'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 5 Recap - 'Dead Freight' and a Jesse James Heist
Landry just murdered ANOTHER kid! Can't poor Jesse Plemons go through one show, just one, without murdering a minor?
Yes, that odd and confusing opening paid off in the end, as Little Kid On Dirtbike will be taking a dirt nap next episode. Not sure why the tarantula was involved, except maybe to remind us that this was in fact the same kid from the beginning, in case we thought that kids on dirt bikes were some kind of epidemic in New Mexico. In any case, I don't expect the tarantula to be a returning image or anything, even though things in this show often do. Who knows, maybe that's how Walt dies.
In any case, the sequence was fantastic. We just got finished watching the most stressful train heist ever end with Jesse almost getting flattened by the train and he, Walt and Todd (that's Jesse Plemons' character) celebrating over the big win. Then, we see Walt's expression change. Then Jesse's. Immediately, we think "oh shit." Then Todd turns to see Little Kid On Dirtbike, and once again we think "oh, SHIT." But then Todd pulls of a very Landry-like move in giving the kid a little wave, and we think we're going to cut to black, and we assume they'll just lie to this kid and it'll all be fine. And then Todd pulls out a gun and shoots the kid without hesitation. And we say "OH SHIT!"
We'll get back to child murder later. First:
That Don't Make You Jesse James
Walt is getting awfully good at this stuff, isn't he? He's able to walk into Hank's office, cry on cue, make Hank uncomfortable enough to leave, and in that time bug his computer and wire the room. A few wonderful moments in this scene: one, Walt just barely managing to put the frame back together when Hank walks back in, and two, Hank's still non-accusatory comments about Walt's new watch and new car. "As long as you have the money," he says. How many more episodes before he puts it together? Judging by the preview for next week's episode, Skylar might be ready to spill to Marie, which would mean that half of Albuquerque would know within an hour or two.
Walt and Jesse's planning for the heist is solid, too. I love the shot of Mike and Walt arguing with the slow zoom in on Jesse as he's figuring it out. First the magnets, now this? Jesse's getting smarter than Walt. And much credit is to, once again, to Aaron Paul, for sustaining that shot all the way through and perfectly playing the realization. The straw was a nice touch, too. Jesse's quirks really round out the character.
As Todd put it: "You guys really thought of everything." The plan is pretty much perfect, even though Bill Burr's broken down truck scheme didn't quite work out as expected. Then again, when do any of their plans go off without a hitch?
We do, though, see Walt's greed get in the way once again: as the truck is clearing and the engineers are getting back in the train, Mike desperately barks at Walt to pull Jesse and Todd out. It would be easy, too, as they already had 800 gallons at that point. But no, Walt wanted to get to 1,000, to the point where the tank is overflowing with the chemical. Will greed or ego be the thing that eventually does Walt in?
Skylar's Battle Continues
Walter Jr.—sorry, Flynn—makes things complicated yet again by refusing to stay with Hank and Marie and generally being a surly teenager. I guess you can't blame the kid, I'd be pissed if I was kicked out of my house too. On the plus side, Hank seems to be having fun with the baby. And oh my god, the purple. Marie and her purple. I'm waiting for the day when just the entire house is purple, top to bottom. It'll happen. It'll happen.
Last episode had an absolutely superb scene between Walt and Skylar, but this week's was much more subdued. At least Skylar got a few words in. There's some leverage in giving Walt an offer that he won't take. Still, something is going to have to happen on this end soon before it gets boring.
Lydia is Very Nervous
Lydia, who seems to be high strung every minute of every day, weasels her way out of an execution at Mike's hands in this one. I don't think Laura Fraser is a bad actress, but she needs something to play other than sutteringly nervous or desperate in every episode. There's more to this character, and I want to see it.
In fact, if there were a "Breaking Bad" spin-off, I would just love to see Mike and Lydia as a criminal duo. There's comedy in them hills. Mike repeating "I'm going to shoot you in the head with my pistol" and making Lydia do the same was a delightfully darkly comic moment, which is one of the things this show does best.
The Todd Identity
Yes, I named this section that because Jesse Plemons looks like the ginger Matt Damon. I am not ashamed to admit that.
What does Todd's cold-blooded act mean for the future? Knowing how Jesse feels about kids and, since Gale especially, about killing people, he's not likely to react well to this. But aside from killing Todd, there isn't much of a choice: Todd was in on the heist, and you heard Jesse say quite pointedly how nobody can know about it except the three of them. That was even followed with Walt asking Todd twice if that was "going to be a problem."
Todd has leverage. If there's any good reason to have to keep him alive, that's going to be trouble for Walt, Jesse and Mike. Oh, and Lydia. Guess she's part of the gang.