This week opened with what was basically an extended “previously on” scene — Gus explaining to Hector the deaths of his nephews, and their connection to Hank, complete with footage from last season. “This is what comes from blood for blood, Hector,” he says. And then there are some shots of a swimming pool. And then I have no idea what is going on at all but am VERY worried about it!

After the Gus intro, we see Walt at the hospital. I think this is either the first or one of the first times we’ve really seen him as Walt-The-Cancer-Patient this season, and it’s kind of odd. Mostly because he seems kind of vulnerable, which is something he has been fighting against seeming this season (and always, but mostly this season). Plus it’s always odd to see him with no shirt:

But that odd vulnerability is very soon replaced with the hard-headed, annoying, masked vulnerability that has basically been his #1 character trait this season. UGH, WALT. The guy sitting next to him asks him a question and then starts to talk about how cancer has changed his life. Which, admittedly, would annoy me as well. But Walt goes into a heavy-handed “never give up control” speech that is just so annoyingly THIS SEASON, that I can hardly even take it. Really, it was a bit frustrating. How many times are we going to hear Walt give this speech to different people? I GET IT. I get it, he thinks he’s in charge but also he’s scared but also he wants to “maintain” the control that he doesn’t really even have in the first place. Oyyoyoy. “Every day, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life.” is basically the tagline for this season. But with a slanty-face emoticon at the end in parentheses.

Next we see Gustavo being called into the police station for questioning. AHH! EEK! They ask why his fingerprints were found in Gale’s house, and he tells them that Gale was the recipient of a chemistry scholarship in 1999 that he set up, and that the week before Gale was shot he stopped by Los Pollos to ask him to dinner to catch up. They ask where he was on the night of Gale’s murder, he tells them he was at a thing. They ask why there is no record of him ever having lived in Chile, and he says that is due to General Pinochet’s government being unreliable at keeping records. And then they let him go. Hank is unconvinced, but the rest of the guys feel like his story — combined with his reputation as an upstanding DEA supporter — are enough, and they don’t want to look into his case any further. And his stories were pretty good! The Gale one was maybe a little weak, because really, why WOULD Gale show up after so many years the week before he was murdered? But the scholarship thing was good. I guess? Actually, can’t they just look into that more and prove that the scholarship never existed? Unless it did exist. In which case, him coming to Gus a week before he was murdered is still kind of weird. But for the most part, Gus is very good at what he does. Skyler would be very impressed.

Because Hank is the only one left who is suspicious of Gus, he decides to take matters into his own hands/Walt’s hands. WALT’S HANDS? OH NO! Hank asks Walt to drive him to some sort of rocks (MINERALS!) expo, and on their way Hank reveals that they’re actually going to Los Pollos to put a GPS tracking device on Gus’s car. Uhoh! As Hank is telling Walt all of his suspicions about Gus, and how Walt’s questioning of Gale’s “genius” basically made Hank into the DEA superagent he is today, Mike pulls up next to them. Ha-ha. It is moments like those that make me miss when this show was a dark dramady, rather than just a dark drama. More dark joke-y type things, please! At first Walt resists Hank’s request for the GPS placement. And then Hank says, “This is really important to me, you’re gonna make me beg ya? Come on, just stick it in there,” which is actually exactly what she said. And then Walt agrees to do it. But he doesn’t do it. But then Gus tells him to do it. So he does it on the way out. It is all very tense, and Walt makes the teethface a lot.

Teethface!

Afterwards, Walt heads to the lab to yell at the security camera, as he is wont to do. I’m sure someone could make some sort of argument about how his arguing with the security camera is kind of like arguing with his version of God, as he’s arguing with a representation of something that is in complete control of his life, only hoping that it will help, and how this is connected with what he told the other cancer patient at the beginning who said the thing about “man makes plans and God laughs,” and also he has to look up because that’s where the camera is, but that person is NOT ME. I’m not sure if you came here hoping that I would talk about how the security camera thing is like a God thing but I will certainly not do that.

In any case, he tells the security camera what happened with Hank, and explains how they have a mutual interest in solving that situation non-violently, since Hank’s death would now seem very suspicious, and they would look at Gus first as a suspect. All true. It will be very interesting to see how the Gus/Hank situation will be solved. Maybe they will both die? I WISH I COULD FAST FORWARD TIME AND FIND OUT!

