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AMC (ended 2013)

Breaking Bad S05E09: "Blood Money"

For your listening pleasure, Jim White's "Wordmule" (click the middle of the black bar.)

This is it, guys. The beginning of the end of Breaking Bad. And boy did it feel like it. The sense of finality that wafted over the intense, near-perfect, wasting-no-time final-season premiere "Blood Money" was thicker than the pot smoke in Saul's waiting room or the stink left behind by Hank's dumbo deuce-drop in Walt's bathroom. With only eight episodes to wrap things up, creator Vince Gilligan and crew opted to drop the hammer and gun it, starting the end almost immediately in "Blood Money."

It shouldn't be surprising, but it is. Too often shows backload endings into a final season, but Breaking Bad is frontloading it. I mean, Hank and Walt in the garage! Oh my god I probably watched that ending five times in stunned silence each and every time. That Breaking Bad would, in the first episode of its final season, put Hank and Walt into a confined space completely shattered the 10 Commandments of television. "Thou shalt not blow your load too early," I think one of them goes. But Gilligan is writing a new testament, as he always has with Breaking Bad, and its fully abides by Breaking Bad's main tenant of suspense over action. Breaking Bad has its "Can you believe that happened?" moments, sure, but it's really built on a different question that keeps getting asked: "How are they going to get out of this one?"

That trademark suspense and question was all over the final scene of "Blood Money," one of the most powerful interactions Breaking Bad has seen, and it was masterfully doled out in stages that built and built until the audience was on some sort of Jenga structure that brushed the clouds. Heart attacks were everywhere. When Walt drove up to Hank's driveway the air in the scene changed. When Walt engaged Hank with the smallest of small talk I nearly fell off my couch. How does a question about potato salad become that intense? And when Walt interrupted his departure with a look of, "Oh, one more thing..." in his eye and TURNED AROUND to go right back into Hank's den it was almost too much to handle. And that's all before the major confrontation. 

We can all make guesses about why Walt decided to ask Hank about the tracker he found on his car, or even why he went over to Hank's at all. If you ask me, Walt's the kind of guy who would rather know bad news than ignore it, and as an intellectual he knows there's power in knowledge and Hank held that power. Walt can react to the concrete facts of a situation better than he can in a situation where he assumes them, and in a head-to-head situation on an even playing field, chances are Walt is going to win. So Walt went there to find out exactly how much Hank knew as soon as he could because every second he spent not knowing meant Hank held the upper hand.

If that setup pushed us to the edge of the cliff, what happened next stomped on our fingers save for our little pinky one. Hank exploded on Walt with a monologue of "Previously on Walt Screws Hank." Hank screamed about Walt driving into traffic on the way to the laundry from Season 4. Hank was furious over the phone call saying Marie was in the hospital when Walt and Jesse were hiding in the RV in Season 2. Hank accused Walt of orchestrating the 10 jailbirds plucked in prison in Season 5. Hank pegged Walt for the bombing at the nursing home that killed Gus in Season 4. And Hank correctly pinned the name Heisenberg on Walt. 

Rather than protest too much, Walt's reaction to Hank's grilling was measured. Almost eerily so. He didn't outright deny the claims, but he feigned some ignorance as to "where this is all coming from." He said the "wild accusations" would destroy the family. And in an almost childish ploy, he dipped into the Hallmark section and said his cancer was back. It's an odd reaction to seeing his life potentially blow up in front of his face, it was almost vacant. And maybe that's where his strategy was. He didn't seem to give away anything, instead playing on Hank's devotion to their shared family and changing the subject to terminal illness.

But maybe he's relying on Hank's doubt (his goofy brother-in-law, a drug kingpin?) the same way he felt comfortable lying to Jesse about Mike earlier in the episode. Walt has spent most of the series hiding behind appearances, but he's wearing out his disguise like it's the first round of Face Off (now it makes more sense that Cranston chose to wear a Walter White mask to Comic-Con to walk freely among the geeks). It's hard to tell what was going on in Hank's mind when he told Walt "I don't even know who you are anymore," but I'm going to guess it was everything imaginable. Confusion, shock, anger, disappointment (in himself for not realizing it), all attacking his thought process to a point of mental paralysis. Walt's reply was more clear-cut, and written beautifully. "If you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly." That has two meanings. To the part of Hank that isn't convinced Walter is Heisenberg, it's a plea to reconsider what he's saying for the sake of their family; an accusation like this that goes public would destroy them. To the Hank that is positive that Walter is Heisenberg, it's a threat; it could be Hank that's next to fall in Heisenberg's path of destruction. It's the type of language that perfectly encapsulates Walt's Yin and Yang.

Phew. Now let's talk about Jesse, the Sensitive Sally of Breaking Bad who rubs his head in depressed contemplation so often that he'll be balder than Walt by the time he's 35. Kids are his Kryptonite, and the murder of Drew Sharp the tarantula collector and the empty bank account of Kaylee Ehrmantraut still lingered over him. The five million he got from Walt last half-season, the blood money, taunted him and he tried to do right by handing it off to the Sharp parents and Kaylee. "It's what Mike wanted," Jesse said, blowing Saul's mind and shredding my heart. Jesse is Breaking Bad's tragic character, and damn that Aaron Paul is great at shooting all that sadness at us.

