10 moments you might have missed in Breaking Bad's Confessions

August 25, 2013 Season 5, Episode 11

con·fes·sion: Noun \kon-fe-shen\

  • "a disclosure of one's sins in the sacrament of reconciliation"
  • "a written or oral acknowledgment of guilt by a party accused of an offense"

In other words, Walter White has never read a dictionary.

Before we delve into the 10 moments you might have missed in Season 5, Episode 11's "Confessions," (Really, everything in these last few episodes is fairly blatant considering the writers need to explain so much in so little time), read "10 Moments You Might Have Missed in Breaking Bad's 'Blood Money'" or "10 Moments You Might Have Missed in Breaking Bad's 'Buried,'"

I highly recommend that you do so. I'd be intrigued to know whether or not these moments stood out to you, or what other moments you noticed that I missed. Sometimes I'm so busy taking notes during the show that I fear I've missed many more than the 10 moments I describe. Now, let's order up some table-side guacamole and get to confessing ...

  1. Walter, fearful that he's about to lose Walter Jr. to Marie, uses partial truth to manipulate his son into staying by his side. In addition to the egregious lies he tells throughout the series, Walter can also use just the right amount of honesty to maintain control of his rapidly decaying world.
  2. Walter's video-taped confession begins with the same introductory words as his first video-taped confession in the pilot episode. "My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane." However, this episode's "confession" turns out to be quite different than the one he recorded in the pilot. (Also, it should be duly noted that the Whites live at "Black Creek" Lane. If you look, blacks and whites ying-yang throughout nearly every episode.)
  3. When the Schraders and Whites meet for the most awkward lunch ever, Marie wears black, a noticeable departure from her purple wardrobe. Unless this was meant to tell us something about future Marie, I'd hazard a guess that it represents the very words she spoke to Walter and Skyler: "Why don't you kill yourself Walt? This whole thing dies with you, right? Maybe you should just go ahead and die then." Marie's an angel of death. (If she's the one to finally take out Walt, well, I don't think anyone would expect that.)
  4. There's a strange, eerie, diabolical red streak running down the center of Walter's face when his confession plays for Hank and Marie. I'm not entirely sure what to make of that (if anything even should be made of it), but I wouldn't be surprised to see Walter and the color red share many more scenes together.
  5. In Walter's astounding confession, these particular words are true, though their intent is quite misleading: "I was in hell. I hated myself for what I had brought upon my family." He is in hell and he does hate himself for what he's brought upon his family. How does one escape hell then?
  6. I've described Hank as a bulldog before, but the underbite he displayed on multiple occasions in this episode has now solidified my description. His inner tenacity has physically manifested itself.
  7. Again with the black vs. white: when Jesse and Saul meet Walter in the desert, Saul's car is white, Walter's is black. The epic battle of good and evil continues. (On a literal side note, this scene was incredible. Oscars deserved all around, even for the tarantula. I mean, how did it know to crawl toward Jesse?)
  8. In what I thought to be one of the most striking visuals of this episode, Jesse has a veritable halo above his head when he's in Saul's office on the cusp of starting a new life. Jesse's standing, his back leaning on the front of Saul's desk. The camera shows Jesse's profile and a bright white light shines just behind his head. When the camera changes, we see Jesse from the front, his head nearly perfectly haloed by a circle of white light emanating from Saul's back wall. Was this intentional, a visual cue of a future event? Will Jesse attain sainthood by series' end? (Note that one of the main requirements for sainthood is ... death.)
  9. Back at the carwash, Skyler tells a customer, "Thank you for your honesty." It's a subtly funny line. This is about the only person on the show she'd be able to tell that to. On a much more trivial note, a display stand for 5-Hour Energy drinks sits right in front of the carwash's cash register. Either 5-Hour Energy has some smart marketing or the writers were giving a subtle nod to the fact that we only have five hours of the show left to enjoy and that we better be alert because they're not going to let up.
  10. The final scene of the episode shows Jesse spewing gasoline all over the White's house. The final moment is a point-of-view shot from directly beneath the pouring gasoline. It echoes nearly every single time we've seen Jesse cooking meth, a POV-shot from the bottom of whatever barrel Jesse's pouring chemicals into. Such visual recursions happen all the time in Breaking Bad. They remind us that things can both change and stay the same simultaneously.

Lastly, here's a moment that doesn't make the list since it's technically fodder for next week. In the last line of the preview for Episode 12, we hear Jesse say, "Walter. He's the devil," which is exactly what I said in this excerpt of my book.

The last thing I'll leave you with is something that Gennifer Hutchison, a writer for Breaking Bad, told The Hollywood Reporter about the scene where Jesse punches Saul and comes to the full realization that Walt's lied to him all along about Brock's poisoning: "It was such a question of what would Jesse do? How would he retaliate?"

In other words, WWJD?


If you enjoyed this post, you may also appreciate The Gospel According to Breaking Bad, available in digital, print, and audio.

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