The Ninjabot

Walter White’s “Confessions” – Breaking Bad Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on August 25, 2013 at 10:55 pm by Amanda Andonian


Another week, another episode closer to the end of Breaking Bad. After the past two episodes, I couldn’t imagine how the ante could get any higher, but my expectations were completely blown away by “Confessions.”

In order to completely discuss the episode, be warned that there are major spoilers ahead. If you aren’t caught up, then this is your final warning that things will be spoiled.

Final Spoiler Alert

As is aptly indicated in the title, this week’s episode is all about confessions, though not exactly the ones that you’d expect. The admissions that each character makes start off pretty straightforwardly, but of course it’s Walter’s “confessions” that really matter here. Unfortunately for them, no one is getting what they really want out of Walt. Instead, we see Heisenberg at his finest and most manipulative throughout the entire episode.

breaking-bad-confessionsIt’s kind of frightening how masterfully Walt maneuvers everyone into doing exactly what he wants them to do. First, we see him easily work Junior into not leaving for Hank and Marie’s house. In the midst of panic over his son finding out the truth from Marie, Walt still manages to keep his wits enough about him that he uses his illness to trick Junior into staying without actually telling him to stay home. Like I said, masterful.

His next project is Jesse, who’s in holding back at the police station being questioned about his money-tossing activities. Poor Jesse is pretty much in a comatose state until Hank comes in to reason with him, telling him he knows all about Walter and that he just wants to make sure his brother-in-law sees justice. Of course, he’s conveniently forgetting that he beat Jesse to a pulp in season 3, so Hank’s getting nothing out of him.

breaking-bad-confessions3Once Saul springs Jesse out of holding, they meet Walt in the desert, where he artfully tries to get Jesse out of the way by dangling the prospect of a fresh start in front of him. What he doesn’t realize is that Jesse’s heard it all too many times before. Our erstwhile screwup is smart enough now to know that Walt just wants to get him out of the way. Begging Walt to  be upfront and say that he needs him out of the way, Jesse is still broken and vulnerable enough to give Walt the opening he needs anyway.

The final loose end is Hank and Marie, both of whom are determined to see that Walt pays for what he’s done. Of course, Walt knows that Hank would never let it go, so he’s one step ahead of them. Handing over a “confession” video, Walt puts Hank and Marie squarely into a corner. Using just enough of the truth, Walter’s confession alters key details of his meth operation just enough to make it sound like Hank was behind it all. And the nail in the coffin? Unbeknownst to them, Walt used his meth money to pay for Hank’s physical therapy. He and Marie are officially implicated.

breaking-bad-confessionsEven with all of his hard work, though, Walt’s careful plans are for naught. Saul makes a brutal miscalculation, asking Huell to lift Jesse’s pot out of his jacket before going to meet the man who will give him a new life. When Jesse can’t find it later, all the pieces click into place. It was Saul who helped Walter get the Ricin cigarette out of his pack, and Walter really was the one who poisoned Brock. All it takes is a fearful confession from Saul to set Jesse on the path of destruction, and man is it going to be a blazing path.

I think Jesse’s breakdown at the end of the episode is at the top of Aaron Paul’s shining moments of the entire series. Watching him barrel through first Saul’s office, and then Walt’s house, was completely shocking and yet unsurprising given everything Jesse’s been through. I also think it’s fitting that the one person Walt believes he can manipulate completely will also be the person who wants to see his downfall the most.

The beginning scene with Todd, on the phone leaving a message for Walt, seems like it’s setting up another shoe that’ll drop pretty soon. It’s clear from the way Todd tells the story of the train job that he relishes his role in Walt’s operation. Either he’s going to do something that implicates Walt and brings everything crashing down even quicker, or he’ll be the one Walt turns to when it all goes to hell, allowing him to set up his meth operation again.

Either way, tonight’s episode definitely seems like the beginning of the end for Walt’s “happy” suburban life. His hubris got him to where he is, and it’s going to be thing that destroys him in the end. Walt is so convinced that he has everyone well in hand that he can’t even see how far beyond repair the situation actually is. Worst of all, he’s underestimating how much damage he’s done to Jesse.

What did you guys think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 11, “Confessions” aired August 25th on AMC.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

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