The Ninjabot

Breaking Bad is Back With a Vengeance – “Blood Money” Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm by Amanda Andonian

breaking-bad

Last year, we were left with a chilling cliffhanger—Hank reading Gale’s inscription to Walter in Leaves of Grass and finally putting the pieces together. We’re in the final countdown to the end of Breaking Bad. How will Walter fare against his brother-in-law?

In order to truly delve into the events from this episode, take note that there are major spoilers ahead. Rest assured that while this episode gets off to a slow start, the last fifteen minutes are well worth the wait and give us a whole new view of Walter and what he’s become.

FINAL SPOILER WARNING!

We don’t find out right away what Hank’s reaction is, but we are given an incredibly tantalizing look into Walt’s future. The episode opens on the sight of the Whites’ abandoned house, which is surrounded by a chain link fence and overgrown with dead weeds. While some random teenage kids skateboard in the empty pool, a heavily bearded Walter steps out of a rusty car, pulling a crowbar out of his trunk, which also happens to hold a semi-automatic weapon. Walt breaks into the house, briefly glancing at “Heisenberg” spray painted on the wall. At first, it seems like maybe this a bad dream, but we know that dream sequences are not Breaking Bad’s MO. This is definitely Walt’s future.

breaking-bad-blood-moneySo what’s Walt doing back where he clearly does not belong? Apparently to reclaim the ricin capsule he hid behind the outlet in his bedroom a few episodes back. Walt catches sight of himself in the mirror and stops. It’s hard to imagine what he’s thinking in that moment. Maybe that he doesn’t even recognize himself. Contrast this Walt with the Walt we remember from earlier in the season, who’s still celebrating his birthday as his brother-in-law slowly comes to the realization that Heisenberg is outside laughing with his family.

Meanwhile, Jesse is completely cracking up. The guilt about Mike, Drew Sharp, and Andrea is getting to him so much that he takes all his drug money to Saul, insisting that it go to Drew’s parents and Mike’s granddaughter. Walt tries to talk him down, but is shocked when Jesse flatly accuses him of killing Mike. Although Walt denies it as fervently as he’s ever denied anything, it’s clear from the look on Jesse’s face that he doesn’t believe his erstwhile mentor in the least.

breaking-bad-blood-moneyThe whole episode seems to be about Walt’s past dragging him back to life as Heisenberg. Lydia’s exhortations to come back and tutor her in cooking meth, Jesse’s freak-out at Saul’s, and finally the discovery that Hank is tracking him, which leads to an epic stand-off between the two men. On one side we have Walt, who’s been running circles around Hank for years in order to cover his tracks; and on the other side we have Hank, who’s finally seeing the real Walter White, and it sickens him.

Despite Walt’s attempts to deny the accusations, Hank comes at him hard. Even after Walt pulls the cancer card, Hank tells him to rot, throwing all of his arguments and exhortations back in his face. It’s strange watching Walt turn on the charm, conjuring visions of his family and his battle with cancer to combat Hank’s allegations of murder, drug dealing, and lies. But then, when Hank marvels that he doesn’t even know who Walt is anymore, we finally see the real Walter White.

“If you don’t know who I am, maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”

As I mentioned earlier, “Blood Money” gets off to a pretty slow start, but the confrontation between Hank and Walt was well worth the wait. It was a relief to have that happen right away, instead of three episodes from now. So many shows tend to do that when building up towards a big climax, so hopefully by getting this out of the way right off the bat, it will allow Breaking Bad the room to seriously up the ante for the last few episodes. After all, there are only seven more episodes after this one, so Vince Gilligan shouldn’t drag his feet into the conclusion of Walt’s story. Here’s hoping it all goes out with a bang!

Side note: Badger and Skinny Pete’s discussion of transporter technology in the original Star Trek was absolutely priceless. “Look it up, it’s science!” might have to be my new catch phrase.

So what do you guys think of last night’s episode? Did it get you pumped for the end, or was it just too much set up for your taste? Leave your comments below!

Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 9, “Blood Money” aired August 11th on AMC.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos

    Tweets