*Spoilers* Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 review

Critical journalism always seems easier when what you're writing about is bad. As you can imagine, this makes reviewing arguably the greatest TV show of all time deceptively difficult. Perhaps then, the best way to explain the power of this, Season 5 Episode 13's To'Hajiille” is by telling you just how crushed, shocked and frustrated I felt when the screen finally turned to black.

In one of the shows best cliffhangers, that eternal tease Vince Gilligan left us hanging on a Mexican stand off between Todd's 'white power' associates and a heavily out gunned Agent Gomez and Hank. The scene is a product of the slow chess game of the last few episodes. Moments before, it appeared that Walt had finally been outplayed by the two men that know him best.

“He's smarter than you."

Jesse told Hank during the inception of their pairing that Walt could not be out-thought, with good reason. The man known as Heisenberg had already taken down the untouchable Gus, not to mention he had seemingly crushed Hank's investigation with the most brilliantly manipulative piece of blackmail. But seeing his money about to burn, the reason he went down this dark path in the first place, made Walt lose grip of his usual pragmatic self and lead them straight to the evidence, confessing everything along the way.

He was left clutching a gun, wheezing in the desert, finally defeated by Hank and Jesse. To paraphrase the end of season 4: it was over, check-mate, they won.

“He's luckier than you."

In the midst of all this elaborate strategy, the second part of Jesse's speech was all but forgotten by audience and characters alike. It's a point that may prove fatal for Hank, whose victory was interrupted by a group of heavily armed savages. 

Todd's neo-nazi uncle is a living representation of the evolution in the lengths Walt is willing to go. Mike and Gus were both dangerous men, but they were also professionals who wouldn't ever allow themselves to be caught in a shoot out with the DEA. By aligning himself with little more than thugs, Walt once again bought himself a momentary wave of good fortune, whether Walt sees it that way or not. 

"Whatever you think is supposed to happen, I'm telling you the reverse opposite is going to happen."

Despite the masterful structure and execution of these scenes, Gilligan doesn't allow Breaking Bad to lose all of the playfulness that sets it apart from similar long-running American dramas. The end shoot out is a brilliant Western parody where a thousand shots are fired and they all miss their mark. 

We can also imagine first time viewers rolling their eyes at the predictability of Hank, the cop, looking to go down all guns blazing after telling his tear-filled wife that he might be home late that night. The writers have never been afraid to play with the formula (no pun intended) even in the shows most nail-biting moments.

Then again, these fun throwbacks may go unnoticed among the swamp of unanswered questions. Who will survive this massacre? Where will Walt go? What happens to his family? Perhaps most pressingly, is his luck about to run out?

Words by Ben Gibson