Oh the sheer genius and great irony of an episode that could be succinctly described in the first act Hank performed after discovering the real W.W.: flushing.
In Season 5, Episode 13 of Breaking Bad, smartly named ‘To’hajiilee,’ we’re willing witnesses to an ultimate, life-or-death, cat-and-mouse game that’s quickly approaching its all-too-soon ending. Walt and Jesse attempt to flush each other out, but by the end of the episode, the s#*! has finally hit the fan, and it doesn’t seem like anyone’s going to come out of this war clean.[ref]Except for Walter Jr. He has a promising career in the car wash business, if only he’d apply himself a bit more.[/ref]
That said, here are 10 moments you might [ref]You might not have either, astute Breaking Bad fan that you are!![/ref] have missed in ‘To’hajiilee.’
- First, a reference to the previous episode, ‘Rabid Dog.’ As shared in the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast for that episode, the pictures that adorn the walls of Walter and Skyler’s hotel room are of … To’hajiilee.
- In this episode’s opening scene, Jack tells Lydia that they’ll put food coloring in Todd’s meth in order to make it blue like Walter’s superior product. This actually occurred in real-life and may have been one of the inspirations for Walter’s unique product.[ref]Note the 2007 publication date on that article and that the article states that blue meth appeared “a few years ago,” all pre-dating Breaking Bad.[/ref]
- The mug that Todd lovingly hands Lydia has an American flag with the motto “These Colors Don’t Run” emblazoned on it. While she’s drinking out of the mug, they’re talking about the fact that the color of Todd’s meth has run … away.
- When Walter’s talking to Todd, Uncle Jack, and his Neo-Nazis for hire hit-crew, Todd sits next to a red lamp (death/murder), the background appears greenish (money),[ref]and there’s a pool table in the background[/ref] and Walter’s wearing a black jacket with a gray shirt (moral depravity). As we know by now, the colors tell us much about the internal world of these characters … though there’s not much that they’re revealing outside of what we already know about them.[ref]Conversely, it’ll be shocking to see any of these characters in any vastly different colors over the last three episodes.[/ref]
- After Walter and Saul’s encounter at the A1 Car Wash, Walter goes back inside to consider his next move. It’s where we see the scene pictured above, “ICE COLD” not-so-subtly reminding us of Walter’s psyche. However, right after that shot, we see this one:
Might this be a visual precursor to the bars that Walt will be behind for the rest of his known life?
- To’hajiilee, or Tohajiilee, is the real-life name for an Indian Reservation just west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It belongs to the Navajo Nation, covers about 120 square miles, and has a population of around 1600. According to an uncertain forum post, Tohajiilee is a Navajo word that means “place near water.” As we well know by now, Tohajiilee was the site of Walter and Jesse’s first RV cookout as well as the burial plot for Walter’s seven barrels of cash.
- When Walter exits his car after being duped into driving to Tohajiilee, he exits with his gun drawn, pointing it at someone who isn’t there. It’s quite the well-crafted inversion of the pilot episode where Walter has pulled a gun on someone who isn’t there and never will be. Unfortunately for Walter (and eventually Hank, Gomey, and Jesse), this visit to To’hajiilee doesn’t end the same way.
- Given how this episode ended, the touching moment between Hank and Marie seems ominous, especially given Hank’s seemingly innocent words to his wife, “It may be awhile before I get home.”
- How in the world has no one been shot yet in that hail of bullets ending?
- Lastly, next week’s episode it called ‘Ozymandias.’ If you haven’t already, you would do well to watch the incredible teaser below (released before the last half of Season 5) and to read up on your Percy Bysshe Shelley.
With all my furious note-taking and conversation transcription, that was all I noticed. What did you see?
How do you think it’s going to end?
Vote here and/or add your own guesses.