Breaking Bad Jesse's Revenge
How do you catch a psychotic mastermind who has you by the balls? If you are the DEA, perhaps you find a witness to his misdoings and put them together in an attempt to get your guy to talk. If you are his partner-turn-adversary, going the "legal" route may not feel much like revenge. Either way, when two people on either side of the law have a common interest, the game just changed. Here is where we are in Breaking Bad.
Last week, we found Jesse in a fit of rage over a discovery that Walt is not only a horrible person that kills drug dealers and cooks meth, but he is also capable of hurting small children and this realization hurts on a larger level: it's not just Jesse's girlfriend's son Walt hurt, he hurt Jesse. Walt returns home to find his house soaked in gasoline: Jesse's attempt to burn the place down. But he didn't follow through and Walt is not sure why. Did Jesse change his mind?
To try dissuading the situation, Walt comes up with some elaborate story about a gas pump malfunction and gas covered clothing soaking in the floor. Walt Jr. tells him to stop lying. What? No, he doesn't realize his dad is a compulsive liar in regards to meth and murder, he thinks his dad is lying because of his lung cancer. It's good enough for Walt. He suggests that the family go and stay in a fancy-pants hotel.
Meanwhile as Walt and Saul continue their hunt for Jesse, we are given access to exactly what happened. Jesse didn't "get over it," as Walt thinks, rather Hank catches him before he is about to set fire to the White household and convinces him that they are on the same team. It's logical, which isn't a trait that Jesse always seems to have, but this time he goes with it. Rather than take him to the DEA's office, knowing that Walt will find him there immediately, Hank takes Jesse home. Marie, who, if we are talking about people losing it, has really taken the cake, is all on board. Yes, keep this drug-addict criminal in my home and I will serve him coffee as long as it will help get Walt in the end.
Hank has Jesse tell his long and sordid tale into a video camera so that regardless of what happens, they have a confession on tape. But it's just his word against Walter's; they need to get Walter to talk.
Back at the hotel and after a few vodkas, Skyler tries to understand why Walt doesn't just kill Jesse already. She actually says something along the lines of "what's one more." Damn, she is cold. But Walt says no. He can talk to Jesse, like he always has, and things will be fine.
He asks Jesse to meet him in the "square" the following afternoon. It's perfect. Hank will wire Jesse and they'll get their guy the good old-fashioned '70s cop drama way. But just as Jesse is about to go to Walt, something stops him. He may think that the whole thing won't work; he may think that Walt is going to kill him or it might be something else. Catching Walt by wired conversation is just plain lame. This guy deserves more.
He deserves to squirm. He deserves to run. His offenses are so extreme at this point; putting him in cuffs through the legal system just seems silly. Jesse needs (and we the audience) a head on a tortoise type of payback.
The very last moment, Walt "makes a call" to the guys who do bad things to people. Maybe Jesse isn't off limits after all.
Throughout this show, Jesse has been wrought with many vices: pot, meth, heroine for a time, women and loneliness. Walt , on the other hand, has been stoic, strong; nothing seems to penetrate him - except Jesse. Jesse is Walt's Achilles Heel. Despite how screwed up his affection for Jesse is demonstrated, through letting his girlfriend die, dragging him into this lifestyle, attempting to kill a kid, it always comes from a place of love. Walt loves Jesse; he is that student with "potential." They are partners in crime, comrades, father/son. It's one of the most complex and spellbinding relationships ever seen on television. Nothing about it is cliché; it is so human. And Jesse loves Walt as well, in spite of all the horrible things he has done. Why do we love the people that treat us the worst? Who know, that's just what people do sometimes.
But like any good superhero movie, your closest ally has to become your nemesis, and creator Vince Gilligan has set up the ultimate battle for all times. There are four episodes left to go.
On a side note - best line of this episode when Saul's guy says he went to find Jesse at his pothead friends' place, Badger and Skinny Pete, and all he found was them going on and on about "something called Babylon 5."
Get the Theater and Arts Newsletter
Exclusive discounts and announcements to Houston theater shows and art events