I liked this cold open a lot! Remember how last week I didn’t like the cold open and everyone was upset and acting as if it weren’t the first negative thing I’ve ever said in my whole life about my current favorite TV show and the world ended? Well this week I liked it. THANK GOODNESS. The world will continue to turn, at least until this recap concludes. This whole episode was shot extra beautifully, beginning with this cold open. Who doesn’t love a little sweetheart on a motorbike collecting a very scary spider in the beautiful desert on a perfect day? (JK, we know who doesn’t.) (But let’s not talk about that yet.) (What a terrible thing!) (But ok, let’s not.) (Not yet.) Then we go to Hank’s office!

In Hank’s office, Walt gives Hank an update on Skyler — she went to work that morning because “she wanted to,” and she’s seeing a psychiatrist named Peter Canthinkofaname. Good for her! Good for her and those gross lies from her abusive jerk husband! But then Walt says an almost non-lie, “Skyler doesn’t love me anymore. … She says I was a bad influence on the kids and that I’m not good for them. She thinks I’m a bad father.” Then he starts to cry, very convincingly! This has the dual purpose of solidifying Hank’s location on Walt’s side of the issue, making Skyler seem like she’s gone off the rails, and getting Hank out of the room because oooooooooooook, he’s going to go get some coffee! Which leaves Walt just enough time to #HACK.

He plugs something in to Hank’s computer and plants a bug on a photo of him and Marie. Just as he finishes doing so, Hank walks in and sees him fumbling around with the frame. “I uhh…I was just, uhh, the picture…I uh thought…Well, huh-huh-huh, you know, the thing about pictures…It’s just, it’s like, what is a picture anyway you know? I just mean it in a way that’s like, huh-huh-huh, you know, whenever did we even decide that we need to smile for them? Haha, ahhhhhhhh, right?!” JK. He tells Hank that they’re such a great couple, or whatever. The end!

Then, the whole gang + lady are in a basement together! Yay, basement party! They start the festivities with a fun phone game. Lydia has to dial Hank, her ULTIMATE CRUSH, and read exactly what Mike wrote for her to say or else he will shoot her in the head with his pistol. LOL! Fun fun fun fun fun! She tells him about the tracking device she found on the barrel of methylamine, just calling to make sure it is supposed to be there etc., and he tells her that he doesn’t know anything about it but will look into it, and until then “mum’s the word.” This confirms Mike’s suspicion that she is the one who placed it there, not the police, and it also confirms his suspicion that he’s gotta murder her right in the head. BUT NO, SHE SAYS! She still claims that it was not her! SHE PROMISES! Then she makes this face:

And the guys are like:

But right when Mike is almost killing her, Hank’s voice comes back from the photo frame bug — “Please tell me you didn’t do something as lame-brained as putting a tracker on the outside of a barrel of methylamine.” OOPS! They did! Someone else did it, not Lydia! But it’s a good news/bad news type situation because this means they can’t use any of Lydia’s methylamine. Then Mike tells the boys that he still doesn’t trust her and also she put a hit out on him one time. “Like the mafia?” Jesse asks. “No, like Breaking Bad,” says Mike. But Lydia tells them that she still has access to methylamine — “Who said anything about barrels — I’m talking about an ocean of the stuff.” WHA-WHA-WHAAAAT?

In the next scene, Lydia speaks with Walt privately and tries to get him to feel a bit of compassion for her since they’re both parents. She wants him to swear on his children’s life that she won’t be killed, but HE tells her that she’s speaking to him as if she has any leverage, when in fact she does not have any leverage. BOOM! Then she explains why she had to add Mike to the list of people, and it actually kind of makes enough sense in a desperate sort of way and Walt seems like, well, whatever. “Let’s hear her methylamine plan because, I don’t know, whatever.”

