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14 August 2013 @ 12:31 pm
Walt & Jesse Recap (9/9)  
The Long Winded Blues of The Never
Meta by falafel_musings
Artwork by cylune9

blues9

On this day, someone has brought Walt's family out into the desert and slaughtered them. Someone has stolen Walt's money, burned down Walt's empire and made it so that Walt did all of this for nothing. For worse than nothing. And all these things happened because Walt's criminal life spawned a chaotic child who he thought he could control but who has now brought about his utter destruction. Shall we give a name to Walt's child of chaos? "Heisenberg" is the name I'd call it by. But the name Walt chooses instead is "Pinkman", a new name for the boy who used to be his Jesse.

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
Season Five, Part One



Blood Money

Blood moneyBlood2

"I need you to believe me."

At the end of the last half season, Walter White came to say his last goodbye to Jesse Pinkman. Walt's cancer was back, his time was running short and he didn't want to part with Jesse in anger and bitterness. Walt wanted Jesse to remember all the good times they shared when they weren't killing people and melting their bodies in acid. Jesse can only remember the horrors, but for Walt the year they spent as partners was the one great adventure of his life. For one year, Walt felt alive. Walt felt awake. Walt became the best at something, Walt gambled and he won. And Jesse was the person who Walt shared it all with. Jesse was the person who survived it with Walt. So in the end Walt wanted to say thank you. Walt left Jesse's money on his doorstep and didn't wait to see Jesse's reaction. This allowed Walt to believe he has done right by his partner. In Walt's vainglorious mind, he had given Jesse a happy ending. He had given his best pupil a pat on the head. He had provided for his family. This was the ending Walt wanted for them.

Jesse was expecting a very different final goodbye. For three months, Jesse sat in the shadows of his dirty decaying home and he waited for Heisenberg to knock on his door. Saul warned Jesse that Walt might be coming for him and Jesse didn't run. He waited like a man who has sentenced himself to death row. Jesse might have kept a gun to defend himself, but Jesse also brought a gun to his confrontation with the two dealers who killed Tomas and I don't think Jesse was expecting to survive that confrontation either. But maybe if Walt had pulled a gun on him Jesse would have shot back and they might have said their last goodbyes while bleeding to death on Jesse's floor. That's the kind of ending that bad guys deserve. But instead Walt came to burden Jesse with two heavy bags of blood money. Jesse's not so scared of dying these days. The real torture is living with what they've done.

After Jesse tries to give his money away, Walt comes to his door again. Jesse doesn't seem surprised and subconsciously Jesse must have known that Saul would call Walt rather than giving the money to Drew's parents and Mike's granddaughter. It is Jesse's passive aggressive way of telling Walt what this money signifies to him now, that he can't forget the people who died so those bags could be so full. But Walt only called it "blood money" to win an argument. Even though Jesse acknowledges that Walt was right, it was still a fight that Walt lost because he couldn't get Jesse to stay. Walt has learned that he can't beat Jesse into submission. When it comes to Jesse, Walt is the one who must "tread lightly". So Walt immediately starts parenting Jesse, babying him even. He tuts disapprovingly at the bong on the table (that Jesse doesn't even bother to hide from him anymore) and he demands an explanation for Jesse's silly reckless behavior as though he were lecturing an unruly teenager. Then quickly Walt softens, he squeezes Jesse's shoulder and he calls him "son". Walt knows how Jesse craves this fatherly affection and encouragement so he saves it for these moments when he really needs Jesse to obey him.

Jesse sits very still and he listens, silent tears slipping down his cheeks. Jesse can't look at Walt while he is lying to his face and transparently trying to manipulate him once more. Jesse can't bring himself to say the words "You killed Mike". It hurts so much that he can only hint at it. How many times did Jesse shield Walt when Mike was threatening to shoot him? Jesse was torn between two father figures and now maybe he fears he choose the wrong one to protect. Both fathers are dead to Jesse now anyway. He'll never think of this man "Mr White" again. But Walt asks Jesse to believe the blatant fantasy scenario that Mike rode off into the sunset. He asks Jesse to believe that all three of them got their happy endings after they got out of the meth business. And then all of a sudden, Walt is no longer asking Jesse to believe, he is ordering him to. What Walt needs is for Jesse not to defy him, not to be disgusted with him and above all not to make himself Walt's enemy over this. Because anyone else who ever made themselves an enemy to Walt is dead now. Walt doesn't want to even contemplate things ending the same way with Jesse. They have kept each other alive this long. It can't end that way. Somewhere unspoken in this scene is the plea; Please son, don't turn on me now. Please don't make me kill you... but I don't think Jesse believes that anymore either.

Jesse finally looks Walt in the eyes and he lies right back to him, accepting that Mike is still alive. Then they sit in a weary silence with a barrier of forced lies and blood money between them. Walt needs Jesse to play along with his version of events. Just for six more months so that Walt can die and keep his adventures with Jesse the way he wishes to remember them. But Jesse doesn't get that closure. He isn't terminally ill or on death row. As haggard as Jesse looks, he is still young and he has a lot of time ahead of him. A painfully long time to live with this.


Buried & Confessions

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"He really did a number on you, didn't he?"

In the cold open for 'Buried' we follow a trail of scattered money to a playground where Jesse is slowly turning himself on a merry-go-round. He's so catatonic he can't speak and is only barely moving. Jesse couldn't accept the blood money Walt gave him, nor the lies and the twisted love that came with that money. All Jesse wants now is to throw it away, throw it all out. He drove around that poor neighborhood all night screaming and throwing, desperate to be rid of the money and the memories attached to it, desperate to return to a state of innocence when he could still believe in Mr White. A cold lonely playground at night is where Jesse finally has his breakdown. A playground haunted by the ghost of Jesse's lost youth and all the children he never wanted to see hurt.

Jesse gets picked up by the cops who are only too happy to kick him when he's down. All cops that is besides Hank Schrader who knows a thing or two about having his life torn apart by Walter White. Jesse barely raises an eyebrow at the revelation that Hank knows Walt is Heisenberg but when Hank stares into Jesse's bloodshot eyes and says "He really did a number on you, didn't he?" Jesse's composure starts to slip. Jesse is an open wound and this cop (who he hates) can see right away who has done this to him. Hank tries to show Jesse some wounds of his own. Hank knows how it feels to be lied to and betrayed by someone he trusted, someone he loved. Jesse is listening but he's not willing to talk, not to Hank. A beaten dog isn't so quick to forgive or to trust new masters.

It's a long time before Walt gets around to dealing with Jesse. As the bastard child of the White family he often falls lowest on Walt's priority list though not because Walt cares for him the least. Walt doesn't seem too rattled when he learns Jesse has been arrested or even when he hears Jesse has been throwing his money around the town. Hank is Walt's biggest concern for the moment. Walt has plenty of practice when it comes to putting out Jesse's fires. He's become an expert at controlling the chaos that Jesse creates at the sidelines of his life. Why should this be any different? When they meet in the desert, Saul expects Walt to be furious. But Walt is only solemn and concerned. Back when he still had a soul Walt made it his responsibility to save Jesse. As long as Walt doesn't give up on Jesse maybe a fragment of his soul will still remain. Walt really does want that fresh start for Jesse as much as he wants Skyler to pass on their money to his kids. "You're still so damn young" Walt remarks, ignoring how aged and weary Jesse looks right now. A year with Walter White has drained Jesse of all his youth and innocence, but Walt wants to give it all back and help Jesse see their past as nothing but a bad dream.

But there's a tarantula crawling close to Jesse's feet and the ghosts of lost children still heavy on his mind. Jesse can't accept Walt's fatherly concern anymore. He throws it all out. Tearfully, Jesse begs Walt to stop working him. If Walt is going to manipulate and abuse him, can he at least stop doing it so nicely? Jesse finally says the words he didn't dare to say when Walt last visited his house; that he killed Mike and he needs Jesse to obey so he doesn't have to kill him too. Jesse still has the courage to say 'no' to Walt. Jesse's the guy who had the balls to say 'no' to Gus Fring. Jesse demands that Walt give him something real and Walt has more no words. Walt won't tell Jesse any more lies, but he can't tell him the truth either. So Walt pulls Jesse into a hug and...and this is real. This is one of the few real things Walt has left. Walt holds Jesse close, stroking his head as he cries, just as he did when he comforted Jesse after Jane's death; another hug as genuine and as traitorous as this one. This is one way for Walt to prove he's still thinking of Jesse's needs. Because nobody has ever been in more dire need of a hug than Jesse Pinkman. Jesse sobs helplessly, looking tied up and trapped in Walt's arms.

Not long after Jesse has finished crying, he's sitting in Saul's office, looking like a dazed nervous kid once again. Kids are easy to control, easy to fool and for now it seems that Jesse is giving in and taking the easy way out. Saul is treating Jesse like a child too, giving him a Hello Kitty phone and telling him to be a good boy when the disappearer guy comes to collect him. For the moment, Jesse doesn't seem to sense either the contempt or the pity in Saul's tone. Jesse is distracted by thoughts of Alaska; a colder and lonelier future than the one he'd hoped for in New Zealand with Jane, but Alaska might be the kind of peaceful escape that could heal even Jesse's tortured soul. In case anyone hasn't noticed Jesse is kind of insane now and in his fragile state it's easier for him to smoke dope and play dumb. But Jesse isn't stupid. Jesse was never stupid. And when Jesse realizes Huell has picked his pocket for a second time he finally knows for sure that he was right, he was right, he was right that Walt poisoned Brock and being right has never been so painful. Jesse runs from the latest happy ending Mr White has tried to give him. He throws it all out. Barging back into his office, Jesse demands Saul confirm to him what he already knows. With a gun in his hand and tears streaming his face, Jesse is in the same fury as when he demanded this same truth from Walt.

And what does Saul tell Jesse? Walt did it to save Jesse. Walt poisons little children because that's what's best for you, Jesse! And yes, I can imagine Walt really believes this. Walt rescued Jesse when he was handcuffed in Gus's super lab and Walt could never have defeated Gus if he hadn't taken drastic measures to get Jesse back on his side. But Jesse just looks sickened by Walt's idea of saving him. He won't be saved by Mr White anymore. He's throwing it all out. He's burning it all down.


Rabid Dog

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"You gotta understand. Deep down he loves me."

Walt knows he's in trouble and for once, he knows he deserves it. Walt rushes home to find his house like a ghost ship of Jesse's righteous fury. There's a car crashed in his driveway, there's meth sprinkled over its dashboard and there's the gasoline soaking the carpets inside. But there's no Jesse. Somewhere in Albuquerque Jesse is in a fit of rage, he's high on Walt's drugs and he's incensed by Walt's lies and betrayals. While all this makes Walt fearful for his own safety (fearful enough to carry a gun with him) Walt fears for Jesse's well being too. Walt leaves a message on Jesse's phone, promising to fix this, as if poisoning a child were just a little dispute that can be resolved with a calm conversation. And before he hangs up Walt can't help but add a "be safe" to his message. As Walt says later on in the episode, Jesse is often more of a danger to himself than others. When Skyler asks if Jesse has ever hurt anyone, Walt lies and insists that his dog isn't vicious. We know that Jesse can bite but Walt only sees the kicked puppy in him. If Jesse ever hurts anyone then it's because Walt makes Jesse do it, because he trained him well or because he treated him badly. But not because it's in Jesse's nature.

Saul certainly knows that Jesse can bite. When Walt is shocked by his cuts and bruises, Saul snarks "deep down he loves me". Saul has often been a witness to the abusive love Walt inflicts on Jesse. With the Brock poisoning, Saul's helped Walt to hurt Jesse in order to supposedly save Jesse. Because deep down Walt is always trying to save Jesse. Saul makes a fair point that maybe, at this point, it would be kinder to stop saving Jesse. Yes Jesse is loyal and lovable, but a year and a half under Walt's care and protection have driven the kid raving mad. Jesse's not happy, he's not healthy, he's in pain. It's time to end this poor creature's suffering. Walt has nothing but contempt for Saul's input and threatens him against hinting at that idea again. Then some ten minutes later Walt's own wife is suggesting the exact same thing. Yes Skyler remembers who Jesse fucking Pinkman is, Walt. For Skyler, Jesse was the voice on the other end of your second cell phone. Jesse was the affair that Skyler thought her husband was having. Jesse was one of the few faces Skyler could put to Walt's other life, the criminal life that Walt has since quit for the sake of bringing his family back together. Skyler has made her share of sacrifices too, most recently her relationship with her sister. So Walt can make one more sacrifice too. Skyler can only tolerate Walt right now if they are both committed to doing everything they can to keep their secrets and protect their family. Skyler doesn't want to hear that there is anything else Walt cares about besides their family and she certainly doesn't want to hear that it's Jesse Pinkman. Skyler isn't moved by Walt's "he may seem like a psychotic pyromaniac junkie but he's a sweetheart when you get to know him" feelings for Jesse. They aren't supposed to have feelings in this business. And yet here's her husband, the mass murdering crime lord, and he can't even bring himself to say the words "You want me to kill Jesse?"

