‘Breaking Bad’ Season 5, Episode 7: ‘Say My Name’ Recap

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 11:32 am,

Aaron Paul Bryan Cranston Jonathan Banks Breaking Bad Say My Name Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 7: Say My Name Recap

It is a bold move when a program takes a well-established and frighteningly enjoyable villain and supplants him with another. It’s even more astonishing when that program chooses to succeed said villain with the show’s main character. Breaking Bad has been establishing Walter White (Bryan Cranston) as the successor to Gus Fring, and now, in the villainy department, anyway, Walt’s certainly shown he’s got what it takes to be the king.


As opposed to the time Walt sent Jesse (Aaron Paul) out to do away with Gale, he’s now done his kingly duty and pulled the trigger himself. Sure, Walt’s killed up close and personal before, but there was a real sense of malice behind his shooting of Mike (Jonathan Banks). It was almost born entirely of his frustration and the sense that Mike refused to pay him the respect Walt is convinced he’s owed. Had Mike said thank you, had he not gone into his tirade about how the current dismal situation (Mike’s mostly) is a bi-product of Walt’s ever-expanding need for more power, more money and more admiration – perhaps things may have turned out differently. Then again, remembering after the fact that Lydia (Laura Fraser) would also have access to the names Walt so desperately wanted, certainly suggests that Mike’s demise was premeditated as soon as Walter saw the revolver in the go-bag.

For Mike to have survived all the attempts on his life – especially the one that put him out of commission long enough for Fring to die – only to be eliminated by the man who tore down the relative comfort of his life – is tantamount to adding insult to fatal injury. It was always a foregone conclusion that Mr. Ehrmantraut would wind up a casualty of the Breaking Bad endgame machine, but now, in yet another power vacuum created by the same mechanism, Walter stands poised to ascend higher, which will make his inevitable fall all the more calamitous.

It was telling how Walt spoke word of Mike’s pending retirement like a triumph when he was negotiating the terms of his distribution deal with the intended buyers of his methylamine. In Walt’s eyes, this was the deal of the century, and somehow, he managed to sell it to some drug dealers he’d never met as just that. Brilliantly playing up the notion of brand recognition and brand loyalty, Walt compared himself and his product to the New York Yankees and Coke Classic, responding to a threat by suggesting the world would be a far less wonderful place if it were to be deprived of Coca-Cola (i.e. Walt’s proprietary blend of blue meth). Walt even suggested a hint of copyright infringement on behalf of his potential new partners, something Walt almost certainly would have taken to court if such a thing were possible. Instead, Walt settles for intimidation and the promise of great wealth, as long as those he sees as inferior are willing to hitch their wagon to Heisenberg’s star.

Now that Walt has established a brand, and made himself the spokesman of it, he sets off to speed the money-making process up a bit, suggesting that Jesse open up his own lab – the two of them being equal partners and all. Only Walt’s pitch isn’t as successful on someone so disillusioned. There is a look of understanding on Jesse’s face when he watches Walt deal with Skyler (Anna Gunn). She and Jesse are in the same position; a man they no longer want to associate with holds them hostage and is holding past actions over them as a means to ensure a small amount of compliance. In fact, Jesse and Skyler aren’t too far removed from the situation Walt was in with Fring last season. Who is to say they won’t respond in a similar fashion?

When faced with the choice of zero dollars or untold millions, Jesse opts for nothing after Walt reckons his partner’s newfound sense of morality means cutting ties with the business altogether. As Walt essentially puts it, why would Jesse want money earned through death and drug dealing if those are the very reasons Walt is to be left high and dry when he’s so close to achieving his goal?

And since there’s so much money to be made, in the interest of time, Walt hires Todd (Jesse Plemons) as his new sous chef, so to speak. It seems like a win-win for Walt: Todd’s ambitious, seems to want to learn the ropes in the kitchen, and isn’t really constrained by that whole pesky morality or guilt thing. Walt slips right back into high-school science teacher mode, giving Todd an “A” for effort and manages to seem impressed at the young man’s desire to learn. Still, something about Todd (and his ambitions) screams trouble for the newly crowned meth king of New Mexico.

But Walt’s not the only one making questionable moves in his new position. Hank (Dean Norris) gets a stern talking to by his superior for continuing to act like a field agent even though he’s now in charge of his department. It seems too much time has been spent covering that Ehrmantraut fellow at the great expense of other cases and departmental budget. Ever crafty, Hank agrees to leave Mike alone, but then turns around and puts agents on his other lawyer, Dan Wachsberger (Chris Freihofer) – a move that almost instantly yields results. While at Hank’s office to retrieve the bugs he planted, Walt happens to overhear that lawyer Dan has been apprehended and is now in the process of giving Mike up to the DEA.

