nothin but good days ahead

jesse’s guilt for jane’s death had resulted in an earnest attempt to distance himself from the most damaging aspects of his life, particularly his drug use and his association with walter. it was a long time until he was finally able to forgive himself, to accept that it wasn’t his fault. gale’s death, however, is much more clear cut: he stood there in his doorway and pulled the trigger.

understandably, jesse reaches out to his old friends, people who knew him before the killing. badger and skinny pete serve as reminders of just how far jesse has strayed from his innocence. he is forced to listen to them bicker over the best zombie-killing game, and is disappointed by their hesitance to abandon the twelve steps. for badger and skinny pete, the drug dealer lifestyle has remained something abstract: they are able to flirt with the violence and the casual drug use without allowing it to consume them. when jesse stands in front of his blaring soundsystem, bathed in the rapidly changing coloured lights, he is forced to confront the fact that he cannot simply drown his problems out. this runs much deeper, in his soul.

there is a sense that skyler’s insistence on using the carwash has some other motivation besides its plausibility. when saul had first raised the idea of walt buying the laser tag business, skyler found the very idea ridiculous: “do you even know walt?” she does not know she is speaking about a person who ran down two drug dealers with his car and finished one of them off execution style, or a person who is now sitting alone at home working on his draw. yet the walt she knows now is still far different from the walt from a year ago, let alone the walt she had married. after all walt has put her through, skyler still clings to the man she knew; the man who, like jesse, is likely beyond redemption.

in a way, hank’s fate has allowed us to view a sort of alternate universe, the one walt so dreaded where his infirmity left him ashamed and his wife resentful. throughout the series hank has been a man who put on a tough front, and it became clear that this front had extended beyond his professional life and melded with his identity completely. hank feebly attempts to keep up the act around the physiotherapist, where the high fives and hell yeahs are just as much effort for him as those last 10 steps to his bed. marie, on the other hand, has seen him at his most vulnerable, and his shame is such that he shuts her out completely.

walt, somehow, still holds on to his belief that things are up for negotiation, that there exists that perfect combination of words to absolve him. as in ‘box cutter’, walt desperately tries to argue, persuade, and plead, only to be met with a startling physical response. both gus and mike have come to the realization that walt is their sin, and are trying to shut him out. one way or another they are going to have to come to terms with their actions, and all it will take is for walt to admit to himself that the gun he just bought with the serial number filed off is not for self-defense.

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