Breaking Badass Power Rankings: ‘Confessions’

Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows of all-time, so just like last year, UPROXX is going all-out on our coverage of the show this season, its last. Cajun Boy will be writing the recap, while I’ll be handling the Breaking Badass Power Rankings, which will, well, rank the most badass characters from every episode. Why “Badass?” Obviously, the so-not-clever-that-it’s-clever name, but also because Breaking Bad is the kind of a show that makes you want to drink an entire bottle before watching it, to soothe your soon-to-be-tense nerves. That’s pretty badass.

Episode: “Confessions”

Not Ranked: Walt Jr., Huell, Kenny, Gomie, and Francesca.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, but these screencaps only need two: Hank’s boned.

Hank’s got everything on Walt, but he also has nothing, and now he can’t even prove HIS innocence after his brother-in-law’s recorded confession makes it clear Marie accepted the White’s money to pay for his medical bills. The way he limps away from his scenes with such sad defeat is now the most depressing thing on TV.

Trent > Hank. At least he would have greeted Gomie with a smile. (Note to self: sell Gomie Guac.)

Saul better call a good dry cleaner. It’s tough getting blood out of neon dress shirts. Getting the truth angrily punched out of you is an occupational hazard when you’re listed in the phonebook under Lawyers, Shady, and in this episode, the anger goes from Jesse’s fists to Saul’s face. That was the injury; the insult was being told to walk away during Walt and Jesse’s reunion in the desert. To add further insult: Saul said, “You can’t fire up a DOOB in here,” which is his most offensive crime.

Not too much Skyler this week. The little we saw, she was either manning the video camera, quietly listening to Walt’s conversation with Hank and Marie while wearing a loud turtleneck, or wisely trying to get rid of some of the car wash’s laundered money. So I’ll use this space as a reminder to read Anna Gunn’s NY Times op-ed.

History’s greatest romance.

F*cking Todd, man. He craves acceptance as hard as Walt Jr. does a plate of bubbling bacon. After leaving a voicemail for Mr. White, explaining the events of last week’s one-sided battle, he tells Uncle Nazi the (mostly true) account of how he, Jesse, and Walt robbed a train, carefully leaving out the part where, oh yeah, he shot a kid. To top it all off, he sneaks a peek at the waitress’ ass. In other words, Todd is Tumblr, Todd is me, Todd is all of us, who use words like “SO AWESOME” to describe train robberies and plaster Gus’s face on our t-shirts and laptops, or write Badass Power Rankings that almost always have Heisenberg at the top. In Emily Nussbaum’s words, he’s the Bad Fan, “someone who views Walt’s life as a kickass adventure, not a morality tale.”

He should probably be lower this week, but, well, last week was SO AWESOME.

“Why don’t you just kill yourself, Walt?” JESUS CHRIST MARIE. I almost feel worse for Marie than I do Hank. Almost. He’s used to the worst that the world has to offer, the lowlifes, the thugs, the Little League photos. All of this is brand new to Marie (unless the drug cartel gets regular check-ups at the radiology center). She lives her life in a one-color daze, with an occasional, petty theft of a picture to keep her entertained. But now that she’s involved in Heisenberg’s world, and feeling like a monster for taking another monster’s money, she’s in over her head, impulsive, and…kind of badass. I wonder what color Walt’s face would be if she choked him?

It took all my power to not theme the entirety of this installment of the Power Rankings around Dashboard Confessional songs. Instead, I’ll contain my emo excitement (contradictory words?) to Pinkman:

So don’t you see, don’t you see,
That the charade is over?
And all the best deceptions
And the clever cover story awards
Go to you.
So kiss me hard ’cause this’ll be the last time that I let you.

Well, replace “kiss” with “hug,” unless…Anyway, everyone who matters knows it: Walter White is Heisenberg. His cover is now his identity. He has no best deceptions because there’s no one left to deceive. That bridge was completely burned (literally, perhaps) when, after a brief paternal meltdown, Jesse realizes that it was Walt who poisoned Brock, one of the few decent, taking-out-the-trash-actually-means-taking-out-the-trash people in his life. All his bottled up fury, all his fiery resentment that he didn’t know what to do with comes out while driving approximately 319 MPH to his former mentor’s house, which Mr. Credit to Society sprays like an alpha dog pissing gasoline. Hug Jesse hard now, Mr. White, ’cause the next time you see him, it might be your last anything.

All that being said: Walt is still the king. He’s brilliantly immoral, two bloody steps ahead of everyone else even when everything’s falling apart, a much better liar than he used to be, and “gun in the soda machine” temporary replaced “leave the gun, take the cannoli” in my mind. His crocodile tears are like acid, destroying whoever they’re for, and now everyone in his immediate family, save the kids, have wished him dead.

But it’s OK, Jesse, because you’ve gotta stay positive.