When we go back in time to discover what happened to Jesse, we find him snorting meth off a CD, the same way he psyched himself up before his showdown with the two dealers who killed Tomas, the last time Jesse was ready to throw his life away on a reckless act of revenge. Soon Jesse is standing in the White house living room, a lighter in his trembling hand. The carpet at his feet is soaked in gasoline; it's splashed all over his clothes too and he's about to set it all on fire. Am I right in saying this was a suicide attempt? Jesse wasn't just planning to burn down Walt's life, he was throwing himself on the funeral pyre. That is until Hank comes in to talk Jesse down from the ledge. "He can't keep getting away with it!" Jesse screams and he's not even looking at Hank anymore. His eyes are turned heavenwards, like he's screaming at God or the indifferent universe. The universe that has never stopped Mr White or Jesse from being the bad guys. They just do stuff and nothing happens. Nothing will ever happen unless Jesse makes it happen. Jesse will see to it that he and Mr White burn in hell like they deserve to. But Hank reminds Jesse that he doesn't want to be killed. And it's true, Jesse is still scared to die. He's still so damn young. But there's nowhere to run and nobody left to be loyal too. So Jesse just surrenders, he surrenders to another old bald guy who wants to use him. I can't blame Jesse for flinching when Hank sits him in his car and slams the door. It feels like the door slamming shut on Jesse's freedom, possibly for the rest of his life. In the car, Hank leans over to fasten Jesse's seat belt, like he's putting a caught dog on a leash. Jesse isn't really a person anymore. He's police property. He's something that's owned.  

The next morning Jesse wakes up in the Schrader house and finds Hank and Gomie setting up a camera for his confession. Jesse looks like he wants to bolt but there's no escape for him now. He has already agreed to this. Hank got Jesse to agree when he was high on meth and the world was burning down. Jesse's said 'yes' to Marie's coffee too like a condemned man accepting the offer of a last meal. So Jesse sits down and spills out the story of his criminal career with Mr White, Walter White, his teacher. Jesse seems a little lighter in scenes after his confession. He's sobered up and ready to make an action plan with Hank and Gomie, like they are his new Gus and Mike. And Hank really is the new Gus in Jesse's life. If Saul sees Jesse as a sick dog that needs to be put down and Skyler sees Jesse as a loose end that needs to be tied up then Hank sees Jesse as the pawn he's willing to sacrifice if it means he wins the chess game. The only person who cares to keep Jesse alive is the same man who Jesse fears is plotting a hundred magical ways to murder him. Hank insists that Walt cares about Jesse which Jesse shrugs off with his juvenile, 'Yeah right, Mr White is gay for me' because Jesse still can't reconcile Mr White loving him deep down with Mr White destroying his life. But Jesse agrees to meet Walt one last time and wear a wire, because as Hank reminds Jesse he's not a person with choices anymore. He even has to ask to take a piss.

When Jesse is wired up and approaching Walt in the plaza, he imagines that Mr White is conjuring his demons all around him. Every person that passes Jesse seems like a threat, a supernatural assassin, and none more so than the unarmed man waiting for him on the bench. Jesse should have taken his own advice. Whatever Jesse imagined was going to happen at that meeting, the exact opposite was going to happen. Walt would've talked to Jesse, one last futile attempt to talk his way out of poisoning a child. Then Walt would've been going to jail and Jesse into witness protection. But Jesse has become the wild card in this game and it's only in this moment that Jesse seems to become aware of his own agency. He is the last straw that Hank is clutching at. Why can't Jesse choose how they play things? Sorry Hank but this is what you get when you partner up with Jesse Pinkman. He's an unpredictable little fucker and he has a devious mind of his own. With one phone call, Jesse's declares war on Walt and Walt's running out of options. For once Walt might have told the truth, the monstrous truth, and put his life in Jesse's hands. But now? Now Walt has no choice but to summon his demons.


To'hajiilee

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"I'm burning all of it. One big bonfire."

It finally happened. Jesse finally joined Gale, Mike, Jane and the rest on the scarily long list of people who needed to be eliminated for the endurance of Walter White. In Walt's mind, there was no other option. Walt has tried all he can to create other options for Jesse and Jesse has rejected them every time. Jesse threw five million dollars worth of blood money out of his car window. Jesse ran away from his chance to disappear into a new life and identity. Jesse wouldn't meet Walt at the plaza to hear his oh so valid explanations for why he sometimes has to poison little children for their mutual survival. All Walt's attempts at happy endings or just bitter partings have failed. But Walt still needs to make an end between him and Jesse. An ending that Jesse cannot overthrow or resist. The only ending Walt can still control.

And even when Walt is ordering a hit on Jesse, he still seems to believe he can do right by his former partner. Jesse is worth so much more than all the others that Walt has killed and Walt shows his love by sparing no expense when it comes to paying for Jesse to have a nice humane execution. Jesse is not a rat, Walt insists. He still won't hear anyone else speak ill of Jesse. Walt's dog was a good loyal dog in its day. No, the problem is that Jesse is just too darn sensitive for this cruel world. Walt has tried to reason Jesse's pain away. He's tried to bandage him with money. But none of his old magic works anymore. Jesse has become the little fly buzzing around Walt's ears; a reminder of the guilt Walt should feel but doesn't, a contamination in Walt's new decent life as a dying man who owns a car wash. Walt won't be able to sleep until Jesse is silenced. But Walt won't hurt Jesse anymore. He'll pay top dollar for Uncle Jack's gang not to hurt Jesse when they kill him. There's just one problem. Walt doesn't know where Jesse is and his only plan for flushing Jesse out involves Walt implicitly threatening Andrea and Brock. So much for Jesse's death being free of suffering. Let's be honest here; this deal is about making Jesse's death a quick and painless process for Walt, not for his intended victim. If they do it this way, Walt won't have to see Jesse screaming and crying as a gang of Nazi thugs drag him away from Andrea's doorstep. Walt won't see Jesse driven out to some desolate spot to die in turmoil, not knowing what Walt might have done to Andrea and Brock this time. Walt can rewrite it all in his mind. Jesse can become his saddest fond memory. That poor screwed up kid who Walt tried so hard to save until he had no option but to give up on him. Walt can still lie to himself like this so long as he doesn't have to face what he is doing. There's a word to describe Walt's method for murdering Jesse: cowardly.

Walt waits for news of Jesse's killing at the car wash, the White fortress where Walt is protecting what remains of his family. Walt smiles as he stares at Skyler and Junior. They do what he says. He can trust in them. For a long time, Jesse played the role of Walt's surrogate family in his criminal life so maybe now his wife and kids can act as a substitute for Jesse in Walt's ordinary decent life. Walt can justify any sin so long as he is doing it in the name of protecting and providing for his family. But Walt has something even more precious than family to protect as Jesse reminds him with a snapshot of a money barrel buried in the ground. Yes, it looks like Jesse has taken Walt's mountain of cash hostage. He is burning it wad by wad and Walt reacts exactly as if Jesse were torturing one of his children. In the proceeding phone call Jesse shows no mercy in making Walt his bitch (three cheers for the return of Jesse saying "bitch" this episode). Walt drives into the desert as fast as he can, pleading with Jesse not to burn the money. Walt protests that the money is for his family, not for him, but Jesse knows better. $737,000...that was the money Walt needed for his family and there was a time when Jesse would've allowed Walt that much. The money buried in the desert is Walt's empire and Jesse wants to burn it down. Jesse has become the all-seeing disembodied demon who terrifies Walt, making him feel desperate and powerless; a vengeful spirit that taunts him and threatens to turn his life to ashes. Welcome to the way you've made Jesse feel on too many occasions Walt. Here's a taste of your own poison.

Walt finds himself alone in the desert with a car following him to the spot where he's buried his treasure. And he realizes; he's led him right to it. Walt forgot that Jesse is a blowfish and that if Jesse seems scary then it's nothing but air. Mr White taught his pupil well. Jesse knows Walt's weaknesses better than Walt knows Jesse these days. When Walt sees Jesse in the company of Hank, he starts to weep. His Jesse isn't supposed to be a rat. His Jesse is loyal and naive, a lost puppy who Walt had tried to protect and finally had to agree to put down. Walt loved that Jesse. This Jesse who has outsmarted him and betrayed him to the DEA is enough to break what remains of Walt's heart...it's enough to make Walt give himself up. There may still be ways Walt could have wriggled out of this, but somehow this blow has weakened him to the point of utter defeat. Walt comes out with his hands raised while Jesse watches with a giddy smile dawning on his face. When Hank puts the Devil in handcuffs he is stripped of all his powers. He's nothing but a greedy old crook who is going to be put away. And Jesse needs this. If Walt's biggest fear is that he has done all this for nothing, then Jesse's biggest fear is that after all they've done; nothing will happen. Jesse takes comfort in consequences. Walt's not getting away with this. Neither of them are.

Jesse knows the place Walt has buried his money is the first place they ever cooked together. Jesse can be sentimental about the old days in the RV as much as Walt. They both used to love to go camping and it's that love that makes the betrayal hurt worse on both sides. But Jesse may have finally learned self-acceptance. It all began here out in the desert and it all ends here in the desert and this is what they deserve. Jesse will be going to jail too, of course. No matter how much he helped the DEA, Jesse's still likely to serve a much longer jail sentence than Walt will live to serve. But Jesse is prepared to do his time just for the sake of putting things right. Jesse didn't take the selfish cowardly option of running away to Alaska when he had the chance. But Walt calls Jesse a coward anyway; an insult that's pretty rich coming from a guy who hired a gang of Nazi thugs because he was too pussy to kill Jesse himself. Jesse is so unbelievably over Walt abusing him that he spits in his face. Then Hank and Gomie have to put Walt and Jesse in separate cars before they kill each other. And this how it would have ended if it wasn't for Walt's cursed luck. The power of Heisenberg is such a fiendish force that Walt will summon his demons to him even when he doesn't want them to come. Uncle Jack's gang arrives and Pandora's box opens with a rain of bullets over the desert. And it's not the end after all. We've got another good old 'how the fuck will Walt and Jesse survive this?' adventure to come.


Ozymandias

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"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair."

Once upon a time. Two men. An RV. The desert.

This was where it all began. This was the first day of the rest of Walter White's life; cooking meth with Jesse, breaking the law to provide for his family. On this day Walt and Skyler chose a name for the new baby they were expecting. But Holly wasn't the only new child who Walt would become a father to in the coming year. There's also that idiot boy waving a stick around at the rocks. The bastard son of Walt's criminal life. On this long forgotten day, Walt couldn't have imagined how much he'd come to care about Jesse Pinkman. He couldn't have predicted how much he'd come to hate him either. Or just how much he would be capable of hurting the kid on a future dark day out in that same goddamn desert.

On this day, someone has brought Walt's family out into the desert and slaughtered them. Someone has stolen Walt's money, burned down Walt's empire and made it so that Walt did all of this for nothing. For worse than nothing. And all these things happened because Walt's criminal life spawned a chaotic child who he thought he could control but who has now brought about his utter destruction. Shall we give a name to Walt's child of chaos? "Heisenberg" is the name I'd call it by. But the name Walt chooses instead is "Pinkman", a new name for the boy who used to be his Jesse. This is the name Walt now gives to the Nazi's thugs who drag Jesse out from under his car. There needs to be a scapegoat who'll pay for the ruin of Walt's life and Jesse is the only person who Walt has any power over here. As for Jesse, he's been on his knees with a gun to his head before. Only this time he doesn't beg for his life and neither does Mr White. Jesse just braces himself to die without a friend in the world. He turns his eyes to the senseless heavens, to the sky that's as blue as all the meth he ever cooked. Two birds fly overhead, gliding over all...it must be nice to be free.

But no freedom in death for Jesse just yet. Todd ever so helpfully suggests that it would be better to torture Jesse for information before they kill him. And Walt who only days earlier didn't want Jesse to suffer any pain or fear, who didn't even want Jesse to be put down because "Jesse is a person"...it is Walt who gives the nod for Jesse to die in the most dehumanizing way I can think of. Jesse's eyes widen with shock and he weakly breathes the words "Come on". Jesse has been disowned by parents before and he's been expecting Mr White to kill him for months. Jesse can understand Walt hating him. The feeling is very much mutual at this point. But even Jesse doesn't hate Walt this much. And it can still get worse. Jesse screams and struggles and finally Walt tells the executioners to wait. Walt approaches his former partner, his face tensed with sadness and at last he says it: "I watched Jane die." At first, Jesse just looks numb and confused. This attack has come out of nowhere; Walt plunging a fresh knife into an old wound and twisting it just because he can. "I watched her die." Walt's face turns to stone and he tells Jesse three times over just to be sure it sinks in. Walt watched Jane die just like he's watching Jesse die right now. This is how Heisenberg murders the kid's spirit. The light leaves Jesse's eyes and he slumps lifeless in his captor's arms. The Nazis drag Jesse's body away to be beaten and enslaved. But the job's already done.

Jesse stares at Walt through the car window as they drive him away, finally seeing his old teacher with clear eyes, his worst fears confirmed that Mr White never gave a shit about him. That's the truth Jesse has to deal with as he faces torture and certain death. And the worst part is that it's another lie. The night Jane died was the night Walt first saw Jesse as his family and he swore not to give up on him. Walt sacrificed a young girl's life and a huge part of his soul to get Jesse off heroin. He missed his perfect moment to die because he wanted to keep Jesse alive. Walt never got it through to Jesse that he cared about him. Now Jesse will never believe him.  Now Walt rushes back to town to grasp at someone who he can still care about and control. But he doesn't find them in his old home. What Walt finds there is a wife with knives of her own and another son who turns Walt over to the police. Walt stares down at the family who he has brought to their knees, trembling in fear of him, just like Jesse in the desert. He's already lost them. Holly is the last fragment of family that Walt can take with him. So Walt takes the child and he runs. It'll take Walt a long time to realize his child is screaming.

