In the past, the penultimate episodes of Breaking Bad have always packed a wallop. In season 2′s “Phoenix,” Walt watched Jane choke to death and in the previous season, Walt committed vehicular homicide (“Half Measures”). Vince Gilligan and the creative team continued that tradition with “End Times,” although we were left with a defeated Walt on a rooftop instead of a car bomb. I can’t believe there’s only one more episode. It’s a testament to the creative team that it’s been 12 weeks already and they’ve managed to maintain this incredible amount of tension and depth. It seems like only yesterday Gale was killed…
After last week left Walt on his back in the crawl space, he’s standing as tall as he packs up Skylar and the baby and sends them off to Hank’s – where they’ll have federal protection. Walt stays behind, lying to Junior about his responsibility at the laundromat. The only responsibility he’s manning up to is as the harbinger of death. He is the danger, as he explains to Skylar, and staying away from the family is the best thing he can do right now. As this season winds down, I’m becoming sympathetic towards Walt again. He’s a selfish, arrogant bastard, yes, but now he’s finally sincere about wanting to do the best for his family. He dug this grave and only now when the threat is real is he realizing it.
I’m a little torn over Gus’s car bomb Spidey-sense. A part of me feels that his ability to sense the trap set by Walt was a little ridiculous. Then again, the Chicken Man has set his fair share of impressive traps and knows how to manipulate the shit out of people, so even if he didn’t know there was a car bomb specifically, it makes sense that he would sense a trap. Still, I would’ve liked him to get closer to the car or Jesse to have twitched or stuttered – acting out of the ordinary a bit more.
Do I really need to talk about how fantastic Aaron Paul was? We know he wasn’t going to shoot Walt, but holy shit I was still carving up my arm cushions in dread. It looks like I was wrong and we’ll get to see some more of Walt and Jesse teaming up. Although the car bomb scheme was a great shot, the duo doesn’t really have the greatest track record for pulling off meticulous assassinations. They seem to have better luck shooting people in the face and backing over them with Aztecs.
Gus reached a whole new level of evil last night. We’ve seen how ruthless he can be and hot damn does he know how to hold a grudge, but poisoning a child is some straight to hell shit. It shows the how far he’s willing to go when his business is threatened.
IN BRIEF: I felt awful for Hank when the laundry search was going down. I wanted him to be there so bad; delivering a demeaning diatribe to Gus’s floor manager. Bet he would have seen that trap door! — I loved Walt’s little slab of cardboard to kneel on up on the roof.