Breaking Bad Season 5 Review “Rabid Dog”

Breaking Bad (1)

“Mr. White, he’s the devil. He’s smarter than you. He’s luckier than you.”

It always feels like it’s been so long since the last episode, but Breaking Bad finally returned tonight with an episode title reminiscent of season four episode “Problem Dog”, but this time it was titled “Rabid Dog”. The episode was written and directed by Sam Catlin, who has written ten episodes of Breaking Bad, but has never directed anything before. It was risky to hand an episode over to a first-time director this late in the season, but overall I thought he did a pretty solid job. While not the most mind-blowing episode I’ve ever seen, “Rabid Dog” did a great job at moving the story along and gave us a very clear indication of how Jesse and Walt’s story will end.

I never really thought Jesse would go forward with burning the White’s house, since the house that Future Walt visited in the opening of “Blood Money” didn’t look burnt. It was dilapidated and condemned, but not burnt. We’ll get to what stopped him later on in the episode, but it was a little disappointing to me that the crazy final scene of the last episode didn’t amount to anything. Seeing Jesse going crazy and dousing Walt’s house with gasoline was such an effective “Holy crap!” moment last week, but now nothing’s come of it. Jesse didn’t burn the house and Walt cleaned up the gasoline, so crisis averted. It feels like they just wanted the last episode to end on a high note, but then didn’t go through with it.

Seeing Walt dealing with his family is becoming pretty hard to watch. It’s almost embarrassing at this point how quickly and easily Walt lies to them. He doesn’t even seem to be pulling off his BS stories anymore, as even Walt Jr. can tell that he’s full of crap. Walt Jr., who is by far the most oblivious character on the show, and one of the most oblivious characters on any show, can see right through him! There definitely seems to be an increase in Walt/Walt Jr. scenes in this half of the season, so I’m really hoping that this means that Junior will learn his dad’s secret before the series ends. They’ve developed such a close relationship, so it’s going to be absolutely heartbreaking if or when Junior finds out.

Now I may not be as down on Skyler as other Breaking Bad fans are, but her behavior tonight did rub me the wrong way. I get that she’s in an impossibly difficult situation, and that there’s really no easy way out of her predicament, but she’s trying to have it both ways. She’s already made the decision to side with Walt and go against Hank, and she helped him make that video to frame Hank as well, but now today she’s back to her old judgmental self. First she condemns the video she helped him make by calling it “terrible”, but then she turns around and suggests that Walt kill Jesse to get him out of the way. You can’t criticize him for being a ruthless drug lord but then recommend that he kill someone!

While I do enjoy the fact that Marie’s role has been increased after Walt’s secret came out, I’m not sure I care enough about her story enough to see a scene with her and her therapist. I’m glad that it was only one short scene, but I hope that’s the last we see of that storyline. Besides, now Marie can have a hand in Walt’s downfall by helping out Jesse and Hank by bringing them coffee!

Speaking of Jesse and Hank, I had assumed that Jesse had simply chickened out when he didn’t go through with burning Walt’s house. It was definitely quite the reveal to see that Hank stopped him and eventually convinced him to wear a wire and spy on Walt! There has been a theory about Jesse wearing a wire for a while now, so it was cool to see that all of the little hints that Vince Gilligan and crew have been dropping have been intentional. There was definitely an opportunity for this new storyline to seem a little “too TV”, as Jesse and Hank teaming up to catch Walt could have felt a little contrived, but I love the touch that they still don’t get along. At first I thought that Hank was forgiving Jesse of their rocky history just to further his case, but it was great to hear him say to Gomez that he didn’t care if Jesse died while spying on Walt. It’s clear that Hank hasn’t forgotten Jesse for tricking him way back in season three, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The promise that Jesse knows a better way to bring down Walt is intriguing, so I can’t wait to see what the next episode brings.

With Hank and Jesse formulating a plan to take down Walt, and Walt calling Todd to (most likely) have his uncle and his guys kill Jesse, we’re definitely going towards an explosive series finale. What did you think of the episode, and how do you think it’s all going to end?! Sound off in the comment section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I sometimes have a hard time keeping things straight on this show, as far as who knows what, but how much does Marie know about Jesse? I half expected her to ask “Who’s that?” when she opened up her guest room door and saw him sleeping there, but instead she seemed to immediately figure out who he was and what it meant. He didn’t seem to know who she was at all, calling her “The lady”.