Somewhere far beyond Walt's sight and feeling, Jesse is screaming in chains. "If you believe there's a hell, we're already pretty much going there..." Oh Jesse believes in hell alright and it's all around him. Hell is being kept alive only to cook in a meth lab. Hell is being put on a leash like a beaten dog. Hell is the picture on the wall of the child who was poisoned and the girl who hasn't died yet. This is what happens when you go up against the Devil and you lose. But back in civilization, Walt is in a Hell of his own creation. He has none of the Devil's power to bend the universe to his will. 'Mr White the Devil' is just an ugly mask he can put on for a last ditch attempt to protect his family. Walt is the danger in their lives. He finally gets what that means. So Walt disappears with his last barrel of money while a stray dog crosses the road behind the car. One last specter of the problem dog that Walt's left to die in this town.


Granite State

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"Live free or die."

In the last episode, the world fell to ruin and all our characters were destroyed in that colossal wreck. So what happens after it's all over? What comes after the end? Walt and Jesse go to hell, that's what. In their two separate pockets of hell, they find themselves alone and helpless without a partner who'll have their back or shield them from further torments. It seems Walt and Jesse will be trapped in their hells for whatever remains of their cursed existences...unless there's a way to escape, unless there's a tiny chance they might breathe the free air again. They haven't quite lost hope yet. Both of these damned men have been left with one last blessing. One last piece of treasure that might still offer them salvation. For Walt, it's a barrel containing £11 million in cash. For Jesse, it's a paperclip.

Jesse's hell is made of concrete and chains and the constant threat of beatings. There's nothing in his cell but a mattress, a bucket and a photo of two people Jesse once hoped he could call his family. There's also the paperclip and Jesse's determination to become a master of his art. Jesse's latest craft is to learn everything there is to know about locks and how they unfasten. If only Jesse had been this dedicated in school maybe he'd never have to learn how to climb out of hell. Jesse's prison is guarded over by the hired demons of Mr White who cackle at the sad story of Jesse's life and the tears he shed when he confessed it all on tape. Uncle Jack thinks they should shoot Jesse for being a rat but Todd just isn't that merciful. Todd is bored of spiders in jars. He's always wanted a real live person in a cage pit to play with. No, they can't shoot Jesse the magical meth dog, they just have to give Todd a chance to train him. Todd brings Jesse ice cream as a treat for doing his tricks right. Jesse plays along, doing his best pound puppy impression as he asks Todd to leave the tarp off his cage so he can look at the stars. As long as there are stars in the sky, Jesse still has something to reach for, a twinkling heaven that's always been so far out of his grasp. Jesse reaches for it now. He piles up the last rags of humanity that have been left to him and he leaps up to clasp at the bars. We'll never know how badly Jesse's arms hurt in this moment but we do know that the thought of staying in that pit hurts more.

Miraculously Jesse escapes his cage and then...then he finds himself in another cage. He can barely begin another climb before his captors surround him. The same Jesse who stood his ground and said "no" to Heisenberg and to Fring screams "no!" again at these dark figures closing in. Jesse still has to learn...there is no way he can climb out of hell now. There are only ways he can fall deeper into it. The Nazis have ways to bring their dog to heel; they have ways to muzzle him so he can't bite back or even howl in pain. If Jesse could scream freely as he is forced to watch Andrea's murder we know the words he might scream; "I killed her. It was me." We'll never know how badly Jesse's soul hurts in this moment and we'll never want to. The Nazis would never have known to knock on Andrea's door if Mr White hadn't told them she could be used to bait Jesse. Sure, Walt gave them orders not to shoot Jesse in front of the young mother and her kid. So instead it's Jesse who has to look upon Walt's works and despair. Everything he ever cared about. Gone. Ruined. Dead.

Walt starts the episode still in denial over his own damnation. He knows he's going to hell, but he won't lie down till he gets there. Things to do, hitmen to hire, former Nazi associates to kill...busy, busy, busy. Saul joins Walt in this limbo where they are both waiting to be disappeared and it's Saul who suggests Walt could make a genuine act of contrition. Walt could turn himself in for his family. This makes Walt furious because he does EVERYTHING for his family, except...except he won't do this one thing that might actually help them now. Never give up control or your money. That was the mistake Walt made out in the To'hajiile desert. In his frustration, Walt randomly attempts to kidnap Saul to take with him to his relocation. Walt can still feel like he's in control so long as he has an underling to berate and gee, where's Jesse when you need him? Walt grits his teeth and tries to insist that it's not over, but a cancerous cough brings him to his knees. Walt is sent out to New Hampshire alone. We find that Walt's hell is made of snow and woodland and soul-crushing silence. The man who disappears Walt into this place remarks that it's "kinda beautiful". And it is. I can't help thinking that Jesse would've liked it here. But for Walt being surround by all this whiteness feels like a surrender. The gate to hell is open and Walt can walk out any time, but his fear of a futile defeat holds him prisoner. He's more trapped here than Jesse is in a concrete cage pit. Walt begins to realize that he has been abducted and imprisoned too, only he actually payed a man to do this to him and all he has to look forward to now are rare visits from the jailer. Walt learns that his family are broke, their old home is a derelict circus and slowly...slowly it dawns on Walt that this man who he'll pay to play cards with him for a few precious hours is nothing but a vulture waiting to pick his bones. This man won't see that his family gets his money after he dies. He's not Jesse.

So in a final moment of desperation, Walt climbs out of hell and reaches for the stars. He makes his final gamble with a phone call to his son. Walt wanted to be "the man who provides" but he's reduced to being a man who begs his child to give him some whisper of redemption. Please, don't let this all be for nothing, son. But it is. Flynn rejects the money for the same reason Jesse did months before. Neither of your sons want to inherit your blood money, Walt. Now Flynn kills his father with words just like Walt killed Jesse in the desert all those months ago. Walt lets out a few final breaths and then he calls the police to tell them where they can collect his body. On a TV in the corner of the barroom, Gretchen Schwartz mourns the loss of the "sweet kind brilliant man" that she once knew. That man is gone now. But the blue meth isn't. And there's only one other person on earth who Walt taught his magic to. Neither of them are dead just yet.


Felina

felina1felina2

"Say the words. Say you want this."

Walt begins his final mission like Shakespeare's Prospero, another dying magician who spent his final days conjuring up a storm to take revenge on his enemies and to reclaim his dukedom. Just as Prospero enjoyed playing cruel games with the shipwrecked lords of Milan, so Walt takes great pleasure in terrorizing Gretchen and Elliot, the beautiful billionaires who Walt imagines stole his rightful empire away from him. And just as Prospero needed to provide a better future for his daughter Miranda, so Walt needs the Schwartz's provide a better future his own children; an inheritance for the family who have been dragged into exile along with Walt. The threat of bloody revenge is in the air, but the red laser beams pointing at Gretchen and Elliot's chests are nothing but an illusion provided by two mischievous sprites who we know as Badger and Skinny Pete. Walt asks Jesse's old friends to confirm if the blue meth is still on the streets. Is Walt's most precious piece of magic being used by another? Skinny confirms that the blue is back and "better than ever". And with those words, Walt can no longer dwell on the betrayals of his former Grey Matter partners. Because what's worse is the former partner who has stolen his Heisenberg empire; the same traitorous partner who ratted him out to Hank. Walt choose Jesse as his partner because he could trust him, because Jesse always did what Walt told him. It was the biggest mistake Walt made. Ever since Walt's controlling grasp slipped away from his once loyal servant, Jesse has been marked for death in his mind. Earlier that day Walt discarded his watch, Jesse's old birthday present, at a lonely pay phone, along with the memory of the sweet trusting young man who gave it to him. Walt is prepared to sacrifice the boy he once loved like a son in order to slay the deceptive little monster who (in his worst delusions) Walt imagines Jesse has become.

And where is Jesse now? In his daydreams, Jesse sculpts, sands and varnishes the perfect wooden box. The box is beautiful. He breathes in its scent and holds it close to his heart. It is his. This is the one thing that Mr White and his Nazi captors couldn't take away from Jesse. This last refuge of his imagination, this last fragment of his soul. In reality, Jesse is still leashed to a meth lab, still forced to cook that crystal blue poison for God knows how long. The sunlit carpentry shop in his mind is the only place Jesse can escape to now, the only place where he can still survive. Lydia is bringing more methylamine so Jesse can't hope for the release of death anytime soon. He certainly can't hope for rescue. Jesse doesn't know that somewhere out in the desert Mr White, that dying old magician, is ready to conjurer up his final tempest; the last storm of his vengeance. Jesse doesn't know that Mr White is building a robot with a machine gun arm. And Walt doesn't know yet that his latest invention will be the thing that kills him while he shields Jesse from further harm. Walt doesn't know the true purpose of his final mission yet or what his dying act should always have been. Walt won't know any of this until he sees Jesse again.

At the Nazis clubhouse, Jack decides that Jesse should be the last thing Walt sees before he dies. Walt needs to see how wrong he is. Todd opens the door and Jesse appears before Walt like the ghost of Marley, the partner who has been forced to carry the chains for both their sins. Jack grabs Jesse by the scruff of his neck and drags him forward so Walt can get a good look. Jesse doesn't cry or cower as he is subjected to this latest degradation. Nothing can hurt Jesse Pinkman anymore because everything already has. Walt can see Jesse now and the countless hurts he has suffered. And Walt doesn't gasp in shock. This is the sickly slow realization of a truth that Walt always knew but never wanted to admit to himself. The truth that Jesse always was more a prisoner than a partner to him. Jesse's captivity didn't just start when Walt let him be hauled away by Uncle Jack and his thugs. It started with the words "Either that or I turn you in". How many times did Walt find ways to trap Jesse in his servitude? How many cruel and unusual manipulations did Walt devise to force Jesse to stay on his side? "Take a good look at him," Uncle Jack sneers. This is Walt's partner. His good hardworking 50/50 partner. This is what Walt has done to him. This is what Walt was doing from the start. It's just taken Walt this long to see the shackles. To see the scars.

Walt can't hold back his storm any longer but he can save one soul from perishing in it. Walt throws Jesse to the ground, covering him from the rain of machine gun fire that is soon blasting over their heads. And just as suddenly the bullets stop and there aren't many people left breathing in the room. Todd scrambles to the window and gazes out at Walt's wizardry in awe. Todd's last words are "Mr White..." before the desperate feral creature that Jesse has become leaps up to strangle Todd with the chains he put him in. Walt has seen the rabid dog in Jesse before but never like this. This vicious writhing act on the floor is what it takes for Jesse claw his way out of hell, to throw off all his fetters and fears. Walt turns his attention to Uncle Jack, who begins to offer Walt the chance to get his money back before Walt cuts him off with a bullet to the head. Jesse flinches in surprise at this last shot. No, Mr White didn't come all the way back here to get his money, Jesse. The only thing that Walt has salvaged from this final mission is you. And now Walt slides his gun across the floor and he's finally giving Jesse the power in their relationship. Or is he? Jesse knows Walt better than that. The truth is that it's always been about what Mr White wants. Jesse needs to hear the truth from Walt's own mouth just as much as Skyler did. The least Walt can do is admit it; "I want this". Walt can't ever possibly begin to say he is sorry but Jesse can still give Walt this last absolution by making him pay for his sins with a deserved death. Jesse could never shoot Walt enough times to stop feeling angry at him. But that's not what Jesse needs right now. Jesse needs to stop being Walt's puppet. He needs to not let Walt jerk his strings this last time. Jesse sees Walt is already bleeding from a bullet hole in his side. He throws the gun to the floor and he tells Walt to "Do it yourself." Like seriously, what did your last slave die of.

Outside the clubhouse, Jesse moves in short shuffling steps towards the nearest getaway car. Wearing those chains has changed Jesse's walk and god knows what else they have changed in him. Jesse turns back and looks at Walt, a dying man clothed in shadows. Mr White told Jesse he needed to stop focusing on the darkness behind him and it may be a last hard-won victory for Walt that Jesse seems ready to take his advice. Walt smiles softly as he looks back at Jesse. Walt's mission is finally done. Like Prospero, he is ready to break his staff and drown his book of magic. Prospero's final act at the end of his life's work is to set his servant Ariel free. To set his soul free. Go spirit, to the elements, be free. Walt doesn't say anything at all to Jesse. There are no words that exist that could explain all that has passed between them. Jesse doesn't linger long. He gets in the car and he doesn't look back. He mows down the gates to his prison and he roars in exhilaration over the freedom he never expected to have again. Have a good rest of your life, kid...

Walt dies in the meth lab that was Jesse's prison. For Walt, this is his happy place. Walt likes it here as much as Jesse might have liked the quiet beauty of Walt's log cabin in New Hampshire. Here in the lab, Walt can reclaim his legacy. He is Heisenberg. He cooks the best blue in town. Nobody will credit his perfect pure meth to Jesse again. Nobody will know Jesse was even here. In the sea of chaos Walt has stirred up, nobody will think to remember Jesse's name. And that's something both of them can smile about. Walt will have his infamy while Jesse will have a chance. And maybe in the end...it won't have been for nothing.
           

 
 
 
cylune: bbcylune9 on August 14th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, great analysis again. I'm so glad you didn't wait until the last episode to post them!!!

How many times did Jesse shield Walt when Mike was threatening to shoot him?

A lot. I've seen a lot of people complaining about Jesse's behaviour, that they didn't like Jesse's mopping around. But can you only imagine what he's going through? Like you said, this is almost worse than death. He's got to live with the knowledge that he helped *that* monster. How long do you think he's going to start figure it out other stuff like Brock's poisoning?

And then all of a sudden, Walt is no longer asking Jesse to believe, he is ordering him to.

