After obtaining the list of names from Lydia, Walt enlists the help of Todd’s jailbird uncle and his friends to use their prison ties to eliminate the men on the list. Though the men that Mike was paying off are situated in three different prisons, Walt arranges it so that they met their makers at the same time. As Walt calmly looks out of his kitchen window, the men are brutally murdered by other inmates, most of them shanked to death while another has his prison cell set ablaze.
After a conversation with Marie, Skyler reaches out to Walt. She takes him to a storage unit where there is a large pile of money stacked on the floor; there is so much money, she gave up counting. She appeals to him saying that she wants her kids back and asks him how much bigger does the pile have to be.
The conversation with Skyler seems to cause Walt to have a change of heart. Though he had treated Jesse coldly, he goes to his house and the two reminisce about the early days of the business. The conversation is short and awkward and when Walt leaves, Jesse notices that he left a bag filled with the money owed to him by the door. Walt then returns home where he tells Skyler that he’s out of the meth business.
Walt’s decision to walk away seems to heal the family’s old wounds as they gather and spend time together. While they all are in good spirits, Hank makes a shocking realization while in the restroom. He picks up a book with an inscription dedicated to “W.W” from “G.B.” Hank then thinks back to a notebook he found at the apartment of a chemist used by Gus Fring, Gale Boetticher that had a written dedication to a “W.W.” He then concludes that Walt is the one they’ve been looking for all along.
The episode’s remarkable mixture of violence, reconciliation, and the cliffhanger at the end was very successful at enticing viewers to tune in to the show when the season continues next year.
Though the prison scene was brutal, it oddly had a pleasant nature because of the music playing in the background. It is ironic that writers and producers often pair soothing and pleasant music with scenes where the characters are involved with negative activities like producing meth or where extreme violence is unfolding. The scene also served as another example of just how ruthless Walt has become when it comes to protecting his empire.
The emotional scene where Sklyer made her plea to Walt addressed the sentiments shared by many viewers who watch week after week and wonder why Walt insists on continuing to envelop himself further into the business while alienating himself from everything and everyone he once held dear. Though Walt has finally seen the light, it is unfortunate and obvious that it won’t last long. Hank’s realization is indicative that Walt’s moment of domestic tranquility is the calm before the storm.
Hank’s realization serves as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is unfortunate that Walt’s redemption as a character will more than likely be short lived. On the other hand, viewers know that it will add drama and suspense to the series’ final episodes as Walt’s double life is finally exposed. Those watching will be curious to see how Hank will approach the situation. Will he be so moved by his discovery and angered over Walt’s deception that he immediately confronts him or will he conceal his realization in order gain more information about others involved in the meth operation.