Painful as it was, my second favorite scene of "Blood Money" was Walt's visit with Jesse. It was like Bad Advice Dad came over unannounced to suck out Jesse's entirely reasonable thinking. What made it so effective was the constant and repeated lying on Walt's part as he insisted Mike was alive and partying on some tropical island with a coconut-shell drink in his hand. His whole act was entirely paternal, he even called Jesse "son," the same way a father convinces his son that his dead dog is playing on some farm somewhere with a bunch of other happy dogs. "This is your money!" *friendly shoulder pat* "C'mon! You've earned it!" Coincidence that the bags of (blood) money were placed right inbetween then like a five-million dollar barrier? Nope. And the lies just kept coming. "I did not kill Mike." "Yes, Mike is fine." "Jesse, I need you to believe this. It's not true, it's just not." Every lie was a twist of the knife for us, and for Jesse, it was more of the same from Walt but this time Jesse appeared to be wise to it.

Jesse's wisdom came into question later, though, when he drove through the 'hood like Johnny Appleseed minus the apple seeds and plus the fat stacks of cheddar. Or Oprah doing delivery. You get a bundle of cash! You get a bundle of cash! You get a bundle of cash! That tells me that Jesse didn't so much want to help out those who have been harmed from their business (like the Sharps and Kaylee) as he wanted to get rid of the reminder of his part in it. But he'll never truly erase the memory until some form of justice is served. Remember how determined he was to kill those drug dealers in "Run" for their part in killing that kid? Well he knows exactly who killed Drew (Todd) and he's pretty darned sure Walt killed Mike, taking away Kaylee's chances of being the most popular 18-year-old in Albuquerque. What happens when Jesse learns about Walt's part in Jane's death or Brock's poisoning?

We should also talk about the ominous flashforward that kicked off the episode. The White House was in shambles, "Heisenberg" was spray-painted on the walls, ruffians were using Skyler's empty dunk tank as a skate park, and neighbor Carol was mortified when she saw Walt. Walt went straight for his hidden stash of ricin, but for what? Like the flashforward in the first half of Season 5, it's way too early to tell. 

God, this was good. Front to back, from the production assistants to Cranston's magnificent directorial work, "Blood Money" was television with no regard for worn tradition or tired patience. As an opening salvo for the final season of one of television's finest dramas, it will serve as an example and high bar for comparison for everything that follows. Yep! I liked it.



NOTES


– Dean Norris (Hank) and Bryan Cranston (Walt) were incredible in that final scene, but I'd like to especially single out Norris for the entire episode. It's rare that Cranston gets out-acted and I'll concede that Hank had the better material in "Blood Money," but wow. He was great. It's time to throw his name into the Supporting Actor race. And now I have to watch Norris spew elementary-school-grade dialogue in Under the Dome while corralling an idiot son. Ugh.  

– Add possible Emmy-winning director to Cranston's arsenal. His work here was impeccable, and some of the best the series has seen. 

– Do you think this season will boil down to Walt vs. Hank? Given the fireworks of the their confrontation in the first episode, I wouldn't be surprised if Walt "solves" his Hank problem soon and other problems come from it.

– Saul has an iPhone with a Hello Kitty case!

– Mr. Gilligan: EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON EARTH would watch Badger's Star Trek episode. This is easy money. Kickstart this bitch.

– What kind of rude hobo wakes people up during car naps to ask for spare change? That was just inconsiderate, hobo!

– The scene where Walter searched for, and found, a bug on his car could not have been shot any better. It was a perfect visualization of a world falling apart inside of Walt's head. Also, it's hilarious that the big bad Heisenberg wears a robe and slippers.

– I'm wondering about the significance, metaphorical or story-wise, of the kid playing with the RC car in Hank's cul-de-sac during the beginning of that final scene. With no artistic reasoning I can think of behind it, my overthinking says it's some form of foreshadowing. Walt's going to put a bomb on the RC car and use it to blow up Hank! Okay, maybe not that drastic, but I wouldn't be surprised if it returned somehow.




Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/29/2013

Season 5 : Episode 16

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Although to be fair that same sound effect is repeated later in the opening so maybe it's nothing.

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So I went to rewatch the episode today and noticed something. This may or may not have been mentioned here, I haven't read through everything to check.

I the opening scene, after Walt opens his boot to get the tire iron out, you can distinctly hear the sound of another vehicle pulling up (to me it sounds like a motorcycle). This is specific audio design and definitely not an accident. That Walt doesn't seem to react to this would indicate that he is not aware of it, and if I had to take a guess, I would say that later on it will turn out that Walt is being followed (probably by someone with a motorcycle), and the higher-ups in the production who are aware of this made sure to put the sound effect in so that when people watch the series back, they will be amazed by the level of detail.

(however, for the moment it gives us little hints at what may come?)
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Sounds more like a car electric window being opened! Nice spot though! Thought it could've also been the shocked neighbour pulling up. Definitely a window though!
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They hit the ground running...95% of other shows would have dragged out that confrontation...LOVE IT!!!!!
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I think this final half of the season will boil down to EVERYONE VS Hank lol
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Awesome Tim...
let's talk about what you missed and what was a critical clue.
Walter's CANCER IS BACK but we see him walking tall with grown hair in the foreshadowing scene at his house. The house itself wasn't only vandalized it was aged, especially the the little roof thingie on the terrase. A lot more than a haircut period will happen between the garage scene and the scene where Walter is retreiving the ricin.

This is what is going to happen...
Hank will cut Walter some slack to overcome his cancer with the intention to prosecute him when he is fit for jail again.
Walter will kill Hank and Marie when they least expect it. The Shotgun in his car is for them and was already used, he touched it to remember something.

