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Breaking Bad 5×09 “Blood Money” Recap

Breaking Bad is finally back! In “Blood Money,” we find out what happens after Hank leaves that bathroom.

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One Year Later

“Blood Money” opens with Walt (Bryan Cranston) one year from now, sporting a beard now that his hair has grown back. His house has now been destroyed and abandoned – Skyler and the kids are nowhere to be found – and there is graffiti everywhere, including one of the walls being spray painted with “HEISENBERG.” A group of skateboarders are doing tricks in the empty pool.

Walt grabs the small tube of ricin that he hid in one of the electrical sockets in a previous episode and then heads back outside. His neighbor Carol spots him and drops her groceries in shock.

Present-day

The episode then picks up where it left off last year: Hank (Dean Norris) is in the bathroom with the copy of “Leaves of Grass”, reading Gale’s handwritten message to Walt and realizing that Heisenberg is Walt.

To my other favorite W.W.

It’s an honour working with you.

Fondly
G.B.

Rightfully so, Hank looks like he just got the wind knocked out of him. His world has been turned completely upside down. Walt, his brother-in-law for however many years, is a notorious meth cook responsible for numerous deaths.

When he returns from the bathroom, Hank can’t bring himself to talk to or even look at Walt. He tells the family that he isn’t feeling well and tells Marie (Betsy Brandt) that they should go back home.

The Whites see Hank and Marie off and on his way back inside, Walt waves to Carol (paralleling their exchange in the opening scene).

Hank is driving while Marie is blabbering on about Skyler’s plans to take a trip to Europe. Hank is in a whirlwind of emotion and ends up crashing into someone’s mailbox because he can’t see straight.

When Hank and Marie arrive home, we learn that the doctors ruled out a heart attack. Hank is annoyed over Marie’s fretting over him. He’s too preoccupied with what he just realized about Walt.

Hank quickly heads to the garage. He compares the handwritten message in “Leaves of Grass” with the handwritten message in Gale’s lab notes. It’s a perfect match.

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To W.W.

My star, my perfect silence.

At the car wash, Walter discusses buying another car wash with Skyler (Anna Gunn) since the money laundering will be going on for years and it’d be better to have two. Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser) shows up quickly thereafter under the pretense that she’s washing her car.

She tries to convince Walt to come back to the meth business because the operation isn’t going so smoothly, but Walt coldly rebuffs her.

Skyler is already suspicious, given that Lydia arrived in a rental car, and Walt admits that she’s a “former business associate” who wants him to go back to the meth business. Skyler confronts Lydia outside and very seriously and threateningly tells her to leave and never come back. Lydia looks visibly distraught as she drives away.

Meanwhile, Hank takes the day off from work to go through all the evidence boxes pertaining to the Heisenberg case.

Blood Money

Finally we get to Jesse (Aaron Paul), and he’s not looking so good.

He’s hanging out with Badger (Matt L. Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and all three appear to be getting high. While Badger is pitching his Star Trek script to Skinny Pete, Jesse goes to meet with Saul (Bob Odenkirk) with the bags of cash that Walt left him.

Jesse wants to send the money to the parents of the 14-year-old boy that Todd (Jesse Plemons) fatally shot in “Dead Freight” and to Mike’s granddaughter.

Jesse hasn’t heard from Mike in a while (and that’s because Walt killed him in “Say My Name”). Saul tries to explain that it’s a bad idea (the Feds will probably just take the money and trace it back to Jesse somehow) but eventually he agrees to do it.

Instead, Saul calls Walt and tells him about the $5 million situation on his hands. The camera pans out to reveal that Walt is getting chemo – his cancer is back.

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Walt brings the bags of money to Jesse’s place and tells him that what he was attempting to do was nonsensical. But an emotional and guilt-ridden Jesse doesn’t want the money – he calls it “blood money,” repeating what Walt had said in a previous episode.

Walt tells Jesse that he needs to stop thinking about the past and start moving forward with his life. He admits he quit the business, too.

Walt asks about Mike’s granddaughter and why Jesse wanted to send money to her. Jesse says it’s because he figured out Mike is dead and he’s pretty sure Walt was behind it. Walt feigns innocence, telling Jesse that Mike is alive and well. He emphasizes the fact that he needs Jesse to believe this.

Jesse tells Walt what he wants to hear, but they both know what really happened…

During dinner with Walt Jr. and Skyler, while the latter are discussing college and SAT prep, Walt races to the bathroom to throw up. Kneeling over the toilet, Walt suddenly notices that “Leaves of Grass” is gone (because Hank took it with him).

He searches for it but, for the most part, he says he isn’t too concerned about the missing book. He then asks about Hank and Skyler tells him that he has a stomach bug and hasn’t been to work all week. This sparks something in Walt.

In the middle of the night, Walt goes to the front of the house. He finds a tracking device on his car.

Meanwhile, Jesse’s taking a nap in his car at a parking lot. A homeless man comes by and asks Jesse for some spare change. Jesse ends up giving him a stack of cash. He drives through a poor neighborhood and frantically throws stacks of cash out the window.

Tread Lightly

The next morning, Walt goes to Hank’s house, while Hank is working in the garage. Hank quickly puts pictures and various documents back into the evidence boxes to cover up what he’s been doing.

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Hank tries to act normal in front of Walt but he’s visibly uncomfortable. Just as he’s about to leave, Walt confronts Hank about the tracker left on his car. He notes that it looks like the same tracker they put on Gus Fring’s car a while back.

Hank stares angrily at Walt and then closes the garage door. He then punches Walt and confronts him about being Heisenberg, about all the crimes he’s committed.

Walt tells Hank about his cancer coming back and Hank responds with, “Good. Rot, you son of a bitch.” Walt says that in six months, even if Hank could get people to believe these wild accusations, that Walt will probably be dead. He’ll never see the inside of a jail cell because he’s a dying man.

Hank tells Walt to bring Skyler and the kids to Hank’s place and then they can talk. Walt refuses. Hank is in disbelief, says that he has no idea who he’s talking to. Walt replies that if that’s the case then Hank should “tread lightly.”

The episode ends with Hank and Walt facing each other in the garage.

Hank: I don’t know who you are. I don’t even know who I’m talking to.
Walt: If that’s true, if you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.

Verdict

Oh, man. We waited a year for Hank to get off the toilet and the pay-off was well worth it.

This was a fantastic episode! The beginning and ending scenes were absolutely superb, and I’m so glad the writers had Hank confront Walt now instead of dragging it out forever. (And that’s what sets Breaking Bad apart from so many other shows.)

Given Jesse’s current state of mind, I’m worried that he’ll go full-blown suicidal – and he still doesn’t know that Walt poisoned Brock and allowed Jane to overdose instead of calling an ambulance. This is Breaking Bad so I’m not expecting a happy ending for poor, sweet Jesse. I loved seeing Badger and Skinny Pete again, too.

The acting from everybody was amazing, especially Dean Norris and Aaron Paul. I’m excited to see what leads to Walt’s house being destroyed and spray painted.

Rating: A+