From there, Walt goes to Jesse’s house to pressure him about killing Gus. He tells him to do it as soon as possible — sometime this week, but Jesse lies and says he hasn’t even seen Gus since the time at the diner. Walt tells Jesse that he should ask Mike to set him up with a meeting with Gus, so he can coach him on what to say if Hank brings him in. This is not the best idea. Even if he got a meeting, where would he put the poison? You know? “Gus, I brought you some coffee.” “Gus, I brought you a sandwich.” “Gus, I brought you some poison I MEAN SOME GATORADE.” It would all look pretty suspicious? But anyway, when Jesse steps away for a moment, he gets a text message and Walt checks it. Boooo, Walt. Haven’t you ever read an advice column? Never check other people’s text messages! It’s from Mike (I assume, it’s from a restricted number) saying their meeting with the boss is canceled. Ooooh, Jesse. When he comes back Walt tells Jesse that he thinks he “got a phone call,” which, LOL. “Something make a sound in your coat, did you have an alarm set on your watch?” basically. C’mon, Walt! You know what a text message sounds like. Also, uhoh, do you think Jesse is against you now? He isn’t really! You guys should speak honestly with each other! This is not the way to form a lasting relationship!

After that, we see Mike on the phone with Gus discussing the Hank problem. Gus learns that the GPS tracker on his car is not a DEA thing — just a Hank thing. So he takes it off of his car. Guys, is Hank going to die? Hank can’t die! How will that not seem like Gus killed him? They can only BOTH die. Maybe everyone will die. Maybe the whole town will explode. I’m glad I don’t write this show because I would only have to end it on the whole town exploding because I have no idea.

The final scene was another very, very good final scene. A flashback to when Gus and his partner first approached the Cartel with their ideas for distributing meth, when the Cartel only dealt in cocaine. It’s kind of funny how endearing and sympathetic Breaking Bad allows meth manufacturers to become, and Gus and his partner in this scene take advantage of that. And they have to be endearing and sympathetic characters, because that’s what makes the moment the Cartel turns on them so intense. The boss, Don Eladio, seemingly convinced of the worth of the pair’s meth, asks why they need Gus if his partner is the chemist. And while his partner is explaining Gus’s worth, Hector kills him. AHHHHHHHHH! The partner, I mean. Gus is obviously still alive. And from that moment he shoots him, you hear an unsettling ringing noise rising in volume, and see blood dripping into the pool like from the beginning, while Hector tells Gus that he is the reason for his friend’s death, and Jesus Christ it is great and awful and very intense. Hector tells him that the only reason Gus is not dead as well is because he “knows who he is” from Chile. The scene ends with Gus crying and looking into the eyes of his dead friend and hooooooly moly. I love Gus now?! I am so easily manipulated! STOP BEING MEAN TO MY GUS!

So, that was great. And I do honestly believe it makes Gus into a more sympathetic character. Which is interesting. And what does that mean that he knows who he is in Chile? And when will he die? Lots of questions! If only I had a Click remote.

Oh also Skyler broke her closet.

SEE YA NEXT WEEK!

Comments (43)
  1. Mark Margolis (Hector) and Steven Bauer (Don Eladio) were both in Scarface together, which overlaps with Breaking Bad on maybe a detail or two.

  2. I was talking to my friend (Destrucity in these parts) about Gus, and he said he thought Gus is gay. I disagreed. Thoughts?

    • I agree with your friend. I also think he is fake.

    • Not that it matters in the least if he is or isn’t, but I don’t think they’ve led us to believe either way. I guess I’ve always kind of assumed he is gay, but I’m not sure why that is.

    • He gave me that “vibe” -I have a GAYDAR, ZINGZOOM- since he started appearing, but I dissmissed the idea; like, not everyone has to be fruity y’all. But you know, the way he stared at the partner, and the partner stared back, and the way he screamed when the guy died… maybe he is?

    • I had an idea that Gus was gay on occasion (mostly just the episode where he had Walt over for dinner). I want to say he has no family, if I’m not mistaken.

      This episode’s flashback could expand on that idea: Gus and his partner seemed very close. That could be through just knowing each other for years and years, but it could also be through knowing and loving each other on a deeper level for years and years. Gus ATTACKS Hector—seemingly grief-stricken— which isn’t something just anyone would do while at gunpoint (not that this means Gus is gay, it just means that the death of his friend is so traumatic that Gus, in the immediate shock at the loss of his friend/partner, had no concern for his own life).

      What I loved most about that whole ordeal is the present day Gus toying with Hector over their past. It has an added sense of flair if Gus is gay, because Hector didn’t just kill Gus’ close friend and business partner, Hector killed the love of Gus’ life, and Gus couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

      Just stuff to think about.

    • Guys, I went to the Sharper Image site, but they’re all sold out of gaydars. :(

    • Totally gay, IMO. In the flashback Juan and Hector kept hinting at it, commenting on how “they don’t look like brothers to me…” and Hector’s “They like what they see” bit after he finished peeing in the pool. And of course, Gus appeared thoroughly heartbroken by Max’s death.

