No meth being cooked, no sign of Todd ‘Ricky Hitler’ Alquist, and not much in the way of action. So begins the final run of the best little show about amateur chemistry since Bill Nye the Science Guy. And I actually didn’t mind the slow pace of “Blood Money”. It’s a nice easy intro into what’s bound to be a blood-drenched season and, at the very least, the showrunners didn’t drag out Hank’s discovery of Walt’s secret identity. But more on that later.
Right now, I’d like to talk about the flash-forward intro to the episode. In case you haven’t seen it (and, if you haven’t, Spoilers!), Walt, now disguised and living under an assumed name, returns to his home in suburban Albuquerque. Derelict and fenced off haphazardly, we can safely assume that it’s been some time since Walt (and his family?) went on the lam. Walt looks around, admires the graffiti in his former living room, and picks up the ricin he kept stashed in his bedroom. It’s clear that Walt’s identity as “Heisenberg” is now public knowledge, and the mere sight of our favorite clandestine chemist frightens the ever-living shit out of his former neighbor. So what can we take from this? Well it raises more questions than it answers, but we can at the very least say that: (A) Walt won’t be using that ricin on anyone this season (or, as it’s the last, ever): (B) Walt likely makes his disappearance before he’s imprisoned, but the fact remains that Hank must at some point decide to try and prosecute him, prompting him to run in the first place; and (C) life on the run has not been good – Walt is gaunt, worn down, and looks homeless. Somewhere along the line between the events of here and there, most of Walt’s money vanishes right along with him. And there’s someone he needs dead.
Returning to the present-day events of the episode, we turn to some of our other regulars.
We were never told what Jesse planned to do after retirement. It turns out not much. He’s still in the same house, hanging out with the same old friends, bored to tears by their conversation (although I’d pay good money to watch Badger’s proposed episode of Star Trek) and clearly wracked with guilt. In classic Jesse Pinkman style, he demonstrates once again that he is smarter than we give him credit for, but not smart enough for his own good. Five million dollars brings him no joy. He wants rid of it, in fact, and I don’t blame him. I think Jesse is the only character in the show, still living, who is suffering. The man is in pain. He’s the wildcard. Watch out for him in episodes to come.
Back to Hank. DEAn Norris (geddit?) never did much for me as an actor. I mean he’s not bad, and he plays the ex-jock federale role quite well, but I honestly think that his confrontation of Walt in the Schrader garage was his best scene on the show to date. Actual emotion. Anger and betrayal and disgust. Not the hardest role to play, granted, but atta boy, Dean. Someone give that man a cookie.
So, overall? Good, not great. “Blood Money” gets a passing grade from Pond Hopping Girls because we’re glad to see it back and it’s early days yet. But I want to make it clear that I expect, nay, DEMAND a return to the good old days. I want crystal meth cooks, grisly murder, people getting dissolved in acid, and menacing Walter doing that “this is my deep scary voice” thing. We’ve waited long enough, AMC, deliver the goods. – J
“I don’t even know who I’m talking to [anymore]…”
“If that’s true, if you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.” – Hank, Walt