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Recap / Breaking Bad S 5 E 11 Confessions

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"My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87104. This is my confession."
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At a diner, Todd leaves Walt a voice message telling him about the change in management for distributing meth in the southwest, following Declan's demise. He brags to his uncle Jack and a fellow skinhead about the train heist, while conveniently leaving out what happened to Drew Sharp, before they make their way to New Mexico.

Hank enters the interrogation room where Jesse is detained, informing him that he knows of Heisenberg's true identity as Walter White, his brother-in-law. Jesse remains belligerent towards Hank as Saul enters to control the damage, scolding Jesse for his act of "philanthropy" when he tossed his five million dollars about.

Back at the White residence, Junior tells Walt that Aunt Marie had called him over to help with her computer. Realizing this was another ploy to separate him from his children, Walt tells Junior that his cancer returned, playing on his love and concern for his father to convince him to stay. Afterwards, Walt and Skyler work together to record his confession.

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Walt and Skyler meet with the Schraders at a Mexican restaurant, where tempers flare between them over Walt's drug business. Walt tries to explain that he is no longer involved in the drug trade, and that there is nothing to gain from trying to prosecute him. Hank, however, is determined to see Walt behind bars; he's not going to let Walt's cancer claim him before he can face justice.

With both parties at an impasse, Walt leaves a DVD containing his confession with Hank. When Hank and Marie play it at home, however, to their horror, the "confession" is a ploy: while Walt confesses to cooking meth, he claims that Hank was the real "Heisenberg", having forced Walt into cooking meth for him, working with Gus Fring and threatening his family, then conspiring with Hector Salamanca to kill Gus with a bomb. The only true statements in the confession are Gus's putting a hit out on Hank, and Walt using his drug money to pay for his medical expenses.

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Hank and Marie are left gobsmacked at Walt's sheer audacity. Hank thinks the confession to be an empty threat, but Marie reveals that she had, indeed, taken money from Skyler, which she had gotten from Walt's drug business, to pay for his hospital bills and rehabilitation. If the DVD was ever sent to the DEA, that money would give Walt's confession credence, and completely destroy Hank's own credibility.

Out in the desert, Walt meets with Jesse and Saul. Walt is informed that the DEA has not been informed of his activities. Walt suggests Jesse contact Saul's "vacuum salesman" and make a clean break, begin life anew somewhere. Jesse, however, is skeptical to Walt's intentions, and demands he tell him the truth; that if he didn't continue to make meth with him, he would suffer the same fate that befell Mike. Walt says nothing. Instead, he approaches Jesse and hugs him tightly.

Afterwards, Walt tells a weary Skyler at the car wash: "It worked". Jesse is no longer an issue...

...or so he thinks. Saul has Huell drop Jesse off on a roadside to meet with the "cleaner" to take him away. As the cleaner's car arrives to take Jesse away, Jesse realizes that Huell had taken his weed. It then dawns on Jesse that Huell had taken his ricin cigarette as well, likely by Walt instructing Saul to do so...and based off of that, it was Walt that poisoned Brock!

