Well, this season has certainly picked up in these past few episodes! Last week we saw the tension between Walt and Jesse growing, due to Jesse’s frequent trips with Mike and the praise he received from Gus, as well as between Walt and Skyler, after he gave that great speech and then at the end she had her own great speech REMEMBER THOSE?, as well as between Hank and the entire premise of the series as he gets closer and closer to finding Heisenberg, as well as the cartel, as well as new car, as well as baby. This week we fall much deeper into our Breaking Bad anxiety with a more Jesse-focused episode. And MAN, IS IT GREAT!

The episode opens with Jesse playing a first-person-shooter video game. Each time he shoots a video game enemy in the head, an image of Gale flashes before him. Poor, tortured Jes. Can’t even play a video game. Apparently this is a video game called Rage that has not been released yet. That might be a big deal, if you like video games a lot? I don’t know. But feel free to discuss that if it IS in fact some kind of big deal. It’s at least weird to me that there would be blatant weird video game advertising right at the beginning of Breaking Bad? But whatever. I guess they have to do SOMETHING, since AMC has already given all of its TV show money to Mad Men.

So anyway, then we check in with Walt who, following directly from last episode, is picking up Walt Jr.’s new car to take it back to the dealership. Until he finds out they’ll be deducting an $800 restocking fee, which makes him SO UPSET for whatever reason. Ugh, Walt. MAN UP. You make $800 a minute, what do you care, you prideful jerk. “How dare they deduct an $800 restocking fee from HEISENBERG. I AM A METH GENIUS!” So instead of returning it like any reasonable or even unreasonable human would do, he takes it on a joyride, does a bunch of donuts in a parking lot, and then blows it up. You are the worst, Walt.

Then Walt goes to see Saul, who explains to him how much blowing up the car cost but also assures him that it won’t go on his record because this is a fast-paced TV show and having that lingering problem would really bog everything down. Then Walt tells Saul that he wants to hire a hitman to kill Gus, because Walt is a dummy. Saul explains to him that if the hitman they try to hire isn’t actually a cop, he will most likely be a person who already knows Mike and Saul. Walt explains that he’d do it himself, but he can’t get near Gus — “You can’t get near him?” Saul asks. “Why don’t you ask your partner?” JESSE! HIS PARTNER JESSE! WHAT COULD SAUL POSSIBLY MEAN? So Walt leaves to do just that.

At Jesse’s apartment, we find Jesse painting over the graffiti on his walls. Good. Thank G. I hope that period of his life is over because it was getting boring and gross and sad.

Walt gets Jesse to tell him about his encounter with Gus, and explains why Gus has to die without ever actually saying it. Jesse understands him, though, and tells him that he’ll do it “the first chance he gets.” Jesse, nooo! You are not as tough as you think you are! Remember when you were playing that video game and kept seeing Gale? Remember how you totally spiraled out of control after you killed him? REMEMBER WHEN YOU TOOK THAT GIRL TO YOUR ROOM TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES? You can’t do this! You’re just an angel caught up in a devil’s game!

Back at the carwash, Marie is there talking about air fresheners and how well Hank is doing. Blah, blah. Whatever. Then Walt comes in, gives Skyler an awkward kiss, and they both go to the back to put Walt’s meth earnings in a safe. Here, Skyler finds out that Walt is making a lot more than she suspected — around seven million a year, and it’s all in 50s. She is a little shaken, because, as she explains, no car wash in the world makes seven million dollars a year. And no one pays for their car wash in 50s. Walt basically says, you know, deal with it. He makes the money, she launders it. Which I understand. Skyler likes to act like she is very good at this double-life meth dealer game because she has access to google, but really it is difficult and can throw you some CURVE BALLS every now and again. Like having all of your money come in 50s. But also: Ugh, Walt. Stop being a jerk. Skyler is just trying to keep your family together and clearly you cannot do it on your own so STFU.

