Note: A version of this review may appear on The Perpetual Post.
Walter’s not even putting effort into his lies anymore. His whole “empire” is built on them, but now that he’s left it behind, even when Lydia insists on his return, he doesn’t even care how convincing he is.
Jesse showed up with $5 million cash at Saul’s office, instructing him to give half to Mike’s granddaughter Kaylee, and half to the parents of the boy Todd shot out in the desert. Walt shows up at Jesse’s house, returning his $5 million. He tries to convince Jesse that Mike’s still alive and can take care of Kaylee just fine, without Jesse’s money. But he does such a terrible job, casually telling him, “I need you to believe me.” Jesse, like the rest of us, can tell it’s just one more falsehood Walt’s trying to sell.
So now all the loose ends are tied up, right?
Of course, when we last saw Hank, he was having a literal and figurative “Oh Shit” moment as he connected Walt to the blue meth by reading the inscription in Gale’s copy of Leaves of Grass, conveniently placed atop the commode.
Hank and Walt are both men defined by their work, so Hank throws himself into his, getting truckloads of evidence delivered to his garage/brewery. I don’t think it dawns on Hank just how involved Walt was in the whole operation.
That is, until the fateful showdown. Walt, realizing Leaves of Grass is missing, and finding a GPS tracker on his car, heads over to confront Hank. He first uses his meek disguise, then turns on his sinister side. That garage door closes, and all bets are off.
Even when Hank’s holding him by the throat, Walt is as defiant as ever. He admits his cancer has returned, and tries to use it as leverage, telling Hank: “Even if you could prove these wild accusations, there won’t be anyone to prosecute in six months.” More bologna.
Hank steps away, devastated. “I don’t even know who I’m talking to.”
And then Walt delivers perhaps the most chilling line of the whole series: “Then your best course is to tread lightly.”
The line is so terrifying not just because of Bryan Cranston’s masterful acting and direction, but because this show has always been unpredictable, and now any death or twist would shock us. We’re so excited to see what happens next, we’ll even sit through 20 minutes of the fairly awful Low Winter Sun just for a taste.