Oh, boy. It has gotten to the point in a season of Breaking Bad where I start to dread each moment in an episode, knowing things are just going to get worse and worse and more and more anxiety filled until the end, like I’m watching Meet the Parents, and, man, I just DO NOT NEED IT! Who needs this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because Breaking Bad is so good and we can’t stop watching it even though it makes our emotional lives definitely worse, even though it is just a fictional TV show, which also causes a little bit of stress because we’re allowing the events on a TV show to actually affect us in our real lives? YES! This episode begins with Mike acting as a lawyer’s paralegal, visiting his guys who have been taken in by the police for their association with Gus Fring. Fun fun fun let’s talk about it!

We open with Mike going around to each of the guys who have been taken in to let them know that Chow’s murder wasn’t meant to be taken as any sort of message, and that everything is still totally chill, and that the deal they had with Fring was still in place, and that Mike has a new thing starting up, and that their families will still be taken care of, and They Will Be Made Whole, Whatever That Even Means. Mike wants to visit with all the guys today, but the lawyer is like, “OOoooh, but I don’t waaaaaant to get to them all todaaaaaaayyyyy,” and Mike is like, “Tough.” At one point he yells, “HEY, OPEN UP!” in order to get whoever to open a locked door for him and I think he says, “HANK, OPEN UP!” and it is very confusing. Mike’s job seems hard! It’s a good thing he loves it, or I bet it would be very mentally taxing.

This episode jumped around a lot, and from the prison scene it cut to Walt moving back into Skyler’s house. Eeeek! What a crazy person! I’m so sorry, Skyler! I bet you’re going to kill yourself soon, that’s going to be very, very sad! Walt takes out his worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which I’m sure means something, and stares at it.

Coooool book, Walt! At that point Skyler comes in and asks if he thinks it’s a good idea to move back in, to which he replies, “Yes.” That answers that! Can’t wait for these two lovebirds to get their hearts back on track.

From there we go to Saul’s office, where Mike is waiting in the lobby doing a crossword puzzle while Jesse and Walt try to convince Saul that just because they’re going to be friends with Mike now, doesn’t mean they will be friends with him any less. Saul finally says ok, and Mike is allowed into the secret clubhouse. Mike explains to all of them that he deals with the business half now, and Jesse and Walt have to stick to the cooking. They agree, and Saul brings them on a tour of potential new meth factories. The first is not so good because Walt worked in a box factory once and knows that to make boxes you have to use steam and salt and blah blah blah, WE GET IT, WALT, YOU WORKED IN A BOX FACTORY OOOH LALA WE’RE SO IMPRESSED. The second isn’t good because it’s a tortilla factory and will be subject to unannounced government inspections and then Jesse steals a tortilla. The third isn’t good because laser tag. The fourth is tiny and Mike and Jesse say no immediately but then Walt says, “It’s perfect.” “How are we going to fit a lab in here?” everyone asks. “Who said here?” says Walt, because he is a normal human who knows exactly how other normal humans communicate thoughts and ideas to each other.

Walt apparently waits until everyone is in a car watching a house being tented before explaining the plan to them, and the plan is that they’re going to operate as if they are part of this bug bombing company that Saul has been helping get out of “breaking and entering” crime jams for about five years. They’ll set up shop in the homes, cook, bug bomb, and then leave. He explains that the smell will be covered by the bug bomb, and that they’ll be safe from prying eyes because no one will want to go into a house that is being bug bombed. After Walt explains the plan, Mike asks, “Do we take a vote?” Walt responds, “Why?” The audience responds, “UGH.”

In the next scene that takes place at something like a Guitar Center, we find out that Jesse’s skinny meth friend is good at keyboard:

And that his other meth friend is not so good at guitar:

But they’re not there to buy guitars OR keyboards — they’re there to buy four huge road cases, the kind that you probably wouldn’t be able to buy in-store that day and certainly wouldn’t be on display at something like an Albuquerque Guitar Center but WHATEVER. They buy them with cash and even get the “band name” (bug bomb name) (meth name) on them — Vamanos Pest. They deliver them to Jesse and ask if they could get in on the business. “Maybe someday,” Jesse replies, in a way that is so sad for some reason — as if he is a father who knows he is going to die soon and his son just asked him, “Dad, can we go to the moon together?” Afterwards, Mike gives the Vamanos Pest guys a rundown on what they cannot do, which is basically anything. What they CAN do though is refer to Jesse and Walt as “Yes Sir” and “No Sir.” Neat!