She tells them about the plan — “If a train travelling at 24,000 gallons of methylamine drives into a dead zone in a post 9/11 world, well uh…so…what do you think?” (“Like rob it?” Jesse asks. “Like Jesse James?”) (Did Vince Gilligan just learn about Jesse James?) In an odd turn, since Walt just last episode said that the meth train (their meth train, not this meth train) DOES NOT STOP for anything — “the methylamine keeps flowing” — he argues for making nothing. I mean, when Mike suggests that “Making less money is better than making nothing,” Walt says, “Why is making nothing not an option?” and brings up how it is not an option only because Mike has to pay his 9 guys in jail. Then mommy and daddy fight for a while until this happens again:

Jesse, in the background, gets a “silly” idea that turns out to be a “good” idea. What…was the deal with this? This was mostly a really great episode, but this irked me. I do get that lots of things are being repeated this season — the Jesse James thing we just talked about, lots of walk-on characters talking about how good “free” is, other examples — but I just don’t get why. It doesn’t seem to be adding anything to the story, and it mostly just distracts me from it and makes me feel like the writers of Breaking Bad have lost faith in the intelligence of their audience. Maybe we’ll see? Maybe Vince Gilligan is just driving in these certain points so we’ll remember them over the year-long break before the continuation of the series? Maybe he’s sticking with the comedic rule of three? Maybe he forgot that he already did all this stuff and no one had the heart to tell him? I don’t know. I guess we’ll see! But I did not like this repeated scene. It took me out of the story and made me upset, and NO ONE likes to be upset. Thank goodness that we have Baby to make us feel better:

Baby and Hank are sweet with each other back at Hank and Marie’s, while Flynn (Flynn) is moping around like a big mopey jerk. “You can keep talking about me now” he says after Hank invites him to watch Heat (another movie allusion to the current situation) with him. Oh, Flynn. You don’t even have any idea! Also YOU JUST GOT A FANCY CAR, BUCK UP.

While Walt and Jesse prepare for the methylamine heist, we see that they’ve gotten Todd — the kid who told them about the nannycam — in on the fun.

He asks Jesse to explain what they’re doing and Jesse says, and this was a thing that definitely annoyed me too, “It’s all about the weight, yo.” Ugh.

The way that we’ve been provided with so many HEAVILY “Jesse” Jesse quotes this season reminds me of something that is probably definitely going to bore you to read about, so I’ll make it quick, but it reminds me of the band the Japandroids and their method for writing their most recent album. They said that they noticed their fans singing along to the big, main, “everyone sing along now”-type hooks in the songs on their old album, so they figured that a good way to write the new album would be to focus on putting a lot of those moments into the new songs. (I don’t actually remember where I read this, so you will either have to take my word or just not believe me.) (I’m sorry!) It “makes sense” and people do love the new Japandroids album, and likewise people do love quoting these Jesse quotes all over social media, but it seems pretty cheap? I mean, it is pretty cheap. People love — and should love — those moments when they seem natural and special, but picking up on how people love these special things and then running them into the ground seems only like something that someone who isn’t interested in the real “art” of the thing would be interested in doing. You know? Someone who is interested in the business of keeping people entertained, but not the art of entertaining them. If you understand what I’m saying. But that is just how I feel about it! Maybe you love it and then it’s worth it for you and who cares. I do love when Jesse says ridiculous things, but I don’t like when ridiculous things seem to be shoved in Jesse’s mouth, which is also kind of what she said. SO ANYWAY.

Ok, so back to angst-y Flynn. He’s back at home with Walt and Skyler and is super mad about having to go to Uncle Hank’s all the time. “Are you seriously kicking me out of me own house?” he asks Walt. “Why do I have to go to Uncle Hank’s? Give me the exact reason or I’m not going there.” Walt (correctly) tells him that he’s going there because he’s the child and they’re the adults and also YOU JUST GOT A FANCY CAR, BUCK UP! Then Walt talks to Skyler about how she is seeing a therapist now and that his first name is Peter but his last name is up to her! Oooooh, fun! Thinking of names is ALWAYS fun. She tells him, “I’m not your wife. I’m your hostage” along with some other stuff that was pretty good, but not as good and kind of in the same vein as her smack down last episode. When Walt leaves she asks, “Out burying bodies?” Hah. “Robbing a train,” he responds. Then the final scenes are all silent, played to this song:

So beautiful. Beautiful show.

JK. But the final shots were all VERY VERY beautiful. I barely took any notes during them because I only wanted to watch them because of how beautiful they were. Also Bill Burr is back with a horrible outfit!

