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02 December 2012 @ 11:26 pm
Walt/Jesse Recap (Part 8/9)  
The Long Winded Blues of The Never
Meta by falafel_musings
Artwork by cylune9

lune8

We get an awful lot of shots with Walt and Mike at either sides of the frame and Jesse in the middle in the background. These shots always make Jesse look small, like a child of divorce caught between his warring parents (which he totally is). But it also characterizes Jesse as the mediator and peacemaker of the group; sometimes he's most like the rope in Walt and Mike's tug-of-war; stretched and straining in the feud of his two embittered father figures.

Previous Essays
Season One
Season Two, Part One
Season Two, Part Two
Season Three, Part One
Season Three, Part Two
Season Four, Part One
Season Four, Part Two




Live Free or Die

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"Jesus...what is it with you guys?"

S5 begins with a glimpse at Walt's future and it's worryingly Jesseless. Or is it? Walt is after all visiting a Dennys. The two previous references to Dennys on the show have been Walt & Jesse planning to go for a Grand Slam after cooking meth in the desert and Walt & Jesse's visit to Dennys after cleaning up the murder of Victor. So I tend to think of Dennys as a Walt & Jesse place, even though the Birthday bacon and Walt's false name 'Lambert' are both references to Skyler. But if Walt is back in ABQ on "business" with a machine gun, I'd like to think that Jesse is a major part of his motivation. If we reflect on Walt blowing up Tuco's lair in 'Crazy Handful of Nothing' and Walt running over the two dealers in 'Half Measures' there is a long established history of Walt committing acts of crazy chaotic violence to defend Jesse. The gun salesman limply wishing Walt "Good luck" makes me think the gun is intended for some sort of rescue mission. Walt may be coming back to save someone in his family, but you'd think anyone in the White/Schrader family could count on the DEA for protection. Jesse is a lonely disowned criminal who for the last year has had to rely mostly on Mr White for his survival.

Getting back to Walt and Jesse in the present; they are driving out to Mexico to see Mike who is predictably pissed that Walt has killed Gus and screwed up the "good thing" they had going. When Mike attempts to shoot Walt, Jesse flings himself bodily into the path of Mike's gun, shielding Walt from death and insisting that Mike will have to kill him too. Mike lowers his gun with a very world-weary "Oh Jesse..." There have been times when Mike has tried to coax Walt into letting him kill liability!Jesse and more recently times when Mike has tried to coax Jesse into letting him kill liability!Walt. But these two partners still stubbornly refuse to let the other die, much to Mike's bewilderment. It would seem that Jesse has a talent for endearing himself to cranky older men as Mike's soft spot for Jesse seems to be one of the main things preventing Mike from killing Walt and sensibly going on the run (well, that and Mike's soft spot for Kaylee). Here we see the makings of the new S3 partnership with Jesse as the glue holding them together. When the three guys drive away we get a shot of Mike and Walt sitting in the front of the car and Jesse in between them on the backseat. In S5 we get an awful lot of shots with Walt and Mike at either sides of the frame and Jesse in the middle in the background. These shots always make Jesse look small, like a child of divorce caught between his warring parents (which he totally is). But it also characterizes Jesse as the mediator and peacemaker of the group; sometimes he's most like the rope in Walt and Mike's tug-of-war; stretched and straining in the feud of his two embittered father figures.

Maybe it's because he's brought his two surrogate dads together, but Jesse reverts to a more childlike state in this episode after having become more manly and mature in his S4 arc. Jesse is literally jumping up and down with excitement over the "Yeah bitch, Magnets!" plan that was his idea. If there's one passion that Walt and Jesse share it's their love of committing elaborate felonies with science. Mike is warning Jesse to not be a fool; to take his money and flee while he still can. And while Mike has Jesse's best interests at heart much more so than Walt, Mike has always failed to see that Jesse isn't cut out to be a loner like him; particularly with all the guilt and trauma Jesse drags around these days. Jesse needs to belong to something or rather, to someone. Another crazy adventure with Mr White is the only homecoming that Jesse gets.

When Walt and Jesse carry out their magnet plan, they are wearing balaclavas, only without the silly little bobbles on top; which makes me sad though it also makes perfect sense. Walt and Jesse are major league pros now. That said, Jesse still frets over parking the magnet van next to the police evidence building. Wait doesn't yell at him or call him an idiot. He offers Jesse soothing encouragement, even as he is pushing their risky plan to its limits and tipping their van over on its side. Walt has a cool Godly authority and assurance that nothing will go wrong for him. Walt's "Because I said so" inspires the first of Jesse's many scared wary glances in Heisenberg's direction.


Madrigal

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"I don't know what's wrong with me, Mr White."

Towards the end of S4, Jesse had been growing sharp, confident and independent. When he first realized the ricin cigarette was missing, Jesse was fiercely insistent that he didn't just lose it through his own carelessness. Someone must've taken it. Mr White must've taken it! No Mr White wouldn't do that. Gus must've taken it then. Only...no, Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin after all. So where did the ricin go? These worries are keeping Jesse awake at night, his head full of fears that his lost cigarette will end up killing some innocent person (or kid). Walt tries to calm Jesse down and offers to help him search his house. Walt has already got Jesse so frantic - like, they're checking to make sure Jesse didn't "drop" the cigarette inside one of his couch cushions. This is fly chasing levels of crazed hysterical obsessiveness. Walt eventually guides Jesse to check his Romba in which Walt has hidden the fake ricin cigarette. I don't think there was anything sadistic about this manipulation. Walt's purpose was to get Jesse to stop worrying over the ricin, lest Jesse begin to suspect Walt of lifting it again. Walt didn't set out to make Jesse cry. Yet when Jesse does burst into tears and tells Walt how sorry he is for almost shooting him, it's an unexpected outpouring that suits both Walt's ego and his agenda.

What Walt does to Jesse in this episode is such a perfect example of Gaslighting; a form of psychological abuse wherein the victim's sense of reality is tampered with, causing them to lose all confidence in their own perceptions and judgement. Gaslighting is most commonly a form of domestic abuse and Walt is currently attempting to inflict the same treatment on Skyler, pressuring her to accept his vision of reality where Walt is the noble savior of their family and Skyler is his foolish unfaithful wife who Walt is magnanimously prepared to "forgive". Skyler is more emotionally stable and self-assured than Jesse. She's scared of Walt but she isn't blind to what he's become and so she stubbornly refuses to submit to his attempted brainwashing. Jesse's sense of self-worth is so much more fragile and because of this Jesse gives Walt the emotional response he'd desired but didn't get from Skyler. Jesse crumbles and confesses that he was stupid and wrong. Jesse weeps with remorse and Walt rubs his shoulders, comforting Jesse in the same way he'd wanted to comfort Skyler who now becomes cold and stiff whenever Walt touches her. While Jesse is still sobbing, Walt makes sure to remind him of all the times that they've saved each others lives; emphasizing that the two of them working together and protecting each other is the reason that they've survived this long. And for this reason, they are going forward together. "Go forward where?" asks Jesse apprehensively. It's likely that Jesse had been hoping he could get out of the meth business but Jesse can't say no to Walt when he's already so torn up with shame. Besides, Jesse clearly can't survive on his own and he can't even trust his own mind so it's much safer to do what Mr White says. Mr White's always been the smart one, right?

