Tuesday, September 10, 2013

(TV) Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 “To Hajjee” TV Review

They did it again !! god damn it !! they did it again !!!!. 90% of the shows on modern television can’t go an episode or two without dropping the ball yet Breaking Bad since the opening of the second half of season five hasn’t let up in quality constantly displaying why there is talk as to whether TV is beginning to surpass film.

Needless to say, episode 13 “To Hajilee” was a barn-burner of an episode and just the shot in the arm the narrative needed after the still excellent slow burn of last week’s “rabid dog”. After last week's episode served as a setup for the events of this one, we were definitely expecting major plot developments in episode 13 and boy did we get them!! The episode started with Todd, Lydia, and the Aryans in the lab Todd attempts another cook and achieves an improvement over the operations former meth cookers in purity but still nowhere near Walt's cook.

This leads to a short but telling scene between Lydia and Todd that was pretty creepy as the always pleasant Todd apologizes for his cook and invades Lydia's personal space offering to get his uncle to sort any concern of his buyers to which Lydia, surprisingly cool about the breach of her personal space, politely rebuffs the offer while offering what seemed like a veiled threat as we all know there's no A for effort in New Mexico's drug underworld. 

We learn that opening scenes of last night's episode took place before Walt's call at the end of episode 12 as Todd receives a call from Walt requesting a meet with Uncle Jack to arrange Jesse's one way trip to "Belize".

After the opening credits, we're with Hank, Jesse and Gomez under a overpass with Gomez still salty about Jesse messing up the meet with Walt but becomes less so when Jesse A.K.A"Tmmy Dipshit" reveals his plan to go after Walt's money. Ever since that epic conversation, Hank have been behind the curve as Walt from the off has played what should be a very weak hand to perfection with him effectively daring Hank to take him in knowing full well it would be the end of his career coupled with that tape where Walt's "confession" implicated Hank as Heisenberg while painting himself as the reluctant help.

With this new focus Hank and Gomez trick Huell into spilling the beans about his role in moving Walt's meth cash and its potential whereabouts with a fake picture of Jesse found dead with brains on display and a cock and bull story about Walt coming for him next. While the story of Walt killing Jesse is easy to buy given that he spent the whole episode trying to get it done, it is very unlikely that if that happened that Huell would be next to bite the bullet making it incredible that Hank managed to trick Huell with such a flimsy story. However, given all the suffering and blood that has yet to dry on Walt's hands over the last five seasons of this brilliant show, fear clearly clearly trumps logic.

Breaking bad is an amazing as it doesn't really have a protagonist worth rooting for (maybe except for Jesse) as Walt has so clearly lost his soul as we meets with Todd and Jack to discuss the terms of under which Jack and his crew carry out a hit on Jesse. While Walt does ironically show some concern for Jesse when ordering his murder asking for his death to be quick and painless, it's clear its not really concern but the fear that Jesse might be the only murder he has either ordered or committed that has the potential to weigh on the little moral conscience he has left.  

Walt's insatiable need for power and control has been his fatal flaw and for most of this second half season five, he has been in control but it's that he has totally lost control of those around who also been the people best. No episode in season five yet has shown that has thirst for control is the precise reason why he will lose it with no one buying his lies and the moving parts he could once have singing to his tune now going against his will, no scene shows this so apparent it than the best 15-20 minutes of television you'll see all year, but we'll get to that later.

The rot starts when Jack,  in need of Walt's meth cooking expertise, plays his hand and tells Walt that he will kill Jesse on the condition that he does cooks meth for the operation forcing Walt to get back into the business he was trying to distance himself from. Seeing that no was going to be an unhealthy answer, Walt reluctantly agrees to cook but only once after Jesse is dead. With both Walt and Jack unaware of Jesse's whereabouts, the ever cold calculating Walt dons his best Ward Cleaver rendition when shamelessly pays a visit to Andrea with Brock in toe in an effort to draw Jesse out by getting her to call Jesse with a B.S. story about him and Jesse having an "argument" in order to lure him over to kill him.