Hi, Bill Burr! Bill Burr is part of the heist plan, alleging that his truck has stopped on the railroad tracks, making it necessary for the train to stop and the guys to get out and try to help him move it. Once they do, and once the train stops in the perfect spot, the boys get to work. To steal a quick action-recapping method from Gabe: Siphon siphon siphon, refill with water refill with water refill with water. Everything’s going well until a good samaritan pulls up to push Bill Burr’s car off the tracks. OH NO!

Mike, who is hiding in the bushes, haha, tells Walt that they need to stop because the train guys are about to stop the train again. But Walt is like, “no.” And he’s like, “keep going.”

But then eventually he’s like, “stop.” And it’s all fine! They got away with it! Everything’s good! Until the sweet boy from the beginning shows up again and waves in the heartbreakingly sweetest way possible:

And then this asshole waves back:

And then he picks up his gun and shoots him, while Jesse screams “NO.”

It was all absolutely awful. I did not cry, I saw some people said on Twitter that they cried so just TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT I did not, but it was awful! Was Todd just doing what he thought was carrying out orders? (“No one other than us can ever know that this robbery went down.”) Will he be disciplined? It will be very interesting to see if and how Jesse changes in reaction to this — I feel like it all keeps escalating near the point where he won’t be able to handle it — and it will be interesting to see how Walt, as The Boss, deals with this. Maybe Todd will replace Jesse? Maybe it will be Mike and Jesse vs. Walt and Todd? Maybe it’s all a dream? Who knows. But I thought this was a great episode. I did have some problems with it, because I am a human, but mostly it was very, very good.

Love ya, Breaking Bad! See you next week!

Comments (113)
  1. Why’s Landry always killing people?!?!?!?

  2. Can someone who understands how science works explain to me how they simultaneously emptied and filled the tank without it mixing? Did the mixing not matter? Seems to me like the mixing might matter.

    • They mentioned that water is less dense/heavy than methylmine and they added the water from the top, so the water should have stayed mostly on the top of the tank. Even if it did mix a bit, Walt mentioned that at most they were only watering it down 4%. 94% pure without anyone know is much better than 100% pure with feds all over their asses.

    • They were taking meth from the bottom and putting the water on top. Since the meth is slightly heavier (I think) the water isn’t going to sink to the bottom while they are siphoning/filling. At least, I believe this is why.

    • I think the entire point was that mixing didn’t matter as the methylamine would just be diluted by the water … to 4 %, which is the percentage at which you blame the chinese or whatever

    • They started the water part way to avoid diluting their own ammount too quickly. Also, the methylamine is already a solution in water (amongst other things), so adding water to it will still leave it as basically the same thing, there will just be less of it in the mixture. It would normally be a gas at room temperature, so they have to either put it into a solution or into a presurized cannister in order to transport and sell it.

    • I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they just used two separate tanks that were buried side by side.

  3. I for real had to fix myself a drink* after last night’s episode.

    Also, I positively BEG you good people of Videogum to refrain from producing/posting any .gifs of the tarantula. Please. I am a delicate lady and you’d like me if you knew me, so just please honour this request that I have no right to make. Please?

    *open a beer.

  4. Such a good episode, and I agree that this was one of the most well-shot episodes of the series I remember seeing since season 3 (a lot of great deserty stuff there too as I recall).

    Also, I realize that Todd is a man of few words but I think a “hey, I better shoot this kid right? guys? we should definitely shoot him in the face right? guys? thoughts?” would have been in place.

    • Yes…I love this point so much because I loved* that moment so much…it was just one of those moments that the violence of their entire business overrides the science/mental aspects. Pair that scene with the earlier learning with Walt as Mr. Wizard when he’s explaining to Todd about the water and the weight and all that scientific nonsense. It’s great in practice but at the core of this business is the violence of a thug needing to kill a witness without asking questions.

      I also think it’s interesting considering all the conversation about killing or not killing Lydia. Not sure I have much elaboration here, just a nice parallel.

      *appreciated the narrative/tv-making magic of it, not like serial killer-loved it

    • What an idiot. The crime is specifically designed to blame China, no one’s going to go hunting for a kid who might have seen the train, and he’s certainly easy enough to bribe at that age. You could probably be like, “He little kid, we do a secret job for the railroad, don’t tell anyone you saw us here.” Certainly a missing child is going to arouse suspicion though.