Back at the lab, we see Walt doing something. This is another case where I’m watching and thinking, “Am I supposed to know what he is doing right now? Is he doing something weird? What he is doing seems very weird.” And he WAS doing something weird. Afterwards, he goes back to see Jesse and presents him with what he was making — a poison to slip into Gus’s food, silently killing him without any fuss or muss. Walt tells him to keep it on him so he can use it whenever he gets the opportunity, and with little opposition Jesse hides it in one of his cigarettes, which he places upside down in the pack. “Whatever you do, don’t smoke it,” Walt says. And from that point on I am intensely worried that Jesse will accidentally smoke it.

Then we see Walt Jr. and Hank rolling up on Los Pollos. Hahah. Oh no! They’re there and Walt Jr. is telling Hank about the fifteen hours he spent with his dream car, when Gus comes up to speak with Hank about being a hero and getting soda refills. I audibly gasped at this moment and I don’t even know why. I was VERY into it. Also Gus offered Walt Jr. a part-time job, basically. LOL.

After they leave, we see Hank spilling out the contents of his soda and putting it in an evidence bag. Ahhhhh! Hank when did you get so smart!

Then, Jesse is on another trip with Mike. Once again, Mike is being secretive about what they’re actually doing, but it turns out he’s there to help look out during a meeting with the cartel. In a great moment, Jesse walks into the trailer carrying a plate of vegetables and says “sup” to a few tough-looking guys outside. Awww. Great. Great job. So anyway, he comes into the trailer with the veggie plate and meets Gus and Mike. Mike tells him to make coffee. Eek! The moment came so soon when he could use the poison! In a very tense sequence of coffee-making events, we see him struggling with the thought of breaking out the poison. He goes as far as to take his cigarettes out of his pocket, when Mike comes up behind him to give him a gun. Ah! That was tense. He tells him that he needs a gun for the day, but tells him it’s for emergency only.

Then, the handsome cartel arrives. We see a lot more of the guy who everyone was saying looked like Gabe last week and unfortunately he does look like Gabe quite a bit:

Does that mean we can’t call him handsome? I don’t know. It’s a tough call. I say yes. Let’s just try not to think about it that much. Anyway, the meeting does not go as Gus planned. Gus offers the cartel fifty million dollars, and the cartel spokesperson doesn’t respond — saying only that he is looking for a yes or no answer. Either Gus will meet their demands or they will go to war. It is not a negotiation. He didn’t even touch the vegetable plate! And with that, the handsome cartel got in their handsome car and left. So I guess they are at war now. Booooo war!

On the way home, Jesse discusses with Mike what Gus could have meant by telling him that he “sees something” in him. Mike tells him that he guesses that Gus meant he sees loyalty — even though it’s for the wrong person. UH-OH.

This was followed by one of the best scenes in the history of Breaking Bad. That is just the truth! Jesse is back at rehab, and the rehab leader from last season is talking about how they have to forgive themselves or their cycles of abuse will continue. Jesse tearfully recounts the story of how he killed Gale, disguised as a story about killing an innocent dog. “I put him down. I watched him go. I was looking at him straight in the eye and he didn’t know what was happening. He didn’t know why. He was just scared, and then he was gone.” Jeeeeesus. This scene would have been intense with this element alone, but then — after being yelled at by a member of the group, and having the group leader tell her not to judge him — Jesse begins talking about how he deserves that judgement — how they all do. “If you just do stuff and nothing happens, what’s it all mean? What’s the point?” He doesn’t believe they should accept themselves for what they’ve done, and that what they’ve done is unacceptable. He then admits that he only began attending the meetings to sell everyone meth. “You’re nothing to me but customers.” Then he leaves. Jeepers. It was great. Jesse will win all the awards now. Jesse for all the Oscars and ALL the Emmys and MTV Movie Awards.

