WARNING: FULL SPOILERS AHEAD!!
I know what you were thinking before this episode started: a Destiny’s Child reference? I wouldn’t put it past Gilligan. There may be some hidden meaning in "destiny’s child," maybe it refers to Walt being the child of destiny to take over the meth business in the Southwest?
Last week, we wrapped up with a precarious situation–Mike with a gun to Walt’s head and Walt convincing him (via Jesse) that he had a plan to make everyone happy. Whether or not that was true was quasi-unimportant. This goes one way: Mike is out of the picture and Walt becomes more powerful, but because Mike is so sympathetic (Mike is awesome) I think we all wanted to see him leave peacefully.
It is kind of funny to watch three middle-aged men stand around, looking tough in pleated slacks and generic black old-man coats. The scene was awesome for its dialogue and how Bryan Cranston can pull off being tough and cool moreso than a dude being surrounded by tough-looking guys with tough-looking GM trucks.
"Say My Name" was partially about Walt coming into his own and the first half of Season 5 has done its job. Suddenly Mike is out, Gus’ whole infrastructure is gone and all that’s left is Walt, the guy from the other Southwest state.
Mike left the game. He ditched his guns and got rid of his bugging computer. He made Hank look really bad when Hank got a search warrant and everything to tear apart his house. He really was done. His undoing was, hilariously, that he didn’t hire Saul. LOL.
Jesse attempted to take his steps out the door too, but Walt tried to rope him back in. Nice work trying to goad him back in by shaming him about his addiction history. Cranston, again, delivered an ice cold speech.
It’s been nice to see the creators let the actors pull out their A-material. This whole season has been about giving the actors some dialogue, putting them in a room together and filming it. It’s paid off wonderfully as Season 5 has been excellent.
As soon as they flashed that gun in the bag, though, it was certain that something was going to happen. It was an absolutely unhinged scene and seeing Mike bit into that impulse with gusto–rip into Walt–was satisfying, but horrifically worrying. That gun had to come back into play. And waiting for Walt to use it was excruciating–congrats to everyone who made that scene as tense and nerve-wracking and making us believe that maybe nothing was going to come of it as Mike went to his car and Walter stood their impotently.
I hate to see Mike go out like that. He deserved more. I literally can’t give this higher than a 9.0, it was just too sad of an ending.
The transition for Walt from pathetic dude who’s trying to provide for his family into scary dude who doesn’t give a dang about anybody is complete. If there’s anybody still siding with Walt right now, consider that person a psychopath.
One last thing, is Hank putting it together? He missed Mike by just so little, are those wistful stares at images him putting together that someone else is in charge?
Sometimes Breaking Bad takes a bigger leap of faith than it should, putting together pieces that might not be there. There seemed to be some self-awareness in that scene where Hank told Gomez to follow the lawyer. It will get him in trouble. It might get him fired.
That it paid off for Gomez and Hank may be a sign that Hank’s intuition will ultimately pay off, but only get him in further trouble.
We got one more episode.
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