With the hush money no longer an option, and any protection Mike could potentially offer them now completely out of the question, it seems as though Walt’s next move is to eliminate the nine incarcerated members of Fring’s organization before they can bring the entire operation to the ground.


Breaking Bad concludes the first half of its final season next Sunday with ‘Gliding Over All’ @10pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Once Walter went to meet up with Mike I knew what was going to go down. Only a show with no reservations and such boldness would execute such an evil action on by its lead character. I kind of always knew that Walter woudl have killed Mike but I thought that this would have happened in the second half of the season

    At this point Walter White has totally lost it and is completely on the path to damnation. You know its going to end really bad for him.
    I mean at this point Walter has killed just too many people, people distant and close to him, and has even gone as far as to harm a child. There really is no stopping him and hes is pretty much turning into a new age version of Al pacino from Scarface.

    I think we will have another huge wow moment next week and that we will be left at the edge of out seats for the second half of the season.

    How I think it will end scenarios:
    1) Jesse will find out about all of WW evil doings (esp against him) and kill him (my fav scenario although it is a bit too obvious)
    2) WW gets it from Skyler. She finally flips and blows his brains out and takes her life for the safety of her kids (pretty good ending too)
    3) WW’s cancer comes back to get him. While this woudl make sense as the show and teh whole drug dealing did start from this, I think that it is too easy and boring. But if you can tell tehy have been subtly hinting at WW’s poor health- he’s been asked several times by jesse and the blonde kid if he is ok and that he doesnt look good in the past few episodes
    4)Hank finds out the truth (which he will no matter what) and arrests him and locks him up. Really lame and boring scenario for me but I hope when Hank finds out WW just kills him and goes down the darkside even further
    5- The blonde kid in the meth lab kills Hank (if Jesse doesnt kill him first). This kid is learning the bus for his own personal empire. He’s note taking and paying great attention to detail. he’s not merely doing this for a couple of bucks, but is planning on learning the system, taking out the cook (WW) , and running his own show

    • That’s what I love about this show. There is so many outcomes that can play out and we’re still surprised and shocked at the results.

    • Nice recap/review.

      I think the hint to the end of this season was in an earlier episode when Walt and his son were watching Scarface and Walt (I think) says “Ha, everyone dies in this movie”.

    • I think the cancer will come back. Walt taking meds in the restaurant bathroom in episode 1 is a pretty clear hint.

  2. I also think Todd has an another motive behind learning and it’s gonna bite Walt in his ass.
    With that out the way, it was a good episode. I was one of the faithful who was on Walt’s side but after killing Mike and not letting Jesse go, I just kept shaking my head. I knew he lost it awhile ago and I still like him but man, it’s not gonna end well for him at all. I sure hope he goes out with a bang tho but man, he really has nobody in his corner (none that really wanna be there). Next episode is definitely gonna be another big one, can’t wait!

    • man i dont know how they are gonna end this show .. im wondering if we see him bolt it to mexico and get a rug to cover his bald head .. but yeah he is pretty much all alone no one has his back ..

      • I’m betting Todd will end up getting nailed by the DEA with the ‘spider jar’, because he doesn’t bother to wipe off the dead kids fingerprints, and turns states evidence, and Walt gets a big gun to shoot up the DEA safe house where Todd is being protected.

        Also, I didn’t realise there is 16 eps this season. Great news.
        Previously it has been only 13, with just 8 in the first season, if I am not mistaken?

        What a nice change, the final season being the longest. Makes me wonder if that has ever happened before?

        • its pretty much 2 seperate seasons … i dont care what they say .. but i dont see how they are letting this cash cow die ..

  3. … and so begins Jessie finally abandoning Walter. He’ll find out Mike is dead and come to the only conclusion based on Walter dropping the money off. It’s magical. The opening scene depicts Walter completely alone then the rest of the first half of this run explains how he became alone.

    The longest part of the week is when one episode finishes and the countdown to another begins. I think when the first half finishes next week, I will be inconsolable, curl up into a ball and weep for a day.

  4. Given that Mike’s response to Jesse’s “see you around, I guess” was a “no, I don’t think so”, I’m not sure Jesse’s going to find out about Mike’s demise right away. Is Walter going to drag Mike’s body back up to Mike’s now damaged car (probably doesn’t run at this point) or is he going to just bury him along the side of the river and hope it takes a while before the body is discovered? I don’t see Walt dragging his body back to home base for yet another acid bath. But he will have to do something about the car if he has any hopes of keeping this quiet for a while.

