This whole episode was so strange! It felt very weird, right? The first scene, and then the scene with the voiceover, and then the scene with the musical montage? Three weird scenes right in a row! Sometimes I wish that instead of a recap, these Breaking Bad recaps were live chats but everyone else only got to say something when I asked them a question, and their comments were limited to enthusiastically agreeing with me. Maybe that’s what Heaven is like. Can’t wait to see! Let’s get to the jump so we can start talking about the chicken nuggets.

The episode opens in the taste-testing laboratories of Madrigal Electromotive. After a few minutes of watching the chicken nugget dip tasting a friend of mine asked, “What is going on?” And I said, “This is the place where Gus bought the things for the lab,” and felt like a Breaking Bad expert even though my explanation left a lot to be desired and also I had just been reminded of it during the “Previously On.” In this scene, we got to see a lot of nice dipping sauces and hear a lot of nice German words.

After a bit of delightful tasting, the tasting guy’s assistant comes in and whispers to him, “They’re back. Three of them this time.” And then you realize that this scene is definitely going to end with this guy killing himself because holy moly he isn’t even savoring those dipping sauces at all! Just eating them one after another like there isn’t even any sauce on them at all, as if they were PLAIN! After a bit of time he, so sweaty, walks out into the hall where you see a group of men taking down the Los Pollos sign from their wall of fast-food chain signs. You see the police in his office, looking at a picture of him and Gus Fring that hangs on the wall. He takes an emergency defibrillator kit from the wall, goes into the bathroom, and sad faces himself:

Goodbye, Mr. Schuler. At least your cold open was really great and will, I’m sure, inspire all sorts of “Franch” themed Internet Breaking Bad artwork that no one wants.

Next, we see Walt making a fake ricin cigarette while a voiceover of a conversation between him and Jesse plays. I felt a little disappointed at first with this scene, because I was thinking, “Enough.” You know? Enough with the stuff from last season. This is a new season! ENOUGH WITH THE RICIN CIGARETTE! But I changed my tune completely almost immediately, because I did like the effect of the pleading voiceover, and I do like how these scenes wrapped up that piece of the plot — at least from Jesse’s perspective. So. After planting the cigarette in Jesse’s apartment, he and Walt musical montage search for it, finding it only after the roomba slowly moves past them.

After Jesse finds the cigarette in the roomba, he slowly breaks down into tears while Walt walks around talking about needing a beer. It is wonderful, as it always is when Jesse cries on this show:

Walt comes over to awkwardly comfort him while he cries about how he almost killed him over this cigarette, saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Mr. White. How could I be so stupid? I’m sorry.” It is so sad and makes you hate Walt so much more, as he takes it as an opportunity to further manipulate, saying, “You and I working together, having each other’s back, it’s what saved our lives. I want you to think about that as we go forward,” ensuring that Jesse and his guilt follow him to the next stage of their dumb meth project that they don’t even need to do anymore. GET A REAL JOB, YOU JERK! EVERYONE IS IN DEBT! THIS IS AMERICA!

Then the go to talk to Mike, wonderful Mike, about joining them on their meth adventure that they don’t even need to take. When they knock on his door he had just started watching The Caine Mutiny. I know that because my uncle tweeted at me to tell me what the movie was, and also to tell me that it was some MAJOR foreshadowing. Thank you, uncle! “We’re here to talk partnership.” “There’s a market to be filled and currently no one to fill it.” “Money to be made.” Those are some things that Walt says. “I’m a jerk.” “Don’t listen to me, I’m awful.” Mike declines his offer for partnership, though, saying that he’s sorry that Jesse can’t see it, but he knows that Walt is a ticking time bomb and he does not want to be around when it goes off. Very astute! Very smart! Mike, adopt Jesse and move both of you to somewhere else and start a new life together! You’re a better father figure! I LOVE YOU! Then Walt stands up and puts his hand out for Mike to shake, and Mike doesn’t shake it for a while, but then he does. Which is I guess basically what happened in the episode anyway, not to get ahead of ourselves.

The next scene features a bunch of people from Madrigal Electromotive in a room, talking to the police about how they are going to cooperate fully, and that they expect Mr. Deadguy was the only person doing Gus stuff, but if they find out anyone else was also doing Gus stuff, well, then it will just be tough cookies for them.

