Breaking Bad: ‘To’Hajiilee’ – Why settle for blue meth when you can have bluish-if-it-catches-the-light-just-right instead? Todd’s cook has a more subtle style, yo.

It looks like Todd might be crushing on Lydia, and since he can’t yet cook her that sweet blue meth she’s been trying to successfully deliver to the Czech market since Walt ditched the biz, he tries to make it up to her by making her a cup of her tea to her specifications. Something tells me that nothing is ever quite up to Lydia’s specifications, but tea isn’t what she wants Todd to focus on. The whole bit where they discussed adding dye to the meth to achieve the correct hue like they do with salmon was hilarious. Todd’s music tastes are a little antiquated, but “She blinded me with Science” as his ringtone was inspired in my opinion, though I know others will argue it’s too on the nose because of his focus on Lydia.

The car wash is such a great location for tense scenes to develop. It’s such a banal backdrop. And the juxtaposition of the mundane rituals of a local business with the disintegration of Walt’s carefully constructed underworld just makes the tension escalate before the action even starts. The beginning of the con on Walt to get him to give away the location of the money – the one thing that can actually bring about his demise – occurs while Skyler and Walt, Jr. are shuttling customers through the car wash with their tired “Have an A1 day” motto to “reinforce their brand.” Saul shows up and the tension ratchets up. We know something is getting ready to go down. About that, when Walt notices the bullet proof vest, it’s obvious that he doesn’t even consider that Saul is wearing it to assure that Walt won’t harm him either. It’s clear that Walt is more Walt in this scene than Heisenberg. Heisenberg would have been clear-headed, and emotion wouldn’t have clouded his judgement allowing him to conclude that Jesse might not have been able to discover his burial ground. I think he wouldn’t have fallen for the con. But Walt has those feelings for Jesse that set the con in motion. And Jesse lit the fuse because he knows what buttons to push.

Those last few seconds of heart-pounding gunfire are when you find out what you are made of. My gut reaction was interesting because it was instinctive, and I was seriously concerned to find that I only cared about Jesse. Hank had just shared that touching phone call with Marie. I’ve always loved Gomie. Even Walt’s character finally achieved redemption when he called off the hit realizing that Hank was there, too. I think ultimately he wouldn’t have been able to see them take out Jesse either, but we’ll never know on that one. But as the gunfire went on and on and on, all I could think was, “Is Jesse ok? Please let Jesse make it out of this unscathed!” I think I know why Jesse remains my weakness. Sure, he’s got his flaws, and he’s by no means an innocent. But, Jesse has been pulled along on this nightmare at Walt’s insistence. Nothing done has been of his choosing. And as you listen to Walt plead with and berate him during that call as he is racing to his hiding place, you hear Walt say exactly that. Hank and Gomez know the dangers they face in their job. But Jesse hooked up with Mr. White, his impossibly nerdy and nonthreatening chem teach, to cook up some meth for a lark. How could he possibly have foreseen that things would go this godawful bad?

4 thoughts on “Breaking Bad: ‘To’Hajiilee’ – Why settle for blue meth when you can have bluish-if-it-catches-the-light-just-right instead? Todd’s cook has a more subtle style, yo.

  1. I love that Walt’s worlds are colliding. Jesse and Skyler sharing green beans, Junior star-gazing at Saul . . . it’s just so horrible and fascinating.

    If you believe like I do (and I think you do) that nothing is wasted on this show – no scene, no line, no background scenery – then there must be some meaning in those songs Todd was listening to. Remember “Thunder Island?” This is playing in the background as Todd watches Lydia leave. My brother had that album, selected from Columbia House Records in the late 1970s. The lyrics tell about a love tryst between a man and his lady, stranded on an island during a terrible storm. Prophetic for Todd and Lydia? Maybe I just want to see some action.

    It didn’t occur to me that Saul would fear Walt at this point. Then again, I think Saul is in fear of everyone, from Jesse on down. And where is Kuby?

    1. I think you nailed it with your statement that Saul is in fear of everyone at this point. I think the bullet proof vest wasn’t worn for Walt specifically, but I have no doubt that he doesn’t trust Walt. And I don’t think it occurred to Walt in this state that he’s been someone people fear — a trait he’s celebrated at times. He was stripped of his Heisenbergness. Love your background on “Thunder Island” and I know you’re right on nothing being wasted on this show. It will be interesting to see where Todd and Lydia end up. She didn’t seem to welcome Todd’s attention. She’s a bit prickly though.

      Horrible and fascinating — YES! I watched this entire episode with big, giddy grin on my face that never wavered and it was brought on by horror, joy, fear and surprise. Like ‘Full Measure’ and ‘One Minute,’ I don’t think TV gets any better than an episode like this.

      1. During the shootout, I grabbed my husband’s hand and held on tight. When the end credits rolled, we looked at each other, our mouths open, barely breathing.

        Good point about Walt losing his Heisenbergness. You’re right – a calm, in-control Heisenberg would know that the rental van didn’t have a GPS, so the stash could never be located by anyone else. And was Jesse smiling when Walt was cuffed? His expression seemed to morph from a hesitant grin to pained confusion. And where do you think he was trying to sneak off to in those final seconds?

        1. I don’t know what Jesse was planning when he was reaching for the door handle, but I was internally chanting, “Don’t do it. Walt might save you if you make it through the shoot out, but you’re #1 on their list so STAY HIDDEN IN THE CAR!”

          I’m so glad you brought up Jesse’s expressions when Walt came out from behind the rock. That whole sequence was so much fun. Watching the play of emotions on Jesse’s face go from triumph to confusion back to triumph to anguish (I think?) at one point to anger to confusion. It was incredible. And that stare down between Walt and Jesse while Hank is Mirandizing him. It was like Hank and Gomez were completely inconsequential. It felt to me like Walt stripped some of Hank’s victory from him by focusing solely on Jesse but Hank seemed oblivious to that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *