“Blood Money” – Breaking Bad

breaking-badNo 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

Quoteworthy: 

“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

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8 thoughts on ““Blood Money” – Breaking Bad

    • We’re all entitled to differing opinions. Sorry you disagreed with our reviewer, but thank you for reading all the same. We hope you’ll keep checking in with us over the next few weeks – maybe eventually you and J will find something you can agree on.

  1. Good review, though I don’t agree entirely – I thought this was a fantastic, near-flawless premiere. I also don’t agree with everything here: “(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.”

    I think we’re likely to see some of the season spent post-Walt’s 52nd birthday, and that ricin will probably come into play …somehow. I’m also not convinced that Hank necessarily prosecutes Walt, at least initially. Plenty of things could put Walt on the run and reveal his identity without Hank’s hand – Ricky Hitler’s uncle might decide to go after his money, or Lydia’s reaction to him leaving the business might be more extreme than we’ve seen thus far. He’s definitely on the run, but I’m not convinced it’s from the DEA – or, at least, not just the DEA.

    • I’m glad you liked it. No, really. I don’t want that to sound disingenuous. It’s nice to see people like the stuff you like. But I wasn’t entirely satisfied by the episode. I expected a little more. And don’t you tell me that those good men and women at AMC can’t provide that.
      But, yeah, you raise some valid points. About the ricin – yeah, ok, it might slip into someone’s coffee before the closing scene of “Felina”. Perhaps what I meant was that the ricin is still intact before the Doom (a phrase I’m coining to help me cope with the loss of Breaking Bad, deal with it as you please). But isn’t that a bit of a valid point? I mean, Walt leans on ricin pretty heavily; he was going to use it on Lydia, Fring, Tuco… Mike is the exception, but I think we can all agree that man deserves a soldier’s death). So I just think it’s interesting that Walt doesn’t try to poison anyone before the Doom.
      As for the return of Ricky Hitler and the Let’s-Not-Say-Aryan-Brootherhood, yeah, that’s pretty likely. I mean, who else would be cooking Lydia’s “67% and falling’’ meth? Todd had apprenticed to Walt and I can see him becoming some kind of tweaked out, falling apart, Neo-Nazi meth lord. I’m actually looking forward to it.
      The fact is, we can only guess, but our guesses are informed by what we know of the show. Who’s Walt running from? Not just the DEA is a good answer, but I’ve fixed my bets, and I say that Hank will be instrumental in the Doom of Walter White. Will anyone else? Only time can tell. – J

    • “So I just think it’s interesting that Walt doesn’t try to poison anyone before the Doom.” Yeah, that’s an interesting point, especially given his failure seems to be so utter. I think Hank will definitely play a significant role in the fall of Walt, but I’m hopeful they take a route other than straightforward prosecution.

    • Not sure! I’m certainly not as creative or imaginative as the Breaking Bad writers. I would think Hank’s first priority would be to remove Walt from Skyler and his children – hence his request for Walt to bring the kids around at the end of this episode – so if there’s some way he can get Skyler, Walt Jr and Holly away from Walt I’d expect that would be his first priority. Hank would have to be aware of the personal repercussions of prosecuting Walt, given what happened to his boss early season 5.

    • I think it’s an interesting point that Hank is well aware of the fact that prosecuting Walt is career suicide. And, to his eternal credit, his first move was to get Skler and the kids away from Walt, despite his earlier admission that he “doesn’t give a shit about family”. So I agree with you to a large extent. As for what will happen, I’ve been consulting with my spirit guide and I’ll be really surprised if Todd and the Neo-Nazis aren’t brought back. I’m also not that sure if Skyler and the kids live.
      I found this and it really set the gears turning. The bedroom door is smashed in. Someone was in there, and someone broke in. Walt looks like he remembers it right? So either he did it, or he was a witness. But why hole up in your bedroom if it’s federal agents? Why would Walt break down his own door? So someone had to be scared enough to lock themselves in and someone clearly made shit of the door. Why have we neither seen nor heard of Skyler post Doom? Because she was killed. ……..

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