      • Also arousing suspicion is having a truck break down in the middle of the tracks? If anyone were to ask then the kid would be a loose end.

        This is an easy fix. Kill Todd/Landry and put both bodies in that sweet underground water vat. Problems solved.

        • True, but even then. The chemical make up of the methlymine is what made the plan work. It receives so little dilution that it looks like they were just scammed by a foreign importer, right? With no weight displacement and no alarms going off, It’s seriously unlikely that those two engineers would even tell the guys who end up buying the chemical about getting stuck, or even think that someone managed to pull off an elaborate heist scenario in all of ten minutes where they were stopped. It’s far more likely that the kids parents know where in the dessert he hangs out and sends the cops looking, and the vats get discovered.

          • I was thinking about how long that kid can be missing before his parents start scouring the dirt bike tracks, and whatever that time frame is how long Walt & Co have to get the trucks in to extract those vats.

            They are royally fucked right now. Jesse is going to be a mess and their mission hasn’t been accomplished.

      • Maybe? The kid was a loose thread, and maybe he doesn’t talk, or maybe he goes back to his parents and talks about the people he saw siphoning shit from a train, and creates a headache when he can positively ID Walt and Jesse. The heart of the business, which Mike understands and Jesse clearly doesn’t, is you have have to make cruel decisions to save your own skin. His “no one gets killed” plan was only going to work until it didn’t, and then someone has to make a decision very quickly. Machiavelli called this “fortuna” and I believe he was mostly right – you can make elaborate plans but when you are working in a business like drug dealing (or politics) when something deviates from the plan you kill or be killed (in the game of meth you win or you die).

        I have sided with Mike at almost every point this season. He should have killed Lydia when he had the chance (that they didn’t was his huge mistake). They should have ratcheted down meth production until the heat was off. They could/should have gone back to using precursor for awhile instead of the crazy train robbery scheme.

        He will probably end up being right, though probably dead because he let Lydia live and decided to work with Walt & Jesse.

        • But even if he did…he saw some people doing something to a stopped train. Would the average adult even bother to think it wasn’t routine and call the police?

          I don’t know, the stupidity of doing it plus the heat reference makes me think this missing kid is going to be a big headache for them.

        • All of their hurried heists, time sensitive plans and being unable to account for certain errors are a nice symbolic nod to the Heisenberg Principle too.

    • Well, Todd’s intro was “just a heads up, I proactively dealt with something that could be a problem later”.

      He isn’t the kind of guy that asks his bosses if he should turn off the nanny cam. He does it, and then tells them about it. So in this case, he kills the kid without asking, because asking if you should kill the kid (in front of the kid) would (a) make not killing the kid no longer an option and (b) give the kid a chance to run away. While Todd’s willingness to go ‘all in’ on the whole drug thug thing is a bit jarring, it does fit with the ambitious/proactive thing they hinted at with his first appearance (that they included in the previously on).

  5. I actually really liked the “Jesse-explains-his-idea” because it was probably the nicest thing that Walt has done in a while. Of course, Walt being Walt, one of his primary motivations for that was a narcisstic “That’s-my-boy” moment where he can reflect on how he pulled Jesse out of the gutter or whatever the fuck.

  6. I do see what Kelly means RE: Jesse to some extent (particularly the “MAGNETS, BITCH!” line). But “it’s all about the weight, yo”? That’s not really a quotable line, or at least a line that’s TRYING to be quotable. It just seems like something Jesse would say.

    • I agree – in explaining the situation “it’s all about the weight see” would be a good opener, and seeing as it’s coming from Jesse… there was no way around that “yo”.

      • Also, it’s not like the production of the show is so last minute that they were filming this episode when “YEAH MAGNETS, BITCH! OOHH!!” hit the interwebs and Gilligan and crew ere like, “I want 5 quotable Jesse lines on my desk by 5.”

        Jesse says dumb, gangstery things all the time. Plus, he was being cocky and ‘in charge’ in front of Todd.

        • In the time between seasons 4 and 5, though, especially when gearing up for season 5, the Internet WAS all about with adding “, BITCH!” to things attributed to Jesse’s character. It’s not like these things weren’t popular until this season, and I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that their popularity was noticed by the writers.

          • I hear you, Kelly. For sure the writers are aware of the impact their show is having on popular culture.

