Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 11 – “Confessions”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Gennifer Hutchison
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, and Jesse Plemons.
Air Date: August 25, 2013
Queue up your Usher and get ready as we spill some Confessions on this week’s episode of Breaking Bad.
Since the start of the show, Breaking Bad has continually played with our expectations of how events should occur. Few things often happen in a manner that we predict they will happen (which is fitting, considering the protagonist of the show named his alter ego after a principle that deals so heavily in uncertainty). When Walt (Bryan Cranston) sits down for his second “confession” of the hour, we think he’s finally doing the right thing.
But it’s not until after a Mexican standoff in a Mexican restaurant (with Trent the waiter playing the role of the rolling tumbleweed) that we discover House White has delivered a crushing blow to House Schrader with the one-two punch of the video confession and the reveal of where Hank’s (Dean Norris) treatment money came from. “You killed me here, Marie. That’s the last nail, the last nail in the coffin.” And it is. That seems to be it for Hank’s case against Walt.
While the show’s uncertainty when it came to other characters was a bit in flux, there’s always been one constant we knew was going to happen: When Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) discovered the true nature of his mentor, all hell would break loose.
And that’s exactly what’s happened.
By the end of the episode, Jesse (the show’s aptly described Problem Dog) has been fully cut off the leash. Left with nothing, on the verge of collapse, the idea of Alaska finally seemed like a way out of the whole mess that Walter Hartwell White has created for Jesse’s life. There is truth within Walt’s ‘working’ of Jesse: this is finally an escape, a way out, a chance that so few others on this show have been given.
The confessional in the desert provides Jesse with a chance to absolve himself of his sins a bit. So when we see Jesse at the seemingly tombstone-covered dam, it not only serves as a fitting place to remind us of the lives that Walter White has corrupted in the same moment as Jesse Pinkman realizing how corrupted Walt has made him. So when the red van arrives to provide a much-need cleanse, he rejects that idea and picks another.
He’ll choose a cleanse with fire. Strike a match. Start anew.
– Okay, so we know from the flash forward that the White residence doesn’t burn down, so someone or something will stop Jesse next week. I don’t think that we were shown that scene with Hank having the tail on Saul’s (Bob Odenkirk) office be pulled for nothing. Might Hank show up and finally join forces with Jesse? Or will the surrogate son finally meet the real son?
– “Seriously? Hello Kitty?” “Seriously, it’s free. And we got a beggers-choosers situation here so stop busting my balls.”
– Question for those at home: Did you buy Jesse’s revelation, or did it seem forced to you? I like the ‘how’ of it, but the ‘why’ of it I’m still not entirely on board with. But it’s no more absurd than Hank finding out on the toilet or a train robbery.
– Speaking of a train robbery, that opening scene with Todd (Jesse Plemons) and his uncle felt like something entirely out of a Tarantino movie. And yeah, there’s no way the neo-Nazi brigade’s return to New Mexico will spell out trouble for everyone else.
– Love how Walt steadies himself in an attempt to play it cool inside the car wash.