Man oh man, this show. You think you know what way it is heading, and then it decides to take a sharp corner in which you did not see. This is storytelling at its finest folks.
First off let’s start with the small stuff. As much as I dislike Todd, not so much the character but his actions, I am really happy the writers are slowly, but surely continuing his story. Despite Todd being a quiet character, the moment he tells the train heist story to his cooking pals, I began to see him differently. He is a younger Walt. He began as being quiet and calculating, but has grown to become boastful and proud. I can see no better fit to carry on Walt’s crumbling empire.
Simply giving this episode the title “Confessions” was brilliantly misleading. Sure there were confessions made, but these confessions were but a way to misguide and, in the case of Walt’s confession, purposefully betray others- and what a confession it was. Walt has done some pretty despicable things to protect himself, and to a degree his family, but making a confession video stating that Hank forced him into cooking meth may be the worst thing he has ever done- and this is saying something. He may have poisoned a boy, and killed more than a few men in order to get what he wants, but to not only destroy Hank’s family, but also reputation is just cunningly evil. In the past Walt may have falsely told himself that he got into the meth business to protect his family, but now that that family is but a barrier it is time to remove them-in any way possible. The real kicker though came in the form of Marie confessing to Hank that Walt helped pay for his medical bills. Now Hank is connected to Walt’s blood money and has even less of a case. I must say though, as emotionally intense as these scenes between Walt, Skyler, Hank and Marie were, leave it to the writers to add some perfectly timed awkward humour to the mix (no kid they don’t want some damn freshly made guacamole, can’t you see they are brooding).
These last few weeks, I have been wondering what will happen to Jesse. Will he meet his demise at the hands of Walt; will he simply try to get out; or will he enact his revenge? Well it turns out that two of these things happened (and I am still positive the third will follow). Jesse being interrogated by Hank was not as intense as I thought it was going to be- and that’s a good thing. Hank is on thin ice right now, and his history with Pinkman is not the best to say the least. As Walt told Hank, he must tread carefully. As admirable as it was to see Jesse unwilling to give up Walt just yet, as he must protect his own skin as well, I find it to be futile. Jesse knows how this will end for him, as seen with his bitter confession to Walt in the dessert. Aaron Paul’s performance in this episode was nothing but outstanding, as we see how much Jesse has grown, both emotionally and mentally. He is no longer some stoner burnout that grabs his crotch crudely and says “Bitch” all the time (although I do sometimes wish they would bring his catchphrase back). He is calculating and experienced. However, this is not say that Jesse is cold and calculating, a distinction that must be clearly made, for if he was, well, then we would not need Todd to take over the business now would we?
Jesse’s confession, or rather epiphany, in the dessert became all the more heart breaking when Walt told him to get out of town and save himself. While some may see this as Walt protecting his old partner, I don’t think that is the case. With Jesse gone, that will be one less person Walt will have to kill. Walt embracing Jesse was not a form of compassion, it was a threat. That hug said more than any words could- you know what I am and what I have done so leave before the same happens to you. Who knew that hugs could be so menacing!
Jesse simply packing up and heading to Alaska would have been too clean of a getaway. This show has never been the one to wrap things up in a pretty bow and ship them off…well to Alaska for whatever reason. Seeing Jesse wait on the side of the highway, waiting for a new beginning felt like more of a defeat then anything that has and could possibly happen to Jesse. If this second half of the season has taught viewers anything it is that one cannot bury their past so easily. Thus, you can understand my sheer joy when Jesse looked at his cigarettes and another bittersweet epiphany came to mind. The ricin coming back into play was a stroke of genius on the writer’s parts. Just the anger and hatred in Jesse’s face as he confronted Saul and began to beat the utter hell out of him. Now Jesse wants blood. To say Jesse becomes Walt’s nemesis or villain would be misleading-as Walt is pretty much the devil in white and a villain at this point- but, perhaps he can redeem himself as an anti-hero of sorts. Seeing him burst into Walt’s home and begin pouring gas everywhere, I think he is about to become just that.
“Confessions” delivered on every front as an episode. It solved some long forgotten mysteries, added some more tension and gave us something to look forward to, as bleak as it may be. There is no going back now. Everything is about to collapse for Walt, and, personally, I cannot wait to watch his empire come crashing down around his feet.