So not only does Walt convince Jesse he is a stupid screw up, but I think Jesse really buys into Walt's romanticism and nostalgia over their year-long partnership. Of course Jesse would want to get a new RV when they are making plans for their new business. Jesse's being drawn in by the hope that they could go back to the good old days of being free and evasive in their mobile meth lab. When Jesse tells Walt there's no methylamine to be had on the black market, Walt simply tells Jesse to "have faith", like the universe will bend to Heisenberg's will eventually so long as Jesse is a good disciple. It used to be that Jesse would yell at Walt for making unreasonable demands and that Saul would make fun of them both, but now there's a sense that both Jesse and Saul are tiptoeing around Walt, nervous of voicing any slight objections to his plans.      


Hazard Pay

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"You call them Yes Sir and No Sir."

In the early parts of 'Hazard Pay' we get a glimpse of Walt and Jesse acting like true partners; as seeming equals. Jesse has as much of a say as Walt does as they shop around for a new cook site. Walt is no longer belittling or ungrateful for Jesse's contributions and Jesse expresses his ideas maturely; no longer quite so needy of Mr White's approval. The two of them are almost always standing or sitting side by side in this episode, seeming very much in sync. But the scene that best captures their new unity is the latest cooking montage. This is the first cook Walt and Jesse have done together since 'Four Days Out' that's been entirely on their own terms. For many months they've been the oppressed underlings of Gus's organisation; working in an underground lab, guarded by armed henchmen. Now they are the bosses of a new business with underlings of their own who call them 'Sir' and everything. Walt and Jesse may be cooking a highly addictive illegal drug in some poor unsuspecting family's home and yes...that's horrifying. But the 'On a Clear Day' montage is so sublime and pleasurable; romantic even. These are two masters at their craft who have learned to work together in perfect harmony. It's hard not to feel a little bit happy for them.

That said, happiness never lasts long for Jesse. For a moment there, Jesse had been so proud to introduce Andrea and Brock to his "friend" Mr White. Jesse will never get to introduce any girlfriends to his parents, but it's clear that Jesse sees Walt as a good substitute. I don't feel like Jesse is madly in love with Andrea the way he was with Jane, but Andrea and Brock do offer Jesse a chance for an 'instant family'; a little family in need who Jesse can provide for and who'll give him a sense of stability, maybe even redemption. If Walt were a good father figure he might be encouraging Jesse to get out of the meth game, to take his money and escape for a new town and a new life with this young mother and her child. But Walt won't set Jesse free and he doesn't wish to be reminded of that kid he poisoned either. So Walt plays the father figure, treating Jesse to some wisdom which he has seemingly garnered from his own ruined marriage. If Jesse keeps secrets from Andrea there will always be barriers between them, but if Jesse tells Andrea the truth she's likely to be horrified and reject him. Neither option that Walt presents Jesse with is appealing, yet Walt trusts Jesse will make the right choice. That choice being the unspoken yet strongly implied third option that Jesse could just break up with Andrea; the safest option for everyone, most importantly Walt. The really haunting thing about Walt's "honesty" speech to Jesse is how it reflects the core problem with Walt and Jesse's own relationship. Walt has his dark secrets that he keeps from Jesse; secrets that have created barriers between them. Yet Walt can never come clean with Jesse because Walt knows it would destroy their relationship, just as Jesse realizes that confessing to Andrea that he's a murderer would destroy their relationship.            

Walt isn't the only father figure cutting Jesse off from the very few other people in his life. Mike warns Jesse with one stern glance that he doesn't want him hanging around with Badger and Skinny Pete anymore. Jesse sadly accepts the loss of the only friends and family he had left for the sake of the new business. Walt and Mike may hate each other; Walt and Mike may have only agreed to work together out of necessity and their mutual desire for money. But Jesse really does love and respect his two partners. He wants the business to work so badly that he'll give away a huge portion of his own money just to get his two dads to stop fighting. Jesse offering the hazard pay out of his own share may have been a peacekeeping gesture, but I think Walt takes it as Jesse trying to shame him; making him look petty and greedy when Walt is simply demanding the riches and respect he feels he deserves. I still think Walt's Icarus speech is more a threat to cut Mike's throat than a threat to cut Jesse's throat. But it's still an example of Walt psychologically abusing Jesse and punishing him for not taking Walt's side in the money dispute. Walt's veiled threat was a calculated way of making Jesse feel disoriented and scared - yet Walt's words were so vague that if Jesse ever challenged Walt over it, Walt could plausibly deny the threat and tell Jesse he's being paranoid. Walt was just thinking about Victor, that's all.


Fifty-One

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"He changed his mind about me, Skyler. And so will you."

Over the seasons, there have been several "love triangles" woven around the Walt & Jesse relationship - Walt/Jesse/Jane, Jesse/Walt/Gale, Walt/Jesse/Gus, etc. You could say S5 centers around the Walt/Jesse/Mike triangle but I'm more intrigued by the subtle tones of a Jesse/Walt/Skyler triangle this season. There's a continuous on the theme of Jesse being the one who gives Walt the love and respect that Walt can no longer get from Skyler. On his 51st birthday, Walt wants his life (and really, his survival) to be celebrated. Walt wants a celebration fit for the king he's become; his ego demands cool cars and chocolate cake. Walt casually mentions his birthday to Jesse; not as a hint that he wants a gift, but just because he wants to get away from work early to attend the imagined party he thinks Skyler is throwing for him. Skyler walks a careful line of not doing anything special for Walt's birthday but still following Walt's orders so he can't lash out at her for disobeying him. Walt may have become a monster but he still craves human affection and he's no longer getting that from his cold distant wife or his son who has a better bond with his heroic cop uncle. At dinner, Walt starts reflecting on all the times he thought he might die during the last year, adding that "someone" always came through for him. From his family's perspective this seems like Walt crediting Skyler for supporting him through his cancer recovery. But we all know Walt is speaking more about his many brushes with death in the drug world and if there is one person who always came through for Walt in that context, it's Jesse - the unknown bastard child of Walt's family; the only one not invited to his party.

In the end, Jesse winds up being the only one who surprises Walt on his birthday, giving him a gift which was both unexpected and extravagant. When Walt is given his flashy new watch he's still feeling numb from Skyler telling him that she's waiting for the cancer to come back. In contrast to his wife wishing death on him, Jesse not only cares about Walt's life, but Jesse is a person who'll jump in the path of a gun for Walt and who still values Walt's judgement and authority. Jesse may love Mike too but he doesn't love how ruthless Mike can be in his snap decisions to kill people who cause them problems. Jesse is pitifully deluded if he really thinks he can be part of a non-violent drug ring but Walt will make that false promise in return for Jesse's devotion. The episode ends with Walt showing off his new watch to Skyler which is maybe the closest Walt gets to his own "I fucked Ted" moment. Walt wants Skyler to know that someone still loves him, even if she does not. And Walt's someone once wanted him dead too. Walt's claim that Jesse "changed his mind" about him is chilling, because it implies that Jesse misjudged Walt rather than Jesse being cruelly manipulated to trust Walt again. It's also heartbreaking to see Jesse so earnest in the gift giving scene, only for Walt to treat the present as proof that he conquered this person. Like Walt's personal relationships are now just another game for Walt to win.


