Breaking Bad Episode 5.07: “Say My Name”

Heisenberg’s arrogance and pride permeate the entire episode in “Say My Name.” Heisenberg has developed such delusions of grandeur that when Mike calls him out in the last scene, Heisenberg snaps. He is incapable of realizing the tremendous damage he has wrought. Or he just doesn’t care.

Tonight’s episode was the best of the season. Who else will die next week?

Classic Coke is better than New Coke: So the pitch works. Classic Coke is better than some “tepid off brand.” Throughout this episode, Heisenberg appeals to the very thing that makes him tick—pride and gigantic ego. And interesting, it seems to have only worked with Declan. Well, perhaps the money too. But it is interesting that Heisenberg reveals his soul in this episode.

I asserted last week that Declan is a smart businessman, and so it’s true. Even Mike is impressed with Heisenberg’s bravado. “I gotta hand it to you,” he says, perplexed, to Heisenberg. Mike understands what Heisenberg can’t—that he is one lucky SOB.

The fond farewell. Mike almost seemed sad about Jesse. He likes the kid and knows that he still is in danger. Notice that he shakes Jesse’s hand? He wants nothing to do with Heisenberg and this just chaffs him.

The Carwash: It makes sense that Heisenberg would hide his meth in the car wash, but Skylar realizes what he won’t—that violence will surely follow. Even though Jesse has indicated to Heisenberg that he wants out, it seems that carwash interaction might have finally sealed it. Heisenberg’s indifference toward his wife seems to seep into Jesse’s essence. It is here that Jesse begins to realize what Heisenberg can’t or won’t—his family is in danger.

Everyone Loves Bacon: The fun, jazzy music in this scene somehow works. It creates alight tempo in an otherwise very dark and dreary episode. But bacon banana cookies? Oh, he knows a way to a secretary’s heart. So the details of exactly how Mike pays off his guys are cleverly revealed. And the nest egg for his granddaughter.

Although he warns Heisenberg to take care of the bug he planted in Hank’s office, it sure works to Mike’s benefit as he is able to dispose of all the incriminating evidence, including the computer. But what is Mike watching—Double Indemnity? I am not sure. Let me know.

So, finally, finally Jesse breaks with the petulant Heisenberg. This was a terrific scene as Heisenberg uses every manipulative trick he can with Jesse to keep him on. First he appeals to his pride. That doesn’t work. Then Heisenberg tries the “you’re a slacker vibe” on him, like his father. “Video games and go-carts,” he levels at Jesse. It must have sounded like his father, and then he reminds Jesse that he is a father. Then he insults his manhood. Next, it’s reverse psychology, where Heisenberg reveals that he “wants it” badly. Oh, the arrogance and hubris. Finally, pathetic Heisenberg results to desperation and then screaming “you get nothing.” Did he sound like Judge Smails to his grandson?

Hank’s Hunch: Hank is obsessed kind of like Heisenberg is. It seems that the same impulses and desires fuel both these guys. Hank defies his boss and requires Gomey to tail Mike’s lawyer—Mr. Bacon Banana Cookies. Gomey thinks it’s a bad idea, but Hank’s the boss.

And boy, oh boy is Todd an eager employee. Though Heisenberg does not need Antoine Lavoisier, Todd’s alacrity clearly assuages Heisenberg’s growing ego. He likes to teach the eager and those who respect his intellect.

The music is terrific here. It added some lightness to the episode.

Heisenberg whips up some tears in Hank’s office. Of course, it sends Hank scampering for coffee, but I kept thinking, what is Hank going to do when he eventually, as he must, finds out that his brother in-law is the man he is looking for? Of course, the fortuitous information Heisenberg overhears works in his favor. Mike’s lawyer is going to flip.

Hanks’s hunch pays off. I like the details here. The writing team works hard to make things make sense and I bought it. Did you?

With his lucky information, Heisenberg calls Mike to warn him about the DEA agents closing in. This reminded me of when Gus did the same thing for Hank, as the crazy cousins were coming to kill him. However, this call was not anonymous. It brought the tension back into the episode and I began to realize that there will be no happy endings for anyone in Breaking Bad—including the innocent.

The firm of Larry, Curly and Moe, Saul says to the “brain trust.” Saul is no his game. Saul is typically funny again, but his ego is bruised. Why would Mike go with some other lawyer? Mike needs some help, but Saul can’t, so Jesse steps up. But Mike does not want to jeopardize the kid anymore, so Heisenberg offers to help—not out of some notion of altruism, of course. Cleary, he just wants a modicum of respect from Mike. Oh sure, the nine names, too.

This was a tense and great scene. Mike tells Heisenberg the truth—that he is a “lucky son of a bitch,” that’s all. A dangerous one, but lucky all the same. He’s no Gus Fring. This is too much for Heisenberg’s massive ego.

It is sad to see Mike go, but how else would it end for Mike? It would have been great to see Mike retire and vanish into the New Mexico desert. Not going to happen in this dark series.

In a rage induced by the force of the truth, Heisenberg shoots Mike in a most cowardly fashion. For all Heisenberg’s bravado and machismo, he doesn’t confront Mike man-to-man. No, he runs up on him when his back is figuratively turned.

The brutal last scene by the river, when Heisenberg realizes that Lydia had the money and that he did not need to shoot Mike, underscores just how delusion and dangerous Heisenberg has become. It can’t be too long before this danger impacts his own family.

“Let me die in peace,” Mike says. All that he worked for, the reason he sold his soul, to provide for his granddaughter, goes for naught. What a tragic ending.

Reviewed By Ron Peltier

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