Breaking Bad 5×09: “Blood Money”

Breaking Bad 5×10: “Buried”AMC’s Breaking Bad
5×09: “Blood Money”
Directed by Bryan Cranston
Written by Peter Gould

* For a recap & review of 5×08, click here.
* For a recap & review of 5×10, click here.
Father Son Holy Gore - Breaking Bad - Heisenberg GraffitiWe begin with a group of skateboarding kids in an empty pool at a vacant home. It’s actually the old White house, now dilapidated. We’ve jumped ahead in the timeline to some point after Walter White goes on the run. He comes back now to visit his old home, though it isn’t for nostalgic purposes. Walter’s returned so he can grab the ricin he left taped on the inside of an electrical outlet in his bedroom some episodes/time ago. The house is full of graffiti, including a large HEISENBERG in yellow across the living room wall. Brilliant moment when Walt comes back out, seeing his next door neighbour who’s rightly terrified, given all people have come to learn about Walter White a.k.a Heisenberg, meth kingpin of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Overall a chilling sequence because we’ve never seen Walt in such a state. Here, he’s completely on his own, and, clearly, very desperate to come back to his old house, that could be under surveillance, just to get that ricin.

A great way to start the episode, after the previous one when Hank finally discovered the Walt Whitman book signed by Gale for Walt. Because at this point in the series we know everything’s finally about to unravel, one way or another. Hank comes out of the bathroom back to the family dinner out by the pool, claiming he’s not feeling well; perfect time for Marie to call Walt “the devil” in jest. A wonderful callback to the opening sequence when Walt waves and says hello to neighbour Carol, who happily waves back, as opposed to what we saw previously in the flash forward. Hank and Marie rush off home, but on the way home he’s so overcome with anger and emotion he blows through somebody’s fence and nearly crashes their vehicle, necessitating a call for an ambulance.
But Hank’s soon home with his confiscated Walt Whitman book from Walt’s place, unable to think of anything else. He immediately goes to his notes on the garage and looks at Gale’s file to match the handwriting roughly between the lab notes and the Whitman book. It’s all the same, confirming what Hank probably doesn’t want to admit even to himself: Walt is Heisenberg and he’s been fooling Hank all along.
Father Son Holy Gore - Breaking Bad - Lydia at the Car WashAt the car wash, Walt and Skyler talk regular shop before moving into talk about their cover story. He suggests they might think about buying “more car washes,” especially considering he’s made such a ridiculous amount of money that requires laundering. What a time for Lydia to turn up at the car wash, seeking a few minutes to talk with Walt. He’s not thrilled to see her there. She’s unhappy with how quickly and far the quality has dropped since Walt left the meth operation. She wants him to take a week and fix things before he’s fully out. But Walt refuses. Afterwards, Skyler asks about Lydia and Walt assures he won’t be going back into the meth business. She immediately goes outside and tells Lydia: “Never come back here.”

Though Hank’s meant to be resting up he’s got a ton of files sent over from the office so he can keep digging into his new Walt theory. Of course he tries to keep it very private, from both Marie and his colleagues. He starts going over everything about Gus and Los Pollos Hermanos, as well as the death of Combo and the big mass cartel murder in Mexico, and everything else connected to Heisenberg’s blue meth. It’s a wide, dark, violent web. Must feel terrible for Hank having this right under his nose.
Elsewhere, Jesse’s hanging with Badger and Skinny Pete, listening to their meth-fuelled conversation about the physics of Star Trek‘s transporters, then Badger’s pitch for a Star Trek script that involves the ship’s replicator and a pie-eating contest. One of the most hilarious scenes in Breaking Bad. After a while, Jesse tunes out but Badger and Skinny Pete keep on going. Pinkman heads over to see his lawyer, but the office is packed. He decides to light up a joint to force his way inside and it works. He gets in to see Saul right away. He wants to take all the money he made with Walt and give it away, splitting it between the parents of the kid Todd killed and Mike’s granddaughter. Saul says none of that is a good idea because the cops will get involved, but Jesse simply wants to be rid of the money, for the sake of his conscience. When Jesse leaves, Saul calls Walt, who says to just sit tight with the cash. Meanwhile, Walt’s back on the chemotherapy.

Eventually Jesse finds Walt knocking at his door. He doesn’t much want to see his old partner, but Walt’s back with the money anyway. Walt insists the whole plan Jesse had for the money was “nonsensical.” He wants Jesse to take what he’s earned, but Jesse keeps going back to it being “blood money.” He tries to tell his younger friend to stop focusing on the darkness of their past. He says it’s all over and things have changed. But morality doesn’t work like that. Walt mentions being out of the business, saying they have to try living “ordinary, decent lives” now. Again, not so easy. Walt asks why Jesse wanted to leave money to Mike’s granddaughter, and Jesse suggests Mike is dead. Even though Walt killed Mike, he pretends he doesn’t know what Jesse’s talking about, putting on a good performance like he always does to convince Jesse. But Pinkman’s not quite convinced, even if he pretends it.
Father Son Holy Gore - Breaking Bad - Leaves of Grass and Lab Notes Side by SideA return to normal life isn’t quite fitting Walt, partly because he’s hiding how sick he’s been getting again lately. He rushes off to puke and take some meds during the middle of dinner while Skyler and Walt Jr. talk about college and other things. A perfect moment when Walt uses a towel to kneel on in front of the toilet, similar to Gus in Mexico; showing how he’s become just another Gus. This is also when Walt notices his Walt Whitman book is gone. He searches everywhere but can’t find it, not thinking much of it, though he begins to get curious whether Hank might’ve stumbled onto it. Late that night, Walt goes outside and checks his vehicle, discovering a GPS tracker like the one Hank had him use on Gus’s car. Oh, shit.

Jesse starts doing the unthinkable: he begins to give away all his money. He gives some to a houseless man by the Dog House. Then he starts driving around all over the place, tossing bundles of cash out his window like newspapers, handing free money to random people everywhere. Not good. The next day, Hank’s working in his garage when none other than Walt turns up. A tense conversation. Especially when Walt decides to bring up the GPS tracker he found on his car. He gets a big punch in the face from Hank, who’s beyond angry about everything that’s happened, all due to Walt manipulating him. Walt says his cancer’s back and that in 6 months there’ll be no one for Hank to prosecute for Heisenberg’s crimes. Hank wants to get Skyler and the kids out of the White house, then maybe he’ll deal with Walt, however, things are far past that now. Very wild when Walt warns Hank to “tread lightly.” Goddamn. Everything has changed, forever.
Father Son Holy Gore - Breaking Bad - Walt's Back in Chemo

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