They were partners, colleagues, and even friends. A dynamic and close working relationship that is in absolute tatters as this episode opens. Jesse has learned that Walt isn't just a ruthless drug lord but also that Walt's sins are much worse than Jesse could have imagined. For half the episode we watch as Walt tries so hard to keep Jesse on his side while still keeping at the ready to end him should the need arise. After rushing home to find an empty house, albeit with some gasoline staining the floor, Walt just assumes Jesse has bugged out on an angry, cocaine fueled, drug binge and still isn't ready to do what might be necessary. Walt may have to kill Jesse.
Jesse was ready to end it all in a ball of fire but Hank wasn't going to let Walt off so easy. Hank, who had been following Jesse after he returned to Saul's law office, convinces Jesse there is another way to prevent Walt from running from his sins. Hank puts Jesse in his car and sobers him up finally so Jesse can finally share the horrible path he and Walt took. Jesse knows his confession isn't enough since all the evidence that could have once linked Walt to Heisenberg has all disappeared. This really only leaves one choice for Hank and the DEA, a choice that Walt himself handed to them.
Walt may be demented and evil but he still has a soft place in his heart for Jesse. Walt continually calls Jesse leaving messages in hopes to meet up and talk things out. When Jesse agrees he does so with Hank and his partner Gomez listening in. As Jesse approaches Walt in a public park everything changes when he spots a would-be thug. Jesse calls Walt from a nearby payphone and two plans are laid into place. One by Jesse and Hank, a "better way" to take him down once and for all. Walt's plan includes Todd's uncle who has known ties so a more violent and darker side of crime. Walt and Jesse, once partners in crime, are now at war. Sides have been chosen and who knows who will survive.
For the past three weeks Breaking Bad has left me a mixture of stunned, amazed, and wanting o so very wanting. "Rabid Dog" didn’t leave me in that same emotional state. This isn’t a bad thing. Not everything can and should be cranked to 11 lest Vince Gilligan wants to leave viewers emotionally numb to everything. So the ending of "Rabid Dog" was a nice reprieve. That said, I’m now puzzling out what Jesse means by his better way to bring down Mr. White. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN!?!?!!?
Keeping with the dogisms Hank shows that old dogs can learn new tricks. He finally breaks his cycle of being a lone wolf and brings in some friends. One of which happens to be Jesse Pinkman. Jesse finally gets to have his confessional, all of which is off screen, and has begun working with Hank. Ratting out all the dirty deeds he and Mr. White have done. Not that it does Hank much good, there is no physical evidence linking the two. Just the words of a junkie against a former chemistry teacher and business teacher.
Leaving Hank no choice than to wire Jesse up and get him to meet with Mr. White. If there is one thing Hank and Walter have in common it’s their pragmatism. Hank doesn't really want to help Jesse. He lets as much be known once Pinkman left to use the John. But using Jesse to get some kind of a confession out of White was the best move to make. And if Walter has a clock tower sniper set for Jesse, well, they’ll have it all on tape and have some real evidence against Walter White.
That pragmatic side of White is at conflict all throughout this episode. Sending Jesse off to Belize (bad trip) is the best option. At the same time as Hank points out he needs Jesse to be around so that he can have someone to confess and justify to. Someone who will listen to him and let him feel like less of a cancerous piece of shit. I love the use of varied high angle shots in Breaking Bad it gives me as a viewer a sense of omniscience. The would be meeting between Jesse and Mr. White was filled with many perspective bending shots. Making it appear Jesse and Mr. White are so near but in fact separated by a solid 50 feet. It’s the perspective of Hank in the van as he watches and scolds Jesse as he walks away. He doesn't have Jesse’s perspective in this situation or when dealing with Mr. White. Who is the Devil according to Jesse. No matter what Hank thinks will happen, the opposite will occur.
Jesse is very close the the mythic figure of Heisenberg, the type of urban legend that always seems so scary right until it falls. The person with the best perspective is none other than Walter White himself. He is just frantically trying to seal up the little cracks that are starting to show. After last weeks phenomenal acting by Walter he couldn’t seem to do anything right. The gas station pump just exploded on him...really. Well, Junior at least bought it but then again Walter Jr. is all about eating breakfast and being manipulated by everyone.
What was more freighting to see as Walter tries to weave another tapestry of lies was Skyler’s continued descent into dark pragmatic action. From her perspective Walt is out and Jesse could ruin everything. Jesse isn’t like Hank and Marie they are family Jesse is just that weird kid she had dinner with one time. Even if Jesse is Old Yeller to Walters Travis. Travis still went and shot Old Yeller (spoiler?) for the good of the family.