Rambling TV: Breaking Bad episode 5.12 and The Newsroom episode 2.7
Walter White: Master Manipulator.
Breaking Bad started off with Todd leaving a message with Mr. White telling him the lab is under new management. He then proceeds to tell his uncle and another man about the great heist they pulled off on the train last season. He's using their real names, which I found pretty stupid. He leaves out the part about him shooting a kid. Then they take off to new Mexico. Denise Warner over at Entertainment Weekly pointed something interesting out in her recap: That Todd is wearing a shirt that we've seen a few times before. That's not the only thing in her recap that caught my eye. More on that later.
Hank finally gets his alone time with Jesse. He tells him he knows Heisenberg is Walt, but Jesse's not budging. Saul eventually comes in throwing around lawsuit ideas and Hank just leaves.
We get a scene with Walter Jr. telling his father he's going to go to aunt Marie's to fix her computer. Walt's not an idiot, he knows what she's trying to do. He sits Junior down and tells him about his cancer being back, which Junior immediately feels bad about and says he's staying. It's insane to see Walt manipulate those he loves. Technically he's telling the truth here, but the poor look on Junior's face was heart breaking.
Next we see Walt sitting on his bed with Skylar and a video camera in front of him. He begins to say "this is my confession."
Earlier we had seen Hank and Marie arguing about him not telling the DEA about Walt. Now they're meeting Skylar and Walt for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Walt and Skylar want their kids left out of it. Marie says she thinks Walt should just kill himself, since that's what he's waiting for. No one agrees with that idea. Walt eventually slides them a CD with his confession on it. What comes next is probably one of the best "holy shit" moments in Breaking Bad history.
Walt's confession is him basically lying about his involvement and stating that it was Hank who came to him to make meth. He also drops the bombshell that his meth money paid for Hank's rehab, which Marie never told him about. He's stuck. He can't go to the rest of the DEA with this. He looks like an accomplice.
Jesse and Saul meet Walt out in the middle of nowhere. Walt tries to reason with Jesse and tells him he needs to go start a new life. Walt doesn't like to see him hurting, and Jesse can leave town and forget all of this. Jesse becomes angry and tells Walt to just tell him the truth. Tell him that "He needs to ask a favor of Jesse or he's going to kill him just like he did Mike." It's hard to read Walter here. He hugs Jesse, who starts crying but cannot return the hug. Is Walt sincerely upset that Jesse feels this way? Or is he just trying to pull his strings like he does everyone else? I like to think that Walt does care a great deal for Jesse. One of the things Breaking Bad never followed up on that got my on my nerves was in season three when Walt accidentally calls Junior "Jesse." I always wanted Junior to ask who that is.
Next we see Jesse in Saul's office calling the "Vacuum cleaner guy." who's going to give Jesse a new identity. Jesse whips out his weed in Saul's office, which causes Saul to chastise him and tells him the guy won't pick him up if he's high. He shakes Jesse's hand, and they part, but not before Jesse bumps into Huell on his way out the door.
While Jesse is on the side of the road waiting for his ride, he searches for his weed, which he had stuffed back in his cig box. It's missing. This is when Jesse has his "aha!" moment. He knows Huell lifted the weed off of him in Saul's office, which means that Huell lifted the ricin cigarette off of Jesse to poison Brock. Jesse now realizes that Saul was helping Walt all along. He ditches his ride and runs back to Saul's office, and promptly beats the shit out of him. He pulls Saul's gun out of his desk and forces Saul to confess. Saul said he didn't know Walt was going to poison a kid. He just did it because Walt said he was saving Jesse. (which we know is sincere because Saul tried to get out of this whole mess last season.) As Jesse leaves his office, Saul calls Mr. White to tell him they have a problem.
This is where Denise Warner's recap brought up another good point. Walt is wearing the same clothes in this episode as he did in did in 'Blood Money,' the season opener. When Walt told Saul to "calm down" in that episode, it seemed a little out of place since Saul wasn't really freaking out at the moment. But he was here, the "calm down" would be completely justified in this situation. Is Breaking Bad doing a bit of a time jump here? And if so, where does that scene with Todd fit in? Before or after all of this?
The episode ends with Jesse taking a gasoline can to Walt's house. That was a damn good hour of TV, but it wasn't the only show that had that last night.
Some things I learned from The Newsroom ep 2.7
None of them noticed the shot clock during the basketball game. That's a perfectly understandable scenario, but it's still sad to see the team fail there. The shot clock was the first thing that came to my mind when Jerry said he couldn't edit out the tape. If you're not familiar with basketball, no one would think about the shot clock.
So when is Maggie going to have a huge emotional breakdown and cut her hair? I still think they should've had that happen immediately after Africa like Unintended Consequences made it seem.
Jane Fonda was on fire in that last scene. Holy shit.
I really loved this episode all around. It was very strong and very fast paced. It focused solely on Operation Genoa. No side stories, no time for love stories, strictly Genoa and other relevant news in their time line.
Oh Neal, I could handle you at your ultra man mode.
Thanks for reminding me how sick I am of hearing about Benghazi.
I want to see this lawsuit play out, and I want to see Jerry burn.
Poor Jim, he kind of got shit on here.
Poor Elliot for getting put in that awkward position live on air.
Poor Charlie, that manifest revelation was insane. Can they sue that guy for providing false information?