There’s an old church saying that goes like this: Sin will take you farther you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. Since sin is essentially putting your own desires above others, this is absolutely true for Walter White.
For the past year, all the collateral damage hasn’t affected him at all. Skyler, Flynn, Holly, Hank, Marie and especially Jesse have been kept alive. He’s diluted himself into believing that because of this, and provided them all with an obscene amount of money, that he’d bought their loyalty.
Yet here he is in the desert, handcuffed by his brother-in-law and spat upon by his protégé. But it gets so much worse. Walt is living a nightmare right now, his worst one. And no, it’s not Jesse facing certain death. It’s that finally, after building his empire, he’s powerless. All he can do is sit behind the glass and watch the bullets fly, potentially killing Jesse, Hank, Todd and a whole lot more.
May I remind you all this happens in the last 10 minutes of the episode. Before this, we’ve been treated with the best car scene the show has ever done, some great moments with Saul (soon to star in his own spin-off) and the one and only Huell.
“Executive Producer Vince Gilligan” may be the four most frustrating words in the English language right now, but I’m glad they exist, because I’ve never seen TV this good before. Ever.