Then the camera focuses on this woman in a strange way:

Hmmm, I wonder why the camera did that? Huh? I wonder why the camera focused on this lady’s worry face when we didn’t even get to hear this lady talk, huh? I WONDER WHY?

In the next scene, Hank and the other guy are talking to Hank’s boss, who is taking the fall for missing the Gus scandal, and drinking whiskey. Blah blah blah, the boss had Gus over for a BBQ once, blah blah blah they’re going to miss him, blah blah. The real thing of it comes when they talk about the motivation behind the magnet thing, and Hank says it was probably aimed to destroy Gus’s laptop, which it did. (Phew!) But ALSO he says the he sneaked a peak at it before APD took it in as evidence, and that it was encrypted and they probably couldn’t have gotten anything off of it anyway. (Which are both things that we talked about together last week.) But then the boss guy says, about Gus, “He was somebody else completely. Right in front of me. Right under my nose.” And then Hank makes this face:

WHAT’S WITH THE FACE, HANK? WHAT DO YOU KNOW? DID YOU SEE STUFF ON THE LAPTOP AFTER ALL? OR MAYBE YOU’RE JUST BEGINNING TO SUSPECT WALT OTHERWISE? OR MAYBE DO YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM? WHAT’S WITH THE FACE?!

In the next scene Mike is at a diner, eating a lonely meal. Yum yum yum. And then hey look who walks in, it’s the girl from the German place from before in the police thing and she’s wearing sunglasses!

She is very particular about her tea order, and then tells Mike — whom she is there to speak with — that they’ll talk to each other like this:

L.O.L. Mike comes to her booth and she gives him a list of guys who are traceable to both of them — guys that the police are going to begin going after. She basically wants him to kill all of them, and he says uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no. “My guys are solid,” he says. That turns out to be not so much true, but it’s nice that he says it! Then he pays for her hot water and tells her to drink it. What a sweetheart.

Back at Walt’s house, BREAKFAST. People on the internet all probably got the hugest boner when Walt Jr. didn’t eat all of his breakfast. “I CAN’T WAIT” they all probably said in unison. “For what?” you wonder. “THE INTERNET TOMORROW” they all probably said in unison again. Anyway though so Skyler didn’t eat any of her breakfast either, and then there was another weird scene where she was in bed, depressed, not wanting to go to work, and Walt was trying to wake her up for work, and you never saw either of their faces the whole time. Just their middles. What does it mean? Oh also, HELLO BABY!

Mike, who has been called into the police station for questioning, GULP!, runs into Chow on his way out. Chow looks absolutely insane and also very guilty. Mike tells Hank and the other guy what he “did” for Los Pollos, and they give him the runaround. You get a few little new Mike tidbits in this scene, like he used to be a cop in Philadelphia, but was fired after something something. SOMETHING WHAT?! Who knows. Can’t wait to find out. Then he does this, and says “forgot your handcuffs?”

“I’m confused. Am I under arrest here or am I not?” They tell him he can leave, and while he’s walking out the door Hank says, “I suppose we can talk about the 2 million dollars in your granddaughter’s name.” BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! He tells Hank about the money set up for his granddaughter (and all of the other men on the list) by Gus in the Cayman Islands. It’s pretty damning! Mike leaves saying, “I don’t know anything about any money. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then during the commercial break, the Barack Obama commercial about how Mitt Romney has millions in the Cayman Islands played, and that was a very good commercial placement and good job to everyone involved in that decision.

Walk, like an idiot, joins Saul and Jesse to talk about getting a new meth business up and running. Saul warns him that he just won the “Irish lottery” but, you know, being NOT DEAD FROM THE METH BUSINESS YET, and that he should chill out and probably not sell meth anymore. Walt tells him that he’s “forty grand in the hole,” and that that is not a reasonable place to stop. Which is such bologna. 40 grand? PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE HERE IS AT LEAST 40 GRAND IN THE HOLE. Kind of. Basically! He says some stupid stuff about scooping up the gold in the streets and then pressures Jesse into finding methylamine, which Jesse says is impossible. Ugh, Walt. He tells Saul to find a place in town where they can cook, even though that is so much more dangerous, because he doesn’t want to have to drive very far? Everything he says is stupid and I hate him.

In the next scene, we see Mike playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with his granddaughter because it is very clear that now we are supposed to love Mike and hate Walt. And it works! We do!

