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Recap / Breaking Bad S5 E13: "To'hajiilee"

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Season 5, Episode 13:

If you look up "Hope Spot" in the dictionary, this image is there.
Written by George Mastras
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Air date: September 8, 2013

"I know some evidence that greedy asshole would never destroy."
Jesse Pinkman

Walter makes a deal for another hit with Todd's Uncle Jack. Specifically a hit on Jesse. Despite making the request, Walt is visibly hesitant about the whole thing — as he still holds some regard for Jesse due to everything they have been through together — and requests of Jack that the job is to be executed in as quick and painless a manner as possible. Jack demands that Walt cook for them in exchange, claiming any money Walt can pay is a "drop in the barrel" compared to what they stand to make dealing his blue sky, which Todd has proven unable to replicate. Walt concedes, promising to do just one cook as a tutorial after the deed is done. Todd shows signs of romantic interest in Lydia, who remains cold.

Jesse tells Hank and Gomez about his plan: Hank has no evidence on Walt, but the one piece of evidence Walt would never destroy is his money, and Jesse thinks Huell knows where it is. Hank devises a strategy to get Huell to flip, fabricating a fake photo of Jesse with his brains splattered on the floor, and claiming evidence of phone calls from Walt to Saul talking about killing Huell and Kuby. Upon seeing the photo, Huell tells Hank about renting the van they used to transport the money and says it was dirty when it got back. Hank advises Huell not to answer any calls or leave the house. He deduces that Walt buried the money, but can't tell where as the van had no GPS.

Meanwhile, Walt visits Andrea and expresses concern over Jesse's disappearance, and lays a trap with the White Power Gang, having Andrea leave Jesse a message that Walt came by. Hank realizes that Walt doesn't know the van had no tracking system, and fabricates another photo of a money barrel open in the ground. Jesse sends this to Walt, who is at the carwash after Saul approaches him while wearing a bulletproof vest and tells him Huell is missing. Upon receiving the photo and Jesse's subsequent phone call, Walt speeds off to rescue his cash, remaining on the phone with Jesse. Jesse taunts him with accusations of his crimes and threatens to burn $10,000 per minute until Walt arrives, and incinerate it all if their call is disrupted for any reason. During the heated conversation, Walt confesses to poisoning Brock but also states that he ensured Brock's survival too and insists that all the murders he has committed were also done to protect Jesse.

