'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 4 Recap: 'Fifty-One'
What’s Skylar’s ultimate escape plan for getting away from Walter Whit… er… Heisenberg?
"For the cancer to come back."
With those chilling words, Skylar admits a clear reversal from one year ago, when she was devastated by the announcement that her husband was slowly dying of cancer. Now, she sees it as an escape plan. Her only escape plan.
Last season on "Breaking Bad," as Skylar got more and more into the meth business, she approached it from a practical standpoint. How do you launder the money without getting caught? Now, after she heard her husband gleefully boast of murder, be ultimately responsible for the severe injury to her boss and declare himself to “be the danger,” she is a broken woman capable of thoughts of suicide in front of her own sister and brother-in-law. She doesn’t want this life. Not one bit.
By the end of the episode, she’s willing to contemplate killing herself again. Beating herself so hard that it looks like Walt did. Anything to at least get her children away from him… for even a day.
Again… this is all just one single year later. And of course, in another year, we’re going to see Heisenberg needed a machine gun to protect himself from whatever he’s running from. (Or, alternatively, possibly gunning for.) So she’s right to get away. Of course she is.
Another person who’s come a long way – but in a more positive fashion, if there is such a thing in this world – is Jesse. He’s gone from the slacker who is talked into taking a life into wanting to save one. A life he barely knows in fact.
Mike is all business. Lydia, in his mind, was trying to trick them into the thinking the DEA was on the trail in a boneheaded, paranoid way, and that makes her ready to die. But Jesse thinks there has to be another way. He’s not willing to spill blood yet again.
Hank has also changed a lot over the last year. He looks like he’s just about healed from his nearly deadly encounter with the Cousins. His dogged pursuit of Fring has completely uplifted his career and he’s been offered a huge job opportunity—which he takes, almost happily, but probably because he knows Marie would kill him otherwise. But likely this takes him off the Heisenberg case. Or at the very least, he has to worry the next person may not have the same belief that someone is back in business.
Overall, an incredible episode. Walter has fully embraced Heisenberg, if there was any doubt. Unlike Gus, he has no trouble flaunting his money—leasing two very, very expensive cars, when Gus drove around in something… a bit simpler. He also even wears his Heisenberg hat in public now. Something that was previously only needed as a disguise when he did his work.
But Walter White is now the disguise. And Skylar knows that.
Heisenberg can’t be killed by his enemies. But his alter ego Walter White can be.
And Skylar’s only hope is to wait for that. With Walter taking pills in that flash forward, maybe she will get her wish. If she makes it that far…