View RSS Feed

TV Monolith

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 "To'Hajiilee" Part 1

Rate this Entry

Order up! It's been a while since I threw together a review. Hopefully I didn't cook the color right out of this one.

This really is point where all hell breaks loose or at least the build-up to it is going at an alarming irreversible speed. I like to think of this episode as starting out with two plans being set into motion (one from Walt and one from Jesse) but a more chaotic third plan (being Uncle Jack, Todd, neo-nazi's) is about to take over. This is why we see these characters first with Lydia establishing the predicament of a sub-par cook without the touch of an iconic blue laced into the classic brand of meth that Walt has long passed over. Having Uncle Jack, Lydia, Todd, and Kenny looking down upon us as a liquid messy goo expands across the screen almost comes off like they're puppeteers for what's about to happen by the end of this one.

Of course, by the end of the cold open, we get the initiation of Walt's plan that was implied in "Rabid Dog's" cliff-hanger, but before we go any further, let's just take this in without any speculation.

Even if Walt was originally reluctant and still uneasy about his decision to have Jesse killed, this is still a major new low and turning point for his character. I said in the beginning of this blog series that the two major elements that make Walt a sympathetic character is the ties to his family and Jesse. It's these human qualities that we as an audience hold onto tight as we continue to follow such a despicable character. Notice how after all the awful shit he has put Skyler though and even now as he's calculating a plan to have Jesse murdered, we still find ourselves holding onto threads of what still remain. He's still human about every decision he makes for himself, but it's a humanity at it's worst and we kind of have to go limp like Skyler in order to put up with it.

Jesse's plan is also in the works right after the opening credits. Consider the imagery of looking up at two parallel bridges with a blue sky in between. Hank paces back and forth across this POV. You can say each bridge represents both potential outcomes at play that Walt and Jesse are hoping to achieve which they are both operating with under cover (one to kill jesse, the other to arrest Walt). Except there's a gap that's being overlooked. A blue sky. Hank and Gomez are exposed to this as they stand between two vehicles, similar to how they will be in the end of the episode. Out in the open with no cover.

The first thing you can think of with blue is obviously the meth, which as previously mentioned is what motivates the neo-nazi's and Lydia for seeing the big picture without having any emotional ties to their goal, but I also view it as the universe itself. The blue sky is not a solid structure where the path only goes from one end to another like the two bridges. It instead is unpredictable. Jesse uses Walt's money to weed him out, while Walt uses Andrea and Brock in order to do the same. They are playing a very calculative chess game in which they are trying to control the fate of each other but they both have tunnel vision in achieving their goals (as well as Hank and Gomie), by treating the universe as a linear path no matter how complex each plan was. Point is, there are larger motivations at play and that's why the neo-nazi's are going to win this one as a wild card. It also can explain the specificity of showing a similar upwards POV at the neo-nazi's that showed the methylamine goo engulfing the screen from split down the middle taking over both parallel sides.

Now here's something sorta cool I didn't notice until today. Gomez says he picked up Huell at the Dog House which is the little hotdog joint that Jesse used to hang around (and even revisited in "Buried") which is then later confirmed by Saul later that the reason he had Huell there was in hope that Jesse would turn up for a bite. Nothing ground-breaking I'm trying to say here, but it's just more reinforcement for the attribution that Jesse is a rabid/problem dog who might return to his dog house. Saul even says that the booger-powder that was left in his car is a K9 unit's wet dream so make whatever you want with that. Also when Walt exits Andrea's house, a couple is shown walking a dog on a leash which I guess you can draw as Jesse being more domestically guided by Hank and Gomez which Walt clearly dismisses as he continues on to his car. Perhaps Walt is the real dog off his leash?

And ugh, how slimy is Walt for showing up there? Brock may not know about Walt's involvement in his poisoning but he sure seems to be the only person who is like "why is this creep always around?". Chalk it up to children's intuition I guess. I love the music that plays when Walt leaves their house too, like the feeling of messy liquid methylamine goo slowly spreading across a metal tray. It's dark and strained with a contrast that switches from concerned social situation to a more fallen expressionless Walt as he tells Kenny to leave no witnesses. The eerie score to that scene then bleeds over into Hank standing in the driveway as he receives Andrea's message for Jesse, aware of what Walt is up to, but unaware of the parallel path that both parties are heading down.

So Hank and Gomie manage to corner Huell as we know and they trick him into thinking that Jesse is dead and that Mr. Babineaux is next on the hit list. He will now forever be contained to this room for the rest of the series, which in comparison to the shit show that is about to go down, is not a bad deal. From here, we end up learning that the van company does not support GPS, but then Hank gets a really fantastic idea. The fact that Jesse was able to propose the money idea to begin with was great, but Hank caps the idea off with brilliant execution. In retrospect, it made Walt's plan look like shit. Walt underestimated Jesse, but it's going to be the brute strength of Walt's army of neo-nazi's that is unfortunately going to defeat this stroke of genius in the end. Other than that, Hank and Jesse are absolute winners.

Part 2:

Question: Lydia and Todd? Do you think they ever hooked up? Also, Saul and Junior meet!


  1. Walid's Avatar
    I loved Saul's meeting with Junior. I love how starstruck Jr seemed haha.

    I never really liked Todd and Lydia, the idea of them.
  2. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    I mean I'm definitely glad they never showed or pursued that as a storyline since it is unnecessary. (I'm sure dexter would have actually made a whole thing out of it) It was done with subtlety at least for the audience to just be kind of creeped out with speculation.