Breaking Bad “Blood Money” Review: Lies, Lies, and More Lies
The first episode of the final Breaking Bad season aired last night on AMC, and it picked up right where the first half season’s cliffhanger left off.
(Plot synopsis and potential SPOILERS below)
The title of the episode is quite fitting (“Blood Money”), because at the root of it is the tainted cash that Walt and Jesse earned during their run, and how it has effected them emotionally. Walt has fully accepted his new persona at this point, and is trying to move on with his family life by working at the White’s car wash business like nothing ever happened. He’s no longer the same Walt that used to work at the car wash before he became Heisenberg, who is one of the country’s most deadly drug kingpins. There’s no fear in him like the old Walt, and he’s fully justified all of his awful actions over the past few seasons in his mind. It’s as if he still believes that he ultimately made the right decisions for his family’s future, but now he has a slightly cockier edge to him.
Unfortunately, Walt’s partner in crime Jesse isn’t able to easily forget his and Walt’s actions, and the guilt is starting to eat away at his soul. Jesse is still very much in a near catatonic state after realizing what Walt has done to achieve their financial windfall, and he’s having an extremely tough time dealing with it. Pinkman’s sole focus during “Blood Money” is to get rid of his part of the cash that he and Walt made through their meth adventures. All he wants is to rid himself of the cash in an attempt to come to some sort of moral compromise with his and Walt’s past, but his former teacher just won’t let him move on in the manner he wants to, and it’s a sad situation to watch play out.
At this point in the series Jesse has now become the character to feel bad for. It’s strange to think of him this way, but for the past couple of seasons he’s been manipulated by Walt, and the damage from all of his lies and actions have left him devoid of emotions. He’s become a zombie of a person, and he’s no longer the drug addicted brash human that first went into the meth business with the meager Mr. White. His cracked out buddy Badger couldn’t even get him to show signs of life with his amazing Star Trek episode pitch that ends with someone getting their guts teleported into space (personal favorite scene.)
Catching up with Walt and Jesse’s relationship is only a minor occurrence from “Blood Money” though. The true star of this particular episode is watching Hank painstakingly piece together new information on the Heisenberg case, after we last saw him realize that his brother-in-law could very well be the blue meth dealer that he’s been searching for. Mind you, Hank nearly died due to Walt’s shenanigans, so when he puts the pieces of the puzzle together it’s heartbreaking to see him realize that he’s been duped by someone he considers to be family, and close family at that.
This all comes to a head in a brilliant scene that takes place in Hank’s garage towards the end of the episode. The conversation between Walt and Hank starts out with the typical family small talk, but it quickly shifts to Hank confronting Walt for the first time about his suspicions. Hank’s reaction is priceless, but Walt’s counter-reaction is even better. His rebuttal to Hank fully confirms that Walt White truly no longer exists, and that Heisenberg is his new full time persona. The subtle threat he makes to Hank is both priceless and revealing, so it’ll be interesting to see how Hank and Walt’s relationship plays out over the final 7 episodes.
“Blood Money” is a fantastic entry in the long line of brilliant episodes that make up the Breaking Bad catalog. Its use of flash forwards greatly helped to paint a picture of where the plot is headed, but the brilliant writing and acting are what make the drama so damn entertaining. This episode perfectly tied up the cliffhanger from the first half of season 5 all while setting up Walt’s fall for the last half.
Make sure to check out a preview of next week’s episode after the break, and don’t forget to tune into AMC on Sunday night to watch the last 7 episodes of one of TV’s greatest dramas.
[schema type=”review” name=”Breaking Bad: Blood Money | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Walt and Hank’s exchange, Badger’s Star Trek pitch | The Not so Awesome: Giving cash to homeless people” rev_name=”Breaking Bad: Blood Money” rev_body=”Blood Money is the perfect beginning to the final run of Breaking Bad. It bridges the first half of season 5 with the last, and it sets up so much tension that you would need a super-sized machete to cut through it. It’s best scene is hands down the garage conversation between Walt and Hank.” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-08-12″ user_review=”9.5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]
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