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October 24, 2014

Breaking Bad: Phoenix

by Allison Waldman, posted May 25th 2009 3:29AM
Walter - Breaking Bad

(S02E12)
Walter White, be careful what you wish for. That's the thought that occurred to me watching this penultimate episode of season two. Is it possible that Walt might actually make it through this bizarre journey to the dark side and actually come out the other side in one piece? For a time, it sure seemed possible.

For starters, there's Holly. Sky finally has the baby and she's perfect. The scenes of domestic bliss at the White's contrasted with the wreckage at Jesse's bungalow. Vince Gilligan may make Walter's perfection of crystal meth seem like a noble achievement -- the best ever cooked in New Mexico -- but seeing how Jane and Jesse's lives have deteriorated in just a few weeks of shooting heroin seemed like the ultimate anti-drug message. They were as gross as the meth couple with the ATM machine that Jesse found so disgusting.

Walt's dealing with Jesse's drug use has become a major theme. If Jesse had been part of getting deal done and not tripping, he and Walt would have never been at odds over the pay-off, which resulted in Jesse saying way too much to Jane about his partnership with his former chemistry teacher. Jesse may believe in the unwritten code about not turning on a partner, but Jane didn't. Her threats against Walt -- which may have been sheer bravado -- propelled the story in a direction that was completely unexpected.

Walt understood that Jane has a hold over Jesse, but he didn't realize how strong until the scene in the classroom, when Jesse hurled a glass at his head because Walt called her his "junkie girlfriend." That should have been a major warning sign to Walt. Jane's father, Don, should have also seen the warning sign when she overslept for NA meetings, defended Jesse to him, and coerced him into not finishing that call to the police. Giving her a little more time was a critical error, one Don will never get over.

How great is Saul Goodman? If you need to launder money, watch Saul figure out a way. Walter Jr.'s "Save Walter White" web site was a brilliant way to feed the kitty with Walt's drug loot via zombie donations. How did Walt ever getting along without Saul?

Was it too random for Don and Walt to meet at the bar, two strangers who strike up a conversation, not knowing they're talking about the same troubled kids? I don't know, but maybe it was something like cause and effect, some oblique science reference that's in the subtext of the show.

Walt referred to Jesse as a nephew, revealing an emotional connection heretofore unspoken. But would Walt have returned to the bungalow if he hadn't had that talk with Don? And if he hadn't gone back to Jesse's, would he have done what he did -- or rather chose not to do -- that is save Jane's life? His instinct was to save her, but he stopped himself.

The parallel between placing the baby on her side and propping her up with a rolled towel to keep her from choking and Jane telling Jesse to sleep on his side was unmistakable. And once Jane was choking to death on her own vomit and Walter let it happen, something that was done could not be undone. It was like that classic scene in The Little Foxes, when Bette Davis lets Herbert Marshall die by not giving him his heart medication. Walter giving in to his dark side. He was in tears, but was he truly sorry?

And now, what will happen when Jesse wakes up?

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Tony DIMeo

jane is an evil bitch refusing rehab and wanting to escape to new zealand, and i feel bad for jesse sinking into the old life

May 26 2009 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vince

Do we know for sure that Jane dies? What if she is brain damaged but survives? What does Walt do then as her father and the doctors try to get her to communicate. I thought of this as she opened her eye(s) and saw walt looking down at her. Hmmmm.

May 26 2009 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

Breaking Bad is undeniably THE BEST show on Television.

May 26 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danielle

Wow! What an unbelievable episode. I was waiting for Jane's dad to pull up behind Walter at Jesse's house. Walter isnt stupid...he didnt do anything to Jane b/c she was a huge problem in him and Jesse's relationship. Didnt you hear her when Jesse told her that Walts his partner.."no, Im your partner". Good ridness!

When did Sylar take Walts glasses? I dont remember that part.

May 26 2009 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hooked

I also don't think Walt needs to worry about any prints because the cops aren't going to check for any. This will look like an OD and nothing more.
Interesting comments Sully, but I don't think Skylar is going to die..she is going to have an affair with Ted..She also may leave and take the kids. Maybe Jesse will move in with Walt?

May 25 2009 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hooked's comment
tpp

If there are any of the blue meth in Jesse's apt, they will dust the apt for prints big time.

I think they will also do that, if they link the apt to Jesse.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how Jesse will react. If he's smart, he'll burn the house down.

May 26 2009 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chet

I do not generally interact with my television, but I found myself spontaneously SHOUTING at the end. "DO something, you evil ####!"

Walt pushed her over onto her back when he shook Jesse. She choked to death because of him. It was cold-blooded murder, period. Not self-defense, but a preemptive strike. Sure, he'll rationalize it, but he didn't have to kill her and he did. His journey to the dark side is complete.

Best damn show on television.

May 25 2009 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Chet's comment
MIke

What an example of what television drama should be. I'm glad that Walt allowed Jane to asphyxiate herself because nature eliminated a dangerous nuisance. I think Skylar will end up finding something out which will cause her to run to Ted. Saul will get greedy and demand higher than 20%. Also, since Savewalterwhite.com shows Walt's picture, do we think the crew that killed Combo will enter into Walt and Jesse's territory since no counter attack occurred? I'm just glad Jane is gone cause she needed to go. Bravo. Bravissimo!!

May 25 2009 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

> Was it too random for Don and Walt to meet at the bar?

Yes.


May 25 2009 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sully

Jane is dead her father will take his own life... Walt will probably see their pictures on the news that nite...somehow jesse will slither out of any connection to Jane...Walts house will explode...due to His fumbling of his gas water heater instalation...Skyler And Ted will both be killed in the explosion she holding Walts glasses which she took off of him at the hospital and Ted holding the pink bear which he'll bring to the house as a gift for the baby...both the glasses and the bear will blow out through the window during the explosion and end up in the pool...Walt will be a widower with two children now...Walt Jr. will play a major roll in raising his sister...Walt Sr. will now be more desperate than ever to cook and make money...with his now reformed pal jesse...

May 25 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sully's comment
Monkeydog

You're wrong.

Even if I know all of that is just a guess, the pink bear is Jesse's.

May 25 2009 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

LOL

May 26 2009 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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