Posted on Monday, August 26th, 2013 by Joanna Robinson
4. The Good Son: In the last biblical allusion I’ll make in the recap, we come to this trinity of Todd, Jesse and Walt Jr. One of the most important lies Walter White/Heisenberg seeks to defend is this idea that he’s a Good Father. That, like he mentions in that confession from the pilot, everything he’s done, he’s done for the good of his family. But as we watch these trio of boys, Walt’s three sons, we see how that’s the biggest lie of all. The episode starts with Todd (The Good, Dutiful Son who sees Walter for who he is and still greedily laps up the Heisenberg Kool-Aid) placing a phone call to Mr. White, sounding for all the world like an abandoned child desperately seeking his father’s approval. We then move to Todd bragging to his Uncle Jack and Sidekick Kenny about the train heist. Todd uses glowing, effusive language to describe Walter but the actual action he’s describing is how both he and Jesse were put in mortal danger because of Walt’s stubborn pride. The description of how Jesse was literally railroaded is particularly chilling in light of the rest of the episode. Will Todd’s boasts about Mr. White get Walt in trouble with Uncle Jack in, oh, about nine months from now? It just might.
5. The Bad Son: We’ve already addressed this scene, but the father/son language is worth noting. Jesse, of course, is The Bad Son. The rebellious one. He also sees Walter for who he really is and rejects him. Or tries to. Jesse came to his relationship with Walter with a lot of vulnerabilities surrounding the notion of being a son and being rejected by your father. When this kid, this damaged kid begs Walter to “drop the concerned dad thing. Just tell me you don’t give a sh*t about me,” I defy your heart to stay in one piece. Though it’s not entirely black and white, we all know Walter doesn’t have Jesse’s best interest at heart and it’s worth remembering that Walter murdered Mike, the closest thing to a father Jesse ever had. Walt’s manipulation here is one of his most hateful crimes. Which brings us to…
6. The Real Son: Unlike Jesse and Todd, Flynn has no idea who his father is. His devotion is blind and he eagerly absorbs every lie Walt tells him. You can make the case that Walter really does care about his biological son, but the way he invokes Jr.’s name in the confrontation with Hank and Marie (“Junior has already been through a lot this year”) is absolutely repugnant.
7. Aunt Marie Took The Gloves Off: Speaking of the Mexican Dinner From Hell, Marie went right for the jugular, didn’t she? And though this interchange may lack some of the punch of earlier Walter White Death Wishes (it’s no “waiting for the cancer to come back” is what I’m saying), this was a great performance from Betsy Brandt. More fun with color imagery, I’m sure we all noticed that both Hank and Marie have abandoned their usual color scheme for black (or navy). An odd choice give that they’re ostensibly the good guys and our villains (Skyler and Walt) are wearing white. But Breaking Bad has never been all that interested in moral certainties.