- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
The "Breaking Bad" season 5 episode 12 recap is most easily summarized as full of role reversals, surprises and outright desperation as many of the characters become ever more ruthless and intent on achieving their goals. It's for that reason that showrunner Vince Gilligan and the staff named the episode "Rabid Dog." For spoilers, read on.
"Breaking Bad" season 5 episode 12 begins with Jesse in the same position he was at the end of episode 11- dousing Walt's house with gasoline in preparation to burn his house down. By the time Walt show's up, however Jesse has mysteriously disappeared, leaving the house reeking of gasoline.
Walt's lie to Skyler and his son Walter Jr.- a "pump malfunction" at the gas station required him to rush home and bathe, leaving his gas-soaked clothing on the carpet- falls flat. Flynn's plea for his father to "just tell the truth" could be indicative of a future revelation, as the teen is the last character on "Breaking Bad" to still be unaware of his father's meth empire and status as murderous kingpin Heisenberg.
After moving the family to a hotel, Walt's meeting with Saul reveals the major conflict of "Rabid Dog." The sleazy lawyer suggest Jesse be put down because, in his words, its "an Old Yeller type situation"; the faithful partner has become rabid and unstable.
"Don't float that idea again," Walt warns Saul, saying he will be able to talk Jesse out of further action against him once he's found. Walt, when confronted about Skyler about his secret meeting, is astonished and hurt when she suggests killing Jesse too to protect the family.
"What's one more?" she asks, seemingly abandoning her previous stance as the somewhat moral foil to her husband's devious activities. Similarly, her sister Marie reveals to her psychiatrist that she, too fantasizes about murder, but Walt is the target in her vicious daydreams.
A flashback to earlier shows that Jesse didn't "change his mind" about burning down the White residence the way Walt thought- Hank showed up, gun in hand, and convinced Jesse to help "burn down" Walt together.
Jesse, now a guest at Hank's house, gives a full confession to Hank and the apparently suddenly enlightened agent Gomez on camera. When "Gomie" tells Hank that the confession isn't enough evidence for the DEA, Hank plans for Jesse and Walt to meet up and get more evidence via their conversation.
"You two guys are just guys. Mr. White, he's the devil," Jesse balks, unconvinced that he won't be killed by Heisenberg in broad daylight. "He's smarter than you. He's luckier than you. Whatever is supposed to happen, the exact reverse opposite is going to happen."
Hank's ruthlessness is put on display when he tell Gomez that he doesn't care what happens to Jesse: if he's killed, "we will get it all on tape," he growls.
The meeting between Walt and Jesse, though, never happens. Jesse, seeing a black-clad man standing close to his former partner in the plaza square, freaks out and leaves. His ominous message to Walt that he'll "get [him] where [he] really lives" and his answer to Hank that he has a "better way" of bringing Walt down could mean he has a better plan in store.
"Rabid Dog" ends with Walt's call to perhaps the most heartless person on "Breaking Bad"- Todd.
"I have a job for you," says Heisenberg.