AMC’s Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 7: “Say My Name”
Directed & Written
by Thomas Schnauz
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Buyout” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Gliding Over All” – click here
Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) take Walt (Bryan Cranston) to see Declan (Louis Ferreira) in the desert. Declan’s ready to use force to get that methylamine. The cook requires someone to distribute his product. He wants them to sell his blue meth for a “35%” cut. Walt is trying to sell his “Classic Coke” meth to guys who don’t particularly care about the purity of the product they’re hawking to junkies. Declan won’t be someone’s errand boy. If he thought he was a capitalist, he had no idea how dedicated to the system Heisenberg has become, eventually whittling Declan down to a deal. Not without flexing— hard. He orders the buyer: “Say my name.”
This is getting Walt off, so much so he brags about offing Gus Fring. Yikes!
Now the partners have their money. Walt is clearly going to keep on cooking. He strings Jesse along more. Nobody gets away from Mr. White easily. Not Jesse, not Skyler (Anna Gunn), and not even Mike, who’s continually dragged back into every mess.
At the car wash, Skyler holds onto the tank of methylamine in their wash bay until Jesse and Walt can eventually come to collect it. The joys of being married to a meth kingpin! She can barely conceal her disdain. She also can’t help worrying about the people her husband does business with and what they might do to those around him. Even Jesse sees the toll it takes on her.
“Do you really want to live in a world without Coca-Cola?”
At the Cradock Marine Bank, Dan (Chris Freihofer) works slick magic on Dorothy (Kathleen Brady), who takes him back to the safety deposit boxes. She’s too busy enjoying his cookies with bacon to care about what Dan is actually up to, like stashing dirty cash for Mike. Sneaky sneaky. Also, Mike hears, via the bugs in Hank’s (Dean Norris) office, there’s a warrant to search his home. He has to dump his electronics and a ton of guns. He readies a getaway car and goes home to wait for the DEA, whom he treats like assholes while they rifle through his things. Ultimately, they find nothing.
Walt’s preparing the next cook. He still thinks Jesse is going to go along with it. He keeps trying to reel Pinkman in with nonsense promises. Walt’s stuck on the power of “being the best.” He genuinely believes cooking meth’s something to be proud of, like he isn’t ruining the lives of those around him and those who use his product. He has the nerve to insult Jesse for not wanting to piss away the remainder of his life.
Things at the DEA aren’t exactly going how Hank had planned. He can’t let go of Mike or the rest of the case. It sits with him constantly, even at work where he’s distracted to the point SAC Ramey (Todd Terry) has to talk with him about his presence in meetings and a lack of proper reports filled out. ASAC Schrader’s surveillance budget is gone, leaving Mike in the wind. Hank wonders about new ways to dig, putting him on the trail of money man Dan, who also plays lawyer to the Fring crew. Dan’s next visit to the safety deposit room isn’t so nice. He brings cake pops. They don’t stop Steve Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) from waiting to arrest him.
“How many more people are gonna die because of us?”
Ine of Walt’s worst betrayals yet comes in the form of defaulting to using Todd as his cook partner. Brutal! He uses Todd to keep production going, regardless of how it reflects his corroded morality. All he cares about is capital. If he has to employ a child murderer to get batches cooked? So fucking be it, says Mr. White. He’s lost any semblance of being a good man— that part of him simply does not exist anymore.
Soundtrack note: “Goin’ Down” by the Monkees plays during Todd and Walt’s cook.
Walt visits Hank again to have a cry and deactivate their bug. He gets a front row seat to see the latest developments in the Fring case, when he hears Mike is going down next. Will this push Walter to do something drastic out of fear he’s going to be pinched? They’re already closing in on Mike. He makes a difficult choice when Walt calls to let him know the DEA are headed his way, leaving his granddaughter alone on the playground.
This all leaves Walt, Jesse, and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) to pick up the pieces. Neither of them know what’ll happen next. Mike asks his partners to take care of some things for him and Walt offers to pick up his “go bag” at the airport. Only Mr. White has different ideas about how this all should end. He meets the old hitman down by a river. He gives the bag over to Mike and asks for the names of the guys left on the payroll. They wind up in a heated argument. Suddenly, Walt opens fire putting a few bullets in Mike. After that he heads to the shore where the old guy bleeds to death in front of him.
“Shut the fuck up and let me die in peace”
A devastating episode. Funny though how people are sad for Mike— a guy who’s murdered untold numbers of people for a drug kingpin, and for his own gain, too. Walt is a terrible man, but Mr. Ehrmantraut is no better. One way or another, these two men were going to meet a grisly end. Just so happens Walt’s the one to give Mike his finale. “Gliding Over All” is up next.