Michelle MacLaren is trying to kill us.
Or at least give us irregular heartbeats. The 48-year-old Canadian director has tried before with episodes like season three’s “One Minute”, but we all knew, or had a pretty good idea, Hank wasn’t going to die in that shootout with the cousins. It was clear then that the show was heading toward a Walt vs Hank showdown at some point. In “To’Hajiilee” Hank has his moment. He has triumphed. He is at his highest while Walt is at his absolute lowest, handcuffed, dejected and beaten. As viewers of great drama know, when a character has too much good going his way it’s bound to come crashing down.
That’s exactly what happens after Hank’s oh-my-god-he’s-going-to-die phone call with Marie. Characters who call their loved ones to tell them I love you and it’s over usually don’t last long after, especially with three episodes to go. We knew the Nazis were coming, but that phone called sealed the fate of Hank Schrader. I expected him to catch a bullet directly after hanging up. Instead we get an expertly shot, amazingly tense shootout between Hank, Gomey, and Todd and his Nazi pals, that fades to black with guns still blazing. THANKS, MacLaren. I love and hate you forever.
Everything that happens on this show has a purpose. Nothing is left hanging. As we enter the final three episodes let’s take a look at the loose ends we have dangling.
Unless he’s Batman there’s no way he lives through another firefight. It’s possible the writers could concoct a scenario where Walt sacrifices himself to save Hank, but that’s unlikely. Gomey, a character of no importance, has to die as well. There’s likely not going to be a happy ending for any character on this show. Hank got the moment he’s been chasing for five seasons.
If Hank is dead then Walt becomes property of the Nazis, who want him to cook. That lends credence to the theory that the machine gun he buys from Jim Beaver in “Live Free or Die” is intended for the Uncle Jack and his crew. The question is, is he saving someone or getting revenge?
Walt almost poisoned Lydia with the ricin earlier this season until she proved herself useful. He certainly has no use for her now, especially considering her connections with the Nazis and what she knows about Walt’s past dealings.
Jesse’s confession tape
The long confession tape Jesse made for Hank and Gomey about Walt’s criminal activity is still out there. Marie is aware of the tape. Assuming Hank dies, Marie has at least some ammunition against Walt, who she would no doubt believe put a hit out on her husband.
Walt’s confession phone call
We weren’t shown how Walt’s frantic conversation with Jesse was recorded, but odds are it’s somewhere in the Schrader house. That, combined with the video, would be damming for Walt.
Three more episodes to go, with this week’s being directed by Rian Johnson of Looper fame. He also directed season three’s “Fly”, one of the best episodes the show has ever done.