The Final Showdown
...White vs Pinkman
Walter acknowledges Jesse is still a reliability and the last one on his way to freedom. Walter is trying to kill Jesse with Ricin but somehow one of his buddy's takes the poison to shoot a Star Trek episode in heaven.
Jesse now wants to go after Walt and Walt now more than ever wants to kill Jesse. I bet you my "Flower of the Valley" plant there will be a western like finale where we see Jesse having the upper hand, the camera fades to the sky and we hear a shot and Jesse screaming "how you like that bitch?"
We will not see Walter White die, this part happens in our imagination.

Any takers?
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No offence, but I would hate that ending. Let's leave the writing to the actual BB writers ... they're not so bad :)
ps: I think you missed the fact that the "flash forward" happens very close to Walt's 52nd bday. Considering it's "now" 6-7 months after his 51st and using my great mathematical skills ... I think 5-6 months pass between "now" and the start of this ep, which makes it very close to the 6 month deadline that Walt was talking about in his confrontation to Hank.
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I like Teen Wolf and Dexter but LOVE Breaking Bad. I can't believe the other shows have so many more comments then Breaking Bad.....
at least number of comments have no correlation on how good a show is (I love all 3 but the others don't come close to the excellence of Breaking Bad).
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The other shows have more comments because ppl argue with each other on whether the show is good or not. Here we all agree that the show is great - no space for arguing :D
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This ONE episodes. This 47 minutes of drama was better than.. was more satisfying than ALL of the movies that came out this summer.
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Breaking Bad vs. Dexter. I know from these threads there are a lot of fans of both BB and Dexter. It is amazing the tenor of the comments about each. Everyone, including myself, is gushing over BB and a lot of us are hammering Dexter.
Well deserved. Thanks BB for going out on top and going for it with some serious balls. I wish the Dexter writing crew had followed the same script after their Season 4.
I would highly, HIGHLY recommend that those of you who watch both, watch the next ep. of Dexter first, then BB. Watch BB first, guaranteed Dexter will disappoint more than it normally would and it's pretty disappointing! LOL.
In all honesty I caught up with BB over the last few months via Netflix and am I glad I did. GREAT SHOW. Thanks Vince Gilligan. Looking forward to the last 7. Oh yeah and luckily BB has 7 shows left, Dexter only 5.... Whew
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What a way to start this season. By far the best season opener for BB. I hope the ricin is for skyler. put everyone out of misery and kill her please walt...
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Can anyone tell me,if Talking Bad is worth watching? And if there are no spoilers for future episodes in that talk...thank you in advance
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One of the best dramas ever created for TV .. no exageration.
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No spoilers and worth watching
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EXCELLENT episode just like all of them have been!
I just re-watched the entire series and finally got to watch this most recent episode. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT (even with annoying emo Jesse--great acting even if the character is annoying when he is all mopey~~I prefer Jesse when he is coming up with good ideas like the magnets).
Great review.
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Jesse will find out Walt let his girlfriend die and kill him at the very end.
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What a performance from Dean Norris, and I loved how Hanks reaction was handled. I had thought about this, would he run to his cop buddies and look for an arrest warrant, would he confront Walt, would he tell Marie? But what happened was far more realistic than that. He had an emotional, anxiety induced breakdown. We have watched Walt and his spiral into a complete and utter sociopath (and asshole) since the first episode, and you get used to him I guess, it's still Walt. But to have that realisation thrown on you, about a family member and friend, and not just the fact that he is a drug dealer, but the lengths he went to try and cover it up. Wait till Hank realises the hit men that nearly killed him comes back to Walt too. It's also fascinating to consider how far will Walt go to protect Heisenberg?
I just want to wrap Jesse up and cotton wool and hug him. I don't think he needs to know about Jane and Brock, he probably wouldn't survive that knowledge.
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So glad this show is back on what a great episode. I noticed Walt has pretty much switched roles with gus. Remember when Walt went to Gus's place of employment begging to talk with him and Gus was like can I help you? with the look of get the hell out of here. It was pretty much the same thing when Lydia tried to talk to Walt at the car wash. Trying to get a meeting with the drug lord at his cover operation, a total role reversal.
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I mean, thank God Breaking Bad is back. There just isn't anything quite like it, it's a unique TV experience and the first of the last episodes started with a bang. Nothing else to say, let's ride this baby to the end.
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It was everything I wanted it to be.
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Walter in his Heisenberg persona has gotten away with so much, usually leaving others to deal with the consequences of his actions. It’s coming time for him to pay the piper.

In the discussion with Skyler about the car wash, Walt insists he has given up Heisenberg and he’s back to being quieter. So much so that Skyler is the one to face off, his “visitor” from the old days (one month ago).

He should find that he can’t just go back to be a “normal, everyday, boring” person. His drug contacts know who he is and want him cooking, asking nicely will stop real quickly, and he has no-one left to watch his back.

Previously Jessie would accept that Walt knows best and believe what he was told, not sure that will work anymore, Jessie and Mike respected and understood each other, Jessie knew Mike’s plans for his daughter and his people. Seems Walt might just have lost his last go to piece, used whenever the s*** hits the fan.

Henk cracked it and knows he’s been played, extensively and slugged Walter, he hit a guy with cancer and I didn’t care (now that is a problem). I hope whole thing does not end with Walter dying of cancer. Maybe Walt and family go on the run in RV mark II.

I notice Jessie took 7 mil to Saul, but when Saul called Walt, it was 5 mil. At those rates, there’s no need to cook meth, just practice law, it’s way more profitable.
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I do not know what else is there to say. This is one of the most perfect episode of any Television series. It is at least 9.5.