However the plan fails as Walt still doesn't know that Hank has Jesse's cellphone with his brother in law realizing just how low Walt is prepared to go to protect himself. Walt continues to lose his usually uber vice grip over events as Hank, Gomez and Jesse play the nastiest trick they could ever play on Walt, threaten to torch his precious barrel load(s) of money as Jesse, Gomez, and Hank realize that they are now one step ahead of Walt. 

One of the strengths of Breaking Bad is that its writers know just when to press down the gas in order to push the story forward as we leave a good but slow scene where Saul meets Skyler and Walt Jr. with Skyler dying for Saul to leave, Walt Sr. waiting for him outside and Walt Jr. starstruck by a local celebrity. after a brief chat with Saul revealing just how much Walt underestimates Jesse ability to read when he is trying to play him.

What happens next after he goes back to the car-wash waiting room starts one of the best and craziest 15-20 minutes in modern television as Walt receives a photo message of what looks like one of Walt's barrels of cash which sets Walt into a panic only worsened by a follow up call by Jesse as Walt runs past both his wife and son without even looking at them which goes to show that Jesse really was about to burn where he really lives.

Jesse sells a speeding and panicked Walt one hilarious threat to burn his money after another in between Walt justifying poisoning Brock, arguably his most heinous act in all five seasons. He explains that he needed to get Jesse on side and had the nerve to get all consequentialist about the fact that Brock didn't die and that Jesse should have known he knew that he wouldn't kill a child as he knew how to administer enough ricin to avoid the boy's death. In this instance, Walt proved beyond doubt that the only thing worse than a crime is the logic behind it and Walt's reasoning for poisoning Brock sent a chill down the spine.

Walt finally makes it to the spot where he buried his meth cash then realizes that he has been rumbled by Jesse, his ex partner in crime he has managed to effortlessly lie to and manipulate from the jump. Walt hides behind a rock and waits until a SUV pulls up,  Walt panics and calls Jack to rally his troops until Jess, Hank and Gomez hop out of the SUV making him call the hit off after realizing he can't kill Hank or Jesse. after a long beat of an armed Hank and Gomez calling Walt out. Walt revealed himself and allowed Hank revealed how they knew how to find him after he cuffed and read Walt his rights,

Hank, who has always been prideful (though without Walt's levels of hubris) decides to make a call to Marie to tell her the good news of having Walt "dead to rights". Walt in this instance had lost total control of the situation and had to deal with his apparent fate of spending the rest of his life behind bars. over the past five seasons, Walt has fought formidable enemies and won  but has ended being bought down by Jesse and Hank, the two people he may have cared about but he clearly didn't respect enough to see as real threats to his need for control owing much to his blinding pride.

The last paragraph would have been a satisfying end of the story as the criminal is bought to justice by the people his acts affected the most but fortunately for us Breaking Bad watchers, the good people at Breaking Bad don't care about what suits 90% of the shows that populate the TV landscape. 

Walt may have lost control this episode but with the arrival two vehicles on the scene, Walt immediately realizes that it's Jack and his crew armed to the teeth and the price he may have to pay for trying to take control in. With his hands literally tied behind his back, all Walt can do is scream at Jack that the deal is off knowing full well begging won't work considering they outnumber Gomez and Hank in men, guns, and considering the caliber and size of their guns, bullets. 

Walt loss of control compounded as Jack decided not to listen and brought his crew read to shoot with guns trained on Hank and Gomez. What happens next is one of the most ridiculous negotiations in TV history as Jack asked for Hank's and Gomez's badges promising he'll leave if they could confirm that they were police men. From what we've seen of jack and his crew and the number guns and men they have over Hank and Gomez, it was highly unlikely that that Jack would back off.

After a beat of tension packed silence, Breaking Bad went all Sam Peckinpah as both sides let exchanged bullets with Jack's crew man and gun advantage forcing Hank and Gomez to take cover behind the SUV Walt was in. the episode ends with literally with all guns blazing setting up next week's episode a must watch anybody who's a fan of  great TV never mind the standard viewer of this great series as we enter it last three episodes.

Till next week!!!


Starting from tomorrow, the carnage report will start an episode by episode review of FX's Sons of Anarchy which promises to be one of it's best. the first episode review will go live on Wednesday so check it out!!!       





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