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Breaking Bad Review/Recap – “Rabid Dog”

Chandler Kilgore-Parshall ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

The final episodes of Breaking Bad have been a wild ride so far as the tables are turning against Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in “Rabid Dog.” Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) out for blood and Hank’s trying to catch Walt. However, this week’s episode focuses on the themes of unprincipled impulse and father-son relationships.

Starting from the aftermath of Jesse breaking into Walt’s home, dousing the place with gasoline. Walt, with pistol in hand, prepares to encounter his former accomplice. It’s driven with tension and anxiety, almost like an intense action-packed face off. It’s revealed that just before the opening, Hank, who followed Jesse, convinces him to collaborate with his investigation team. The dynamic between two rivals was extremely interesting, as bringing Walt down, unites them together despite their differences in seasons past. Although Hank (Dean Norris) could care less if Jesse gets caught in the crossfire between him and Walt, which begs the question, “How far will Hank go to win?” Jesse’s an extremely reliable character as he’s losing everything, including a relationship with the closest thing to a father figure.

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Walter White, Jr. (RJ Mitte) in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12. Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Walter White, Jr. (RJ Mitte) in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12. Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

On that point, the relationship between Walt and Jesse was examined in a much turbulent light. Walt continues to object to everyone’s (Saul’s, Skyler’s) plea that Jesse is put down like “Old Yeller.” It’s clear that Walt cares deeply for his former student and after all of the manipulations, he could never hurt Jesse. Yet all of his actions have shattered that youth’s chance at a normal life, so it’s a double edge sword. But will Walt have to fall on his sword to atone for Jesse’s self-destruction? The scene with Walt and Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) at the pool reminds the audience of why this former chemistry teacher has done the things he’s did; family.

Even you could say he’s despicable and cunning, Walt did not enter the meth cooking out of greed, but for the sake of providing financial insurance for his family. It’s a reaffirmation of why Walter White fights to win. And in such a morally gray show like Breaking Bad, it’s hard to know who has the best intentions anymore.

At the end of the episode, Hank asks Jesse to confess what he knows. Yet the confessions provide no physical evidence, which makes the DEA agent devise another strategy. Hearing Walt’s plea on Jesse’s voicemail for a chance to talk, he sets Pinkman up as the middleman for his plan. Wiring Jesse for the meeting, Hank asks him to get any solid information that could incriminate Walt. But impulse kicks in as Jesse feels set-up and abandons the plan. He makes a call and threatens Walt, coming after him with a plan referring to “where he really lives.” Seems like reconciliation doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12. Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.
Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12. Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

Now knowing there’s another danger that could ruin everywhere, Walt tells Todd that he has another job for his uncle, who arranges hits and organized murders. Is this bye-bye for Jesse Pinkman?

My prediction for the next episode is that Jesse dies. If he does meet his end, perhaps Walt will have to gun him down. It would explain why the Walt in the flash-forwards would have this foul tone in his voice and transforms into this villainous wanderer with a plan. With Jesse’s death, it would kill a piece of Walt’s soul, or what’s left of it. Also, the next episode’s called “To’hajiilee,” which refers to Walt and Jesse’s first cooking site in season. Is this upcoming episode, Jesse’s swan song? Next episode’s bound to spin heads.

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