'Breaking Bad' showdown begins

Courtesy NBC News

For a brief moment on the To'hajiilee Indian reservation, Hank Schrader had everything he wanted on "Breaking Bad": Heisenberg in handcuffs and enough proof to send him away for the rest of his life. (However long that might be, given the return of his cancer.)

The DEA boss then took a timeout to celebrate with a phone call to Marie, a conversation so uncharacteristically loving and tender that it couldn't possibly last. (This is "Breaking Bad," after all.) Sure enough, just as Hank was reading Walt his Miranda rights — near his brother-in-law's buried treasure and the very first place he and Jesse cooked ("like, ever") — everything went terribly wrong.

At least Jesse had a chance to spit in the "coward's" face before gunfire erupted around them?

'Where's the blue?'
Just because Todd had Walt's secret recipe didn't mean he was equipped to win a blue meth bake-off. Improving its purity to 76 percent after the Declan disaster might have passed Lydia's quality inspection — if it were actually blue. Todd was in desperate need of a refresher course, but nothing would persuade his professor to come out of retirement. 

That is, until Walt asked for help planning Jesse's retirement in "Belize." Uncle Jack was happy to kill the "angry, non-rat," but Heisenberg's cash was no good at Bank Swastika. Instead, Jack demanded that Walt dust off his orange suit and return for one more cooking tutorial with his nephew. But Walt ordered the hit "to be quick and painless — no suffering, no fear." Just like euthanasia for the family dog! Heisenberg is such a softy.

Face the music
Todd's ringtone for Walt — "Blinded Me With Science" — was perfectly hilarious. But it's the song playing in the background during their call, Journey's "Oh Sherrie," that perfectly captured Walt's relationship with both Vamonos and — more important — Jesse: "I should've been gone, long ago, far away. And you should've been gone — now I know just why you stay." Clap. Clap. Clap.

A simple plan
Jesse's "better way" to hit Walt — note that he completely abandoned the honorific "Mr. White" — was where it hurt most: his wallet. (Or, more accurately, the underground vault about the size of the "Babylon 5" space station.) For once, with the help of rogue DEA partners Hank and Gomez, the karate kid outsmarted his sensei. 

Using Marie's kitchen and some props from the meat aisle, they faked Jesse's murder. They showed Saul's bodyguard the photo of Walt's latest "victim" with his brains splattered across the Schrader's tile floor. Huell had no reason to doubt them and pointed them to the rental van Walt used to bury his cash in the desert. That was just enough intel for Jesse to lead them to his hiding place.

'Nice try, @$&*^%#'
Meanwhile, Walt's plan to "flush out" Jesse backfired with a little help from Hello Kitty. Wearing his best mask of paternal concern, he dropped by Andrea and Brock's and asked her to call Jesse. If Jesse had answered the phone or even heard her voicemail, chances are he would've rushed straight into Uncle Jack's crosshairs. Instead, the hit men waited in vain. Hank was the only one checking messages on the adorable burner phone, and he scoffed at Walt's obvious ploy.

Hello Kitty's work for the day was far from done. Jesse called Walt, saying he'd dug up the cash and was burning it at a rate of 10 grand a minute. As Walt burned rubber to get to the dig site, Jesse unleashed his pent-up fury, keeping his former mentor on the phone until Hank and Gomez caught up with the former chemistry teacher.

But someone else invited themselves to the party. Although Walt frantically tried to call it off, he'd already given the satellite coordinates to Uncle Jack, who arrived with his posse after Walt had surrendered.

Hank and Gomez were outmanned and outgunned, and Vamonos couldn't care less whether the men really had DEA badges. (The two certainly didn't have the support of the agency, which didn't even know about their sting operation.) Uncle Jack was there to retrieve his moneymaker — whether Walt wanted to go or not.  

Feels like the first time
As the bullets flew, both Walt and Jesse once again found themselves caught in the crossfire, trapped and defenseless in two separate cars. We have a feeling Hank will go out in the blaze of glory, but Walt obviously has another birthday to celebrate. And clearly, Jesse and his teacher have unfinished business. Will Jesse finally exact revenge ... or rejoin forces with his nemesis?

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