The only comment I can made is go watch Talking BAD after. I never imagine it would be entertaining but it is.
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great review couldnt be more spoton
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Perfect? No, but it was nice.

What bothered me was:
- Walt finding a bug way to easy
- Walt letting that book lie around for no other reason than to get caught (he knew Hank was aware of the significance)
- Hank not sharing his info with his cops/friends
- There was no room for sympathy for Walt in this episode. (maybe because cranston was directing it and therefor more harsh on his character)

I did like the flash forwardin the beginning very much and the tread lightely in the end.
I actually have a different understanding of the Jesse-Walt scene. When Walt says that he needs Jesse to believe him, it's obvious he is lying about Mike, but telling the truth about what Walt needs: he needs Jesse to be fine, he wants Jesse to not feel guilty. Jesse is and was like a son to him and that's why he 'needs' him to not fall apart.

It's a great and I wonder how it's going to work out. I do fear disappointment though.
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I felt the same about Jesse...he knows he may have to kill him if he doesn't get it together. So, he really needs him to be ok.
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The show has been incredibly detailed and everything that you have gripes about is consistent with what we've seen in the character's past dealings.

Walt was already well-versed in placing bugs on cars. He did it to Gus' car, at the request of Hank. He did it a second time to Jesse's car when he thought Jesse was lying about not seeing Gus (when the plan was for Jesse to poison Gus with ricin) - when Walt revealed he knew Jesse was at Gus' house, that lead to the huge beating by Jesse in season 4. The fact that the book was missing, coupled with Hank leaving the get together in a huge rush and then not showing up for work for days put the the idea in Walt's mind that maybe Hank was on to him, hence checking for the tracking bug (which again, Walt already has experience with using), so that's why he found it easily, he knows where to look.

Hank can't share what he knows yet without confirming it all first. If he's wrong about his theory on Walt, he will be a laughing stock the DEA, and if he's right about Walt, then his family will be destroyed - so he needs to be absolutely sure before putting out it out there that Walt is Heisenberg. Also, remember when he was specifically asked to stop investigating Fring by the former DEA boss and then he proceeded to investigate on his own time (and brought in Walt to help drive him around)? Hank is careful about confirming his wild theories first.

There hasn't been room for sympathy for Walt for a LONG time now, so I don't see how that could've bothered you anymore than in previous episodes or seasons of BrBa. He's always been about self-preservation and doing whatever is necessary to make sure he survives, regardless of how much manipulation of others (and Jesse specifically) he needs to do to get what he wants/needs. His poisoning of Brock to get Jesse on his side, about needing to take out Gus is the clearest example of Walt's humanity being completely hollowed out.

In reference to why the book was left around, see my post below, RE: Walt's ego.
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I would add to the Jessie part that there's a huge chance that if Jessie was to be not okay, there's a large chance of him being a liability. The scene where he throws bundles of cash in the ghetto was perhaps what Walt was fearing. If Walt is to figure out Jessie is as lost cause, he may have to end him. Something he clearly doesn't want to do, but would eventually have to.
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Considering Walt helped Hank plant the same but on Hank, it would make sense that he would check the car, when his suspicions were roused that Hank had made him.
Walt is a sociopath, he believes he is untouchable. His ego would leave that book on show there. I mean who could possible catch the might Heisenberg?
Hank is a great detective, he would need to check all the evidence and make sure he can definitively link Walt to Heisenberg before accusing him. Also I would imagine it will raise some questions about their relationship, could Hank be considered his accomplice?
Personally beyond his initial getting cancer, I have never sympathised with Walt and I never will.
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It's one of two things: Walt's ego gave him a false sense of security- as significant as it may seem to us, Walt had just recently done so many other things he was concerned would put him on the radar that a simple book just never entered into his CYA thought processes. Or, it's exhaustion, pure and simple- especially now that we know the cancer is back. I can see a -possible- scenario where Walt was up sick the night before, took the book with him, slept in late because he felt like shit, then boom- Hank and Marie are there and he can't find the right time to slip away.
As far as sympathy for Walt? The entire premise of this show is one man's transformation into a ruthless drug lord- if this was season 1 or 2, I would wholeheartedly agree that there should still be some sympathy for the character. But we're at the final 8- this is the end of Walt's arc- whatever he was when he started, that person is gone.
Walt finding a bug too easily? I don't think so. I think that was an excellently shot scene that brilliantly conveyed intuition- the same way Gus hesitated at his car- sometimes we have a single moment when we're just 'in tune' with the circumstances surrounding us. Hank's episode definitely registered on Walt's radar. So I think you just have to put yourself in Walt's position- your brother in-law just flipped out- seemingly without cause. He's already figured out most of Fring's operation. Walt has every good reason to be looking over his shoulder at this point. So assume you're Walt- assume you're suspicious- that this is all too easy (except now for Hank)- and the DEA investigation is right on the cusp of discovering your connection. Given those things- where's the first place that comes to mind where you might find a bug? Your car. Where would investigators most likely bug a person of interest- not a full suspect, so getting warrants for phones would be a hurdle- the person's car. You can go to a judge and say, "look, I don't necessarily have anything definitive making this person a suspect, but if we could lo-jack their car, at least then we'd know if he goes anywhere that we're looking at as part of the investigation.
To me it's completely logical- it's just enough to know if you need more. And it's a place Walter knew Hank had placed bugs in the past, so a vehicle, above everything else, would come to Walt's mind initially. Also, I'm pretty certain that if anyone had been inside of his house to plant a bug a neighbor (Carol, perhaps?) would've mentioned it in passing to Walt. And they can't get a warrant to search Walt's premises without tipping him off and sending him running.
Sorry for the novel
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"Walt letting that book lie around for no other reason than to get caught (he knew Hank was aware of the significance)" -yea that has bothered since the first part of season 5 ended
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but walt's ego had to be his downfall at some point. so he let that fact that gale looked up to him cloud his judgment about whether anyone would ever read and question the dedication
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Exactly! Walt's ego has always been his greatest flaw. It was bound to catch up with him at some point.

