As a refresher, here’s what happens in this episode:
1) Jesse tries unsuccessfully to get out of drug trade
2) Walter and Skyler attend birthday for Eliot, Walter’s former business partner at Gray Matter and now a rich man
3) Walter rejects offer from Eliot’s wife to help him pay for cancer treatment
4) Family has intervention for Walter in which they urge him to undergo chemotherapy treatments
5) Walter returns to Jesse and says they need to return to making and selling meth
Again, Walter has a chance to free himself from being a meth cook in order to finance his cancer costs. All he had to do was swallow his pride and accept the gracious offer from Eliot’s wife to pay for the chemotherapy. But once again, Walter thinks he’s on an island, that he can handle every challenge that comes his way. The sin of pride rears its ugly head once more. Walt, thinking he’s an island unto himself, rejects the offer of financial assistance and instead decides to do things his way, which is to earn a lot of money in a short period of time by making and selling meth.
This reminds me of when my wife Amy and I were in the depths of our alcoholic spiral. We very briefly discussed the idea of us going through inpatient rehab. The key word is briefly. The idea was quickly dismissed, not because it didn’t have merit, but because neither of us were ready to address our addiction. That would have required too much work and also admitting we were powerless over alcohol. In other words, it was pride that kept us from seeking out the help of others to assist us in the healing process. Like Walter rejecting Gretchen’s (wife of Eliot) offer to help pay for cancer treatment, Amy and I rejected the idea of letting other people help us when we needed it most.
In the case of Walter, not only did he reject the financial- assistance offer from Eliot and Gretchen, he also turned down Eliot’s job offer. Skyler had told Eliot and Gretchen about her husband’s cancer and after Walter discovered this, he was furious. Not wanting to accept the job because he feared Eliot did only out of pity, Walter again isolates himself by not taking advantage of an offer to help him. Instead of having to cook meth to make money to pay for chemotherapy, Walter could have been earning a nice salary at Gray Matter.
Instead the episode ends with Walter at Jesse’s place saying they should cook more meth. You’ probably heard that “pride goeth before the fall”. “Breaking Bad” and my life are textbook cases.