Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 5 Discussion

Throughout the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, our writers will sit down to take an in-depth look at the show. As always, beware of spoilers.

For other episode discussions, check our pop culture page.

Vinny Ginardi: I just finished screaming at the TV. Breaking Bad ended half an hour ago.

Earlier today, I saw this pop up on my Twitter feed:

I thought crazy might be the chance of Mike shooting Lydia in the head with his gun pistol. I thought crazy might be a train heist gone wrong. Hell, at the end of the episode I thought that crazy meant a train heist gone right.

As it turns out, crazy was a young child, who as far as we know only cared about collecting spiders and riding his dirtbike, taking a bullet from a character we barely know, having his life come to an end for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In these posts, we’ve discussed on a few different occasions how Breaking Bad doesn’t hold back on consequences. From the plane crashing in season two to Jesse having to kill Gale in season three to everything else that has happened, everything, positive or negative, has been a direct result of the actions of our two main characters. And tonight’s episode was no different. Even if you look at just this episode, had Walt and Jesse not stressed to Todd the importance of having nobody else know about the heist, would he have killed that young boy? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s possible he wouldn’t have.

My friend Andrew Petsche, with whom I watched tonight’s episode with, had us rewind and replay the final scene so we could look at the extreme difference in reactions between Walt and Jesse as Todd pulled out his gun. Jesse screamed in shock and disapproval, much like I did.

Walt, on the other hand, didn’t react at all. His expression never changed. Having to kill an innocent child didn’t affect him in the slightest.

And you know what? That’s pretty crazy.

Mike Aurigemma:  This is exactly what I have come to know and love about Breaking Bad.  I was disappointed after last weeks episode and just when I let my guard down they throw this huge shocker at me.

When the innocent kid pulled up in the bike, I really did not know what to expect.  I thought maybe MIke would come over and handle the situation or Walt would do something, but Todd?  I mean of all people.  Just unpredictable, but in a way it was the best way to portray what kind of show this is.

Vinny you really hit the nail on the head when talking about consequences with Breaking Bad.  If Todd did not understand just how important of a secret this was there is definitely a chance that he reacted differently, but he felt obligated to take the action he did.

Walt is really amazing to watch as a character because of the impact his words have on everyone else.  This is another great example of that and you could almost tell that he was proud of the whole ordeal.  Like he was the one who influenced Todd and pushed him to take the action that he did.

Much like Vinny, I was stunned with this ending, but really why should I have been.  These are the kinds of things that have been going on for multiple seasons and are a reason why this is considered a great show.

Michael Cresci: Breaking Bad strikes again!  Once again a slow start to a season proved necessary to deliver impact later on.  Season 4 took a few episodes to get its pieces into place but then things took off and were all the better for the setup. Looks like Season 5 will be utilizing that same technique.

“Dead Freight” proved why Breaking Bad is far and away the best show on television.  No show is able to provide more shocking, believable moments that instantly go down as iconic parts of television lore.  This was right up there with the end of “Half Measure”, Gus wiping out an entire cartel, Hank’s shootout in “One Minute”, and the incalculable television bliss of the ending of “Crawl Space.”  There is no other show capable of building to these unimaginable moments and the joy of watching week to week knowing something big could happen is part of what makes BB so special.

What stood out to me most was the thoroughness with which they shot the train heist.  It was shown in its entirely and took up a substantial portion of the episode.  Not only that but they pulled it off crafting a long, tension filled robbery that was totally believable.  Then the show did what it does best and twisted viewer expectations.  The whole episode seemed to be pointing to Todd dying during the heist or, at the very least, messing it up somehow but in the end he turned out to be exactly what Walt was waiting for.  Someone who takes his orders without question and has the stomach to do the dirty work.  This doesn’t bode well for anyone.  Especially not that tarantula.

VG: I’m curious to see how the group responds to Todd’s actions. It’s possible that Walt will use him as sort of a soldier (as Cresci is implying), but I’m not sure that is something that Jesse and Mike would respond well to. Jesse clearly did not agree with Todd’s actions and Mike just seems like he is itching to put a bullet in someone’s head. Todd could be someone who becomes an integral part of the business or someone who gets killed off in the very next episode. The best part is that I have no idea what to expect.

Obviously, this episode will always be remembered for it’s ending. And the ending in particular showcased what separates quality television from the rest of the pack. Breaking Bad is unpredictable, realistic, carefully plotted and willing to go places that other shows wouldn’t dare. It causes you to jump out of your seat and makes you feel multiple, and sometimes contradictory, emotions at once. This episode was all that and more.

MA:  It definitely will be interesting to see where they go with Todd in the coming episodes.  I cannot see him having a huge role in the final season, but he will probably help create some separation between Walt and Jesse again.  It will be clear how different Walt and Jesse think in this next episode, but I think Mike will be an integral part in deciding Todd’s faith.  Mike is someone who likes to oversee a lot of the whole operation and I do not think he will respond well to finding out that Todd took that action without his consent.

Shocking.

It seems like we have all been echoing each others thought on why this is such a great show and it really cannot be said enough.  These are the episodes that illustrate why this is not on a channel like ABC or TNT.  AMC does a great job in bringing television to another level and is right there with HBO in that category, which is amazing since HBO has a lot less boundaries compared to AMC. If the season continues on this route, which I believe it will there is no doubt in my mind that this will arguably go down as one of the all-time greatest television shows.

MC:  Vinny’s point on the group reaction is what interests me most.  I know better than to try and predict Breaking Bad plot points but I do have a feeling that Jesse is going to be pretty damn upset about this, Walt will see it as necessary and Mike…I don’t know how the hell Mike is going to react.  This sort of episode/ending is a perfect example of why I never watch the “Next Week On” section.  The dynamic of Vamanos Pest is about to experience a mighty shake up and whether Todd survives the next episode or not, he represents Walt’s dream employee and, after Walt gave Jesse his little speech on Victor’s death, it gives me a bad feeling about Jesse’s place in the operation.

In the end, if we’re going to rave about how beautifully unpredictable this show it’s probably best to just sit back and wait.  Because it’s a near guarantee that Vince Gilligan and Co. are going to keep ratcheting up the intensity.  Dark days have arrived in the deserts of New Mexico.  And that’s just the way Walt likes it.