The episode ended with Hank taking a meeting with his former DEA partner and boss. This scene was very long! I kept thinking it was going to end, but then it didn’t end for a very long time. Like The Life Aquatic. Not in a bad way, though. I’m just saying. A lengthy final scene. Hank, very carefully, explains every piece of the Gale puzzle he’s been putting together — how he traced a number on the Los Pollos napkin he found at the scene to, ultimately, Los Pollos Hermanos and Gus.

After explaining his case, his former partner and boss are not convinced. And then Hank whips out the REAL stuff — “I can’t seem to wrap my mind around this one little thing, and that is: What are Gustavo Fring’s fingerprints doing in Gale Boetticher’s apartment?” Then he shows them a bunch of Gus fingerprint pictures. BAM. “BAM!” Roasted. The End.

Holy moly, what an episode. So, I guess Gus probably will definitely die this season? He’s gotta. Right? Guys? Hello? I wonder how he will die. This is very exciting. I hope Jesse doesn’t kill him! I don’t think he will! Hello!? Guys?!

Comments (51)
  1. Hank was Columbo this week


    “Just one more thing…”

  2. Yeah, let’s just give Aaron Paul the Emmy now. Stunning scene.

  3. I think the inclusion of Rage was weird, considering it’s 2000-fucking-8. Why not just give Skyler a fucking iPad on which to do her accounting?

  4. If it pleases the Monsters, I would like to sum up Hank’s season 4 character arc as follows:

    bitter, pooping, angry, minerals, pooping, minerals, baby steps, pooping, bitter, baby steps, minerals, pooping, minerals, angry, bitter, minerals, pooping, GREATEST DEA AGENT IN THE WORLD.

    Thank You

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • I wasn’t saying that he has been boring–though I can see how one might find him to be–rather just how he has basically been a bed-ridden, feces spraying, negative Nancy for 6 episodes, then all of the sudden rockets back to be being Hank: Super Cop again.

        I guess what I’m really saying is: welcome back, Hank. I didn’t want to watch you poo anymore.

        • Word. For the record I’m happy that he’s back to being Super Cop (or at least the idea of him being Super Cop, since I haven’t actually seen the episode yet), because I loved him in that role. I wasn’t hating on the show at large, just Hank’s character arc so far this season. You know, despite the million downvotes that suggests I just insulted everyone’s mother.

    • What I really liked about Hank’s recovery is that I was like, “WHoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA. Judging by the events every other character is experiencing currently, it hasn’t been that long since Hank figured out Gale’s Los Pollos Hermanos angle. NOW HE’s WHAT? Just tromping around with a walker and WHAT?! Now a cane?” I was confronted with the thoughts that this was beyond what I could believe was possible.
      But Breaking Bad is so deliberate in what they do that I know this wasn’t a mistake.

      I’m led to believe that what was was happening with Hank is as follows:
      - Hank was sad as shit after being shot and crippled. He was legitimately incapacitated for a time, and his early PT was probably very hard and demoralizing. He looked to minerals for comfort for whatever reason, and hated on Marie (whom I love, so BOO, Hank, Boo!)
      - Hank was slowly getting better over time with his PT and all that, but he wasn’t quite ready to leave the self-pity party
      - For a time we only ever saw him at a couple dinners with the Whites, where he was in ‘Wheelchair Host’ mode.
      - Then, once the seeds of meth & crime-busting were planted in Hank’s brain by his nice cop friend and Walt’s loose, stupid lips, Hank finally had a reason to focus on something bigger than himself, which was something he could not do while simultaneously dragging out his pity party.
      - PT like a mo’erfugga. Research like a mo’erfugga.
      - BAM. Hank’s back on top.

      TL;DR. SORRY, ADHD’ers.

      What I’m saying is I like how Hank’s recovery was dependent on physical limitations, certainly, but also on how much and how fast he wanted to recover.

      I also loved seeing Hank w/ walker taking Walt Jr. w/forearm crutches to lunch at Los Pollos Hermanos. They’ve always had a great uncle/nephew relationship on the show, and it was nice seeing the two of them on an adventure together.

      • you forgot the part about the pooping.