Walt threatening Jesse like that - even in such a 'softening' manner is just sickening. Jesse used to care and have so much respect for Mr. White. Hell, he even killed an innocent man to save Walt's life. And now he has to live with the consequences.

I love what Jesse did with the money - it's going to make Walt even angrier!! Jesse might be scared but he's not going to lay around doing nothing and do what Walt tells him to do. Looks like Jesse took a page of Skyler's how to 'passive-aggressively infuriate Walt' book.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on August 14th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you didn't wait until the last episode to post them!!!

Well, I figured I could give a deeper analysis for each episode if I wrote them week by week. Plus I was a little depressed last night (that was the evening I should have been doing the podcast).

I've seen a lot of people complaining about Jesse's behaviour, that they didn't like Jesse's mopping around.

I can understand people being annoyed by Jesse falling into a funk again. He does it a lot. But then, it's like fans complaining that Felix Gaeta needs stop being so miserable or that David Fisher just needs get over his anxiety issues. I get that watching characters who are suffering from depression and PTSD isn't fun, but I prefer these things to be portrayed realistically than have them be fine again a few days later. Jesse has been through so many scarring experiences through the whole five seasons. I think it's only since he's quit cooking and has nothing to do, that a years worth of trauma and guilt has all come crashing down on him.

I didn't mention Jesse throwing the money around his neighbourhood in this essay because I figure it's going to be a big story focus next episode. But yes, I wonder how Walt will react to that? It could be his threats aren't so soft after that. :(

Looks like Jesse took a page of Skyler's how to 'passive-aggressively infuriate Walt' book

Skyler and Jesse have almost switched roles from 5x1 to 5x9, have you noticed. Skyler is still a little scared of Walt but she is acting as Walt's partner and even protecting him from outside threats. Jesse is more like Skyler was after the nursing home bombing when she's too depressed to even get out of bed.
(no subject) - cylune9 on August 14th, 2013 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - falafel_musings on August 15th, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chani φ: Breaking Badfrenchani on August 14th, 2013 04:52 pm (UTC)
Somewhere unspoken in this scene is the desperate plea; Please son, don't make me kill you...

I don't quite agree with your interpretation, or rather I think you interpreted Jesse's feeling quite well but it isn't the only way to read the scene. I think that it is the way Jesse hears it, and the audience now tends to see the scense through Jesse's emotions. It was the same when Walt came to drop the money bags the first time. Jesse was afraid he might kill him, and many viewers also expected some bomb in the bag. But no, Walt was just emotional and in farewell mood. I am not saying that he isn't in manipulative mode here, because he is, as always with Jesse, but I don't think that he's begging Jesse not to make him kill him.

What is really tragic here, in my opinion, is that Walt would never kill Jesse (although he might try to harm Hank), but everything he says or does sounds like a threat in Jesse's ears now.

They used not to understand each other, back in season 1, but it's worse now, because they have history, and they did have bonding moments in the past, and moments in which they worked together in such harmony...But it's gone now.

It's such a wonderful love story!
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on August 14th, 2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
I don't think that he's begging Jesse not to make him kill him.

Yeah, I regret my wording here. I may even go back and change it because it is misleading. I agree that this is not what Walt is thinking in this scene. Rather it's part of the atmosphere in the room and something Jesse might perceive from Walt's willingness to dispose of anyone who threatens his secrecy.

On Walt's part, I agree he wouldn't ever want to kill Jesse. Even if Jesse flips to the DEA and Walt finds out about it, I think Walt would actually try to protect Jesse from the likes of Lydia and Todd who would want Jesse killed. Which is another reason for Walt to talk Jesse down. Even if Walt wouldn't kill Jesse for dumping a bag of money on Drew parents, Todd and his Nazi family might start seeing Jesse as big problem.

However, I don't think Walt is fully in control of his own actions anymore either. Walt didn't actually plan to kill Mike, he shot him in a fit of rage. So I think when Walt warns Hank to tread lightly and when he says he needs Jesse to believe him, he is warning them not to challenge him. Because when Walt gets in a fight with someone, he has to win or at least reach an acceptable stalemate (as he has with Skyler). I think Walt is trying to say that he doesn't want to fight Hank or Jesse. Not because Walt is scared he'll lose, but because he's scared of what he would have to do to fight back.

I might change that particular line to include Walt's meaning and how Jesse is perceiving it. Thanks!

It's such a wonderful love story!

Well, I've always thought so. :)
pgilmour on August 14th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... guess I interpreted that scene in a completely different way. I actually thought that Walt did seem concerned about Jesse's state of mind and was trying to help (scary thought!). And I thought his whole "I need you to believe me" was part of his delusion that Jesse still looks up to him and trusts him and he doesn't want to lose that trust and idol worship. Like in Walt's mind - he needs to have Jesse looking up to him and being on his side to retain any sort of his humanity, like he can't really be truly evil as long as Jesse still calls him Mr. White, his actions are still justifiable. Does that make sense? And, I think even though Jesse knows deep down that Walt killed Mike, he still is not ready to accept it - there was one second there where he kinda seemed like he wanted to just go ahead and believe the lie (before he looked at Walt) because that's easier than knowing the truth, that he helped a monster. I think Walt will definitely try to bring Jesse back to his side and under his control so he can keep him safe (I don't think the thought of killing Jesse has ever entered his mind, though I suppose it could before it's all over), because if he loses Jesse (either through his death or him outright turning on him, which he still hasn't done), then he loses what's left of his humanity.

Can't wait to see how everything plays out though! And I am also very glad that you're not waiting until the very end to do these essays!
falafel_musings: lostcharliefalafel_musings on August 15th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
Like in Walt's mind - he needs to have Jesse looking up to him and being on his side to retain any sort of his humanity, like he can't really be truly evil as long as Jesse still calls him Mr. White, his actions are still justifiable. Does that make sense?

Oh it totally makes sense and agree it is part of Walt's motivation. At this stage, it's often a case of Walt having one motivation and Heisenberg having another. Like I said in my first paragraph Walt wants a happy ending for him and Jesse. And that includes Jesse remembering him somewhat fondly. I think Walt thought he could buy Jesse's fondness back with the money on his doorstep, like he bought Junior's love by getting him the flashy car he wanted.

I don't think Walt would consider killing Jesse either, but what will he do if Jesse insists on doing reckless things that are likely to put him on the police's radar? Back in S3, Walt was plotting to get Jesse put in jail to avoid Jesse clashing with the two dealers. Even if Walt wouldn't kill Jesse, what measures might he take to get Jesse under control again? And would those methods be worse than poisoning a kid or letting Jesse's girlfriend die? Killing Jesse is not an option but Walt is still capable of being very abusive if he thinks that's what is needed to get Jesse back in line.

Thanks for reading and commenting! I plan to update this each week.
Naomi: BB Walt and Jesse by stolen-gardenfrelling_tralk on August 15th, 2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the write-up! :)

I agree though with the comments reading Walt slightly differently. IMO Walt wanting Jesse to believe him isn't because otherwise Jesse might become a problem for him, I think it is about wanting Jesse to continue hero-worshipping him. Earlier in the season he looked genuinally touched when Jesse gave him the watch and was practically gushing to Skyler about how Jesse still likes him, and later on he was really quite angry and desperate when Jesse did want to leave the business, so I viewed him trying to convince Jesse that he didn't harm Mike as his manipulative attempts to not lose Jesse's trust and affection.

Mind you it's possible that my reading of Walt is a bit too generous at times! Still my view of him is that he really has grown to look at Jesse with genuine affection and almost feels responsible for him in a way, so I think that he was sincere when he was trying to talk Jesse out of his funk and that he deserves to keep the money that they earned, just as he looked sad last season at seeing the bong back in Jesse's apartment and took no pleasure in being right about Jesse going straight back to that lifestyle once he stopped working with Walt
falafel_musings: BSGfalafel_musings on August 15th, 2013 08:47 pm (UTC)
I agree though with the comments reading Walt slightly differently. IMO Walt wanting Jesse to believe him isn't because otherwise Jesse might become a problem for him, I think it is about wanting Jesse to continue hero-worshipping him.

Just to clarify, I think it is a bit of both. Like I said to pglimour, I think with the Walt/Heisenberg split personality most of the things Walt does have a duel purpose. Considering Walt got a frantic call from Saul telling him that Jesse was creating big problems for them, I think Walt was going over to Jesse's house to reign him in. But yes, I do think Walt has a genuine desire to see Jesse living his life, enjoying his wealth, staying off drugs, etc. The way Jesse is now just reflects the horror and self-hatred that Walt can no longer bring himself to feel.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
pgilmour on August 26th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
Oh that hug! That scene just about killed me! Jesse saying - "Tell me you don't give a shit about me" made me think of that hospital scene and just kind of confirmed in my mind that Jesse still wants to know (at least up til that moment) that Walt cares about him. I knew Walt was going to hug him and I think it was genuine, no manipulation. But I am surprised at how many people (including my husband) thought Walt was going to shoot Jesse in the stomach while hugging him! I still think Walt has no intention of killing Jesse. Even though he got that gun, I think that was for protection, but not to go and kill Jesse. Obviously, we know from the flash forward that Jesse isn't going to burn down the house. So, it'll be interesting to see what stops him. This show is so freaking good! And Aaron Paul was amazing in this episode.

I have been waiting all day for your post on this episode! And now I can't think of anything to really add to it, because you pretty much said what I was thinking especially about Jesse being in dire need of a hug. I was so hoping that somewhere in these last 8 episodes that someone would hug Jesse! And didn't you love that imagery of Jesse standing at the dead end street with the turn lane arrows (one pointing away and the other back) with those stone things behind him that looked like rows of tombstones? Probably not a good sign for Jesse... Can't wait til next week!!!

falafel_musings: lostcharliefalafel_musings on August 27th, 2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
I have been waiting all day for your post on this episode!

Thanks! There are so many great reviews and articles to read the day after a new BB episode, so I'm touched that my post is one that you particularly look forward to.

I was just listening to the Insider podcast and Aaron said that they filmed several different versions of the hug. In some takes Jesse wouldn't want Walt to touch him and would struggle to get away. In some takes Jesse would just stay very still and wouldn't cry. And then they did the take where Jesse gives in and cries on Walt's shoulder. From Aaron's POV, he said that Jesse doesn't feel like the hug is genuine. The hug just makes him feel even more terrified of Walt and powerless to resist him.

The tombstone location was perfect! That is so going in my next BrBa vid. As for what stops Jesse burning the house, I have two theories: 1) we'll discover that Walter Jr. is in the house and even in his crazed state Jesse's not going to endanger an innocent teenage boy, or 2) we'll discover that when Hank slipped away from the DEA he went to stakeout Jesse and Saul himself. In which case he'll have followed Jesse to the White house and will be able to stop him lighting the fire. A combination of those two scenarios would be great too!

Edited at 2013-08-27 12:06 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - pgilmour on August 27th, 2013 04:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cylune: bbcylune9 on August 28th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
That hug just about killed me. It's so conflicting and, like you said, it's genuine but also traitorous (just like the one in ABQ and the time he conforted Jesse after they found the 'ricin' cigarette. Oh I just punched you. Let me get some ice. See how much I care about you? It's sickening). These guys have ways to make their relationship even more heartbreaking and complicated than before. Oh God, I lost it when Jesse accepted that hug. The guy he knows killed Mike and his 10 guys. And we know how Jesse cared about Mike - just look at him after Mike is shot in Mexico. Jesse breaks down, accepted the hug because he needed it so much and Walter is the only person in his life that can give him one. The only one that can show some affection, even though it's filled with lies and manipulation. Walt is the worse person in his life. But he's also the only one. When you're as needy as Jesse, better to have someone then no one, right? You're going to be the death of me Jesse Pinkman.

You linked Jesse's 'no' to Walt to the one he said to Gus! Jesse was terrified of Walt but still showed a hell of a backbone.

I'm not sure Alaska is that much colder than Albuquerque. Goddammit it's cold in ABQ in the winter. grrrrrr. I freaking grew up in Northern Quebec! I should be able to endure the desert cold.

And what does Saul tell Jesse? Walt did it to save Jesse. Walt poisons little children because that's what's best for you, Jesse! And yes, I can imagine Walt really believes this. Walt rescued Jesse when he was handcuffed in Gus's super lab and Walt could never have defeated Gus if he hadn't taken drastic measures to get Jesse back on his side. But Jesse just looks sickened by Walt's idea of saving him. He won't be saved by Mr White anymore. He's throwing it all out. He's burning it all down.

So that was one of Walt's justification for poisoning a little kid? The fact that he was saving Jesse from Gus?? Freaking delusional man. You just couldn't stand that Jesse had other friends.
falafel_musings: hannibalfalafel_musings on August 28th, 2013 07:50 am (UTC)
Oh I just punched you. Let me get some ice. See how much I care about you?

Exactly. Only in the past Jesse didn't know his injuries were inflicted by the same person who was comforting him.

Jesse breaks down, accepted the hug because he needed it so much and Walter is the only person in his life that can give him one. The only one that can show some affection, even though it's filled with lies and manipulation.

I don't think Jesse accepts the hug so much as he gives into it. I did hear it being described as 'the rape hug' by one podcast and it's a fair description. Even if it is genuine on Walt's part it's still something he is forcing on Jesse. It reminded me of Walt forcing physical affection on Skyler in 5a when she was clearly terrified of him. Even if Jesse needs comfort from someone and Walt is his only option, that hug still isn't something he wants. He does give in, but I think he gives in despairingly.

