AMC’s Breaking Bad
Season 4, Episode 12: “End Times”
Directed by Vince Gilligan
Written by Thomas Schnauz & Moira Walley-Beckett
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Crawl Space” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 4 finale, “Face Off” – click here
The DEA are locking the Schraders and the Whites down. Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Skyler (Anna Gunn) pack whatever they can, but he says he isn’t going to Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie’s (Betsy Brandt) place. “I‘m the real target,” he tells her. Walt tries explaining how the DEA can’t truly protect him if Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) or the cartel come. Mostly he doesn’t want anyone else suffering his consequences, for all he’s done over the past year.
Left alone at home, Walt sits pondering the next move. He spins his handgun, as it keeps on landing back on him. Except one spin, when it lands on a potted plant nearby in the garden. Hmm.
Marie and Jr. (RJ Mitte) are pissed off that Walt is, supposedly, staying at the car wash. Hank attempts to get everybody to calm down. He says it’s all a “smoke screen” because of the case he was working on, given he’s in a wheelchair and only investigating. He continually sticks to believing the chicken man is a meth kingpin. He urges his pal Steve Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) to go start looking at the laundromat to see if there’s any suspicious activity.
Up at the laundromat, Gomez starts talking to the manager. He wants to take a look around the place, using the front of finding heroin on a chef, who in turn tried passing blame onto a worker where the restaurant gets their laundry done. Steve says it’ll only be in and out, a quick peek. They’ve got a drug dog, too. Yet there’s no scent of any illegal activity from the pooch. Steve takes as many pictures as possible for good measure.
Meanwhile, Jesse’s (Aaron Paul) in the lab downstairs staying quiet until the DEA are gone. The cook gets a call from Mr. Fring to talk about why Walt’s a liability. Pinkman won’t allow “something final” to happen, despite him and the chemist having their problems. An “appropriate response” is being determined. That doesn’t sound too great, though. When Steve leaves the premises, Jesse returns to his latest batch of blue, and later he’s dropped to his car on a lonely road— preventative security measures due to their new circumstances. He gets a dozen e-mails from Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), so he heads over to the lawyer’s offices.
Saul’s in the midst of shredding documents and getting ready for the “end times.” He’s giving Jesse his stashed cash before hitting the road. He fills the younger man in on how things have deteriorated, and how Walt’s family is in peril, which comes as a surprise.
At home, Jesse gets a call from Andrea (Emily Rios). She tells him Brock is in the ER sick. Nobody knows what’s wrong with him and he’s getting worse. She’s terrified for her son, and Jesse, outside for a smoke, notices his ricin cigarette is gone. He rushes inside to tell Andrea the doctors need to check for ricin poisoning. This makes him look suspicious, as well. Not good for anybody.
Walt gets an angry Jesse at his door, accusing him of hurting the boy. The chemist denies having done anything so low. At gunpoint, he tries explaining to Jesse how it easily could’ve been Gus, using Mike or any of his other henchmen. He knows it was a move to further push the two cooks apart, to get his old partner to kill him. Jesse comes close to almost shooting Walt. After more convincing, he puts the gun down, and they’re both focused on taking down Gus.
But, is Walt telling the truth? He better be, for his own sake.
In the hospital, Jesse waits to hear news on Brock. He’s woken up in the morning by Tyrus (Ray Campbell) trying to drag him back to the lab. When Tyrus gets handsy, Jesse starts yelling about “being attacked.” Between this and the suggestion of ricin, things are about to get hot for Mr. Pinkman. It’s all a way to get the boss paying attention. Back at the house, Walt’s brainstorming ways to finish off Fring. He’s at work on a bomb.
In a parking garage, Gus leaves his car and heads into the hospital so he can talk with Jesse. The two talk about what’s happened. After a bit, the boss tells him to stay and not worry about cooking until the following week. Then Gus and his men head back to the car again. Something strikes the man as strange. He stops, looking out over the buildings next to the garage. From across the way, Walt watches closely, waiting to detonate the bomb he’s put on the car.
But something keeps Gus from getting into the vehicle, as if an ominous feeling’s come over him. He almost looks right at Walt. An eerie moment. After a minute, Gus leaves the garage without his car, thwarting this plan.
Jesus, so tense! Gotta love this kind of TV. Never ceases to amaze me how well this series is written. This episode gives us lots to look forward to in the finale. “Face Off” is next.