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned this plot point in the thread: in season 4, while investigating Gale's murder and examining his lab notes, Hank tells Walt that he thinks Gale was the elusive Heisenberg all along. Hank then expressed regret at not having the chance to arrest Gale. Instead of just leaving things at that, which could have potentially stopped the Heisenberg investigation, Walt can't even let a dead Gale take credit for Walt's work. Walt starts talking about how based on his lab notes, Gale seems more of a novice chemist and a follower, and that there's probably some other genius who taught Gale what he knows. That convinces Hank keep on investigating, and he soon after sees the "W.W." quote in Gale's lab notes, and also starts pursing Gus Fring.

So leaving around the Leaves of Grass book is perfectly in line with Walt's personality. He took out the mighty Gustavo Fring, got out Scott-free, and started getting relaxed, no longer looking over his shoulder. He certainly did not see Hank as a threat to him, even after Hank read the "W.W." line in Gale's notebook to Walt.
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I didn't think about this until I read your comment, but the reverse actually bothers me.
-Hank taking the book from atop the toilet and thinking Walt wouldn't notice.
-Hank planting the bug when he knows full well he once had Walt on a ride-along when he planted one on Gus's car. (As Walter alludes to in the last scene).
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Yeah .. that was some shoddy police work. Though if my brother-in-law turned out to be a "monster" (in Hank's own words), I don't know if I would be thinking clearly either.
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Hank is mentally paralyzed right now. The man almost died of a heart attack from shock. I'm surprised he was even clear-headed enough to sneak that bug on. Hank's not thinking about the small things right now, like the ride along. That was evident from his mentioning the 10 prisoners, the call about Marie, etc. I'm sure the significance of the ride-a-long will dawn on him VERY soon. But remember, not that much time passed between Hank finding the book and Walt showing up at the garage. And Hank spent that time reviewing the evidence to prove to himself beyond a doubt that Walt is HB. By the time Walt showed up, Hank had a fair amount of stubble, and my guess is he spent almost all of the time from when he returned from the ER to when Walt showed up shut in his garage, thinking, reviewing, never being completely convinced because he doesn't want to be. Also, Hank doesn't have a key to Walt's house, doesn't have time to create a scenario in which someone (Skylar, Walt Jr.) would give him the key, and he can't get a warrant without tipping off the DEA, ruining his reputation, risking Walt's vengeance on their family (we may believe Walt incapable of harming his family, but all this is to Hank is facts- he said himself, he doesn't know Walter at all. So to Hank the threat to Marie, Skylar, Walt Jr- that's very real. So he's not going to risk a major bug like a phone a tap. He's just going to tack one onto Walt's shitty Aztec- just to keep tabs while he reviews the evidence and builds a case and decides what he's going to do.
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Hank didn't share his info with his friends because I don't think Hank fully knew what he was going to do with it. Would he stick to his convictions and destroy his sister-in-law's family or would he stick to his convictions and protect his sister-in-law's family (and Marie) from ruin?
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I don't think Hank has even fully processed it yet. He was in such shock he had some kind of anxiety/panic/heart attack, then he needed to prove it to himself. And, seriously, how's it going to look when Heisenberg is revealed to be his own brother in law? That's not exactly a conversation I'd be jumping to have if I were Hank. Because either they'd think he'd lost it, or it would completely tarnish his career. Not to mention an investigation into whether he had prior knowledge (yes, we know he didn't, the DEA doesn't).
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They could havve thrown in a "Yeah, bitch!" somewhere. Otherwise, stunning premiere.
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The episode had Skinny Pete saying "Its Science Bitch, look it up".
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In the meanwhile there is this awesome mix of W.W transformation. Remember My Name

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU5pahZhyEQ#at=66
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I think the opening scene (the flashforward) is going to be part of the final episode. They obviously had to move out of the house, maybe the fled, may be they all get killed except ofc Walter. It was a very funny moment when he saw his former neighbour watching him and then he said "hello carol". He could have just said "BOO" and the effect on her dropping the groceries would have been the same.
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tv.com, was it a deliberate choice to hide all the line breaks (and therefore all blank lines) in all replies to comments, or did you just make a mistake?
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For example, I hit enter twice between this

and this. So there should be a blank line there.
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Great catch! We're going to have an update going out tomorrow which will correct the lack of line breaks on replies. It will also add options for video embeds, images, etc. in replies.
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Much better, thanks. It's a bit confusing that when I submit a reply that has a blank line...

...like this, it's displayed with four(?) blank lines until I refresh the page. But I can live with that.
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We're going to improve this some more so that you don't see the extra spaces immediately after submitting. Appreciate the info!
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Cool. Thanks for the reply.
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I was wondering about that too -- the kid playing with the RC car. Kids still play with those?

Of course Saul has an iPhone with a Hello Kitty case, but I wonder who it reaches...
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At work earlier today I overheard someone saying "hey did you see the new episode of.." to someone else and I ran away in case of spoilers.

