Breaking Bad: S5E13 “To’hajiilee”

8.6 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Anticipation: 10/10
Cinematography: 7/10

Bryan Cranston's interpretation of Walt's reactions, Writers' careful plan for Todd

Hank's self-important, child-like immaturity

It’s really hard not to start off every review with how I end every episode: hand placed to mouth in complete silence, internally screaming, then actual screaming when “Low Winter Sun” comes on. Really – nobody cares about Gale’s new show.

This episode was named “To’hajiilee,” as in To’hajiilee Indian Reservation, aka the same spot in the very first episode of “Breaking Bad” where Walt and Jesse cooked their first batch together. Walt’s always had a soft spot for nostalgia (think back to the very token of remembrance that uncovered his identity to Hank), so it makes sense that Walt would choose a not-so-random spot in the desert to bury seven barrels full of drug-money. **Memories**, you guys.

I really like the direction this final half-season has being going in with ending episodes in the middle of an intense altercation. Two weeks ago, Jesse was pouring gasoline all over the White residence in an adrenaline-pumped craze. This week, we have to attempt a shot (no pun intended) at patience after being left on the ultimate cliffhanger: Walt, Jesse, Hank and Gomez in the middle of a shower of bullets from white supremacists – which I guess Todd is a part of.

So, remember when I said that Todd was going to fuck shit up for every one at the end? Remember when I implied he was a sociopath (gotta be sensitive with the “S” word on TV)? Yeah, it’s true. Let’s look at Todd’s history to prove why.

  • He doesn’t really have any morals, and it’s clear from the start: He didn’t mind stealing from the people who hired him back in the Vamonos Pest days.
  • Todd didn’t even think twice about killing Drew Sharp.
  • After killing an innocent kid, who had no idea what just happened, he kept Drew’s tarantula as a memento (definitely creepier than Walt’s mementos, but still comparable).
  • He is eager to please everyone and sees these relationships as beneficial to himself.
  • You have to be a few screws short if your female crush is Lydia.
  • He kills without any thought behind the act, in a mechanical fashion. During the final scene of “To’hajiilee,” he’s shooting his machine gun with the disposition of Grumpy Cat.

Todd is the loose cannon, who wasn’t dealt with back when it was necessary in “Dead Freight,” and now he’s going to do whatever it takes to reach his ultimate goal, which is to raise his batch’s purity.


Actual note from Todd to himself. Apparently, Todd’s Photoshop dexterity is a little rough.

But, while as of now, I believe Todd is simmering in the background to brilliantly explode everything Walt has been working for, “Breaking Bad” is not a show about Todd. The real players are Hank, Jesse and, of course, Walt.

I don’t know if I officially carry the flashing neon-sign over my head declaring “UNPOPULAR OPINION COMING THROUGH. MAKE WAY,” but if it’s not clear, let me make it so. I am not on Team Hank, and by default, I guess I’m not on Team Jesse anymore either.

Jesse is a rat, and the only reason he confessed was because he’s so easily manipulated. Walt is usually doing the manipulation, but this time, it’s Hank, who for the record, doesn’t care if Jesse dies and doesn’t really plan to offer him any form of genuine protection after Walt is captured. To Hank, Jesse going to Belize just means another junkie is off the streets. Jesse is equally guilty of the crimes Walt has committed, due to their former mutually assured-destruction plan, but he should know that Hank is only looking out for himself. I do have to give the new-duo props for intelligently scheming a plan that would lead to Huell uncovering evidence about the barrels of money, that would then lead to them faking a photograph of such a barrel, taken in the backyard of Hank’s home. Walt was finally out-smarted. It took five seasons, but it happened. When Jesse shows up with Hank and Gomez and Walt realizes that the entire thing was a setup, there’s nothing left to do but to turn himself in, because killing family has always been against the rules.*

Bryan Cranston’s interpretation of Walt this season has been interesting. He’s showing more of the old Walt and struggling with wanting to remain “pure.” Just like in the garage scene from this year’s premiere episode, Cranston works through the emotions in his head, physically taking his time, before acting it out. What results is a barely noticeable stream of tears that evokes so much more than “You got me.”

He’s defeated. His money is probably going to be taken away. Because he still has that moral weight that refuses to kill Hank, he can do nothing but submit. He stays quiet while Hank, Gomez and Jesse smile like children feeling like they’ve just out-smarted their parents. Walt’s only word after hearing his Miranda rights is “Coward,” which he directs at Jesse and starts cockfight.

For all the people who are on Team Hank, how does it feel to cheer on a guy who balances the gravity of a situation with frat-boy douchiness?

It’s tough to cheer on Hank when he does that “Hey. Buddy!” half chuckle and acts so self-important.

But writers play equal. He calls his wife, Marie, to tell her the good news. He even throws in an “I love you, baby.” Promising to see her tonight. In TV language, that practically guarantees he won’t, and if he does, even I would feel bad if he shows up paralyzed from the waist-down – again.

*Walt refuses to kill family, yet plans on putting a hit on Jesse, who he says “is like family.” Let that simmer in your head.

After thoughts:

  • I think my favorite, non-action packed scene this week was Walter Jr.’s reaction to his first “celebrity” encounter with Saul Goodman. “Don’t drink and drive. But if you do, call me.”
  • Get excited. Next week’s episode is “Ozymandias”!

Tweet me @claudiacmarina all things “Breaking Bad,” which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. 




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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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