Netflix UK TV review: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 11
Andrew Jones | On 26, Aug 2013Reading time: 3 mins
Photo: © 2013 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.
We wait a week for the big moment and what happens? Well, everything we thought would happen… didn’t. Even in Episode 11 of the final season, Breaking Bad still finds ways to take our expectations, throw them out the window and replace them with scenes we never would have guessed – and then placate the insatiable with new scenes that inspire even higher expectations for the future. That ability to sideswipe what we feel entitled to see makes Breaking Bad the most aggravating show on television. Which is, of course, part of its genius.
Going into “Confessions” after last week’s final scene – which, if you recall, was a real tease – fans wanted to see the true clash of two hairless titans, famed for their vitriol, rage and power, and now armed with knowledge. Hank is ready for battle after a big build-up of interrogations and revelations, while Jesse, having broken down to his lowest ebb in a long time, seems ready to crack.
The title may not bare much resemblance to the first act but by golly, if mid-way through we don’t get the shock of the season. Walter White (Bryan Cranston), pinned into a corner by Hank, finds a way to manipulate that’s unimaginable to the normal (not evil) human. What he’s done, or threatens to do, is something awful – audible gasps awful – and you know that he believes this is a perfectly fine power-play from his tower on high.
Walt’s ego has remained unchecked for ages (when it was called out by a certain Belize resident last year, it didn’t end well for them) and while you might think Walt would dial it back to make sure his kids remain out of the picture, he doesn’t think about that side of things at all. He does get some face time with Walt Jr. this week, though, to catch up on the important York Notes of his current ordeal. But one moment with his real son makes the big scene with his adopted child, Jesse, nervous, deceitful viewing. (Naturally, it all ends with a hug.)
Confessions throws a lot of things at the audience and finds a way to keep Todd in the picture but the show still needs to pick at a few more old wounds; with the final act, we finally see the backlash from the events of Season 4 and, if we’re honest, things that have been piling up since Season 2. Never one to let a storyline waste away, Gilligan’s gang of writers has taken focus away recently from the ricin cigarette, from Mike, from Lily Of The Valley, instead giving the spotlight to Hank’s revelations; now, the show has snapped back into Jesse’s life and things are really about to come to a head.
The episode ends, once again. on a note of excitement: worry, fear of what’s to come, and hope that new life might stem out of it. The chance of something happy taking place in the next five episodes is tslim, but maybe Jesse will turn it around. Maybe Walt repent. Maybe Hank will be a hero. Maybe Skyler will bolt in the night. Speculating on Breaking Bad is a game for fools: we know none of what we expect will appear in screen and after 56 episodes, that remains the sheer thrill of the show. Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty.
Breaking Bad is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.