You linked Jesse's 'no' to Walt to the one he said to Gus!

Walt and Gus were both demanding the same thing of Jesse. They wanted him to pipe down. And actually Jesse was upset over the same things on both occasions, 1) one of Jesse's friends being killed (Combo/Mike), 2) a kid being harmed because of their drug business (Tomas/Drew). God, I love the Walt/Gus parallels.

So that was one of Walt's justification for poisoning a little kid? The fact that he was saving Jesse from Gus?? Freaking delusional man. You just couldn't stand that Jesse had other friends.

To be fair, I can't say Jesse was in a better situation with Gus than he is with Walt. Gus risked Jesse's life by involving him in a mass poisoning of the Mexican cartel. Gus was prepared to force Jesse to cook at gunpoint. Gus was never Jesse's friend and Jesse did need to get away from him, but Walt suggesting that saving Jesse from Gus was his main motivation for the Brock poisoning is totally delusional. Walt winning over Gus was at the top of his agenda.

Thanks for reading as always! Can you add an update on your BBmeta blog? I'm still not sure how to submit...
(no subject) - cylune9 on August 29th, 2013 01:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
scanorama on September 1st, 2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting your essays! I really look forward to reading them after every episode.

Jesse runs from the latest happy ending Mr White has tried to give him.

Walt's increasingly creepy attempts to end his relationship with Jesse on (what Walt would consider) a good note have reminded me of the scene with Walt and Walt Jr., back in Season 4, where Jr. finds Walt drugged up, weeping, and remorseful after his fight with Jesse. The next morning, Walt gives Jr. that spiel about how Walt's only real memory of his own father is that of a weak, shriveled up, dying man, and how Jr. mustn't remember Walt that way. Jr. then makes the excellent point that remembering Walt that way wouldn't be so bad, because at least he was being "real" when he was crying, in contrast with how he's been behaving the rest of the time. Both Jr.'s complaint in Season 4 and Jesse's plea in "Confessions", that (paraphrasing) it shouldn't kill Walt to be real or honest with them for a few seconds, go unacknowledged, at least verbally, by Walt.

In the scene with Jr., Walt's motivations seemed clear to me -- Walt's fixation on power and messed up notions of masculinity are driving him to insist that Jr. remember him as "strong" (whatever that may mean to Walt), but I'm less sure of what Walt is thinking in the desert scene in "Confessions." In Walt's mind, Jesse mustn't think of him as ... what? A Mike murderer? A favor-asker? A potential killer of Jesse? Jesse already knows that Walt either killed Mike or had him killed, so (my take is that) if Jesse were going to try to get revenge for this, he would have already done so. When Walt insists in "Blood Money" that he didn't kill Mike, there's arguably a practical side to it (making sure Jesse doesn't act out, or that he stays on Walt's team), but by the time of "Confessions," my guess is that Walt's refusal to tell the truth is more about image control than any strategic reason. Jesse hasn't given any sign that Mike's murder is going to be a flash point for him, and in any event Jesse's about to be shipped off to Alaska, never to be seen again, so what does it matter to Walt if Jesse knows the truth? A running thread through the thwarted happy-ending scenes in "Gliding Over All," "Blood Money," and "Confessions" has been Walt hoping, or outright demanding, that Jesse remember him semi-fondly, or as a relatively good guy, at least by meth lord standards. Why is this so important to Walt?

Another thing I was thinking is that while the show often draws parallels between Jesse and Skyler, lately Walt doesn't seem to care as much about what Skyler thinks of him, as long as she maintains the fictional version of him in the minds of their children. Supposing anyone makes it out of this show alive, Jr. and Holly will be the keepers of the family history, and Walt wants to at least write the first draft of any stories they may tell about him after he's gone. Walt's concern over the legacy he leaves to Jesse is more nebulous to me ... does Walt think that Jesse will ever tell any tales of his adventures with Mr. White, like Todd was doing at the diner?

Anyway, sorry if this comment is way too long ... I'm new here and I'm not really sure what the etiquette is on Livejournal, so if I need to keep it shorter, let me know!
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 1st, 2013 08:57 pm (UTC)
Anyway, sorry if this comment is way too long ... I'm new here and I'm not really sure what the etiquette is on Livejournal, so if I need to keep it shorter, let me know!

Welcome to LJ! And thank you so much for your comment! One of my main motives for writing these essays was the hope that I might get responses just like yours. There's a reason I put the word "long winded" in the title. I never tire of reading detailed insightful Walt/Jesse thoughts.

A running thread through the thwarted happy-ending scenes in "Gliding Over All," "Blood Money," and "Confessions" has been Walt hoping, or outright demanding, that Jesse remember him semi-fondly, or as a relatively good guy, at least by meth lord standards. Why is this so important to Walt?

That is the question of questions! For me it has several answers. Firstly, it's clear that as of 'Gliding Over All' Walt has come to remember Jesse fondly. The wistful way Walt spoke about the early days cooking in the RV was full of nostalgia. While Jesse looks back on their year together and remembers only the horror and trauma, Walt is able to look back on it all as the one great adventure of his life. And that's what Walt really wanted when he broke bad. The depressed 50 year old man who had never really lived wanted to play at being an gangster and win before he died. Walt told himself that his goal was making money and providing for his family, but that wasn't the goal really. It was for Walter White to feel alive. That was what Walt got out of that year and Jesse was the person he shared it with.

It's ironic that Jesse has become the key witness in Hank's mission to prosecute Walt. That's a big part of why Walt wants to keep Jesse alive. Because Jesse was the witness to Walt's criminal life and deeds from the very beginning. I think you're right that legacy is important to Walt. In the past he has had the ability to change Jesse's mind about him, alter his memory and perceptions. He's had Jesse buying him birthday presents and saying he's sorry for ever doubting Mr White. I think Walt was hoping he could do that one last time. There's much better meta on this subject in Dark UFOs analysis of 'Confessions'. I really like the prediction here that even as Walt grabs the gun from the freezer, it is more likely that Walt is planning to somehow protect Jesse than he is planning to gun Jesse down.

http://www.spoilertv.com/2013/08/the-judgment-of-solomon-surrogacy-and.html

I don't even think Walt wants Jesse to go around telling stories of the great Heisenberg after he dies. I think Walt just wants to force his will on Jesse and have him see their experiences the way Walt chooses to see them. When Walt says "I wouldn't change a thing, you and I working together, having each other's back", etc, I think Walt is buying into his own romanticism of their relationship and wants Jesse to do the same. In the end Walt really wants to see himself as the outlaw hero. And he wants his witness to affirm it.

Lastly, I always want to come back to my Prospero and Ariel comparison with Walt and Jesse. In 'The Tempest' Prospero doesn't set his servant Ariel free until the very end of the play when all his work (or rather, all his vengeance) has been carried out. Ariel's release is symbolic of Prospero's death, it's the soul leaving the body. And part of me thinks this is what Jesse has become to Walt - his soul outside his body. And Walt can't die until his work is done and his soul is at peace. The first aim is achieved but the second is proving impossible.

Okay...no who is rambling too long. :D

Edited at 2013-09-01 09:01 pm (UTC)
deeniedore1deeniedore1 on September 2nd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC)
It's great to see that you updated this glorious meta again :)

And really, there are a whole slew of things to discuss in these episodes, isn't there? (I'll probably talk about them a bit later when I'm less sleep-deprived so that I can be more eloquent/articulate and whatnot).

But also, the new episode came out today!

And.... oh, honey. Oh, gosh. Let's just say that things took... a little turn in their relationship. Oh my.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 2nd, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and commenting! Please do come back and talk after you've slept.

Yes, Walt and Jesse are still reaching dizzy new heights of fucked up-ness. Bless them. I've seen a lot of fans declaring this as the official end of the relationship and I'm like...Naaahh. Those crazy kids will get back together some how.

But yeah, first it's gonna get ugly.
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 3rd, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
For Skyler, Jesse was the voice on the other end of your second cell phone. Jesse was the affair that Skyler thought her husband was having.

Our dream Jesse/Skyler team-up was never going to happen, wasn't it? Perhaps we underestimated Skyler's hatred of Walt's double life and by association her hatred of poor Jesse. I understand where she's coming from and her reasoning. I get that she's doing it for her family and, as opposed to Walt, truly means it. But... I started losing sympathy for her when she participated in that awful tape and now she's asking Walt to kill Jesse. Like he wasn't a real person. She wasn't interested in knowing why Jesse tried to burn the house, even after Walt told her he indeed did the thing that made Jesse go pyromaniac crazy. But I guess low-life junkies aren't worth helping.

When we go back in time to discover what happened to Jesse, we find him snorting meth off a CD, the same way he psyched himself up before his showdown with the two dealers who killed Tomas, the last time Jesse was ready to throw his life away on a reckless act of revenge.

The way he was walking toward Walt at the plaza also reminded me of Half Measures. I'll have to watch the episode again to see if there's other callbacks to that other Sam Catlin episode... these writers just love callbacks these days. Gliding over All was just a start. ;p

Am I right in saying this was a suicide attempt?

I don't think so, I know he's a bit out of it in that scene but burning yourself alive? That's just too much. But yeah considering Jesse's clothes were probably full of gasoline, it would have been very dangerous for him to light the fire. He could have burned alive but he was so mad (and high) that I don't think he realized that.

The universe that has never stopped Mr White or Jesse from being the bad guys.

Poor Jesse and his constant obsession on retribution for himself.... and now Mr. White. He now wants to bring Walt down with him. I think it's part of why he made that video, without even getting some form of assurance that his act would get him a lesser jail sentence.

It feels like the door slamming shut on Jesse's freedom, possibly for the rest of his life.

I know. And since he just confessed to everything, this will get him many, many years in jail. And Hank made that pretty clear when Jesse was objecting to going to meet Walt at the plaza. This isn't brainstorming.

The only person who cares to keep Jesse alive is the same man who Jesse fears is plotting a hundred magical ways to murder him.

As we learned while watching BSG; everything we wanted, in the worse possible way. These writers are torturing us.

because Jesse still can't reconcile Mr White loving him deep down with Mr White destroying his life.

Can we blame him? He has the healthy attitude here.

But Jesse has become the wild card in this game and it's only in this moment that Jesse seems to become aware of his own agency. He is the last straw that Hank is clutching at. Why can't Jesse choose how they play things? Sorry Hank but this is what you get when you partner up with Jesse Pinkman. He's an unpredictable little fucker and he has a devious mind of his own.

OMG I love that so much. Stop whining like a little bitch and do what I say. There's our Jesse Pinkman. Get Walt your way Jesse! Burn his empire down. I can't wait for the Walt/Jesse showdown. I knew it was going to be these two in the end.
falafel_musings: six feetfalafel_musings on September 3rd, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
Skyler already knows her husband is a murderer and he's killed business partners before (Gus) when they became a threat to the family. As the writers said, Skyler is already complicit in covering up for Walt's previous kills. What's one more? The difference here is that Jesse is someone Skyler has met. Based on those meetings, I don't think Skyler would judge Jesse to be especially evil or threatening. I get that Skyler is shaken up over a crazy junkie trying to set a fire in the house where her children sleep. But still, murder is not the last resort. Calling the police and reporting Jesse's arson attempt was an option, but Skyler won't risk that.

I think Skyler's become especially ruthless since the tape. If she can sacrifice her relationship with her sister then Walt better be prepared to make sacrifices too. Still, she's a far cry from the Skyler who told Walt she didn't want her kids growing up in a family where "hurting people and killing people are shrugged off as shit happens".

He could have burned alive but he was so mad (and high) that I don't think he realized that.

I think you're right that it wasn't a conscious suicide attempt by Jesse (but then you could say the same thing about Jesse confronting the dealers in Half Measures) but it was a very self-destructive act. Jesse would likely have been badly burned in the fire and he would certainly have been arrested. It's not like he slipped into the house quietly. But when Hank was pointing a gun at Jesse it was clear that he didn't want to be killed. So maybe this whole thing was more like a cry for help?

since he just confessed to everything, this will get him many, many years in jail

I was really moved that Jesse never attempted to make a deal or demand a lawyer. Hank may have hinted that it will go better for Jesse if he cooperates but we've since seen exactly how much Hank cares. With no official deal in place, I doubt Hank would do much to help Jesse get a lighter jail sentence. But then Jesse doesn't seem too concerned by the prospect of spending the rest of his life in jail anyway. Jesse doesn't think the DEA can protect him long enough for him to testify against Walt. He's fully expecting to be murdered at any moment. It felt more like Jesse was confessing his sins knowing he'll soon be executed. God, I'm so pleased that Jesse's confession (and a longer version of Walt's confession too) will be part of the DVD.

LOL, Jesse Pinkman made you his bitch, Hank.
(no subject) - cylune9 on September 4th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
l4ur01dglowvomit on September 3rd, 2013 03:18 am (UTC)
Until I read your analysis, I never considered Jesse burning down Walt's house being a suicide mission. He did pour gasoline everywhere and was lighting the house on fire...how likely was it even that he'd get out alive? He was high on meth and may not have thought clearly about whether he'd live or die. Either way I haven't seen this discussed anywhere else and when I read that I was like, "Holy shit. Oh."
falafel_musings: orphanfalafel_musings on September 3rd, 2013 03:42 pm (UTC)
It was just rewatching the scene for my meta and realizing Jesse is spilling the gasoline all over his shoes and then not moving away to a safe distance to set it alight. As I said to cylune, it might not have been a conscious suicide attempt but if he had started the fire then he might have been killed.
pgilmour on September 3rd, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC)
Is anyone else depressed by the recent turn of events? I don't want to watch those two destroy each other. It's just too heartbreaking. As screwed up as their relationship was, there was genuine care and affection on both sides at one time (well, genuine on Jesse's side at least). Like in the Fly episode when Jesse seems to understand that there's something wrong with Walt besides the fly, but the best he can do is get that fly for him and so he scales that ladder, endangering himself, because he wants to help Walt. And in his own screwed up way, Walt has always tried to protect Jesse, but he's never been able to see what Jesse really needed or be unselfish enough to allow him to have it. I almost don't want to watch the end of the show, because watching them potentially kill each other is just too much.