– When Hank reached across Jesse to put his seatbelt on, I totally thought he was giving him a hug. That would have been incredibly awkward, but also incredibly hilarious.

– I wonder if the sale of Hello Kitty phone cases will go up after these last couple episodes.

  • R.I.P The Rocket

    I can honestly say that I did not like the episode tonight. I don’t get how Jesse can’t see that Walt really loves him. Skylar sees it even hank sees it. But anyhow, nest week Todd and Linda return. So things should really heat up.

    • Jay Mucci

      But why would he really see that? I mean, we sometimes don’t realize when our own fathers love us because maybe they were always extremely hard on us as children (not in my own case… but in a lot of people’s lives)… and therefore never could tell if their father or mother really loved them or not. Plus, Walt is soooo manipulative and deceitful with Jesse, and that even if Jesse DID realize that Walt does care about him (in his own twisted way)… he might be like, “so what?? who cares?? this guy ruined my life and WILL try to kill me if his back is against the wall enough” (which is now the case)

    • Jay Mucci

      Plus, I think Jesse is too close to Walt and been lied and manipulated to too many times by him, to be able to see what Walt’s true feelings are. If he sees that Walt didn’t even care about that innocent boy getting shot, why would he be able to really see what his feelings for him (Jesse) are? Sometimes you do need someone else to point out something to you (that might seem obvious) because you are simply too close to the situation to get any perspective on it. Just like for a long time, Jesse kept wanting to believe Walt, even though he was obviously lying.

  • Jay Mucci

    My guess is that the scene of Marie at the therapist’s is not just some time-filler. Maybe her talking about how she has fantasies of killing Walt are something to really pay attention to. Or maybe Vince Gilligan is just wanting us to believe that anyone on this show could eventually kill Walt. But I doubt that he threw that scene in there simply as a time-filler… esp. this late in the game. As for Skyler, it was pretty disturbing that she was suggesting having Jesse killed… but I took it like, “well, Walt, you’ve done tons of horrible things so far… why not one more thing?”… not in a way where she necessarily wanted Jesse dead… but more in surprise that Walt hasn’t done it by now… and why is he so loyal to Jesse, but yet would think nothing of framing Hank? Some people might not like Hank acting like, “who cares if Pinkman gets killed, as long as we catch our man?”… but then again, he’s a DEA agent… so despite the personal reasons for wanting to capture Walt, capturing bad guys IS his job… and no matter how much we might like Jesse’s character and hope for some type of redemption for him, let’s not forget that he IS a murderer and drug dealer/addict. But I DO hope he is the one that brings Walt down (by luring him into some type of trap… possibly using Walt’s hubris and overinflated pride and intelligence against him?)… and finds redemption. I also hope that the son finally learns more… just like with Marie, I don’t think scenes with the son are just time-fillers… I think the son is going to be more important in the next few episodes than anyone would assume.

  • MJ

    Finally one reviewer who candidly evaluated this week’s episode. I sense the last 2 weeks very little has transpired and the Jesse despondency/angst has been drawn too deep. I get Jesse realizes Walt did not poison Brock with ricin but did use the child to enlist Jesse in taking down Gus Fring. Still though, Jesse’s growing hostility to Walt seems ill-conceived in light of the fact Jesse doesn’t even know about Jane’s death and the times Walt saved Jesse’s life (Tuco, Gus Fring, street dealers, near being caught in RV with Hank. After all that history, Jesse’s flipping for Hank seems implausible to me in light of 4 seasons building Jesse’s relationship with Walt & sense of street code. And, that’s before he discern’s Jane’s death. But even if If Jesse were truly so angered, then he’d have torched 308 Arroyo Lane without batting an eye, even with Hank present. And Marie, my god, Oh No! Nearly fast forwarded through that shrink scene. Just no way a long-time Law Enforcement Officer’s wife will suddenly resort to contemplating breaking the law to murder someone, even her brother in law. Especially if she’s aware Jesse’s coming in on Walt. All in all not much happened these last 2 weeks other than implausible plot conventions.