Breaking Bad: Blood Money Review: The Beginning of the End

Aaron Frias

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After painstakingly waiting an entire year for new episodes of this phenomenal television series, we are finally in the presence of new material that opens up new doors.  While some of the issues from previous episodes have been answered in this week’s episode, more theories and questions begin to formulate.  We are witnessing the beginning of an inevitable and dramatic conclusion to one of the most intense stories ever told in recent history.  It’s a story involving a dying man who only had his entire family in his heart throughout everything that’s happened.

Cutting right to the chase, how about that bone-chilling opening glimpse of the future?  This is our second time seeing Walter completely transformed.  Despite all of his wrongdoings, one can’t help but feel a little pity for Walter…or whoever this strange man is.  He just looks so lost, yet calm.  This is no longer Walter White nor is it Heisenberg.  He just is; a person no longer with an ego.  Seeing “Heisenberg” in graffiti and watching him simply stare at it is very unsettling, only reminding him who he once was and who he is now.  It should go without saying that seeing the White House turn to a tweaker pad is absolutely devastating to witness.  He was so proud of the man that he had become that he created a cult following; a cult full of meth-heads.  We also learn that the ricin was still hidden in the master bedroom.  Not to mention, he has a huge machine gun in the trunk of his car.  I’ll throw it out there that Carol, the neighbor, looked like she saw a ghost.  Did she think he was dead all this time?  Is she threatened by his presence?

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We then jump back to present day.  It was a question that was forming in everyone’s minds during the mid-season break.  What was Hank going to do?  Was he going to confront Walter right away?  Was he going to keep his cool?  Turns out, he almost endangers himself and Marie by nearly crashing the car.  He had a panic-attack; a severe one I might add.  He finally pieced everything together and it hit him like a ton of bricks.  Later on, I particularly enjoyed watching Hank go through the boxes of evidence.  It made the audience feel like they were witnesses and it was a nice recap of everything we know.

Along with Walter’s transformation, Jesse has gone through some major changes as well and for the better.  He’s more mature, self-aware, has a good heart (for the most part) and understands the risks.  When we see Walt and Jesse work together for the first time, Jesse had the ego and Walt was humble.  Now it’s the complete opposite.  Seeing him throw out his “blood money” shows how much Pinkman has grown and trying to forget his past.  He puts others before him, something he would have never done in Season 1.

Then comes the clash of the titans.  Hank vs. Walt/Heisenberg; much like the plane crash above Walt’s house.  Both parties, prior to this, were prospering in their careers and now both will cause each others’ demise.  After Walt calls Hank out for planting the very same bug they were trying to use on Fring, Hank shuts the garage door.  Everything just felt tense and uneasy.  That alone will be remembered as a classic scene.  Then, Hank carelessly punches Walt in the eye, puts all the cards on the table, to which Walt warns Hank to “tread lightly” after he says that he doesn’t know who he’s talking to.  It’s interesting to know that these two characters have known each other for years, yet it felt like they met for the first time.  Hank finally became face-to-face with Heisenberg.

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Everything about this episode felt right.  All the burning questions in my mind for the past year were answered and it’s comforting to know that the new questions I have will be answered in a few short weeks.  I hope to see more of Badger and Skinny Pete’s ridiculous tangents, Skyler and Lydia possibly forming a rivalry now, how Marie and more importantly, how Walter Jr. will react to the truth, showing how Walt is acting more and more like Gus, and Hank and Walt’s cat and mouse game spinning out of control.  “Blood Money” was a fantastic return of the great Heisenberg and a reminder as to why “Breaking Bad” is the undisputed king of television.

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