WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×9 “Blood Money”, DO NOT READ THIS POST. This article contains SPOILERS!
In a brilliant episode, which not only answered many questions but also posed new ones, and spurred thousands of theory conversations all across the Internet, AMC delivered the final season premiere of Breaking Bad, episode 5×9 entitled “Blood Money.” The full recap discussion is below.
We open with skate-boarders having at it in the Walt’s abandoned backyard pool. We then pan to the front to find a much scruffier and hairier Walt breaking into his condemned house. We notice he’s driving the red car that he procured with the M60 in the trunk from the cold open of BB 5×1.
The house is completely empty and dilapidated, and the word “Heisenberg” is scrawled in graffiti on the wall. The White’s have clearly been gone for a long time – how long, we do not know. We can only guess it isn’t too far past Walt’s 52nd birthday, considering the car and his disheveled appearance.
Walt slowly takes everything in as he makes his way back to his bedroom. There, he removes the Ricin from the outlet he hid it in during Season 5. This is the reason for his return. However, in an interaction with his neighbor, Carol, it’s confirmed that everyone knows who Walt is and they are very much afraid him
We jump back to The Moment, the one where Hank is reading the encrypted message in “Leaves of Grass” which confirms that his dear brother-in-law, Walter White, is Heisenberg. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for!
Hank leaves the bathroom with the book in hand. It’s too soon for a confrontation, so he sticks it in Marie’s bag and then feigns illness to get out of dodge. Marie and Hank leave and then Hank, clearly reeling and very shaken after his discovery, suffers from a panic attack while driving home. We have a quick moment in the hospital, so Marie can rule out a heart attack, before they return home. When they get home, Hank asks Marie not to mention any of this to Skyler.
Hank heads to the garage and takes out the Gale Boetticher case files. He tries to match the “W.W.” written in the Whitman novel with the “W.W’ written in Gale’s lab notes. It seems that he’s found a match, but he needs to find more evidence.
We cut to the unknowing Walt, who is busy trying to come up with marketing tactics for air fresheners and assimilate into his “carwash owner” lifestyle, talking strategy with Skyler. It’s here that Walt mentions “the story” and reiterates to her the importance of sticking to it. I feel like this is important, since Vince Gilligan put it in the episode. I guess we shall see.
Lydia stops by the car wash, which Skyler notices is pretty odd. Lydia’s there to beg Walt to return to his laboratory, because the cook he left in charge is producing meth with purity levels at 68%. She seems almost desperate, and mentions “a lot of moving parts.” Walt thinks this isn’t his concern and dismisses her. How foolish of him. Walter killed Gustavo Fring in 4×13, and he knows that Gus has many friends and connections, many of which would be happy to seek revenge against the infamous Heisenberg. Plus, Gus’ military background as Generalissimo in the Chilean army, and the many mentions of his connections to Chile, make me think it’s too soon for Walter to stop watching his back. However, Lydia leaves the carwash. But not before Skyler gets an opportunity to tell Walt’s former business associate to never come back to their carwash again.
Hank stops going to work and begins having work brought to him. He has all the case files on everything blue- and Gus-related delivered to his house. He’s working to find connections between Heisenberg, Gus, and his brother-in-law. Remember, Hank is the boss now so he can pretty much do whatever he wants. We then have a scene montage where Hank is like the new Carrie Mathison, working the case crazy-timeline style. It seems as if Hank isn’t going to find anything, until he stumbles upon the sketch of Heisenberg that appears to be a dead ringer for Walter White.
Then, it’s the second moment we’ve all been waiting for – the first sighting of Jesse Pinkman. Jesse is hanging out with Badger and Skinny Pete, who are in the middle of an intense Star Trek conversation/smoke session. Jesse seems disinterested and lost, and he’s not really paying them any attention. Poor Jesse. He was a wreck after the boy was shot and killed during the freight train heist last season and he doesn’t seem to have gotten over it. Side note – Badger’s story was pretty funny. Jesse suddenly goes and gets two huge black duffle bags and heads to Saul Goodman’s office.
