Sailing away and leaving his former life demand a personality shift too, one that we’ve already witnessed in 1.06 as Walt mentally and physically becomes the authoritative, stronger version of himself; Heisenberg. The situation here resembles that of the aftermath of Season 4 and the beginning of Season 5 where after dealing with the soon-to-be former boss (First Tuco, and then Gus), Walt’s got to step into his shoes, hence becoming the new power authority in the business(“What’s changed Jesse?”). Heisenberg is definitely the supervillain costume best suited here. Notice how the cold open of the episode parallels the final moments as in the former, Walt strips naked, symbolically shedding the former skin and in the latter he puts on the new one (i.e. the porkpie hat). He also coincidentally ends up sitting in the same bus stop which holds one of his ‘missing person’ posters. The camera focus works to further indicate his duality:
- Another similar bit between this episode and 5.01: While counting the amount of cash he needs to leave for his family Walt suddenly sits up, remembering having left the diaper box containing both the cash and the gun open. Similarly in 5.01 he suddenly remembers not having taken care of Gus’ lab surveillance feed:
- We’ve talked about how Walt tends to inherit traits or belongings of his victims, namely Krazy 8’s crust-cutting habit . Here, there’s another sign hinting at Walt effectively becoming the new boss in town when the camera places Tuco’s grill right in front of Walt’s mouth. You may also remember how Walt ended up answering his calls with the same cold indifference of Gus:
- Walt tries to comfort Skyler, with lies of course: “This will not happen again. I’m still here , I’m me…” – But he’s is bit by a dead bee as the seemingly resolved matter of his disappearance comes to haunt him again when Skyler brings up his second cell-phone; the element which gives him away in 2.13 (just like how “Leaves of grass” does in 5.08) .
…BUT HANK GETS ALL THE CREDIT
As much as Walt wants to prove himself more capable of Hank throughout the series, it seems it’s always been Hank who’s eventually gotten the credit: Walt could have gone like a legend with the cousins killing him, but instead Hank defeats them in a shootout and comes out the hero…Walt assassinates Gus, exposing his illegal business consequently, but Hank gets the credit for calling it earlier…This time’s no exception; Walt and Jesse wound Tuco, yet Hank gets to be the one who finishes him and gets the trophy.
- The scene where reluctantly gives in to Junior’s insistence and drinks the juice brings the backyard scene from “Over” to mind, where Walt basically forces Junior to drink alcohol. Interestingly in both scenarios Hank is involved and Walt is clearly jealous of the attention he gets. To make matters worse, Hank even awkwardly jokes about being treated at the DEA like Eliot Ness!