Jesse storms into Saul's office, punching him in the face and threatening him with his own gun. Saul admits he had Huell take his ricin, but believed it was for Jesse's own good, and that he never realized Walt planned to poison a child. Jesse storms off with Saul's car and gun. As Saul warns Walt, Jesse breaks into Walt's house and starts to dump gasoline around the floor, intending to burn it to the ground...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Ascended Meme: When Hank takes note of Walt mentioning $177,000 being paid on his medical bills in the "confession" tape:
    Hank: $177,000? Hell's he talking about? [looks at Marie, who has sat down in shock] ...Marie?
    Marie: ...they told me it was gambling money.
    Hank: What was gambling money? ... [in realization] ...oh, Jesus Christ, Marie...
  • Bastardly Speech: Walt's "confession", in which he essentially accuses Hank of being Heisenberg and manipulating and threatening Walt into cooking for him.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted; Saul's face looks downright nasty after Jesse's through with him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • When Jesse realizes he was right about Huell taking the ricin-laced cigarrette and Walt did poison Brock he flies off the handle.
    • Subverted: when Hank realizes that Marie used Walt's meth money to pay for his medical bills, while he points out that this was "the last nail in the coffin" for him, he doesn't get angry with Marie.
  • Call-Back:
  • Camera Abuse: Jesse really wants to make sure that camera burns.
  • Crocodile Tears: Used in full force in the "confession" tape, with Walt claiming to be afraid of Hank coming after him and his family for wanting out.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Walt makes a "confession" tape that's actually a means to blackmail Hank. Jesse however, beats a real confession out of Saul that Walt was the one who had his ricin cigarette lifted and poisoned Brock.
  • Drone of Dread: While Jesse is pouring gasoline on Walt’s house, combined with a harsh thudding drum beat. It’s fittingly named Gas Can Rage.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Saul makes clear to Jesse that if he knew that Walt was going to poison a child he never would've helped him do it.
  • Frame-Up: Walt makes a tape that paints Hank as the Lawman Gone Bad mastermind behind everything he did, and himself as a coerced stooge. It won't get him off anything, but the threat of Taking You with Me is clear.
  • For Want of a Nail: Had Huell not taken Jesse's weed, and had Jesse not realized, the series would have ended right here and now.
  • Heroic RRoD: After Jesse finds out about Walt's role in Brock's poisoning, he goes into an unstoppable rage. By the time he goes to pour gasoline in Walt's house, the sounds he makes are between primal grunting and tired wailing as if his rage is literally wearing him down, but he just won't stop.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Jesse realizes that it was Walt who poisoned Brock, and beats Saul down until he gets a complete confession to it.
    • While it was clear to the audience that Jesse was aware that Walt killed Mike, Jesse finally confirms it out loud to him in the desert.
    • Walt Jr. learns that Walt's cancer is back. Tragically, Walt uses it to manipulate Junior into staying in the house and away form his aunt and uncle
  • Ironic Echo: Marie point blank tells Walt that he should kill himself. In the "confession" tape, Walt "admits" to having been suicidal in the past.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Walter is willing to ruin the life and reputation of his brother-in-law if it keeps him out of jail.
    • Hank reassigns two of Gomez's men to watch Jesse, and when Gomez confronts him about it, Hank angrily tells him that he'll call the guys off and to get out of his office.
  • Mood Whiplash: The tense meeting between Walt, Skyler, Hank, and Marie being periodically interrupted by an obnoxiously cheerful waiter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Downplayed: Hank isn't mad, but he resignedly tells Marie that using Walt's money to pay for his medical bills has effectively killed any chance they have at getting Walt.
    Hank: Oh, Christ, Marie... You killed me here. I mean, it's the — that's the last nail. That's the last nail in the coffin.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hank and Marie get a double-dose of this: first when they find out Walt's "confession" video is a ruse to destroy Hank's credibility, then when they both realize that Walt's drug money paid for Hank's hospital bills and physical rehabilitation.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Walt waits until Marie is trying to get Junior out of the house to inform his son that his cancer has returned and that he passed out, at which point Junior decides to stay with his dad. It's notable that Walt never lies during this conversation, and yet makes it clear that he's no longer above manipulating his son to get what he wants.
  • Pet the Dog: In the full version of the confession tape, Walt goes out of his way to never mention Jesse once.
  • Plausible Deniability: This is what Walt's "confession" really boils down to. It doesn't get Hank off of his back and it doesn't save him, but it creates enough reasonable doubt that Hank can't go to the DEA without anything less than actual, physical evidence of guilt.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Upon realizing Huell had taken the ricin cigarette off of him, Jesse doubles back to Saul's office, and beats the shit out of him. And once he gets confirmation that Walt poisoned Brock, he makes a beeline over to Walt's house... and begins to douse gasoline.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Walt's "confession". Accusing the head of the Albuquerque DEA of running a meth empire behind the scenes for the sole purpose of blackmailing him is bold and outlandish, but Walt manages to concoct a story that would at least sound plausible to an outside observer, aided by several facts such as Hank unknowingly using Walt's drug money to pay his own medical bills.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Jesse is correct that Huell lifted the ricin cigarette off of him, but he's incorrect in thinking that Saul was aware of Walt's plan; in fact, Saul had no idea what was going to happen and was disgusted when he learned about it.
  • Shout-Out: Jack compares the story of the train heist to the movie Hooper, only for Kenny to remind him that the scene in that movie involved a helicopter, not a train.
  • Spot the Thread:
    • Marie tries to write off Walt's "confession tape" as being entirely filled with lies... but then Hank takes notice of his mentioning of using $177,000 to pay for Hank's medical bills...
    • While waiting on the side of the road for Saul's "cleaner", Jesse goes for his weed, only to realize he can't find it, only managing to pull out a pack of cigarettes. And in his frantic search for his weed, right then and there is the connection made in his head about the ricin cigarette.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • During his "confession" tape, Walt makes a special mention to the fact that it was Hank who showed him how much money people make in the business of drug manufacturing in the first place.
    • Marie letting Skyler pay for their medical bills earlier is now the final nail in Hank's coffin.
    • Saul orders Huell to pocket Jesse's stash so that he doesn't show up to the meeting with the identity eraser while high. In the process, Jesse realizes that Huell pocketed the ricin cigarette earlier and that Saul was in on the plan to poison Brock.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In the opening, Todd and Jack are eating in a diner, chatting about his previous involvement with the train heist.
  • Wham Episode: Walter makes a "confession tape" saying that he was coerced by Hank who was the true mastermind behind everything in the series. Meanwhile, right before getting a new life and identity, Jesse finally realizes that Walt was the one who poisoned Brock, beating a confession out of Saul and going to Walt's house and pouring gasoline over everything.
  • Wham Line:
    • The moment Hank and Marie realize what Walt's "confession tape" really is.
      Walt: [on tape] If you're watching this tape, I'm probably dead... Murdered by my brother-in-law, Hank Schrader. Hank has been building a meth empire for over a year now, and using me as his chemist.
    • "Why don't you just kill yourself, Walt?"
  • Wham Shot: The look on Jesse's face when he realizes that Huell lifted his weed off of him. We see him finally come to the conclusion that Walt had him do the same thing with the ricin and that Walt was the one who poisoned Brock.

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