Chandler Kilgore-Parshall ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
After a year of silence since the first part of Season 5, the end of Breaking Bad has finally begun. It starts with a mystery as Breaking Bad opens with another glimpse into the future. One year later, a rugged Walter White (Bryan Cranston) breaks into his now dilapidated house. And boy, does the White family home look terrible. Every nook and cranny has been searched, nobody lives there, only a group of wandering teens skateboard in the empty backyard and his pseudonym Heisenberg is sprayed-painted across the walls. Walt unscrews an electrical socket to retrieve a glass capsule of ricin. Finally, we get an unsettling “Hello, Carol” from Walt before the opening title sequence. The teaser leaves a lot of speculation for the viewers at home to dissect at their leisure. Why’s the Walter home desolated and barricaded off from the neighborhood? What purpose does a hardened Walt have with the poisonous ricin?
Then the episode returns to present day as Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris) realizes that Walt is Heisenberg and that revelation fuels his investigation in connecting the dots. It’s a betrayal so big and so personal that Hank’s fuming inside. And Walt is in his sights.
Meanwhile, Walt, who has retired from the meth business, tries to cover up his tracks while building a life with his family again. However, it is not long until Walt finds himself in the spotlight for his criminal activity. Lydia expresses her displeasure and presses Walt to get back into action. However, Walt’s not biting and Skyler White’s not having it either. Anna Gunn delivers a chilling moment when she scares Lydia away from her husband with a sense of authority similar to Walt’s. It all goes downhill when Walt pieces together that his brother-in-law may have realized his secret and discovers a GPS tracker beneath his car.
And the final scene with Walt and Hank in the garage is chocked filled with multiple kinds of friction. From Hank’s explosive outburst to Walt’s chilling threat, the gauntlet was finally thrown down and Walt picked it up. Although Hank was emotionally raw with anger and grit, Walt analytically told him that he would not get the pleasure of putting him behind bars due to his cancer. At first, the line doesn’t seem to make complete sense, but it’s part of Walt’s deceptive behavior as his way with words can be sharp and venomous. It’s arrogance in its most subdued form. Walt’s not letting Hank win regardless and leaves him with a warning, “if you don’t know who I am… then tread lightly.” The writers nailed this declaration of war perfectly as the relationship of these two brother-in-laws have changed forever. Who will come up on top? Walt or Hank? Let the cat and mouse game begin.
The third story arc in this episode was Jesse’s (Aaron Paul). Whether it’s the guilt about innocent people dying because of them or that he’s has nobody, Jesse’s in a dark place. Even Walt has no genuine interest to help Jesse out of his funk, but merely to defuse an emotional time bomb with lies, lies and more lies. In a desperate search for redemption, Jesse tries to throw away his “blood money,” especially in one scene when he gives away thousands of dollars to a homeless man. Ironically, even the “dirty and intimidating” hobo was nearly reluctant to accept the money. Poor Jesse. It will be very intriguing what places Jesse will go to find solace with himself. But within a world of greed, backstabbing, and danger, can Jesse achieve such a conclusion?
From scene-to-scene; character-to-character, the drama and tension from “Blood Money” never stops. Even in the quietest moments, and there were a lot of them, the suspense was building. All of the storylines have reached its rising action point, where everything can change within an instant. It’s foreshadowing a nail-biting end that will conclude Walter White’s fall from grace in a way Breaking Bad can only deliver. And we wouldn’t want it any other way. These final eight episodes are bound to be the most exhilarating and edgy episodes that the series has ever had. Every moment from tonight onward will put Breaking Bad on the fast track to its inevitable ending with smooth storytelling, brilliant acting and sharp writing that made the show a sensation in the first place. It’s a shame that Breaking Bad is at its final season but it’s been one hell of a ride so far. Let’s enjoy the rest of the ride and see where Walter White’s story finally ends.