BREAKING BAD: Gliding Over All (5.8) - Recap

By Bill Sweeney
Okay so, while we haven't been recapping Breaking Bad, I had a sneaking suspicion this final episode of the year was going to be worth it. It's an episode of big moves that sets up the last run next summer. Inconsiderate Spoilers Ahead, blah-blah-blah - let's go!

With last week's deadly ending lingering, we find Walter in the garage's back office, silent. He's watching a fly. Buried in his own mind. Dramatically pensive. But if we know our Mr. White, it doesn't really matter that Mike's death is so fresh he's still in the trunk, Walter is likely mulling his next move already.

Then Sweetie Todd the Dunderkind arrives. He's dropped off by cab from the junkyard where he's just had Mike's car "cubed".

Todd is so agreeable. He just goes along with anything and keeps his mouth shut. And like a good little soldier he's always on mission. He asks if they should get to this "other thing", pulling Walter out of whatever madness is swirling within him.

"Hope you brought paper towels."
The other thing is Mike.

Looking over Mike's body, Walt says "I don't want to talk about this..."

Well, duh. Of course not.

As they get to setting up to dispose of the body, which seems far too routine, Jessie shows up for a chat with Wally about the status of Mike.

"Did he get out safe?"

"He's gone." Walter white fibs.

Then Jessie shifts to the guys in prison Mike was paying off to keep quiet. If Mike's "gone" they'll start talking. "So what are we gonna do...?"

"We? There is no We. I'm the only vote left. I'll handle it." White says.

As Jessie walked out of the garage, and we followed behind them both via the camera, this was the first time I've ever felt he was in danger. Not in that exact moment, but a general ominousness.

Jump to DEA local top dog, and Walt's bro-in-law, Hank Schrader is trying to put the squeeze on a goon who wants full immunity return for spilling everything. Screw that, he'd rather go shake the cages of the other guys in lockup now that Hank thinks that he's got Mike and Mike's Lawyer.

We cut to a nice Cafe. Lydia likes splenda. Heisenberg arrives looking the exact opposite of inconspicuous. The hat, the cataract glasses, it's not really working, right? Daylight, at a indoor restaurant? Please take them off-- Thank you.

He's come for her list, the names of the 9 men from Mikes pay-off service. She's no fool and she's here to bargain, because she knows she expendable when she hands it over. She pieces together that Mike is gone and she's only safe as long as Walt needs her. Well good thing she's got something worthwhile up her sleeve. Lydia turns out to be a drug running logistics mastermind offering Walter a brand new market, via an open, lingering deal Gus died to soon to finalize on, in the Czech Republic?

"I found a way for us to risk everything! Want in?"

Well, that's an incredibly sudden convenience! An opportunity to make more money? Of course Walter dives in because he is the walking, breathing, incarnation of greed itself.

But lest ye think Wally didn't have a plan, we see he had brought the little vial of Ricin with him. It would have went well with her coffee I bet. Is this the third or fourth time she avoided death? I say she doesn't make it to the last episode.

Walt finally has a reason to meet Todds Uncle.

In a crappy motel room, Walter and Todd sit with a bunch of bikers. Plenty of SS and swastika tattoos to go around, so we know these guys are badass, stone cold killers. Todds Uncle is trying to hash out the plan with his brain trust. Walter wants all the names on the list dead within a two minute window, even though they are in three different prisons. It's difficult, but he's paying the right price, so it can get done.

We then see Walt, alone, at home. It's mid-day and he has a pleasant view out his window. It's time.
Shankapalooza erupts set to a jazzy Nat King Cole ditty, as orange clad prisoners get stabbed dozens of times - each. I'm telling you right now, some super-fan or TV watchdog group is going to count all those stabs. To switch things up, the one rat we met earlier is set on fire. While Walter waits in his house for the call telling him it's done. We see DEA Honcho Hank get notified that everything has gone kerflooie.

Three days later, Walt is visiting his kids at the in-laws, when Hank gets home from work. The men share a drink. Hank is longing for the simpler days of yesteryear, back when he marked trees for clearing, "Instead of hunting monsters..." Walt sees this as as good a time as any to go... And we go right into the mother of all  Meth-Making-Montages...

So how long has Gilliam been waiting to use CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION in an episode? Could there be a more perfect song, for what felt like maybe one of the longest montages on the show? Lets hear that...