Afterwards, back at Jesse’s place, Jesse and Walt are talking about the logistics of getting their equipment in and out of the houses. Jesse has come up with a plan that Walt agrees with, and we are all so proud of him! Good job, Jesse! A+!

Andrea and Brock then come home, interrupting Walt and Jesse’s meth chat. Walt starts to talk to Brock about how he heard he was in the hospital, and how he heard he was so brave, etc., and it is VERY UPSETTING. Brock looks uncomfortable and doesn’t say anything and sits on the couch, playing his videogame. Andrea invites Walt to stay for dinner, or at least a beer, and Walt accepts. Andrea and Jesse then leave Brock and Walt alone in their uncomfortable silence:

Uhoh.

When they show up at their first bug-bombing meth house, the owner seems a bit wary about how they’re bringing a million huge road cases into their house in order to bug bomb it. And then one of the employees runs up to Walter and Jesse to tell them that he disabled a nannycam that was in place in the living room, and, uh, THAT’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS ALREADY THAT YOU COULD’VE ENCOUNTERED ON DAY ONE, WALT! But they do get to wear these cute new uniforms:

Looking good, boys! So they go in and cook their meth to the tune of “On A Clear Day,” and afterwards settle down together for a beer on the family’s couch. Walt talks to Jesse for a bit about how good he looked with Andrea and Brock, which seems sweet at first so you know SOMETHING IS UP, and then tells him that if Andrea loves him she’ll understand that he cooks meth (the drug that sent her to rehab and killed her brother) for a living and murdered Gale for it, and that he should be honest with her about it and also they should get married! We all understand then that this is merely a calculated move to convince him to get both Andrea and Brock out of his life (people who could never understand what he is doing and love him anyway) since Brock is a piece to the Walt-Poisoning-Brock puzzle that could one day lead to Walt getting found out. What a fucking jerk, this guy. What a poor sweet lamb, Jesse guy.

MARIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! In the next scene, Marie is back and is just as annoying as ever. She’s complaining about Skyler’s carwashers leaving streaks on the windows, and telling her to guess what and REALLY MEANING TO GUESS, and asking her about Walt’s birthday, and forcing her to throw a party for Walt, and yelling at her about smoking, and JESUE CHRIST MARIE JUST SHUP UP! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Skyler freaks out at her and bursts into tears, and yet Marie still refuses to JUST SHUT UP, following Skyler home and refusing to leave until she got some answers about why she freaked out from Walt, and until both of them finished practicing their hand acting.

If I were Walt I would have said, “Well, for how much time during the time you were talking to her this afternoon were you Maire? Oh, all of it? WELL THAT EXPLAINS IT THEN.” Instead of that, though, he tells her about Skyler’s affair with Ted, and how Skyler just got the news about Ted’s brain damage or whatever, and says that’s why she’s so upset. Even though I hate Walt, for a moment here I was pretty happy with how he zinged Skyler there, effectively damaging her further in order to save himself. Good cover, Walt. You in charge. Marie then hugs walt and then leaves THANK GOODNESS.

In the next short scene, Jesse plays videogames with Andrea and Brock and looks sad. Andrea asks him if he’s ok and he says yes even though the answer is no.

Poor Jesse! Similarly, Skyler is lying in bed and doesn’t look too ok either!

Poor Skyler! The rest of her family, INCLUDING THE BABY, is watching Scarface (to be seen during AMC’s Mob Week!) very, very loudly. She walks out like a zombie and then stands there for a bit and, jeepers creepers, IS she going to kill herself do you think? Are both of those kids going to be orphans after Walt also dies? IS WALT GOING TO KILL JESSE I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF? Anyway, the scene ends with Walt saying, “Everyone dies in this movie, don’t they?” Hm. I WONDER WHAT THAT MEANS OR WHY HE SAID IT.