My husband thinks Jesse needs to die for going to the DEA (which really made me want to punch him!). I obviously disagree. I mean, he finally did the right thing, but fans are going to turn on him now because he's a "snitch". But, it's not like he had many options. And he obviously confessed to murdering Gale, so it's not like he didn't equally screw himself in the process. And it was made clear in the Problem Dog episode that Jesse is not ok with self forgiveness - the idea that you can do bad things and nothing happens, no consequences, has never sat well with him. So any thoughts as to what Jesse's plan might be? My husband thinks Jesse is going after Walt's family, which is absolutely absurd. Do you think Walt is really calling in Todd's uncle to take care of Jesse or do you think there's some other twist? And I still have no clue how we are going to get to that flash forward!

I can't say I'm a fan of Skyler anymore and I've always supported her, but she could've gotten away and chose not to (just like Walt). And Hank! I'm done with him now too and I was happy at first when he and Jesse were going to work together. But his pride is just as bad as Walt's at this point, and he doesn't care who else goes down as long as he gets credit for getting Walt.

I don't think Jesse would've have burnt himself to death on purpose, but he very easily could've done it by accident, but it's not like Jesse ever thinks things through very clearly. He always just acts on his emotions first.

I guess I'm not adding anything too useful to the conversation, but I'm mostly depressed about Walt and Jesse trying to kill each other. Although, I don't think Jesse is out to kill Walt, he just wants him to have to pay for what he's done. I'm glad that you have hope that they will work things out though. It's insane that I even want them to, when Walt is so toxic to Jesse, but I still kinda do. I just don't see how... :(
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 3rd, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
Keep the faith!! I always ALWAYS ship the toxic destructive ships and the awesome thing is that even when it seems these relationships have gone waaaay past the point of no return, they somehow find their way back to each other. Though it usually involves something apocalyptic happening for sure. My favourite BSG ship involved the one character trying to kill the other character no less than four times. And they still got back together for coffee in the end. Trust me. The angst will be worth it.

And I don't believe in Walt and Jesse killing each other anyway. Hasn't their entire relationship been based on their "If you kill him you're going to have to kill me too" solidarity? I don't think they can do it. We've already seen Jesse fail to shoot Walt in the head. And even now Jesse knows the Brock thing is true, he's still not trying to kill Walt. And even though Walt is the more ruthless, I don't think he can kill Jesse either. Walt made it his mission to protect Jesse from the start and Walt does not like to fail in his own missions.

I wouldn't say I hate Hank and Skyler now, but their stance on Jesse sacrificing definitely alienated me from their characters because naturally I consider saving Jesse more important than any other shit they might be worried about. And as Vince said in the podcast, Jesse didn't have much of a choice about working with the DEA. Jesse was going to be shot to death by Hank or he was going to surrender. And like you say, Jesse isn't ratting anyone out to save himself from jail time, he's facing up to his own crimes too. Besides I don't understand this attitude that it's dishonorable talking to the cops. Never letting Drew Sharp's parents know what happened to their child, that's the real disgrace. This one episode when I felt really proud to be a Jesse fan.
(no subject) - pgilmour on September 3rd, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pgilmour on September 10th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
YAY!!! You finally posted!

Really, really excellent analysis (as usual). You really nailed Walt's motivation for trying to kill Jesse in as humane a way as possible (which obviously wasn't going to be humane at all). I want to make my husband read your analysis since he's still in the "Jesse is a rat and needs to die camp". But I think what Jesse did was far braver than keeping silent. IF he survives to go to jail he'll be there a long time and he will be going in as a snitch, not really something you want to be in jail. But he doesn't care. Like you said - he needs this, he needs there to be a consequence to what they've done. And Walt so underestimated Jesse. I loved the way Jesse hectored him over the phone. I've seen a lot of complaints that Walt shouldn't have fallen for such a scheme, but I think it's just as simple as the fact that he never truly believed that Jesse could be that clever or really understood how much he had hurt Jesse and what that had done to him. It is sooo nice to see Walt getting a taste of his own medicine!

Any theories on how this will play out? Maybe Walt and Jesse are forced to cooperate to save their own asses once again and come to some sort of mutual forgiveness? Unlikely, but that would be nice.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 10th, 2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delay! I'm back at work now so Tuesday is likely to be my regular reviewing day now. Mondays I'm still in shock!

There was an interesting vlog posted recently of a professional lawyer talking about the legal issues in Breaking Bad. The lawyer said that this whole idea of "honor among thieves" is a big gangster movie myth. In real life, the vast majority of criminals end up co-operating with the police to get lighter jail sentences. It's the norm. What is not normal about Jesse flipping is how Jesse is so unconcerned for himself. Jesse hasn't said a word about making a deal.

Besides I've never understood this macho ideal that there's nothing worse than a rat. I can think of much worse things that talking to the police. Like, poisoning little kids as a solution to your problems.

Any theories on how this will play out?

Well, I do think Hank's dead. And I think Walt will probably sell Jesse to the Nazi gang to be their new cook. They know where Andrea and Brock live so they have leverage to force Jesse to follow orders. So yeah, I think Walt will throw Jesse to the wolves so that Walt can get away from Uncle Jack's gang and get back to his family before the news of Hank's death breaks. Not sure what will happen after that but it'll end with Walt going on the run to New Hampshire. I think Walt will come to feel guilty about what he's done to Jesse which is why his final action will be trying to rescue Jesse.
(no subject) - pgilmour on September 10th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Defying Auguryennyousai on September 10th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
The smile on Jesse's face while Walt was getting cuffed was one of my favorite things about this episode. There's this desperate relief to it, like he can't quite believe that this is FINALLY HAPPENING and Mr. White is FINALLY GETTING PUT AWAY. It seems like such a fragile, tentative hope - and unfortunately it's going to be rather short lived.

I'm not a particularly intelligent or keen-witted viewer, so I never predict any twists or catch any little details, but I think it's certain that Jesse survives the shootout. I'm hoping, in my sad little way, that Walt manages to help Jesse one last time. If there's any chance for Walt to do one last good thing, I want Jesse to be the catalyst. That's probably a futile hope. At this point in time, any way that Jesse dies will be because of Walt in some way (unless he dies by being hit by a meteor or something), and their relationship has been twisted beyond repair - but I'd still like to see one last acknowledgement of everything they've been together before they go.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 10th, 2013 11:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, Jesse's smile. It wasn't a conceited vengeful smile, was it? It was full of relief and awe. Let's not forget, Jesse isn't just angry with Walt. Jesse has been living in fear of Walt for months. I think any victim of long term abuse must feel that way when they get that hope that their tormentor is not going to be able to hurt them (or anyone else) anymore.

their relationship has been twisted beyond repair - but I'd still like to see one last acknowledgement of everything they've been together before they go.

This is my hope of all hopes!!
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 11th, 2013 01:13 am (UTC)
Your To'hajiilee update is brilliant and my favorite analysis after 'Fly'. And speaking of a fly...

Jesse has become the little fly buzzing around Walt's ears; a reminder of the guilt Walt should feel but doesn't, a contamination in Walt's new decent life as a dying man who owns a car wash.

oh. oh. that's just brilliant wording. Bravo.

Let's be honest here; this deal is about making Jesse's death a quick and painless process for Walt, not for his intended victim.

Walt can still lie to himself like this so long as he doesn't have to face what he is doing. There's a word to describe Walt's method for murdering Jesse: cowardly.

Word. What a coward.

His Jesse isn't supposed to be a rat. His Jesse is loyal and naive, a lost puppy who Walt had tried to protect and finally had to agree to put down. Walt loved that Jesse.

I was so upset after this episode (well, you've seen my initial reaction) but somehow your analysis makes me feel better. I couldn't comprehend that, after all they've been through, after all Walt has done to protect Jesse, that he would so callously decide to put him down. Walt is an horrible and abusive human being, but I cannot denied that he went out of his way to protect Jesse in the past. It would have made Walt's life a lot easier if he had just listen to everybody (Mike, Gus, Tuco) telling him to just get rid of Jesse already! But he didn't. Not until now anyway. But it does make sense when you look at how Jesse is right now - not taking Walt's bullshit anymore. What may have seal Walt's decision is Jesse telling him he wouldn't do what Walt told him to do anymore. Contrary to what he told Skyler in Rabid Dog, Walt doesn't consider Jesse a person. He's an object and as much as objects can be useful and valued, once that object lose its usefulness (I'm not doing what you tell me anymore), doesn't give you what *you* need, then it's easily discarded.

And Jesse needs this. If Walt's biggest fear is that he has done all this for nothing, then Jesse's biggest fear is that after all they've done; nothing will happen. Jesse takes comfort in consequences. Walt's not getting away with this. Neither of them are.

Spot on analysis of what both men fear the most. And from reading/watching interviews with Vince Gilligan, karma and consequences for your actions are things he puts a lot of importance on. Whatever a large part of the fans are saying and believing, the writers are clearly on Jesse's side. He's the one we should be rooting for, not Walt.

Jesse will be going to jail too, of course. No matter how much he helped the DEA, Jesse's still likely to serve a much longer jail sentence than Walt will live to serve.

Oh, my mind hadn't gone there. Godammit.

We've got another good old 'how the fuck will Walt and Jesse survive this?' adventure to come.

Bring it on. I feel so much better now. Thank you. *hugs*

Edited at 2013-09-11 01:17 am (UTC)
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on September 11th, 2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I think it's actually better that I save writing my meta updates until Tuesdays. It gives me longer to reflect and sort out my feelings. Because this episode gave me a lot of feelings! Last night I finally got to read through some of the fan reactions on TWoP and I can see why you're so frustrated. Some of the reactions remind me of when we were watching the mutiny episodes of BSG. Once again, there's a lot of fans who simply take the position of "I will always take the side of the main character and anyone who opposes them needs to die!" Skyler hate has completely died down in favour of Jesse/Hank bashing right now. In Jesse's case, it is really maddening. Jesse confessing to all his crimes and helping to get Walt arrested is by far the most positive redemptive thing that Jesse has done in the entire run of the show. How ironic that Jesse's most decent act is getting him the biggest hater reaction. I know there's lots of fans jeering that there's nothing worse than being a rat, but Vince himself stated on the podcast that there are much worse things actually: like being a child poisoner, being a murderer, being a meth cook, etc.

As I've said, whatever love Walt has/had for Jesse it was a very selfish possessive kind of love. Like Hank said, Walt kept doing numbers on Jesse because he didn't want to lose him. Since their argument in 'Say My Name' Walt has lost Jesse as his partner. It took Walt three months to accept that he'd lost Jesse and when he came to accept that, Walt made his little peacemaking gesture with the 5 million because Walt (selfishly) had decided he wanted his and Jesse's relationship to have a happy ending. The money was never to make Jesse happy. It was Walt who (on learning his cancer was back) wanted to die feeling like he had provided for Jesse, just like he was providing for his children. He wanted to have saved Jesse for a good reason. But honestly if Walt really loved people he would not steamroll their emotions and force them to accept the Walt worldview. It's like Walt says to Skyler "He changed his mind about me. And you will to." Walt can only love you if you bend to his will.
(no subject) - cylune9 on September 12th, 2013 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
pgilmour on September 17th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
So, your Ozymandias review made me cry. Amazing write up. But now i'm depressed all over again, although I've barely been able to function since watching this. How did it come to this? As much as Jesse hates Walt, he wouldn't have done to Walt what he did to him. He wouldn't have sentenced him torture and death. He wanted Walt to pay for what he had done, but he wouldn't have killed him, although maybe now he would. Except that Walt has managed to crush any lingering fight he had in him. The fact that he tells Jesse that he watched Jane die was cruel enough, but as you said, it's doubly cruel because it DOES confirm to Jesse that Walt never did care about him. God, it's maddening - that they did care about each other so much and now it's just all gone to hell! And Aaron Paul, answering questions on Facebook yesterday, said NOW it's about to get ugly. About to?!? About to?! Really? I don't think I can take more ugly than this episode. One of my co-workers suggested that Walt will find out the Nazis didn't carry thru with killing Jesse and come back to kill them, get his money back, and finish the job on Jesse himself. That can't be the ending though. Please let Jesse live! He just doesn't deserve what's happening to him right now. Walt deserves every horrible thing that happens to him and then some. You know, it's weird cuz i always thought Jesse would be the cause of Walt unhinging and losing it completely, not Hank.

I hope that Walt has a change of heart and gets Jesse out of there, but I stupidly allowed myself to believe that when it came down to it that Walt could never hurt Jesse and look where it got me! I know Walt is blaming Jesse for Hank's death (which is totally Walt's fault anyways) and was mad about him going to Hank in the first place, but up until then, he had no reason to hate Jesse so vengefully. Jesse has always done what Walt wanted him to, usually against his better judgment which often landed them in more trouble (i.e. Jesse told him that trying to sell to Tuco was risky and then Jesse gets the shit kicked out of him for doing what Walt wanted). And Jesse was always there for him and able to empathize with him. Jesse has real, legitimate reasons to hate Walt. And he hadn't turned on him and wouldn't have except for Brock. And he probably would've left it to house burning if Hank hadn't walked in at exactly the right moment when he was so angry and vulnerable. Actually, I hope Jesse saves himself instead of Walt saving him. I don't want Jesse to be beholden to Walt in any way.

