Yeah Bitch! Magnets!!
After their best season yet, Walt & Jesse are back are to pick up the pieces in an extended fifth and final season.
Note: This is a Recap. Recap = Spoilers. Don’t bitch to me later.
If viewers thought Walt and Jesse had learned their lesson and were going to spend Season 5 quietly knitting by the White’s pool they were sadly mistaken. Unlike the fourth season, which picked up right where the third left off, Season 5 began with a flash forward to a Walt with hair (very nice) sitting alone in a Denny’s celebrating his 52nd bday eating some breakfast and chatting with the waitress when the arms dealer he worked with last season shows up to sell him a car and an M60. There’s a flash of the New Hampshire license plate on the car he’s been using which features the state motto “Live Free or Die” – the title of this week’s episode.
He gives a long hard look at his new toy before tossing a duffel bag into the trunk and shutting the lid, launching us back to the moment’s right after the death of my beloved Gus Fring. Walt returns home from the hospital before the rest of his family and disposes of any incriminating evidence, including the Lily of the Valley he used to poison Brock. There were a few viewers who hoped that it was actually Gus who may have planted the lily at Walt’s house, hoping to create further discord between Walt and Jesse. Bryan Cranston has said in interviews that this isn’t the case, it was in fact Walt who took it upon himself to manipulate Jesse into turning on Gus, and this was proved last night when he ran from the house to grab the plant and throw it out before it could be discovered.
Its then that Walt has an “Oh fuck” moment and one of the very few times you want to shout at the show “Duh!!” – it’s an obvious plot device, as BB isn’t a show that forgets details unless they’re later going to use those forgotten details against a protagonist so I can’t get too upset since it made for a fantastic episode. The cameras. He remembers the cameras that Gus had trained on him at the lab.
Just as he’s realizing this gross mistake, Hank arrives at the burned out lab to have a look around, slowly panning his flashlight until he goes up towards the ceiling and discovers what looks like a burned out camera. Doh!
My favorite hitman Mike is alive and well, feeding chickens and roosters in Mexico when the doc informs him Gus is dead. He immediately sets out for ABQ, literally almost running into Jesse and Walt on the way. Before Mike can shoot Walt for what he’s done Jesse intercedes and they explain they all need to work together to find a way to get rid of any of Gus’ recordings. Mike tells them Gus kept everything on his laptop just as we see that Hank’s at Pollos Hermanos taking the laptop into evidence.
They get back to Jesse’s to regroup and Mike finds out what police station the laptop’s being kept at. There’s a great exchange between the three of them that makes me hope we’ll be seeing these guys working together more often. After Mike and Walt argue over how to get rid of it (explosions, bombs, etc.) Jesse comes up with the brilliant idea of finding a magnet big enough to wipe the laptop clean from outside the station.
Not to be left out, Skyler has her own shit to deal with this week now that Saul’s guys botched the Beneke job. He’s not dead (remember we saw that twitching finger) and when she goes to visit him in the hospital he’s seriously fucked up! Like, head cage fucked up. Is it wrong that the first thing I noticed is that he’s got a horrible head for being shaved – he looks like one of the aliens in Mars Attacks. Skyler originally annoyed the hell out of me, but last season her character came into her own and I’ve been really enjoying her. There was an interesting moment here where she first enters the room incredibly remorseful, worried that Beneke’s going to go to the authorities and tell them that she caused his accident. She comes in tearful and apologetic until he reveals that he’s scared shitless of her and swears he’ll never tell a soul. There’s this moment when Anna Gunn let’s Skyler’s face change that was absolutely brilliant acting. She shifts from being sorry to becoming hard. Realizing that the remorseful tactic is unnecessary and that a scarier one would work better, her face hardens and she says coldly “Good.” – it’s a fantastic moment that illustrates she’s starting to learn a little from her husband, whether she wants to or not.
The most bad ass Three Musketeers ever go to Old Joe’s junkyard and purchase a large truck and car magnet to break into the station and ruin Gus’ laptop. Mike successfully blocks the camera and rigs open the gate so Jesse and Walt can drive up and start the magnet of all magnets. Walt gets a little carried away, turning it all the way up to 11 and causing the truck to tip on its side towards the wall. They’re forced to leave it, escaping in Mike’s car. He has doubts they actually pulled it off and Walt insists it worked because he says it did – illustrating that Walt’s become something new after tangling with Gus and winning. He’s the King now, and he doesn’t expect his decisions to be questioned anymore.
When the police take inventory of the evidence room they find Gus’ laptop’s been damaged when it hit the wall. But they discover something else that may or may not still lead to Walt, Jesse and Mike’s downfall – Gus had a photo of he and Max Arsiniega, the friend he started Pollos Hermanos with in Mexico who was murdered by the cartel. The glass in the photo’s shattered, uncovering what looks like an envelope with a return address of a bank in the Cayman Islands hidden behind the picture. Will the address lead them back to our um… “heroes” or will it further throw the majority of blame onto Gus?
Completely oblivious to this new evidence, Walt meets with Saul to discuss why he let Skyler wipe them out of money to pay off Beneke. Saul tries to explain that she did it to save them all but Walt’s not cool with it. a visibly shaken Saul tries to fire himself but Walt won’t let him – the contrast between the weak-willed of Season 1 and this new, physically intimidating Walt is incredible. “It’s over when I say its over.” Backing Saul into a corner may not be the smartest plan. Saul may be a spineless opportunist, but he’s a spineless opportunist with some very scary connections. He’s still on board as of now – but who’s to say Mike won’t pay him a visit next week and they start laying groundwork to get rid of a Walt who may be getting too big for his britches?
He returns home to an obviously scared Skyler. He pulls her into a manipulative and frightening embrace as he whispers “I forgive you,” further illustrating (Gunn’s face at this moment is so priceless) that Scary Walt’s in town, and as show-runner Vince Gilligan recently intimated to Rolling Stone – he’s gone off the Scarface deep end and may have reached a point of no return. Gilligan mentions in the interview that he hopes the audience is slowly falling out of love with Walt – but damn if I can’t quit that man. Scary-face and all – I’m Team Walt all the way.