Breaking Bad: ‘Blood Money’ Episode Review

Hank Meets Heisenberg.

The final eight episodes of Breaking Bad are here and the end is nigh for Walter White.

From a mild High-School chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer to a Crystal Meth drug-lord, the story of Heisenberg has been an enthralling, emotional rollercoaster and this rides’ wheels are about to fall off.

Previous episode ‘Gliding Over All‘ ended with Walt’s DEA brother-in-law Hank uncovering the truth that Walt was Heisenberg all along whilst sat on the throne. Episode 9 of Season 5 begins with a flashforward, and it’s not a pretty sight.

(SPOILERS)

Cue Walt, arriving at his now desolate home, branded with graffiti (HEISENBERG stood out, a lot) and his pool occupied with skateboarding teens. We see Walt retrieve the ricin he’d hidden in episode 2 ‘Madrigal’, before taking a look at his gaunt, scruffy face in a broken mirror. Outside, we get another look at his car’s trunk and the giant gun that he purchased in the flashforward of ‘Live Free Or Die‘, ending with a terrified Carol…and we’re off!

‘Blood Money’ immediately sees Hank (finally off the toilet seat) overwhelmed with his discovery of Heisenberg’s identity, struggling to come to terms with the fact that this might’ve been Walt all along and the ramifications it’ll have on his life. After suffering a mini nervous-breakdown, Hank (Dean Norris) starts frantically wading through past evidence, trying to piece things together. As affable a character Hank is, we’ve seen him implode before with emotional issues; he’s a timebomb. Clearly he’s conflicted because he hasn’t gone public with his findings, so it will be interesting to see how everything blows up.

Walter (Bryan Cranston), on the other hand is still out of the empire business despite Lydia’s pleas for him to go back, whilst Skyler White (Anna Gunn) is surprisingly subdued until she learns of Lydia’s offer to Walt. There are plans to expand their business, but it’s the Car Wash that is the priority now, not the blue stuff.

The only twinkle in Walt’s eye regarding his meth past is when he visits Jessie, a shadow of his former self. His eyes tell a story here, as Aaron Paul extraordinarily nails down a character who was once a exuberant, youthful dealer that has had to shoulder enormous guilt, heartache and trauma. Dejected, Jessie seeks to do away with his $5 million share, where he’s interrupted by Saul and Walt’s joint efforts. At a loss, Jessie simply resorts to tossing bundles of cash out in the streets. Now there’s a drive-by I’d like to be a part of!

The main focal point of this episode was the standoff in Hank’s garage between Walter and Hank. Hands down, it proved to be one of the biggest scenes in Breaking Bad’s history. From unbearable tension to in-your-face drama in mere seconds, Vince Gilligan delivers yet another masterclass in television. This was the scene that every Bad fan wanted to see and it didn’t disappoint.

What is so great about the show is it’s script, and not just for Walt or Jessie’s characters, but for minor characters like Badger, who perfectly captures Bad’s lighter, humorous  side with his idea for a Star Trek story (which sounds awesome by the way).

This might be the post Breaking Bad delirium sitting in and the fact that I am overjoyed at its return, but I’m going to go ahead and rate this episode at 4 & 1/2 STARS. ‘Blood Money’s ending contributes a lot to that. It provided us with those heart-pounding closing moments that the show has seen time and time again throughout its run, but this one is different. It’s aesthetically powerful, but emotionally devastating when we see Walt’s pride get the best of him yet again, letting his alter-ego lie, lie and lie before warning Hank to “Tread Lightly”…subtle.

Enjoy the remainder of Breaking Bad while it lasts people, you’re watching arguably the greatest television show ever made.

But as they say, all bad things must come to an end.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Breaking Bad: ‘Blood Money’ Episode Review”
  1. thedavidryan says:

    Hi great article! I love Breaking Bad and wrote an article on Walter White’s worst moments http://thedavidryan.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/walter-whites-worst-moments/ would love your thoughts.

    Thanks,

    Dave

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