Sorry for my long, stream of conscience babbling... this show has turned me into raving lunatic!
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on September 18th, 2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
You know, I keep having to remind myself that Jesse is not a real person. He's a fictional character. Because otherwise I just walk around upset by the thought of Jesse chained up in that horrible meth dungeon. And yes, I fear it can get worse for Jesse. I mean, he's a trembling hysterical wreck after one day with Todd. What kind of state will Jesse be in after (what I imagine will be) six months of torture, slavery and captivity?

I agree that Walt might feel enough remorse to free Jesse from this torment. But what would Walt do with Jesse after rescuing him? Surely Walt will realize he can't give Jesse more money and tell him to ride off into the sunset. Jesse would not be able to take care of himself. He's a victim of torture and he'll need years of therapy if he's ever going to recover. Maybe Walt could try to place Jesse in some sort of psychiatric care facility but Jesse would likely be yanked out of it for police questioning followed by a trial and then jail. So Jesse will just end up a prisoner again.

Walt's "Live free or die" bumper sticker gives me a bad feeling that Walt will rescue Jesse and go on the run with him, while planning to commit murder/suicide before they are taken by the cops. I guess the only happy ending in that scenario might be Jesse fighting back and finding that he does still have a will to live.

Edited at 2013-09-18 09:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - pgilmour on September 18th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - falafel_musings on September 19th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 18th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
On this day, someone has brought Walt's family out into the desert and slaughtered them. Someone has stolen Walt's money, burned down Walt's empire and made it so that Walt did all of this for nothing. For worse than nothing. And all these things happened because Walt's criminal life spawned a chaotic child who he thought he could control but who has now brought about his utter destruction. Shall we give a name to Walt's child of chaos? "Heisenberg" is the name I'd call it by. But the name Walt chooses instead is "Pinkman", a new name for the boy who used to be his Jesse.

OMG. It physically hurt me to watch Walt blaming Jesse for everything that happened. For Hank's death. And you could feel it so intensely and so clearly. Walt couldn't deal with the guilt so he did something he'd done many times before - put the blame on someone else (I blame the government!). Poor Jesse had to be the scapegoat. Like you said, he had no control over the Nazis, only over Jesse's fate. So he lashed out like a madman. Was Walt completely insane at the moment? I think so. How else could you explain the insane cruelty? I think the most cruel thing you can do to someone is to have them witness the murder of someone they loved. Walt loved Hank. He was family. And now he's so hurt, he wants to inflict the same level pain to someone else.

Only this time he doesn't beg for his life and neither does Mr White.

I'm never going to be able to watch Grilled the same way again. Or Fly. Or any other episode, for that matter.

Jesse has been disowned by parents before and he's been expecting Mr White to kill him for months. Jesse can understand Walt hating him. The feeling is very much mutual at this point. But even Jesse doesn't hate Walt this much. And it can still get worse.

I believe that Walt was TOTALLY insane at that moment. I cannot wait for him to calm down and realize how absolutely horrific he was to Jesse. Because he's going to realize it, right? RIGHT?? please?

Walt watched Jane die just like he's watching Jesse die right now. This is how Heisenberg murders the kid's spirit. The light leaves Jesse's eyes and he slumps lifeless in his captor's arms. The Nazis drag Jesse's body away to be beaten and enslaved. But the job's already done.

I still cannot deal with this.

And the worst part is that it's another lie. The night Jane died was the night Walt first saw Jesse as his family and he swore not to give up on him. Walt sacrificed a young girl's life and a huge part of his soul to get Jesse off heroin.

Walt gave up on Jesse by ordering that hit. And that act ended up with Hank being murdered in front of him, losing his money and terrorizing and breaking up his family. That's what ultimately brought down the Great Heisenberg. He gave up on family.

What Walt finds there is a wife with knives of her own and another son who turns Walt over the police. Walt stares down at the family who he has brought to their knees, trembling in fear of him, just like Jesse in the desert. He's already lost them.

Great parallels, especially Jesse and Junior. Your flesh and blood just called the cops on you. ARE YOU GOING TO SEND HIM OFF TO BE TORTURED AND KILLED??

Walt is the danger in their lives. He finally gets what that means. So Walt disappears with his last barrel of money while a stray dog crosses the road behind the car. One last specter of the problem dog that Walt's left to die in this town.

God, I hope we've seen the worse of Walter White. I cannot take anymore of these horrific acts.
falafel_musings: BSGfalafel_musings on September 18th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
you could feel it so intensely and so clearly. Walt couldn't deal with the guilt so he did something he'd done many times before - put the blame on someone else (I blame the government!). Poor Jesse had to be the scapegoat. Like you said, he had no control over the Nazis, only over Jesse's fate.

God, Walt reminded me so much of Bill Adama and his reaction to Felix's mutiny. Adama took the opportunity to unload all his own guilt, rage and utter defeat on a scapegoat too. Another bitter old man who wouldn't take responsibility and put all the blame on a "traitor" who he could coldly execute, while never seeing Felix as a damaged kid who had loyally followed him for so long. Well, at least we don't have to root for Walt like BSG expected us to root for Bill during and after the mutiny.

Was Walt completely insane at the moment? I think so.

Yes, I think Walt may have experienced some form of psychotic break at the moment Hank died and he didn't recover from it until baby Holly cried 'Mama'. But we have still yet to see him show any regret for what he did to Jesse. Plenty of tears for Skyler and the kids but Jesse is the person he's hurt the most and I still need to see him realize that.

I'm never going to be able to watch Grilled the same way again. Or Fly.

How about '4 Days Out'? That episode used to be my Walt/Jesse happy place. *sigh*
(no subject) - cylune9 on September 18th, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Defying Auguryennyousai on September 19th, 2013 07:57 pm (UTC)
I used to want some form of Walt/Jesse reconciliation, now I mostly want to Jesse to go after Walt whilst riding a velociraptor and brandishing a katana. And that will be the last thing Walt sees before he dies. (This is, of course, unlikely to happen, and I am bound to be disappointed.)

I do want Walt to feel guilty about what he did to Jesse, but now I don't want any kind of reconciliation. I want Walt to go crawling back on his knees and for Jesse to kick him in the teeth for his trouble. If Walt does go back to try and rescue Jesse, he doesn't deserve any sort of redemption for doing so. He just needs to do it, knowing that he's turned Jesse completely against him and that he deserves Jesse's hatred, but do it anyway in one last ditch effort to salvage some part of his pathetic little soul. And he has to do it knowing that Jesse will continue to hate him, and that he deserves that hatred.

I don't know how I want Jesse's story to end. I never saw him walking off into the sunset - for one thing, no matter how much he's suffered personally for his involvement in the drug trade, that doesn't mean a thing to the legal system, and if he lives and is caught, he's doing time. Which is at it should be, really. But going to prison won't make him better, it won't be the place for him to recover. If he runs and manages to vanish, though, would that be any better? Or would he just be constantly consumed by all the hurt and guilt he's been carrying for so long?

I think in some ways the most merciful thing is for Jesse to just die, after he gets his vengeance on Todd & Co. and Walt, although maybe, just maybe he will make it to Alaska and find peace living in the wilderness. Or something.
pgilmour on September 19th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC)
"I used to want some form of Walt/Jesse reconciliation, now I mostly want to Jesse to go after Walt whilst riding a velociraptor and brandishing a katana."

YES!!!!

"I want Walt to go crawling back on his knees and for Jesse to kick him in the teeth for his trouble. If Walt does go back to try and rescue Jesse, he doesn't deserve any sort of redemption for doing so.... And he has to do it knowing that Jesse will continue to hate him, and that he deserves that hatred."

YES, YES, YES!!! I am in such strong agreement with you on all of that!

Death is probably the most merciful thing for Jesse. Although I do think he'll have served his time and been punished enough (via being Todd's slave and torture victim) w/o having to go to jail, so I'd be totally ok if he does get away to Alaska or wherever.
(no subject) - falafel_musings on September 19th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 25th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
I've grown to love Tuesdays. :)

In their two separate pockets of hell, they find themselves alone and helpless without a partner who'll have their back or shield them from further torments.

True, isn't it? God this two. Why, why did you asked the Nazis to kill Jesse??? why?? After all you guys have been through. It's not like Walt was seriously afraid that Jesse would hurt is family. We're talking Jesse Pinkman here. I'm still not over this. How could you Walt? See how hopeless and bland things are without your partner? sigh.

Uncle Jack thinks they should shoot Jesse for being a rat but Todd just isn't that merciful.

hahahahahahahha. *crying again*. Really deep thoughts here. I'm a raving lunatic.

"I killed her. It was me."

aafughake;ada. I want Todd to die a very, very painful death.

Saul who suggests Walt could make a genuine act of contrition. Walt could turn himself in for his family. This makes Walt furious because he does EVERYTHING for his family, except...except he won't do this one thing that might actually help them now. Never give up control or your money.

Continuing the trend of very thoughtful commentaries.... fakjfakjdf fuck you Walt.

Walt can still feel like he's in control so long as he has an underling to berate and gee, where's Jesse when you need him?

In a worse hell than you. A hell he didn't deserve to be in. But thanks to you, he is.

Walt learns that his family are broke, their old home is a derelict circus and slowly...slowly it dawns on Walt that this man who he'll pay to play cards with him for a few precious hours is nothing but a vulture waiting to pick his bones. This man won't see that his family gets his money after he dies. He's not Jesse.

No he's not. I've watched 4 Days Out a few weeks ago. Not sure I could enjoy these episodes as much as I did now that I know what's to come. Maybe I'll pretend that everything after Fly was just a dream (Jesse meets Andrea in the next episode and that meeting seems to be the catalyst for everything bad to come). Considering all the suffering, I wouldn't mind a lame 'it was all a dream' ending. I'll seriously accept it.

Flynn rejects the money for the same reason Jesse did months before. Neither of your sons want to inherit your blood money, Walt.

Flynn FTW.

And there's only one other person on earth who Walt taught his magic to. Neither of them are just dead yet.

I really hope the Grey Matter thing is just a red herring. I hope Walt is coming back because of Jesse. Either to finish the job of killing him (these darn Nazis aren't reliable) or to get Jesse out of there. I've seen a comment saying that perhaps Walt realized that, as opposed to the Vacuum guy, he could trust Jesse to provide for his family after his death. I hope Walt realized that he truly fucked up with Jesse and he'll be back to help him. I really hope so but...God that look when he pointed Jesse under the car and then told him about Jane. It was pure hate. Walt is so freaking rotten, it's hard to believe he's got it in him to do something nice for Jesse. If Jesse is a physical representation of Walt's soul, there isn't much left.
falafel_musings: orphanfalafel_musings on September 25th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
Well, it's interesting that Walt says to Jesse (during the horrible ricin cigarette manipulation) that their partnership is what has saved their lives. Manipulation or no, they are so much more vulnerable and doomed without each other.

Is it weird that I don't hate Todd at all? Well, I hate what he does but I find him so creepy and fascinating. I'm tempted to write a Todd POV fic just to imagine how Todd thinks.

I hope Walt is coming back because of Jesse. Either to finish the job of killing him (these darn Nazis aren't reliable) or to get Jesse out of there.

I think at first Walt might simply be angry that Jack cheated on their deal again. Also Walt will have guessed Jesse is still alive but he may not guess the duress under which Jesse is cooking. Walt might just think Jesse begged to cook for them to save his own skin (that's exactly what Walt would've done in Jesse's situation). I don't think that'll change until Walt sees the state Jesse is in. Which...I'm kinda dreading seeing myself. The Jesse scenes in 5x15 all took place in Jesse's first week as their prisoner. How messed up is Jesse going to be after 6 months of that? Walt might be planning to kill Jesse along with the Nazis but if he finds Jesse a broken man in chains he might finally feel some remorse. Plus, even though Walt ordered Jesse's death, they also made it clear that Walt would still struggle to kill Jesse himself.

Edited at 2013-09-25 09:31 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - cylune9 on September 26th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - falafel_musings on September 27th, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pgilmour on September 25th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
Do you really think that Walt knows Jesse is alive? I'm not 100% sure. I mean, they were continuing to cook the blue meth after Walt was out, so it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that it's still out there and he already knew it was in Europe thanks to Lydia. I don't think he knew that the quality had slipped to a not blue level prior to his escape to NH. So, I'm not sure if he knows it's Jesse or if he's just pissed at the Nazis for killing Hank AND taking credit for his genius (it's a toss up to which is pissing him off more). So, stumbling across Jesse at the Nazi camp may be a complete surprise to him. I just hope he realizes what he's done to Jesse and is actually truly sorry, but I have doubts since he hasn't shown a bit of remorse so far in regards to Jesse. Although, he had to have been remembering Jesse saying his family would get his share no matter what (like we all were) when he asked the disappearer guy to get his money to his family. Not that any amount of apologizing would make a scrap of difference to Jesse at this point anyways. He's probably not even sane any more.

