Last week on Breaking Bad
, our favorite New Mexican cleaner met his untimely end by the hands of his former co-worker, Walter White. Now, in the mid-season finale, Walter is forced to clean up his messes, as well as creating a few new ones in the process.
Jail House Massacre
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Now that Mike has been eliminated from the picture, it is up to Walt to keep Mike's men, who have landed in prison, from talking. He strikes a deal with Madrigal's Lydia, who will help him with overseas business, as well as give him the list of the men Mike was formerly paying off.
What Walt does with the list thoroughly signifies his transformation into the "strictly business" drug-dealing monster that he sought to destroy when he killed Gus. Not only did Walter seek the help of former convict neo-Nazis to remove all of the men, they were all extinguished in brutal prison stabbings, and one victim was even burned alive.
Walt's transition into an unflinching crime boss and murderer brings back memories of how different he has become. Way back in season 1, he was pained and tortured over having to get rid of a small-time competitor. He and Jesse tried thinking of any other solution besides death, but in the end, they had to kill him.
And now Jesse is the same person, agonizing over every death and act of violence. "How many people have to die?" he asked Walt in last week's episode. But Walt has changed. Killing has become easy and other people's mortality are nothing to him. It's All About the Money
In a nice visual parallel, the show creators give us the exact result of all of the men's deaths. After they don't have to worry about Mike's men ratting on them, Walt and Todd can go back to cooking. Now Lydia's on board, as well as the other dealers that they're working with who intended on buying the methylamine a couple of episodes earlier. Things are running like a well-oiled machine in a "cookin' up some drugs" montage over the song "Crystal Blue Persuasion
Skyler points out to Walt that they have made almost literally a ton of money, and wonders when it is going to be enough to get out of the drug business and to their regular lives. After seeing the money and having some more tests run at the hospital (the show creators are very keen about not letting the viewers forget about his cancer, and probably with good reason), Walts gives Jesse the money he owes him and tells Skyler he wants out of the business.
While Walts's decision may rank lower on the scale of shocking things that have happened on Breaking Bad
, it is somewhat surprising given that his intentions aren't exactly clear at this point. This is a man who in just one episode had 10 men murdered in cold blood, and all of a sudden he wants out? It just doesn't make sense, especially after everything he's done to make himself the boss. The Bomb Is Dropped
Since this is the mid-season finale, there has to be a cliffhanger to leave fans interested. And it comes in the form of Hank finally getting a clue that Walt is definitely not only not who he pretends to be, but that he is clearly involved in Hank's ongoing investigation related to the blue meth. This moment comes at the most perfect moment possible in the season, and possibly the series. It comes at a time when the viewers have finally lost any sympathy they might have had left for Walt, and we are actually hoping that he might get caught this time.
Gina PusateriContributing Writer(Image courtesy of AMC)