‘Breaking Bad’ Recap: Season 5 Episode 12, ‘Rabid Dog’
There seems to be a trend growing with these final eight episodes wherein each episode picks up exactly where the last one left off, only to then end in a cliffhanger, thus allowing the next episode to pick up exactly where that one left off. Well this Sunday’s episode was no exception.
Following the events of ‘Confessions,’ the episode opens by showing Walt pulling up to his house to confront Jesse, seeing Saul’s car pretty much parked on his lawn. Walt walks in, though, only to find that Jesse isn’t there. His carpet and house are soaked in gasoline, but it seems Jesse didn’t go through with the threat.
Walt does his best to get the smell of the gasoline out of the carpet, but only so much can be done and so he concocts a story to tell Skylar and Jr. about how there was a pump malfunction at the gas station and blah blah blah. The point is, as if to drill it home even further, Walt simply can’t stop lying.
Under the guise of getting away from the deadly fumes, Walt and his family get rooms at a hotel nearby. In reality, this is for protection. Walt calls Jesse, desiring to talk to him and explain the situation, and it truly seems like Walt still wants to be on good terms. He thanks Jesse for “changing his mind” at his house and asks him to sleep on it and calm down.
That night at the hotel, though, it seems that Walt is the only one that wants to reconcile with Jesse. Walt has a quick meeting with Saul in his car, where Walt is advised to “pull an old yeller” on Jesse. Walt flatly turns him down, but upon returning to his hotel room, Skylar demands to know what is actually happening and upon hearing the details, she too recommends “taking care” of Jesse.
Walt sits by the pool the rest of the night, clearly contemplating this rather difficult decision. Walt Jr. comes down to talk to his dad and remind us all that, oh yeah, he’s still suffering from lung cancer (although, honestly, this scene is probably one of the most touching moments the two have shared in the entire series), but ultimately we are left with Walt’s decision unmade.
Come back from commercial break, and we are now seeing things from Jesse’s perspective, as he douses the White’s house in gasoline. As he’s about to burn the place down, though, we find that it’s not a change of heart that sways his hand, but a loaded gun, held by Hank.
Hank, it turns out, has been tailing Jesse. He finally convinces Jesse to testify against Walt, and the two drive back to Hank’s house – the only place Hank knows that Walt will not be looking for Jesse.
After a restful night’s sleep, Hank and Gomez sit Jesse down in front of a camera as Jesse recalls everything that’s happened between him and Walt. Unfortunately, as Jesse himself points out, there’s no physical evidence to back him up, it’s simply a case of Jesse’s word against Walt’s.
That’s when Hank reveals that he has Jesse’s phone, and that Walt has called him, asking that they meet in public to simply talk. Jesse puts it out there that this is most likely a trap set to take him out, but Hank asserts that Jesse doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.
Now wired up, Jesse gets dropped off at the plaza where he is to meet Walt. Jesse’s paranoia is at an all-time high as he slowly makes his way to where Walt sits on a bench, alone – or so it seems. Jesse sees a rather thug-ish looking man standing not too far from Walt, seemingly waiting for someone. Jesse assumes this man is here to kill him, and in this moment we as the audience are unsure of whether he is correct or not.
Now sure that Walt is going to kill him, Jesse changes course against Hank’s wishes and heads for a pay phone which he uses to call Walt. “Nice try, asshole,” Jesse says to a confused-sounding Walt. Jesse goes on to say that he’s going to take down Walt, finally cementing the conflict between the two that has been brewing. Hank picks up Jesse, telling him he’s an idiot, to which Jesse replies that he knows of another way to bring Walt down.
Walt, meanwhile, stands up from his bench and begins walking toward the burly man Jesse was eyeing, only to walk past him as a little girly shouts “daddy” and runs into the mysterious man’s arms. Ha ha, whoops! What a hilarious misunderstanding!
Back in his car, though, Walt makes a call. At first he speaks in vague terms, before getting down to business: “Todd… I may have another job for your uncle.”
If there were those frustrated by Jesse’s actions last episode (“If he had just given Saul his weed,” “If he had just gotten in the car,” etc), then those same people will probably be infuriated this week. When everyone was trying to convince Walt that Jesse was a rabid dog (hey, that’s the name of the episode!) that needed to be put down, Walt still wanted to be on peaceful terms with Jesse. Instead, Jesse let his paranoia get the better of him (although, to be fair, that wasn’t without reason) and then had to issue a threat, and now everything’s gone sour.
All in all, while this episode didn’t have the same “oh shit” moments as “tread lightly” and “this is my confession,” it was still a powerful episode and one that really draws the borders around just who will be up against who in the final four episodes. With so few episodes left, it’s tough to say just what to expect next week, although I’m sure it will probably start off with the ramifications of Jesse’s threat and Walt’s call. One thing’s for sure, though: this conflict can’t last forever, one way or another, things are going to end.