Television: ‘Breaking Bad’: Episode 13: Unbreakable Contracts

AMC

AMC

Although last night’s “To’hajiilee” ended in a Mars-fueled gun duel, the episode was a Mercurial feast, involving just about every activity connected with the planetary messenger of the gods. It’s a long list: written, spoken and visual communication, devices that generate communication, news, trickery, information and data, transportation, contracts, teaching and commercial enterprise.

The episode begins with Lydia scrutinizing Todd’s sorry batch of colorless meth. “Blue is our brand,” says Lydia, and the color’s the reason people pay top dollar for it. Branding is a product’s way of speaking (Mercury) to consumers. So, when Walt meets Todd’s Uncle Jack to arrange for a hit on Jesse – following last week’s cliffhanger of a phone call (Mercury) to Todd – it’s in the interest of the new meth cooks to arrange for some extra tutelage (Mercury) from Walt to improve the quality of their output. And that’s the contract (Mercury) that dictates everything going forward: Jack and his tribe kill Jesse first, and then Walt does one last cook for them.

Meanwhile, law enforcement is choosing a strategy to flush out Walt. Jesse suggests letting Walt think his money is being confiscated. To this end, Hank tricks (Mercury) Huell into spilling what he knows (Mercury) by showing him a cell-phone (Mercury) image of Jesse with his brains blown out, which Hank says was an assassination directed by Saul, and that Huell’s next.

Walt then gets a phone call (Mercury) from Jesse, as well as an image (Mercury) showing an open barrel containing Walt’s cash, which Jesse says he’ll burn.

The latter part of the episode evokes Mercury as god of the road. Walt maniacally drives (Mercury) to the desert to stop the conflagration of his monetary legacy while, in stealth pursuit, the car (Mercury) containing Jesse, Hank and Gomez is close behind. Walt arrives at the site, and Jesse’s not there. Realizing he’s been set up, Walt phones (Mercury) Jack and gives him the site’s coordinates.

As the car pulls up, Walt is stunned to see not just Jesse emerge, but also Hank and Gomez. He tells Jack the deal is off. Walt surrenders to Hank, Jesse has his comeuppance (the irrigating spit heard round the world), and Hank phones (Mercury) Marie to tell her the good news (Mercury).

Ever since Walt started cooking, he’s fought hard to be the dominant and final word, especially when bossing Jesse around. But Walt’s new family – Todd, the latest surrogate child, with his redneck male relatives – are militantly intent on upholding their contract (Mercury) and, therefore, head to the desert, despite Walt’s having negated the deal.

The blaze of gunfire that ends the episode will not only result in human deaths but also in the destruction of information. If Hank and Gomez perish, the story reverts – and appropriately so – back to the underworld. That’s the obvious trajectory, even if Jesse survives. And, based on the flash forward, the second gun battle should be all about Plutonic vengeance.

However, with both Skyler and Marie now radically informed (Mercury) about each others’ husbands’ activities, and Lydia now calling the business shots, it remains to be seen how “Breaking Bad” incorporates the Venusian archetype to advance its story.

Astrology Television Rating: ☿ (Mercury)

 

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