Breaking Bad Breakdown: To’hajiilee

by Nick Jobe · September 10, 2013 · Featured, Features, TV · 2 Comments

Episode: ”To’hajiilee” (5.13)

Original Air Date: 9/8/13

Written by: George Mastras

Directed by: Michelle MacLaren

Line Synopsis: Walt tries to find Jesse so Todd’s kin can take him out. Jesse formulates a plan with Hank to get enough evidence to arrest Walt.

Character Breakdown

Walt continues to show his pain in having to kill Jesse, since he sees Jesse as family. The reason he is having Todd’s family do it is because he can’t bring himself to do it… himself. What’s interesting about Walt is that he is truly an evil man, but when it comes down to it, he honestly will do anything to make sure his family stays safe. And by safe, I mean alive–personal life destruction is still possible, but life-taking is generally out of the question. He struggles with giving the order to take out Jesse. And at the end, despite everything, he will not kill Hank. He knows he’s lost, but he doesn’t want Todd’s family to kill Hank, Gomez, and Jesse. He tries to call it all off.

Jesse is really showing his intelligence lately. There’s a great line where I believe Saul tells Walt that Jesse isn’t the stupid kid Walt thinks he is. And his and Hank’s plan to entrap Walt is quite smart. In the grand scheme of the MacBeth connections, this almost solidifies Jesse as the role of Banquo. Banquo was there with MacBeth during the prophecy of the three witches. Together, they took the same information and went different ways with it. MacBeth became power hungry and lost his morality, while Banquo would be accepting of the power if he didn’t have to give up his honor and morals to get it. When these morals continually get in the way, MacBeth sees him as a threat and has to put his friend to death. And while Jesse hasn’t yet died, this makes me fear for his future.

Hank is becoming even more of an intriguing character. Similar to Jesse, he’s a total foil for Walt. Going back to MacBeth, Hank takes on the role of Macduff. Macduff leaves his family behind in Scotland to go to England… with disastrous results that leave him emotionally crippled. When Macduff hear’s of all MacBeth’s crimes, he goes to stop him and, eventually, kills him. While I’m not sure that will happen due to the flash-forwards, the journey to get there and the ensuing battle are definitely here. And while Macduff is the moral center of the play, he’s also a bit unstable. However, Hank is a bit more unstable than Macduff, and Hank shows a really strong foil connection here. Hank is similar to Walt in that he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. The difference between the two is how far each will go and what they’ll do with that power they have. Walt will use it for darkness, greed, and power, while Hank uses it more for justice, even if the line he walks is a bit gray.

Episode Thoughts

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Finally we have a reason for the show to continue with the Todd cooking subplot. They needed an excuse for a big shootout! Honestly, I’m not sure how strong of a reason it ultimately is, as all it seemed to be was an excuse to have Todd’s family force Walt into one more cook and then use that as an excuse to take on Walt’s job, leading to the shootout at the end of the episode. Regardless, it was a rather epic way to end the episode, one that left me actually screaming “WHAT?!” at my screen when it went to black.

Another question I had was if they recorded the phone call between Jesse and Walt. Walt gave a complete confession over the phone. Had they been recording the call, they wouldn’t need the money as evidence. Also, I’m marginally sad that the Andrea/Brock bit didn’t really go anywhere. They spent like 5 minutes of the episode with Walt at their house, and it was merely brushed aside since Hank never told Jesse about it. I get it for dramatic tension, and I loved seeing them again, but it really didn’t serve much of a purpose except for reintroducing the characters. In other words, I really hope that it comes back into play in the last few episodes.

Finally, how great was that scene with Huell? That guy cracks me up, and the way Hank broke him down until he was freaking out was pretty funny. Of course I feel bad for the guy since it was all a big lie, but that was a funny scene nonetheless.

But let’s be honest–this episode was all about that last 10 minutes or so. It was a great build-up which led to a rather OH MY GOD cliffhanger, and–as usual–I can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode.

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2 Responses to Breaking Bad Breakdown: To’hajiilee

  1. Nick Powell says:

    I love the Macbeth comparisons. Everything I’ve seen has been all about Hamlet, so seeing another Shakespearean tragedy unfold makes it even more interesting. Cannot wait for next week!

    • Nick Jobe says:

      I think I’ve made MacBeth comparisons in previous write-ups, too. I’ve seen them brought up before, and they’re pretty glaring when you really look at them. I hadn’t heard Hamlet connections, but I guess that kinda makes sense, too.

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