Breaking down ‘Breaking Bad’: season 5, episode 9, ‘Blood Money’ and the flashforward

Breaking Bad -Since “Breaking Bad” is basically the television equivalent of the drug that the show peddles, it merits a little something more than we can give you in just a single episode review right after it airs. It is almost like a gumbo: Tasty in the beginning, but even tastier when you let it sit there and have the flavors mix.

In talking with colleagues, reading critical responses, and gauging the land of over-sharing known as Twitter, there has been some surprises via the reactions to Sunday night’s “Blood Money.” Some felt that the Walt / Hank confrontation happened too quickly, whereas others felt the fight itself was too contrived.

While many are still talking about the fight, we are here today to dive into the flashforward, the harrowing look into what could be some of Walt’s final days. Why go back to his old house, which is now destitute and a model of a world gone by? Why take the ricin? What was with the “Heisenberg” sprawled across the wall? There was significance to much of what Vince Gilligan showed in this brief scene, including the teenagers in the backyard skating, almost a reflection of the sort of happy teenager that Walter Jr. could be if he was not part of such a broken world.

1. Carol – Clearly, the word is out in the future about who Walt really is, and that he is capable of hurting people, but has this escalated to a national, Casey Anthony level? Walt walks and speaks like he is not afraid of being recognized on his own street, which says something about his head space. He has either disposed of Hank, feels that he is no longer a threat to him, or he is so far along in the cancer that he no longer cares.

2. The ricin – Is Walt trying to kill himself? At this point in time, it feels meaningless to go back for something like this calling card to the show’s past. He may as well have went and found ricin elsewhere; it’s not that easy to obtain, but to risk going back to your condemned home? The purpose for this is fine-tuned and specific.

3. The wall – This “Heisenberg” was not a scarlet letter. It was a tribute. There was no shame in how it was written; it was large, and it was vivid. As terrible as Walt’s actions may be, there are also hordes out there of people who may seem him as a folk hero, a horrible rags-to-riches story. You can almost see someone pointing out the name and reading it out loud, and then Walt replying with “you’re g***amn right.”

4. The kids – The main thing worth noting here is that if Walt was really a Casey Anthony sort of story, there’s no way that his backyard pool would be used for anything. This is why we have drawn the conclusion from the flashforward that Walt is ultimately a big story in New Mexico, but perhaps nowhere else. The main people who care about his story are those who read the news and watch TV; but for the teenagers, he’s not “the danger.” He’s a guy who no longer lives there, and has left a pool behind. That’s it.

Conclusion – Walt’s dying, he’s on the run in some form, and he is seemingly alone. With great evil can come great loneliness, and this may be the cause of his death just as much as cancer.

Photo: ABC

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