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The 13th episode of Breaking Bad Season 5 and what a finale it almost is. Emotions running high, big budget sequences, a light touch or two, Huell getting his own big scene. What Breaking Bad fan wouldn’t like To’hajiilee? (Unless they had to spell it.)
We open with Todd and Lydia’s quest to remake the blue stuff – and the trials and tribulations of the latest batch – but that’s thousands of miles away from where Breaking Bad’s real focus is these days. These scenes now feel like snippets from another show, a spin-off perhaps. The guys we’ve seen for the last five years have no claim in that world any more. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be returning there soon.
After Jesse’s anger and fear caused him to turn on Walt and prove that he, too, can be The Danger, things have only gone more pear-shaped. And so last year’s shank squad – Todd’s uncle and Walt – reunite with plans seemingly underway to get rid of said danger. Walt, of course, doesn’t want to be the one to kill his pseudo-son, but what if Jesse were to do the same to Walt, Jr.? This, Breaking Bad reminds us, is why it’s good to know neo-Nazi meth dealers with guns.
Pinkman, meanwhile, has forced Hank and Gomez to step up their proceedings and move away from simply getting Walt to confess on a bench. A lot of brains have gone into Hank’s schemes to manipulate players into divulging the location of the master’s prized possessions and Walt’s greed might just mean they pay off. After all, he’s a pretty terrible man under pressure, not just in deed but in perception: in times of crisis, he struggles to see the wood from the trees. Hank and Jesse know that well enough to twist the knife.
And so we reach To’hajiilee, a chapter that works as a fan-service finale of sorts, with one scene in the car wash finally putting two of the internet’s favourite characters together on screen. Who hasn’t stayed up late thinking about what would happen if Saul Goodman and Walter Jr. met? The result is as perfect as we hoped – if not, more so. Breaking Bad may be the only show on TV that can improve on perfection. Another showdown sees Saul’s bodyguard Huell quizzed by Hank. And, as tradition dictates, whenever two bald men talk on Breaking Bad, things get heated. Fast.
For all the satisfying conclusions To’hajiilee reaches, though, the episode’s real climax is in the shocking, nerve-shredding anticipation of what’s to come: back out in the desert, where we began, things go from bad to worse to.. what’s worse than worse? Jesse’s threats now seem utterly empty compared to the portent lingering over everyone as the closing shots play out. Where we go from here is down. Deep down.
Things will get even darker, even more painful and, soon, we’re going to have to say goodbye to a few of our favourite characters. Saul and Walt, Jr. in the car wash was fun, but prepare for three incredible, incredibly devastating, final hours: the games are over.
Breaking Bad is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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