The episode was great, the tension is back, Badger did his thing, and the scene of Walt just lying so much to Jesse was heartbreaking. This is why I watch the show, and this is why its the best character study of all time... Is it Sunday yet?
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The color yellow made a few choice appearances throughout the episode, does anyone here want to discuss it? The HEISENBERG spraypaint, the chemotherapy bag Walt was using, the RC car, the tools on Hank's garage were all colored yellow.
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There's been a lot of yellow in the entire series. Jesse wears yellow a lot (regular clothes) and the yellow hazmat suits they used in Gus' lab. I know there are more examples...and I noticed this preponderance of yellow as I re-watched the entire series this weekend (and monday)~~a lot of yellow and consciously thought about it since some of the scenes had a sepia tint (yellowish tint) in the series. I did not notice the tools though;-)
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I noticed that! The spraypaint reveal felt particularly menacing - as it if were done by someone who is chasing Walt, though I'm not sure how that relates to the other cases.
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Most stupid bong ever.
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A drama packed episode and as usual I have no good guess at how this show will go. With all the superhero films/TV shows and cop shows it's nice to have a likeable villian. The wire was good at it, Dexter is awesome at it but breaking bad breaks the mould. I wish this season could be a 100 episode season because tv without these villians will be a lot tamer.
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I think that Walter White has reached a point where he simply doesn't exist. I'm betting his cancer thing is a lie, either skylar or walt jr. are going to die to save walt and maybe, just maybe Jesse ends up killing him, having a redemption or kind of. Either way, awesome start for these remaining episodes, those final 5 minutes were intense!
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I'm really interested in the cancer situation. We did see Walt getting an IV in this episode and in the previous episode we saw that he went in for an MRI. So it is possible that the cancer is back, but it seemed a very quiet way to reveal it... which is the only reason why I think it could be a card that he is playing. Perhaps even going as far as keeping up appearances as a sick man, getting extra tests done to cover his tracks.
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But he threw up in the bathroom and turned the faucet on so no one would here.I don't think he's lying.
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True! Forgot about that.
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@No1Slayerette: It could mean that he is in remission but it could also mean that he stopped the chemo for it's toolate. And since the hair is lost because of the therapy not because of the cancer we are no wiser still.
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But does his hair having grown back in the flash-forward signify that he gets into remission again?
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The last scene was awesome!!!But I think my favorite scene was the first.That flash forward was almost jaw dropping.Iknew when he walked into the hallway going toward his old room he was getting the ricin.The house looks like that and the ricin still being there is pure genius.
The ricin I believe is meant for one person but who?
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yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss I cant even imagine how even more anti social ill be watching this, HOW, Dexter, and football all weekend.
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What a great Hour :
* The Opening Scene is so freaking Awesome , I really want to know why Carol is freaking Mad from Walter !
** Jesse and Walter Scene !
*** Skylar , even though I don't like her but I liked her badass scene !
**** Top moment : last fucking 10 mins !!!!
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"I really want to know why Carol is freaking Mad from Walter"

The graffiti on the wall made it pretty obvious that *everyone* in Albuquerque knows the story of Heisenberg by the time Walt turns 52.
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Simply amazing. How someone can be both incredibly threatening and tearing up at the same time like Bryan Cranstan does in the end is beyond my understanding. Someone's gotta count how many emotions were on display on his face during that scene. - And yet, in my opinion, Dean Norris totally stole the show. TV history right there.
Other than that I loved the carwash scene in particular, even more so than Walt talking lying to Jesse. Did anybody else notice the parallel to several scenes where Gus is standing behind the counter at Los Pollos, acting all nice salesman?
Still, one criticism I have is that the different storylines - Walt/Hank, Jesse, Walt Jr. eating dinner - were pretty incoherent. I understand this is a premiere and thereby a setup for things to come but I always found episodes that lacked Walt/Jesse pairings - which are a huge chunk of what makes this show so great - a bit off.
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Cranston !!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Pardon me.
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Tim, I'm pretty sure Hank was more or less certain about Walt. I could be wrong, but I don't think Walt was playing off of Hank's doubts. I thought he was more playing off their connection, and the fact that the two of them are not the only ones that would be affected by Walt's arrest. He wasn't admitting he was Heisenberg because he wanted Hank to still see him as his brother-in-law, even though they both knew he's guilty. Upon Hank's "I don't even know who you are anymore " line, Walt switched strategies (only partially) and dropped a hint as to the nature of the dangerous man within him, and what will come of Hank pursuing the investigation.

That was my interpretation, anyhow.
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You can't ever be 100% sure in such a case ;)
Even if the book proves a connection between Walt and Gale it's not as if Hank caught Walk in the act.
Admitting anything would've been a bad idea.
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Yeah I agree. Not that he was being recorded or anything, but saying anything incriminating might be too much for Hank to be able to resist bringing him in right then and there.

And I think the notebook plus the fact that Hank also knows Walt had a connection with Jesse and that Jesse had somehow got Marie's cellphone number are enough to make Hank pretty much convinced of Walt's guilt. But yeah, won't exactly hold up in a court of law.
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Man.
So much to process..I've been trying to figure out how much money Jesse has stashed away apart from that 5 million. I hope he has a good amount since he's determined to lose the 5 mil, I'm gonna have to pay attention when I re-watch the previous seasons.

I don't know why Hank is in such a hurry to out Walter considering he will look like an idiot when the DEA finds out it was his brother-in-law along, who he is super close with by the way, visits to the office and such. I feel like people in the DEA would be like "how could you not know and how did you pay for all your fancy physical therapy/doctors?" I don't think this road ends well for Hank, first thing DEA does is follow the money and Marie took a lot of it.

