‘Breaking Bad’ Mid-Season Finale Review: “Gliding Over All”
‘Breaking Bad’ season 5 cooks up its eighth, and final episode of the year, as Walter puts into action his plan to eliminate the 9 guys remaining from Mike's list, while Hank has an important realization about his brother-in-law.
Last week’s ‘Breaking Bad’ episode “Say My Name” saw Walter negotiating a new plan with Mike’s buyer Declan, while Jesse remained firm in his decision to leave the business, and Mike found himself at the end of the line in more ways than one, so how does “Gliding Over All” close out the year? How will season 5 of ‘Breaking Bad’ pick up in 2013, and ultimately end the series?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Breaking Bad’ season 5 episode 8, “Gliding Over All!”
Walter watches as a solitary fly makes its way around the Vamonos Pest office, before Todd comes in looking for him. Todd assures him the car has been dealt with leaving no loose ends, and they resign themselves to the next arduous task: disposing of Mike’s body! Unfortunately, Jesse arrives before they can do the deed, but Walter simply closes the trunk. Walter holds back the truth about Mike, saying “he’s gone” before assuring Jesse that it’s no longer his responsibility to worry about the nine men still in prison, and closing the garage door on him.
Over at prison, Mike lowballs one of Fring’s 9ninemen who now claim to be willing to turn, given that Hank has eight others he can turn to. Meanwhile, Walter meets with Lydia to obtain the list of names, though Lydia refuses to give them up without some kind of assurance she won’t be killed. She proposes to Walter that he use her connections at Madrigal to take their product to the Czech Republic, a far more lucrative and profitable venture. Reluctantly, Walter agrees to give her plan a try, and they shake on it for a cool 30%. After she leaves, Walter lifts up his hat, revealing he had intended to poison her with his stash of ricin!
After re-stashing the ricin, Walter makes a call to Todd that it’s time to meet his uncle for his prison connections. Next, Walter meets with the men in a dank hotel room, staring at the very painting he saw once in a hospital, while the men try to convince him such a coordinated strike in killing the nine men at the same time would be impossible. Walter ominously assures them that for what he’s paying, they’ll figure out a way.
The next day, Walter stands alone in the house and checks his watch. Meanwhile, in coordinated strikes around 3 different prisons, all of Mike’s nine guys are brutally eliminated! Either shanked, or burned alive in their cells, all to upbeat music! Yay for montages! At the end, Gomie breaks up a photo op for Hank, delivering the bad news, as Walter gets a call that the deeds are done.
Later that night, Walter plays with Holly over at Hank and Marie's, when the man himself arrives home distraught, and in need of a drink. Alone with his brother-in-law, Hank finds himself remembering a job he had in college, tagging trees to be cut down. He realizes that however menial or unpleasant it was, he should have enjoyed it more now that his job involves chasing monsters for a living. Cue another montage! Walter and Todd cook over time, while Lydia aids in international shipping, Skyler launders the money, and Saul gets his piece as well. Allthewhile, money changes hands, and deals are made, with more and more houses tenting up.
We return three months later, as Skyler helps Holly take her first steps, while Walter Jr. still largely ignores his mother. After he’s gone, Marie puts forth to Skyler that it might be time for her and Walter to take the kids back, given all the progress she’s seemingly made over the last few months. Later that night, Skyler arrives home to find Walter by the pool, and asks him to take a drive with her. She leads him into a storage facility, and closes the door behind him before revealing a tremendous pile of stacked money, which she explains started coming in faster than she could ever conceivably launder it. Knowing they could never spend or use all that money, she says she wants her children and her life back, asking how much is enough, how big must Walter’s pile of money be before the end.
Another day, Walter goes in for a check-up, later stopping to observer the hospital bathroom's paper towel dispsenser he’d punched in a rage months earlier. He next pays a visit to a visibly nervous Jesse (who’s at least taken up marijuana again), and the two reminisce about their past RV, the visit underscored by Jesse’s insistence that he’s still out of the game. Walter reasons that they kept the RV when they didn’t have to out of sentiment, and departs Jesse’s home with a gift: Jesse’s $5 million dollars! Jesse nervously collapses against the wall, sliding out the gun he’d armed himself with in case Walter tried anything.
That night, Skyler does the dishes alone in their home, before Walter arrives and shuts off the faucet. He tells her that he’s officially out of the meth game, and walks away, as a small smile slides over her lips.
More time passes, and we open on a happy family gathering for all involved. Walter Jr. pushes Holly by the edge of the pool, while Walter, Skyler, Hank and Marie all casually converse. All seems well (albeit horrifically fraught with tension, for those of us watching), and Hank excuses himself to the bathroom. While searching for some toilet-side reading material, he happens upon a copy of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass,’ the very copy Gale left to Walter months ago. Opening it, Hank sees the initials “W.W.” from “G.B.,’ leading him to remember the night he jokingly accused Walter of being the “W.W.” in Gale’s chemistry notes.
Well, thus endeth 'Breaking Bad' for 2012. The final run of episodes will likely pick up in summer 2013, leaving us with very little to focus on for the time being. Sure, we've just seen a bunch of gears start turning in Hank's head, but it's hardly the water cooler-worthy finish we were expecting, no major deaths or destruction. Many a sh*t will surely hit the fan (in Hank's case literally) when 'Breaking Bad' season 5 picks up again, but we might have liked "Gliding Over All" just a bit more, for all its montages and confrontations if we had more to chew on between now and July of 2013.
Did you get your fix of ‘Breaking Bad’ bad-assery? What did you think about the episode? Join us next year for another all-new ‘Breaking Bad’ episode recaps of the final 8 episodes on AMC!