Sunday, April 25, 2010

Breaking Bad, "Sunset": Partners in crime

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I do a riverdance...
"Please tell me you got something!" -Jesse
Walt spends much of the first half of "Sunset" in the company of Gale, his new lab assistant in the Walt-cave, and a nail-biting chunk of the second half trapped in the RV with Jesse. And while Walt and Gale seem a perfect match on paper in nearly every way, it's clear by the end of this gripping episode that for all their flaws and incompatibilities, Walt and Jesse are, much to both their chagrins, made for each other.

After Walt tried to ban Jesse from the meth business last week, I assumed it might be a long time before the two might work together again. I of course neglected to factor in two things: 1)Walt and Jesse's tremendous capacity, both separately and together, for screwing up; and 2)The weird gravitational pull that RV held over their relationship.

"Breaking Bad" always seems to find a higher gear whenever those two are in the RV together, and so it shouldn't be a surprise that their final time in that accursed but useful vehicle/domicile would be one of the most memorable yet. I've loved every minute of season three so far as the show has gone in an even darker direction, but the climax to "Sunset" felt very much like old-school "Breaking Bad": Walt and Jesse finding a way to make a bad problem worse, stuck in the RV together, Jesse waiting for Walt's great brain to find a way out of the mess.

From the minute Walt pulled onto Clovis's lot and started barking orders about destroying the RV, I knew things would go pear-shaped, and they did. Where Walt feared that Hank might have tapped Jesse's phone and hung up without explaining the situation, what he should have feared was the exact reaction Jesse had when Badger told him Walt was taking away the RV (Jesse's entire business) to destroy it. And so Jesse led Hank right where Walt didn't want him to be, with those scenes feeling oddly like a desert twist on "Jaws," with Hank as the shark circling the boat, looking for a way in to devour the lives of the men inside. So intense, so well-acted by Cranston and Paul and Dean Norris, and so well-written and directed by John Shiban (behind the camera for an episode of TV for the first time since a 2002 "X-Files").

Walt ultimately recognized the three words that have saved his hash so many times before - "better call Saul" - but the look on Hank's face in the hospital (confusing, then relief, then complete and utter rage) suggests that the hunt from Heisenberg has turned from an excuse to avoid El Paso into an absolute vendetta.

Of course, Hank is now the target of a vendetta himself, as Gus has decided that the headache of a murdered DEA agent is less vexing than losing Walt's genius too soon. (Even though I believe Gus is going to use Gale to copy the Heisenberg formula so he can produce it without this egomaniacal loose cannon.) Hank may be able to win the day in a bar fight, but the only thing that has thus far been able to stop the Cousins is Gus himself. I've been worried for a while that Hank might not survive the season, but is he even going to make it deep into the second half of it?

And what happens to Walt and Jesse now that the RV is gone? Does Walt take pity on Jesse and offer him either money or a job (assuming Gus would allow this) to make up for the mobile meth lab's destruction? Or, without that vehicle to hold them together, will the rift between the two grow wider and nastier?

Incredible episode. My jaw was on the floor for large chunks of it.

Some other thoughts:

• Loved Walt insisting on taking the model home, and then going through a morning ritual (the shirt, and the brown bag lunch with his name on it) as if he were going to a real punch-the-clock job. It's a fake life he's living, and so he needs all the accessories to make it look (and make himself feel) good.

• Badger returns to New Mexico after fleeing the state late last season after Walt and Jesse's business got him into legal trouble. And he busts a few fancy dance moves upon returning.

• Lots of great, off-beat music throughout the episode, but particularly the use of some of Vince Guaraldi's "Peanuts" music for the meth-cooking montage in the Walt-cave.

• You can find the full text of "When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" here.

• Two notable guest stars: David Costabile (recently a villain on "Damages," but also the "more with less" newspaper editor in "The Wire" season 5 and Mel's husband on "Flight of the Conchords") as Gale, and Larry Hankin (who, to me, will always be the Kramer from Jerry and George's sitcom pilot on "Seinfeld") as the legally-wise junkyard manager.

• As I watched the Native American cop head towards his demise at the hands of the Cousins in the prologue, I again thought to myself that someone is missing a golden opportunity at giving a spin on the cop drama series by setting one on an Indian reservation. "Mystery!" did a few adaptations of Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee novels in the early '00s, and at one time there was talk of DC Comics trying to turn "Scalped" into a TV show, but that world feels like it has so much untapped potential for a weekly cop show. Am I alone on that?