In the final scenes, Mike divides up the money each of them get after their last cook. Before Meth Taxes, it comes to $367,000 each. Walt already has a problem with this, saying that they’re $300,000 short, and Mike explains to him that the drug mules take 20%. Walt asks what Gus paid his mules, and Mike tells him that Gus didn’t use mules and that maybe if he didn’t want to use mules he SHOULDN’T HAVE KILLED GUS! Boom, Walt. Ya boom’d. Then there are a million other people who need to be paid, including Mike’s guys who worked for Gus. Walt’s very upset at that tax, and he and Mike fight about it for a while before Jesse says that they can just take their whole fee out of his money, he doesn’t care. Aww. Jesse! Jesse just hates to see the grown-ups fight. After he says that, though, Walt agrees that it should just come out of everyone’s pay equally. A regular King Solomon, that Jesse. After taxes, everyone’s pay comes out to $137,000. “That’s less than with Fring,” says Walt. And then Mike says the line I’ve been waiting for since I saw it on the “next week’s scenes” last week: “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.” BOOM, WALT! YA GOT BOOM’D AGAIN! YOU BIG DUMB IDIOT, YOU’RE THE WORST!

Then just when you think you can’t hate stupid power-hungry-and-greedy-for-no-reason Walt any more than you do already, he stops Jesse on their way out and asks how he’s feeling. Jesse thought he was dealing with a human momentarily and says that he had to break up with Andrea, but is still going to pay for their housing because it’s only right, and Walt cuts him off telling that he was asking how he felt ABOUT THE MONEY. Boo. Terrible. We’ll see how having to break up with Andrea affects how calm and sweet Jesse has been so far. Stay sweet, Jesse! PLEASE! And in the final moments of the episode, Walt tells talks Jesse about an alternate theory he’s developed about why Gus murdered Victor — that perhaps he “flew too close to the sun” and was “taking liberties that weren’t his to take.” It all sounds like a veiled threat against Mike, but also seemed — to me at least — like a possible double-veiled threat against Jesse, who, throughout the episode, proved that he is on his way to no longer needing Walt.

We’ll see. In any case, Walt is acting like a roommate who I guess just thinks that laundry detergent grows out of the laundry machine and that dishes do themselves and that toilet paper is always just there. GET BACK TO REALITY, YA DUMB-DUMB. And answer your cell phone!

Comments (54)
  1. Yet more shots of Walt fawning over that baby. Sometime in the late 90′s during the start of the era of the golden drama TV show writers either decided or heard somewhere that it is a fact that sociopaths are now thought to have great affection only for tiny babies and animals. I’m not sure where this came from or if it’s true, but I’ve heard more than one writer mention it in an interview (Tony Soprano and the ducks and horses and whatnot.) But man, I feel like every time Walt is about to pull a creeper move on Skylar he is shortly before that just fawning over Hope like crazy. They are really pushing that one big time on this show.

    • This was actually from The Sopranos. In the second to last episode, Tony’s therapist drops him because she reads that sociopaths will manipulate people with “alligator tears” and false epiphanies and justify their actions, or claim themselves to be good people, with affections for babies and animals. Sorry to get all Dr. Sopranos on you.

  2. Clear eyes, full hearts, LANDRY CLARKE!

  3. I knew Skinny Pete looked familiar.

  4. Jesse Pinkman: Beautiful, blue-eyed every man

    You would steal one too, you just know it.

  5. Isn’t that copy of Leaves of Grass connected to Gale somehow? Someone remind me…

    • Because the initials WW were in his lab journal, and Walt threw Hank the red herring of declaring it a reference to Walt Whitman.

      • Ah yes! Thank you.

      • Except that wasn’t a red herring Walt tossed (Walt saying “you caught me” was probably more of a red herring), it was a dedication to Walt Whitman, and Walt flipped to the page where Gale had transcribed a Whitman poem, along with a pretty skilled ink drawing Gale had done. And also to back up Messica, Gale did indeed recite Walt Whitman to Walt from memory.

    • He bought it after his first cook with Gale, and Gale recited “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” to him afterward.

      Basically, it was a moment when they bonded over just LOVING chemistry SO MUCH. In this episode, his chortle and subsequent tossing away of the book seemed like a “remember when I wasn’t a crazy greedy lunatic about all this?” moment.

