‘Breaking Bad’ Recap: Season 5 Episode 11, ‘Confessions’

Damn. DAMN. Last week’s episode, while not a bad episode, left something to be desired. This week’s episode, though, was just one “woah” moment after another, before ending on probably one of the biggest cliffhangers so far. Spoilers follow, as always.

The episode opens following Todd and his uncle in the aftermath of last week’s coup. After a quick call to Mr. White, explaining what’s happened, Todd joins his uncle and another gang member in a diner where he regales them with the story of the train heist from earlier in the season.

The way Todd attempts to interact with/talks about Walt in this scene really says a lot about his character. Todd is someone who, up until now, I’ve never been too clear on. I never really understood his purpose on the show, other than to replace Jesse. It seems, however, that the show is setting him up as almost a fervent follower of the cult of Heisenberg, in contrast to Jesse, and it seems that if anyone’s going to bring this meth world crashing back into Walt’s life, it’ll be Todd.

Meanwhile, to conclude the cliff hanger from last week, Hank finally gets a chance to talk to Jesse, and while he reveals to him that he knows Heisenberg’s identity, this does little more than pique Jesse’s interest. Jesse, it seems, is still a bit bitter about the whole “getting punched in the face by Hank” thing. Dude can really hold a grudge.

So yes, despite his best efforts, Jesse refuses to help Hank and Saul eventually comes in and get Jesse out, scheduling a meeting between him and Walt. Walt, before this, though, is busy trying to keep Jr. from going to Hank’s house (it seems Marie has called him, asking him to come over to help her with computer issues). In order to keep him from going, Walt divulges that his cancer has returned, making his relapse no longer a secret, really. 

Realizing that Hank and Marie won’t give up, Walt and Skylar put into action a contingency plan. We see Walt sit down in front of a camera, state his name, address and say “this is my confession…” before the scene changes.

Walt, Skylar, Hank and Marie meet up in a family-style Mexican restaurant. The tenseness of the meeting offset by the absurdity of their surroundings plays off pretty hilariously and I have to describe the whole scene as simply genius. Walt and Skylar attempt to persuade Hank and Marie to give up, but they appear completely unwilling to even compromise. Walt puts a DVD on the table and leaves with Skylar.

Back in their home, Hank and Marie watch the DVD, which we instantly recognize to be the confession tape that Walt made earlier. But it’s not a confession tape like we think it is. In this tape, Walt convincingly explains how Hank put together a massive meth operation, forcing Walt to be his chemist. Just about every detail from the entire show is brought up, twisted by Walt to show how Hank was behind everything.

That would be the first “woah” moment of the show. This whole tape is seriously one of the most chilling moments in the entire series, showing just how twisted and cunning Walt is. If you weren’t convinced before, you will be now: Walt was pretty much born to be a criminal mastermind.

 

After taking care of the DVD, Walt moves on to his other pressing issue: Jesse. Meeting the middle of the dessert, Walt talks to Jesse about how much easier his life would be if he used Saul’s connections to start a completely new life in a completely new city. Jesse breaks down, yelling at Walt, saying what has been under the surface here the whole time: Jesse is aware that he either do what Walt demands or he’ll be killed off just like Mike. Walt walks menacingly towards Jesse, only to embrace him in a hug.

The next day, a shaken Jesse appears at Saul’s office where he prepares to leave his old life forever. To relax, he begins smoking a doobie, only to get chastised by Saul. On the way out of his office, Saul’s bodyguard pickpockets Jesse’s remaining weed so that he cannot screw up the meeting with Saul’s contact. This is where the second “woah” moment comes in.

Standing on a random street, waiting for the contact, Jesse realizes he’s been pick-pocketed. He then reaches for his pack of cigarettes that used to hold the risen and makes a shocking connection. He runs off, back to Saul’s, where he breaks in, beats up Saul and threatens him at gunpoint. Saul confesses that he took the Risen and gave it to Walt, but he didn’t know he was going to use it to poison Brock.

Jesse takes Saul’s car and rushes off, while Saul calls Walt to warn him. Walt returns to the car wash briefly to pick up a gun he has stashed. Jesse, filled with rage, shows up at Walter’s house and begins dousing everything in gasoline. Then the episode ends and the audience goes “daaaaamn.”

“Confessions” was honestly probably one of the best episodes of the series so far, and I know I just said that for the mid-season premiere, but holy shit do I mean it. Walt’s confession tape was one of the best moments so far, somehow twisting and yet validating every major event that’s come before in the show. Meanwhile, Jesse’s discovery of Walt’s deceit finally breaks that last tenuous teacher/mentor strand between the two, turning them to full fledged enemies.

Lastly, after the confession tape is made, there’s a sense of distance between Skylar and Walt, seeming to imply that Skylar finds herself questioning Walt. Even despite him being out of the game, it seems that Walt can’t help but be conniving, and what does that mean for a future life with him? 

We’ll just have to wait until next week to see how everything plays out, but I’m guessing that Jesse’s gasoline will at least play a part in leading to the ruined White house we saw in the mid-season premiere. Meanwhile, Todd’s gang’s storyline continues to slowly push forward, and I’m sure the pay-out for that will be momentous, but with only 5 episodes left in the series, it’s tough to imagine just how all of these things will finally come to a head.

 

Matt Overstreet's picture
Matt Overstreet is the Creative Director at 8CN, currently resides in Los Angeles, CA and enjoys watching bad Nic Cage movies, playing too many video games, and reading silly books. You can follow him on twitter @chilidog0.
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