The latest episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad is called “Confessions”, and it definitely contained more than one.
(Plot synopsis and potential spoilers below)
The episode begins with the disconnected meth operation that Walt started and has since left as Todd discusses the Heisenberg train heist with his shady uncle and partner. Up until this point the meth team has been separated from Walt’s tale in these final episodes of Breaking Bad, but the fact that the writers keep teasing them only means that these two threads will cross paths once again. It’ll be interesting to see how Walt and his former drug slinging associates will end or rekindle their relationship before the series finale.
From this scene the episode transitions back to the main plot string that has been the focus of the first three episodes of Breaking Bad’s final run. Hank begins to interrogate Jesse in an attempt to get him to turn on Walt, but just like Skyler, Jesse won’t throw his former partner under the bus. Hank does his best to make Jesse feel like he’s there to help him, but the power of Heisenberg has clearly left an impact on Jesse’s psyche. It’s both a sad and honorable thing to witness Jesse protecting Walt, because we as viewers know just how much he’s been played by Walt/Heisenberg, but we also know how their relationship began, and why Jesse still feels loyal to the blue meth kingpin.
Walt has Jesse firmly in his grasp, but that’s not the case with Hank and Marie, who still want to rescue the White children and see Walt pay for his crimes. Cranston as Walt plays the perfect victim even when his world is seemingly crashing down on him, and two scenes in particular showcase Bryan’s amazing ability to play two entirely different characters in “Confessions.”
The first scene that portrays Walt’s ability to pluck at people’s emotional chords is between himself and his son. Marie secretly invited Junior over for dinner in an attempt to lure him away from the White house (as believed by Walt), but Walt expertly chooses this moment as the time to tell his son that his cancer is back. Rather than continuing on to his aunt and uncles house to inevitably find out about his Dad’s secret identity, Walt manages to lay a guilt trip so heavy on his son that he refuses to leave his side. This scene is disheartening to watch, but at the same time it’s so evil and Heisenberg-like that long time fans will accept it as just another means to an end for Walt. It helped to set up the entertaining “table side Guacamole” scene that takes place between Walt, Skyler, Hank, and Marie, which enabled Walt to reaffirm his stance on Hank’s accusations, as well as pass a new blow to his brother-in-law’s investigation in the form of a DVD.
The second scene offers an even deeper look at how far Walt is willing to go into his Heisenberg personality via the DVD that he gave to Hank. In a stroke of genius and cockiness, Walt films a confession that portrays Hank as the criminal mastermind behind New Mexico’s blue meth problem. Once again Cranston’s ability to ham up the drama while playing the victim is showcased in all its glory during his video confession, and the range of emotions he can exude are impressive. By the end of the video I almost believed Walt’s lie, and I’ve been watching Breaking Bad since season 1. That’s just how solid Cranston is at delivering the excellently written script, and it just goes to show you how manipulative he can act when performing as Heisenberg.
The final act of “Confessions” really starts to funnel the show’s plot towards the finale, and this is thanks to Jesse having his weed lifted from his person. Earlier in the episode Walt confronts Jesse in the desert about his talk with Hank to ensure that he hasn’t ratted him out. If he did, there’s a great chance that Walt would’ve had Jesse snuffed out on the spot, and this reality is ever present in the way Jesse acts around Walt at this point. He doesn’t trust him, nor does he want to be manipulated by him anymore, but deep down he struggles with his allegiance to him. After an awkward exchange between the two it seems as if Jesse is willing to follow Walt’s direction once again, as he plans to leave town to start a new life.
Saul and his shady associates worked a deal to get Jesse out of town to start over so he would be out of Walt’s life forever, therefore removing the fear of having him divulge information to the law. This plan seems like it’s going to work, Jesse does agree to it with the help of a quick puff of dope, and based on the fact that he still sees Walt as some sort of quasi father figure. Unfortunately for Saul and Walt, it’s this dope that ultimately wakes Jesse up to the fact that Walt and Saul lied to him about the ricin cigarette, which sends Jesse into a mega-rage packed full of erratic driving and gasoline cans. Jesse has been awoken, and there’s no telling what will happen next.
“Confessions” is more than a fitting title for the third episode of Breaking Bad’s final run. It further showcases Walt’s split personalities, and Cranston’s ability to channel them expertly. It also helped to set the tone of the final 5 episodes, which will surely be much more frenetic in nature thanks to Jesse’s stunt during its final few seconds. Will Heisenberg be able to juggle Jesse’s rage in addition to Hank’s pressure? Only time will tell, but his armor of lies is starting to chink.
Head down below to get prepared for next week’s episode of Breaking Bad with a new preview trailer, and go even deeper into “Confessions” with two behind the scenes videos for it.
Breaking Bad airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9 pm EST.
[schema type=”review” name=”Breaking Bad: Confessions | Review Summary” description=”The Awesome: Walt’s confession video, Jesse waking up to reality, Table side guacamole | The Not so Awesome: Gasoline cans in houses” rev_name=”Breaking Bad: Confessions” rev_body=”Confessions is the ideal title for the latest episode of Breaking Bad as it features many, just not the one that Hank is looking for. Once again Cranston kills it as Walt and Heisenberg, and if he doesn’t win an Emmy it’ll be a crime. Aaron Paul finally gets to act again as Jesse begins to realize just how far he’s been played by White and Saul. It’s great to see this actor finally break free from the deeply depressed state that his character has been in. Jesse is back!” author=”Matt Heywood” pubdate=”2013-08-26″ user_review=”9″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”10″ ]
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Photos by Ursula Coyote/AMC