    But I can imagine Jesse having one heck of a motive for killing Walt now, even though I’m not sure which he’d be the most unhappy about: the fact that Walt has relieved him of the burden of figuring out what to do with his $5 million, or the fact that Walt killed Mike. And now Walt figures he’s got 10 more people to kill. Is he going to do the wet work himself, or find someone to do it for him? Todd seems eminently qualified (at least morally) for that kind of a job, but I’m not sure he’s got the smarts to keep things from spinning out of control, as they inevitably will.

    You can definitely count me in the “Walt needs to die” camp now.

  5. I think, for Walter to be able to kill the other 9 Fring’s guys, assuming that he will and I’m pretty sure that he will, maybe he’s gonna Todd’s uncle’s connections, you know being in prison and all.

  6. What does everyone think of this scenario for the series finale?

    Hank finally figures out Walt is Heisenberg. Walt spills out everything to Hank privately. Hank, desperately wanting to bust up the blue-meth ring and Mexican Cartels involvement, decides to work out a witness protection deal for Walt and his family. Walt would have to set up a major deal on U.S. soil with a bigtime Mexican Cartel kingpin. With Walt’s help, Hank makes the biggest Meth bust in DEA history thanks to Walt, Jesse could be given immunity for his cooperation. Then Walt and his family all get new identities and live happily ever after in witness protection (Walt’s Cancer still in remission). Part of the deal allows Walt and Jesse to keep millions of dollars in drug money.???????

      • Never got to watch the X-files. But, look how well Henry Hill ended up after going to witness protection in “Goodfellas” and in real life.

  7. i still see walt as that clumsy goof in his white undies .. but no whe is a stone cold serial killer ..

  8. My guess is that the series finale is not going to kill off the main characters. I guess we wont know until next year. Is there a date set for the second half of the season next year?? Anyone know? Or are they still writing and filming.

    Most of the drama series that I watch, and are very popular, don’t end up with the death of the main characters (Walt and Jesse). Look at “24″ and “The Sopranos” for example. The studios like to leave the door open for another possible surprise season in the future or even a big screen movie. This is why the witness protection scenerio that I posted earlier makes sense to me.

  9. I just thought of another possibility…… Walt is thrown in jail and AMC strikes a deal with HBO to bring back the series “OZ”. Walt goes to Ozwald State Penitentiary and figures out how to cook meth in the prison’s kitchen. Then Jesse gets sent there too and they become cooking partners again. All the old prison inmates from “OZ” become the distrubtors, suppliers and hitmen for Walt and Jesse. THAT, would be awesome!!!

    • Hey….I like that!

  10. I just don’t see Walt dying, its too easy since everyone expects it. I think he will just lose everything, ans have Skylar and his child leave him. That being why he celebrated his 52 birthday alone

  11. Well the end of this episode spoiled my half theory. With Jesse leaving the business with no money and seeing Walt train Todd, the guy Jesse now hates, I thought maybe there would be a mini showoff between Walt and Todd and Jesse and Mike somehow. Guess that’s not possible anymore. I still predict the finale as having a showdown between Walt and Hank or Walt and Jesse. Those are the two most logical conclusions I can see to this story.

  12. Everybody seems to forget about what Walt was doing in the very beginning of the first episode of season 5. Remember It was Walts 52 nd birthday and he brought that huge gun from the gun guy. So I am guessing at this time Walt is going to have some kind of showdown with either the dealers or the DEA or both. What do you guys think?

    • He won’t be having a shoot out with his bro-in-law so something in the next 10 episodes is going to end up with Walter royally screwing his new Phoenix distribution network.

  13. I’m not sure if anyone here is familiar with the anime death note but I have a feeling Breaking Bad is going to end similarly. Basically both the DEA and Walt are gonna create plans which predict each others and when it seems like Walt is going to finally take care of everything he is shot by an unlikely 3rd party, Marie. Think about it, he is responsible, either indirectly or directly, for Skyler’s condition, Hank getting shot, and all around bringing danger into her life.

  14. Walter Walter Walter…did you just HAVE to kill poor Mike? The moment I saw the gun in the duffel bag I knew what was going to go down but I liked Mike.

    and I called it on his new “partners” and the master plan :) (plus trying to talk Jesse out of resigning that may still have him returning in the end)

      • it was doomed from the start to fail .. mike wanted nothing to do with jesse and walk and had planned many times to kill them .. he was forced into this relationship .. and well he is done now .. hard to think this science teacher is now the killer of a big time drug lord and his number one enforcer

  15. Anyone else think that Walter White’s turn to the dark side this season has felt just a little ‘too’ contrived?

    Even with the Gray Matter tie in back to Season 1, I can’t help but feel that Walt’s season 5 egomania, and apathy towards piecing his family back together, could have really benefited from just a little more development here and there over the last two seasons. My only gripe this season, or entire series for that matter, to date, as it remains some of the best TV ever created, imo.

