Breaking Bad Coverage: The End of an Era?

The crew’s meth operation is in shambles following their successful yet tragic heist with partners singing their swan songs and opting out of the business while another strives to keep it alive.

Walt receives shocking news from Mike and Jesse when he arrives at the drop-off location. Mike informs him that he is being tailed by the DEA and that the increased danger has influenced him to bow out of the meth business. Jesse, still haunted by the boy’s death, reveals that he is also out.

Mike then shares that he and Jesse plan on selling their shares of the methylamine to another producer for five million each. Walt views Jesse’s decision as selling out and is appalled by the amount they were willing to settle for because they could make hundreds of millions of dollars from the stolen methylamine.

The deal with the buyer soon falters when the buyer learns that Walt would still be in business producing with his share of the substance. Jesse soon learns of Walt’s reasoning for being so adamant about staying in business. Walt reveals that he is motivated by a decision he made many years ago to sell his share of the now multi-billion dollar company Gray Matter for $5,000. After an awkward dinner with Walt and Skyler, Jesse learns of the dreadful state of their marriage and Walt informs him that Skyler has sent the kids away and is waiting for him to die; in Walt’s eyes the business is all he has left.

Walt attempts to take action to make his dream of building an empire come to fruition by stealing the methylamine, but is stopped by Mike who plans on taking Walt’s share to secure the deal with the buyer. Mike, armed with a gun, watches Walt overnight until he has to leave to tend to legal matters. Mike resorts to zip-tying him to a heater to prevent him from making off with the methylamine. Walt quickly frees himself by hotwiring the cord of a coffee pot to burn through the zip tie. Upon returning Walt and Jesse are at the location, but the methylamine is gone. An infuriated Mike draws his gun, places it to Walt’s head, until Jesse pleads with him not to pull the trigger and states that Walt has a plan that would make everyone happy.

While most of the episode focused on the tug of war over the methylamine, it also had its moments of heavy internal conflicts as well as levity through the character Jesse.

Actor Aaron Paul successfully embodied the roller coaster of emotions the character experienced throughout the episode. The sadness Jesse felt over the boy’s death and the rage he felt that led him to punch Todd in the face as he attempted to make light of the incident, easily resonates with viewers. Who wouldn’t want to hit someone in the face for heartlessly brushing off the death of a child as business as usual?

On a lighter note, viewers got a kick out of watching Jesse attempt to make small talk about the shortcomings of frozen food during a frigid dinner with the not so happy couple. The expression on his face as he resorted to nervously drinking water when his banter fell on deaf ears and when Skyler mentioned her affair was priceless.

Jesse often appears to be most human out of all those involved in the meth business. While Mike and Walt aren’t easily moved by the immoral actions their business often requires of them, Jesse is often brought to moments of deep contemplation and regret over the things he has done. Only time will tell how his involvement in the business will be effected by Walt’s new plan in the upcoming episodes.

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