      • YES. I wondered what he was smirking over the book about (figured after the scene it was just about bullying his way back into the house), but yes I think you’re right. Ah, the good old days when all I had to worry about was cancer & when to wear my Heisenberg hat.

    • Walt is a big fan of Walt Whitman. And it’s safe to say that Vince Gilligan is, too. Walt Whitman sounds a lot like Walter White, after all. I worry sometimes about Captain Stating The Obvious, possibly?

  6. I loved the look on Mike’s face when Jesse offered to cover the legacy payments out of his share. Mike was looking at Walt like, “are you the kind of person who would let this kid pay so much more than you?” and Walt was so unhappy when he finally gave in, and you could just tell that he would not have if it weren’t for Mike’s face.

  7. Wouldn’t the DEA be tailing Mike at this point? Shouldn’t he have so much heat from them at this point that he wouldn’t be able to do anything remotely tied to the business?

  8. Well, who says they’ve gone away – and why would they put heat on Mike rather than just hang back and keep watching him? There’s been no indication that they’ve backed off…at this point.

    • Bah! At this point I don’t know how to properly reply to nastyemu!

    • I guess I mean watching him by “heat”. But if they’re watching him and he goes and visits half a dozen prisons in one day, that just happen to be the same prisons that are holding everyone that has been arrested related to the drug ring, that’s not good. Also, he’s hanging out with Walt and Jesse and Saul. If they see those four together, this season will be over in a few episodes.

      Maybe Mike is just so awesome that he can lose all the DEA guys that try to follow him so this isn’t an issue, but it seems like a problem to me.

      • I expect that Mike actually has a paralegal certificate. They aren’t hard to get, especially if he had a Criminal Justice degree already (and as an ex-cop he probably would have). Now, obviously, he wouldn’t want the DEA paying close attention to what he’s doing, but if they all have the same lawyer and he really does paralegal work for that lawyer, there’s a limited amount they can do. (Lawyer-Client privilege means that they can’t listen in on what Mike is saying legally. That’s why he went in as a paralegal and not just as a visitor on visiting day.)

        I expect he’ll just look at Hank blankly and say, “The lawyer used to do work for Fring, that’s how I met him and started moonlighting doing paralegal work for him. Obviously, these guys picked him because they also knew him from Los Pollos Hermanos. Last I heard, it’s not illegal to do paralegal work in your off hours. Besides, you were the one who said I needed to get my resume ready.”

  9. Hasn’t Vince Gilligan said multiple times that he wanted to write a show in which he takes Mr. Chips and turns him into Scarface? So Walt watching Scarface and commenting on how everyone dies? Probably not a throwaway scene.

    • Well, in the opening flash-forward of the season I believe we saw Walt picking up his “little friend.” It seems likely at that point in time he will have been found out by DEA and tried/succeeded to off Mike – bring a whole crew of hitmen after him. Walt is probably planning for a Tony Montana last stand.

      I somehow doubt, though, that Gillgan gives Walt the rockstar exit he envisions. I just don’t feel like the series is leading up to him going out in a blaze of glory, but probably in a sadder, lonelier fashion (think Michael Corleone at the end of both Pts II and III – sitting alone in a chair having been responsible for the deaths of loved ones in the previous scene).

    • It took me many episodes to separate Walt from Hal. The idea that Hal could ever become Walt is so terrifying and heartbreaking, especially since Hal was always trying to make money in weird ways to help his family, so it really isn’t that much of a jump. I think I still called him Hal in Lois’ voice in my head up to last year…

      “Hal, stop making meth and come to dinner.” – Lois.

    • Also not a very subtle scene. We get it, Vince. Jeez.

      • It was definitely a weird, on-the-nose film to put on the tv, but a lot of people have been watching a lot of films on the tv lately. And each program has had something to do with the character watching it.

        So while it was a ‘Geez Vince’ moment, it was creepy as hell for Skyler to come out of the bedroom to the sound of gunfire and her husband and children watching the bloody ending of Scarface, which means they’ve already watched the rest of it, probably! So gross, Walt. The chainsaw scene? You watched that while holding your baby (once again, probably)? GROSS.

  10. Also, this episode was great. Loved the house shopping montage, and it felt like it had been forever since the last meth cooking montage. There have been so many already, but they’re always fun to watch. And poor Skyler and poor Jesse indeed. Walt is such a monster, all we can really do at this point is to wait to see what this Tony does to this Christopher.

