Keeping track of Heisenberg(s) resurfacing:
“Family. You can’t give up on them, never. I mean, what else is there?”
- When it comes to Jesse, Walt’s motivations mostly come out of his paternal instincts, particularly in this episode. Sure, Walt treats him in a condescending manner, but in his own eyes at least, it’s largely out of care: “I will not contribute to his overdose.” Donald’s words help Walt see even more clearly for that matter, highlighting the meaning of loving one’s children. Hence he goes back to Jesse’s place in one of those moment in the show where you ultimately have to rely to the characters’ subliminal judgment calls. Perhaps he wanted to reconcile with Jesse, make him see reason or basically release him from Jane’s ever-binding drug-induced spell!
- But there’s also another motivation lurking deep within, one that awakens just in time when Jane falls to her death: “How do I know she’ll keep quiet? – I guess you don’t.” – While trying to wake Jesse up, Walt accidentally causes Jane to roll on her back and asphyxiate on her vomit. “No, no, no!” Again like with the Krazy 8 ‘broken plate’ revelation Walt can’t believe what unfolds before his eyes, he can’t evade this bleak truth. Through Bryan Cranston‘s amazing subtle expressions, we witness Walt and Heisenberg struggling to win the argument over Jane’s life, similar to the way the notebook chart in 1.03 functioned; there are many reasons he should save her, but only a few solid ones to keep him from doing so: 1) He needs Jesse on his side and have his control over him restored – 2) He can’t trust Jane with his secret. Ultimately, the pragmatic Heisenberg side overcomes, Walt loses a great portion of his dignity and a new transformation phase is begun. “I could have saved her, but I didn’t.” (5.14)
“I’m your partner.”
- Contrasting her no-nonsense, confident attitude, we see Jane at her most fragile and vulnerable when Donald shows up for the second time and catches her red-handed. She uses her “apologetic” set of skills to buy some time, but as soon as her father leaves, she forgets about the new rehab plan and reverts to side we’ve rarely seen in her, the arrogant, greedy and manipulative side: “- You meant all that? – I don’t know. I just think if we had enough money nobody could make us do anything.” – Does Walt end up inheriting Jane’s partly-unintentional manipulation schemes? Jesse’s share means a ticket out of Donald’s constant air of judgment, as she seems to perceive her situation. Interestingly, Jesse seems to hold the same viewpoint over the way Walt’s been treating him: “He’s an asshole…always judging me.”
- “You’re in the right here, he’s in the wrong.” – Aside from the blackmail attempt and casting that final manipulative spell over Jesse, perhaps Jane’s biggest mistake was underestimating Walt. “He’s a high-school teacher. What’s he gonna do, give you a B minus?” – Same mistake Krazy 8, Gus and Mike made, which eventually got them killed.
Related – Breaking Bad Observations Archive