Episode of the Week: ‘Breaking Bad’ season 5, episode 11, ‘Confessions’

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a little bit of drama when trying to figure out the victor in our Episode of the Week feature, but this time around, we have to be honest here and say that there was really no drama this time at all. The show that ended up emerging victorious is exactly the show that you expected to going into this.

“Breaking Bad” started off its second half of season 5 with an hour in “Blood Money” that was polarizing based on what some fan reaction has been. There were some out there who seemed to genuinely love what the folks over at AMC did with the hour, but others felt that it either moved too slowly with the Walt / Hank showdown, or progressed too quickly leading up to what is now one of the show’s most-iconic lines alongside “I’m the one who knocks” and “I am the danger”: “Tread lightly.”

We enjoyed the first two episodes, but “Confessions” is where it all came together in an opus of great television. From beginning to end, there was not a single moment in this episode that we wouldn’t watch again and again. The cold-open teased something potentially epic happening soon with Todd and his minions, and then we had the contentious scene at the restaurant, a brief Walter Jr. sighting, and then the incredible confessional video by Walt that spun the entire series with just a series of words. It was a master class in writing here, and a stunning way to see how Walt could try to turn everything that has happened so far completely on its head, and all for the sake of blaming Hank.

If this had been the only phenomenal scene of the hour, it would have been enough; but Aaron Paul probably secured himself another Emmy nomination next year with the story regarding Jesse Pinkman deciding that vengeance was more important than starting over. It’s a powerful thing for this character, who is effectively giving up himself in order to destroy Heisenberg. It is even more shattering when you remember that there’s a pretty good chance he is sacrificing his own life in order to make this happen. That scene with the gasoline? It’s probably going to haunt our dreams for quite a long time.

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