As the final episode until next year, this episode did tie together loose ends while also loosening an exciting new one.
The moment that stands out to me the most is the conversation that happens between Hank and Walt after Hank comes home a couple of days after the deaths of Mike’s nine men. Hank tells Walt that he’s thinking of a job that he had during the summer breaks from college. He would mark trees to be cut down, putting a large orange mark on them, a mark that was probably the same color as the prison uniforms. He marked the trees in a grid pattern. Hank says that he never appreciated this job, that it was a lot better than chasing monsters. Walt replies by saying that he likes to go camping and the scene smoothly cuts to Walt getting up from another couch in his plastic meth cooking uniform. Then another cool sequence shows how business is booming. Planes take off to the Czech Republic, money is distributed, and most notably meth cooking tents spring up on placid neighborhoods all over Alburquerque.
The scene where the prison murders are planned is notable for the appearance of Damon Herriman who plays Dewey Crow on Justified. They brainstorm how 9 men can be killed within two minutes at three different facilities. The murders are gruesome. Someone is burned alive, several people are repeatedly stabbed, and blood drips from a weight lifting bench in one indelible moment.
Skyler takes Walt to the storage facility where she is keeping their excess money. She tells Walt that they can’t spend that money in 10 life times. Near the end of the episode, he tells her he’s stopping, but we don’t really believe him. Before they take their drive, she found him staring by the pool, the same pool she waded into at the beginning of the season.
Walt also gives Jesse his $5 million. In my second favorite moment of the episode, they reminisce about the early days of their business. They seem nostalgic for the RV. Walt may have enjoyed the fight of the early days, the not knowing and the exciting anxiety of running out of gas and dealing with day to day problems. Those days appear simple and almost quaint now.
Hanks finds a fragment of an answer sitting on the toilet. He picks up Leaves of Grass and connects Walt to an earlier moment in the series. I hope this is the start of a whole new set of theories backed up by facts for Hank. I want him to see Walt for who he really is in the final eight episodes next year. I want him to catch the monster.