Dead Freight

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"No one, other than us, can ever know that this robbery went down."

I feel like Jesse and Walt have come to share a love for adventure and capers in their criminal lifestyle. When Lydia suggests the train heist solve the methylamine problem, Walt and Jesse both seem excited by the scientific challenge and the prospect of playing Jesse James. I'm sure Walt especially would like the legend of Heisenberg to include wild stories of a daring outlaw pulling off a train robbery. Skyler notices the sand on his clothes and asks Walt if he's been out burying bodies, but Walt doesn't like that dark depiction of himself as a monstrous serial killer. Walt will take the credit for killing evil super villains like Gus Fring because in that context Walt can see himself as the outlaw hero who beat the bad guy and saved his family. Walt poisoning a child to achieve that victory is not something he would want included the history books. It has been well established that Jesse doesn't want to go through with any plans that involve killing innocent people. As this point, Jesse even objects to the killing of not-so-innocent people like Lydia. As I've said before, Jesse deludes himself into believing his crimes will cause no real harm because the selfish part of Jesse enjoys having a purpose in life. Jesse wasted his education and he has no other career prospects, so coming up with the idea for the perfect non-violent heist is the best thing that Jesse can achieve.

During the planning of the train robbery, Walt is again treating Jesse as an equal. Walt happily tells Todd, the new student of their group, that it was Jesse who came up with the idea to replace the methylamine with water. Jesse is used to being the youngest most inferior member of the crew, so he seems to enjoy this moment of schooling the new kid. When Jesse tells Todd that "nobody can ever know" that the robbery went down I'm pretty sure Jesse was only meaning to warn Todd that he shouldn't go around bragging to his friends. Jesse wasn't ordering Todd to kill any potential witnesses because Jesse's plan was designed so nobody would ever know the train got robbed. When Todd praises the brilliance of the plan, Walt smiles at Jesse, seeming content to share this moment of outlaw heroism. Walt is not merely possessive of Jesse. He has come to truly enjoy having Jesse by his side. Jesse even seems to have embraced Walt's love for pushing the limits. In the middle of the heist, Jesse reluctantly follows Walt's order to keep on syphoning the methylamine till the last moment, even though Jesse then has to lie down under a moving train. Jesse doesn't punch Walt for risking his safety. Jesse is whooping and celebrating their victory, which seems all the sweeter for Walt increasing the level of danger and chaos.

Their celebrations are halted by the appearance of a kid on a dirt bike who Todd immediately shoots dead just as Jesse is opening his mouth to scream for him to stop. When we first saw the kid (Drew Sharp) in the teaser, I had thought the show might be flashing back to Jesse's childhood. The kid letting the spider crawl over his hand reminded me of Jesse playing with the bug at the start of 'Peekaboo'. Jesse also used to ride a motorbike before it was stolen in 'Down'. The kid turned out not to be a young Jesse but there has always been a pattern of little boy characters being symbolic of Jesse in the show and sometimes foreshadowing Jesse's end of season fate. In S2 Jesse rescued a little boy from a disgusting drug pit and in the S2 finale Walt rescues Jesse from a disgusting drug pit. In S3 Jesse tries to put a stop to a little boy being ordered to kill rivals in the drug game and by the S3 finale Jesse is ordered by Walt to kill his rival in the drug game. This abrupt end to Drew Sharp's life could be symbolic of the abrupt end of Jesse's criminal career; much like Brock's poisoning by Walt was symbolic of Jesse being emotionally poisoned by Walt. However part of me fears this boy being killed as a witness is a more literal foreshadowing. Maybe by the end of S5 Jesse will turn police witness and he will be shot for it by some random gang member...and then maybe Walt will be the one screaming "No!"


Buyout

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"Did you ever dream of having five million dollars?."

Jesse is understandably not present in the opening scene when his partners are dissolving the dead kid and his bike in strong acid. Drew is actually not the first kid to die due to Jesse's involvement in the meth business. Jesse played a big part in the events leading up to Tomas's murder too, though he never intended for that kid to die either. When it was Tomas, Jesse's response was to attempt to kill the two dealers who murdered him. Jesse's response to Drew's killing shows a greater level of maturity. Jesse knows nothing will be solved by killing Todd in revenge. Jesse can't hope to defeat all the child killing criminals in the world. The best thing Jesse can do is to simply stop involving himself in criminal organisations that kill people. If Walt and Mike agree on anything then it's the need to be ruthless and to vote against Jesse's ludicrous attempts to bring morality into their criminal enterprise. Jesse can't be the placated kid anymore. He has to face up to the way things are. That said, Walt still attempts to comfort Jesse when he tears up over a news story about the dead boy's disappearance. Jesse almost gives in; he briefly lets Mr White nursemaid him and insist that everything will be okay from now on. Then Jesse hears Walt cheerily whistling and he's reminded that Mr White isn't really Mr White anymore.

Mike and Jesse tell Walt they want out and Walt isn't ready to deal with Jesse leaving yet. Walt's first task to offer justification for why he won't be taking the 5 million dollar buyout. Jesse is already prepared for this particular debate. Not only does Jesse reasonably point out that 5 million is a much greater sum of money than the $737, 000 dollars that Walt originally claimed he needed to secure his family's future, Jesse's argument reminds Walt of a time when he still had his humanity and Walt does wince at the memory of that time. Walt also attempts to use their shared history to win the debate, reminding Jesse of how much they've suffered and bled for this business. Walt's 'Grey Matter' story is a decent explanation for Walt's reluctance to sell out and Gretchen & Elliot have certainly played into Walt's bitterness, but I still think this is just another of Walt's excuses. As Jesse wisely points out Walt can't claim that his desired meth empire is a suitable replacement for his lost billion dollar chemical corporation that's doing some good in the world. Running the murderous drug ring is not something that either of them can be proud of.          