What did everybody else think?

113 comments:

Carmichael Harold said...

I have to think Hank knows that Walt is involved now. How else would Jesse have been able to engineer that phone call, and why else would Jesse suddenly decide to send the RV to the junkyard? I guess he may be so blinded that he can't imagine Walt is involved, but it seems like he should

Nicole said...

I think that the only way the Cousins will be stopped is if the investigation of the murder of the Native American cop leads to them. And it had better happen soon for Hank's sake.

Great episode because I really could not figure out how Walt and Jesse would get out of that RV without Hank finding out.

Willie said...

I'm a little confused on why the twins killed the lady in the beggining. Did they just need to do thier laundry. Someone please enlighten me.

SK Rollins said...

I would be surprised if Hank somehow got out of this corner. Though if he somehow gets saved it's only a matter of time before he figures out Walt is Heisenberg. Hank being killed by the Cousins would have a devastating effect on Walt's already near-dead conscience though.

SK Rollins said...

@Willie the cousins killed that lady for the same reason they killed the lady with the handicap van in the previous episode.

SK Rollins said...

My bad, meant to say a few episodes ago.

Justin said...

I dunno. Hank is the right kind of tough and lucky to maybe be able to get the better of the cousins.

I had a second where I thought Gus was just going to kill them out in the desert, although that's not his style.

berkowit28 said...

The lady whom the cousins killed was the lady, several episodes ago, whose wheelchair-enabled van the cousins took when they arrived in the U.S. They must have got her to lead them to her home, which they've requisitioned as well, and murdered her to make it neat.

It's quite possible that Hank, in the mood he's now in, will be fully equal to the cousins when they find him. They could be the ones who end up dying. I wonder who the cartel would send next.

Anonymous said...

I think Jesse and Walt are going to get back to working together again, somehow -- sooner or later Walt is going to realize Gale is only there to learn the formula until Gus is done with Walt and can't be trusted. For all of Jesse's fault, he has always been pretty loyal to Walt.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought Walt's call wasn't to Saul, but to Gus, who then had the Cousins arrange a car crash involving Marie? Fantastic episode.

akaBruno said...

Larry Hankin will always be, to me, the trucker in "The Sure Thing." As he says to Gib, "I hope you appreciate the magnitude of your impending good fortune. "

James said...

This was my favorite episode of the season. Walt's face during the phone call from Hank was far beyond the capabilities of written word. This show has done such a marvelous of showing and not telling.

My one problem, with all the time Hank spent in the lot, why didn't Hank notice Walt's car. There have been a little too many loose ends that Hank has not tied together in connection to Walt that makes the plot-line entirely plausible. Hank is obsessively consumed with the "blue meth", he has cornered so many details, why is he missing so many big ones? He only misses when it ties to Walt.

mihir kelkar said...

One thing I thought was cool was the shifting in location for Walt both in the residential and professional sense. He's got his sweet model pad now, and this deluxe lab. We don't quite get a glimpse of him doing a sort of last walk through the house, but his once-over of the RV was a pleasant calm before the suspenseful storm.

It's so great to speculate how the characters feel during calm (or rather, less stressful) moments. It was nice to see Walt grazing the chair and checking out the old equipment - endearing, almost. Since he'd upgraded recently, I didn't think we'd see him in there again.

Can't wait for next week; they're certainly not cooking out of an RV anymore..

Brendan K said...

Absolutely adored the episode top to bottom. If I had a criticism, it's that the "Oh, right, we can just call Saul to fix it" ending might have been a little cheap, and brings up another question: If Hank gets so angry because he realizes that he's been duped, that means he must think that... what? Jesse had his phone number to feed a fake call through? The junkyard guy somehow worked some telephonic magic? Who else knew that Hank was there? I'll be glad if Hank can piece together that SOMEBODY who had his cell number was at the scene... though if he does, I don't like his prospects for bringing Walt to justice before meeting his own demise.

Likewise, I agree that the Cousins' most likely deterrent will be an investigation into their murder of the cop from the intro. So I guess they're camping out somewhere new, eh? And the cartel says local branch DEA agents are off limits, but local police are fair game as necessary? Not sure I follow the logic on that one.

Still, minor quibbles in an awesome hour of TV.

Anonymous said...

Walt's car wasn't there. It was back at the repair yard. He had evidently driven the RV to the car crusher.

Anonymous said...

@James
I don't think Walt took his car - he drove the RV. He asked the scrapyard guy to call him a cab right before Jesse came bursting in.

