After wishing a … ‘person’ would disrespect him with talk of $5 million in season 5 episode 6 of “Breaking Bad,” Walt steps out of the shadows in tonight’s episode.
Aptly titled “Say My Name” (am dutifully, and with a great deal of restraint, avoiding Destiny’s Child references), Walt is all too happy to stand up and let folks know that he is indeed the purveyor of the ice blue meth.
We’ve witnessed his unraveling since the end of season 4, as he relishes every moment of being *that dude* ever since that explosive final moment with Fring.
All roads lead back to Gray Matter, the company he co-founded and the $5,000 buyout he took for what ended up being a billion-dollar company. He sees this as his second chance at his “empire business,” not really caring at this point what the cost of that success looks like.
Heisenwalt’s (I’m taking liberties here) face did grow ashen in the first wordless minutes of last week’s episode, as they invoked the chemical cure-all this crew has gotten all too familiar with to cover up evil Landry’s hair-trigger actions from episode 5. Under Mike’s weathered and disapproving gaze, this somber ritual was enough to jolt Walt out of Monsignor Badass mode, at least for a moment.
Sidenote: Evil Landry being all earnest when he was copping pleas was tres disconcerting, considering how he acted like all he did was something that hovered around crashing his mom’s car when he was talking to Jesse.
This whole motif of little boys getting caught in the crosshairs of this drama is disturbing, from the waving kid on the dirtbike to the younger brother of Jesse’s ex-boo and her son. It’s sobered Jesse to the ugliest realities of this drug game, beyond the 72-hour meth and video game mosh pit parties that previously helped keep his conscience and maddening thoughts at bay.
He’s strangely become the moral compass of this operation, and that realization crystallized for him as the update about the 14-year-old boy flashed across the news and completely unnerved Jesse, while he heard Walt’s lighthearted and slightly eery whistling.
In an odd shift, Jesse is now the one erring on the side of caution and wanting to get out while it’s still possible (I bet Frank Lucas wished he woulda done so in real life. “Don’t rub on that. You blot that. That’s alpaca!” Best line ever).
And not to be insensitive to Skylar’s plight, because Lord knows she’s been through a lot and has had a lot revealed to her, but the switch from her attempt last season at the extra down for the cause, ride or die mafioso queen to a women quite on the edge of a psychotic break threw me, just a little.
Until we pan to Heisenwalt laidback in his La-Z-Boy recliner, looking like the Don Corleone of suburbia, twirling his glass of ‘yac. His wife is unpleasantly surprised to see him talking to Jesse in their home. He looks a little caught at first, then flashes an impish Stevie J grin. He decides to flex his muscles real quick and invite an incredibly uncomfortable Jesse to stay for dinner.
Now I kinda remember why living with Heisenwalt might be hella annoying. He gets his rocks off pulling power moves with Skylar, like a little boy pulling the wings off of a butterfly to see how it’ll squirm.
Jesse’s attempt at levity and filling dinner conversation with his frozen dinner talk was pretty much hilar. And my first belly laugh of the show came when he started guzzling his glass of water and looking off into the distance when Skylar kindly asked if Walt told him about the affair she had.
And oh the great manipulator Walt, who asks Jesse how he could take his business away when that’s all he has now (side eye), since his wife made him put his kids out and is waiting for his cancer to come back and die. Well talk about the importance of context. I mean she did say that *but* she had her reasons (I hate getting misquoted in those kind of conversations).
Fastforward to the final scene with Walt fastened to the radiator like a little kid (and like his ego needed to be a long time ago) is kind of a hilarious moment as Mike tries to punk him into just taking the deal already.
But Mike underestimates Heisenwalt and his megalomania and thinks that that little plastic fastener is enough to hold him while Mike dips out to meet with the cops real quick before this extra important, meth retirement-dependent sale goes down (talk about piss-poor time management).
What I would have learned by now is to NEVER underestimate Walt, and sure enough he pulls a Bill Nye the Science Guy meets MacGyver move with an electric cord and power strip. This fool literally gnaws (and burns) his way up out of that situation.
But honestly Walt’s also tripping because he KNOWS how much (and for varied reasons) Mike wants to blow his brains out. But Heisenwalt, who I might have to go ahead and refer to as Heisenberg here on out, is too far gone to care and entirely too smug. He thinks he can outsmart everyone, and has been emboldened by getting away with it all so far.
He’s willingly turned the corner in embracing this lifestyle. But I, perhaps foolishly, am holding out hope that he can get back to Walt, hence “Heisenwalt.”