Nina’s reflection regarding not being enough for Bell identifies pretty much what else is needed for Walter to, well, get over himself. In short, although Bell clearly loved Nina, he did not love her enough for him to be able to resist a feeling of omnipotence that satiated his ego. Nothing could have changed Bell but himself. Outer forces shape us while we are children, but usually, after adolescence, as many a worried parent can tell you, the volition to change has to come from the person themselves. Walter seems to have that volition; perhaps Nina, Olivia and Astrid can help bolster him into action without removing the much-needed pieces of his brain.
Which interestingly enough, implies that although he is still as self-consumed as before, he also has changed enough that he now just might have what it takes to not become the man he was before again. The glyphs spell T-R-U-S-T, an indication that Walter needs to trust his inner, noble self (pun oh so intended) to control his arrogant, intellectual self. Like the Cherokee story goes, a fight is going on inside Walter at the moment: “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too. Which wolf will win? The one you feed."
Some miscellaneous thoughts on the episode: how awesome Nina looks with white hair, and how nice her earrings are. I found it amusing that the assistant she called on was named Hastings, and would like to think that it is after Hercule Poirot’s best friend. Her emotional reunion with her foster daughter was touching. It’s sad that both Blair Brown and Lance Reddick are no longer credited as being season regulars.
There were more Walter moments in this episode than there have been in the last few, including the hilarious moment in Bell’s safe room (I am tempted to call it Bell’s House of Horrors) when Walter figured out that his former colleague had pilfered his record collection. Another great Walter moment was the irony of his comment, directed at Bell: “He had a terrible memory. The LSD, I suppose.”