Following each new episode of Breaking Bad, I’ll provide a Top 10 list of moments you might have missed. By no means will these lists be exhaustive, nor will they necessarily be moments you actually missed, astute Breaking Bad fan that you are. Then again, this show has to move so quickly over the next eight weeks that the creators must cram each episode with an immense amount of plot, so some scenes and references are sure to be missed given the momentum that is quickly carrying Walt down the river Styx[ref]Even though I still don’t think he’s going to die by series’ end. Get my book to read why.[/ref]
That said, read no further if you have yet to watch Season 5, Episode 9 of Breaking Bad, “Blood Money.”
- As soon as I spied broken glass in future Walter’s condemned home, I had an inkling we’d see his visage as a many-faced reflection. Sure enough, the last shot in that scene is Walter’s face reflected in shattered glass, evidence of a cracked soul many times over. It’s a visual cliché, but wholly appropriate for Walter “Heisenberg” White.
- Did you catch the first words spoken as Hank returns to the White’s backyard, now knowing who the real W.W. is? Hank’s wife Marie jokingly tells Walter, “You are the devil.”
- Holly wears pink in that backyard scene, as well as when she and Walter say goodbye to the Schraders. As I discuss in The Gospel According to Breaking Bad, pink is a fearsome color, alluding to innocence as well as possibly pending death. Witness the charred teddy bear in Season 2. I fear for Holly.
- When Hank crashes his car and experiences a panic attack, his wife’s many words fade out as squealing white noise fades in. The same type of audio cue was also used when Walter first learned that he had cancer.
- At the car wash, the seemingly newly reformed Walter can’t help his empire-building ways. “What do successful car wash owners do? They buy more car washes. Wouldn’t two be better than one?”
- The elevator music that plays in the background of the car wash as Walter and Lydia discuss business and her car wash was a perfect complement to the surreal banality of their conversation.
- “Wordmule” by Jim White plays as Hank pores through the case files, trying to figure out the connections that have both eluded him and nearly killed him over the last year. It’s worth reading the lyrics to “Wordmule,” as multiple lines in this short song could reference many of the themes in Breaking Bad.[ref]Additionally, this is the first instance of a Jim White song in the series, despite the fact that Gilligan has been wanting to use one of White’s songs ever since the pilot. In the director’s cut of the pilot, the Jim White song “If Jesus Drove a Motorhome” plays, fittingly, during Walter and Jesse’s first RV cookout. Additionally, Gilligan actually attended NYU at the same time as White. — Breaking Bad Insider Podcast Season 5, Episode 509[/ref]
- Red, blue, and green swirl behind Jesse’s head in his first scene of this episode. As many others have pointed out, these colors represent death, meth, and money, all three themes that are likewise swirling through Jesse’s mind at that moment.
- In a visual counterpoint to Walter’s cracked-mirror reflection, we later see Jesse’s face reflected in a messy glass table. Even though a cockroach walks over his reflection, it should be noted that Jesse’s reflection is still whole.
- Walter’s lying words to Jesse: “You need to stop focusing on the darkness behind you. The past is the past. Nothing can change what we’ve done.” Additionally, in regards to Mike’s death, he tells Jesse twice that “I need you to believe me,” that is, “I need you to believe that I didn’t kill Mike (even though I did).” Gilligan has said that Walter’s superpower is his ability to lie to himself. “He is the world’s greatest liar. He could lie to the pope. He could lie to Mother Teresa.” I just hope Jesse doesn’t fall for his lies. Again.
There’s no way you missed this moment, so it doesn’t make the list, but an entire chapter could conceivably be written about Jesse throwing wads of cash out of his window as he’s driving through a run-down neighborhood at night. He’s in so deep that he can’t even buy his redemption.
And man, that punch.
There’s no way you missed that, nor did you miss any of the menacing words in that final scene, nor will you miss any of the seven episodes left in this astounding television experience that refuses to tread lightly through our Sunday nights.
Read more posts like this in 80 Moments You Might Have Missed in the Last Season of Breaking Bad.