Chow calls him and tells him to come over to his house because the DEA took all of his money. So now he wants Mike to give him a hug about it? Who knows. Then the camera pulls out and you realize Chow wants Mike to come to his house because someone is holding a gun to his head, YIKES! DON’T DO IT MIKE! Mike does do it but Mike is too smart for everyone and ends up coming in from behind a pulling a gun on the original gun-puller and also Chow is dead:

He learns that the lady from before hired him to kill the men on the list, each for $10,000, but if he killed Mike she’d give him $30,000. And he doesn’t have any money because the DEA took it all! Mike tells him he knows, and then asks if he’s ready and then kills him. It rules.

Mike then goes to the lady’s apartment with the intention of killing her. First the lady comes in and yells at the maid for not putting her daughter to bed because she wanted to stay up and see her mom (“Who’s the adult here?”), so we HATE HER ALREADY, and then Mike grabs her into a hallway:

He brings her into her bedroom and is very close to killing her, but can’t because she has that little girl and she’s so afraid that the little girl is going to think she abandoned her and would rather her find her body and Mike doesn’t want to let the little girl find her dead mom’s body and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh CAN YOU STILL GET YOUR HANDS ON METHYLAMINE? “Maybe, why?” she says. Uhhh. How about “YES YES I CAN YES”? Or at least, “Probably, why?” MAYBE? Oh, just kill her, Mike. She obviously wants it.

BUT, Mike does not kill her. Instead he calls Walt to tell him that he’s in for their stupid meth business for no reason, and lets Walt think that he’s in because Walt’s a powerful genius. Ugh. Ugh to the whole thing of it!

In the final scene, Walt crawls in to bed with a very depressed Skyler. He tells her, while being very sexual and creepy, that it gets easier. “What you’re feeling right now, about Ted — everything. It’ll pass.” “When you’re a complete maniac, suddenly you just want to keep being worse. It’s the best. You’re going to love it.” The scene ends with him saying, “If we do what we do for good reasons, then we’ve got nothing to worry about. And there’s no better reason than family.” Which is bologna for a lot of reasons, obviously, most of all because he is clearly no longer doing anything for the benefit of his family. I don’t even know what he’s doing anything for the benefit of. Feeling powerful, I guess? Having a batman voice? “I get to talk in my batman voice way more now that I cook meth. There’s no better reason.” Who knows. Can’t wait for next week! This was a great episode! I hope we see the baby again soon!

Comments (83)
  1. The flags are raised at half-staff today at The Golden Hornet. In Memoriam:

  2. Man, I can’t believe how quickly my internal monologue has turned from “Yo, Skyler, stop being such a bitch to Walt. He’s doing all of this for his family!” to “RUN, SKYLER! GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE! HE CRAZY!”

    • I am seriously dying to see Skylar get her groove back (so to speak) the interesting thing for me with Skylar is that we know very little about Walt’s career pre-meth other than he didn’t end up a rich, prominent chemist like he should have. You start off the series with this idea of Skylar as a harpy who is over-bearing to Walt but as he descends into ego-driven mistakes and sociopathy you start to wonder around the “protecting her family from the man who protects this family” period if maybe Skylar is so demanding and nagging on Walt because this isn’t the first time he’s fucked up their lives because of some hyper-masculine BS. Only this time it’s less debt and more meth.

  3. Was anyone else pleasantly surprised that DJ Roomba made a cameo? This show is full of surprises.

  4. That was a GREAT episode!
    Jonathan Banks should win an Emmy for that episode! Unless he’s up against Aaron Paul of course!!!

    I’m OBSESSED with Hank and how much he knows! He KNOWS Walt is Heisenberg…I’m sure of it after this episode. I am sure he saw the scenes on the laptop before it was taken to evidence and it confirmed his suspicions…that’s right, I said confirmed his suspicions, meaning he knew sometime last season. He’s a great cop!

    Also GREAT scene with that new lady – both big scenes! I was trying to figure out which would screw up her daughter more: finding her murdered mother’s body or thinking her mother abandoned her?

    • I never thought about Hank knowing until I saw it here. I was dubious but something is going on. You may have convinced me.

    • I second your second point. Well. I don’t know if Hank suspected last season, but I do think a) he suspects now, and b) he will spend this season making deceptively innocuous comments about Heisenberg in front of Walt, to see if he can shake Walt’s confidence enough for him to screw up big time.

