Review: Breaking Bad – “Rabid Dog” (Season 5, Episode 12)

Only a few more episodes left, and I still can’t be sure how everything will tie up. Let’s look at the new evidence.

Jesse has officially declared war on Walt — and Hank is willing to use him in his own war. The episode opens with Walt’s empty, yet still standing, home — something that looked unlikely at the end of the previous episode. Walt brings a gun, an ominous sign which reads “Next time Jesse and Walt are in a room together, one of them will die.” But Jesse isn’t there; only the powerful odor of gasoline. In order to continue lying to his family about their safety, Walt must do the impossible: remove any trace of gasoline from the carpet. Walt gathers all of his vast chemical expertise and… calls a carpet cleaner. I have to admit, while I was upset there was no great chemistry scene, I was amused watching Walt panic and throw money at the situation. I found greater amusement watching Walt spend some of the show’s final moments in the same ‘fashion’ it began: in a button-up shirt, underwear, and a gun tucked in his waistband.

The next scene became another hallmark moment of How Easy Lying is to Walt. When his family made it home, he spins the obvious lie of accidentally showering in gasoline while topping off his tank. Walt creates this scenario with such speed that I’m reminded lying isn’t second nature to him — it’s first. Despite the very believable story, Walt Jr. outright accuses him of lying. Maybe Walt is losing his edge.

Back to Jesse, who, while coked out of his mind, had his vengeance interrupted by Hank. At this point, I’m intrigued by the possibility of Hank/Jesse team-up, but then Hank goes and says something along the lines of “Jesse is expendable.” I’m not sure if it’s a good thing Walt cares more about Jesse’s well-being than Hank does, but it does completely destroy any respect or sympathy I had for Hank. Even Gomez is in on this, placing himself in an unfavorable light.

Gomie was a logical decision — if Hank wants to succeed in an old-fashioned sting, he’s going to need his right-hand man — but Marie has also joined “team Jesse” and the war against Walt. She shows support in a small, but important way: coffee. The opposition is set, it’s Team White vs Team Jesse.

This episode is a case of Shakespearean irony: Jesse takes refuge with Hank out of fear Walt will murder him, when, in reality, Walt wants to nurture and care for Jesse and Hank truly does not care about Jesse’s fate.


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