Brendan K said...

@James I think Walt drove the RV to the junkyard- he asked the guy there to call him a cab. His car would have been at the other lot, where the RV had been stored before needing to be demolished.

Lisa said...

Ditto, Carmichael Harold. So now the question is whether the Cousins will get to Hank before he gets to Walt. And the next question -- can the Cousins be killed before they get to Hank? I have absolutely begun to love Dean Norris in the last 2-3 episodes, I don't want to see his parts in a body bag just yet.

However, Walt doesn't even know who the Cousins are, so it's not like he's going to be able to engineer his brother-in-law's rescue.

So, a thought: Could Gus -- who actually was looking a bit uncomfortable tonight around the Cousins -- might actually try and save Hank by passing intel to the DEA about the reservation cop's murder that could lead to an ambush of thee Cousins? I remember a few episodes back that Gus himself was a guest of the DEA (wasn't there some "say no to drugs" thing at the HQ?), so he's got a DEA connection already.

If nothing else, it buys Walt extra time to cook with his new playmate in The Happiest Lab on Earth and ends up saving Gus from the Cousins' shiny hatchet.

I'm just a little worried about Jesse playing nice with Walt's new chemistry partner. Those dynamics should be fun.

Oh, and Alan, thanks for pointing out the XF reunion with Shiban behind the keyboard and at the helm. I felt even better about this incredible episode after reading that.

This show becomes more extraordinary every week.

Katanma said...

Surely I can't be the only one who would watch a Breaking Bad spinoff, following Walt and Gale as they open their own coffee shop. Breaking Beans?

Brendan K said...

I read every comment EXCEPT the first one apparently. I agree with @Carmichael Harold re: Hank figuring out Walt was there. Good on you, sir!

Russianator said...

@ James - Walt's car was at the mechanic's lot. He drove the RV to the junkyard, that's why he asked fake Kramer to call him a cab.

This was the best episode of the series, and it's a fantastic series. The tension in the RV and the interplay between Walt and Jesse was superb.

SJ said...

This episode is an example of why this is the best TV show around right now. Loved the music too.

"Why the hell are we making meth?"

berkowit28 said...

I did wonder a few things.

It's natural that Walt and Jesse would *want* to stick around to see the RV smushed. But was it wise? Surely, they (well, Walt) should expect that DEA backup would show up with a warrant soon - or just as backup. Sure, it might take some time to find a judge for the arrant, but maybe they'd send a backup for Hank in the meantime,. It wasn't safe sticking around.

I guess we've been given enough examples of Walt not thinking everything through when he's full of himself but, even so, it seemed foolhardy of him to ignore Badger and replay "What about Jesse?" when Badger asked. OK, I can accept that.

IN the RV, I thought Waly might phone Hank himself with some urgent family matter, liuke Walt Jr. being in trouble. But the fake phone call about Marie was way better. Until we saw Saul managing the fake call, I thought Walt might have been asking help from Mike (Mr. Fixit), but of course he doesn't know Mike as a client. Just Saul having been so useless in the previous call about the RV didn't seem to make him the obvious guy Walt would ask again right away for help. But it made sense.

Terrific episode.

SteveInHouston said...

Funny that they used Walt Whitman (and quite well). I kept thinking that Herman Melville would be more appropriate, with the RV filling in nicely for the white whale.

It was nice to get a reset of the chemistry theme. Gale and Walt were just so excited to be around someone who really got it.

IMO, Hank still has no inkling that Walt is involved because, in his mind, it's simply not a possibity. All he knows of Walt is what gets filtered through his sister, who - as Walt observes early on in the episode - is an accessory to meth dealing now. Every minute that goes by in which she doesn't turn Walt in only makes her more complicit.

And since there's no way Hank can see his sister in that role, I can't imagine he'd allow himself to see Walt in his, either. And I get the sense that from here on out, Hank's field of vision on this case is going to get narrower, not more expansive.

I love this show to death, but it always leaves me so unsettled. So many people have so little idea how close to death they're coming simply by wandering into these people's gravity.

berkowit28 said...

@SteveinHouston: Hank is not Skyler's sister, his wife Marie is.

from a stolen pen to a velvet glove said...

Did anyone else catch the brilliant reference to Kubrick's "The Shining" in the opening scenes this week?

