‘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. great episode….i was thinkin hank still didnt have proof and because walt buried it on a reservation they wouldnt be able to touch him…then the nazis showed up wtf?…its gettin messy..anybody notice they all have bad aim

    • Well expensive guns require good training, but I doubt these men thought they need any.

      • most of the guns they had were Auto wut yer suppose to do is controlled burst’s keep pulling the trigger not hold on to it .. other wise its random shots like a shot gun

    • That is one of the reasons this episode sucked. When they took out the lab they were like an elite tactical unit. Yet, 2 guys standing 30 yards away allowing them to site the target in, they couldn’t hit them? So UNREAL. Also, very out of character for Walt to say anything on the phone. Like when he spoke to Todd and when he brought up the bad things he’s done to help Pinkman. Just seemed like they parsed this together to advance the story.

      • It shows the desperation Walt is having right now. Almost all of a criminal’s downfall is paranoia and desperation. Not only that, but Walt still very much cares for Jeese; he’s not thinking clearly about his actions now with Jesse. He hired the Nazis to help out with that. That’s not really smooth thinking on his part.

      • Uncharacteristically poor writing here, in that the DEA agents simply stood there, not seeking any shielding, as the unknown cars pulled up on them, and then, after four or five guys are actually aiming their guns at the agents, not one of them gets shot when they begin firing?!

      • I think W.W acting out of character was kind of the point,his s*** is crumbling.

        • Acting out of character is fine, but this episode dove headfirst into cliche-ville. First with Walter’s “I’m upset so I will specifically mention every murder I’ve committed!” and then with Hank’s “Hold on, gotta call the wife and tell her how much I love her, because there is no way anything bad is about to happen to us”

          Still the best show on TV, but those two moments in particular earned many rolling eyes I’m sure.

          Then there is the whole storm trooper shoot out that all the internet marksman are arguing about.

          Low point.

          • shhhhhh let me live my lie, its almost over.

    • They obviously did not graduate from the Walking Dead’s School of Headshots, might master Hirschel’s infinite ammo cheat though.

    • It gets better, Brock’s mom kills W.W!

  2. What about the look that Jack gave Walt? Are they NOT gonna kill Hank and Gomez? And how didn’t they already kill them? I mean they had like 3 BIG guns only about 20 feet away.

    • Jack realized Walt was in a bind and decided that they would get him out of it. They are trying to protect their interests with their favorite chef having just said Jesse was in his sights coming for him.

      Great episode!!!

  3. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m really starting to hate Hank and Jessie. Sure, Walt is a scumbag, but it’s not like he wanted to do anything horrible to Jessie and Hank, he just wanted money for his family.

    • Wanted money…at any cost, including drug dealing and murder.

      Yea, great guy.

      • Yep, nothing horrible to Jessie, just to die…painlessly

        • I think that you feel that way because this half of season 5 has been poorly paced, and despite some very good individual moments for nearly every character, all of the characters have suffered from shifting/unexplainable motivations. I think you want Jesse and Hank dead because their current characters cannot be reconciled with who they have been throughout the show. Particularly Hank. Hank has become a cop caricature from a mediocre police drama with little explanation of his motivations and very little insight or reflection. Hank cares about Walt Jr., he cares about Holly, he cares about Skyler. Hank has always been a person of shifting morality. His stance against Walter would not be the “win” at all costs approach that he has taken. He is contrived. Jesse’s motivations are also inconsistent and unsustainable in the context of the show as well. We have watched this show for 5 years. Jesse would not act as he is acting right now. Breaking Bad has always been very true to its own reality. It is now breaking all of its own rules and becomming somewhat difficult to swallow. I thought the garage confrontation is week 1 was very risky and that has unfortunately proven true. It is still operating at a high level, but the problems are becomming so over arching that it is starting to swallow the premise.

        • He didn’t want to kill him until he threatened his life. I guess you’d just like to sit around waiting for someone to kill you.

    • i agree …drawing near the episode i was like Die Hank you piece of crap! and i also went back and voted that i want jesse to die on one of these threads

  4. I love the direction this show is going for the finale, I really don’t want to wait a whole other week to see what happens. :/ at least I know it’s going to be amazing like Breaking Bad always is. :) plus Rian Johnson is directing the next episode so I’m sure it’ll be good.

    • Is he really? I didn’t know. Very cool.


    • Do not hype up Rian Johnson, he can’t deliver.

