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The Student Has Become the Master – Breaking Bad, “To’hajiilee” Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on September 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm by Amanda Andonian


We’re back for another week of Breaking Bad. I know I say this every week, but man was it a doozy! Suffice to say it’s a linchpin episode for the Walter White saga, and everything from here on out is going to pivot on the events of tonight. To think that there’s still three more episodes left!

For those who were wondering, and don’t want to read further and risk being spoiled, the name of the episode, To’hajiilee, comes from the Native American reservation outside of Albuquerque where Walt buried his money. As always, if you aren’t caught up with the show, and you don’t want anything spoiled, then don’t read any further.

Final Spoiler Warning

Although Walt’s out of the game, he can’t stay out of it for long. His failure to reason with Jesse last week in “Confessions” sends him straight back into the arms of Todd’s crazy hitman uncle, Jack, who insists that Walt tutor Todd in making meth if he wants to see Jesse dead. Although Todd’s cooking better quality meth than Declan did, it’s not blue, which is making Lydia antsy. Thus, the price for taking a hit out on Jesse is that Walt needs to help Todd with the cook.

Unfortunately for Walt, Jesse has already made a deal with Hank and Gomez to take him down. Proving that he’s not as thick-headed as everyone seems to think, Jesse suggests that the only way to prove Walt’s guilt is to track down the money—the one piece of evidence that Walt would never destroy. Of course, the trick is finding the money, and no one knows where it is except Walt. Jesse knows how they can find it, though, and for that, they need Huell (who doesn’t even see it coming).

breaking-bad-Tohajiilee3Their plan to flush out Walt is a work of art. For once, Walt’s no longer in control of the situation because he has no idea that Jesse has already gone to the police. He still thinks he has a chance to put Jesse down, but it never occurs to him that Jesse might be smart enough to turn the tables. He absolutely believes that Jesse is dangerous and needs to be taken care of, but he never imagines this his former partner could actually outsmart him.

That is, of course, the beauty in Walt’s downfall—he doesn’t truly believe that anyone can stop him, least of all Jesse. He’s gotten cocky and over sure, and it’s clouded his judgement. Whether he could have kept Jesse on his side just by telling the truth is debatable, but it’s too late now. The manipulation and lies turned Jesse against him, even though Walt continually protests that everything he did was to save Jesse as much as it was to save himself. His ego and fury with Jesse, who’s “too stupid” to see how much Walt has risked to save him, blinds Walt to the fact that he’s already lost.

If Jesse’s stupid, though, Walt isn’t much smarter. The fact that he buried it in To’hajiilee, which Jesse points out is in the exact same location where they cooked their first batch, just goes to show how sentimental and emotional he’s become. Although Jesse would never have guessed that that was the location of the barrels, it reveals quite a lot about Walt that he would choose that same spot, rather than another random place in the middle of the desert. With each passing day, Walt has become more and more sloppy, and Jesse has learned far more from his mentor than just how to cook blue meth.

breaking-bad-TohajiileeThe look on Jesse’s face when Hank handcuffed Walt was a little heartbreaking to me. Not because of the way he’s turned on Walt, but because of the unadulterated joy you see in his eyes. Finally, he doesn’t have to be afraid or angry anymore. Finally, he’s managed to get out from underneath Walt and will never have to fear being manipulated by him again. That’s what Jesse’s smile says. It’s the relief of a victim who’s finally able to believe that his victimizer will never be able to hurt him again. Hank’s teary phone call to Marie was also a little sad, further demonstrating how everyone sees this as a victory against a tyrant. Walt no longer has any friends or family.

Of course, Walt’s arrest is not the most shocking part of the episode, and now we have to wait with bated breath to see who manages to emerge from the shootout alive. Jack and his gang are pretty well armed, so it’s hard to believe that Hank and Gomez can survive the onslaught. We already know that Walt makes it, but what about Jesse? Will Heisenberg manage to get away after all? Perhaps the future that we saw earlier in the season was not the result of Walt’s arrest, but of his flight from justice.

What did you guys think of last night? Will Jesse, Hank, and Gomez make it out of there? Will Walt end up on the run from the law? Or will he have to face the music and go to jail? Tell us what you thought in the comments!

Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 13, “To’hajiilee” aired September 8th on AMC.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

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