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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Aurora Snow’s Breaking Bad: Season 5: Episode 512: “Rabid Dog” Review


“Rabid Dog”


“Where is Jesse Pinkman?” Walt comes home to Jesse’s car on his lawn and a gasoline soaked house, but no Jesse. He must have changed his mind, or did he? Jesse has always been a tragic emotionally charged character who continues to make bad decisions, one after another. Between the drugs and his blame personal issues there’s a lot to blame. It’s clear that Jesse is the loose end in this; he’s the wild card that could bring down the house Walt built, and hard.

Skyler said as much to Walt. She has morphed into a wife not just fit for Walt, but one that suits his Heisenberg alter ego as well. Skyler is in survival mode. Though she’s never liked Jesse, she isn’t the type of woman to recommend murder lightly. She’s only voicing the same thing several other characters on the show already have. She has her family’s best interest in mind (not to mention a natural instinct, common in new mothers, to fiercely protect her baby).  She’s a tough character, always has been, so this isn’t a surprising turn of events. Skyler not only recognizes what’s at stake here, she also recognizes how much sweat, blood and tears it’s taken to get to this point and she’s not about to let some flunky devalue all of that. After all what’s one more horrible act after all those that have come before it? At this point it’s like a single salty tear shed into a vast ocean.

Walt truly cares for Jesse, something Skyler has never understood and for that matter it’s something even Jesse finds hard to believe. There’s some sort of paternal responsibility or maybe it’s the type of responsibility mentor’s feel for their students, either way Walt feels for Jesse. The thought of getting rid of Jesse is incomprehensible, all Walt wants to do is make things right again. He clings feebly to the idea that Jesse just “changed his mind” about burning the house down. If Jesse weren’t such a blind spot for Walt, he’d have put together the oddball clues, the obvious signs of a deed interrupted (gas can in the living room, car still in the driveway, etc.). There are things in life we cannot come back from and this is one situation Walt cannot talk his way out of. This is also a rare moment when Walt, our master chess player, is not three steps ahead. Jesse is his Achilles’ heel.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Hank. The righteous, greedy, fat cat seized the chance to kill two birds with one stone. The kid he once beat within an inch of his life is now sleeping in his guest room and drinking fresh coffee from mugs his wife bought. At first I believed Hank and Jesse were on the same side, but that belief didn’t last long. Hank’s doing whatever he can to bring Walt down and right now that means playing nice-nice with Jesse. Even Marie is on-board. Of course Marie would be on-board with anything that goes against Walt; she’s gone off the deep end obsessing about how to kill him inconspicuously. Really interesting to watch Marie come unglued, it’s like watching a bird molt.

Jesse’s delusions may get him killed after all, which is what he suspects will become of him anyway. After all, Walt’s “the Devil, he’s smarter and luckier” than Hank and Gomez who, as Jesse reminded them, are just regular “guys.”  But it’s the Devil that actually cares about Jesse, not Hank who would just as quickly send him to his death. Thanks to all of Walt’s lies there’s no way Jesse will ever be able to understand that.

Walt’s been so careful that even Jesse’s taped confession can’t bring him much harm. No evidence, just verbal finger pointing. So what will Jesse do now to bring Walt down? I’m afraid Walt won’t wait to find out. He’s not the kind of guy you want to back into a corner. Bad move Jesse.

Another spectacular episode, with a poetic intensity that I suspect will continue to build as we close in on the home stretch and the last few episodes of Breaking Bad.

Aurora Snow Says:

Episode Rating:



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  1. Dear Miss Aurora Snow, thank you for the goss about the episode. Just a question if I may? Is it based on real life?

    • I don’t believe Breaking Bad is based on real life. It’s a fictional story about what can happen when average or even good people find themselves in certain situations that can make them behave badly. (Of course that is an over simplification of a very complicated well written show that deserves a better generalization).

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