[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad. Read at your own risk.]
Sunday's episode of Breaking Bad featured a moment five seasons in the making.
During a tense game of cat-and-mouse, Walt (Bryan Cranston) tries to lure his former partner Jesse (Aaron Paul) out of hiding so that the men Walt hired to kill Jesse could do their work. Little does Walt know that Jesse is working with Walt's DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris), who not only keeps Jesse from playing into Walt's hands, but also concocts a brilliant scheme. Using a cameraphone and some brains (both their own and some they bought at the store), Hank and Jesse trick Walt into confessing a number of his crimes, including revealing the location of the money he buried in the desert.
After Walt realizes that he's been had, he surprisingly surrenders, allowing Hank to (finally!) slap handcuffs on the great and powerful Heisenberg. But just as Hank begins to celebrate, the crew Walt hired to off Jesse shows up armed to the teeth. Despite Walt's protestations, the men open fire on Hank & Co. with a hail of bullets as the episode cuts to black.
So who makes it out alive? And is Walt truly ready to give up now that he's in cuffs? TVGuide.com chatted with co-executive producer George Mastras to dissect the episode.
Walt ordered the hit on Jesse, but he still seems uneasy about it. Are his feelings toward Jesse the last shred of humanity left in Walt?
Mastras: He's in a different place this season. I think a lot of people just expect Walt to be full-on Scarface, ordering hits on people that he loves and cares about. To us, his relationship with Jesse was such that it couldn't be that easy. It just felt more organic that this was a big, big struggle for him. Whether or not that's something redemptive in Walt, it's up to the audience to decide.
Walt might be the first criminal mastermind foiled by PhotoShop. Clearly, Hank proves to be a pretty resourceful cop.
Mastras: Hank is really, really smart. People underestimate him. He's a very smart investigator. This episode is sort of the culmination of the chess match that's been going on since the beginning of this season. This ploy with the money [is] a smart plan by Jesse and by Hank. Hank uses his investigative powers to figure out from Huell [Lavell Crawford] that the money was buried... and they come up with this ploy to create this PhotoShop picture.
By the same token, it's smart on behalf of Jesse, because he knows that the one thing that's going to make Walt fly off the handle is his money. The money has become an embodiment of everything. It's almost like the money encapsulates his love for his family and it justifies all. If he dies leaving this legacy, he'll gain some kind of respect and immortality. Everything is wrapped up in this money, and Jesse knows that.