Also, Jesse again, why did he have to throw that money away like that? Thats going to attract so much attention..idk..maybe he is trying to get caught? He feels like he needs to be punished, I can see him spilling his guts to Hank but refusing to implicate Walter. I hope that Jesse gets a gold of himself, I'd hate to end it on Jesse self-destructing and Walter walking away.
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well said!
great points about Hank and the DEA (and Marie taking the money)...
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Where can I watch this, I don't have Amc.....
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Have you seen the previous 4 seasons? If not, you should catch up on Netflix, actually they have Season 5A on there too now. You can torrent the newest one or stream it.
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Or other means...same as me...download...
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They're releasing new episodes on netflix within 24 hours of it airing (at least they are in the UK).
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That would be so awesome to have in the US, but I think it's going to take us a while.

The closest thing we have is Under The Dome episodes going up on Amazon Prime a few days after broadcast. Hopefully it's a model for the future.
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The opening scene with the White house being condemned and in shambles, with the random teenagers skateboarding in the pool? That was brilliant. And really took me by surprise at first. And then to end the episode with the Walt and Hank scene was intense. It's got me so excited/scared for the rest of the episodes!
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Where has this episode been all my life? Hello, edge of my seat, it is nice to finally be sitting on you again.
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I don't think the episode was perfect, but damn... There were some fantastic moments in this episode. Your review covered my favorite parts of the episode.

The opening flash-forward, in which we get a glimpse at the result of Walt's 5 season journey to become Heisenberg (destruction of his home and possibly family; old friends being terrified of him; his Heisenberg identity being immortalized, but possibly in a bad way, as symbolized by the graffiti) was a great way to draw us back into the show, and was very well directed.

Jesse's story was great, albeit very hard to watch as a big Jesse fan. The scene between him and Walt was my second favorite of the episode, and made me that much more excited to see where their relationship ends up down the road. Right now, I'm almost expecting Jesse to grow so sick and tired of Walt's bullshit, as well as his life in the meth business, that he ends up teaming up with Hank to take Walt down.

And that final confrontation between Walt and Hank... OMG! While it doesn't take the place of "Crawl Space" as my favorite ending, it's got to be right up there. So much history between the two, previously unknown by Hank, suddenly coming pouring out. It's like Hank finding the book in the last episode was the first crack in the wall of a damn, which got worse as the episode went along, until it all came out in a huge burst. It was so well-written, so well-acted, and brought the characters to a pretty even ground. Sure, Walt did his usual manipulation with Hank, and I'm sure there still may be some doubt, but he obviously won't let it drop, and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

One more note: That scene with Walt and Lydia in the car wash... I got serious flashback during that scene. It was like a reflection of Walt's scenes with Gus back in season 3 at his restaurant. But now, it's Walt who's the cold-blooded (former) drug lord talking to the overly-nervous (former) employee, while trying to stay in cover as the owner of his business.
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Jesse unsuccessfully tried to manipulate Mike into killing Hank. That and the fact Hank beat the shit out of Jesse would make me think they won't work together but who knows with breaking bad--anything can happen
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In the past, I wouldn't have really expected Jesse and Hank to team up. However, with Hank knowing about Walt now, and Jesse starting to suspect his role in Mike's death (and possibly learning some other stuff soon), it's easier to imagine it happening now.
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Jesse's "blind devotion" (exaggeration) to Mike annoyed me and that biases my opinion....I just found it stupid of Jesse not to see through that staged "hero" scene that started his bonding Mike. Both Walter and Mike are "bad" guys but despite what Jesse KNOWS about both of them I didn't like it whenever Jesse seemed to like Mike more then Walter. Weird to feel jealous on behalf of a character (not to mention a character like Walter).
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Garage scene was excellent, great acting. Loved the "Tread lightly" comment from Walt. Overall first ep. was a bit slow but was a quality buildup to how this season will play out. Didn't like the depressed Jesse or him throwing the cash but obviously his actions are going to push Walt into some kind of major response. Look forward to how that plays out.
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My prediction!
Lydia came in frustrated with the 68% quality of the meth without Walt cooking. I am going to assume that Todd is still cooking for her and can only produce this quality...I'm sure Lydia is powerful enough to not let him walk out on her too.
Back to the train heist...Todd kept the jar with the tarantula that belonged to the now dead kid. He handled it very carefully...it has the kid's fingerprints on it that he can use for blackmail if needed. And you know this show never has a useless scene...there was definitely a purpose showing that he kept the jar.
Lydia spoke threateningly about "moving parts"...and the Talking Bad episode said these "moving parts" would come into play next episode....a tarantula has a lot of moving parts...basically meaning they are going to try to blackmail Walt into coming back and cooking?
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Todd shot the kid and took the jar. The jar implicates Todd. It came off as a "collector" thing to do--like serial killers collect trophies. I'm not saying Todd is a serial killer but that is how the jar scene struck me.


