Breaking Bad Season 5 Review “To’hajiilee”

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 To'hajiilee (1)

“Walter White, you have the right to remain silent.”

Oh. My. Gosh. I need a second to breathe.


Ok, I think I’m good.

With a few fans being a little disappointed in last week’s somewhat uneventful episode, Breaking Bad returned with a vengeance tonight with the oddly titled “To’hajiilee”. I expected tonight’s episode to start setting the stage for the final few episodes, but I didn’t think it would be taking so many giant steps forward! I mean, wow! They were really making up for time after last week’s installment!

We finally get to see what Todd and Lydia have been up to, but not a whole lot has really happened with them, as they’re still trying to match the same quality that Walt used to produce. What was most interesting about this scene to me was how Todd acted around Lydia. Of course Todd’s uncle and Kenny are creepily looking Lydia up and down, but you figure that Todd is a better guy, right? I’m still not sure what to think about Todd as a person, and I’m not sure if we’ll ever find out. Is he just a nice guy who’s in a rough crowd? Or does he have some kind of perverse ulterior motive? Curiously rubbing her lipstick stain, and then putting his lips right on the red mark while he drank her coffee, sure came off pretty creepy. I’m not sure if we have enough time left on the series to learn more about what makes him tick, but I kind of like the level of mystery as it is.

We then get a quick confirmation that Walt did indeed ask Todd’s uncle to kill Jesse. We all assumed that’s what he was calling about last week, but it was pretty chilling to actually hear those words come out of Walt’s mouth. Although I’ve really enjoyed seeing Walt’s transformation from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a drug lord, it’s really clear that he’s been losing his touch in these past few episodes. He’s falling apart, both physically and mentally. First his family and Jesse can easily tell that he’s lying to them, but now he can barely cobble together a plan to lure Jesse out for Todd’s uncle. While it was nice to see Brock and Andrea again, it was so clearly just an attempt to get Jesse to show up. Even if Jesse was the one to answer her phone call, you’d think he’d be too smart for that.

So while Walt does get Todd’s uncle and his men to agree to killing Jesse, he still has to agree to pay quite the price: He agrees to do one more cook with Todd. While the turbulent events of the final scene leave everything up in the air (We’ll get to that later), it will be interesting to see what happens here.

It’s truly the mark of an incredible drama that I really don’t even know who to root for at this point. Even though you can’t help but feel a little bad for Walt that his life and career are falling apart, you have to appreciate how genius Jesse and Hank’s plan was. Everything from tricking Huell, to Jesse and the brains on the floor, to the picture of the barrel, was absolute genius. Even though Breaking Bad has woven together an extremely elaborate tapestry filled motive and backstory, it’s still remarkably clear what’s going on. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of who did what, and who knows about what, but as soon as Walt gets that text you immediately know what’s going on. Just think about how much had to be built up before Hank could send that text, and all of the moving parts involved. He had to know what kind of barrel it was, and how many barrels there were, which he got from Huell. He then had to find a way to keep Walt on the phone the whole time, and learn how to track him. Very well played by the Breaking Bad writers, as usual. While I’ve greatly enjoyed seeing Walt’s rise to power, I’m even more interested in seeing his fall from grace. We know that at one point he grows out his hair and gets a giant gun before returning to Albuquerque, so I assume we’ll get filled in on that very soon.

Then there was that last scene. I mean…wow. There’s not much I can say about it, and I know there’s no need for me to recap any of it, as I’m sure everyone was on pins and needles and hanging on every single word. Just an absolute triumph of acting, directing, cinematography, even the freaking sound design was out of this world. For those of you who were concerned that Breaking Bad couldn’t finish as strong as it started, think again. We’re truly witnessing a masterwork in television.

This is going to be the longest week ever!

Random Thoughts:

– It hasn’t happened very often, but every time Jesse Plemons and Kevin Rankin are on screen together I get a little geeked out about the miniature Friday Night Lights reunion. Even though Landry and Herc never appeared on that show together, it’s nice to see them here!

– I wonder how Sanrio and the Hello Kitty people feel about their brand being so heavily featured on such a dark and gritty drama?

– RJ Mitte has never had much to do on this show (except eat breakfast), but his starstruck face at seeing the Saul Goodman in the flesh was a pretty solid piece of physical comedy.