‘Breaking Bad’ Midseason Finale Recap (Season 5, Episode 8): “Gliding Over All”
Holy shit. I knew it was coming but I didn’t expect it to happen like that. Maybe it was too predictable – it’s really the only thing that would make a suitable cliffhanger to keep us excited over the next 10 months – but the way in which it was executed was a surprise and a delight, especially because it’s such a perfect Breaking Bad moment.
That’s right, it’s finally happened: Hank knows. And he figures it out by reading Gale Boetticher’s dedication to Walter White in his copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass whilst sitting on the toilet. As I said, a perfect Breaking Bad moment, like something out of a dark comedy by the Coen Bros. A character experiencing a stunning revelation while they’re trying to take a dump. Brilliant.
And though the episode ends with this revelation, there’s also a lot of other stuff to think about between now and whenever the show returns next year (presumably July). Is Walt truly out of the business? What is Jesse going to do with his money? What about Declan and the Phoenix guys? What about the new Czech operation Lydia has set up? What about Lydia? What about Todd? What about that goddamn fly?
“Gliding Over All” almost feels like a finale, due to Walt hanging up his Heisenberg hat and supposedly leaving the business for goo–but also feels like the midpoint it really is. Even though there are only eight episodes left, there’s still a lot more to come and even more to be resolved. Walt still has to get a new identity and appearance, go on the run and end up in New Hampshire, then return to Albuquerque and buy a very big gun. I’m guessing we’re not going to see the result of this until the series finale, but I can’t wait to see how it’s set up over the last eight episodes.
What else happens in “Gliding Over All”? There’s a beautiful and horrifying prison montage with Todd’s prison connections killing Mike’s nine guys (and the lawyer). It’s like six seasons of Oz in two minutes. Todd continues to be Walt’s new best friend by disposing of Mike’s car and then of Mike himself, along with cooking and delivering the product to Declan’s guys. Lydia even proves how useful she really is, after she provides Walt with the names and helps distribute meth to the Czech Republic. Walt is eventually persuaded by his wife to leave the business after she shows him how much money he has made over the last three months (think of a smaller version of the big pile of money the Joker burns in The Dark Knight). And Walt goes for another ambiguous checkup, and notices the towel dispenser he beat way back in the second season after learning his cancer was in remission.
… but is it still? And what is Hank going to do with Walt? I think we’re in for eight of the best episodes of television ever made next year, and this 10-month hiatus is going to be torture.
“You got me.”
Image credit: AMC
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