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Recap / Breaking Bad S5 E9: "Blood Money"

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Geez, this place is a wreck.

"It was you. All along, it was you! You son of a bitch. You drove me into traffic to keep me from that laundry. That call I got telling me Marie was in the hospital? That wasn't Pinkman. You had my cell number. You killed ten witnesses to save your sorry ass. You bombed a nursing home. Heisenberg. Heisenberg! You lying, two-faced sack of shit!"
Hank Schrader

The first episode of the second half of the final season, aka Season 5B (During its original broadcast, there was an 11-month gap between 5A and 5B.)

An older, disheveled Walter White returns to his old home, 308 Negra Arroyo Lane. In the time since he was last here, the house has fallen into disrepair. The empty swimming pool is used by skateboarders as a miniature skate park, sneaking their way past the fences that had been built up around the house. Inside, the house is completely bare, all except for graffiti adorning the walls, including the name "Heisenberg" in large yellow letters. Walt has a reason to be here after all this time, however: to retrieve his vial of ricin.

As he leaves, he catches the frightened gaze of his former neighbor, Carol. He greets her as she, shocked at Walt's return, drops her groceries...


In the present, Hank slowly emerges from the Whites' bathroom, having just made the discovery of a lifetime thanks to a certain Gale Boetticher. He pockets the book, returns to the rest of the family out back, and quickly makes an excuse to leave. On the way home with Marie, he suffers a panic attack and crashes his car into a neighbor's fence. The next day, he compares Gale's handwriting in Walt's book to that in Gale's notebook, confirming that they are identical. For the rest of the episode, Hank digs through boxes and boxes of files from the Gus Fring case, looking for evidence.

Meanwhile, Walt is working at the car wash with Skyler. Lydia stops by and tells Walt that ever since he left the business, their meth purity has dropped drastically, and she asks for his help. He refuses. As she's leaving, Skyler warns Lydia never to return.


Jesse, trying to hang out with his friends, is depressed and dazed. He brings Saul the $5 million that Walt had given him in the previous episode, and asks him to give half to Drew Sharp's parents, and the other to Mike's granddaughter Kaylee. Saul tries to explain how unwise this would be: the DEA would quickly snatch up any money sent to Kaylee, and Drew's parents would rather know what became of their son than receive money. Jesse isn't having it, so Saul tells Walt, who is in a chemotherapy session, about the situation. He brings Jesse's money back to him and insists that he should keep it. Jesse remains distant and unreceptive to Walt's attempts to connect with him, and he as much as reveals that he knows Walt killed Mike. When Walt insists that he didn't, telling Jesse that he NEEDS to believe him, a distraught Jesse pretends to agree.

Walt discovers that his "Leaves of Grass" book is missing. Skyler mentions that Hank has been home sick all week long, ever since their party. Walt then discovers a GPS tracker on his car. Putting two and two together, he realizes that Hank is finally onto him.

Jesse is sleeping in his car when a man asks him for spare change. In a moment of realization, he gives the man a stack of cash from his $5 million and then drives through neighborhoods around Albuquerque, tossing stacks from his car onto people's yards.

Walt visits Hank at home the next day to ask how he's doing. However, as he's leaving, he decides to question Hank about the GPS tracker. Hank then becomes enraged, punching him in the face, and recounting a handful of the horrible things that he now knows Walt was behind. Walt admits nothing, but declares that even if Hank is right, Walt will be dead long before he ever had a chance to be convicted; his cancer has returned, and this time is inoperable. He claims that Hank's "wild accusations" will destroy their family. The episode ends with Walt growling at Hank that if he really wants to go after him, he should "tread lightly."

This episode contains examples of:

  • Beard of Sorrow: The stubble from Hank's days of obsessing over minerals returns with a vengeance after discovering Walt's secret.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cold Open: Like the previous season premiere, this episode opens with a flash-forward to Walt on his 52nd birthday. This time, he returns to his home (which is apparently abandoned) to retrieve the vial of ricin he hid there in an earlier episode.
  • Death Glare: As soon as Walt shows up in the garage to confront him about the GPS tracker, Hank begins shooting one at Walt.
    Walt: You okay? I gotta say I don't really like the way you're looking at me right now.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Saul is visibly disturbed by the implication that his clients had something to do with the disappearance of a young boy and tells Jesse "I don't know and I don't wanna know."
  • Foreshadowing: Badger's Star Trek script may foreshadow some of the events of the final season. Badger claims that the crew of the Enterprise are having a pie eating contest, and that it is down to just three: Kirk (Hank), Spock (Walter) and Chekhov (Jack). Kirk is the first to leave, foreshadowing Hank's death in "Ozymandias". Chekhov has Scotty (Todd) helping him, but when Uhura (Lydia) walks in, Scotty accidentally gets Chekhov killed, leaving Spock as the winner. If Todd hadn't become attracted to Lydia, Walter likely wouldn't have killed Jack and his gang, as they had to keep Jesse alive in order to keep making the meth, prompting Walt to go after them.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Hank is looking through all the case files related to Heisenberg, when he is looking at the photos of Combo's dead body, if you look to the left you see a picture of him as a little kid. About 7-9 years old, chubby and has a mullet.
  • Get Out!: Skyler tells Lydia to never come back, and she's deadly serious.
  • Heroic BSoD: Finally finding out that Walt is Heisenberg absolutely floors Hank. His panic attacks come back with a vengeance and he is emotionally wrecked by the time Walt confronts him about the GPS tracker.
  • Implied Death Threat: Walt gives a rather sinister one to Hank at the end of the episode.
    Walt: "...if it's true...if you don't know who I am...then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly..."
    • Jesse seems to interpret Walt's insistence that Jesse needs to believe Walt didn't kill Mike as this.
  • Oh, Crap!: Walt has this moment when he finds the bug on his car and realizes that Hank knows his secrets.
  • The Reveal: After there had been a couple hints towards it, Walt finally reveals while confronting Hank that his cancer has returned.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Jesse doesn't want his cut of the money and so he decides to give it away to Drew Sharp's parents and Kaylee Erhmantraut. As Saul points out, however, this plan is doomed from the start: Drew's parents only want closure, not money, so dropping 2.5 million dollars on their doorstep isn't going to help anyone, and Kaylee is being monitored now that Mike's gone, so any money that tries to get to her isn't getting there (Saul also reveals that Mike's two previous attempts to get her money have failed). Jesse is forced to throw the money out his car windows since he can't actually get it to the people he wants.
  • Wham Episode: A BIG ONE. After four and a half seasons, Hank finally confronts Walt, having discovered that he was Heisenberg all along. The episode ends with Hank declaring he'll do whatever it takes to put Walt behind bars. In response, Walt reveals that his cancer is back - but makes it very clear that he's not going to go down without a fight.
  • Wham Line: "If you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly".
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • Lydia approaches Walter at the car wash and pressures him into returning to the meth business since she's clearly not happy with the drop in quality after he left. Not only does Walter stand firm and flat-out refuse (unlike all the other times wherein he'd gone back to the drug trade despite having the chance to leave) when Skyler later questions him about the conversation, he's completely honest with her.
    • Despite being a DEA agent, Hank never throws the manufacturing and distribution of meth in Walter's face. The DEA obviously wouldn't let murderers go if they caught them in the act, since they are police, but they're supposed to primarily care about stopping drug dealers and getting drugs off the streets. Hank rightly prioritizes the more heinous murders Walter is guilty of, and treats his job as an anti-drug agent as a complete after thought.

"If that's true. If you don't know who I am, then...maybe your best course would be to tread lightly."