KDK-12, the call letters the police man/latest brutal Cousins murder victim was using before he was killed, were the same call letters Wendy used on the Overlook Hotel's radio before Jack destroyed it. The minute I heard "KDK-12" I knew that cop was going to get murdered Jack Nicholas on Scatman Crothers style. And sure enough, he was. Thank god it wasn't as brutal as the original in The Shining though.

Anyway, just another little nugget of awesome in an awesome episode.

Tom said...

Some of the best scenes between Walt and Jesse have been in or around the RV so it's a little sad to see it go. It's also intersting how the opening sort of mirrored the scene in the trapped RV with Hank obviously faring better than the cop. At least, for the moment.

And Alan you are right about the untapped potential for a crime show on a reservation.

Brandon Nowalk said...

"I've loved every minute of season three so far as the show has gone in an even darker direction."

Is this season really darker than the others? Heisenberg's been mostly out of the meth business, which means he also hasn't been killing loose ends. Walt and Skyler had a few episodes of nastiness, but I don't see it as any darker than last year's fugue state/cigarettes fiasco and rarely as tense. I'll give you Hank's story, though. Man, at least Dean Norris gets to rock some pretty serious stuff before departing (not a spoiler, just a sad prediction).

Me, this is the first episode of Season 3 that I've really loved, not that it hasn't been good (esp. the acting and direction), just not as spectacular as last year, at least until now.

Was anybody concerned that the Cousins were actually going to catch up with Walt? The chalk reaper was a nice little omen, but there's no way Breaking Bad's killing off Walt yet, not with a 4th season renewal around the corner. In other words, it took them 6 episodes to really give this season that ominous feel they're going for, b/c like you, I don't doubt the show may part with Hank before his time.

Whereas every episode last year felt like the walls were closing in, this year I feel like every new event is loosening the noose. Giving Walter a chemist friend means we have a new character who may fit the Heisenberg profile (i.e. someone to potentially frame). Throwing in with Gus means Walt has basically everything taken care of. Skyler's been challenged once and officially embraced becoming an accessory after the fact, which means it's in her best interest to keep Walt from the DEA. And we haven't heard a thing about Walt's cancer this year, have we? I miss the suspense, but tonight has certainly set the stage for its return.

Anonymous said...

Someone precious to the show will die, be it Hank, Marie, ex-wife, children, and it will be a sour loss.

I still find the cousins to be absurd. They're leaving a killing spree behind them when if they really wanted Walt killed could have easily orchestrated it by now.

JWIII

Anonymous said...

Three points and a topic to consider:

1. No, Hank won't think Walt is connected. This is a much simpler logical chain:

A. I called my office to say I need a warrant to search for the RV.

B. While I was waiting for the warrant, I got a call saying my wife was in an accident.

C. My backup didn't show up in time to prevent the RV from being destroyed/moved.

D. I must have a mole in my office.

Also, Hank's last assignment ended when an informant was killed and his team was set up-- most likely due to a mole tipping off the cartel.

If the showrunners are morons, they could have Hank say "Hey, after I called my ex brother-in-law, the drug dealer I've been surveilling for weeks went to get his RV. Walt must be Heisenberg."

Or they could have Hank go paranoid and assume that everyone is out to get him... which is simpler and much more ironic and interesting. (Everyone thinks he's paranoid-- no one in the office is out to get him-- but the cartel is after him.)

2. In a well-run show, Hank will survive, simply because the show needs someone pursuing Walt. Notice how this was the first episode where Walt knows he's being pursued-- and everyone thought this was the best show of the season?

Second, the threat Hank poses to Walt-- and the pressures he is under-- is much more personal and dramatically interesting than anyone else.

Yes, they can have Hank whacked and have someone new come in. But it would be an enormous waste. The new guy would be an impersonal threat, and neither he nor Walt would have any mixed feelings about taking the other one down.

3. Again, everyone seems to be underestimating Gus Frings. If he wanted Walt to work for him for just three months (so he could copy the formula), all he had to do was say "Hey, the cartel is after you-- and the only reason you're still alive is that you're working for me. You want to live, you need me."

Frings said he wanted willing co-operation, which suggested he has a more ambitious agenda.

I'd agree that he doesn't want Walt doing repetitive tasks in a lab-- that Mr. Starbucks is there to learn what he does and do it.

The pertinent question is "What else does Frings want Walt to do? Different drugs? Explosives? Chemical weapons?

There are a lot of illegal tasks one can put a brilliant chemist to... almost all even less savory than drugs.