            Still, I defer to my last point.

          • It’s not, but it was also never like Jesse was going to stop saying “yo” constantly for the sake of not playing into people’s expectations because that maybe is not what the show is about. If they really wanted quotability from Jesse, they would bring badger and skinny pete back for good.

          • I’d also like to say that I rewatched all of the seasons of Breaking Bad this year, and Jesse has always said ‘Yo’ and ‘bitch’ pretty much after everything, ESPECIALLY when he’s putting on airs OR feeling confident.

            Maybe the perception of more people quoting Jesse is easily explained by the fact that everyone, on hearing the news that Breaking Bad is in its “”"”LAST”"” season (extra quotation marks are essential), started watching the show like crazy. I know a lot of people who are just now catching up after I’ve been talking about Breaking Bad for what seems like forever and falling on deaf ears.

  7. My favorite thing about this episode was Emo McGee. You know Hank listens to 311 unironically and tries to bond with Lil Walt with it.

  8. What an amazing episode. I’m really excited for next week, especially after the preview where they ask whether it’s a “meth-selling or money-making business” and Walt says that it’s neither, that he’s in the “empire-making business.” I can’t wait to see how it all comes crashing down.

    I have a hunch everyone is going to die (his family, Hank & Marie) and Walt will be the last one left. Morbid, yes, but somehow Skylar’s premonitions that the children are in danger seem important. They get offed, she commits suicide, and things spin out from there.

    • I think he’s just going to be on the run with Mike and Jesse after him and he’s going to come back and kill them or exact revenge.

      • I could see that happening, but my mind goes to the more morbid explanation, and with Breaking Bad, I feel that’s usually a good direction in which to go.

        • I agree with you, Bubble, and offer two points of evidence:
          1) Walt’s cheerful remark that “Everybody dies in this movie, don’t they?” re: Scarface a couple weeks ago.
          2) Walt’s hubris will likely be his downfall (arousing suspicion with extravagant purchases, not listening to Mike, etc.), much like the heroes of classical Greek tragedies. And anyone who paid attention in high school English knows that those heroes are always punished by the violent deaths of all their loved ones.

          But, who knows. Maybe Vince Gilligan just WANTS us to think everyone’s going to die. Maybe he just WANTS us to think Walt’s pride will get him in the end. Maybe they’ll really all end up being one big happy sitcom-style meth empire family.

        • Don’t forget that this is all flash back and that we already know Walt’s current state (as per the opening of ep. 1 of this season): false name, driver’s license, eating his free birthday meal and breaking his own bacon into numbers, full head of hair… On the run seems like a pretty good guess.

  9. Jesse mentioning Jesse James. Mike mentioned Jesse James in Hazard Pay. Mike is a father figure to Jesse. Jesse mimics father figure later.

    Vince Gilligan didn’t just hear of Jesse James. Jesse did.

    • Also, I like that Jesse is growing into his own, becoming an Ideas Guy. In the scene where he dreams up the train heist, yeah it was the same goings on as the magnet stuff, but 1) at least Walt and Mike arguing didn’t go on as long because we all got what was about to happen, and 2) Jesse may not have the logistical/technical smarts to make these things happen, but he’s pitching great ideas and working them out with the guys that do have those particular talents.

      That’s why the end is so brutal. Jesse’s non-lethal plan still got someone killed, and instead of train conductors, it was an innocent kid NO ONE could account for.

      Jesse is going to be tore up, if not entirely inconsolable. Also, who OK’d Todd’s gun? Were they all strapped? Did Mike know? If Mike knew, then what the fuck, Mike?

      In closing, I love Bill Burr, and whenever Kuby’s on the scene, I’m all about it.

  10. Last week’s Skylar was great but this week’s family stuff felt a little forced to me. Let’s have Skylar come in to remind us what’s going on there. The Skylar of seasons 3 and 4 always manages to come out a step or two ahead of Walt, intelligence and planning wise, so I’m really hoping the writers remember that and she get’s her groove back and comes up with a better plan to keep the kids safe. I miss car wash intimidation Skylar.

    • I think Skyler’s broken and they’re trying to show that she has to get her shit together.