Walt can't quite win this argument but Walt can force Jesse and Skyler into a painfully uncomfortable dinner as a way of punishing them for their 'betrayals' against Walt's will. The dinner scene is framed like a family meal though Jesse does not sit in Junior's chair. Jesse sits in the chair that is typically unoccupied (note: Walt says in the 'Full Measures' flashback that he always wanted to have three kids). Walt, Skyler and Junior most often share breakfast scenes at this table in the full light of day. Here we get an evening meal as the setting for this darker fucked up formation of the White family. Walt is bringing home his bastard child, spawned from his love affair with crime. Walt is a cold silent bully in this scene, though Skyler at least seems to realize the best way to cope with bullies is to ignore them and to walk away. Jesse is just babbling and trying desperately not to offend anyone. It's a funny moment that ends up saddening me because Jesse was raised in a nice middle class home which he can never return to. Walt is ready to take advantage of Jesse's insecurity and their shared pain over lost families. Walt tells Jesse that Skyler has taken his kids away and is waiting for him to die, so the business is the only thing he has left. Jesse couldn't really sympathize with Walt's Grey Matter angst, but when it comes to losing everything you ever cared about? Yeah, Jesse can't ignore a plea like that.


Say my Name

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"If there's a hell...we're already pretty much going there, right?"

So Walt sets his own wrist on fire to sabotage Mike's methylamine buyout. Again it's Walt doing something that would be beyond most humans just to carry out his will. Walt will have his way and he will win. He wants to get rid of Mike anyway, he's happy to replace him with Declan's distribution network and Jesse...well, Walt has always found some way to bring Jesse back on side so he'll worry about that later. Walt credits Jesse to Declan's crew as being one of the two best meth cooks in America, continuing his S5 technique of encouraging Jesse but also steamrolling Jesse's free will (and possibly endangering Jesse if the Phoenix crew ever need him as a replacement for Walt). Jesse reminds Walt that he's out. Jesse reminds Mike that he's out too. Both older men barely resist patting Jesse on the head and saying "Suuure you are".  Mike at least advises Jesse to look out for himself which is a nice contrast to Walt demanding that Jesse devote his life to serving the cult of Heisenberg. As Mike and Jesse shake hands for the last time, Walt watches them with naked envy and resentment. He shook hands with Jesse in this manner at the end of S4. Walt used to share these simple moments of human connection. Now all Walt has is Skyler and Jesse's fearful politeness. When Walt and Jesse come to collect the methylamine from the carwash, Skyler and Jesse pause to stare at the "vamanos" logo and feeling a mutual desire for escape. In the moment where they look back at each other in the shadows, it may be that they are starting to recognize each other as fellow hostages of Heisenberg, both longing to be free of a man they once loved.

The scene that follows was described by cylune9 as Walt's 'Greatest Hits' of manipulating Jesse into staying in the meth business. Walt uses every trick in the book, starting by ignoring Jesse's need to get out, like he's hoping Jesse'll be too scared of displeasing Walt to bring it up (worked in Madrigal!). Before Jesse can say anything Walt starts in with the compliments and the lucrative offers; telling Jesse again that his meth cooking skills are just as good as Walt's own (worked in One Minute!). When Jesse repeats to Walt that his feelings haven't changed, Walt tries to convince Jesse that being a meth cook is such a prosperous career for a young man and Jesse can't just abandon his potential (worked in No Rough Stuff Type Deal and Nergo Y Azul!). Jesse digs his heels in and refuses to take the bait. So Walt just lashes out at him, callously pointing out that Jesse has nothing and nobody in his life apart from video games and go-carts (hey, leave the go-carts alone!!). Walt scornfully predicts that if Jesse has no purpose he'll end up using again (worked in...well no, Walt's verbal abuse never really works, but old habits die hard). When Walt gets vicious Jesse's face drops and he murmurs "Mr White" in shock. Even more heartbreaking than Jesse's shock is how quickly he recovers from it - Walt has always been a mean old bastard to him, even if those warm fatherly chats had caused Jesse to forget for a while. Walt realizes that the low blow has not helped his cause so he backtracks and tries showing sympathy for Jesse's heartache over the murdered boy, insisting that he is just as upset about innocent kids getting hurt (worked in Face Off!). When Jesse doubts that Walt gives a shit about the dead child, Walt just outright attacks Jesse for daring to take the moral high ground. He gets Jesse thinking about his own terrible sins (specifically killing Gale) in an effort to convince Jesse that he can't go back to a nice normal life when he's guilty of so many dark deeds (worked in Hazard Pay!). Walt also throws in that if Jesse is religious then he can't even hope for a nice afterlife because he and Mr White are most definitely going to hell (Walt has never tried this manipulation before, but he'll try just about anything to make Jesse stay at this stage). Walt even tries promising Jesse that they won't have to kill any more people now they are in charge of the business; which both of them know is bullshit.

So in the end Walt resorts to withholding Jesse's money. And at that point, Jesse grins a half-crazed grin of triumph because he's never been greedy like Mr White and if walking away from 5 million dollars is what it takes to escape this madness then Jesse Pinkman can do that. Walt desperately screams after Jesse that if he leaves he'll have nothing but as Jesse walks out the door it really feels like Walt is the one being left destitute. Walt could not have said or done anything more to get Jesse to stay beyond holding a gun to Jesse's head. But threatening Jesse's life is the one line that Walt has yet to cross. That said, before this episode ends Walt does have a gun in his hand and he has a person he can use it on. As Walt will reflect later - there was no logical reason for him shooting Mike. It was a crime of passion. It could be said that Mike's rants about Walt ruining the "good thing" they had with Fring and sneering that Walt shouldn't known his place was enough to whip Walt into a murderous rage. But this isn't just about Walt's pride and his ego. Walt didn't have a good thing going with Fring; a man who kept him like a slave, who desired to kill him, who threatened to kill all of Walt's loved ones. The only 'good thing' Walt had going in the drug world was his partnership with Jesse. And now that has been ruined too. In the aftermath of losing Jesse, Walt had to listen to Jesse heroically offering to get Mike's bag and Mike nobly telling Jesse not to put himself in harm's way; two friends having each others back, exactly the kind of bond Walt liked to think he and Jesse shared. It's not actually Mike's fault that Jesse left the business, but he's the best target for Walt to take out his frustrations and maybe even his jealousy on.


Gliding Over All

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"I used to love to go camping..."

A few hours after murdering Mike, Walt is sitting alone listening to a fly buzzing around his head. The last fly that buzzed around Walt drove him so crazy that he nearly confessed to Jesse he was the cause of Jane's death. Now Walt's done it again; he's secretly killed another person who Jesse loved, yet another untold betrayal against his partner. Todd arrives to help Walt dispose of Mike's body - Todd his new assistant, his new pupil. Unlike Jesse, Todd doesn't question Walt's judgement or his morality. Todd never calls Walt a 'bitch'. Todd also seems devoid of all those pesky human emotions that had held Jesse back and made him so difficult to deal with. Walt ought to love Todd yet their interactions seem so lifeless. When Jesse arrives at 'Vamanos Pest', he asks first if Mike got away safe ("He's gone" is all Walt can say) and then asks what they are going to do about Mike's guys in lock up. Maybe Jesse is naively holding out hope that Walt has some brilliant scheme to save them from jail without having to kill anyone. Didn't Walt promise that nobody else was going to die? Well, Walt no longer cares to keep silly promises to Jesse. "There is no WE, Jesse" Walt says and even in this dark moment it amuses me that Walt is using couples break up speak. Walt gestures for Jesse to leave and as Jesse walks away he seems to realize exactly how Walt is going to "handle it". Jesse has finally made the choice to stop being the bad guy and to play no further part in their bloody business. But Jesse can't stop people dying because of this game he started with Mr White. Jesse is still too scared to get in Walt's way and he can't offer any other solution. On a more personal level I think Jesse is hurt by Walt's rejection. While Jesse desperately wanted out of the drug ring, I don't think he wanted to lose his relationships with Walt or Mike; yet both men shut the door on Jesse, same as his real parents.

