Breaking Bad, Season 5, Part 2

A Round of Applause for Lydia, Please
Talking television.
Sept. 9 2013 9:00 AM

Breaking Bad, Season 5, Part 2

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Surely the final showdown will be between Walt, Hank, and Jesse, right?

Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 13
Bryan Cranston asWalter White in Breaking Bad

Photo courtesy Ursula Coyote/AMC

June’s right—it sure was great to see Jesse thinking straight once again and reminding us of how clever he can be when he’s got his focus. A well-executed plan, and some major-league taunting.

But I also want to lead a round of applause for Lydia. She wanted the Aryans to double down their focus on quality, and now they’re doubling down their focus on quality. They tried to trick her into making a direct introduction to her European client; she ducked it and remained indispensible. Then she got on a flight back home. Now with everyone in Albuquerque at everyone else’s throats, nobody’s gunning for Lydia.

But about that raging gun battle. Whatever happened to old-fashioned marksmanship? I kept waiting for someone to get popped. Couldn’t they at least have let Hank pick off one of the random background Aryans? It kind of rubbed me the wrong way. On the other hand, what a cliffhanger! I am completely and sincerely going insane with desire to know how this plays out.

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Using extratextual logic, if this wasn’t the last season of the show I’d say the outgunned DEA agents were definitely doomed. Walt partnering up with Todd as a quasi-captive of a white supremacist gang would reboot the show’s basic dynamic. It would be a little lame to get repetitive like that, but getting lame in later seasons is what TV shows often do. But as we hurtle toward the finale, it would seem bizarre for Walt’s final showdown to be with Todd and/or his uncle rather than Hank and Jesse. So I have to believe that our friends in law enforcement are somehow going to pull this thing out. Could Walt ride to the rescue somehow and even further complicate things? 

Too hard to say. So here’s another question instead: Do we think Skyler’s been smart enough to keep a chunk of cash aside somewhere so she and the kids can make a run for it if necessary? That seems like the kind of thing she would do. But we haven’t seen any evidence of it that I recall. While I appreciate her desire to keep Walt Jr. in the dark, at some point it becomes suicidal to stick around town when you know what an unreliable narrator your husband is.

Time is of the essence,

Matt  

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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