  5. Who the hell is Mr. Lambert?

    • That’s the fake name on his ID in the flash forward to his 52nd bday

      • That is also Skyler’s maiden name.

  6. These episodes are good and intense, but i find marie and hanks reactions kind of unbelievable. its like they totally think walt is like this super evil villian that they absolutly hate. i would think they would be a little more conflicted. its like they forgot they loved him and that he is family.

    yeah i get that hank has been hunting heisenberg and to find out it is walt would really crush him. but neither of them seem bothered at all. I just think it would be more believable if had more internal conflict to go along with all their hatred and what not.

    • They hate him because he was directly responsible for Hank getting shot. And when he wrecked on purpose to avoid the laundromat. I think if I were Hank I would hate Walt pretty, pretty, pretty badly.

      • Don’t think he was “responsible” for Hank getting shot. Hank got shot because he killed Tuco, and Gus gave Tuco’s cousins the okay to go after Hank for revenge. Walter just happened to be there when Hank killed Tuco.

        • It’s all because of the blue that they were after Tuco. Who cooked the blue, again?

          Walt is scum unless you’re his family and even then…..

      • That still does not explain it. Hank is not that black and white of a thinker. Leaving Walt Jr. and Holly without a father would give him pause. I think that Hank’s arc this season has been wildly inconsistent. Dare I say botched?

        • Yeah john, thats a better way of thinking about it, hank and marie all of a sudden turned into black and white thinkers which i think is usually poor writing.

          But its a minor complaint in an otherwise great show.

  7. That was intense. What a great episode. This show is so good I’m not even sweating that it’s going to end very soon because it’s delivering!

    -I’m hoping for Jesse to check out in the next episode, that would tie his end up nicely, maybe a flashback montage of Walt teaching the High School Chemistry class, Hank at Walt’s wedding.

    Having said that, How stupid is Dexter now? I fast forwarded through most of the boring/sappy/terrible acting parts, lol. -Sorry I couldn’t wait for a review to go up it was so bad.

    • Yup, Dexter’s horrible – almost unwatchable… I’m only sticking with it to see how it ends after all this time.

  8. Good lord. Whilst I may have had a problem with last weeks episode I thought this one was utter perfection. Perhaps the best since 4.13 in terms of slow burning catch and release.

    What interested me the most was the dynamic in the final shoot out. They were protecting their investment (Walt), nothing more. Therefore it would not surprise me in the slightest if they in fact did not kill Hank and Gomez but put Walt into the position where he has no choice but to relocate with them. This is where Jesse comes into play. I absolutely envisage a scenario where he is the alternative cook. This could play two ways. Walt kills Jesse with an ego centred “I’m Heisenberg, not you!” or Jesse gets killed by the gang to reinforce to Walt that he has to be the cook. No one else. The clear parallel to Gus is the reversal then. Cook for us or we will take all from you (whereas Gus was the opposite of command).

    Admirable. My final guess then is Walt revolts and this leads directly to the future scenes of his dilapidated home. We all know the theory of taking on the traits of those he has killed. I think this time, it will be the traits of those who have been killed not by him, but by what he has led them all to.

  9. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m really starting to hate Hank and Jessie. Sure, Walt is a scumbag, but it’s not like he wanted to do anything horrible to Jessie and Hank, he just wanted money for his family.

  10. have a hard time seeing a low body count come next week. guessing Jesse hauls ass and jack will wish to have used a gas mask in a few months.

  11. Next episode is titled ‘Ozymandias’


    • I really really hope Hank doesn’t die. Many people are rooting for Walt still, but I’ve started rooting for Hank and Jesse. When Hank was first shot, I was freaking out, and I don’t think I can handle him getting killed. He’s the GOOD GUY! It was reasonable to side with Walt when he was a reluctant evil-doer, but season 5 has proven that he’s a remourseless killer.

      Oh, and I just read that poem ‘Ozymandias’. Hoping it’s not the imagery for after the shootout!

      • I’m with yeah man Hank and Jessie should win..would make a better ending than Walt living leaving people wanting another spin off

  12. “I poisoned a child to make blowing up the proprietor of a chain of chicken restaurants easier.”

    Ah, Gus was a little more than just a “proprietor of a chain of chicken restaurants”, but there is no possible justification or excuse for poisoning a child, of course.


      • Okay, so you don’t mind getting beaten within an inch of your life as long as you’re alive. Good to know. Attempted murder isn’t a crime anymore according to Spencer here folks.