After separating from Jesse, we get the story of Walt murdering ten imprisoned men in two minutes followed by Walt taking on the role of kingpin in his own international million dollar drug organisation - all in a couple of sweeping montages. Some fans have complained bitterly about the writers fast forwarding through this part of the story. However this narrative choice just confirms to me that this is a show about Walt and Jesse's partnership more than it's a show about Heisenberg's meth empire. If Walt and Jesse are not together, then the story is missing its heart and soul. The only other time the show has jumped forwards like this was when Walt was recovering from surgery and Jesse was recovering from heroin addiction. Our boys weren't together so the writers just skipped ahead (love you, writers!) The striking effect of the 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' montage is how it conveys Walt's boredom as he goes through the old meth making meth selling routine over and over - cooking the blue, transporting the barrels, getting his money, laundering his money, then sitting at home all alone. There's no Gus trying to kill him, no Skyler arguing with him, no Jesse creating chaos for him. Walt has earned nothing from his empire but massive bale of paper; a heap of dirty money that neither he nor his family can ever hope to spend in their lifetimes. A brief glimpse of Walt going in for a hospital scan suggests that his time may almost be up. If Walt's just been told that the cancer is back then it makes my heart burst that Jesse is the first person he wanted to see.

 Three months out of the meth business and Jesse is a pale burnt out shell, living his dark empty house with the phone unplugged, surrounded by beer bottles and bongs, almost setting himself on fire as he falls asleep smoking. Getting free of Walter White and the drug trade has not saved Jesse. He's still lost, aimless, drugged up and more isolated than ever, just as Walt predicted he would be. When Walt appears at Jesse's door, his eyes widen with fear, yet he still lets Walt inside. Jesse knows that Walt ordered the deaths of ten men. Jesse and Saul may also suspect that Walt has killed Mike, seeing as Walt's suffered no reprisals for killing Mike's guys. But Walt hasn't come to Jesse's house to talk about all the people he's killed. He just wants to chat about the old days in the RV. Like Walt says earlier to Hank "I used to love to go camping". Walt will always want what he doesn't have. For most of the show Walt wanted the power and riches he's been denied through his life. Now Walt is bored with his power and riches, the thing he wants most is the humanity that he's lost along the way. Jesse briefly shares in Walt's nostalgic ramblings, but he is very careful to keep a distance between them and in a hurry to end their conversation. Walt smiles at Jesse fondly and it feels like Walt wants to thank Jesse for the adventure they've shared; for giving Walt some excitement in his life before he dies. But Walt has never been good at expressing his affection for Jesse in words. So Walt simply leaves telling Jesse that he's left him something. And let's say the cancer is back. The last time Walt was diagnosed with cancer he had wanted to leave money for his family. If the cancer has come back then Walt's first impulse this time around was to leave money for Jesse. It's a tragic moment of Walt believing he is making amends with Jesse and leaving a legacy for his surrogate son. Yet as Jesse collapses in a trembling heap and shakily removes a gun from his jeans, we learn Jesse's been waiting for the day when Heisenberg would knock on his door. Walt strangely never worried about Jesse flipping on him, but Jesse's fear of assassination makes me wonder if he considered going to the cops as the only option for halting Walt's killing sprees.

Walt & Jesse: Season Five, Part Two

 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
cylune: bbcylune9 on December 4th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
Awesome!!!!! I'll make a longer post when I have more free time but, as an accountant, I cannot stay silent about the missing '0' in $737,000. Please fix it? Thank you.

Yes, I have issues.

awesome analysis, again. :)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on December 4th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Fixed!! Thanks for pointing this out. I'm good with words but I'm sooo numbers dyslexic. I thought that there should've been another zero but I'd convinced myself that it would mean Walt was after 7 million and 37 and that wouldn't have made sense in Jesse's reasoning.

Anyway - thanks for the correction!
pgilmour on December 4th, 2012 02:22 am (UTC)
I love your reviews! They are so in line with my thinking about these two. I'm so glad someone else shares my obsession!

1.) favorite moments - so many, I could pick a few scenes from just about every episode. The whole episode of Fly is the best and I love that at the end Jesse covers up Mr. White with his jacket. If I listed all my favorites, I'd be here forever.

2.)I figure Jesse has been taken as a hostage cook for Declan or something. Or maybe he's in jail and Walt's going to bust him out. I will be very bummed if Walt isn't on a mission to save Jesse.

3.) I don't want Jesse to find out all the crap that Walt has done. It would completely break him and everything we love about Jesse would be gone. I would like to see Walt acknowledge what Jesse means to him. I think Walt could actually be good for Jesse if he could get over his own ego for 5 minutes. And Jesse definitely needs someone to give him direction. I don't want Jesse to roll on Walt though. I think it would take a lot to get him to do that, and it would be out of character. And I definitely don't want Jesse to land in jail. Bad things would happen to him in jail! And he's punishing himself quite enough without jail.

Coincidentally, the Dennys that Walt is at IS the same one he and Jesse were at after Gus killed Victor. You can tell if you look at the scenery through the windows behind the tables.

I'm never going to make it til next summer!
falafel_musings: breaking bad 3falafel_musings on December 4th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Reading your favourites and your predictions it seems our thoughts are definitely correlating. I was looking back over my Walt/Jess recaps and the longest ones were for Fly and Half Measures. Fly is the quintessential Walt & Jesse episode for me though the last two episodes of S2, S3 and S4 have all had some epic Walt/Jesse moments too. I just hope the S5 climax will be just as focused on their relationship. Other fans have speculated things like "What if Walt is coming back to rescue Junior?" which would be plausible but...yeah, I'd be bummed too. It just seems like the final act should come back to the core partnership. Walt's family has actually become secondary even though Walt's original motivations were all about his family.

My two main theories for "Where is Jesse?" in the flashforward are a) hostage cook and b) jail too. If it is Jesse that Walt has come back for then Walt's 'Live Free or Die' bumper might apply more to the person he's rescuing. If the cancer's back then Walt has no choice but to die. However, Walt's final act might be to ensure that his partner gets to 'live free' so Walt will try to save Jesse from either prison or meth lab enslavement.

I'm really torn on the 'Should Jesse learn about ALL Walt's betrayals?' issue. I think Jesse not finding out could be just as tragic as Jesse finding out. Part of me wants to protect Jesse from further trauma and part of me wants to see Aaron Paul get another epic acting opportunity if Jesse learns the terrible truth. To be honest I struggle to see Jesse having a happy ending of any kind. When I'm predicting Jesse's final resolution I'm thinking a) death, b) jail, c) mental institution. And I can't decide which option is the least painful!

