Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 12

End Times

16
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 02, 2011 on AMC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
374 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Hank pushes Gomez and the DEA to pursue a lead. Jesse gets alarming news while Walt struggles to protect his family.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The best slow episode of the series

    9.0
    "End Times" was the calm before the storm I had expected, but that isn't to say it was a bad episode. With little stuff actually happening, the intensity was sustained by director Vince Gilligan with a little help from his phenomenal cast.



    Calling it calm is a bit incongruous, but the scenes at the Schrader household simply are the slower scenes and didn't have any effect on my sitting position (later scenes had me curling up into a ball due to the suspenseful atmosphere). Nevertheless, they include the by far best bit of screenwriting of the episode ("Because it's not Nazi Germany, all right?"). Walt, who isn't aboard at this jolly family gathering, spends the time next to his pondering pool or puking pool, depending on which character sits next to it and later gets into a conflict with Jesse, in a scene that one can only describe with "Wow". Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston have had so many unforgettable scenes together over the course of Breaking Bad, but here's another contestant for number one. Paul additionally gets to participate in heart-wrenching hospital scenes and has another splendid conversation with Gus taking place, and this location decision is probably the best over the whole series, in a church.



    As if my heart wasn't throbbing at a critical pace already, he then (in fact, that was before the aforementioned scene, but my text structuring is awful) also discovers that his ricin cigarette fled the coop and Walt fails yet again at the kill Gus mission. Oh, and if that just sounded dull, I should probably mention that the enactment was totally awesome. So, while "End Times" isn't as big of a deal as the episodes before and after, it's without a doubt the best slow episode of the series.

    moreless
  • "An Appropriate Response" (Spoilers Ahead)

    10
    The DEA offers Walter Jr., Holly, and Skyler protection while Walt refuses saying he has to look after the car wash since the assassins aren't after him. Hank looks into the convenient timing of his death threat and gets Gomez and another agent to look into the laundry where Hank suspects (correctly) about the super lab. While it's being searched by Gomez and a dog Jesse and Tyrus have to shut down the machinery and wait for them to stop. When Gus calls to inform Jesse that this heat is from Walt Jesse still refuses to let Walt be killed but Gus ensures that there will be an appropriate response. Jesse gets an urgent call from Saul to come get his money from him as he is leaving town due to the rising conflict. While Walt stews in his neurosis of paranoia Jesse gets a call from Andrea that Brock is in the hospital and shows signs of sickness despite being fine earlier. When he goes out for a smoke he realizes the Ricin cigarette is gone. Jesse freaks and tells the doctors to look into it as treatment. He visits Walt and turns Walt's gun on him because he thinks it was him that poisoned Brock even though the only fact we have is that it's not Walt. I think the kid just found it inside the cigarette when he wanted to smoke one. The scene between Walt explaining how Gus is behind it and how it fit so poetically into an end of Walt's life was masterful in every sense. With Jesse won back and the partners back against the world Walt began making a pipe-bomb while Jesse refuses to leave the hospital to get Gus's attention for the when the current batch goes bad. Gus arrives and tells Jesse that he can remain to look after Brock's condition and he can make up for it next week and when he returns to his Walt is about to blow it. But Gus stops in the parking garage and looks around, full of suspicion. Walt sits on a rooftop to set the detonation just right but Gus abandons the car. All hope is not yet lost though but there will for sure be some explosions next week. This season finale looks to be the best yet, Gus will get his comeuppance Hank will move closer to Gus's guilt, Walt will become the new drug leader of sorts, and maybe Mike will return from Mexico. The best series on TV for sure, too bad this season is almost at an end. Great thing we still have a whopping 16 episode fifth season to get us along next year and possibly half the next. Breaking Bad always continues to amaze as the most invested and all around well made produced series of the past decade.moreless
  • Missing poison, knock 'n' talk, and an unexploded bomb: Suspense rules the day. [spoilers]

    10
    Anyone can show an exploding car, or a firing gun. Delaying the explosion and the bullet is an art. Twisting the guts of the viewer without letting up, and making that insane level of tension make perfect sense, is mastery of the art. We buy it. All those slow episodes we sat through early in the season, picking up details and feeling out the characters ... that provided the structure that episodes like this one rest on.

    There are two other themes intertwined with the suspense: mystery and allegiance.

    First, mystery. How the hell did Brock get poisoned? Last time we saw The Cigarette, it was sitting on Jesse's living room floor. It's unlikely that it was forgotten there, and unlikely that Tyrus would know enough to use the poison. But it fit perfectly with the theory that Gus would have Brock poisoned to inspire murderous rage in Jesse. There's nothing so tense that a little paranoia can't be added. And there's another mystery: how can Jesse justify knowing that the boy took a very rare and lethal poison? Andrea is a mother before she's a girlfriend, and there's no way she'll let this matter drop, no matter how good Jesse's intentions.

    And this dovetails into the allegiance theme. With this poisoning, Jesse is ready to kill Walter, just as Gus would have him do (after nakedly trying to sway Jesse's opinion earlier in the episode). But just as Jesse's about to pull the trigger, a newly-familiar laugh bubbles out of his target: the ruthless Heisenberg pieces together what Walter alone cannot calculate. And this unlikely scenario of Gus poisoning Brock plays so perfectly off of Jesse's soft spot for kids and Jesse's learning that Gus threated to kill Walter's infant daughter (he heard it from Saul first, which is probably why he believed it) that Jesse's core allegiance has shifted.

