There have been a ton of Breaking Bad theories; Easter Eggs; cool references to The Godfather, Tarantino, Scarface, etc.; Chekhov’s guns; fun bits of foreshadowing; and scads of callbacks over the course of five seasons of Breaking Bad, and our obsession with spotting them has become both all consuming and terrifically enjoyable. I watch every episode of Breaking Bad once for a literal perspective on the series, and a second time with the pause button at the ready to catch any clues, hints, or Easter Eggs buried in the background.
This week’s episode, per usual, provided a several fun little treats for viewers, most noticeably the GPS coordinates that Walter White had documented on a lottery ticket, as a kind of homage to Lost. The numbers, of course, were meaningless: The GPS coordinates were those of the Albuquerque production offices for the Breaking Bad. Despite devoting entirely too many hours of my life to figuring it out, however, I still haven’t figured out the meaning behind B24, the number of the interrogation room.
There was also some other things that were fun, too, like this spectacular shot suggesting that the scales of justice aren’t tipped in either direction between Saul and Walt:
There was also the cool “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” gag that a Redditor spotted.
And then, of course, the nod to a confessional booth in the final scene, which is also likely a tip off to the next episode, “Confessions.”
But what I was struck by most this week came not from the second viewing and the search for clues and hidden meanings, but the first viewing and the ongoing narrative that can occasionally get lost in the Easter eggs. What I began to wonder is, why did Walt go back to his old house in “Blood Money” to get the ricin, and who is that ricin for?
I think it’s for Skyler.
I came to this conclusion both by a process of elimination, and because ultimately it makes the most sense. If Walt is going back to his house, no doubt at a great personal risk and likely with the full knowledge that he’s about to enter his last stand, it has to be for revenge, and it has to be revenge against a formidable foe. Who fits that description? Hank? I don’t think so. Walt has the upper hand on his brother in law, and I don’t think there arises a situation where Walt would want to kill Hank out of some kind of revenge. Jesse? Not a chance. He’s practically catatonic, and again, I don’t think there could realistically arise a situation, even if Jesse joins forced with Hank, in which Walt could develop so much hatred for Jesse that he’d want to poison him with Ricin (besides, Jesse already knows about the Ricin). Lydia? Absolutely not. Lydia is a minor player in Breaking Bad, and a stand-off with her would be anticlimactic. A new character? Vince Gilligan couldn’t introduce a new character that would be reviled enough to warrant ricin poisoning in six episodes.
Who does that leave? Skyler.
But here’s why it also makes sense: Walter White basically made Skyler a prisoner in her own home. He drove Skyler to a suicide attempt in order to get her children to safety. Skyler hates Walter, and though that hasn’t been as apparent since Walt “quit” the meth business, there’s nothing in Skyler’s personality that suggests that she would suddenly have a change of heart and let that slight go. Skyler is competitive, and arguably, just as competitive, egotistical, and driven as Walt. Remember how she schemed with her low cut blouse to spare Ted from the IRS?