  3. Hahahaa dang, Kelly! Best review so far for the best episode of the season (so far). I enjoy your recaps very much! (I too would explode the town).

  4. Anyone know where you can livestream AMC on the interweb? I’m at college now and had to watch it an hour late and my heart was broked IT CAN’T HAPPEN AGAIN :’(

  5. I got very confused by the extended “previously on” part, and thought I had missed an episode for a minute.

    Anyway, I’m just glad that confident Hank is back in full effect with all of his great zingers. He really knows how to drop a good burn.

    • I read somewhere that the actor who plays Hank originally based him on Vic Mackie (which is hilarious), but the character has developed quite a bit from there. Hank is my favorite.

      Although, I would totally watch a spin-off show about Walt Jr.

  6. For the record, I loved Walt’s speech at the beginning.

    • So did I. I didn’t feel it came off as an another annoying attempt by Walt to continue telling himself and anyone who will listen that he is the one in control. Rather, it seemed to me like an honest assessment of how one should try to live life with cancer. I don’t have cancer (knock on wood), nor do I know anyone who does (knock again), but I don’t know…controlling your life in the face of cancer, rather than cancer controlling your life seems like a pretty..pragmatic? smart? positive? way to approach such a thing.

  7. Does anyone here think that Gus has a mole in the DEA or the APD? The AV Club commenters are always yammering on about how Gomez is the mole NO WAIT it’s the other guy etc etc. But I never got the impression that there WAS a mole. What’s the monster consensus?

  8. I love the names you give the pictures Kelly.

  9. On Gus’s story … my guess would be he is ‘creating’ a story for Gale, with only part of it involving the ‘character’ of Gus.

    Basically, Gale, the chemist, finishes his degree, goes off into the world, stuff happens, etc … and he ends up mixed up in the meth game, or owing lots of money or something like that. So his going to Gus for an investment opportunity was either trying to talk Gus into getting into the meth game, or trying to scam Gus out of money to help him get out from under the thumb of the people he owed money to and/or was working for.

    So, it would make sense that someone who may ‘know’ they have a problem that could get them killed would get in touch with a rich person who could possibly help them deal with a problem that might get them killed.

  10. does anyone else just totally believe Gus’s story about how he knows Gale (the scholarship etc) because it makes sense that that’s how he contacted Gus in the first place to run the lab, only to have Gale decline? it’s something that is so easy for the DEA to follow up and check on that it doesn’t make sense for him to completely make it up.

    or am i just naive and want Gus to have all his shit together that badly.

    • I’m pretty sure the scholarship story is real. 1) It’s named after his dead partner 2) it’s so Gus to start a scholarship looking for chemists that are so good that they could possible run his meth lab. Talk about vertical integration! 3) yeah, if it isn’t real, then why tell it to the DEA? its like the first thing they would check.

      It also puts into perspective why Gus was so angry about dead Gale being shot in the face (BRINGS BACK SAD MEMORIES :( )

      But seriously, just how great was that last scene. It so beautifully parallels the relationship between Walt and Jesse, Walt and Gus, Gus and Gale, and Walt and Gale tying all those characters together on this idea of partnership, brothers, hermanos.

      God damn, such a good episode. Such a great season!

      • I think it also brings up how Jesse said a few episodes ago that Gus won’t kill them because it would take years to groom someone to be a meth chemist… but maybe Gus is always grooming chemists and has some that are up-and-coming.

  11. Alex Vermitsky  |   Posted on Sep 6th, 2011 +2

    I kind of admire this show’s ability to reduce a rather large city/meth business into a few characters that keep bumping into each other. Like kinda how have Mike makes Gus a much more dangerous person despite the fact that Mike is a one guy and one old guy at that. I think that is why the actors in this show deserve so much credit. And I totally agree with your desire for more comedic moments because in some weird way they give the strained cred of the time-line/oversimplifications/iffy plots twists hold up as great art. Anyways these recaps are great, thanks.

  12. Alex Vermitsky  |   Posted on Sep 6th, 2011 +1

    Great, unlike my sentences.

  13. I’m really scared for Hank right now, especially that he’s gone all rogue (shout out to Sarah Palin!) and is going on nothing more than his “gut”. As a certain magician has taught us, your gut cannot be trusted…

  14. Alex Vermitsky  |   Posted on Sep 6th, 2011 0

    Oh and Jessie’s shirt. Remember the old days of yellow Echo hoodies and Badger? Need more Badger, yo.

  15. The Gabe-lookin cartel guy is the son of Gus’ buddy who got shot in the head. Called it!

  16. I’m from Chile. I’m only going to say it once: “Don’t mess with the chileans” = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PtTJploahw

  17. Hi, stu!

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