Finally arriving at To'hajiilee, Walt discovers he has been tricked. Seeing dust rising in the distance, he panics and calls Jack for backup, thinking Jesse means to kill him. Upon seeing the car pull up with Hank, Gomez, and Jesse in it, Walt realizes what's really happened and tells Jack to call it off, not to come. As Hank calls for Walt to come out of hiding, Walt silently cries behind a rock. Finally, he stands up and drops his gun, allowing Hank and Gomez to cuff him and read him his rights, but calls Jesse a coward for becoming a rat. Jesse spits in his face, and they briefly fight before being put in separate cars. Hank makes a triumphant call to Marie to announce he has arrested Walt, and Marie is overjoyed. As Hank hangs up, Walt notices two vehicles approaching in the mirror and realizes Jack and his gang have come despite his calling them off. Walt screams for Hank's attention but is unheard. The Neo-Nazis, armed to the teeth, level their guns and demand to see police ID from Hank and Gomez, who aren't fooled. They take cover behind the SUV, the Nazis fire the first shot, and a huge gunfight begins.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Downplayed with Todd, whose amorous feelings towards Lydia clearly make her uncomfortable, but she uses some manipulative language to try and get him to improve his cooking. It'd make her very happy if he could do better, you know?
  • Batman Gambit: Hank and Jesse play on Walt's pride to trick him into revealing the location of his buried money.
  • Blatant Lies: "We'll turn ourselves in if you show us some badges!"
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: The shootout ending.
  • Call-Back: In-universe, Jesse recognizes the location as the first place he and Walter ever cooked, which also in a way makes it Bookends on their business relationship.
  • Continuity Nod: Jesse reaffirms to Walt that he knows what happened to Brock was Walt's doing, which Walt tries to justify by saying it was just to help him kill Gus. To try to force Jesse to agree with his perspective, Walt compares it all to when he ran over Gus' gangbangers and killed Emilio and Krazy-8, since he only resorted to all of it for the sake of saving both of their lives.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Jack and his thugs. Walt realizes far too late that he's empowered a vicious gang of Nazis who don't actually care about him, only the empire that he's provided.
  • Dark Is Evil: Uncle Jack and his men are all wearing dark clothing when they turn up at Walt's call.
  • Dark Is Not Evil/Light Is Not Good: When Walt is being arrested, Hank, Jesse, and Gomez all wear dark and black clothes while Walt wears a light-beige jacket.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • In-universe, Walt is caught completely flatfooted when he sees that the "hitmen" that Jesse brought along are the latter's brother-in-law and partner.
    • Similarly, Hank, Jesse and Gomez didn't foresee Walt calling up Neo-Nazis as backup.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper:
    • Walt tries to stop Jesse from burning the money by saying it's for his children. Jesse counters that he's the last person that should be discussing what's good for kids, knowing what happened to Brock.
    • After admitting to and apologizing over his poisoning of Brock, Walt then tries to justify his actions since he clearly planned it out so he'd end up fine, and that it was for the sake of killing Gus. This confession is the catalyst for a series of further angry confessions to the rest of his crimes over the course of the show.
  • Dirty Coward: Walt accuses Jesse of being one upon seeing that he joined forces with Hank to bring him down. He gets spat on in response.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Walt is absoutely sidelined by Jesse's partnership with Hank. As Hank reads Walt his rights he is completely transfixed on Jessie and only utters "Coward." to him after Hank finishes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In Jesse's case, with "evil" being a rather strong word, Walt tries to exploit his love of Andrea and Brock by having her tell Jesse that Walt's at their place and is looking for him. Hank shuts it down quickly.
    • As the decay of Walt's redeeming qualities continues, this episode gives us a triumphant example of Walt's greatest and most enduring virtue: his love for his family. When he realizes that Hank is the one who's come to arrest him, he calls off his backup and surrenders.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Walt specifically requests Jesse's death be quick and painless. Jack respects him for this, saying there are too many sadists in the world. Though considering what they eventually do to Jesse is anything but quick and painless, he may not have meant it.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: After smugly ordering them around and feeling in control, Walt is brutally awoken to the fact that Jack's gang holds no true allegiance to him. Jack and his thugs proves to be an extremely dangerous threat that he's just unleashed on his former friend Hank.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Walt has a delayed one. His massive rant of confessions to Jesse is followed by anger over Jesse tricking him, then despair when he spots him with Hank and Gomez in the distance, realizing what he'd done.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Of a sort. Hank's victory call to Marie delays his departure long enough for the Neo-Nazis to arrive.
