'Breaking Bad' - 'Half Measures' Recap
by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 7th 2010 10:40AM
(S03E12) There is no more "Holy Crap!" show on television than 'Breaking Bad'! Vince Gilligan has done it again, delivering a knock-out penultimate episode that qualifies as a mind-blower. If any of you saw this one coming, you're smarter than I am because I was literally thrown off my chair by the events in the last minute of 'Half Measures.'
And, oh, if you wonder whether or not Walter was listening when Mike gave him a sermon about the subject of half measures, the answer is yes. He not only listened, he heard and got the message. More on that and Marie's hidden talents after the jump.
Maddening is the only word to describe Jesse Pinkman. Walter's partner showed himself to be a dangerous commodity again, but there was also that amazing confrontation with Gus. Jesse has a pair of brass balls on him, you have to admit that. Standing up to Gus when Mike and Walt were sitting there like obedient observers, Jesse was impressive. Crazy, but impressive.
But as it always is with Jesse, the volatile reaction, the righteous indignation, never turns out right. Walt admonished Jesse about his actions affecting others, and Mr. White was prescient. Because of what Jesse did, Tomas was killed, presumably by the gangstas because the kid knew too much. He was also no longer necessary. In a twisted way, Jesse got the revenge he sought. After all, it was Tomas who'd killed Combo.
Peace was never going to stand once Tomas was killed, which in some way was justice to Jesse. He negotiated to save the kids from being recruited to push drugs, but it was implied -- in Jesse's mind -- that Tomas not become a casualty. But even if Jesse was freaked out by Andrea's little brother being killed to the point of having to respond, his old west gunfighter mentality was insane. If Walt's Aztec had not run down the dealers, Jesse was a dead man.
Walter's shooting the one dealer with the guy's gun was pure Mike. No half-measures. He pulled the trigger without equivocation, then told Jesse to run. It was Walter's solution to a complicated problem -- the Jesse situation. Jesse gave him the out by choosing to go after the dealers. If Walt had arrived two minutes later, Jesse would have been dead ... if not by the dealers than by Gus ordering him killed for breaking the peace. So, Walt took the shot and saved Jesse's ass for the time being.
Perhaps he also settled the score in a way. Walter felt indebted to Jesse because it was Walt who had let Jane die. That guilt has haunted him and forced Walt to protect Jesse even though he's the world's worst partner. By pulling the trigger, Walter shed the burden of owing Jesse. At that moment, they were even.
Next week is the season finale. From the preview, it appears that Walter has his black hat back on, signaling that he's taking over ... and that would mean going toe to toe with Gus. It looks deadly dangerous. I can't wait.
Other points of interest
-- To the tune of The Association singing 'Windy' we saw a day in the life of Wendy, a crack-addicted hooker. I think she was the same whore Jesse used before Jane entered his life. His surveillance was all part of an insane plan to poison the drug dealers with ricin. Ironically, that had been the way Walt was going to kill Tuco, so at least Jesse has been paying attention to Mr. White's instructions.
-- Interesting conversation between Walter and Sky about plausible deniability. Skyler would rather be Bonnie Parker than an idiot who didn't know what her estranged husband was doing since losing his $43,000 a year job as a science teacher.
-- Walter and Skyler's conversation turned from creating a story to negotiating a semi-return for him in the house. Walt wants back in and he's using Sky's wanting to do the money laundering as a bargaining chip.
-- At the bar, how ridiculous did Walter sound when he said to Jesse, "Murder is not part of your 12-step program." Right, but making meth is perfectly okay.
-- Saul's comment when Walt asked him to get Jesse locked up for 30-days. "It falls under by premium services package, but you can afford it."
-- Jonathan Banks was given an amazing scene when Mike told Walter why his plan for Jesse was moronic. That was worthy of an Emmy nomination.
-- Marie tried sexual healing with cranky Hank. She got him to respond with a boner after betting him that if she succeeded, he'd go home. The sight if him being wheeled out of the hospital and the smile on her face said it all.