out of the picture and then goes on to grab a bite with Uncle Jack and Kenny.

I guess Todd being a more established cook with the support of his neo-nazi relatives and the fact that he knows the more intimidating Mike is gone, has caused a significant increase in his confidence. He seems to have no problem whatsoever in gloating about his contributions to the train robbery. It feels like the front he put on for Mr. White and Jesse has been chipped away a bit as he talks more openly about them to his uncle. The scene eventually ends with them playfully getting back in the car with a hitch for their newfound meth accessories. They head closer to the more familiar world of Albuquerque, New Mexico to the beat of "Gonna Rhomp and Stomp" by Slim Rhodes.

We open to a great slow push into Jesse as he continues to remain locked in his head, completely indifferent to the FBI interrogation. This will be the two agents' last scene in the show, which is appropriate since they revolved initially around the poisoning of Brock to begin with. Of course, the intensity of the scene is popped by Hank's entrance, which is our more anticipated cliff-hanger from last episode. And just as you might expect, their reunion was just like the metal door slamming shut against a metal threshold which keeps it in place (look at that, I guess the ending of "Buried" did have symbolism) I love that Jesse brings up the beating from season 3's "One Minute" which is an act that pretty much sums up their relationship, yet Hank has such earth-shattering news and you can see how it rocks Jesse a bit, despite the fact that he still holds his ground. Also, bringing up the beating will tie into the ending of this episode, but we'll get back to that.

The Whites (minus their children) and the Schraders meet up at Garduños to lay the cards on table. Let me just say right from the start, Walt is such a piece of shit in this episode and it is just as painful to watch Skyler go along with it. I mean for the show's sake, it is fun to watch, but wow. What a slimeball. If you can't tell how much Walt is enjoying this little chess game, then you're missing the whole point. Notice how Hank is aware of a handful of extremely ugly things that Walt has done and instead of Walt being sympathetic towards those said things (even if he's not admitting to them), he is more concerned with saving the face of his reputation. He not only sticks to defend his actions, but adds insult to injury by using Hank's hardships as a way to tie into his slimy false narrative for the DVD.



It's a disgusting move and it is mind-blowing to see the soft character from Hank and Marie's perspective turn from sympathetic underdog brother-in-law to such an evil, calculative fraud. I loved those close-up shots on Walt's pixelated eyes and mouth as he continued to shamelessly spout more bullshit. I just can't believe Skyler took part in this as well, but I'm glad they showed us a scene of her sitting in the dark at her office most likely thinking, "I'm going to hell". Other than that, it was a smart move and I did like that because of it, Hank finally found out about how his medical bills were paid for.

I like how Jesse is just as drawn to the tarantula as Todd, but obviously in a more endearing way. It really proves how essential the ending of "Dead Freight" was. It seems that ever since then, he has been a lot better at seeing things for how they really are, hence him telling off Walt when he knows he is being manipulated for the sake of Walt's safety. That's a major growth from the Jesse who broke down into tears after finding the dummy ricin cigarette in "Madrigal". Mike had wished Jesse could see Walt for who he truly was, and because of Mike's death, Jesse definitely got the first bad taste of noticing something terrible that Walt has no problem lying about. It's almost like he's been granted x-ray specs and the longer he's around Walt, the more he knows how full of shit he is. Walt comforts him once again after Jesse calls him out on being worked. This leads to Jesse once again breaking down because 1) he still can't doing anything about it, and 2) their bond still does exist despite how worn it is.

Back when Walt pulled the hail mary of manipulations to get Jesse back into his camp when in the process of taking out Gus, he relied on Saul and Huell for the ol' switcheroo. So of course Saul and Huell would assume they could do something so innocent as removing the blunt from Jesse before he meets up with the disappearer. I liked how it was established that Jesse would carry pot around to Saul's office in "Blood Money" for this not to seem forced. And it isn't, because we know that Jesse has started getting high on weed more prominently ever since "Gliding Over All" when we see him hide his bong from Walt.

Like I said above, the first image we get for this episode is the lighting of a cigarette and what a relevant pay-off. Jesse realizes what he first assumed back in "End Times" is true. Notice that as he waits, the same score is being played of when he originally got the call from Andrea that Brock had been poisoned? You can actually follow the thought process fluidly through Aaron Paul's facial and body expressions. Also the other more intense music really helps you feel his rage build gradually as he continues to put it together. I like how the disappearer started off as a mere idea in season 4's "Bullet Points" and then became a potential solution in "Crawl Space". Now finally the phone call has been made, but we only end up seeing a mysterious red van come and go. As Jesse storms away from it, I can't help but feel like the disappearer's story arc is to actually appear. Genius!

As a viewer, I definitely feel rewarded by what transpires next. This is the type of reaction you just need to execute perfectly and the directing by Michael Slovis and the acting by both Aaron Paul AND Bob Odenkirk are able to sell it marvelously. Did anyone else notice the eeriness of how Saul sluggishly asks Jesse twice "Why didn't you call?". It's such an unnerving piece of dialogue and I can't even explain why. It works because it almost feels like Jesse is in some type of dream-state before he gives that first punch. Jesse, blinded with rage continues to beat Saul for messing with someone he loves (not understanding Walt was more responsible), which is the exact thing he criticized Hank for in the beginning of the episode. In fact, both Hank and Jesse had to run frantically through the hospital to ensure the safety of Marie and Brock because of Walt.

After some serious gun-pointing from Jesse and some fair explanations from Saul, Jesse storms off once again, this time with Saul's car. A bloody-faced Saul calls to warn Walt, which leads Walt to retrieve his gun from the car wash. The last shot is just one of those great endings you would hope for in these final 8. The music, the camera-work, etc. I love how Jesse practically rams the car into the house. After kicking the door down, he goes into a gas can rage and stops to unload what's left in the spot where he first accused Walt of poisoning Brock in the first place.

Blog Question: What are you thoughts on Walt's "confession"? Do you think it was worth it, even if Hank would have backed down?

Comments

  1. Walid's Avatar
    This was probably my second or third favorite from the final 8. It was great the entire way through; so many "Holy shit!" moments. The scene where Jesse is telling Walt that he only needs him gone because it benefits him, and Jesse's crying... that makes me tear up, even if I watch it now, knowing what's going to happen. Truly good acting,

    I loved how diabolical the 'confession' video was. How the writers came up with that... I knew they were going to make Walt worse throughout the show, but lying about all that? Holy shit. One of my favorite moments of the series actually come to think about it
  2. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    the desert scene was definitely sad. I feel like the emotional depth of jesse is something that Walt can't defeat, no matter how calculative his mind works. He's aware that Jesse is capable of it since he addresses it sarcastically when arguing about the death of Drew Sharp in "Say My Name", but he can never prepare himself for when Jesse displays his emotions like he does in the desert. That's why I think Walt hugs him is because he knows the only way to deal with it is by returning an "emotional gesture". That and I think he's proud of Jesse for proving Walt underestimates him. At the same time, I believe Walt does care for Jesse, and that Jesse sometimes misses that despite his fair reasons not to believe so.

    Ah there relationship is so tightly knitted together no matter how much you tear at it. I can literally go on for hours in trying to analyze it. such a great show.