Breaking Bad
Rabid Dog

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 172 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Gasoline Alley
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously: Jesse finally put it together that Walt had poisoned Brock after all, and after thrashing the shit out of Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul… an ambulance), he made a beeline for Walt’s home and started dousing it with gasoline.

Of course, as I mentioned last week, we know from the flash forward that Walt’s house doesn’t get burned down, so there’s no real suspense here. I suppose the suspense is finding out what stops Jesse? On that issue, our breath will have to remain bated, as we instead begin with Walt pulling his car to a stop down the road from his house. He can see Jesse’s car (well, Saul’s car) in the driveway, driver’s side door still open, so he assumes Jesse’s there. He clutches his unfrozen gun and girds himself to enter what may well be a turkey shoot. After ninja-rolling through his hedges and entering the back door, Walt storms the Bastille. Can’t see Jesse. Spots the gas can. Smells the gas. No Jesse. Frankly, the second he saw the gas can, he should have booked it, but hindsight proves Walt’s recklessness correct, so what do I know? His poor shag carpeting, though. Soaked through with gas. Walt hollers for Jesse to show himself, but he gets no answer. He points his gun as he traverses the hallway, peeking into bedrooms and finding nothing. He's left with one final doorknob to turn, but nobody’s inside his bedroom either. Jesse’s not there. So where is he?

Well, Jesse may not be there, but that gasoline surely is. As is Saul’s car, beeping that door-ajar beep. Walt checks inside and sees what appears to be a CD with coke residue on it. At a loss to explain where Jesse might be, Walt simply shuts the door and takes us into the credits and elements.

After the break, we see that Huell has dropped by along with a locksmith and an industrial cleaning service to deal with the gasoline carpets. There’s also the matter of finding Jesse (Huell says they’re looking for him) and keeping Walt’s family safe. Huell’s going to swing by the high school to look after Junior, while Kuby is watching Skyler at the car wash. Huell is very reassuring to Walt. That must be nice in this time of crisis and gas fumes. Walt then places a call to Jesse and of course only gets his voicemail. He leaves a message, which, Jesus, Walt… the guy’s already mad enough at you as it is. Now you want to make him menu through and listen to a voice mail? Send a text! Get with the times!

Anyway, Walt begins by thanking Jesse for thinking better of his whole "burn the house down" plan. "I know you’re angry," he continues. "I want to fix this, okay? Whatever it takes, we’ll talk, and we will fix this. Until then, just sleep it off. And then call me. Be safe." I am endlessly fascinated by what Walt’s feelings towards Jesse are. They’ve been all over the map over the course of the series, from paternal to jealous to dismissive. At this point, Walt seems willing to overlook the direct threat of harm -- not only to him but to his family -- in order to smooth things over. Maybe he’s trying to lure Jesse in? Maybe it’s all deception? There's really no part of Walt’s life that isn’t theater on some level. But I think there’s also a big part of him that wants to hold onto his old identity as Jesse’s teacher. Aside from Junior and Holly, it’s the only part of him that’s still pure and it’s maybe more important because (in Walt’s warped mind, at least), it’s the part of him that stayed pure while in the meth game. I honestly think he compartmentalizes it that much, that he excludes Gale and Jane and Brock and still finds ways to think of himself as Jesse’s caring mentor.

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Breaking Bad

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