      • Yeah, definitely, and they were doing a great job. But I guess my question is…when does she get her shit together? We have three left this season and then another 8 or 10 in the other half next year, but I doubt everyone is going to make it to next summer alive. I just want Skylar to get what she’s owed, Walt dead knowing his wife bested him one more time, and I’m worried she might become a casualty instead :(

        • Good point. Not sure, but things happen fast in this show so it’s anyone’s guess. If she does go out, I doubt it’ll be like a punk.

    • Yeah, that part seemed inconsistent to me too. Like, it feels the right direction to go but it just seemed kind of hurried. I guess it’s probably fearing for her kids more than anything and getting her getting in the right state of mind to launder drumline style. After all, Ted is in the hospital because of her and not Walt. So maybe she’s just lashing out at Walt because she knows she’s about to go into the mef buisness head in to. I didn’t know how to end this paragraph so I’m just going to type three smile emoticons. :) :3 :^)

      • Doesn’t anyone think Skyler’s argument with Walt serve as a good enough moment for Skyler to flip on a new switch? I mean, her fear toward Walt and guilt over Ted was left to fester until she made her play to hurry away the children, prompting the confrontation, where by Walt’s decimation of any plans she was fearfully constructing cleared her mind.

        She had already collected herself by the time Walt came back home with his birthday watch, and him nonchalantly mentioning having a gun pressed to his forehead provided her with new ammunition, as well as reserve as to why she must steel herself against Walt. He’s making her case for her.

        I also loved the foreshadowing with her comment about if Walt was out burying bodies. Come next episode, he will have.

        • Not really. I mean, she’s accepting her fate, but she still doesn’t have a good plan. Skylar is a good plan kind of woman, I wouldn’t declare her :back” or “vindicated” until she really has Walt’s balls in a vice.

          • I don’t think I was making a case that Skyler had a good plan in place. I was responding to calling out Skyler for being inconsistent and cowering under Walt’s regime.

            You asked when is Skyler going to get her shit together, well this episode showed her progress. She was already back to setting boundaries, being crystal clear as to why the kids can’t stay, hell, she had Walt sending Walt Jr. away.

            Skyler is in a tough spot. But seeing as she had a breakdown not even a week prior (in BrBa time), I’d say she’s making huge strides, and will probably be a growing force to reckon with by the time this half season comes to an end.

          • Oh you don’t need to preach to me about calling out Skylar. I am the number one defender of Queen Skylar, she who deserves to stand on the smoldering wreckage of the White Meth Empire. I just, not to get my feminism in everyone’s peanut butter, but she was used solely as exposition this week, basically, and when it’s coming down the pike and shit is going to come to a head even on the best-written shows the wife is the first one to get shafted. If they keep writing Skylar as Skylar then they are doing the Lord’s work, I’m just worried that they will not do that. I’ve been burned before.

    • What’s interesting to me is that Skyler could easily extract herself from the situation, she just doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger and go to the authorities. She might be guilty of crimes, but not nearly to the extent of Walt. I’m sure the DEA would be willing to give her immunity in exchange for the great Heisenberg.

      She said it herself, she’s a coward.

      • Yeah. I just don’t get her angle at this point (beyond having a nervous breakdown): does she really think that giving her children away to her sister until Walt dies from cancer is a workable strategy that won’t seem ultra weird after more than a few days?

    • Little Skylar trivia: I saw her in an old Quantum Leap episode the other day. She looked exactly the same.

  11. At the end when the little boy shows up I literally said “Oh, shit.” And then when Todd reached for his gun I shouted “NOOOO!” I should mention I was sitting in my living room by myself. This is a very good show, you guys.

    • Agreed. And what about the preview of Marie asking Skylar why she thinks Walt is too dangerous for the kids to be around and Sklyar can do nothing but bawl!? What lie will Skylar come up with? Will Skylar spill the beans to Marie?? Damn this show.

    • Agreed. I was shocked and sad.

      I noticed the train whistle during the opening scene. Then once they talked about robbing a train, I thought the little kid would witness the robbery. My boyfriend actually thought Walt would kill the kid, but I said no way. Walt may have poisoned that other little boy, but he knew that the little boy would be fine.

      I think is will be the unraveling of Jesse.

  12. Somehow when Todd killed that kid, it reminded me of when those two really bad guys killed that little kid in “A History of Violence.”

