All those bad things you feared and hoped and dreaded and anticipated happening as Breaking Bad marched toward its series finale? Now they’re starting to happen. ::has Ativan and Captain Morgan at the ready::
Lydia has traded one unpleasant drug manufacturing group (“that dude who looked like Wolverine”) for another (Todd and his miscreant Uncle Jack and various oily sidekicks), and although they give her the creeper crawlies, at least Todd’s able to get the quality of the meth up to the mid seventies percent purity. Todd isn’t quite adept enough as a cook to make sure the blue colour their meth is now famous for, which is a concern. I mean, would the Golden Arches still have the same cache if they suddenly turned slightly goldenesque in the right light, if you squint? When Todd is finally alone with Lydia and her migraine, he makes her a nice cup of tea and encourages and reassures her that everything will be okay, especially after they run off and get married. Well, he doesn’t say that but he sure is thinking it. Lydia preemptively covers herself with a thousand antibacterial wipes and flees as fast as she can on her high heels.
As Todd is practically kissing her by drinking her tea where her lips touched the mug, he gets a call from Walt (Todd’s ringtone is, fantastically, She Blinded Me with Science). It’s the call Walt made from the park after Jesse threatened him over the phone. Walt tells Todd he has another job for his Uncle Jack. When Todd matter-of-factly asks who the target is, Walt is once again taken aback. He really doesn’t want to see himself as a cold-blooded killer, but desperate times etc., etc. It’s even worse that the target is Jesse, but he finally says it and there’s no going back. He has to do it, right? Jesse left him no choice, right? Right?? Todd, the most polite sociopath you’d ever want to meet, doesn’t even blink. Jesse dead? Consider it done.
Gomez is way skeptical that Jesse might have a viable plan to catch Walt, but that’s because he only knows Jesse as an idiot junkie, and not the dude who thought up the great train heist when even Walt and Mike were out of ideas. His thought is simply this: attack Walt in his Achilles heel, namely his money. Jesse knows him all too well.
Using their DEA resources, Hank and a somewhat reluctant Gomez pick up Huell le bodyguard and make him believe his life is in danger because Walt thinks Huell knows where Walt’s secret money stash is, and Huell should be extra scared because look at this – Walt’s already killed Jesse! Hank shows Huell a photo on his phone of Jesse lying in a bloody pool of what is actually livestock brains. Genius. It works like gangbusters, and Huell instantly breaks down and tells them all about the van Walt used to transport his seven barrels of loot, and how it was covered in desert dust when Walt brought it back, but he sure as heck doesn’t know anything more than that. Score!
Walt meets with Uncle Jack to set up the details of the hit on Jesse. Walt still valiantly tries to make this seem like anything but what it is: an assassination. He makes sure they understand that Jesse is a good person (good lord) who just won’t listen to reason. So kill him quickly and painlessly. Like he’s, you know, a good dog that’s gone rabid. Jack is amused at Walt’s need to keep his own hands clean of this messy work, but agrees to help him out – if he’ll cook for them one more time and give young Todd some pointers for the future. What choice does Walt have unless he wants to strangle Jesse with his own two hands? He agrees and Jack insists they shake on it, thus passing on his guilty killer cooties to Walt. Bummer for you, Mr. Blameless!
Walt, still under the impression that he’s the only mastermind in town, tries to flush Jesse out by getting Andrea to call Jesse and tell him Walt is right there, in her house, with Brock, ooh boy you better come quick to save them! Meanwhile, Jack’s henchmen are waiting outside the house ready to cap Jesse the second he shows his adorable yet weary face. Now, this plan might have actually had some traction if Jesse had heard this call, but he didn’t. You know who did? Hank. And Hank’s response is a sneering, “Nice try, asshole.” Looks like “asshole” is Walt’s new nickname. It does suit him, doesn’t it? Brock certainly thinks so, and he should know.
Hank, Gomez, and Jesse are discouraged to discover Walt’s rented van doesn’t have a GPS so they can’t track where he buried his money. Never fear, they’re not about to quit now. Not by a long shot.
Back at the car wash, Skyler is training Walter Jr ask a cashier/keeping an eye on him so Jesse can’t club him to death with his own crutches. Saul comes to visit the happy family, and informs Walt that Huell has disappeared off the face of the earth. As per usual, Walt sorely underestimates Jesse’s intelligence and need for revenge, and assures Saul and his bulletproof vest that he’s overreacting. Why, Jesse’s probably drugged up and weeping in some dark corner right now!
