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?!