Breaking Bad season 5 episode 9 review

Breaking Bad season 5 episode 9 review | Methwish 5

Published by jamdog on 12th August, 2013.

 review

Netflix/AMC

We open on skateboarders. Pretty good skateboarders actually, not that I’m any kind of judge. They’re working that half pipe like a bitch with a kind of joie de vivre you associate with the young, carefree and nausey. The reveal that it’s Walt and Skyler’s swimming pool in their abandoned, half-gutted house that those kids are working throws us into Breaking Bad‘s future final point – Walt as Mister Lambert having birthday breakfast in Denny‘s, with the machine gun in his boot. Walt rolls up, breaks in and has a look around the old place. It’s seen better days. Some wiseass has spray-painted HEISENBERG on the wall (Hank? Skyler? Banksy?) But Walt hasn’t come for reconnaissance. He’s come for the ricin capsule from behind the plug socket. As he exits Carol the neighbour spots him and is frozen in terror. “Hello Carol” he says. She drops her shopping as would you if you’d spent years living next door to the one who knocks.

…and we’re back to Hank on the John with the realisation that his brother-in-law is the devil. He pockets the Walt Whitman book, makes his excuses and he and Marie leave. Hank takes the wheel as Marie prattles. He drives through a foggy haze as the full truth sinks in – every lie, every betrayal, every body. It turns into a fully-fledged panic attack and after making an unscheduled stop in someone’s front garden Hank gets the case files delivered to his home. Time to go to work.

Work and work. Talking about the car wash, yeah. The best money-laundering operation in New Mexico is running like a dream.

So trust Lydia to come along and piss on Walt’s chips. The purity of the meth she’s peddling has dropped to 68%, she bellyaches. “I left a viable operation” says Walt “The rest was up to you”. Skyler finds out who Lydia is (“say weren’t you in ITV’s relationshit clinker Talk to Me?”) and gives her the bum rush. Because Walt back in the drug trade would make Sky blue.

Work and work. Talking about the car wash, yeah. The best money-laundering operation in New Mexico is running like a dream.

Jesse meanwhile is in a charitable mood, giving Saul instructions to split his $5m between Mike’s daughter Kaylee and the parents of dead Drew Sharp whose Junior Top Gear ambitions took a turn for the worse a few episodes back. Walt points out the folly of these actions and makes him take the cash back all ‘woddyeloike?’ Later that evening Jesse gives a bum about $5000 which is a lovely gesture even if the guy will use it to buy 5000 bottles of Poundland methylated spirit and drink himself to death. Still, this random act of kindness gives Jesse a taste for philanthropy and he rolls around the ghetto throwing the wads out the window and, much like Mister Burns showering people with silver coins, he’s guaranteeing a sorry outcome for most of them. It’s the slums, Jesse. What do you think they’re going to do – put it towards Junior’s college fund?

Still, this random act of kindness gives Jesse a taste for philanthropy and he rolls around the ghetto throwing the wads out the window and, much like Mister Burns showering people with silver coins, he’s guaranteeing a sorry outcome for most of them.

Walt doesn’t have time for this shit. He’s a secret mechlorethamine drinker again. The cancer is back and it’s kicking his ass. As he’s chemo puking his guts up he notices the Walt Whitman book is missing. He hears Hank’s been off work all week. The cogs start whirring. He checks his car and finds a tracking device. You know what? I think it’s time to visit Hank.It all starts off so cordially – just a buddy checking up on a buddy.

But as Walt goes to leave he Columbos the GPS tracker at Hank. It’s just like the one they used together on Gustavo Fring – isn’t that crazy?? Hank picks up the garage door remote control and clicks close. Walt takes a right-hander from Hank and hits the deck. “It was you. All along it was you” says Hank and he runs through a list of his misdeeds “You lying two-faced sack of shit”. Whoa, just a minute.  Walter White is many things but one thing he is not is – oh actually he’s right. Carry on, big boy.

In response Walt tells him the cancer has returned and that he’ll be dead in 6 months, rendering any future prosecution redundant. Hank makes him a deal: bring Skyler and the kids to live with him and Marie and he’ll keep quiet. Walt isn’t having it. If he’s the man Hank says he is, he muses hypothetically, then maybe he should “tread carefully”.

I dunno, man. I’m no master of subtext but I reckon that was a threat. Wotufink guys? ¹

It’s a masterful return that makes you realise that everyone else has just been playing at telly while it’s been away. Beautifully directed (by Bryan Cranston), perfectly paced, at turns funny, clever, heartbreaking and ominous it’s everything your nausey workmate told you it was. Dean Norris is superb as a man hopelessly navigating his way round a new world with rules he can barely begin to fathom.

One down, 7 to go. September 29 will end this thing for good and it’s already marked as TV history. It will not disappoint. Only slime doubt it.

The verdict: If Drew Sharp had actually drew sharp he might be alive today.

Marks out of 10: 9

¹ Fuck you. Aerial Telly has no need of or interest in your “thoughts”.

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