After Saul leaves, Walt only has time to caress the gun in his pocket and smile fondly at the family for whom he gave up his humanity before he gets a photo emailed to him on his phone. It’s his money, dug up and still in the barrel Huell so kindly described to Hank earler. Jesse calls him and tells him he now has six more just like it. Game on, motherfucker. For once, Walt completely loses his cool. He rushes out of the car wash without even attempting to hide his fear from Skyler and Jr. He leaps in his car and drives like a maniac toward the place he buried the money, not even thinking about what exactly he’s doing. He can’t lose the money, the reason he’s become a monster! Jesse tells him he tracked the location down using the GSP from the rental van, and needless to say Walt doesn’t have time to fact-check this assertion. When Jesse tells him to meet him there or the money will burn, Walt well and truly panics. He tells Jesse that his cancer is back, he begs him to think of Walt’s children. Jesse thinks that one is especially hilarious. Walt loses his temper, wanting once again for Jesse to understand why he had to do what he did, but how much Jesse owes him. He shouts out a litany of his sins, poisoning Brock, killing Gus and everyone else, and for what? To keep Jesse safe, only Jesse’s too stupid to know it. Um, speaking of stupid, that right there is a recorded confession that renders Walt’s fake confession of Hank’s guilt null and void. Just saying.
Jesse hangs up just as Walt arrives at the money burial ground. When he realizes that he’s alone, the magnitude of his error become apparent. He belatedly pries the battery out of his phone and tosses it away like it’s a snake that just bit him. Too late, here comes a vehicle behind him. He can’t believe what’s happening, how he miscalculated so badly. He and his gun hide and he hastily calls Uncle Jack and gives him the coordinates to where he is (which he’d used as lottery numbers, yo). As he’s begging Jack to hurry, he peeks out to take a look at Jesse. But it’s not just Jesse who gets out of the car, it’s also Hank and Gomez, armed and dangerous. This is the final blow for Walt. Jesse has betrayed him, moved to team Hank, and sealed his fate. The phone confession, leading them to the money – he’s lost and Jesse and Hank have won. He begins to cry as he tells Jack to forget it. It’s too late, don’t bother to come.
He comes out from his hiding spot and drops his gun. He allows Hank to cuff him and read him his rights as Jesse looks on with disbelieving vicious glee. Jesse points out that he knows this place on the To’hajiilee reserve (thus the title of the episode); it’s the first place he and Walt ever did a cook together. Aw, how sentimental of Walt to choose to bury his money there. The only thing Walt has to say is to Jesse, just one word: “coward.” Jesse replies by spitting in Walt’s face. Walt attacks him even though his arms are handcuffed behind his back and they ineffectually scuffle as only Walt and Jesse can. They put Walt in Hank’s car and Jesse in Walt’s car so they don’t kill each other. Gomez congratulates Hank on single-handedly breaking the Heisenberg case, and Hank takes a glorious moment to phone Marie and tell her the most excellent news, as excited as a kid on Christmas morning, if all you wanted for Christmas was a meth lord. They share a tender, tearful moment, him saying things will get better for both of them now, and that he loves her. That’s about when my stomach dropped. Has Hank never watched a movie in his life? Doesn’t he know that when the protagonist proclaims his love for someone, that means it’s all about to go straight to hell?
Sure enough, just before they get into their cars to leave, here comes Uncle Jack to fuck everything up. He and he heavily armed posse get out of their vehicle and assess the situation. There’s Walt in the car, arrested, begging them not to kill anybody, thus confirming their status as accessories to murder and drugs and sundry mayhem. There’s the two DEA agents who have seen their faces and are about to take Walt away to a small, dark interrogation room where he will undoubtedly name names. They do they only thing they can do, and open fire. Hank and Gomez dive for cover and shoot back, but they’re out-manned, out-gunned, and trapped. It is looking very bad indeed for Hank, Gomez, and Jesse, and there’s no reason now that any or all of them can’t be killed. Which is why Vince Gilligan ends the episode there, leaving us hanging an entire week to find out their fates. Augh!
And then I went and took some Tums and tried to stop my hands from shaking. True story.