      • I also think Hank knows (and that scene was fantastic), but I think he is going to protect Walt for the sake of Skylar and his niece and nephew. I think that’s why he said that the laptop was encrypted anyway. It was all “nothing to see here–for sure do not take the laptop to a forensic IT person.” Hank will protect Walt until the middle of the season when Skylar leaves Walt, and then gloves off.

  5. was there something weird about the colors on mike’s grandaughter’s hungry hungry hippos game? serious important concerns over here, you guys.

  6. Home Fries reference

  7. Correction: Its the Caine Mutiny
    - Herman Wouk superfan

  8. I thought he was tasting w/ tots! That’s mos def what I’D use, anyway.

    Great. Now I want greasy, salty potatoes (and lots of dipsssss mmmmmm)

    • I thought they were tots at first, too! Then I look closer and decided, no, maybe it’s like chicken nuggets. But, hmmmm… not like any I’m familiar with. Then I just gave up trying to understand and decided it was probably exactly what a weird, possibly evil German company would think Americans would serve at a fast food place with a confusing Spanish name.

  9. To me, the “middles” interaction is a visual representation of Walt and Sky’s relationship. He’s rubbing her back and saying reassuring things, but there’s no emotion behind it, anymore. We use facial cues more than anything else to read emotion, so in this case we might as well not see their faces, as there’s nothing real behind what he’s saying and her response.

  10. Did anyone else want to throw up, sit under the spray of a scalding shower, and curl up in bed after that last scene where scary Walt is probably about to (nonconsensually) fuck Skyler?

  11. That scene about Gus being right in front of the Boss’ nose was, pardon me, way too on the nose. It’s almost like there’s a man in Hank’s life (pause) who is right in front of him(pause) that does bad stuff (pause). (CLOSE UP ON HANK).

    But other than that, really liked this episode. I had a dream that Mike and Dean Pelton starred in a buddy-cop comedy–my 3rd buddy-cop dream in the last 2 weeks–that I am praying actually comes to fruition

    • I think that close-up on Hank was warranted because we don’t know if Hank actually saw what was on Gus’s computer (that ‘encrypted’ line sounded like BS to me), and from the look of Hank listening to his boss’ words, those comments might be hitting home. Hank may know but know how to proceed at this point. If he reveals Walt his career is over just like his boss.

      • Fair point. I guess I just felt that one of the most major plot points is that Walt’s brother is a DEA agent. And we have been shown this for four seasons so we know it’s important, so I thought hammering that point home with a close up on Hank’s puzzle-face was unnecessary. To me, it would kind of be like if Saul told Walt in the 4th season, “I used to have a wife, but I turned to crime-lawyering, and it ruined our relationship (CLOSE UP ON SAUL) and then she had an affair “

        • Yeah, the close up on Hank was definitely an indicator of the current, pressing mystery of what Hank saw or didn’t see on the computer (from last week’s episode where they’re bagging it, and Hank is looking down with this 50-yard stare on his face). His boss’s story about Fring being right under his nose definitely was affecting Hank, and he immediately needed a refill after the close up, pouring another round for everybody.


    • I am not good at photoshop

    • I liked that scene because Hank’s boss got thrown under the bus because it was happening under his nose, so I took that as a tacit threat to Hank that if he does know it was Walt all along, he can’t do it “on the books” or they’ll toss him aside.

      THIS SHIT IS LIKE A D20 – MANY SIDES.

  12. It felt like I had held my breath for the entire episode, and afterwards I felt like I needed a bath.

  13. How did Mike know that Walt and Jesse needed methylamine specifically? I don’t remember that being mentioned in the “I hate you because you’re a timebomb” meeting.

    • They don’t refer to it by name, but I’m pretty sure they say they want Mike to be in charge of procuring chemicals, specifically the precursor.

      • Right. Now that i think of it, Mike would have probably known that they were talking about methylamine when they mentioned precursors from past experience. Gus probably asked him to pick some up when the superlab was still running.

    • We’ve seen Mike bug a house before. I think he truly knows what a timebomb Walt is and he learned about the methylamine from eavesdropping.

