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Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12 "Rabid Dog" Part 1

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I can't believe I've done 12 episodes so far, some in 2 parts... I recently put them in a category obviously entitled "Breaking Bad" so it will be more organized for people to follow and easier for me to do other shows of my choosing when I get around to that. It also opens the option for me to do miscellaneous posts if I ever needed to which is listed under "uncategorized". In other news, I went back to my older episode blogs and made sure to embed at least one video that shows a scene from the episode or something that regards what I'm talking about. I'll try to do that with every episode I do from now on.

"Rabid Dog" was essentially an episode that felt like two shorter installments sewed together. First we see Walt's point of view and the next half is Jesse's (with one scene each from Marie and Walt tied in). This was a unique structure for an episode this late in the game and after the series has been all said and done, I find myself appreciating it a lot more now. It begins with a cold open that follows up on last episode's cliff-hanger. This was a cool one. The tension-filled score. The tilted camera as an exposed Walter hides behind the patio table. If the tension of whether Jesse is going to pop out from any corner in the house has subsided, the absence of him still feels eerie in that moment and you still can't escape that feeling of Walt's paranoia.

If there's one main theme to start off with here, it's that Walt is ugly and no matter how much he tries to come off clean, he can't hide his true self. Just like the gasoline soaked rug, that negative fuel exists in him real deep and the whiff is more present than ever. Just because he's out of the business and planned to wear his secured sweater while he innocently ran the car wash for the rest of his days, doesn't mean his actions weren't going to catch up with him and that's why he's in the predicament he's currently in. Hank was the first to tell him he's dirty, and now Jesse has proved that Walt has left a mark on the world that can't easily be ignored. This is the exact philosophy the show has played with from day 1: Does a man break bad or were they always bad and just needed a spark to set things off? Jesse has obviously chosen to not light up the house or in other words shed some light in comeuppance of Walt's dark actions, but what will prove to be the equivalent later on?

So when Walt realizes he can't hide the gasoline, he decides to hide himself in plain sight by committing to soak-filled clothes and car seat, followed by a false explanation. It is pretty demeaning how he plays the dumb gossipy over-explainer which insults the intelligence of both Skyler and Junior, but I'm glad they were able to see through it. Nothing else much to say, but cool music when he was concocting his lie before Skyler came home.

Walt meets up with Saul and Kuby in the parking lot of the hotel to discuss the whereabouts of Jesse. Kuby goes over a list of practically every main location Jesse has been over the course of the series with a funny reference to the random ramblings of "Beaver" and Skinny Pete.

This is when we start to see characters pushing the pressing reality to Walt, no matter how dark it may be. Saul uses an old yeller metaphor comparing the loveable Jesse to a now rabid dog, and suggests the analogy in the same vain as him throwing the option out of sending Hank to Belize. Walt is appalled by the mere suggestion, but then realizes that it's not just his business associate that is on this mindset.

It seems to make just as much sense to Skyler as well. It is something that really hurts when mentioned, because 1) back in the first half of this season, there was kind of an unspoken parallel between Skyler and Jesse where they were both held under Walt's manipulation. You kind of hoped that later on they would get more screen time together and that some soft spot would evolve between the two. Unfortunately the events that transpired had never lined up correctly for them to share the same perspective and now they're at a crossroads. Jesse did the extreme to escape the devil's grip while Skyler went limp in stockholm syndrome (which would be the second thing that's disheartening).

I remember a lot of people were shocked by her "What's one more?" suggestion but you have to realize this is the SAME ugliness that derived ever since they decided to make that tape which she references in her very monologue. She is infected and the seeds to this kind of desensitization were planted ever since she reaffirmed her alliance with Walt in "Buried". She doesn't have the ideal familial-like relationship to Jesse that Walt possesses, especially since its regarding a guy who just doused her living room in gasoline where her children live. She is aware that Jesse is the exact premonition she had of a person showing up to the house to hurt the family and that's the person she needs gone. He even turned out to be the same person who sparked her concern to begin with, in which Walt initially replied "I seriously doubt it" in season 4's "Cornered".

Part 2:

QUESTION: Both Jesse and Skyler have gone in opposing directions when it comes to dealing with Walt's manipulations. Which is bravery and which is cowardice? Or can you find both traits exist in what they have chosen to do?