Monday, August 26, 2013

(TV) Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 11 “Confessions” Review

“Confessions” was another excellent addition to the two equally brilliant opening season episodes that has started at a pace faster than the speed of light. This edition is slightly slower than the last two episodes but there was lay up in the intensity and tension that has enter this show in the conservation as one of the great shows ever to grace television.

We start off with Todd and his Aryan colleagues in a restaurant recounting the train robbery of last season where conspicuously left out the small minor detail involving him murdering a little boy. This introduction into the episode may seem to be inconsequential but it is clearly going to lead to Todd dragging Walt back into the meth business as the events of last episode made clear that the operation wasn’t prepared to accept any drop in the quality of its product.
If there was any episode as a testament as to why both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have been winning Emmys for fun over the last few years, “Confessions” would definitely suffice as both excelled this excellent episode. We start with Jesse and Hank having a tense conversation with Hank laying down his cards flat  revealing that he knows Walt is Heisenberg which brings a small reaction from Jesse who despite Hank’s offer to hang Walt out to dry, tells Hank to ‘eat me’ as he still clearly hates Hank’s breathing guts.

Saul comes to save the day and rescue Jesse again trying to talk sense into his less than compliant client with Jesse clearly not caring about much of what is coming out of his mouth as he clearly knows that Saul is less his lawyer than he is Walt’s. Almost all Jesse’s actions as a result of his guilt have got back to Walt through Saul so for Jesse when Saul opens his mouth to speak, he hears Walt’s words come out.

Sure enough Saul calls Walt and informs him of Jesse’s flirtation with philanthropy with Walt sounding more boss like with every phone call so far this season. However, Walt has other problem to deal with as the White-Schrader split widens even further when Marie sneakily tries to invite Walt Jr. over only stopped by Walt Sr. ruthlessly using his Cancer to keep his son close and more importantly, away from Hank and Marie.

This scene sets up another excellent restaurant scene this half of season 5 between the Whites and Schrader’s that was jam-packed with tension a Ginsu Knife couldn’t cut through with Walt demanding that his kids should not be brought into their dispute with Hank and Marie more than resolute in their disgust and anger at Walt and Skyler with Hank offering jail time and Marie offering suicide, forcing Walt and Skyler to leave only leaving behind a CD of a tape they made earlier.

This scene made for great television but we are reminded by the small but hilarious interruptions by a chipper waiter how palpable the tension between the Whites and Schrader really is.

Walt has largely denied his meth cooking exploits to both Hank and Marie since Hank smacked him right between the eyes at the end of episode 9 and if you had taped his and Skyler’s dialogue up until the tense restaurant scenes, they haven’t really said anything worth taking to court.

However, any further use of the tactic playing defence and saying nothing crazy to incriminate themselves by the Whites was surely ended when the Schrader’s decided to play the CD left by Walt at the restaurant clearly expecting a contrite mea culpa  but instead got a smack right between the eyes as they witnessed a Oscar winning tour de force by probably the best fictional actor in modern television.

Walt (and Bryan Cranston’s) performance effectively painted himself as a victim while painting Hank as a uber-corrupt DEA drug boss and implicating him in a number of Walt’s own crimes at the same time. While it doesn’t really condemn Hank as he can still present a convincing case against Walt, it certainly does paint Hank and Marie in a corner as Walt’s faux mea culpa was chilling in its utter believability which I am sure had many at home (or me at least) muttering “son of a bitch!!”.
The next scene between Walt and Jesse was great and epic in a sense reminding me of that great scene between Robert De Neiro and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s   Casino when they meet in the Las Vegas desert with Nick Santoro (Pesci) less than pleased with Sam Rothstein’s (De Neiro) Nattering to the bosses back home.

We, from Episode 9 see the effect Walt had over Jesse for the lion share of this great TV series has waned as he clearly see through Walt technically excellent but emotionally retarded act as Walt effectively tells Jesse to get out of town through an offer of giving Jesse a brand new start to “reset” which had me worried that he may send Jesse to “Belize”.  Jesse finally decides to call Walt out his fake concern and demands that he stop “working him” and ask him to leave without using his neat little trick of selling his own self-interest as a “everybody wins” type of deal.

I got to admit I didn’t know what going to happen as Jesse ends his tirade and Walt starts to walk toward Jesse, stops a for a beat staring Jesse in the eye then hugs him as Jesse grudgingly accepts as he breaks down in Walt’s arms which show there is at least a semblance of the bond they once had. However, any rehabilitation of Jesse’s relationship with Walt turned to pulp as while he waited for the Saul arranged trip to anywhere but New Mexico, the penny many a Breaking Bad viewer have been waiting to drop in Jesse’s head finally did and it served as a catalyst that will finally turn Jesse against Walt for the rest of the season.

Jesse had realized that it was Walt who poisoned Brock with ricin cigarette with a little help from Huell and Saul. With the Penny still ringing in his head, Jesse storms into Saul’s office, assaults him and gets to a gun in his desk drawer and sticks it in the seedy lawyers’ face looking for answers.

Saul, Beaten bloody and out of options, spills the beans to Jesse while assuring him that he didn’t know what the ricin cigarette was going to be used for and who it was going to be used on before Jesse steals his keys and bolts. After his ordeal, Saul calls Walt to warn him that Jesse knows which leads to short scene where Walt rushes to the car wash to pick up a revolver hidden inside a Coke vendor then leaves. We return back with Jesse “parking” on Walt’s driveway getting out of Saul’s car to pop the trunk and take out a full can gasoline which use uses after kicking down the door

In sum, “confessions”, just like the two episodes before it, was an excellent hour of television and another example of why this show is great and why TV will be poorer when it last episodes play out.      


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