4. Here's some pure speculation to chew on. From a showrunner's perspective, getting the divorce going was a terrible move. You've invested an enormous amount of energy in setting up the wife's character... but, as an ex-wife, she really can't be expected to have a lot of contact with her ex.

You could get a small story arc out of the messy divorce... it's not all that interesting and not all that long.

What they need is a really strong incentive for her to want to deal with Walt. And since we've been told that she wants nothing to do with him...

They're going to need some crisis to give her a reason to need to deal with him.

Be interesting to see what that will be.

SK Rollins said...

@JWIII It's not so much the Cousins having physical DIFFICULTY having Walt killed, the only thing that stands in their way is Gus since they know who Walt is, where he lives, etc. The trail of bodies is probably fairly reckless but I think that Gilligan is going for a "twin Anton Chigurhs" thing with the Cousins. Though who else have they killed beside the van lady and the cop so far?

D4P said...

The cousins also killed "Turtle".

D4P said...

PS: Not to mention the truck full of would-be immigrants that they shot and torched.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the title of the Spanish song?

David J. Loehr said...

You are most certainly not alone in that, ie belief in a cop show set out there. (Said the playwright who'd love to go Hollywood...and thus will shut up in a public forum...)

vortexgods said...

Everyone is scared for Hank, I'm scared for Marie. Workaholic Hank is rarely home, but Marie will be there....

Jick said...

Anonymous with the "Hank thinks there's a mole" theory -

Brilliant idea, and one I'm now rooting for. With your last point, though, Skyler would have to stay involved with the plot if she suspected the real reasons behind her brother-in-law's death. Hard to see how she'd manage doing anything other than turning Walt in, but it would certainly be a plot opportunity for her character.

AJ said...

Here's a twisted thought: Gus is sick of Dos Psychos hanging out, scaring his customers, he can tell they're not men of patience and something ugly is gonna happen, and he does have bigger plans for Walt - so feeding them Hank's name is a plot to set a battle between the DEA and the cousins in motion (he'll leak some intel). Gus wants them dead, let the DEA kill them. No one from the cartel would suspect that he gave the two freaks his blessing to kill off a DEA agent, it's bad business that'll make things too hot for everyone. No one does vendetta quite like the government, or the cops when another cop gets hit.

Seems more likely to me than any other scenario, and I can't see them killing off Hank, he's too integral to this season.

Awesome episode -- was it just me, or did it seem to fly by, and yet I felt like each plot point was complete and satisfying? Amazing economy of action on this show, probably because the characters are so well drawn, we can follow their shorthand.

I just loved the Masterpiece Drug Theater scene with Dale and Walt in the bat lab. That was so prissy and clean, compared to his rough and tumble with Jesse -- I kept remembering the early scenes with Walt coughing up his guts and cooking in an apron and his tightie whities. Things, I predict, will not go well with Dale; they're like the 'perfect' couple that end up despising each other.

Anonymous said...

I'd be very interested to see a cop drama on the reservation. Hopefully it wouldn't be all about meth.

Larry Hanking always reminds me of Mr. Heckles.

My favorite Davide Costabile work might be this TMobile commercial ("She thinks you're super-delicious"):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7XzZec_vmk

Rich, Denver

Amy said...

For the anonymous wondering about the song during the RV destruction scene, it's Los Zafiros "He Venido". They're a great Cuban doo-wop band, and I immediately smiled when I heard the song being used so perfectly in the show.

tribalism said...

Jesse is infinitely more likable when he's not hanging out with his tweeker friends. If he really think that being around meth is not going to cause him to relapse, it seems that he's doomed to forever be a screw-up.

I don't know how they could fit that junkyard proprietor back into the series, but I definitely want to see him back again. Employing the word domicile was perfect.

You can find the rest of my thoughts on this episode on my blog where I go into detail about how Jesse and Skyler both have very similar relationships with Walt. Click my username for the link.

belinda said...

DOUG! It's weird, but I was really, really excited and happy to see Costabile as Gale. He's becoming one of my favorite actors to see pop up in shows, and I'm so glad to see him pop up in one of the best shows here.

Given how nice and compatible he seems with Walt, I suppose it's only a matter of time before Gale (under the orders of Gus, presumably) would betray Walt and steal is recipe. And because Gale is Doug, I feel very compelled to root for him.

I love the bonding scene - it's such a nice contrast to the cooking/bonding scenes with Jesse and Walt in the RV from last season. Really loved how Walt was reminiscing in the RV too, especially with the lawn chairs. It's scenes like that you kind of wish they'd kiss and make up even though it's been really fascinating watching their changing relationship so far.

