Spoilers and condolences for those who lost players beyond the break:
Alas, Hank and Gomey, we knew you well. And with that, Wendy and Rob, my chums from high school, take major hits. Plus all those who predicted that Hank would play a role in the finale death as the last person to kill or be killed are out of luck. That is, unless no one else dies, and how likely is that. So, Rob and Wendy will be sitting shiva (Hank and Gomez were Jewish, right?).
The tension during the knife fight must have been very intense for Sara and Chip, as it looked like either Flynn/Walt Jr. or Holly was going to get hurt. Nope, only Flynn's heart. Man, the kid can swear. Holly? Great stunt kid tonight--ma ma ... heartbreaking.
So, did Walt earn his way out of purgatory with this one? On the downside, he gave up Jesse, which he didn't have to do... He then told Jesse about Jane!!! What a bastard, and yet Wendy still roots for him?! I guess I am glad Wendy is single with this kind of taste in men. Damn. On the other hand, Walt knows he is being recorded in his phone call with Skylar and provides much that could be used to exonerate her. I do think giving up Holly that easily undermines his credibility just a bit, but it does seem to be the case that he did so to set up this big lie. What a swell guy.... ok Wendy has great taste in men....
So, what else did we learn? Well, we knew that Todd was either sociopath or a psychopath, but we had that confirmed just a bit. His performance tonight pretty much means he does have to die, sorry, Kristy. Keeping Jesse alive is going to be his un-doing. Jesse knows far more chemistry and, yeah, science, Bitch! So, I fully expect Jesse to use some Walt-knowledge to bust loose and kill Todd. Payback for Drew and for the torture. Indeed, this show has to have at least one more feat of science before it ends, and having the student do it would be so appropriate (and very Star Wars).
What else? Well, Skylar, Flynn and Marie still face a modicum of danger since they could be seen as levers to get back at Walt. But the Nazis have no reason to do so. They are as happy as white clams with $70 million. Yes, we can now be pretty sure that the big machine gun in the flashforwards has Jack's name on it. But at this point, who wants to kill Walt's family--he is gone... for now.
Andrea and Brock are still at risk since they can be used to motivate Jesse before he escapes....
Lydia was unseen but she still may have a role in the endgame, but Mark is looking a bit safer this week. Will there be retribution towards Huell? Probably not. Badger and Skinny Pete seem to be out of it.
The cast of the unseen seems unlikely to change--Group leader, Ted, Kaylee, and Gretchen--seem unlikely to reappear. Rodger did find an interview with Jessica Hecht that indicated that she might be in the finale. But if the finale includes flashbacks, then her appearance in the past would not count for this game. It has to be stuff in the present. Still, she might get smoked out in the aftermath of Walt's big news. Lawson might appear as part of another gun deal, but I would not count on it.
Other key lessons:
- another use for duct tape!
- even Nazis know that too much greed can be a bad thing
- Vince Gilligan is cruel--that flashback to start the episode and delay the outcome of the gunfight!!!
- Hank died well--for a smart guy, Walt is too stupid to get that Jack made up his mind ten minutes earlier. Walt didn't have to tell him about the money since Jack had the coordinates--pretty smart for a Nazi.