With the second part of the final season of Breaking Bad under way, fans and followers of the epic crime drama are sad to see the end of one of the most celebrated TV shows in recent history. Meanwhile, through its five year run, the program has picked up an unlikely group of fans in hip-hop artists, who seem to either identify or empathize with the show’s protagonist, Walter White. So, in order to ride out the final installments of Breaking Bad and celebrate the series, XXL has teamed up with Atlanta native (and one half of Run The Jewels) Killer Mike to recap each episode. Check out our over-the-phone convo with Mike about last night’s episode below.—As told to Eric Diep (@E_Diep)
XXL: What was your reaction to last night’s episode of Breaking Bad?
Killer Mike: Yo, last night, I wanted to find the creator and the writer of that episode in particular and give them the manliest non-homophonic kiss I could possibly give them. Because often when you watch television, there’s a twist you as a viewer want to see. It often does this: ‘I would have…’ ‘Man, if I was …’ Everyone has had that conversation. Every time you have that conversation, they do what’s predictable and often what’s predictable feels like, ‘Well, we gotta do what’s right.’
I don’t care how miraculously he was killed or how spectacular it looked. The end of Training Day was always kind of shitty to me. In real life, the villains win. [Laughs] For once, and everyone gratuitously knows at this point, I am cheering for Walt to make it out. So for me, to see Walt do what everyone else says he’ll do. Yo, if he came to me, I’d say fuck it. You were in on it and I’ll make him party to it. I told my wife this last week. If I am him, I’m just gonna say, ‘Fuck it. My brother-in-law knew too.’ So to see Walt do it and do it so, so … here’s the word: WHITE! He did it like a white man does it! Like he did what a politician does. He did what a grimy ass president who says, ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman.’ He did that white man out. He cried when he was supposed to cry on that tape. He had unequivocal evidence that I was giving you money. That’s the brilliance of the writing of this show. Sometimes, the subtlety and the evil and the maliciousness has nothing to do with the guns.
Like, Gus is being able to cut someone’s throat while looking at Walt is brutal. It’s traditionally what we think of. How can we top bloodletting? Psychologically, it is so brutal for someone to consider themselves straight-edge, straight-laced, above it all, which is stereotypically the fucking cop. For them to get pulled in the muck and the mire is fucking beautiful. It was beautiful to see the panic in Hank’s face. It was beautiful to see that evil witch wife of his just tell Walt: “Kill yourself.” That really was stereotypically the option. Like, fuck it. Take yourself out if you mean it. He put the pressure back on them like kill your fucking self. I have been waiting for a TV moment like that forever.
What was the most shocking moment for you?
The most shocking moment for me was Walt hugging Jesse because Walt is playing everyone. He has to play everyone because he is Gus. He is the go-to guy. No king has friends. No emperor truly has comrades. That is a very lonely place to be. You must be in control of people because you have to make them feel safe. You have to be in control of their situation to give them confidence to do what you want them to do. He is simultaneously watching a nut ass wife, in my opinion who I still think is the quiet X-factor. He is just sitting there in the room in the dark in the middle of the day. That’s insane to me. I say this every week; I’d just kill her and Jesse. But, when he hugged Jeese, what I realized was as a father; he can never be this to his son. Because his son is not going to progress physically pass a certain point. He had a real mentor/mentee relationship with Jeese. I always questioned was the relationship real or did he just know that Jeese was so weak that he had to go for it? I honestly think that he wanted to give Jeese the out. He wanted to give this kid the opportunity because he knows this kid is weak. He knows this kid has been eaten up. He knows he’s a big part of that. I saw real true empathy and I don’t if it was love, but it was certainly affection and admiration.
That was the most shocking for me because I wanted Jeese to be in a home. I thought Jesse was going to come to the desert and Jesse was never going home again. I had decided that I knew it was anti-climatic. I knew it was going to be twist after I saw the confessional, but I never expected the twist to be … like Walt really loved this kid. So, I knew Jeese was going to fuck it up. And true to form, he fucked it up. And he fucked it up in the grandest way because he didn’t fuck it up in that sniveling ass, let me push my guilty somewhere to hopefully make me feel better. Or just meth out to feel numb. He finally got angry. He got angry at Saul. He finally got angry at Walt. But most of all, I think he was angry at himself.
If Jeese burns down the house and the location of the money on the lottery ticket is lost too, doe Walter have it memorized? Or is it lost forever?
I gotta believe Walt has it. He’s a fucking chemist. He has the exact measurements to create perfect methamphetamine in his mind. If you repeat something—as a smart person—six or seven times, it’s in there. No matter how many psychiatrists you gotta say to big it out.
Let’s talk about Saul. Is there a way out for him? Or is going to be stuck with Walter?
I think he’s stuck with Walt. I’d say Walt has to kill him or he’s going to kill himself. I don’t he’s going to finish because I really think he loves Walt. But, I think he’s pass whatever he had that allowed to sustain over the years is gone. He’s gonna dramatically change for the better, or he’s going to self-destruct. I vote knowing his past, self-destruction.
Do you think it’s worth Walt to take Saul’s deal for a fresh start?
If I had five million dollars in a bag and access to a million more, it’d be worth it to me.
Do you think Walt is going to kill Jesse this season?
I hope he does, but I am thinking that’d just be too perfect almost. I’d say more brutal than Mike. He should die like worse than guts. For me, Jeese just represents everything that makes the game wrong. Emotion. Weakness. He’s just not good for the game. I’m sorry, I’m just cheering for the bad guy on this one. I just want to see Walt win. People are going to say whatever they want to win because you are cheering for a murderer, a liar and a sociopath. You are cheering for a high school teacher. If high school doesn’t make you that for real, then I don’t know what does. There’s not that many teachers I’ve called to suffer, so I gotta cheer for this guy.
Give me some predictions for the next episode. What do you think is going to happen?
I predict every week, maybe I’ll get lucky this weekend, Jesse will die. I’d say the next episode because what really is no one asking is the variable of violence that is coming in the wave of not being able to get the same type of meth. I think right now they are just trying to find the cooks, but they aren’t going to find the cooks eventually. It’s going to be Gus again, just now this time, you are dealing with a cartel of guys. There are going to be like, ‘look, we want it.’ I think that’s going to be added to the rest of Walt. I think he’s mean enough to beat cancer again and greedy enough.
But, the killing of Jeese, possibly the killing of his wife would be interesting. I don’t know what his brother-in-law is going to do. I expect it to be something cop-like, but I haven’t figured that part out yet. I wouldn’t want to be Walt. What a lonely place to be right now.