      • Marie said as much about Hank’s progress earlier in this episode. But I agree that he and Junior were super cute together.

        • Marie saying “Hank’s been really hitting the PT the past couple days” and Hank actually graduating to an unassisted walker and then a cane within a few scenes are two separate things.

          I’m not saying Marie is in any way wrong in her assessment. I’m sure Hank was very noticeably doing pt. But what I’m saying is it felt like a mix of the writers not showing Hank doing much recently outside of his bed or his wheelchair, and then the extra oomph of the Gale/Heisenberg/Pollos Hermanos connection motivating Hank to really get himself out of his funk.

          His body wasn’t truly responsible for stopping him from recovering, his mind was the thing that had truly atrophied, and once he honed his mind he HAD to hone his body to continue the pursuit.

          • Take the minerals Hank was collecting as the counterweight to the Gale case. Hank gets to sit in bed, Marie gets to lug all the heavy minerals around, and Hank just has boxes and boxes of minerals brought to him for him to study, file away, and wait for more to arrive. He doesn’t have to get out of his bed or his wheelchair for that ‘hobby,’ even though he could if he chose to go out and get the minerals himself.

            The Gale/Pollo Hermanos connection was something Hank HAD to go out to pursue. It would not come to him. So really, Walt planting that seed about Heisenberg in Hank’s mind over dinner was what really got Hank well again, both in mind and body.

            I for one am VERY happy to see Hank kicking around again.

  5. i think that will be the only time i’m moved almost to tears from a performance in a show about selling meth

  6. “Aaron Paul, we’ve got a surfboard with your name on it, buddy.” -2012 Teen Choice Committee

  7. Drug Gabe? Meth Gabe? Bad Gabe? What can we call him?

  8. I’ve really loved the recovery group scenes on this show. I keep thinking about (warning, obligatory Videogum weekly Infinite Jest reference!) David Foster Wallace’s AA rant:

    “….the Crocodiles say they can’t even begin to say how many new guys they’ve seen Come In and then get sucked back Out There, Come In to AA for a while and Hang In and put together a little sober time and have things start to get better, head-wise and life-quality-wise, and after a while the new guys get cocky, they decide they’ve gotten `Well,’ and they get really busy at the new job sobriety’s allowed them to get, or maybe they buy season Celtics tickets, or they rediscover pussy and start chasing pussy (these withered gnarled toothless totally post-sexual old fuckers actually say pussy), but one way or another these poor cocky clueless new bastards start gradually drifting away from rabid Activity In The Group, and then away from their Group itself, and then little by little gradually drift away from any AA meetings at all, and then, without the protection of meetings or a Group, in time–oh there’s always plenty of time, the Disease is fiendishly patient–how in time they forget what it was like, the ones that’ve cockily drifted, they forget who and what they are, they forget about the Disease, until like one day they’re at like maybe a Celtics-Sixers game, and the good old Fleet/First Interstate Center’s hot, and they think what could just one cold foamer hurt, after all this sober time, now that they’ve gotten `Well.’ Just one cold one. What could it hurt. And after that one it’s like they’d never stopped, if they’ve got the Disease. And how in a month or six months or a year they have to Come Back In, back to the Boston AA halls and their old Group, tottering, D.T.ing, with their faces hanging down around their knees all over again, or maybe it’s five or ten years before they can get it up to get back In, beaten to shit again, or else their system isn’t ready for the recurred abuse again after some sober time and they die Out There–the Crocodiles are always talking in hushed, ‘Nam-like tones about Out There–or else, worse, maybe they kill somebody in a blackout and spend the rest of their lives in MCI-Walpole drinking raisin jack fermented in the seatless toilet and trying to recall what they did to get in there, Out There; or else, worst of all, these cocky new guys drift back Out There and have nothing sufficiently horrible to Finish them happen at all, just go back to drinking 24/7/365, to not-living, behind bars, undead, back in the Disease’s cage all over again. The Crocodiles talk about how they can’t count the number of guys that’ve Come In for a while and drifted away and gone back Out There and died, or not gotten to die.”

