‘Breaking Bad’: These Are My ‘Confessions’

With every new episode of Breaking Bad comes seriously heightened anxiety levels. We’ve all endured some pretty panicky moments over the course of the show, but no episode has ever come close to the tension “Confessions” created. Let’s start from the beginning.

The opening scene brought us to a diner with Todd, his uncle, and a cohort, all of whom were just returning from laying a smackdown on Declan and his subpar meth lab. Todd let Walt know what went down via a voicemail and then, after sitting down at the table, gloats about his involvement with the train heist in what felt like an attempt to convince the older, hardened criminals that he was ready to head up his own lab. We don’t hear about Todd again or the rest of the episode, so it’s unclear whether or not Walt actually heard the message.

In the next scene, Walt seems to be focusing on more important things than his cell phone. He’s trying to cover up his black eyes with concealer while also talking to Walt Jr. He’s not totally engrossed in the conversation until Jr. mentions that Marie invited him over for dinner. Walt perks up mid-makeup application and, just as his son is walking out the door, he pulls him back in. He has to think fast, so he does the one thing he knows will keep Walt Jr. in the house: he drops the “C” bomb. He was clearly not ready for the news and decides to stay home, just like Walt, the expert manipulator who chose to go after his own son, knew he would. When Hank gets home sans his nephew, Marie panics. She becomes more on-edge once she realizes Hank hasn’t revealed his secret to anyone at work. The scene cuts to the White residence, and Walt recites and records the beginning of what sounds a confession, which starts out almost identically to the one in the pilot.

Awkward family meals seem to be a White/Schrader family tradition, but this one was by far the most uncomfortable – and the only one that felt like it was going to end with Trent the waiter prying a guacamole-topped chip from somebody’s  cold, dead fingers. Hank, Marie, Walt, and Skyler meet at a Mexican restaurant to talk about the case. Walt asks Hank to drop it, but everyone already knew the answer to that question. Marie suggests that Walt just end his own life, but Hank and Skyler both oppose that (obviously for different reasons). Walt and Skyler leave, but not before Walt places his confession DVD on the table.

Marie and Hank pop in the DVD back at the Schrader residence, standing throughout the whole thing. In a very Regina George-like twist, though, Walt places the blame on Hank and names him as his main accomplice. Hank and Marie go blank. They both know they’re backed into a corner. The only thing that could possibly condemn Walt is Jesse’s word. Otherwise, the DEA could very well believe what Walt said in his tape. Why else would Hank not turn him in? How else could he explain not knowing that one of the most prominent drug manufacturers in the state was right under his nose?

Which brings us back to Jesse, who made it clear to Hank earlier in the episode that he planned on staying quiet. He and Saul are waiting in the middle of a desert (where else?) to talk to Walt about what happened during Jesse’s interrogation. He assures Walt that Hank hasn’t told anybody in the DEA about his findings and Walt has his opening. He suggests that Jesse create a new identity for himself. Jesse, however, finally sees through Walt’s Shield of Bullshit and recognizes that Walt only cared about Jesse’s well-being because it directly affected his own. Jesse breaks down and Walt hugs him, but he can’t bring himself to return the sentiment. Jesse and Saul head back to his office, where they go over the specifics of Jesse’s escape plan. Jesse lights a joint, which Saul immediately forces him to put out. He doesn’t throw it (and several others) out like Saul wants him to – he just puts them back into his pocket.

After the plan is finalized – Jesse hopes to go to Alaska – Huell drops him off at the pickup spot. Visibly nervous, Jesse reaches into his pocket to take out another joint, but he comes up empty. He realizes that Huell took it out of his pocket before he left Saul’s office, bringing him to another revelation: Huell took the ricin cigarette back in season four, too. Jesse’s eyes widen even more as he puts two and two together and figures out that it was Walt who poisoned Brock. He walks in the other direction and his getaway car pulls away.

Jesse, raging, heads back to Saul’s office. He immediately punches Saul and grabs a gun from his desk, holding it in front of him until Saul admits Walt wanted the ricin. Jesse takes the keys to Saul’s car, and, as soon as Jesse is out the door, Saul calls Walt.

Back at the car wash, Walt and Skyler are both distracted for different reasons. She doesn’t even think twice when Walt, not at the top of his game lying-wise, says he needs to check the soda machine and then conveniently remembers that he needs to pick up a prescription. Nothing was wrong with the soda machine, of course; he needed the gun he had hidden in there because Jesse was on his way to the house. Jesse, in Saul’s car, speeds down Walt’s street, screeches into the driveway, and haphazardly parks, running over the mailbox in the process. Jesse is crazed – he breaks into their home and pours gasoline all over the living room. Before he gets the chance to light a match, the episode ends.

Some additional observations:

  • Marie wore black tonight. BLACK. That can only be ominous, right?
  • Marie also calls Walt Jr. “Flynn.” Just like the younger Walt chooses his name depending on his allegiance to his dad, so does Marie.
  • Jesse’s dressing more and more like he did in the earlier seasons. His fitted jeans and unassuming tops are once again being replaced with printed hoodies and baggier clothes. What’s noticeable, though, is the lack of color – normal, considering his current state of mind.
  • I think it’s safe to assume that the fire is what causes the White home to be in the state we saw it in “Blood Money.” Though, Jesse doesn’t actually start a fire. Does someone intervene before he does or maybe before the fire spreads?
  • Also, where are Holly and Walt Jr. while this is happening? Are they in the house? Maybe they get caught in the fire and that’s what sets Walt off?

Leave your observations in the comments.

About Sam Sciarrotta

Hi there! I'm Sam. I like baseball, Bruce Springsteen, tomato pie, and most other things. I'm looking at you, but I'm thinking about Breaking Bad. 2012 college graduate and budding journalist.

Posted on August 26, 2013, in AMC, Cable, Drama, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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