However, I am interested to see what Lydia does or what happens to her
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I have been thinking through the next steps of this episode...basically along the lines of what might be Jesse's idea of justice (because I think he was having some sort of breakthrough there at the end where he might be better or less morose going forward, but might think he needs to be the force of cosmic justice) especially because at first his only people he can talk to about this would be Badger and Pete. I think someone will likely interrupt Walt and Hank, whether that might have been a practical point of the kid (he hears this ruckus and just comes to knock, it also is apparently early enough for a kid to be home, which means other adults might be, or Marie forgot something) and Hank will decide he at least needs to tell Skylar the truth but needs proof. He has to realize the two people he has otherwise associated with Heisenberg who are still alive are Saul and Jesse. You just wonder how he might approach them both, especially when we know that Jesse is ready to spill.
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This has to be one of the most well-acted and developed shows in television history. Brian Cranston is a genious actor, that final scene gave me chills and not because we didnt knew about Hank confronting Walter, it was shocking because you don´t usually see two equally gifted actors delivering such perfect and powerful performance everyday on tv. I rewatched the whole show in a marathon last week and i must say was a delight.
About Walt i see he can´t even separate his normal self from his criminal self anymore, he could just not confront Hank about the tracking device but he did , which is the prove that he doesnt let things escalate beyond his control anymore, i´m quite sure Hank is gonna die anytime soon: Walter has become such a cold blooded individual that -even i´m quite sure he didnt want go there- he will kill him. He now fully control the consecuences of his actions and choices and if that means lie, kill, manipulate and hurt strangers, family and friends he would without hesitating.
Walter White is such a great character because he fall in the category of anti-hero because we sympathize with him in such great manner even he´s capable of anything to survive but is not about money anymore : is about damage control...from making Skyler her partner in crime managing the car wash / cleaning money business, to lie and manipulate Jesse until making him hate himself to pulling some dramatic monologue to Hank about his cancer coming back (which happen to be true) in order to deal with the consecuences of his previous action. I wouldnt be surprised if he ends cooking anytime soon because at the end that gives him the sense of control and power he desperetly needs now. In fact i wish he him to go to the lab and do his thing because at the end that´s one of his strongest talents: science!
About Jesse i really want him to make his way to a better life, he´s obviously sick and tired of the death and horror , tired of the sordid ways of his life but above all he´s tired of Walt´s bullshit. I want Jesse to have good life, a new start, collegue, job, a wife. Will he get rid of his pothead friends for good? he seem tired of them...sick of that empty house, drugs and pot-driven nonsense conversations, he wants redemption. Jesse started as annoying, impulsive, irresponsable and hedonistic guy but the question is: will he ever grow up? He has this weird Peter pan syndrome crashed by the reality of the ways of the criminal world, not a very good mix. I want for his happiness.
Most people think is gonna be Jesse who gonna finally confronting Walt but somehow i see Skyler as the biggest threat, she´s so uncomfortable in her own skin and so twitchy that you can see she gonna snap anytime soon.
Will He kill her?
I see that totally happening : he´s yet again hidding his cancer from her and she won´t forgive that, if he happen to eventually kill Hank she will hate him forever, even more : i suspect that she might try to kill him and if she does he would kill her, she knows too much and now their boy is going to collegue, no more excuses to not confronting each other ...just the two of them in that house. Would be a very interesting development, you know what they say: The biggest enemy sometimes is closer than you could ever imagine. This show started with a family crisis and i suspect will end with another one going to full circle.
We know the house gonna end abandoned with the name Heisenberg sprayed in the walls and the neighbours shocked of seeing Walt around in his old house which makes us think the end is gonna be really ugly when the shit finally hits the fan. I assume he will end recovering of cancer yet again but rogue with autorities hunting him down or even he coming out of jail years later trying to revisit his old house and trying to comeback as the chemical drug lord he was. We will know soon enough.

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I agree with everything you say except the "kill" part in the following "and if that means lie, kill, manipulate and hurt strangers, family and friends he would without hesitating."

I think Walter only kills when that is the only option left and I don't think he would kill his immediate family since this all started and continues to be about providing for and protecting his family they best way he sees fit.

He has killed to protect Jesse who I think he considers family but if it came down to it I think Walter would kill anyone to protect his immediate family. I don't consider Hank and other in-laws or Jesse to be immediate family even though I think Walter cares for them.
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I think confronting Hank was the right play. He had no choice once he found the tracker on his car...like Tim stated, it's better for Walt to know exactly how much Hank knows, instead of just wondering & theorizing. Now he can plan accordingly. And I said in an earlier post, WW only kills when pushed to the limit. He does NOT want to kill his bro in law, or anyone else for that matter. He just wanted to sail quietly into the sunset.. But if that's no longer an option, Walt will react accordingly, if Hank pushes him into a corner.
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"the kid playing with the RC car in Hank's cul-de-sac"

That was a callback to ep 201, where Hank and Marie were talking about having Chinese for dinner. The kid runs the car almost into Marie and into her car's tire. Hard to say if it's symbolic or just a trapping of cul-de-sac life, but it's definitely a callback.
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Yup. I think a major part of this episode in general was to remind viewers of previous episodes and seasons. Not as a refresher to catch people up or anything, but just a nice little stroll down memory lane. That's what I got out of the montage of Hank going through the old police files.
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Loved seeing the contrast between the two "hello neighbor" scenes.

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That flashforward scene revealed too much for me. Please tell me I'm wrong but to me it does prove beyond any doubt that Walt is found out to be Heisenberg. Why reveal that to us?
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The mystery about the show is not whether or how Heisenberg gets found out. That's already established. The mystery is what the fallout of that discovery will be.
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Was there ever any doubt? So many unanswered questions still, like the biggest, why isn't he in prison?
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Prison and if he faked the cancer coming back.
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Nice similarity here!

Walter to Skylar:
"who are you talking to right now? you clearly don't know who you're talking to"

Hank to Walter:
"I don't know who you are. I don't even know who I'm talking to. "
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I love Breaking Bad and I want to hug it and kiss it and have sex with it and marry it.
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Hahaha, that made me laugh...
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