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.