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Season 5, Episode 12: “Rabid Dog”

How often the span of the run of Breaking Bad has anyone ever gotten the upper hand on Walt?  Outside of perhaps a select few times with Gus, there haven’t been many opportunities that someone has gotten Mr. White on the run.  Finally, it looks like Jesse may have paid him back for all the years as his lacky.

This is about as much a filler episode as can be afforded with so few episodes remaining, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad one.  It’s just that there was bound to be an episode where the pressure valve was released, and this seems to be the one to do just that.

The episode starts off with Walt heading to his home to find that Jesse had been there: Saul’s car is parked poorly in the driveway, the house reeks of gasoline, but Jesse is nowhere to be found.  While Walt and Saul’s men try to find Pinkman, we find out that just before Jesse got to torch the house, Hank intercepted him and brought him to Casa Del Schraeder to see if he’s finally ready to turn witness against Heisenberg.

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The title of the episode is “Rabid Dog” and much like a dog that foams at the mouth, Jesse runs around this episode with little to no indication of what he’s going to do next.  Like a dog once loyal, but now mad with sickness, Saul and Skyler both plead with Walt to recognize that it’s time for Jesse to be put down.  But Walt won’t hear of it; to him, Jesse is still the kid that he could push around and there’s still a way for both men to come together and settle their differences.

It’s interesting to see that Walt still holds on to the idea that he doesn’t need to (or can’t) kill Jesse; this loyalty is starting to become exposed as his most attainable weakness, as Hank knows it and Jesse eventually comes to realize it, too.  In The Dark Knight, one of the main themes is Joker’s attempt to force Batman to break his one rule, which is that he will not kill the Joker.  In the last few weeks, Walt has laid down two rules of his own: Jesse and any member of Walt’s family are out-of-bounds when it comes to vacationing in Belize.  It looks like, however, that if Walt is going to survive to the end, he may have to break his rule at least once.

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This is a strong episode for not only Jesse, but also the women of Breaking Bad.  As things start to close down around Walt, Skyler is starting to sound more rational in comparison.  As much as I like Jesse, and my personal feelings have me hoping he winds up on top in the end, she’s right about him.  Walt has picked a hell of a time to be sentimental and Jesse is a dangling loose end.  He needs to go.  As for Marie, she may only have a couple of lines in this episode, but they are powerful.  It’s obvious that she has no further feelings for Walt as a brother-in-law or human being.  She fantasizes about killing him and is ready to help in anyway to take him down.

Rating: B

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