I also struggle with the popular theory that Jesse will roll on Walt. There's part of me that thinks Jesse and Hank teaming up to bring down Walt would be the best thing ever. Yet there are two factors that make me doubt this scenario - a) the show has made so much of Jesse's undying loyalty to Walt and b) Jesse and Hank seriously hate each other. I do think it's likely that Hank figuring out Walt will have Hank twigging that a) Walt was with Jesse and Tuco out in the desert during his supposed fugue state and b) it must've been Walt who arranged the phone call about Marie being in a car-crash to save Jesse from being arrested. So Hank may well look to Jesse as a potential informant, but yeah...it's still hard to believe those two would work together given their history with each other. Unless maybe it becomes a 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' type deal. But I agree that Jesse turning on Walt could be out of character if they don't give Jesse a strong enough motivation.

With Walt, I'd be shocked if he didn't die, particularly since Walt has been marked for death since the Pilot. For me the question with Walt is simply HOW he will die and I still think it'll be in jail from cancer rather than a machine gun shoot out. I wasn't sure if that was the same Dennys from 'Boxcutter' but thanks for the confirmation!

I can't cope with the hiatus either. *sighs*

Edited at 2012-12-04 07:21 pm (UTC)
pgilmour on December 4th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
It just seems like the final act should come back to the core partnership. Walt's family has actually become secondary even though Walt's original motivations were all about his family.

I agree totally! They REALLY need to give us some closure on that aspect of the show. Because it really is about those two at this point.

However, Walt's final act might be to ensure that his partner gets to 'live free' so Walt will try to save Jesse from either prison or meth lab enslavement.

Walt definitely needs to be "all sacrificial"...

Part of me wants to protect Jesse from further trauma and part of me wants to see Aaron Paul get another epic acting opportunity if Jesse learns the terrible truth.

That would be an awesome scene. Aaron Paul is freaking incredible. It's a tough call though. I mean if Jesse did find out (and his head didn't immediately explode) what could he do? Kill Walt? And then what? That would be even worse for him cause he would lose anything that is left of his innocence. He's just not cut out for that kind of thing. Like when he confronts Walt about poisoning Brock - if he had really wanted to kill him he could've just shot him, no questions asked but I think he wanted Walt to convince him otherwise. He didn't want to believe that Walt was capable of doing that. He was just as hurt about the betrayal as he was angry. I think you and others have said he is willfully deceiving himself and I think that's true. So, I don't know...

When I'm predicting Jesse's final resolution I'm thinking a) death, b) jail, c) mental institution. And I can't decide which option is the least painful!

I keep thinking he'll end up dying in Walt's arms after throwing himself in front of a hail of bullets to save Walt's worthless life and then Walt will go batshit crazy (along with the audience). My alternate (and completely inplausible and wishful thinking) theory is that Walt and Jesse will end up with only each other left and Jesse will care for Walt until he dies of cancer and then go to art school and do something useful with himself. :)

And why can't I make your comments that I'm responding to be in italics?

Edited at 2012-12-04 07:48 pm (UTC)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on December 4th, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
And why can't I make your comments that I'm responding to be in italics?

If you want to put my comments in italics in your LJ reply then you need to put < i > at the start of the sentence and < /i > at the end of the sentence. Only remove the spaces between the i's an the >

I'll respond to the rest of your awesome comment later but I wanted to help you with that because I find LJ coding tricky too...

ETA: ...like how my demonstration just failed!



Edited at 2012-12-04 08:47 pm (UTC)
pgilmour on December 5th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Looking forward to your response!
falafel_musings: breaking bad 3falafel_musings on December 5th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC)
Walt definitely needs to be "all sacrificial"...

LOL, quite. That said, I don't think Walt is gonna get a redemption story. Walt may fool himself into thinking he's the sacrificial hero. But if he is on some mission to rescue Jesse I think Jesse would be horrified by Walt going on a machine gun rampage and claiming he's doing it for Jesse. The last thing Jesse wants is for more people to die.

I mean if Jesse did find out (and his head didn't immediately explode) what could he do?

Well, I think this is where my 'mental institution' theory comes in. I don't think Jesse could bring himself to kill Walt. Jesse was so traumatized after killing a stranger, I don't think he could cope with killing his partner and father figure, even if he did know about Walt's betrayals. But I do think knowing the truth would destroy Jesse and I fear he might even attempt suicide.

My alternate (and completely inplausible and wishful thinking) theory is that Walt and Jesse will end up with only each other left and Jesse will care for Walt until he dies of cancer and then go to art school and do something useful with himself. :)

I do like the idea of Jesse 'breaking good' in the end. My sentimental future fic idea was that Jesse would get out of jail at age 50 and just as Walt started leading a bad life at age 50 Jesse would start leading a good life. But that idea seems far too twee for BB.

I do like the idea of Jesse being the only one at Walt's bedside when he's finally dying of cancer. Or maybe Walt will be completely alone but he'll imagine seeing Jesse by his side? Like, you've said, it'd be good to get a sense of how much Jesse means to Walt.
cylune: bb2cylune9 on December 4th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
Sorry about the earlier comment. Some people are grammar police. I'm another kind of those type of people.

So I tend to think of Dennys as a Walt & Jesse place

Yep, me too. That's why this particular restaurant is on my 'I absolutely have to eat there' list.

Mike lowers his gun with a very world-weary "Oh Jesse..."

Oh Mike. I love you.

When the three guys drive away we get a shot of Mike and Walt sitting in the front of the car and Jesse in between them on the backseat. In S5 we get an awful lot of shots with Walt and Mike at either sides of the frame and Jesse in the middle in the background.

Great observation. Jesse was the only thing making this partnership work.

If there's one passion that Walt and Jesse share it's their love of committing elaborate felonies with science.

lol!!! So true.

I don't think there was anything sadistic about this manipulation. Walt's purpose was to get Jesse to stop worrying over the ricin, lest Jesse begin to suspect Walt of lifting it again.

Oh, wow. wow. I never thought of it that way but you're absolutely right. Walt's intention weren't sadistic... but it's the result and seeing Jesse so emotional and devastated and how Walt, in a very calculated way, used Jesse's vulnerable state to get what he wanted. But before that scene... Walt was... Oh God help me... actually trying to be helpful. That totally got lost on me.

Jesse gives Walt the emotional response he'd desired but didn't get from Skyler

Another great observation. Your take on the Skyler/Walt and Jesse/Walt relationships is fascinating. Walt needs to be worshiped and appreciated. And like you said, he's not getting that appreciation from Skyler (or Junior) but Jesse fulfill that need. And in the process, Walt is becoming more emotionally dependent on his relationship with Jesse. Walt's attachment to Jesse has grown over the seasons, from simple partners to father/son but in season 5 it turned to something else entirely and it's not healthy. The contrast between season 3 (I'm in, you're out) and season 5 (If you leave you get nothing) is quite striking.

