Breaking Bad: End Times   Rewatch 
December 29, 2014 7:34 PM - Season 4, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Hank pushes Gomez to pursue one last lead, while Walt struggles to protect the family. Jesse gets alarming news and rushes to meet with Mr. White.

"I have lived under the threat of death for a year now. Because of that, I've made choices. Listen to me. I alone should suffer the consequences of those choices. No one else. And those consequences, they're coming. No more prolonging the inevitable."

The song under the prophetic gun-spinning scene: Apollo Sunshine, We Are Born When We Die.

Interesting in a rewatch to read the critics' contemporaneous interpretations of the ricin plot: Aaron Paul won the 2012 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy for his performance in this episode.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I think my favorite part of this episode is finally seeing Gomey take some initiative (and chances) with his investigation at the laundry. He's been such a blank foil to Hank up to now that it's nice to get to watch him growing in his role.

Walter, again with the persuasive weapon of honesty, reminds Jesse that the only person around with the proven coldheartedness to use and murder children for his own ends is Gus

Even though we find out very shortly thereafter that he's being *wholly* dishonest, I find it hard to believe that anyone watching the show at this point is giving Walter the benefit of the doubt. (It's especially galling to hear him say "I alone should suffer the consequences" when he's left a pretty broad trail of victims behind him already, not to mention that by the time in Season 5 that Jesse calls him out for the destruction they've wrought and he gives the "empire building" speech, he specifically brushes off any concern for external consequences.)
posted by psoas at 9:54 AM on December 30, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also I'm curious what it was that tipped Gus off to not go to his car in the hospital parking lot, though I suppose to get to his level you have to have a sixth sense about that sort of thing. Watching Walt freak the fuck out about not getting to use his car bomb was pretty great tho.
posted by psoas at 10:27 AM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also I'm curious what it was that tipped Gus off to not go to his car in the hospital parking lot, though I suppose to get to his level you have to have a sixth sense about that sort of thing.

Within the reality of the show, I figured he caught a glimpse of Walt - hint of movement or a glint off the binoculars or something. He started scanning rooftops before leaving.

I think it was mostly a narrative thing though - the show liked the take a lot of dramatic license where Gus was concerned. Their furthest departures from reality - except the jet liner crash - tended to cater toward 'Gus is borderline superhuman' to provide a proper antagonist for Walt.
posted by mordax at 10:40 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


He might have spotted Walt, but I think it's plausible for him to simply realize that it would have been a good opportunity for an ambush. Gus himself must have seen or planned a number of ambushes and car bombings, and he knows Walter is trying to kill him. I figured he just realized "Hmm, my car was unguarded for 20 minutes. This might be a trap."
posted by isthmus at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2014 [2 favorites]


He might have spotted Walt, but I think it's plausible for him to simply realize that it would have been a good opportunity for an ambush.

Also entirely possible.
posted by mordax at 12:20 AM on December 31, 2014


I'd assumed Gus was tipped off by some niggling doubt about how Brock got sick: "What if he was poisoned? How would he get poisoned? Hm... Walt knows Jesse, might know Brock, might know poisons in particular, but certainly knows chemistry in general. But why would he--? Who knows. Whatever. What if he did?... Since Walt knows chemistry, he probably knows something about explosives, and he's already tried to kill me at least twice.... Plus this car's been left unattended because I brought my muscle with me. Guess I'll take a cab."
posted by johnofjack at 8:02 AM on December 31, 2014 [2 favorites]


I really like the contrast between that cold open, with its frantic pacing and high emotion, and the scene immediately after the titles, with Walt just sitting idly by the pool, apparently doing nothing of consequence.

On another note entirely, Walt's been wearing dark clothes all this season, but in this episode he's wearing a green shirt which isn't terribly dark. I thought at first it might be the one from the pilot, but it's not. I'm not sure if it's even meant to remind us of the pilot, but it did make me think of just how much Walt's ethics have shifted since his diagnosis.
posted by johnofjack at 10:10 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


On rewatch: usually Jesse's at least somewhat aware that Walt's manipulating him, but this time Walt convinces Jesse by letting him feel like he's controlling the situation. It's not at all accidental that Walt puts down the gun and Jesse picks it up; that's the key to his gaslighting of him, because Jesse having a gun to Walt's head sells this monologue:

"I've been waiting all day waiting for Gus to send one of his men to kill me. And it's you. [...] The one thing that he needed to finally get rid of me is your consent. And, boy, he's got that now. He's got it. And not only does he have that, he manipulated you into pulling the trigger for him."

That reads as plausible to Jesse, and that overcomes his distrust of Walt; even though a minute before he had correctly guessed that Huell had lifted the ricin from his pocket at Saul's office.

Walt has never been a better liar than in that moment.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:27 PM on January 23, 2018


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