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BREAKING BAD Brings a Whole New Meaning to Suspense
Well, that was quite the nail-biter. Right from the start, “End Times” blankets itself in a sense of foreboding that never gets lifted. Not a scene goes by where you’re not panicking a little over the fates of our beloved (or simply tolerated) characters. And no person awaited tragedy more so than Walt. He knows it’s just a matter of time before Gus sends someone to end his tortured existence, and he chooses to sit and wait, to face his executioner with nothing but his arrogance and a 6-shooter. He knows he has zero chance of survival and even toys with the idea of doing the job himself. But Walt is a fighter, and even his little game of spin the revolver isn’t good enough to snuff his will to live.
I’m at the point where I’ve watched enough great television to see where pieces are going, so I realized way before Jesse did that Brock had been poisoned with the ricin. Yet somehow, knowing the answer to the question made my anxiety even worse as I watched the truth dawn on Jesse’s face. It’s just another stone of guilt to add to the scales for Jesse, since this makes the poisoning partially his fault. But he turns his guilt into a fiery rage and goes after the only clear culprit in his mind: Walt. When he gets to Walt’s house, it’s not quite clear why he’s there when you first watch it, and we get distracted from Jesse’s story as Walt whines about his life, which also gives Jesse a chance to grab Walt’s gun. Now we know exactly what Jesse is thinking: kill Walt for hurting Brock.
And so unravels the most brilliantly complicated and diabolical plan in this show’s history. Walt, being the genius he is, quickly figures out Gus was responsible for Brock’s poisoning, all in the hopes of convincing Jesse to kill Walt. It really is perfect. Walt was the only other person to know about the ricin, so logically it would have to be him. By painting Walt as a monster, Jesse will not only allow Gus to kill Walt, but Jesse will want to do it himself. But Gus forgets that not everyone is like him; Walt won’t harm children. Once Jesse is reminded of this (a great scene between Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. Those two never cease to amaze me), the two join forces yet again with the common goal of taking Gus down.
The dynamic duo, together again, quickly devise a plan to get Gus exactly where they want him. Jesse refuses to go to the lab to cook, wanting instead to stay at the hospital. This warrants a personal visit from Gus, giving Walt time to strap a homemade explosive and detonator to Gus’s unoccupied vehicle. As Gus heads to his car (after being extremely kind and understanding toward Jesse) he suddenly stops yards from his vehicle. Walt watches from an adjacent building and for a moment it seems like Gus will notice him. He doesn’t move for so long, just gazing out at the surrounding city. And just like that he turns around and walks away, leaving his car behind. Why did he stop? How could he tell what was about to happen? I have no idea, but I want to find out.
Next week is the finale, and the last few weeks have yielded some of the best episodes from Breaking Bad. Unfortunately this puts a lot of pressure of the finale. I wouldn’t worry too much. This season has given me such pride in this series. Next week will be just as spectacular as we’ve come to expect from Breaking Bad, I can just feel it.