Walt's claim that Jesse "changed his mind" about him is chilling, because it implies that Jesse misjudged Walt rather than Jesse being cruelly manipulated to trust Walt again. It's also heartbreaking to see Jesse so earnest in the gift giving scene, only for Walt to treat the present as proof that he conquered this person.

Yes, absolutely heartbreaking. I don't remember ever seeing a gift giving scene to be so freaking heartbreaking. YOU DIDN'T DESERVE THAT WATCH, WALT!!! And he's treating that watch like a freaking trophy. Fuck you Walt!

I'm pretty sure Jesse was only meaning to warn Todd that he shouldn't go around bragging to his friends

Yeah, no kidding Todd!!!

The best thing Jesse can do is to simply stop involving himself in criminal organisations that kill people.

Yep. It's been a long time coming but good for you kid.

Here we get an evening meal as the setting for this darker fucked up formation of the White family.

Great observation, again!
cylune: bbcylune9 on December 4th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Continued...

Mike at least advises Jesse to look out for himself which is a nice contrast to Walt demanding that Jesse devote his life to serving the cult of Heisenberg.

Mike. :'(

hey, leave the go-carts alone

I love your protectiveness of go-carts. ;)

Walt desperately screams after Jesse that if he leaves he'll have nothing but as Jesse walks out the door it really feels like Walt is the one being left destitute.

Best. Feeling. EVER!!!! Say My Name is the first episode I watched live and I was such on the edge of my seat for this scene. It's probably the most satisfying ending of a scene I've ever seen anywhere. I was so proud of Jesse for not falling for Walt's 'Greatest Hits' eh.

In the aftermath of losing Jesse, Walt had to listen to Jesse heroically offering to get Mike's bag and Mike nobly telling Jesse not to put himself in harm's way; two friends having each others back; exactly the kind of bond Walt always liked to he and Jesse shared.

Oh the look Walt gave Jesse. I think he was jealous or at least very annoyed. Goddammit Mike!! I understand why you didn't want Jesse involved but argh!!!!!

While Jesse desperately wanted out of the drug ring, I don't think he wanted to lose his relationships with Walt or Mike; yet both men shut the door on Jesse, same as his real parents.

sniff.

However this narrative choice just confirms to me that this is a show about Walt and Jesse's partnership more than it's a show about Heisenberg's meth empire.

Absolutely.

There's no Gus trying to kill him, no Skyler arguing with him, no Jesse creating chaos for him.

Maybe Walt realized, at this moment, that it was not the money nor the empire-businessmen that was driving him... but a sense of excitement and danger fulled by a need to be worshiped. The guy's an adrenaline junkie with a side of emotional neediness.

So sad this is the last re-cap for a long, long while. I was enjoying them so much... anyway, it's getting late here and I'm working tomorrow. I'll answer the discussion questions later. :)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 3falafel_musings on December 4th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
You must take photos of you having pancakes in Walt & Jesse's Dennys! I will cry!!

Walt was... Oh God help me... actually trying to be helpful.

Yeah I think Walt really did want to stop Jesse beating himself up over the lost ricin. But Walt was helping himself too. If Jesse couldn't find the ricin anywhere and if he felt sure that he hadn't lost it then Jesse might go back to his original (correct) theory that Huel took it out of his pocket. Walt needed to give Jesse closure to save himself from suspicion. I think it was Vince Gilligan who talked about Walt's motivations in the podcast and how Jesse's breakdown was just an unforeseen bonus.

Walt needs to be worshiped and appreciated. And like you said, he's not getting that appreciation from Skyler (or Junior) but Jesse fulfill that need. And in the process, Walt is becoming more emotionally dependent on his relationship with Jesse.

Skyler and Junior have both drifted away and found substitutes for Walt in the last year - Skyler with her affair with Ted and Junior finding a surrogate dad in Hank. Walt never intended to have any sort of emotional investment in Jesse. Originally Jesse was just supposed to be Walt's IN to the meth business, not a partner Walt would've chosen to work with. But I think Walt (like Laura Roslin!) really wanted to live a little before he died. Jesse brought a lot of chaos and excitement into Walt's life. He gave Walt an adventure and nobody else in Walt's life had ever given him that. Like you say, Walt was addicted to the thrills and the danger and just look how boring things got after Jesse left.

Sadly for Jesse their "adventure" was just him being put through hell and having his life left in ruins. Walt may have become de-sensitized to all the violence and corruption but Jesse could never grow that thick skin.

'Say My Name' was my favourite episode of the first half of S5 and yeah, the main reason is the Walt/Jesse argument.

I'd love to hear your answers to the questions. I've posted some of my own thoughts above. Maybe I'll have to write a big Walt/Jesse speculation post sometime? Thank you so much for your support of these recaps. Your feedback has made it worthwhile for me.
cylune: bbcylune9 on December 5th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
I think it was Vince Gilligan who talked about Walt's motivations in the podcast and how Jesse's breakdown was just an unforeseen bonus.

Unforeseen bonus?? Unforeseen bonus?????. Oh, fuck me. I hate you Walt. No I don't but yeah I do. You despicable human being.

I've posted some of my own thoughts above.

Yeah, I've seen it and I'm in total agreement with everything.

1) What do you consider to be the best episodes or scenes for the Walt/Jesse relationship so far?
The usual suspects - The Fly, 4 Days Out/Over, ABQ... and Box Cutter. I don't include season 5 episodes because the relationship is all based on lies and manipulations.

2) Where do you predict that Jesse is at the time of Walt's Denny's flashforward?

In danger. ;)

3) What would be your ideal ending for the Walt and Jesse story?

I... truly don't know. One part of me wants Jesse to be completely fee of Walt but another part cherish that relationship and I want Jesse to be there for Walt until his last moment. I think I'll be ok with anything as long as it's done well. Maybe... Jesse learns what Walt's done (or part of what he's done) but he finds it in him to forgive him and be there for Walt until the end. Yeah, I think I would like that ending.
pgilmour on December 5th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe... Jesse learns what Walt's done (or part of what he's done) but he finds it in him to forgive him and be there for Walt until the end. Yeah, I think I would like that ending.

Me too! That's my dream ending!
falafel_musings: BSGfalafel_musings on December 5th, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
Unforeseen bonus?? Oh, fuck me. I hate you Walt.

LOL. Just to say that was my phrasing not Gilligans. But yes, the way he described it was Walt not intending for Jesse to have an emotional breakdown but seizing the opportunity when it came along to manipulate Jesse further.

I don't include season 5 episodes because the relationship is all based on lies and manipulations.

I know what you mean but I do love a lot of the S5 Walt/Jesse scenes. Particularly the big scenes they share in Madrigal, Say My Name and Gliding Over All. The fucked-up-ness doesn't put me off!

In danger. ;)

*grins* Like Saul's awesome secretary says, Walt and Jesse are always in danger.