    Todd’s kind of an awful person huh? I guess he must be pretty used to killing kids, too, since he didn’t hesitate at all. “Oh, yeah, it’s something I used to do for fun.”

  13. Aaron Paul really drew on experience during last night’s episode:

  14. WALT: How are we going to get more methylamine?
    MIKE: We’re going to cheat on Sandra Bullock.
    WALT: What?
    JESSE: Yeah, just like Jesse James.

    -Rejected Breaking Bad dialogue

  15. Clear Eyes. Full Measures.

  16. Ouch on the unsolicited Japandroids burn! I mean I can handle coming to my favorite blog to have someone explain to me that even though my favorite show is great, its not without its flaws, but to have my favorite album of the summer dumped on in the process? A little harsh. JK, much appreciation for the Breaking Bad recaps, I’ll just learn to be a little more guarded in the future

  17. Engineer: Do you hear a generator and rivet gun a few cars back?

    Conductor: Nope.

    Engineer: Me neither.

    • “Maybe if this truck-driving ginger would stop flapping his gums, we’d be more aware of our choo-choo train.”

    • They made a point of showing that the car was at the very back of the train. So far that Mike had to use binoculars to see them. So yeah, I don’t think they realistically heard it.

    • Train engines, even when idle, are very loud though with loud fans going. Because of this, an engineer would be wearing ear protection, so between that and the noise from the engine and being stressed about trying to clear the road, you could believe they wouldn’t notice a generator.

  18. Also, loved how they made a point to leave the generator on long enough so that you would remember the sound and then you heard the dirtbike noise (very similar to generator) and were like OH NO THAT BOY WITH THE SPIDER NOOOOOOOO

    • At one point during the heist when the generator/pump was still on, I swear I heard the dirt bike whine over it for a beat. It raised all the hairs on the back of my neck.

  19. the thing about the “Jesse quotes” is kind of weird, because I kinda feel the same way this season… it feels almost forced or out of place. But at the same time, they’re “Jesse quotes” because his character talks like that, so why should it feel weird for a character to talk like they always have, just because the audience has positively reacted to that way of talking? I think it’s more authentic to the world of the show to have him still say dumb shit like “magnets, bitch!” and “it’s all about the weight, yo” because that’s the way Jesse talks. It’d be even weirder for him to completely change the way he speaks over the course of like one or two months in breaking-bad-time and drop those things completely. So I think it’s less Vince Gilligan thinking “gee, I better put in a ‘yo’ because it’s Jesse’s catchphrase!” and more “this is how Jesse talks, why wouldn’t we write him this way?”

  20. also a friend pointed this out, so i can’t take credit, but anyone else notice this parallel between Heat, which was referenced earlier in the show, and Todd’s move to kill the kid? In Heat, Waingro is a new member of Neil McCauley’s crew who goes with them on an armored car heist. In the middle of the robbery, right as they’re about to get away, he shoots a guard in the head for no reason. The rest of the crew is understandably pissed off, because it’s the first time they’ve done a job with him and he put them at a greater risk of being caught by killing the guard, bringing more heat down on them.

    Obviously a similar situation with Todd. New guy on the crew, overreacts and kills a witness, potentially bringing more heat down on them.

    • YEARGH! You know what? Even though I remembered the HEAT comment that Hank made, and Todd’s actions reminded me of it, I did not connect them!

      The only thing that kept coming to mind was DANE COOK’s joke ABOUT heist movies, WHICH DIRECTLY REFERENCES HEAT, where you always have “that one guy on the crew– a last minute replacement that your friend vouches for– who you keep getting told is cool, but he’s not cool.”

      Yeah, that’s a total HEAT allusion. Fucking Waingro.

    • When Walt and Hank were talking in Hank’s office I made a comment that it reminded me of that scene in Heat halfway through the movie where Pacino and DeNiro are talking in a coffee shop, I think. I thing the Walt/Hank relationship is REALLY similar to the Pacino/DeNiro relationship and it’s such a cool parallel.

  21. also sorry if you haven’t seen Heat and that was a spoiler, but it happens in the first 10 minutes of the film and also WHY HAVEN’T YOU SEEN HEAT?!?!