As for Hank, are we getting set up for another immoral decision by Walt? Like, if he somehow found out about the vendetta for Hank, yet the only way to save/alert Hank would be to expose himself as Heisenberg, and he'd have to make a decision as to whether to let Hank die (like Jane, but this time, it's family). But this show always manages to surprise me, so I guess I shouldn't guess. But man, Hank, don't die! At least not yet.

belinda said...

Oh, and I thought it was very interesting that Hank didn't see the connection between Walt and Jesse until Marie reminded him of it. Hank still has some major blinders on his brother in law there (and why not? He's a school teacher who was dying of cancer while this Heisenberg guy was the most prominent!), so it would take a whole lot for Hank to even start suspecting Walt. Oh, I can't imagine how horrifying this season finale might be....

cgeye said...

"Here's a twisted thought: Gus is sick of Dos Psychos hanging out, scaring his customers, he can tell they're not men of patience and something ugly is gonna happen, and he does have bigger plans for Walt - so feeding them Hank's name is a plot to set a battle between the DEA and the cousins in motion (he'll leak some intel). Gus wants them dead, let the DEA kill them."

This makes the most sense to me -- if it goes pear-shaped, Frings gets rid of one DEA agent who's too close, and he can make Walt's death look like an accident. The Mexican cartels are implicated, but the link between them and him gets severed when the Cousins do.

At best, Walt cooks until he can't, the Cousins die, 'cause they're too brutal to go without killing for long, the Cartel knows they should have listened to Frings in the first place, and Gale learns at the feet of the master. Either way, unless Walt breaks and implicates Frings, a range war between the Cousins and the DEA keeps his two main nuisances occupied, with minimal cost to him. Next season, we'd better learn more about Frings, 'cause his story's becoming just as compelling as Walt's.

Question Mark said...

I like the theory about Gus trying to set up the Cousins to be caught (or killed) by the DEA. Gus seems like too smart and cautious a guy to give the go-ahead for a cop-killing. That would bring down way too much heat on his operation.

Sous Chef Gerard said...

Guess John Candy's security guard opus "Armed and Dangerous" was not a big enough deal in other people's TBS viewing households growing up.

Jason said...

Probably the great irony is Hank bailed out of El Paso because he couldn't handle being up close and personal to the way the cartel boys do business (i.e. cutting off the informant's head and sticking it on a booby-trapped tortoise).

And yet by staying in ABQ, he's about to get another dose of it.

Also, Gus is a very careful man. He has to know setting in motion a DEA vendetta against his cartel associates is likely to not end well for any of them.

Anonymous said...

@Jick: Thanks for the nice words about the mole theory. (I'm anonymous because Google has buggered my account and I can't log in.)

Since we're watching a scripted TV show, which has a vested interest in being as dramatic as possible, we can guess what options the creative team is most likely to choose.

For example, I wouldn't worry about Hank, unless Walt learns that Gus has given his name to the cartel. That's the "Jesse's vomiting girlfriend decision", cubed-- tell him and blow your cover (and maybe he doesn't believe you) or let him die to save yourself?

Your thought about how they bind Skyler to Walt is OK, but it relies on assumptions, which means it's dramatically weak. A stronger method: she or one of the kids gets sick-- and the insurance doesn't cover it (or maybe there is no insurance; not sure if Walt got fired).

That's bad because it's already been done. The strongest way to do it is: Beneke & Co. get busted-- and Ted tries to pin it on his bookkeeper in order to save his butt. That would mean:

1. She'll need help... "Better call Saul" (think about how those two will get along).

2. In an embezzling case, forensic auditors go looking for unusual spending-- which is a mortal threat to Walt. He has to help-- and it's a worse foe than the DEA.

3. If a financial professional gets convicted--even a plea bargain-- they can't work with money. Ever. That's her career-- and a defense case takes a lot of money.

(And can you see her divorce attorney telling her that she needs someone like Saul?)

4. Is there a better way to make her grateful to/empathetic towards Walt-- and more angry at the law-abiding world?

I've always wondered if all four adults might end up "Breaking Bad." If that's so, sending Skyler down the "Catherin Zeta Jones in Traffic" path is the most likely fate for her.

Anonymous said...

Re Gus "giving up" Hank: Keep in mind that Gus is surely aware that Hank is Walt's brother-in-law.

Anonymous said...