We watch this familiar scene roll on: make meth, make money, handle payouts, stash cash, repeat. Repeat. Repeat again. Time passes and we watch, swooping birdseye over the town, we see just how many houses they use as cover for the cooking.

And it's this montage that ultimately gets us from where we've been "heading" all along, to that actual place of finality and completion, as you'll see...

"Look baby, Meth so pure it glows..."
We come out of the music and Skyler is at The Schrader's visiting her own kids. Marie mentions the kids have been there three months now, and that, maybe, it's time to take your kids back..? Maybe? Eh? Whaddya say?

 She wants to... But she doesn't. Not yet. She has something she needs to show her husband. And boy is it something. She comes home, finds Walt out back by the pool...

"Take a drive with me." She says.

They go to a storage rental unit. Inside is Walters Dream. The giant pile of money he's always wanted just sitting there, knee high, maybe six feet accross by four feet back. Size doesn't really matter, selling to two different buyers has been good. Like build a couch out of stacks of money kinda good...

"Let's fill the pool with it and swim like that bastard McDuck."
Skyler stopped counting a while back and has no clue how much is really there. It's more than she could launder, even with ten car-washes as fronts. It's more than they could ever need... so, game over? Here's the big prize you've been hunting Wally. Now what? Wally is stunned.

"How big does the pile have to be?" she asks him.

We jump to Walt getting a cancer screening. In the men's bathroom he finds that the dented paper dispenser, the one he punched the shit out of long ago, is still hanging there... time really has passed and Walter "Heisenberg" White has come a long way. BTW, from episode 1 to here, we are supposed to believe, has been a year and a few months.
"Shit, bitch. You are the one who knocks."

Walter makes a visit to Jessie and it's awkward as usual whenever he pops by. They clear the air a bit, but really it's so Walter can drop off two big old bags of money. The money that was rightfully Jessie's but in a rage Walter had once said he would never see. Well there it is.

The master of all "Bitches" takes the bags inside and at first, Jessie's total drop to the ground, seemed to be some kind of general relief from having spent weeks and weeks wondering if White would ever do the right thing and fess up Jessie's share.

Or worse yet, that Walter was there for deadlier reasons.

Then Jessie pulls out a pistol from the back of his jeans and we see that he may have been nervous... but he was ready.

Walter goes home. He tells his wife he's out. He seems to mean it. But I'm not sure I'm buying it just yet

He's out? Really? Like Really, really out? Hard to believe, but everything points to "Yeah seems that way". There's no reason to continue. He's got scads of money, there's no one trying to kill him, it all seems safe and cool. But you and I, we know better don't we? Even if he's quit the biz, packed up his Heisenberg Hat And Shades, it can't possibly go that smoothly. Not this guy. Not this show. I mean, c'mon, we've got another 8 episodes next year...

And besides, isn't there just one last, bald headed, dangling thread...

So we jump to some back yard, nonsense bantering at the White family's house as they entertain their only friends, the Schraders. The tension is being forced by pointless chatter between them and finally, something happens.
Hmmmm. "How To Make Crystal Meth - For Dummies." Huh...

DEA boy goes to the bathroom.

I always have my best thoughts in the john, too, rarely though do I ever solve a mystery.

Turns out Shrader is a reader and so is Walt it seems. Me too. Hank grabs a magazine, probably National Geographic, Scientific American or Meth Maker Monthly, uninterested, he tosses them aside and finds a book.

Not just any book. It's the Walt Whitman book that Gale (Hey, remember him?) gave Walter many, many moons ago. For Hank, the inscription, to W.W. from G.B. triggers a memory from a conversation with Walt....

The Bells in his head start ringing. Finally.


So, has Walter White, been done in by his bathroom habits and his appreciation of classic writings? Did DEA boy really "get it" or was that look on his face constipation? To be honest, sometimes this is the way people/masterminds get caught in the real world too, by a small slip up converging with an almost ludicrous situation of coincidence.

So what happens next year? How will Walt dodge this?  How does the new local DEA top dog explain that his brother in law is one of the best, biggest and most ruthless Meth Cooks ever, and keep his job?

What does this say about what was teased in the opening scene of this season - where a year from now, Walter has a gun in his trunk so big Rambo would say it was overkill?

Why is he not locked up? Who's he going after? Does he still have his big bed of cash?

We'll have to wait and see. Unless you've got answers, in that case share them below in the comments. Tell us what you thought of the Mid Season Finale of Breaking bad Season 5!

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