  11. I hope you actually knew the names “Badger” and “Skinny Pete” and were just trying to be cute in your recap. Otherwise, shame on you!


  12. I’m from the firm of Dewey, Punchem and Howe.

  13. Did anybody else catch when Marie said “the ethnic looking one”? I was secretly hoping that was why Skyler was screaming “Shut up” at her….

  14. Not only is Gabe 100% correct about about not being able to just walk into Guitar Center Albuquerque and pick up those road cases, it is an indisputable fact that an employee of such a place would know absolutely nothing about them (if they were even aware of whether or not the store carried them at all). Let alone the exact specs including the materials they were made of and the weight rating.

    Also, people actually still put stuff on ‘layaway’??

  15. This is the second time Icarus has been mentioned in the show. Hank brought it up to Walt Jr. last season when they were at Los Pollos Hermanos to get Gus’s FRINGerprints.

    Walt had already blown up the Challenger, and Hank told Walt Jr. if he hadn’t guilted Walt into getting him a brand new car instead of one from the used car lot, then Walt Jr. would have a car right now instead of carting him and his uncle around in his mom’s ‘hoopty.’ Walt Jr. flew too close to the sun. Got greedy. Went outside his means. And he and his car got burned.

    Walt feels that Mike needs to get burned. In reality, Mike’s a fucking professional and Walt is the one who is soaring WAAAAYYYYYYYY to close to the sun right now. “BECAUSE I SAY SO.” UGH, Walt. UGH.

  16. This episode was so good i completely didn’t notice the absence of Hank. I was really looking forward to getting into that whole “does he KNOW?!” deal and following his investigation… guess i have to wait another week.

    Also what’s the deal with every business owner in Albuquerque being affiliated with organized crime in some way!?

  17. SONIC FORESHADOWING, you guys!!! I can’t stop listening for it. At some point in the middle of last season there was a scene where Walt gets out of his car and the open-car-door dinging sound is REALLY loud. Like, unusually loud. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever heard that sound when Walt got out of his car, and I said to my husband, “That dinging is important. That definitely means something.” And he thought I was full of shit. He laughed at me! But sure enough, the dinging TOTALLY FORESHADOWED Hector ringing the bell right before the bomb went off!

    OK, that said, in this episode I heard a distinct and heretofore-unnoticed ticking (of a clock I guess?) when Walt and Marie were talking in the living room. (I was listening with headphones, so maybe that made it unusually distinct, but still…) It could just mean Walt’s time is running out (which we kind of knew already) but maybe it means something more? Also, I feel like the Scarface allusion is too ham-handed to be significant. The devil is in the details, muthafuckas!

  18. You know what I wish? I wish that Jesse would hang out with Mike more. Like, I could see Jesse telling Mike about Walt’s horrible advice, over some beers.

    “Walt told me that I should tell Andrea about all the stuff I’ve done. I know that just means I’ll have to break it off with her. I guess it was well meaning advice, but I’ll miss her and Brock so much.”

    Then we could see Mike’s reaction to that.

    I really feel that would have been amusing.

  19. Alex Vermitsky  |   Posted on Jul 31st, 2012 +3

    Isn’t it strange how Walt mike and Jessie all kinda look alike. And that it’s white and pink and has anyone done a sixth sense check to see if anyone is ever talking to all three of them or just talking to walt and his two personalities. I mean, none of this is going to happen but not a lot to think about today…

  20. I’ve been rewatching season 4 now that it’s available on Netflix Instant, and I just finished episode 8, “Hermanos,” where Don Eladio has Hector kill Gus’s Los Pollos Hermanos partner. I had totally forgotten how previously when Gus is being questioned by Hank, his Chilean records are missing. Then when Gus is pinned on the ground next to his dead partner with Don Eladio standing over him, Don Eladio says:

    “Listen to me. The only reason you are alive and he is not, is because I know who you are. But understand. You are not in Chile anymore.”

    For a drug kingpin not to kill someone because of their status, that’s got to be a huge status. And while Walt and Jesse and Mike are doing their thing now, I suspect Chile may come rushing back into the picture. That could be a major motivation for why Walt is on the run a year into the future.

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