falafel_musings: (breaking bad)
[personal profile] falafel_musings

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

God. I had a really bad feeling about Spider Kid the moment he appeared in the teaser - don't incidental child characters always end up becoming victims on this show? Yet even with the obvious foreshadowing, due to the tension of the train robbing caper I'd completely forgotten about Spider Kid till the moment he reappeared right at the end. As I'm sure the writers intended. Yeah, the writers really knew what they were doing with this episode. They got us all excited about Jesse having (another) great plan; a plan that will avoid the need to kill any witnesses. So just like the "Yeah Bitch, Magnets!" plan we think we can just sit back and enjoy another audacious Team Heisenberg caper, no harm done. They'll get us rooting for these crooks and hissing "come on, come on!" when it looks like they aren't going to get the right methylamine and water balance or when it looks like Jesse and Todd might get killed by the moving train. But they pull it off and I'm celebrating with them. And then they notice Spider Kid. And Todd pulls out his gun. And my stomach drops through the floor.     

More about that ending later. I wanted to start by saying I was also totally suckered in by Walt crying to Hank that Skyler didn't love him anymore. Wow, I just clearly need to let go of my lingering Mr White sympathies. I can't believe how quickly Walt turned off his tears. Poor Hank falling for it too. Guh. How much am I loving Hank/Marie right now? Sadly, I think they really will end up raising baby Holly themselves. I still can't decide whether Skyler will live or die, but I do fear she'll have to sacrifice being with her children to ensure their safety. Poor Junior (Flynn!) too. I really want him to get a clue to what's going on.

I was pleasantly surprised that Jesse turned out to be right about Lydia not putting the trackers on the barrels. I'll admit that I thought Mike was in the right last week (loved Lydia's "asshole!" after she was vindicated). I think since both Jesse and Hank are being so majorly duped by Heisenberg that the writers need to show they aren't always being fooled. That said, I still don't trust Lydia and I do think they'll ultimately regret ignoring Mike's warnings about her. Some blogger mentioned the use of Three Blind Mice in 5x3 and I think there's a good chance that Mike, Jesse and Walt are the mice and Lydia will be the one to cut off their tails. She seems like a jittery basket case, but I think she's perhaps a Henry Gale waiting to turn into a Ben Linus. Yeah, Lydia may end up being the new Gus this season. She's got all those leadership awards for some reason. It does seem like Walt and Lydia will form an alliance for now - certainly Walt seemed to warm to her when she admitted she tried to put a hit on Mike and his nine guys who Walt is now paying off. A lady after Walt's own heart! But I think she'll screw Walt over too in the end and Walt Vs Mike will all have been a decoy. If Lydia has the money and connections to hire a lot of muscle she could get rid of both Mike and Walt and keep Jesse (the only one who voted against killing her) as her cook and steal their business for herself. Which would be kind of awesome. So much of Walt's Heisenberg persona is about his need to reclaim his masculinity and dominance so it'd be sweet revenge to have Walt bested by a woman.

Okay back to the horrible horrible ending. We all know that an innocent kid getting killed is Jesse's nightmare scenario coming true. It could be argued that this is the writers punishing Jesse or even just giving us a new reason to sympathize with Jesse. But actually - this time - I didn't feel a big surge of "Poor Jesse!" like I did when it was Jane dying or Brock being poisoned or Jesse having to take out Gale to save Mr White. Spider Kid's death was a natural consequence of Jesse's plan that he was largely responsible for. It'd be easy to defend Jesse seeing as he went out of his way to avoid Lydia being killed and the two train drivers being killed and he was screaming for Todd not to shoot the kid. But it was Jesse who earlier gave Todd the very firm instruction that nobody apart from them could know about the train robbery. Like Lydia said, they are presenting themselves as hardened gangstas. Nobody expects them to be squeamish about killing people (that said, I still think Todd is a nut job). I think what's troubled me about Jesse in S5 is that he doesn't have to still be in the meth business. In the early seasons, it was fair to say that Jesse had no family, no prospects and no other source of income besides drug dealing to survive on. In the mid-seasons Jesse was enslaved by Gus with no real option to quit. In S5 Jesse could take his money, get out of town and start up his own non-criminal business elsewhere. Or Jesse would have that option if Walt would let him go (I think Walt would bully Jesse into staying, but it's not like Jesse has even tried to break away).

I still love Jesse but I can't pretend he's just a misled victim in all this. I think Jesse has stayed because the new business gives him authority for the first time in his life and a chance to use his intelligence which he never even knew he had. And because Jesse still loves Mr White and isn't ready to give up that co-dependency. But Jesse needs to wake the fuck up and realize he can't be a master criminal and protect the innocent at the same time. Those two things just don't go together. Of course, Jesse never intended anyone to get hurt, but then BSG's Felix Gaeta thought he could lead a mutiny without any serious bloodshed too. This is the first episode that I've felt fairly certain that Jesse is going to come to a bad end rather than be forgiven and rescued into a happy ending. I still don't think he'll die either. I've always thought BB will end with Walt and Jesse going to jail (because really, Hank's gotta win). But for Walt his time in jail is likely to be just a few months before he dies of cancer. Jesse's the one who is young and healthy and likely to do serious time for the larger part of the rest of his life. But with all the guilt Jesse is carrying around (which will be 10 times heavier after Spider Kid's death) I think Jesse will only be able to feel any peace if he's punished for his crimes. 

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