The tension in the junkyard RV scene was great, but I have to say I'm disappointed by how carelessly the writers got there. There is simply no good reason why Walt wouldn't ask Saul to warn Jesse about being under surveillance, given that such communication would be protected by attorney-client confidentiality.

Also, it's one thing to make Walt so arrogant about anything related to his chemical magic, but to have him be so dismissive at the RV storage place was just idiotic. All he had to do was tell Badger to tell Jesse the situation, and everything would have been fine.

If I wanted to see characters do unbelievably stupid things to get themselves into dramatically interesting situations, I would rewatch Season 2 thru 5 of Lost.

oz

Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one who thinks that Hank could take the Cousins. I think Hank is going to be on Walt's trail for the entire series, and I think that pursuit is about to be kicked up a notch. The cousins have been set up as the ultimate badasses, and having Hank put them both down will make Hank's state of mind and his chase all the more intense. It will also be a great subversion of the whole "ultimate badasses" setup, which would be refreshing.

Shenonymous said...

I immediately thought of DC's SCALPED in the opening sequence as well. Maybe if THE WALKING DEAD works out for AMC they will consider adapting that one as well since they seem to employing some native american actors/locales in BREAKING BAD.

Terrific episode. Since last week I think the season is finally approaching the momentum of Season 2.

Trilby said...

"I don't know how they could fit that junkyard proprietor back into the series, but I definitely want to see him back again. Employing the word domicile was perfect."

My first thought on the junk-yard guy cum jail-house lawyer was, oh this is too easy and what are the chances. But he was so good at it, and persistent, that he overcame my initial skepticism on this plot-point.

Other than that, it was great to see Doug from Flight of the Conchords, great episode all around. Very little Skylar!

I am not now nor ever have been someone who tries to figure out what's coming next. I prefer to let it wash over me and surprise as it unfolds. So I have no opinion on who's going to get whacked next.

But I don't see how the van lady and the dead rez lady were the same person. The van lady was a red-haired caucasian, was she not?

Anonymous said...

"All he had to do was tell Badger to tell Jesse the situation, and everything would have been fine."

But then Hank really would put it together, that the guy he was surveilling was suddenly tipped off immediately after he called Walt.

Norgard said...

I can't really point to any reason why, but this was the first episode of the season that didn't really grab me.

As for Hank's impending doom, I'll believe he's dead when I see his chopped up body (and his face better be identifiable!). As brilliant-mole-theory wrote, killing off Hank would destroy a lot of dramatic potential. What I can definitively see is Marie getting hit by the cousins. Right now, Hank is only looking for Heisenberg the meth cook. If he's also looking for Heisenberg the man responsible for his wife's death, that makes the eventual showdown between Walt and Hank that much worse.

And the cartel says local branch DEA agents are off limits, but local police are fair game as necessary? Not sure I follow the logic on that one.

You could argue that it's a question of plausible deniability for the cartel. If a local DEA agent is the victim of a hit, the DEA will naturally look for the cartel for retribution. If a local cop gets whacked as he stumbles onto the scene of a homicide, it's a random killing that doesn't necessarily bring the heat down on the cartel.

Likewise, the cousins can plausibly claim they had no choice with the local cop, whereas the cartel will know they defied them if they go after Hank.

Anonymous said...

"All he had to do was tell Badger to tell Jesse the situation, and everything would have been fine."

'But then Hank really would put it together, that the guy he was surveilling was suddenly tipped off immediately after he called Walt.'

How would Hank know Jesse was tipped off if Jesse just sat tight and stayed home?

oz

Rufus said...

Gus seems so polished, calm. I predict that the agents of chaos just may have him losing that calm before the seasons end.

Gale is Gus's Jesse, a man who Gus can trust as he is the ultimate boss to him. I think Gale is there to learn everything from Walt then take over when Walt dies or is killed. Jesse is the one that Walt can trust and because the two are so chaotic in how they act and think that somehow they just may have a tactical advantage to the ordered Gus.

This season is Walt vs. Gus.

Oz said...

Regarding the speculation about whether or not Hank will die this season, I predict that Walt somehow saves Hank from the cousins, and when Hank finds out that Walt is Heisenberg, he'll decide not to bust Walt due to a mixture (or should I say amalgam?) of gratitude and careerism.

Because Hank is (A) too good a character to kill off; and (B) too good a detective to not figure out Walt's complicity.

oz

word verification: "mudfoc"
Sounds like something Saul might say.

Lisa said...

