Suggested murder; therapy sessions; and a few very important phone calls.
When we last left our favorite group of dysfunctional Albuquerque residents, a furious Jesse—fueled by the confirmation of Walt’s despicable actions—was frantically dousing the White home with gasoline, prepared to send it up in flames. “Rabid Dog” begins with Walt arriving home, ready to confront Jesse with his defrosted heat. In a suspenseful opening, he searches his home for his vengeful former partner, who’s nowhere to be found. Jesse did leave behind a souvenir, however: gasoline all over the White house. And the container.
During a meeting with Saul and Kuby regarding Jesse’s whereabouts, Saul makes a suggestion about dealing with Jesse considering his current unpredictable state. He compares Jesse to Old Yeller—a loyal dog who had to be put down, for his own good. “You’re full of colorful metaphors, aren’t you Saul?” Walt asks. This entire series is, Walt. This entire series is. “Do not float that idea again,” he warns in the Heisenberg voice. He wants his surrogate son found—alive.
Due to the overwhelming smell of gasoline which has worked its way through their carpet, the White’s have taken up residence at a hotel. It’s there that Sklyer calls Walt out about the not-so-discrete meet-up with his counsel, forcing him to reveal that Jesse is the reason they’ve been forced to relocate to the posh hotel. Her disdain for Jesse is instantly reignited.
Walt makes excuses for him like any concerned father would, explaining that he’s going to “talk to him” to “make him see the reason” why he had no choice but to poison an eight-year-old. “These are just euphemisms...you’re using here, right?” Skyler asks. Mrs. Heisenberg all but ordered the hit, but the man himself isn’t having it. “Jesse isn’t just some...some rabid dog,” he reminds her. But, as Skyler reminds him, what’s another body when the person poses a threat to you and your family? It’s the devil’s arithmetic.
Twenty-five minutes into the episode and two people have already suggested murking Jesse. Each episode of Breaking Bad gets progressively darker as the show approaches the finish line.
So what the hell happened to Jesse? Well, he was fully prepared to burn the White residence to the ground, but someone stopped him. That someone was Hank. Agent Schrader promises that teaming up is the way to really burn Walter White to the ground, so the odd couple departs, armed with the common goal of destroying the man who betrayed them. As viewers, we can only pray for deleted scenes showing more interactions between these two on the DVDs. Talk about hilariously awkward.
Marie is in therapy this week, where her ass belongs. While giving her shrink the victim spiel, she admits that she’s thought about killing the person (Walt, in this case) who’s brought her family such grief. She even goes as far as to divulge a method. Marie is a pushy shrew and kleptomaniac, so Breaking Bad has never made it easy to feel anything but contempt for her, but Betsy Brandt’s performance in this scene almost makes you feel a shred of pity for Marie. She’s come to the realization that she’s facing a much greater evil. When she arrives home, she discovers that the Schrader’s have an unexpected guest: Jesse. He’s really the ultimate lost boy. She’s not exactly thrilled, but agrees to it as long as it aids the destruction of Walt. This is the same woman who almost recommended that he kill himself in last week’s episode. Those Lambert women are a special breed.
At the hotel, Walt sits by the pool deep in thought. You already know what he’s thinking; it’s reminiscent of that scene in Season 4’s “End Times” where he’s seated in his backyard, spinning his gun around trying to formulate a plan—until he’s joined by Walt, Jr. When his biological son asks what’s on his mind, Walt replies “Business stuff. Just going over some options.” You know exactly what he means. The most heart-wrenching moment of “Rabid Dog,” comes when Junior—fighting back tears—embraces his father as they talk about the return of his cancer. He’s slowly coming to grips with the fact that he’s losing his father. He has no idea that he’s already lost him.
Back at Casa de Schrader, Jesse consents to an interview with Hank and Agent Gomez, but tells them there’s no evidence connecting Walt to anything. Gomez agrees, but Hank produces Jesse’s phone (Hello Kitty case and all), which contains a voicemail from Walt giving Jesse a specific location and time to meet up and talk. The feds want to put a wire on Jesse in hope of catching Walt dirty, but Jesse is convinced they’re simply escorting him to his death. Hank convinces—or rather strong-arms—him to do it, but Gomez still has his doubts. What if Pinkman’s right? As long as Hank gets what he wants (dirt on Walt), he couldn’t care less. What’s one less “junkie murderer” to the world? And we wonder why Jesse struggles with authority figures.
During the showdown at Civic Plaza, a terrified Jesse freezes up before abandoning the plan. He runs to a pay phone and calls Walt, threatening to “get [him] where he really lives.” When an enraged Hank chases him down in his vehicle like a dog catcher hunting a rabid canine, he explains that there’s a better way to get Walt. As for Walt, well, he calls Todd about a possible opportunity for his uncle.
The downward spiral continues.