‘Breaking Bad’: Jesse Gives New Meaning to the Phrase ‘Phoning It In’

Published 2 years ago by

Bob Odenkirk and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Tohajiilee Breaking Bad: Jesse Gives New Meaning to the Phrase Phoning It In

Not long before Breaking Bad launched the second half of its final season, those involved in the show began speaking out about audience expectations and where the series would be headed in its final eight episodes. Naturally, people were inquisitive about how Walt would reconcile his being a meth kingpin and come to answer (or not) for his crimes as Heisenberg. As was expected, Bryan Cranston and series creator Vince Gilligan managed a few tantalizing words without actually giving anything away, but the phrase that stuck around in regard to the finale described it as “an inevitable action that had to come.”

In ‘To’hajiilee,’ Walt finds himself in the middle of another inevitable action, the one where he must deal with his longtime associate, student and, for all intents and purposes, surrogate son, by plotting to have him killed. While being grilled by Todd’s uncle about the particulars of the murder, Walt does everything he can to lessen his emotional stakes in what he’s about to do. Walt again refers to Jesse by saying, “He’s like family to me,” and makes excuses – either for himself or for Jesse – by saying things like “He won’t listen to reason” – which doesn’t sound at all like: “I poisoned a child to make blowing up the proprietor of a chain of chicken restaurants easier.”

But that’s all part of the hubris of Walter White: his actions are justifiable and within reason – if only someone would stop and listen! – while those operating against his wishes are clearly in the wrong. What’s worse, Walt’s narcissism blinds him to such a degree it doesn’t occur to him someone like Jesse would operate on anything but a purely instinctual, reflexive level. And with gasoline fumes still emanating from the White household, who can blame him?

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Tohajiilee Breaking Bad: Jesse Gives New Meaning to the Phrase Phoning It In

Gamesmanship aside, one thing is for certain: for a group of individuals who’ve spent the last few months cooking meth, burning down superlabs and killing rival drug dealers, Walt and Jesse sure can deliver award-worthy performances when need be (if they live through this, maybe they’ll start an Albuquerque theater group next). First, Walt sends Hank a surefire Oscar contender with his “confession,” and now Jesse gives whole new meaning to the phrase “phoning it in” by convincing Walt his money has been located and is being burned at the rate of ten-thousand dollars a minute.

‘To’hajiilee’ moves faster than Walt drives when his fortune is supposedly going up in smoke and concludes with another inevitable action: a gunfight between Hank and Steve Gomez and Uncle Jack and his crew. All this time it was Walt vs. Hank, or Walt vs. Jesse, in a race to see who could emerge from this fiasco unscathed, but in his thirst to win, Walt’s let the genie out of the bottle; he asked for Jack’s help and, as is evident in the shootout, Uncle Jack and his crew don’t listen to reason…or even the guy who hired them.

As each episode ends, the layers separating Walter from Mr. Lambert are peeled back even further. And now, more than ever, it seems like the machine gun in Walter’s trunk isn’t just a weapon of destruction, it very well may be a tool to help certain detestable Aryans listen to reason.


Breaking Bad continues next Sunday with ‘Ozymandias’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a cryptic preview below:

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  1. If this is a classic tragedy, then the tragic hero has to lose everything. Jesse is the first thing Walt loses. Hank may be the second. If it’s Shakespearian, then everybody dies at the end. If it’s Greek, the hero survives and lives a life of suffering and regret. But this is modern and it’s possible to lose people without having them die.

    Like her or hate her, Skyler is a smart woman. I’m sure she diverted some of the money into her own stash. And if she did not, the writers owe us an explanation. At some point she tells Walt Jr. that Walt is dead and they have to leave and she calls the vanishing man. They are gone; Walt loses them.

    So what about the M-60? Walt has never been driven by revenge, so I’m more inclined to go with the rescue scenario. Who is left to rescue except Jesse. No matter what happens, Jesse has to survive until the last episode because he and Walt have to have a reckoning. After they kill all their opponents, they may kill each other and they may hug. They might even split the ricin capsule (probably not).

    I think Walt uses the ricin to reach out from the grave to poison Lydia.

    • I think we’ll all be shocked by who Walt poisons and the gun is probably for Todd’s kin. But, I definately do not believe Walt will kill Skylar especially after seeing how crazy he got trying to warn Hank. If he cant kill Hank, he cant kill Sky. I think Walt Jr. finds out what Walt is, speeds away in his car and dies. Recall he cant really control the gas and break pedals? Then, Sky flips out and walks into the pool with Holly and both drown. Recall pink teddybear, Sky walking into pool AND Walt’s sitting poolside during all his moments of deep thinking. Also, when he moved into new place he walks over to the community pool just to remove a bandaid, right? Cant wait to see what happens!

  2. I would not be surprised if Walt targeted one person for the ricin and someone else got it.

    • I agree, Iceman. I thot maybe one of his kids would get it. But i keep going back to Walt jr’s legs and the trouble he has with the gas and brake pedals. So maybe the baby? Skylar is a suicide. I also think Marie kills Walt!

      • I certainly hope not. If Marie kills Walt, I will HATE this show. Five seasons of greatness would be destroyed with that ending.

  3. I like Jesse but he’s a jackass. Who is he to judge Walt? Everyone that Walt has killed were all bad people. Jesse killed Gail, a helpless and harmless man. Maybe it says something about me as a person that I’m still on Walt’s side but I still am lol.

    Anyway, I think Hank and Gomez die right off the bat next episode. Hank’s phone call to his wife was very last wordish, like the stuff someone says before they die. I predict Jesse dying too, but not until the end of the episode, either that or he lives until the last episode.

    Walt will refuse to cook for Todd and company out of anger for them killing Hank. In response they threaten his family. I do think that EVERYONE will die. Skyler, Walt Jr., the baby, will probably get killed by Todd’s family. Marie will probably kill herself after finding out Hank is dead.

    Either way, everybody dies.