    So Saul skips town. Aw! We'll miss Bob Odenkirk (for a time), but it was time for his character to make a break for it. Many touches, big and little, made sense from the characters' perspectives. On the "little" side, there's Skyler asking the agents for a cigarette, and Walt Jr. grousing about his pigheaded dad staying in harm's way. On the "big" side, there's Gomez taking Hank's challenge to do a knock 'n' talk, coming within a hair's breadth of revealing everything.

    And on the "huge" side, there's Gus and his preternatural sense of danger. He avoided a messy death by nothing more than his instinct. A twist like that would be impossible -- un-buyable -- without the work this show has been doing with Gus since late-second-season. Now, he is going to find out that there was a car bomb, and he will suspect both Walter and Jesse. At one time, Gus could have found an accord with Walter's cool reason and with Jesse's fierce morality, but no more. No more accommodation. Conflict is not just unavoidable, not just imminent. It's in action. The final two monsters left, Gus and Heisenberg, must do battle.

    There is simply no more they could have done with this hour. I rarely rate anything a perfect 10, and Breaking Bad has had several perfect hours. This episode joins "Bag's in the River," "737", "Over" and "Half-Measures". In my opnion, no serialized drama on TV has knocked 'em out of the park like this.moreless
  • End Times

    10
    End Times was a perfect episode of Breaking Bad and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was so much suspense and character development. The actors really are superb and the story writing is awesome. I love how every thing ties together and builds up. Walt and Jesse come to an understanding after a shocking discovery and Gus initiates an appropriate response which turns out to be something surprising. Gus truly is a criminal genius. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • I wish it was the Season 4 finale already

    10
    Oh my gosh, I didn't want this episode to end... I was so hooked on this episode and didn't want to get off my couch to go to the restroom, get myself a drink from the kitchen, etc. unless it was commercial break. I wish it was already the Season 4 finale because I want to see if they Walter, Jesse or anyone else will kill Gus. Walter packing the things for the family and telling them to stay at Hank's house so they can be save was awesome. I wonder what happened to Mike because he hasn't appear since the last episode when he was at the hospital. I wonder if he either died or the hospital is still recovering him. Hopefully, the Season 4 finale will explain it because I'm a little confused if Mike is going to make it or not. Moving on, the whole storyline was excellent. Jesse seeing that someone poisoned his little son was very intense. Jesse coming over to Walter's house and aiming his gun at Walter because he thinks that Walter poisoned Jesse's little son was so freakin' intense. Walter helping out Jesse about Gus and all that was very good. I hope Walter and Jesse's partnership comes back since I've always joined their partnership in Seasons 1-3 especially when they cook. In this season, they really didn't have a lot of partnership but it was still good. The very ending was making me really shake because I thought Walter OR Jesse were going to kill Gus but they didn't. I wonder if Gus will finally be killed in the Season 4 finale next Sunday night. It will be so freakin' intense if Gus is finally died. Overall, I wish it was the Season 4 finale already. 10/10moreless
Mike Batayeh

Mike Batayeh

Dennis The Manager

Guest Star

Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

DEA Agent

Guest Star

Virginia Montero

Virginia Montero

Grandma

Guest Star

Ray Campbell

Ray Campbell

Tyrus Kitt

Recurring Role

LaVell Crawford

LaVell Crawford

Huell

Recurring Role

Tina Parker

Tina Parker

Francesca

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The hospital scenes were all shot at a hospital that was closed down in Albuquerque for a number of years. All of the rooms were real hospital rooms and areas, including the chapel. According to the podcast, they may not be able to shoot there anymore because it might be refurbished back into a hospital.

    • Steven Michael Quezada hosts a talk show in Albuquerque and many of the cast has appeared on the show. During the podcast, Vince and Aaron stated they had appeared.

    • As per the insider podcast, a scene was planned where Jesse goes to Saul first before going to see Walt, trying to see if the ricin was indeed lifted. But it was nighttime and there was no reason why Jesse would go to the office during the night when Saul wouldn't be there.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Walt: I've been waiting, all day, waiting for Gus to send one of his men to kill me, and it's you! Who do you know who's OK with using children, Jesse. Who do you know? Who's allowed children to be murdered? Gus! He has been ten steps ahead of me at every turn and now the one thing that he needed to finally get rid of me is your consent, and boy he's got that down, he's got it. And not only does he have that, but he manipulated you into pulling the trigger for him.
      Jesse: But only you and I knew about the ricin!
      Walt: No! You don't even believe that. Gus' has cameras everywhere, please. Listen to yourself. He's known everything all along. Where were you today? In the lab? And you don't think it's possible that Tyrus lifted the cigarette out of your locker? C'mon! Don't you see? You are the last piece of the puzzle. You are everything that he's wanted. You're his cook now. You're the cook and you have proven you can run a lab without me, and now that cook has reason to kill me. Think about it! It's brilliant! So go ahead, if you think that I am capable of doing this, then go... do it. (Walt takes Jesse's wrist and puts the gun at his own forehead Put a bullet in my head and kill me right now.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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