‘Breaking Bad’ Recap: Walter White Implicates Hank In Confession; Jesse Douses Walt's House In Gasoline
Breaking Bad continued to parlay its five nearly flawless seasons into one of TV’s tensest final seasons with “Confessions,” in which the bottom continues to fall out of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) manipulative plans.
"Confessions" began with Todd (Jesse Plemons) leaving his former meth-cooking mentor Walt a message before entering a diner to meet with his uncle and his uncle’s buddy. Since Lydia (Lauren Fraser) had Declan and his crew slaughtered last week, she’s in need of some new management and Todd thinks these guys could be up to the task. In order to lure them in, he recalls the methylamine siphoning train heist – and tells them how much money the stolen product could make them.
Meanwhile, Hank (Dean Norris) is back in the interrogation room with Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The video camera is off, the windows covered and it's just Hank and Jesse face-to-face. The DEA agent lets Jesse know he knows that his own brother-in-law is Heisenberg. An incredulous Jesse lifts an arched eyebrow, but betrays no other words or gestures to confirm Hank’s “conjecture.” Before Hank’s empathetic appeal about being lied to and manipulated by Walt can work, Saul (Bob Odinkirk) barges in and calls off the interrogation, citing Hank’s past pummeling of his client.
At home, Walt tries clumsily to apply Skyler’s (Anna Gunn) makeup to his bruised eyes as Flynn (RJ Mitte) makes to head out the door and off to Hank and Marie’s. Before he gets out, Walt yields him and tells his son that the cancer is back. Just as he intended, he doesn’t have to forbid Flynn to stay home; Flynn insists. Later on at the house, Walt sits on his bed as Skyler sets up a camcorder. Looking directly into the camera, a worn and withered Walt begins, “This is my confession” – a well-applied nod back to Breaking Bad’s pilot episode.
The new team of Walt and Skyler sits down to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, appearing to be waiting for two others to join them. Soon enough, stony-faced Hank and Marie (Betsy Brandt) take the remaining seats. Walt refuses to admit any crimes, and tells Hank he has no proof of anything. Walt’s not Heisenberg here, however, he’s more like chemistry teacher Walter White. He’s smart but he’s simple, and family and avoiding confrontation are his top priorities. Walt asks Hank why he’d say anything and ruin their family, and more specifically, ruin Flynn.
Marie tells Walt that he should kill himself. Skyler tells Marie that that’s uncalled for and that “it” is all in the past. Hank tells Walt he should be a man and just turn himself in. And, it seems for a moment that Walt might be keen to oblige. He tells Skyler it’s time to go and slides a disc across the table that presumably has the contents of the confession on it, and they leave the Schraders to their own devices.
When Hank and Marie get home, they pop the disc in and let it play on their big screen TV as they stand watching Walt’s confession, their mouths agape. It’s a confession, but it’s not the kind they were hoping for. Instead of admitting to being the evil Heisenberg, Walt falsely confesses to merely being a pawn in a bigger game run by a controlling, murderous agent of the law and his relative by marriage – Hank Schrader. He implicates his brother-in-law in just about every crime they’ve pinned on the infamous meth cook, and he even has a cash trail to make it plausible. That $177,000 gifted for Hank’s physical therapy? Drug money given to the puppeteer of the operation.
Knowing that Jesse and Hank faced off, Walt arranges to meet with Jesse and Saul out in the desert. He seems to believe Jesse when he tells him he didn’t tell Hank anything, and that Hank, lacking evidence, hasn’t told anyone else. Walt once again assumes the paternal cloak to manipulate Jesse. This time, it’s to get him to basically get lost. Jesse calls him out, shouting, “Would you just, for once, stop working me? Drop the whole concerned dad thing.” After Jesse reveals he knows Walt killed Mike, Walt walks measuredly towards him – and embraces him. Jesse crumbles into a shaking mess of sobs, and you know he’s going to do just as Walt suggests.
Jesse, following the relocation plan, arrives at Saul’s office to get his orders. He’s to meet a guy on the side of the road, hop into the car with him and do as he’s told. As he’s standing on the desert sands waiting for his ride to arrive, Jessie realizes his weed is gone and has been replaced by a pack of cigarettes. Adding it all up, he realizes that the mystery of the ricin cigarette that had eaten him up for months was the work of Walter and Saul. Irate, he refuses the ride and heads back to Saul’s office with a gun, getting a confession before he barrels out and heads to the White house. Storming up the driveway, kicking down a door with red gas cans in tow, he dumps the gasoline furiously all over the place, and then the credits roll.
Breaking Bad returns next Sunday on AMC at 9/8c with a blaze-ready house and Walt faced with a dilemma in Jesse that might require his most malevolent move yet.
– Chelsea Regan
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