After growing impatient and smoking up in his waiting room, Jesse sees Saul. He tells Saul the bags are each full of $2.5 million and he wants one to go to Mike’s granddaughter Kaylee, and the other to go to the parents of Drew Sharp (murdered boy). Saul tries to talk Jesse out of it but he insists before leaving the office. Saul then calls Walter to report on Jesse’s behavior. Walt instructs Saul to hold on to the money. We then see that as Walt is on the phone with Saul, he is also receiving chemotherapy treatment. The cancer is back.
We catch up with a distressed Jesse as he lies underneath his table, watching a huge bug scuttle across the glass. I take it that this big bug is a symbol, representing or even foreshadowing contamination, as the fly has in earlier seasons. I digress. Walt then stops by to return Jesse’s money, and try to convince Jesse that they are still partners. Walter reminds Jesse that he’s earned his money, which makes Jesse look even more sickened and distressed. Walt tells a teary-eyed Jesse to let go of the darkness behind him and let go of the past. It may be easy for Walt, but Jesse can’t seem to let go of his pain.
Jesse then tells Walt why he wants to help take care of Kaylee. He knows that the only way Walt could execute all of Mike’s men (like he did in BB 5×8) is if Mike is permanently out of the picture. Walt (of course) denies this and pretends like Mike left town alive and well. Jesse doesn’t really buy it, and it seems Jesse has really come to hate Walter White.
Over family dinner, Skyler mentions that Hank still isn’t feeling well and hasn’t returned to work. Walt then flees to the bathroom and covers up his vomiting, caused by the chemotherapy. (PS – Notice in this scene he is sure to kneel on his towel, like Gus does in Season 4). It is then that Walt first notices his Whitman book is gone. He then heads outside to search his car and, much to his dismay, discovers a GPS tracking device attached to it. It’s the same tracker that he himself stuck on Gus’ car on Hank’s behalf in Season 4. Walt now knows that Hank is (finally) onto him.
Jesse then finds himself in the parking lot of a bar being solicited by a homeless man. He pays it forward, and hands the homeless guy a huge stack of cash. An idea then hits him and Jesse begins to drive through the streets of Albuquerque, tossing cash onto lawns, newspaper-style.
As Hank receives another shipment of files (I guess he’s having trouble building the case?), Walt shows up at the house. Never one to avoid a confrontation, Walt heads right for the garage. After dribbling around an awkward and forced conversation, Walt finally gets to the point. He pulls out the GPS tracker and asks Hank if he knows anything about it. In a move that I definitely didn’t see coming, Hank closes the garage door and punches Walt in the face.
“It was you, all along. It was you, you son of a bitch.” And then Hank begins to rattle off the hindsight moments that ate at him the most – Walt drove them into traffic to avoid the laundry, he faked a call about Marie in the hospital to avoid Hank finding him, he killed 10 witnesses to protect his name, he bombed a nursing home. And then Hank calls him by his true name – Heisenberg. Walt denies the “wild accusations” and tries to use the family card. He then tells Hank that his cancer is back, and none of this will even matter in six months because he will be dead. So according to Walt, there is no point for Hank to even pursue this, if there is even anything there. And then, in the most perfect sentence that could be written to come out of Bryan Cranston’s mouth, Walt tells Hank, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”
And BOOM, there you have it. The ground for the final episodes of Breaking Bad is laid. And now the waiting begins.
As mentioned above, there are many different theories circulating the Internet right now about how Breaking Bad is going to end. Of all the ones I’ve read, this one here is my particular favorite. In this theory, Walt murders his wife at some point between Hank discovering the truth and the cold open of Season 5. In my opinion, this is perfect. There is no greater way to symbolize the full circle that Walt has come – the transformation from Walter White to Heisenberg. But, I don’t want to focus too much on theories. I want to enjoy this final ride as it plays out, since this is the last time I’ll ever be enjoying new and unknown episodes of Breaking Bad.
New episodes of Breaking Bad air Sundays at 9pm on AMC.