  • Gambit Pile Up: The ending is made of this. Walt tries to lure Jesse to his location by letting Andrea know he's looking for him and is waiting at her place, planning to have Jack's gang take him out quickly. Hank intercepts this and instead has Jesse send Walt a fabricated photo of Walt's money, instead drawing him to their location to arrest him. Before Walt faces off against Jesse, he calls for backup but tries to cancel it at the last second once he spots his brother-in-law. Unbeknownst to all of them, Jack went ahead with the hit anyway, leading to a Mexican Standoff.
  • Graceful Loser: Attempted by Walt, who gives in after being bested by Hank and Jesse.
  • Hope Spot: Exaggerated. Walt's in cuffs. Hank and Gomez celebrate their successful bust of Heisenberg; Jesse and Marie are relieved that their own nightmares are over. Say, who's that pulling up...?
  • Idiot Ball: Walt so desperate to get to his money and ensure it's safe from Jesse's threat completely complies with his request to stay on the line and is goaded into a long winded rant after which Jesse stops replying. Walt continues to stay on the line until he reaches the burial site... upon arriving it takes him only a few seconds to realize what he had just did and fruitlessly tries to pull the battery out as Hank, Steve and Jesse begin to approach having tracked him with the phone call.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Walt confesses to earlier parts of his criminal career over Jesse's phone, which Hank and Gomez listen through.
    • Jesse then reveals he'd gone with Hank and Gomez after disappearing from Walt and Saul's radar.
    • Jesse, having left Walt before Walt contracted Jack and his men to kill Mike's men, finally realizes who just came to rescue him when he sees Todd in the group.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In retrospect, Walter started his whole partnership with Jesse by threatening to turn him in to the DEA. Ultimately, Jesse allying with Hank would be the catalyst for Walter losing almost everything he has before and after he was Heisenberg.
  • Mexican Standoff: More of a New Mexican Standoff, but ultimately subverted as the shooting starts fairly quickly.
  • Mood Whiplash: The climax of the episode goes from triumph and relief for Jesse, Hank and Gomez to one full of horror and suspense once Jack and his men arrive and open fire on Hank and Gomez.
  • Motive Rant: Walt's justification of poisoning Brock spirals into this.
    Walt: Open your eyes! Can't you see that I needed you on my side to kill Gus? I ran over those gangbangers! I killed Emilio and Krazy-8! Why? I did all of those things to try to save your life as much as mine. Only you're too stupid to know it!
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Walt freaks out when Jesse sends him a (fake) photo of one of his barrels of money and threatens to burn it.
    • Walt after seeing the area where he buried his money untouched and realizing his phone is still on line.
    • Walt later when he sees a particular truck pull up from Hank's rearview mirror.
    • Hank and Jesse, similarly, when noticing Walt terrified at the new arrival.
  • Out-Gambitted: Walt falls into Jesse and Hank's trap.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Walt, when Jesse claims to start burning Walt's money.
    Jesse: Fire in the hole, bitch! There goes ten G's! Nice orange flames!
    Walt: No no no no NO!!!!!
  • Shame If Something Happened: Walt has Andrea call Jesse, making sure she notes that he's at their house. It especially preys on Jesse's fear of what he might do to them since Walt factors in Jesse already knowing what happened to Brock.
  • Smash to Black: The ending leaves several main characters amidst a potentially deadly shootout that is not resolved by the episode's end.
  • Spiteful Spit: Done by Jesse to Walt in response to being called a coward.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: Jesse burns fake money contained in a replica of the barrels Walt used, to trick him into driving to his actual fortune to save it.
  • Villainous BSoD: Walt's reaction to seeing Jesse has allied with Hank, which he never foresaw.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Before that, Walt has a hell of a breakdown when Jesse lures him out with a faked picture of one of his money barrels.
    • Despite wearing handcuffs behind his back, Walt attempts to rush Jesse in a rage after he spits on him.
    • And after that when he sees Jack and his men arriving at the scene.
  • Villainous Rescue: Zig-zagged as Walt called in Todd's uncle to take down Jesse and, who he believed to be, some hitmen, making it an intended Big Damn Heroes moment. By the time he realized it was Hank and Gomez, it was too late. Walt was saved, but not the way he wanted to be.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Walt desperately pleads for Jesse to leave his money alone when he's tricked into thinking he's found it, and agrees to meet Jesse at its location on his terms after he threatens to burn it all.
  • Wham Episode: Walt slips up and confesses to multiple murders on the phone to Jesse, which is recorded by Hank. They trick Walt into coming alone to To'hajiilee, where Hank finally puts the cuffs on Heisenberg. After a Hope Spot for Hank, Uncle Jack and his crew arrive and open fire, putting Hank and Gomez in a shootout they cannot possibly win, and cutting to the credits with a Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Wham Shot: The Neo-Nazis' approaching vehicles in the front view mirror of Hank's car.
  • Worthy Opponent: Averted with Walt towards Jesse. Jesse, for all his hatred towards the man, acknowledges Walt as an Evil Genius and knows it'll take a lot of cunning to outwit him. Walt, when confronted by his one-time protégé after being thoroughly defeated by Jesse and Hank's scheme, simply calls him a coward.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Jesse calls Walt by his name instead of Mr. White to show him how much he hates him now.

"We'll give ourselves up if you show us some badges! Simple as that!"