    Man, I thought my heart was gonna explode out of my chest when Hank left the room to get Walt some coffee, and the camera stayed with him. I was sure he was heading back in. Made me realize how freakin epic it’s gonna be when that penny finally drops!

  16. I do not care how’s this ends now. Walt, Mike and Jesse were all family and Mike’s death should not have happened. It would have been a great series to watch them work together throught many adversites, until the altimate demise of the family at the end. I liked the brotherhood of the three.

  17. i dont get all the walt hate for killing mike … how many times has mike wanted to kill jesse and walt … if it was up to mike they both would of been dead alot of times allready .. so…. yeah

    • So true, Hank was a murderous hypocrat who just couldn’t stomac that Walt( partially cowardly but a smart man) can get what he wants without an army or Hanks help.
      Not to say that Walt is an angel, but he is a lot more sain and saint than any druglord. He was inwolved in an acsidental child killing, Hank and Gus on the other hand planned child killings.
      The benchmark should be that he only plans to kill criminals, civilians are always collateral.
      But i feeringly feel that it might go to that…

  18. I absolutely love breaking bad BUT just feel it’s lost its way this season, confirming my view that it should’ve ended with season 4s finale. I’m not buying some of the character developments. Walt is out of control in a totally ridiculous way. He started all this for his family. Why would he turn down $5 million when that would mean he would get his children back and wife back? His wife is also being a bit unbelievable. Surely she would just leave him or refuse to launder the money.

    • I think season 5 is great!
      I agree that some of the new character development isn’t quite up to par with the previous seasons style or quality, but this is the final season, and most of the new characters are such small players to the story; it makes sense.
      Yep, Walt is out of control, but it’s completely believable. Taking the $5 million and shutting down shop wouldn’t bring Skylar back to him at this point, NO WAY.. She’s done with him… at this point, I really can’t stand her..
      Walt did start this whole thing for his family, making sure to have them financially covered after he dies. After being given a new lease on life, and now pretty much losing his family, Walt decides to make up for the career and business he sold out for when younger. Becoming the KING is all he has left; why not!
      Anyway, the creators of this show are pure genius, and the thought of it ending just sucks!
      Question: What’s up with splitting up the final season?? Episode 7 is the final episode of 2012???? Can someone please explain this..

      Cheers all!

    • I think the show in general is now getting a bit ridiculous, i dont find it believable at all any more. The plane crash i thought was a bit implausible for such a life like show up to that point, and that last scene with Gus straightening his tie with only half a face was silly. The problem for me though big time is the character development of Walt, they’ve sort of lost me now.

      To me Walt is a feeble minded, petty man, prone to hissy fits and tantrums to get his own way. He’s sly and manipulative, but is tactics are often annoying and exude childishness, and i dont think he’s capable of truly intimidating anybody. Yet they are writing it in that he IS intimidating those around him in the drug world and has some sort of fearful presence; Saul shrinking down in his office when confronted, this cheesy ‘say my name’ line to the dealer. What? That sort of thing would only fly in Walts daydreams, not the real world! Killing Mike in lets face it, a tantrum, how Walter. Its not portrayed that way so much any more is it, he’s being given a kudos as if some sort of dark new alpha kingpin is being born.

      My biggest gripe though is whats this with his family, where has Walter Jr and Hollie gone for him? In the first few seasons Walt was a devoted family man, yet they are now heading towards some sort of Scarface ending without enough provocation. A sociopathic or psychopathic character would have to be entirely missing the traits and empathy which motivated the character in the first few seasons, its just not adding up. I think its this complete turnaround with his family thats lead the character development astray. If he was still a devoted family man his antics out in the field would make more sense, to protect them and provide, -whilst- becoming the success he thinks himself destined to be, and deserves.

      IMHO they should have killed off his family last season, and then made him go off the rails Scarface style, that would have been more believable. Meanwhile i cant help but roll my eyes any time his behaviour is tolerated or even feared by the other characters, and really hope he gets a bullet in his brain very soon – its about time!

  19. I am just now watching this, via netflix, and I have to say that after killing Mike, I am just not that enamored of Walt anymore. I really liked Mike, and I hoped he would get away with it all. Yes, he was a killer, but he wasn’t stone cold. Walter killed him because he was mad, what a baby.