Rabid Dog (S5E12)

Not exactly an action packed episode, but that’s fine, it was actually kind of a nice change of pace to not see someone die or be anticipating anybody’s death.

Again, and I realize this sort of spits in the face of staying as in the dark as possible about the series, in my pirated copies of the episodes I’m presently watching, a “previously” segment plays, and this one was just Jessie losing his damn mind. Mind you when I actually watched the episode, they pretty much explicitly demonstrate exactly what Jessie did, so I learned what was going on anyways. I like to tell myself watching these “previously” segments for episodes I haven’t seen yet is perfectly in the spirit of willfully watching the show in the wrong order.

I learned a lot about Jessie in this episode. Not as much as I’d like to know though. At this point my huge unanswered question is what is his relationship to Andrea and Brock. Jessie only says he “cares about” Brock so I’m guessing Brock isn’t his son or his nephew, which means Andrea is probably his girlfriend or just a friend, and he’s simply very fond of Brock rather than having any kind of legal or biological imperative to protect him. The child-poisoning incident was referred to a number of times in this episode and each time Walt kind of mentions that he had to do it and he feels like he had a pretty good reason, and I’m really interested in learning exactly what the hell that is.

When Jessie is talking to Hank he seems utterly convinced that Walt is going to have him killed. When Hank wants Jessie to take Walt’s offer of a meeting, Jessie freaks right the hell out, and given what I know about Walt that seems like a perfectly sensible reaction. Hank’s explanation of why it was unlikely that Walt would kill Jessie seemed pretty reasonable, but I definitely understood Jessie’s reaction to the ominous big bald white guy standing near Walt, and to hear Walt previously talking about how he’d deal with the “business” I was just as surprised when the scene ended with a little girl running up to him, rather than Walt giving the guy a subtle but certain “no go, get out of here” hand gesture or something.

What kind of hit home for me in this one was Walt and his family again. Skyler didn’t buy Walt’s ridiculous crappy story for a minute, but Flynn, who I learned was completely in the dark about this whole mess a few episodes ago, not only believes his flimsy gas pump story, but reasoned that Walt must’ve had a fainting attack because he’s sick. In these episodes Walt is constantly coughing, and in all my notes from the first episodes I watched, I wrote things like “how sick is Walt?” or “how far has his illness advanced?”  Among all the other scary crap that’s happening to Walt, it’s easy to forget that the most overarching threat to his life is the one metastasizing in his lungs. I don’t know the specific extent to which Skyler is aware of everything Walt is up to, but she seems to acknowledge the very real possibility of somebody killing Walt, and I didn’t even think about the fact that Flynn is just as worried about Walt dying of cancer. Maybe it’s just because I’ve only seen them interact as a family in the final days, but I guess I was operating under the assumption that maybe Walt hadn’t even told them. Like, he started cooking meth just so he would have a great deal of money stashed away, and he could have it ready for them by the time his illness became more obvious, and he could minimize their suffering by hiding it as long as possible.

It’s strange to sit here and rationalize Walt being a considerate family man given what I know about him, but I guess I’m conditioned to want to like him because he’s the main character of the show, in spite of the fact that he’s a drug pusher and a murderer.

But again, a lot of the time when murdering is brought up, they allude to him doing it for someone else’s protection. Jessie tells Hank that Walt has “a zero tolerance policy on threats” so I suppose it isn’t unreasonable to assume that anytime he kills someone, it’s just a preemptive strike.

Which is why this question of “why did he poison an eight year old” is so pressing to me. One thing I was careful to note was that when Saul suggests killing Jessie, Walt absolutely refuses. And in the finale, when Walt has the opportunity to kill him, he doesn’t take it. Their situation is obviously more complex than I realize at this point.

Anyways, other questions:

Jessie, like Todd, calls Walt “Mr. White.” Minutes after I got done asking myself “Was Walt his teacher in high school?” he says that he was. Was Todd in the same class? How old are Jessie and Todd? Hank and others keep calling Jessie “kid” and the actor playing him could pull off a reasonably young age.

When did Hank and Marie start catching onto what Walt was up to? Marie blames herself for not noticing earlier. Evidently Walt and Skyler explained some purchases with “blackjack winnings.” Presumably Hank at least knew about a guy dealing high gravity meth long before he ever made any kind of connection to Walt.

Hank keeps Jessie in the house, reminding Marie that his “last ten witnesses” were all knocked off somehow. Were these the guys Walt had hit in prison through Jack, who I’m guessing is Aryan Brotherhood?

Lots of references were made in this episode and previous episodes about Jessie’s drug use. What was he on, how long has he been using, and (they mention a rehab stint) when did he relapse? Did he even relapse, or does everyone just assume he’s strung out because of how angry he is?

Random notes:

From my previous limited exposure to the show I always assumed the guy who turned out to be Jessie was supposed to be kind of a funny character. That may still be the case but right now this guy has problems

Walt confusedly putters around and tries to throw out the gas can in his neighbor’s rubbish

Skyler pours herself a stiff one in the extremely nice hotel they’re staying at

Marie is so angry that she gives a rote recitation of the effects of some poison to her therapist like a psycho

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