I'd love Walt and Jesse to reconcile somehow before the end but I can't see it happening unless Jesse never learns the truth. Mind you, I never thought that my boys Gaius and Felix would reconcile and somehow they did. I'd love a Walt and Jesse equivalent of that coffee and cigars scene from 'Blood on the Scales'.
bb8675309 on December 4th, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
Awesome job. I love every word you write in these reviews. You bring out the intimate details in the relationships and remind me of all the moments I loved (or loved to hate) in the show. Really in depth into their psyche, especially Jesse, which is fantastic. I really enjoy the dynamics between Jesse/Walt/Mike. Ahh so great.
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on December 4th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I think at this stage in the show I find it easier to focus on Jesse's perspective, just because he's so much more human than Walt. I'm glad you liked my little insights.
Han Fastolfe: Jesse3hanfastolfe on December 4th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
I love your recaps! :D

Sad this is the last one for now :(

Jesse weeps with remorse and Walt rubs his shoulders, comforting Jesse in the same way he'd wanted to comfort Skyler

You know, in this Season? Whenever Walter touches someone besides with a handshake I just get the most creepy vibes radiating off the TV screen. And that is no joke, there's something really dark lurking in Walter in this season as he reveals the Heisenberg aspect of himself and I can't help but recoil from that.

I think I remember saying Jesse walking away from Walt is akin to a boy becoming a man and separating his identity from that of his parents. (Original discussion here)

Like some coming of age experiences, it's not a happy one, with the parent unwilling to let the young man/woman go and the young man/woman finally just saying, "Fuck it. I'm gone. Period."

And then after that, an estrangement, just like with Walter and Jesse having almost no contact until that day so many months later, followed by awkward reminisces, but no real renewal of the bond between them.

It's interesting how Walt seems to have failed as a father or father figure even as he holds this idealized image of him being a provider as justification for pursuing his burgeoning meth empire.

It's only (as I noted in a post of mine somewhere) that when Skyler finally shows him ALL THE FREAKING MONEY HE HAS that it seems to have finally dawned on Walt that all his labors - the "sweat and tears and blood" that he used as justification to Jesse - have finally come to fruition.
falafel_musings: BSGfalafel_musings on December 5th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your support of these recaps, han!

I think you're right that Jesse's journey has been a 'coming of age' and it's been a painful one. The only way Jesse can really become a man is not by following the example of his father figure but by realizing his father figure is wrong and breaking away to become his own man.

And yes, touchy feely Walt in S5 is creepy. Walt was never physically affectionate with Jesse before this season. Even the hugging in 'ABQ' was accidental as Walt was just trying to drag Jesse out of the crack house. So when Walt is comforting Jesse in these later episodes it seems eerily calculated.
broke_bad: jessebroke_bad on December 4th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
Ah this was perfect!! Really great stuff (damn, how can I wait till next summer?).

It's hard not to feel a little bit happy for them.

Yeah, I really enjoyed this, and the "yes sir" -scene. Walt and Jesse's relationship seemed (at the moment) actually quite healthy

The episode ends with Walt showing off his new watch to Skyler which is maybe the closest Walt gets to his own "I fucked Ted" moment

Yep! But, alas, Skyler is not affected much.

Then Jesse hears Walt cheerily whistling and he's reminded that Mr White isn't really Mr White anymore.

Oh my god Walt how stupid you can be?? :l

Walt desperately screams after Jesse that if he leaves he'll have nothing but as Jesse walks out the door it really feels like Walt is the one being left destitute.

Right! You can almost hear Walt thinking : "If you leave, I have nothing!".

Walt has earned nothing from his empire but massive bail of paper

Getting free of Walter White and the drug trade has not saved Jesse. He's still lost, aimless, drugged up and more isolated than ever, just as Walt predicted he would be.

:( This episode was so fucking depressing..

Walt smiles at Jesse fondly and it feels like Walt wants to thank Jesse for the adventure they've shared

Argh Walt.. Yeah, you can _murder_ people to save Jesse but you can't SPEAK UP ._.'


1) Well, I have to say the best episodes are "4 Days Out" and then "Fly". A few favorite scenes (there are too many to list them all here): in the "Pilot" when Walt and Jesse talk about starting to cook together and in "4 Days Out" when they cook and give high five's. Also the shootout in "Half Measures" when Walt kills the two drug dealers before they shoot Jesse.

2) I have to guess that Jesse is being held somewhere against his will (but not in jail).

3)Hmh. I really don't know, at least I don't want Jesse to shoot Walt or vice versa.. :/ Also Jesse(or Walt) ending up in prison would suck, in my opinion.


falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on December 5th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
How can ANY of us cope until next summer?? *clings*

You can almost hear Walt thinking : "If you leave, I have nothing!".

Losing Jesse was such a blow to Walt and it really seemed to kill Walt's passion for his meth empire. Walt's new work buddies - Todd, Declan, Lydia - were all so cold, efficient and remorseless. Walt should've been happier with them. But he wasn't happy. Walt just wanted his Jesse comfort blanket back.

you can _murder_ people to save Jesse but you can't SPEAK UP ._.'

It's so sad. I have this theory that Walt will one day express his fatherly feelings towards Jesse and when that day comes Jesse will be wearing a wire and helping to hand Walt over to the DEA.

I really don't want Jesse or Walt to kill each other either. I know it's a popular theory but so much of their bond has been about protecting their partner from being killed. It'd feel so wrong to me. That said, I'm sure VG would do it well if it came down to that ending. But I hope it doesn't! I don't want Jesse to kill again, especially not out of revenge. And Walt has never even contemplated killing Jesse so I'd like to think that's one line Walt would never cross.
Naomi: BB Walt and Jesse by stolen-gardenfrelling_tralk on December 6th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
So I've really sucked at commenting on these recaps or thinking of much to add, but I just want to say that I've really enjoyed reading them and thanks so much for putting them together :)

And for #3 Idk, it's hard to think of an ideal ending for them really when their relationship is so fucked-up and unbalanced that in one way the happy ending would be Jesse finding the truth and breaking free of Walt's influence, but on the other hand noooo :/ I really don't have any clear thoughts on how I'd like it to go, I mostly want for the flash-forward to be in some way about Walt wanting to protect Jesse I suppose..
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on December 9th, 2012 10:09 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for reading. Comments and discussion are great but just knowing people are reading and enjoying these posts is enough for me. :)

in one way the happy ending would be Jesse finding the truth and breaking free of Walt's influence, but on the other hand noooo

Exactly! What is the happier ending? If Jesse never knows about Walt's betrayals then that will feel like a big injustice. But Jesse learning the truth will not make things better for him. Jesse's been so loyal to Walt. He killed an innocent man to save Walt. How can Jesse cope with learning that this man who he's been so devoted to is a man who stood by and let his girlfriend choke to death, a man who poisoned a child as a manipulation, a man who murdered their partner Mike out of pure spite? If the writers go there it's going to be devastating.
cylune: bb2cylune9 on December 14th, 2012 04:10 am (UTC)
If the writers go there it's going to be devastating.

Oh, I think they'll go there. Because it will be devastating.