Netflix review: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12 (Rabid Dog)
Andrew Jones | On 02, Sep 2013
Photo: © 2013 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Fire in the disco, fire in the Taco Bell.
We left Jesse and Walt at a pretty harsh point last week, with the walls tumbling down around them. Much like Confessions’ opening scene following Buried’s close, Rabid Dog begins by building that tension – before deflating it and going in directions we never anticipated. In a change to the normal, linear structure, though, here we see Walter White’s story play out before being shown the other side of the war. Needless to say, it is truly surprising television.
The case continues to be made for Aaron Paul’s Emmy next year but Dean Norris is hitting this season out of the park as well. Hank’s story has grown exponentially and his performance is sublime, his angry demeanour hit with fear and sadness like never before; Norris nails the slow destruction of a man and his will. Naturally, Cranston is equally amazing. He never hits full Heisenberg, but he manages to remind everyone that such potential is in him even when playing house – and yet still displays some of the vulnerability that fools us all into believing Walter White might not be completely unforgivable.
Rabid Dog also unveils more of Marie. During a therapy session, we find out how she’s coping with everything (hint: not well) and are reminded just how much of Skyler’s sister she is. This woman has been scorned too but, unlike Skyler, she’s far enough out of it to see a clearer picture. Mrs. White, on the other hand, is happy enough to go along with Walt’s lies to protect the family, although her voice now carries a fair amount of malice and intent.
In any other season of Breaking Bad, this could be the penultimate episode, but this is Season Five: we still have a long distance to go. How much are Lydia and Todd going to affect the world? (You suspect they’d make a great item.) What’s Jesse’s end plan? Has Walt finally come around to Saul and Skyler’s thinking? Will Badger and Skinny Pete return before the end times?
These questions fly around the air and while plenty will be answered to some degree next week, another rears its head: how many of these will be resolved in ways that we expect?
Rabid Dog, you feel, is the last of the good old days. Jesse is a potential threat, sure, but as it stands, if everyone played their part correctly, the last 4 hours of Breaking Bad could have been a group hug with flowers and puppies. As we slide into the home plate, though, you suspect we’re about to see Albuquerque fall and the world as we know it change dramatically.
Given the final shot of Episode 12, the next time Heisenberg dons the hat and glasses it’s going to be something truly memorable and horrifying.
Breaking Bad is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.