  9. YOU CANT PLAY THAT GAME WITH THAT LIGHT GUN PERIPHERAL UGH

  10. I look forward to Breaking Bad so much every single week, and it’s definitely my favorite TV drama of all-time ever. BUT! After the opening with poor Jesse and the video game this week, when the credits started rolling, I actually felt RESENTFUL* that this show has sucked me in so much that every week I look forward to watching the slow, heartrending destruction of my favorite character. Poor Jesse. Walt, leave Jesse alone!

    *That was only for a few seconds, and then I thought about what a wonderfully complex show it is to make me feel so ambivalent.

  11. Meth manufacturers get to try new video games early, haven’t you heard?

  12. We also saw a resurgence of the “put cameras on various objects to obtain interesting shots” technique, which worked out pretty well, I thought. Watching True Blood and then Breaking Bad and even just seeing how VISUALLY more complex and interesting BB is, nevermind the story or writing, just the BASIC SKILLS OF THE MAKERS OF THE MEDIUM, it makes me feel very depressed that I spent that hour before Breaking Bad watching crap. Entertaining (ish? even really anymore?) crap, but crap.

    Like eating a hot pocket before cutting into a juicy steak.

    I washed it all down with some Louie, though. So, all in all, gastronomically, I did okay.

  13. Anyone catch that the German company Hank mentioned is the same one seen in the small print 11 seconds into the Los Pollos Hermanos commercial from LAST season?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbpmB0orZfA&feature=related

    You’re a clever girl Vince Gilligan.

  14. Pointing the walker at the picture of the chicken guy/meth distributor….friggin fantastic…..

  15. Gabe is handsome.

  16. Alex Vermitsky  |   Posted on Aug 30th, 2011 +3

    Look never comment on here but as far as the minerals go don’t we assume it’s a way for Hank to hear Walt talk about the changing colors of the rocks and possibly set up Hank’s discovery of Walt as METH GENIUS! (that is so fun to type, everyone here is tops, goodbye forever)

    • Maybe it was just something for Hank to obsessively study and categorize, like he would do with his police case work. You know, just saying something about Hank’s nature that makes him a good cop.

  17. As the consensus seems to be, Hank’s Columboing of the DEA guys was the bidness for me as well.

    It was like WHAMMO! Holy Shit! Did I just change teams?!? All along I’ve figured Walt was eventually gonna pull his head outta his arse. But now I’m wondering if they’ve been pulling a long game on us where Hank is the real hero of the show? Probably not but I love that it’s a possibility to consider.

    I also think Hank’s progress may mean curtains for Gus. He’s gonna have to die to keep Hank from putting Walt in the shit this season.

  18. Here’s something that’s been bugging me, but a friend offered a possible explanation… curious what you guys think:

    So the Los Pollos Hermanos trucks from the opening scenes of the previous two episodes, the one that got shot to hell before Mike shot those guys, and the one where the two dudes got all carbon-monoxided, how are those not attracting some kind of police/DEA suspicion? Mike was around for the first truck so maybe he arranged the cleanup, but with the second truck, the cartel grabbed one bucket of meth-filled chicken batter and left two dead bodies w/ M-16s, a truck full of bullet holes, and who knows how many buckets still containing meth, just sitting on the side of a highway. How did that avoid the APD or DEA’s attention?

    One possibility that my friend brought up: Maybe Gus’s “concerned citizen” act and charity checks are a front for paying off the DEA dudes? That would explain why, after Hank laid out a pretty convincing case about the air filter and the weird European shell company that owns Los Pollos Hermanos, the two guys were just like “yeah cool story bro” and he had to bring out the gus’s-fingerprint-in-gale’s-apartment bombshell to get their attention. If they’re being paid to look the other way, it’d be in their interest to try to discount his theory. Also explains the phone call tipoff that Hank got before the ax-wielding twins came to try to kill him.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.