Note: if you haven’t read our review for this episode, you might want to check that out first. Now, let’s dig into the easter eggs, connections and interpretative symbolism found in Breaking Bad 5.12 – “Rabid Dog”..
NO MORE HALF MEASURES
Nearly all the major turning points in the series have come around when Walt and Jesse had fallen out. Extreme measures were to be taken to protect Jesse: Walt watched Jane die, effectively broke his partnership with Gus by running over his dealers and poisoned Brock to win Jesse’s trust back. However, he’s not given the chance to explain his actions in this episode, as Jesse is no longer in the palm of his hand. Walt takes yet another half measure in this episode, as once again people around him (much like his employers and associates throughout the series) advise him to deal with the real problem, Jesse. The deep crack in Walt and Jesse’s relationship is caused by the ripple effects of past conflicts.
- The pool of reflections, as discussed before, serves to indicate Walt’s big, life-altering decisions as seen in 1.01, 2.01, 2.13, 3.01, 4.12 and 5.08. This time is no exception, as Walt against all criminal logic, ultimately decides to explain things to Jesse, that is, until the final development.
- Much like Walt’s reflective poolside experiences, Jesse has habit of smoking meth (or other drugs) before going on risky missions which mostly end up traumatizing himself, as witnessed in 1.02, 2.06 and 3.12. In this case, he’s determined to set Walt’s house on fire.
- The current state of Walt and Jesse’s relationship resembles the tense atmosphere of the final episodes of Season 4, specifically “End times”. Only difference being that, while back then Gus was Walt’s target, now Jesse’s caught in the middle. Walt used Jesse to lure Gus out into the open in 4.12 , while it’s Hank this time who does the same thing to build a case against his nemesis. Interestingly enough, it’s Jesse’s spidey-sense which is at work this time, much like Gus’s. Although his threat estimation is not as accurate as the Chicken master!
- The camera similarly follows Jesse and Gus in 3rd person view when the two are about to meet their demise or do something heroic in 3.12, 4.12 and 4.13:
- Rejected kid, shunned by his real parents, it’s only fitting that Jesse symbolically should come across innocent children, MILFs (!) and above all, father-figures in his Kafkaesque wonderland. Notice the positioning of these shots framing Jesse while riding shotgun alongside his paternal guardians (for better or worse), Walt, Mike and now Hank. Unlike their first ride, in the final shot, Jesse is the confident one while Hank is overwhelmed by rage and confusion. (Hats off to Team Breaking Bad)
- We see Walt having to sneak into his house again like in 3.02 or 4.13 as danger closes in.
Next: “Devil’s Soft Spot…”