        • Explain to me what right Jesse has to be so pissed at Walt for? The boy is alive and well. Neither of them (Walt and Jesse) are dead and if it wasn’t for Walt in season 3, Jesse WOULD be. So I think he needs to re-examine what exactly Walter has done for him in the past before he decides to turn tail and rat him out.

          Don’t get me wrong, before last night’s episode, I LOVED Jesse, almost rooted for him. But watching him spit in Walt’s face made me dislike him almost as much as I dislike Hank. Sure, Walt deserves worse than some spittle from Jesse’s mouth, but Walt has been there for him when NO ONE else was.

          You might then try to bring up the fact that Walt let Jesse’s love die, but if he had let her live, they BOTH would have ended up ODing eventually.

          Check annnnnd mate.

          • The boy was the only truly innocent victim in this whole series so far, and Walter was the person who victimized him.

            So are you saying that, because the boy could have died, but didn’t, he is not really a victim?

            • No. What he is saying is that Jesse made his own decisions and mistakes and is now placing all blame on walt’s shoulders to absolve himself in his own mind. Jesse is not an innocent kid he is a grown man acting petulant. Hank is using him more than Walt ever did.

              • I agree with everything you say about Jesse, but that by no means absolves Walter of everything that he has done, especially to that innocent kid.

  13. oh mannnnn oh maaaan! when jesse spat in walts face i got furious and yelled at the tv “YOU DO NOT SPIT IN HEISENBURGS FACE!!!!!!!!” guess you can say i was way to in it who cares if you love this show you would be too!

  14. Second.

  15. Hank bites it. Gomie bites it. A Nazi bites it. Walter strips down to his skivvies (call back to Episode 1!) and dresses the Nazi in his clothes, then wedges his body into the car and sets the car on fire, faking his own death.

    Walter calls his wife and tells her that Hank went ahead and called their bluff. Walter tells her to submit the death confession tape because the investigation into Hank’s death is going to reveal all sorts of Walter White evidence at Hank’s house.

    Jesse lives, but is wounded. Walter tells the Nazis to drive Jesse to a hospital and dump him there, promising to return for a final cook once he takes care of some business.

    That last look at his wife and kid, with a glowing aura around them from last episode? Last time Walter gets to see them. Walter calls the vacuum man and vanishes, never completeing the final cook. That is… until he sees on the news that blue meth is destroying Czechoslovakia… he realizes that Jesse must be cooking for the Nazis and finds out that he is being essentially held hostage.

    Walter sets out to save Jesse. Frees him, but dies in the process.

  16. Am I the only one who just wondering if Walt will ever confess to Jessie about Jane’s death… Brock survived nor did he die right next to him.

  17. My theory is that Hank, Gomie will die. Walt and Jessie will get away eventually. Walt will somehow lose his family to Todd, his uncle, and the gang. He is on the run and the reason that he goes back with the machine gun is to get his revenge on those that took his family away from him.

  18. I feel like the napkin with blood on it, that the neo-Nazi tried to flush down the diners’ toilet, will come into play. This show is all about subtlety.

  19. I have to admit that I turned into a complete wimp during last nights episode.
    Since the beginning of this season I’ve been saying anyone can die and preparing myself for when they do but when Hank was on the phone with Marie I was saying (out loud) NO NO NO NO!!!! I thought I was tough and ready for it but nope, I’m a big wimp…
    Usually I go nuts during the week between episodes but not this week. I need the break because I think Hanks a goner and I think that the moment when Walt was looking at Skylar and Jr. at the Car Wash was the last time he will see his family.
    It’s over for Walt. It’s over.

  20. I think there’ll be a flashback showing how Hank and Walt first met, and then it will cut to Hank and Gomez just being dead.

    I seriously doubt they’ll show the end of the gun fight and show you the characters dying. I think they’ll just cut to them being dead, or cut to Walt peering about the car and looking out the window to see them down.

    Jesse has escaped, it’s indicated when he opens the car door slightly.

    Walt will refuse to cook because they killed Hank. They’ll kill his family in result. Walt will go on the run, killing Jesse on the way.

    OR there is a cease fire for whatever reason, dunno why I just have a feeling.

