Breaking Bad’s Fatal Flaw: Walter Would Have A Hank Solution

"One word—blowback", pointed out Saul Goodman in season three, explaining how the costs or blowback of Walter being revealed as Heisenberg would negatively impact a lot of other people than Walter. For example, Saul made it clear—way back in season 3—that Walter being busted would be the end of Hank Schrader's DEA career.
Throughout the five seasons of Breaking Bad, most fans have waited, enthusiastically, for the day the Walter-Hank confrontation would go down. It was assumed that this "face-off" would end much differently and more intimately than Walter's firing of Gus Fring. Clearly, series creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan, intends to make that confrontation some important part of the last eight episodes.

But here’s the problem with that great idea: it just doesn’t make sense.

Walter White isn’t stupid enough to have believed that there was no way that someday his imbecile brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank Schrader, would finally be able to put two and two together. Walter would have thought about what to do in that event. He would have discussed it with Skyler, and, for example, they would have had the conversation about what she should say if she ever got "that call" or "that visit" from Hank, inquiring about Walter/Heisenberg.

To suggest anything else, that somehow, after so many close calls, where Hank almost found him out, that Walter had become arrogant or confident beyond the point where he would have a Hank contingency plan, betrays everything Vince Gilligan has crafted into the Walter White character.

Even the method of Walter's undoing (starting at the end of episode eight, "Gliding Over All"), that he left a piece of quite damning evidence in his bathroom, a bathroom Walter knows Hank is going to use sometimes, just sounds way too sloppy for a man who has seldom shown shortsightedness or squeamishness in dealing with problems occurring in his multi-million-dollar illegal drug business.

If Walter can outwit Gus Fring, he can remember to put Gale Boetticher's book, with the damning evidence in it, evidence Hank has already called to Walter's attention in season four (in the episode "Bullet Points"), into a fucking fire.

Now, it is true that long ago, back in season three (in the episode "Caballo sin Nombre"—Eng: "A Horse With No Name"), when Walter was afraid his wife might turn him in to the DEA to get him out of her life, Saul Goodwin calmed Walter down by explaining to him that if it ever came out that Walter was Heisenberg, the person with the most to lose from that revelation (after Walter and Skyler) would be Hank. As Saul put it, in one of his best summations, when they found out that the creator of the Blue Meth was Hank’s brother-in-law, the DEA hero would suddenly become less than zero:
“That DEA brother-in-law. Screwed! You were right under his nose. He’ll be lucky if they let him bust glue sniffers at the hobby shop.”
Hank explains to Marie that no matter what, as soon as he (or anybody) reveals to DEA that Heisenberg is Hank's brother-in-law, Hank's job busting drug lords is over. A question to be answered is whether the way it is over will involve Hank going to prison—too, or exclusively—or just to Belize to join Mike.
This is something Hank confirms in episode 10, "Buried", when he tells his wife, Skyler's sister, Marie, that he has to wait to get confirmation of Walter's guilt before he tells anybody at the DEA about his suspicions, because, as he says, ten minutes after he tells his story about how he couldn't even discover a drug lord in his own family, his career as a DEA agent will be over.

Marie then asks a very pertinent question: if Walter gets busted by somebody else, before Hank has revealed what he knows, isn't there a possibility Hank will be viewed as complicit in Walter's crimes?

Good thinking, Marie. Maybe you should be the DEA agent, instead of just the shoplifter wife of one.

The first thing most people would figure is that there is no way Hank could actually be as dumb as he is. Most people, and you have to figure Hank’s DEA bosses would want to know this too, would be asking if Hank had been Walter/Heisenberg’s mole in the DEA.

After all, there is a circumstantial case that could be made that Hank had in fact acted as Walter's muscle. Think about it. Who killed Tuco Salamanca? Who killed the cousins? And didn't those killings assist Hank's brother-in-law, Walter/Heisenberg, in firming up his control of the meth business?

Maybe Walter will use these facts and their appearances as leverage before all is said and done in BB. But presently, viewers should have a real problem with this seeming error on the part of Gilligan  One thing you really don't want to see television shows do with characters, especially a character as obsessed with controlling every variable as Walter White, is to make them dumber than the show has established they are, just to advance some plot point.

Of course, it isn’t JUST a plot point, but what some people consider to be the most important plot point. However, I think that this is wrong. I think the Walter-Hank confrontation would never be the most difficult or interesting one that Walter White would have to navigate should his secrets come out. I think the most difficult, and certainly the most potentially tragic confrontation would be between Walter and his son.

And you might ask: which son?

And that would be a good suggestion of the final showdown. As we are seeing now, Hank is trying to go after Walter's meth-son, Jesse, as a means to get the goods on Walter. But, unless Walter, Jr.'s reaction is kept peripheral to the main story, which seems a big mistake, one cannot help but figure that is going to be an extremely difficult confession for Walter to make—and next week's show is called "Confessions". Maybe then.

As for Hank? Well, accidents can happen. Walter has rejected, for now, Saul Goodman's suggestion that Hank should be made to join Mike in Belize (in other words, in death). But, other than misplaced sentiment (which Walter has seldom displayed), one wonders just how long Hank is going to survive. One also wonders why Hank hasn't thought more about that. Why does he imagine for a second that Walter won't do to him (and maybe even Marie) what he has done to a lot of people?

Again, this seems to be fraying bits of the fabric as BB is coming to the close. One thing BB has always done well (till now)—way better than the hopelessly confusing Lost for example—is to respect its characters integrity while making narrative sense. Maybe Gilligan will get back to that by the end.

Let's hope so.

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