Season 5, Episode 11: “The Confession”
Just when you thought Walter White could once again become sympathetic, he implicates his own brother-in-law as the single greatest meth crime lord in what can only be described as the most diabolical power-move “confession” in the history of camcorders.
It’s become pretty clear that the relationship between Walt and Hank will probably never get back to the point where they’re going to be enjoying some Schraderbraü’s in the backyard anytime soon, and the moves Walt makes this episode in order to keep his ass out of jail has indefinitely put a barrier between the brothers-in-law.
During his interview with Jesse, Hank accidentally puts all his cards on the table. It’s obvious, through his mannerisms and shadiness in regards to the other agents, that Hank merely has his suspicions rather than cold, hard evidence. That fits right into Walt’s plan, as he can get away with denying just about as much as he wants to. But how could Hank have predicted what would come next.
Rather than send Hank on a trip to Belize, as was Saul Goodman’s suggestion, Walt puts a confession on tape, but the confession isn’t exactly what Hank had in mind. Rather, Walt goes on record as saying that he has been merely a pawn in Hank’s own game. It may sound like one man’s word against another, but Walt is so brilliant that he sounds plausible, weaving in actual facts that can be traced, like the fact that Walt and Skyler paid for Hank’s hospital bills after he was shot.
The whole scene is an amazing piece of writing; it’s almost as if this entire scene has been thought about for the entire show. Everything fits into place in this confession and even though we know that Walt is slinging mostly BS, it all makes complete sense and we can see that Walt is the one that holds all the cards.
The one loose end in Walt’s life is Jesse. He’s become unhinged and the fact that Hank knows that Walt and Jesse are connected means that Jesse will continue to feel pressure from the DEA. In a meeting, Walt does his usual song and dance of trying to push Jesse into making a decision, playing the role of his wise elder looking out for him. He needs Jesse to disappear in order to keep him away from the law enforcement, but Walt plays it like it’s in Jesse’s best interest. After years of this, though, Jesse has had enough and basically tells Walt to cut the shit and just be honest to him. It’s a heartfelt scene in which Jesse finally pushes back at Walt.
Jesse agrees to start over and with a quick call from Saul to one of his guys, Jesse’s on his way to somewhere else (maybe Alaska) with the world ahead of him. But with a pick of his pocket, Jesse FINALLY puts the pieces together concerning the ricin cigarette, which assuredly has been on his mind since Brock went to the hospital. This is a revelation that leads Jesse back to Saul’s and fits in with some of the flash forwards that started off this half-season.
This was a great episode, especially for Jesse. He’s finally snapped out of his malaise and is starting to show that he is primed for the redemption that we (meaning me) expect from him in these last few episodes. His arc, from the near-death of Brock and amped up with the death of the kid on the bike, has become more of the protagonist than it has ever been, while Walt has become the antagonist in his own tale of redemption.