Lily of the Valley: This Week on Breaking Bad (Episode 15 / September 22, 2013)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

NOTE: Join us every MONDAY as we review the latest episode…

EPISODE 15: Granite State


The beginning of the end. Walt leaves his empire behind to live life, while Jesse’s alive, but dying on the inside. And then there’s Hank, whose gunning for the King. One wrong move could mean life or death, and at this point, it’s still anyone’s game.


(The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don’t recommend reading this if you haven’t watched this episode). In the final moments of last week’s episode we see Walt make use of Saul’s relocation guy, and as we open tonight, we see that Saul has made the same choice. Now in regard to last week, I was a little confused, but not about the fact that Walt knew he was being recorded, I just didn’t feel the same way most of you did about the speech. Some people thought it was him saying “I’m sorry” to Skyler. I disagree. Yes, he was making a play at clearing her name, but that was never going to fly. For one, Marie was never going to buy into it, not after the DVD they made accusing Hank. Plus, she just lost her husband, so rest assured she’s going to want to blame someone for that, and if Walt’s not around, it’ll be Skyler. That said, when I said I enjoyed seeing Walt put her in her place, I meant I think he was sincere when he called her a bitch, and was genuinely pissed that she didn’t just listen to him for once. Yes, the call was emotional. Skyler just pulled a knife on him, and Walt Jr, called the cops, but I just felt there was a different undertone to the whole thing.

I bring all this up because Saul tries to enlighten Walt on this scenario (he really hits it on the head when he points out all the times the cops took Mike’s money). Saul’s scared out of his mind. He wants out of that room and as far away from Walt as possible. Walt revisits his, “It’s not over until I say it’s over” speech, but a fit of coughing suggests otherwise, at least to Saul. We throw back to Skyler in a tough room, with a glazed over look that implies she’s still in denial. As much as my feelings for her character have shifted over the course of the show, I’ve always felt for her and the kids because ultimately if Walt was to lose, they were always the ones who would pay for it. I mean, damn, Skyler’s working for a cab company to make ends meet. And if that’s not bad enough, we get Todd showing up at the house. What a mind blowing scene that was. His calm, nonchalant way of speaking makes him one of the most intense villains this show has seen. The only thing scarier than not knowing what he’s going to do, is knowing what he’s capable of.

And then there’s Lydia. I couldn’t help but laugh as she reverted back to her paranoid self with a back to back restaurant meeting. I’m not surprised to hear she wants Skyler dead, nor am I surprised to see Todd insist she’s cool. Todd, monstrosity that he is, still respects Walter and though it’s impossible to know for sure, I believe he feels bad for Hank (or at least as bad as he could feel) and wants to do Walt right by Skyler, especially after things went sour in the desert. Of course, the news of his new batch being ninety-two percent was enough to change Lydia’s view in a heartbeat. She’s obviously not impressed to hear they have Jesse stowed away in the lab, but Lydia’s greed and pride are her weakness. Poor Jesse. It was cool to see him MacGyver up with the cuffs (I was worried he was ready to lay down and die there for a while), but as impressive as his grand escape was, I knew it wasn’t going down that way. And the price…was high. Again, Todd’s mannerisms are downright chilling. He’s your best friend right up until he’s shooting you in the back of the head. But hey, it’s nothing personal. Things have been building toward a Jesse and Todd fight to death, and I pray we get it.

BREAKING BAD SEASON 5’s fifteenth episode is an emotional rollercoaster through hell, but I have to say, I still feel that the direction these characters are moving in feels real and does the show justice (I wish I could say the same for DEXTER’s final season, but I won’t open that can of worms). Walt all cooped up in the mountains of New Hampshire, literally cut off from world, is no different from prison (aside from being shanked or gang raped in the shower). He’s up there, alone with his thoughts, and it’s got to be maddening. A month goes by, he’s getting frail (wedding ring falls off his finger), lonely (that had to be the most expensive game of cards in history), and worst of all, he’s beginning to fear the end. The call to Jr. was to be expected, and as much as I hated seeing it, I knew it would go down the way it did. If Jr. was that quick to turn on him at the house, he wasn’t going to get any better with it, especially now that the real repercussions are coming down on his family. Now that was Walter White on an emotional call. I felt for him when he called the DEA, but I knew based on the flash forward scenes something would happen. Seeing his old pals at Grey Matter steamroll him like that was just as bad as his family turning on him. The look on his face. And again, Heisenberg is back with something to live for.


Situational awareness is a key factor in any escape plan.


I decided to go on a lighter note tonight. When Walt’s looking over the DVD in the cabin. “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Two copies.” I thought it was genius.


Jesse vs. Todd. Make this happen!


Many things happened tonight. A close second is Todd’s reaction to Jesse’s confession tape. The grin on his face when Jesse mentions the shooting of that kid speaks wonders for Todd’s character, but I liked the humble moment between Walt and the dude in the cabin when he pays him to stay awhile. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Walt in that frame of mind.




About the Author

190 Articles Published