    OR those extra law enforcement people are coming, and save Hank’s ass. I forget what they were called, but one of the characters mentioned they were on their way…

  21. This episode was garbage! The worst episode in Breaking Bad! Walt would never frantically run like some moron after his Money, if even he knew that Jessie knew! (Even though he couldn’t!) and finally get caught!? Way to ruin Walter White after 5 seasons, assholes.

    Oh! In the world of Breaking Bad, when people with Assault Rifles and AA12’s shoot first and miss two people standing in direct sight is acceptable cool, you have serious problem! Who directed this? Hank and Gomez would have died INSTANTLY from the AA12, as they had NO cover!

    Piss off Vince, you insulting prick. This is acceptable by people? The pure laziness of writing, flaws, continuity errors and REAL SCIENCE of guns no longer apply to this show? Did Vince give up after episode 3 on start binge drink or doing blow? This show is horrible, and I’m through after that garbage….

  22. I don’t care what anyone says, I am rooting for Walt, and in the end if he falls, well he will be the most bad ass guy on tv history. Pretty much right now he tops Scarface lol
    Love this show, and Hank needs to go, also Jessie

    • Yea, sure, the drug dealer and murderer is “bad ass” and Hank, the cop, “needs to go”.

      And some people say television and videogames don’t adversely influence our youth…

      • oh jeeezeez… its a damn tv show and its the only place you can be free to root for the bad guy and despise the cop… in real life, i assure you that this person would not be rooting for the child poisoner… but since its a show, its safe and fun to root for a villain because in the end, i think we all know that even a villain has a point of view that some can relate to… look at walt… that behavior is in all of us… but walt’s circumstances were extreme which brought it out. theres a dark side in all of us… tv just gives us a chance to fantasize about it without it going any further in our real lives.

    • I’m also rooting for Walt.

      When Walt killed Mike (and kinda even when he let Jane die made me severely dislike him. However now that Mikes gone, I can’t root for Hank. Hank is a pompous asshole. Walt had cancer, wanted to get his family money. I hope we say bye bye to Hank soon, this show is about Heisenburg!!!

  23. I love this show and I was really holing to see at lest an episode of (or if) w.w been the king drug dealer. In my opinion I think gomez is the only one that dies thus letting hank know how powerful Heisenberg really has become.


  25. Tense drama. But surprising that Walt didn’t connect the dots when Jesse wasn’t at the money site. He should have kept driving. Heisenberg is not seeing the game anymore. He’s just lucking out now.

    He’s only Heisenberg towards Uncle Jack and co now. I wonder how long he can keep that up. He has to, or they won’t respect him as the gangster they think he is.

    • I also found it suprising that, although four or five people were aiming their guns at Hank and the other DEA agent, when they began firing, no one got shot.


      • its called leaving you off the hook till next episode

  26. This show is stressing me out!

    Not sure about that shoot out at the end though…

    Lot’s of bullets and no one shot. Hmmm.

  27. This show gets more intense as the episodes go on… So I think I see what might happen the rest of the series. Gomez and Hank are shot dead in that shoot out. Jesse might get away but Jack saw him in the car and knows he is around. Jack drags Walt back to the lab to cook and threatens Walts family if he doesn’t.

    Somehow, Walt escapes and goes on the run becoming Mr. Lambert while Jack kills Walt’s family, probably at the house to explain how it was condemned at the beginning. Walt comes back with the machine gun to take on Jack’s crew as a last stand since Walt has nothing else to live for, possibly taking the ricin himself for assurance.

    This show always throws curveballs but this time I can’t see too many other options for the story to go with what we already know. Really can’t wait to see how it ends. Also, Marie will survive to go live out one of her made up stories and shoplift all she wants.

  28. I love the ongoing tension in each episode… BUT, why doesn’t Walt just commission Hank’s garage to be burned down? He knows all the case files are stored in there.

  29. hank and marie may have all the reasons in the world to hate walter but as walter warned hank, you don’t know me so tread lightly, and he didn’t, so his fate is the same as everyone who has crossed heisenberg’s path, jesse is as guilty as walt of everything so I don’t feel any sympathy for the way he’s acting, in fact, he is a coward, as walt clearly stated, people who consider walt scum and root for hank are confusing real life with fantasy, which is very dumb, especially at this point in the story, and in the end, I hope we get to see heisenberg deliver one last time before saying goodbye to him forever, as for everyone else’s fate in the show, honestly, who gives a s***

    • Me i give a s***, (I WANT TO SEE JESSE DIE IN TERRIBLE PAIN)