Breaking Bad Breakdown: Rabid Dog

by Nick Jobe · September 3, 2013 · Featured, Features, TV · 4 Comments

Episode: ”Rabid Dog” (5.12)

Original Air Date: 9/1/13

Written by: Sam Catlin

Directed by: Sam Catlin

Line Synopsis: Walt attempts to find and deal with Jesse after he nearly burned down Walt’s house. Jesse partners with Hank in an attempt for finally bring Walt to justice.

Character Breakdown

Walt is back to his old ways, trying to cover things up from his wife and family. His mentality has seemingly gone back to before anything had happened. He’s cancer free and is out of the drug business. And his family is seemingly in good standing (except for Hank and Marie). But his cancer returns and things start falling apart with Jesse, so it’s almost like Walt has to go back to the basic deceptions he started out with rather than just telling Skyler the truth. But she’s no fool, so she knows he’s straight-up lying and forces him to tell the truth. He also seems to be in a state of caring about Jesse (although he technically always has). But when Jesse takes one step too far, Walt jumps ahead a few steps back to his Heisenberg mentality and begins a process to potentially take Jesse down.

Jesse is finally fed up with Walt and all that he gets away with. He agrees to help Hank, though admits he has no physical proof so his testimony won’t amount to much. Hank and Gomez ultimately agree, which brings them to the point of putting a wire on Jesse to catch Walt’s confession in secret. But Jesse’s paranoia of Walt is too high, and just the sight of a guy who looks like he could be a hitman sends Jesse into a panic. But at the same time, he realizes how he can help bring Walt down once and for all. But is Jesse smart enough to outsmart Walt?

Hank is really dipping into antihero territory lately. He’s really mirroring Walt’s actions of doing whatever is necessary for him to get what he wants. This really comes to the forefront when he has this very discussion about Walt with Jesse, but then turns around and admits to Gomez that he doesn’t care if Jesse is killed in the process–either way they’ll have proof to bring Walt down. It’s a rather devious way of going about taking down Walt, and I’m not too sure if I like that. But I do appreciate how Jesse has taken Hank’s job into his own hands now.

Episode Thoughts


I completely loved this episode and the format it was done in. I love how it started from Walt’s perspective and then, halfway in, turns back the clock and shows everything from Jesse and Hank’s perspective (before finally going back to Walt, then Jesse one last time).

That being said, I think one of this episode’s strengths was in the little things. Marie’s dip into madness was done quite well, though it’s clear she won’t make that step, which shows how different she is to Walt and Skyler. And the line about “Will it be bad for Walt?” to which Hank replies “Very” so she says “Good. I’m staying.” was perfect. Also, might I add that even when Badger and Skinny Pete aren’t around, they’re still great comedy? That Babylon 5 line made me laugh, and it was probably my favorite line of the episode. Seriously, how can these guys not get a spin-off show?

On the downside of things, let’s talk about Skyler. You might know by now that I am not a Skyler fan. At all. And while I understand her fear and worries of any situation, including this one, it’s always how she deals with and reacts to with these situations that drive me crazy. The actress, Anna Gunn, recently wrote a response to all the hate her character gets. Her response? ‘If you hate Skyler, you’re sexist. And the more you hate Skyler, the more sexist you are.’ No, ma’am. I, and others, do not hate Skyler because we are sexist (I know just as many women who hate her as men, if not more). What makes us hate her is the fact she is a loathsome human being. And this episode pretty much cements that fact as she goes to a darkness that not even Walt wants to go to (murdering Jesse). That being said, this also ties into her “Lady MacBeth” persona, so it does work in that regard.

So the end of this episode leaves us with two major questions: 1) What is Jesse’s plan to capture Walt? and 2) Is Walt’s plan to use Todd’s family against Jesse or Hank? My personal thoughts are that Jesse might tell Walt Jr. the truth and turn son against father. And I also think Walt is sending Todd’s kin against Jesse, since he’s relatively sure he has Hank under control at the moment. But who is going to get to whom first? I can’t wait to see!

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4 Responses to Breaking Bad Breakdown: Rabid Dog

  1. Dylan Dylan says:

    I won’t try to dissuade you from not liking Skyler – that’s your prerogative – but this line is just way off: “And this episode pretty much cements that fact as she goes to a darkness that not even Walt wants to go to (murdering Jesse).”

    “That even Walt wants to go?” So you mean you completely buy his naive bullshit, playing with Skyler with all his “What are we even talking about here?” chatter, not two seconds after having the same conversation with Saul? Which itself was b.s. as well, considering that the man was stalking Jesse (or so he thought) with a gun just earlier in the episode…not to mention the entire conversation he and Jesse had in the prior episode out in the desert.

    Walt can play innocent all he wants in regards to his feelings and eventual “course of action” about Jesse, but the only person buying it at this stage should be Walt Jr.

    • nicholasjobe says:

      I disagree. First, I don’t believe he brought the gun to actively kill Jesse, but more as self-defense. Who WOULDN’T bring some sort of protection in that kind of situation? Even if he didn’t WANT to kill Jesse, he wasn’t gonna go in empty handed when he was flying off the rails like that. Walt’s not stupid.

      I also agree with Hank that Jesse is the one person outside his immediate family that Walt won’t kill. He’ll manipulate the hell out of him, but he wouldn’t kill him. I mean, seriously… just look at the entirety of Season 4. Walt will do a lot and kill a lot, but Jesse is one of the very, very few people that is off limits, even to him.

      In the desert, Walt was never going to kill Jesse. He wanted him gone, but not dead. If Walt was serious about having him out of the picture, he could have easily killed him off without forcing him to skip town. It was ONLY when Jesse made his final threat to seriously go after him (presumably at his family) that Walt drew the line in the sand and called Todd. He tried everything he could to rein him in before going this final step.

      So, yes, I do believe that at that point of the episode, Skyler took a step that not even Walt was willing to take.

      • Dylan Dylan says:

        I agree that Walt didn’t want to kill Jesse and, of course, that he could have quite easily many times if he had wanted to do so, up to and including the desert scene. And I agree that his bringing the gun to the house was in self-defense. What I don’t buy for a second is that this mastermind, this chess player, this cold SOB had never once remotely considered it and/or would be so offended that others would bring it up. He’s been a pretty ruthless bastard, so I’m just having a hard time swallowing his “le shock!” when Skyler/Saul bring it up.

        • nicholasjobe says:

          It’s possible it could be a middle ground where he was playing up the shock to Skyler and Saul, but still honestly felt he really didn’t want to do it. I mean, after the last 4 and a half seasons of him going out of his way to protect Jesse, even if that meant risking himself, I have a HARD time believing he would easily entertain the idea of killing him.

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