I am the one who waits: PAR discusses the penultimate episode of Breaking Bad
The man who conquered the meth trade, the man who took down Gus Fring, the man who knocks is now sitting in a cabin hooked up to an IV, begging his keeper to spend two hours with him in exchange for $10,000. He gets an hour. The barrel of cash sits in the corner. The TV doesn’t work, but there are two DVDs to watch. Both of which are Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.
It may be possible to fall lower, but one would have to sit and really think about it.
This is the end result of everything Walter White has achieved. A relatively small amount of cash, and no one to buy off. On the run from the police, in a small cabin out in the wilderness.
The entire meth-cooking operation was supposed to provide for his family, and instead White is struggling to send them $100,000 by mailing it to one of Flynn’s friends.
“I don’t want anything from you,” Flynn yells when Walter finds a safe way to call. “I don’t give a shit. You killed Uncle Hank. Will you just leave us alone, you asshole? Why are you still alive? Why don’t you just die already? Just die!” There is no equivocating or questioning from Flynn. He sees his father for what he is, and rejects him. That kid is quickly becoming one of the heroes of the show, especially after last episode.
The best hour until the next one
There isn't much to say about this episode, although we're once again at the point where it feels like this is the best episode of the series, which has been a common thread of the final season. Todd isn’t just creepy anymore, as he menaces Skyler and Holly to make sure Walter’s family knows enough to shut the hell up. Listen to the calm tone of his voice, this is what it looks like when he goes to work. The meth business's equivalent to a lazy Monday spent cleaning out the deep fryer.
Todd sounds like a child when he talks to Lydia later, enthusiastic and eager to please. “You’re not going to have a problem with her, I can pretty much guarantee it,” he explained, before explaining that Lydia and he are “mutually good” together. Watch his smile. This is a killer who turns into a puppy in her presence, and I'm not sure she knows enough to be as scared as she should be.
Also, did you catch that Todd tells Lydia that the meth is 92 percent pure, but then tells Jesse that it was 96 percent pure? He’s either referring to two separate batches, or the Nazis are stepping on the product to keep a little back.
“No matter how much you got, how do you turn your back on more?” Todd asks at the beginning of the episode, and provides us with the show’s thesis statement. It will never be enough, for anyone, and the cycle of violence and turnover is going to continue forever and ever, amen.
Jesse Pinkman is one of the few characters who has ever made an honest attempt to get out, and his escape scene this week was exhilarating, if short-lived. Todd provides a material lesson of what happens when their favorite cook doesn’t play the game, however, and puts a bullet through Brock’s mother’s head. It’s not even a big scene in the show, they just drive out and do it.
This is the business Todd’s in, and he knows the quickest path to getting people to play along is terrifying and passionless violence.
There is one more episode to go, and the pieces are in motion. Walter's family is relatively safe for the time being, although Skyler isn't as safe from the law as we assumed last week. Jesse is likely in even worse shape after witnessing the death of one of the few people who ever cared about him, and it's safe to say his days of ice cream treats for a job well done are over.
Walter is off for one more adventure, and it's unclear what he knows is going on and what he can do about it. Months have passed since he went into hiding. Those stacks of bills are nearly useless to a fugitive this hot. Each of the characters are in their own personal hells, and we have one more episode to see if anyone will be able to climb out.