  22. i recently went to a japandroids concert (NOT BRAGGING) and their new stuff really got the place hot and sweaty, which means the crowd really got into it so i can see why they made this album for a live audience

  23. That watch is going to be Walt’s downfall. He lied to Hank about where he got it, and we know he has the receipt. Somehow it’s going to come back and bite him. Not sure how, but it’s apparently important that we know those two things. Isn’t there some kind of allegory about the little, underestimated thing that leads to someone’s demise? Like “Nero fiddling while Rome burns,” but obviously not that.

  24. I felt like there was something significant in Lydia demanding that he swear on the lives of his children that he won’t kill her. Not that I think she will (although the lady is bonkers), but it was definitely foreboding.

    • Ughh that was a response to Bubbles, et al.

      • Walt didn’t swear anything tho. When Lydia said that Walt immediately pointed out that she is lacking leverage, and that trust works two ways.

        But yeah, even mentioning swearing on the lives of children is always foreboding!

        • Looking back, I think a large reason for the emphasis in these early episodes on the Skyler and Lydia plotlines (both very focused on concern for how Walt’s actions threaten their children) was to lead into this episode’s ending.

          The show has been forcing us to think about young characters being at risk while Walt is indignant at even the suggestion of it. Now, at a totally unexpected moment, the two women’s fears have, in a sense, been realized. Walt’s fledgling drug biz has quickly graduated from poisoning kids (remember how irredeemably dark a turn that felt like just 5 episodes ago?) to straight shooting them – much like the young brother of Jesse’s girlfriend was killed by Gus’ man.

          • Nice analysis, stu! Yeah!

            I just finished rewatching Season 4 right after ‘Madrigal’ aired, and, due to Walt’s poisoning of Brock, I had STRAIGHT-UP COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN how Walt used his old, decrepit neighbor lady to hobble over to his house to check if the gas was on and MAYBE die by gunshot, to see if her presence could confirm/flush out the two ARMED GUNMEN.

            The death of Dirt Bike Kid maybe won’t mean much to Walt, but MAN ALIVE, you’ve nailed it on the head on how the show has been stressing the safety and innocence of youth.

  25. I agree. Lydia may not be the one who kills them, but I feel like her insistence plus Skylar’s worries are foreshadowing.

  26. I want to address the many and varied predictions surrounding possible plot outcomes resulting in suicide and death.

    Namely, they are so predictable! A show about a man with a death sentence CAN end with him dying, but does that make for the best story? Does a character committing suicide make for the best story? The answers are– it depends on how these events are used to service the story and the ending.

    Walt may or may not wind up paying for his crimes with his family’s literal death on his hands. The flash forward at the start of the season definitely shows that he is in very deep, and very well might have to pay up in one form or another, but does that mean every other cast member is dead or is about to die.

    Week after week I read people declaring that the events of the episode are just one more nail in Skyler’s suicide coffin. For the life of me I cannot figure out why. Her current behavior and everything we’ve previously known about the character don’t indicate a single suicidal angle. Yes, she could die. But suicide? I’m just not seeing it.

    But who knows? The people that are hollering suicide could be right. I just don’t see what the pay off is for wildly predicting story points that are at least a year away. One thing I am confident predicting is that no one from the main cast will meet their end in the next three episodes. And yeah, I could be wrong.

    • Scenario: the kids are murdered by someone, and Skylar either commits suicide or tries to kill Walt and is instead killed.

      She won’t kill herself unless the kids are gone – right now her reason for living is to protect them.

      If Walt is purchasing a heavy machine gun as he did in the flash forward he is protecting himself from people much bigger than a vengeful Skylar, and I would wager it isn’t the cops either. He knows there’s no way to beat the police in a shootout (unless it is a crazy last-stand kind of thing). So my hunch is he’s protecting himself from another cartel or someone else he has wronged along the way.

  27. Anyone else see the symbolism in the spider in the jar being a foreshadowing parallel to Walt being holed up in his house or mansion or apartment at the end at some point (a la Scarface). A dangerous man alone, trapped, walled in. Not to mention the fact that Gilligan continually mentions the Mr. Chips to Scarface thing, plus the reference earlier this season AND Walt purchasing that massive assault weapon at the top of the season’s flash forward. I have a gut feeling he (Vince) follows through on those claims (of course, with no lack of red herrings). This thing ends with a bang, no question.

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