I just hope we get a lot more Jesse in the last episode and some sort of resolution to the whole Walt/Jesse relationship. I'm content with those phone calls being the last contact Walt has with Skyler and Flynn. He doesn't deserve any kind of reconciliation with them. I have NO sympathy for Walt at this point (I can't even stand the sight of him!), and there is nothing the writers can do to make me feel bad for him, since everything bad that could happen to him, he's brought on himself. And please let all of Jesse's suffering be for something! Don't just let him die with no one caring about him or even knowing where he is. I mean, where the hell are his parents? You'd think at some point they may start to wonder what in the world happened to their son! He did try to do the right thing and maybe he should've done it sooner, but still... he deserves some kind of peace. Which is hopefully not death. ...sigh....
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on September 25th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
I think Walt does realize that Jesse is alive. Walt knew from Lydia and Todd's requests for further cooking lessons that Todd was struggling to match Walt's purity by a large percentage. Uncle Jack also told Walt that Todd couldn't make the meth blue anymore. So yes, I definitely caught a flicker in Walt's eyes that he knew Jesse must be cooking for them. And that just adds to his rage. Not only did the Nazis steal Walt's money but now they are profiting from Walt's formula? Like Elliot said on TV 'It's all about the science.'

Not that any amount of apologizing would make a scrap of difference to Jesse at this point anyways. He's probably not even sane any more.

Jesse was only barely sane before he became a captive of the Nazis. When we see him next I fear he'll be a broken submissive slave. I wonder about Jesse's parents too. Lydia says to Todd "They are looking for Pinkman" so assume that Jesse has been mentioned on the news as going missing in the company of Hank and Gomez. So his parents might assume their son is dead, but they'd also hear that Jesse was working with two DEA agents to help them convict one of ABQ's worst meth kingpins (that nice Mr White, remember him?) Yeah, maybe learning that Jesse was trying to do the right thing would change their mind. And how would the Pinkman's react if they knew their son had been tortured, forced to cook meth and kept chained in a cage pit for six months?

Those two phone calls should be Walt's last dialogues with Skyler and Flynn. They were both so perfect.
(no subject) - pgilmour on September 26th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
cylune: bbcylune9 on October 2nd, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Walt takes great pleasure in terrorizing Gretchen and Elliot, the beautiful billionaires who Walt imagines stole his rightful empire away from him.

That was very horrible of Walt wasn't it? Gretchen and Elliot are going to be scared to be gunned down at any moment. Walt is still a horrible human being. I love it. :)

Skinny confirms that the blue is back and "better than ever".

Better thank Walt's 99.1%. I wonder if Jesse reached 100%. That box was perfect, after all.

Earlier that day Walt discarded his watch, Jesse's old birthday present, at a lonely pay phone, along with the memory of the sweet trusting young man who gave it to him.

That upset me a lot. At that point, I was thinking that Walt would go to the Nazis' place with the intention of helping Jesse. But after he discarded the watch, I was so afraid. He wasn't relieved that Jesse was alive. He was pissed. My worst fears were coming back.

This is the one thing that Mr White and his Nazi captors couldn't take away from Jesse. This last refuge of his imagination, this last fragment of his soul.

This was a beautiful sequence and it told us so much about Jesse's state of mind. I was afraid that Jesse would be completely gone, totally broken, potentially turning into a villain but this sequence shattered those fears. Jesse isn't completely gone and he's found a way for his mind and soul to survive. This show is really about showing instead of telling, isn't it?

This is the sickly slow realization of a truth that Walt always knew but never wanted to admit to himself. The truth that Jesse always was more a prisoner than a partner to him. Jesse's captivity didn't just start when Walt let him be hauled away by Uncle Jack and his thugs. It started with the words "Either that or I turn you in". How many times did Walt find ways to trap Jesse in his servitude? How many cruel and unusual manipulations did Walt devise to force Jesse to stay on his side? "Take a good look at him," Uncle Jack sneers. This is Walt's partner. His good hardworking 50/50 partner. This is what Walt has done to him. This is what Walt was doing from the start. It's just taken Walt this long to see the shackles. To see the scars.

I love this. Walt finally sees Jesse's bound and Jesse's scar because THEY'RE RIGHT THERE. IN FRONT OF HIM. Have you read James Poniewozik's review of Rabid Dog? He talks about this also:

Walter White has been Jesse’s teacher. He’s been Jesse’s mentor. He’s been Jesse’s partner. But above all, he’s been–and even after the previous relationships have ended, he still is–Jesse’s captor.

He’s built a prison inside Jesse’s own head. Jesse has lashed out and clashed with Walter before, but in the end–as with Brock’s poisoning and its aftermath–Walt has always managed to lie, to manipulate, to break Jesse down and convince him that his own intuitions are faulty, that he needs to trust “Mr. White.” In the classic pattern of an abuser, Walt has built a hermetic psychological cell for Jesse, an isolated cell soundproofed from the outside world’s logic and reason, where Walt’s word is supreme.
cylune: bbcylune9 on October 2nd, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Continued...

Or is he? Jesse knows Walt better than that. The truth is that it's always been about what Mr White wants. Jesse needs to hear the truth from Walt's own mouth just as much as Skyler did. The least Walt can do is admit it; "I want this". Walt can't ever possibly begin to say he is sorry but Jesse can still give Walt this last absolution by making him pay for his sins with a deserved death

I was so hoping for Walt to realize how he hurt Jesse and and apologize. However this show is all about showing, not telling. Walt has always been a liar... however you can trust his actions. Reminds me when he told Jesse how he felt so sorry about Drew Sharp but 5 minutes later he's whistling. Don't listen to what Walt says Jesse, look at what he does. Jesse has learned it the hard way. Therefore, even if Walt had apologized to Jesse, there's a good chance Jesse wouldn't have believe it (like when he apologized to Gretchen in Peekaboo... '3 times now'. Walt wasn't sincere). However, you can trust his actions. He took a bullet protecting Jesse. He gave him the opportunity to kill him, because I think he honestly thought he deserved it and that Jesse would want it (turns out he's the only one who wanted it but I think his intention were pure in giving Jesse the gun). I don't need Walt to say 'I'm sorry' to Jesse after this. Because I know he is.

He throws the gun to the floor and he tells Walt to "Do it yourself."
What a beautiful, absolutely masterful character arc for Jesse. I'm still speechless. They gave Jesse's story a perfect resolution with these three simple words. I'm just floored.

After watching the finale and reading interviews, it's quite satisfying to know the writers were, all this time, entirely on Team Jesse. He was their favorite character and it showed. So much respect for Jesse in this last episode. He might not have had a lot of screentime (I've seen some critics being disappointed in that... I mean I think Gretchen and Elliot had more screentime than Jesse. I even think Badger and Skinny had more lines than Jesse!). But you know what? I'll take quality over quantity. His scenes were amazing and satisfying.

Wearing those chains has changed Jesse's walk and god knows what else they have changed in him.

Ouch!!! good observation... I hadn't notice. :((( He's got such a long and difficult road ahead of him.

There are no words that exist that could explain all that has passed between them.
I see what you did there. ;)

On a side note, I know Vince Gilligan is a Tarantino fan and I thought the ending paralleled Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill. In Reservoir Dogs, the only character left alive after the bloodbath was Mr. Pink. And in Kill Bill, we see Uma Thurman's character (The Bride) laugh/cry hysterically at the end because she's so freaking happy.
(no subject) - falafel_musings on October 2nd, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cylune9 on October 3rd, 2013 12:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - falafel_musings on October 3rd, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cylune9 on October 4th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - falafel_musings on October 4th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cylune9 on October 5th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
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sea_burial: Mike and Jessesea_burial on October 4th, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
Gods, I love your Breaking Bad metas so goddamn much so thank you for doing them (seeing that this is the last one I guess won't have a another opportunity to say so).

The bit that really got me about your Felina meta was the mention of Walt finally seeing that Jesse was a prisoner of not only Jack but also himself, just so painfully true. I also felt that while Walt says that he felt alive during the past 2 years it was the reverse for Jesse with Jesse laughing in the car at the end symbolising his life beginning again (with Walts ending in his precious meth palace). Just this shows parallels and depths really gets me and its been a delight getting to read your breakdowns of their totally fucked up (but uber interesting) relationship.

Also, I'd die to read your Todd fic, the darker the better and gosh considering what we know of Jesse's situation I don't think any fic could be a exaggeration of that hell. Also fics that fill in gaps in the narrative as well as showing a characters progression through another POV (creepy Todds in this instance, such a creepy yet fascinating character!) are like my heroin. So really looking forward to reading it :)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on October 4th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
Gods, I love your Breaking Bad metas so goddamn much so thank you for doing them

Well thanks so much for saying so. It's always good to know people are reading and appreciating my endless obsessiveness.

the mention of Walt finally seeing that Jesse was a prisoner of not only Jack but also himself, just so painfully true.

There's something perfectly 'kafkaesque' about the way Jesse finally appears to Walt, transformed into a scarred slave in chains. It makes me think of Gregor Samsa being transformed into a giant insect. It's only when Gregor's inner turmoil shows through his external appearance that his family take notice.

while Walt says that he felt alive during the past 2 years it was the reverse for Jesse with Jesse laughing in the car at the end symbolising his life beginning again

Yes! Ironically, Jesse would probably be happiest if he could spend the rest of his days as a quiet humble family man doing a simple job that he likes - the exact life that Walt found so dull and depressing until he broke bad on his 50th birthday.

Also fics that fill in gaps in the narrative as well as showing a characters progression through another POV (creepy Todds in this instance, such a creepy yet fascinating character!) are like my heroin.

Yes! Mine too. I do definitely plan on writing my dark Todd + Jesse fic so thanks for the encouragement.
cylune: bbcylune9 on October 16th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
I can't blame Jesse for flinching when Hank sits him in his car and slams the door. It feels like the door slamming shut on Jesse's freedom, possibly for the rest of his life. In the car, Hank leans over to fasten Jesse's seat belt, like he's putting a caught dog on a leash. Jesse isn't really a person anymore. He's police property. He's something that's owned.

Holy foreshadowing. I should stop re-reading this!! (but no, I won't)

calicomarycalicomary on October 26th, 2013 02:21 pm (UTC)
I found this through your AO3 account after reading Try Not To Breathe (brilliant btw) and I decided to wait 'til I read through all of it before commenting because each comment on each post would be the same "This! Yes,this exactly!"
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on October 26th, 2013 03:43 pm (UTC)
Hope you enjoy reading my meta and thanks again for your kind words on my fic. A+ icon by the way.
serafinafourserafinafour on May 10th, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)
Great read! Thankyou!( Sorry, I saw you said in another post you were retired from BB fandom or something so I hope my rambling isn't irritating, still at the peak of my own obsession)

"For Skyler, Jesse was the voice on the other end of your second cell phone. Jesse was the affair that Skyler thought her husband was having. Jesse was one of the few faces Skyler could put to Walt's other life"

That is just a great way to sum up how Skyler must feel about Jesse. I always feel she may have blamed him, similar to something Marie said in another episode about if Walt had never associated with Jesse 'Hank would never even have heard his name' To her, Jesse is like a curse on her life, she must feel dread everytime she hears his name.

I like your tie-ins with Shakespeare and Walt as Prospero. But I strongly feel that Jesse is more like Caliban, than Ariel - because Walt treats him like crap.
I was thinking Gale is more like Ariel, because he is a willing servant who is worshipful and flattering of Walt, also Gale REALLY takes delight in his work. He is a bit 'detached' from reality, has a delicate way of speaking, and recites poetry about the sky and in his music video sings 'Drifting, falling, floating weightless..' Also Gale means wind. Ok, I've decided Gale is just literally an air-elemental masquerading as a person! Importantly, Walt treats him with respect and asks him to call him Walt.
In contrast Jesse is just so raw, tortured emotional and human. He can be really crude and obnoxious but is capable of having beautiful thoughts too but he is not so articulate. He was like a son to Walt at one point, before Walt turned on him - similar to how Prospero turned on Caliban when Caliban displeased him. And Jesse is so earthy, doing all all the 'dirty work' and ending up in a cell in the ground. But being set free - I agree, it was like he became more like Ariel


Edited at 2014-05-10 11:19 am (UTC)
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on May 15th, 2014 04:47 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply! When I said I’m retired from BB fandom, I simply meant that I wouldn’t be producing any more substantial fan projects (fic, vids, meta essays, etc). But I will always be happy to ramble obsessively about BB. Only this week real life has been kicking my ass so I’m behind on all internet correspondences. But yeah - I'll never be over talking about BB.

I always wonder how Skyler felt about Jesse later on when she learned from Marie that Jesse was working with Hank. That makes Skyler ordering a hit on Jesse seem less like a woman trying to protect her family from a threatening criminal to Skyler herself being the crime boss silencing a witness. In the end I don’t think Skyler would be deluded enough to think it was that Jesse caused Walt’s crime spree. I think she probably guessed Walt was using and manipulating Jesse too. She just had no sympathy for Walt's druggie sidekick.

As for Tempest parallels, for me the Ariel and Caliban characters are two sides of the same coin. They are both Prospero’s slaves, Caliban being the abused physical slave and Ariel the coerced spiritual slave. I think Jesse has elements of both Caliban and Ariel (who are both freed only at the very end of the play with the completion of Prospero’s work). In fact the two blended together perfectly represent the two sides of Walt’s relationship with Jesse. Prospero is a lot nicer to Ariel, but then Walt is sometimes nice to Jesse too. But both Prospero and Walt are mostly nice to Ariel/Jesse when they want their servant to do their bidding. I don’t agree that Prospero really respects Ariel. He still threatens Ariel with punishment any time attempts to stand up for himself.
(no subject) - serafinafour on May 18th, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)