    • also, at the jesse-mike-walt pow-wow in the kitchen, walt said one of the things mike would be responsible for, if he joined up in their new operation would be “pre-cursors,” which would mean necessary start-up supplies.

      stands up to reason that mike would’ve been responsible for gathering those materials in the past, and that he know, at this point in his meth-lab-enabler career, what’s entailed in making meth (namely METHylamine) and that he would know, when the superlab went down – so did all that precious methylamine.

  14. When are they going to get to the Meth Factory??!?

  15. Kelly! I can’t believe you didn’t mention Jesse naming the RV “The Crystal Ship.” I’m totally straight and even I developed a crush on Jesse after that line.

  16. I want to go to the kitchen and make my own Franch dipping sauce, but I know it just wouldn’t be the same.

  17. I might not be remembering this correctly, but didn’t we find out why Mike left his job as a police officer? I think he had a conversation with Walt about this…from what I recall, he was involved with the death of a repeat offender of domestic abuse.

  18. “Walk, like an idiot”

    Is that anything like “Walk like an Egyptian”? AHA HA, I took a Kelly typo and turned it into humor, good for me. (Walt/Walk)

    • I just read it over like three times thinking Kelly was trying to inslut someone by suggesting they walk in a dumb mannor.

  19. Did I miss the VG Movie Club post??

  20. Soooooo… has anyone tried Franch yet?

    • I did some serious considering on this subject, myself. Probably thought about it way more than I needed to. Here is my armchair condiment-ologist report:
      “French” dressing (neither from France, nor suitable for salad – don’t tell my dad) is essentially sweeter-than normal ketchup. Ranch dressing (not from a ranch or possibly even Earth) is essentially sweet mayonnaise/sour milk with some “herbs” or whatever. Put the two together, and you have a (possibly deadly) bastard version of “Thousand Island” (basically mayonnaise + ketchup), aka McDonald’s “special sauce”.
      In conclusion, I think I can pretty much imagine what “Franch” sauce would taste like, and I’ll just leave the tasting/barfing to a braver soul.

    • Also, Automatic Defibrillators do not go off unless they sense ventricular fibrillation which really can’t happen if your ventricles aren’t flapping. Plus, putting it in your mouth wouldn’t make it more likely to kill you. Plus plus, even if it did go off, it would stop your heartbeat for a while and then your heartbeat would resume normally (just like how they’re designed, because it’s a lifesaving measure, not a killing one).

      That said, I thought the flush was hilarious.

      I love the comedy in this season so far. Bryan Cranston in the AVClub said that this season would be funnier and it has been!

  21. This episode was so good! Like I thought the season opener was great if a little light and capery, but this episode was in a different league. Jesse’s breakdown was a phenomenal scene on so many levels, and I loved the cool conspiracy movie plot line with Mike. I even felt for that horrible Madrigal woman at the end. And of course, that horrifying last scene. Those kisses made such awful, hateful sounds.

  22. “First the lady comes in and yells at the maid for not putting her daughter to bed because she wanted to stay up and see her mom (“Who’s the adult here?”), so we HATE HER ALREADY”

    So, wait, did we not hate her before? Because the way her scene in the dinner before was very annoying and easily hate-able.

  23. So….anyone remember Mike’s awesome “no half measures” speech from the end of Season 3? Anyone else feel like Mike not killing that woman was a bit of a half measure? You guys, I’m worried about Mike.

  24. Mike used a half measure! Noooo Mike!

  25. Did anyone else get a strong ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ vibe over Walt’s whole in-bed-unwanted-creepy-Skylar-making scene at the end? The whole “It’ll pass, you know,” thing? Just like Leonard Nimoy’s character to Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams in the (fabulous) 1978 Philip Kaufman remake? It was creepy. InBreaking of the Baddy Snatchers.

  26. S5,E2: “Pardon My Franch”

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

  28. I think Lydia and Walt would get along well:

    1. They’re both bad people.

    2. They both make bad decisions.

    3. They both talk Mike out of killing them by being integral to the Meth Making process.

    Maybe if Skyler has to take the inevitable “acid bath” they’ll be a couple in the future!

  29. i totally thought of franch like 3 years ago

  30. Am I being Captain Obvious in saying I loved how the new bird begging for Mike not to shoot her in the face and hide her meaning she will just go missing and her daughter will never know was what swung it for Mike because he sensed the same fate for himself and his granddaughter if this all carries on down the road it is heading? This is a rhetorical question.

  31. This is great! I love this show!

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