Bravo, Anonymous, on the comment about Hank suspecting a mole instead of Walt. I didn't think about that, but the signs are all there -- Hank hasn't slept in at least a week, his partner has leapfrogged him on the management tree and he knows he has a tiger by the tail. Paranoia about co-workers is a logical step.

I do believe that Gus is setting up the Cousins, and it's a potentially gorgeous thing if he somehow does it through Hank. It gets Hank's mind off of Jesse (where the evidence chain no longer exists), Hank might get kudos on the job, and Gus can play Hank like a puppet from that moment forward.

I'm having trouble thinking which cast member doesn't deserve consideration at Emmy time (OK, maybe Walt Jr. can sit this one out), but if people aren't taking note of Giancarlo Esposito's performance, there is absolutely no justice in the world.

Lisa said...

One more thing. I expect Gale to at least try and finish Walt off with a great cup of coffee once the three-month production cycle concludes....

Kujo said...

The Walt, and Jesse locked in the RV scene is the reason why this show is the best show on TV.

This ep confirmed my suspicion that the Cousins would eventually go after Hank.

Fantastic ep top to bottom.

JanieJones said...

It was the best episode of the season thus far (for me).
I was literally on the edge of seat watching last night.

There were so many taunt moments in this episode with wonderful writing, acting, direction.

While it was not smart for Walt and Jesse to watch the RV be destroyed, it seemed almost poignant and on point. It felt like a funeral.
Everything is changing, nothing will be the same.

Will Walt now include Jesse or will they be driven further apart?
Jesse can't make much of move now with Hank onto him.

I loved the new pristine lab and Walt may be smart, he hasn't a clue that Gale is there to learn Walt's recipe, at least not yet.

Gus, giving permission to the Cousins to kill Hank could lead to several conclusions. I prefer the surprise.
Dean Norris is doing a fantastic job.

Trilby said...

"The Walt, and Jesse locked in the RV scene is the reason why this show is the best show on TV."

I especially loved it when Walt was trying to feed Jesse what to say to Hank. And it took Jesse a few moments to catch on, as it did me.

Aaron Riccio said...

Two things:

1. Why would Hank suspect Walt? Jesse led him straight to the RV, which is not something he would have done if Walt had warned him.

2. I doubt Hank gets killed--it's more dramatically likely that Marie gets killed. Either way, that's enough to bring Skyler back on a collision course with Walt--realizing that she can't expose the money (without indicting herself) but perhaps taking matters into her own hands. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the show ends with Walt being killed either by his wife or his son--though I'm hoping for something cleverer than that.

Natasha said...

@Janie Jones said "Jesse can't make much of move now with Hank onto him."

So true! Jesse is really fracked now. He can no longer continue to make meth, at least not without joining Gus's team (if he's even invited).

First of all his lab no longer exists. Secondly the DEA is on to him. Lastly, he is going to be held responsible by Hank for every piece of blue sky out there, regardless of whether Hank and Gale actually made it or not.

I don't know what he's going to do next, but I'm scared.

eugny420 said...

Many great comments. Did anyone catch one of the lyrics during the great scene when Walt was getting dressed for work? "Let one ray of sun shine down on me?"
Well, it did shine on Walt, in the RV when Hank revealed the bullet holes. And shortly thereafter, Walt escaped trouble. Another brilliant little detail.
Finally, no way Hank dies until he finds out Walt is Heisenberg and we get a confrontation between them, probably near the end of the series. We will not be robbed of that moment. Vince Gilligan et all are too smart for that.

Luke said...

Awesome comments today on an awesome episode. Even when I find humor in "Breaking Bad" I don't often laugh out loud (just because it's not so much my style)...but I laughed way out loud when Jesse tacked on "Bitch!" to the lines Walt fed him to say to Hank from inside the RV.

I can't remember such palbaple dramatic tension on a TV show, ever, that approaches the RV scene from last night.

Brilliant move by Frings to send the Cousins after Hank; I think the primary motivator is that the cousins, by menacing Pollo's, are bringing unwanted negative attention to the unassuming, anonymous, upstanding businman facade that Gus so meticulously cultivates. He thinks Hank is likely to take care of them, or that they may have to disappear if they take out an agent because the heat will be so great. Or Hank will take THEM out.

One more bit I don't think has been mentioned: Amazing how clearly you see what matters most in Hank's life, when he totally loses his shit and drops the case he's been pursuing for 24-hour-days on end when he thinks Marie is in trouble. Not even a brief thought to say "How can I keep these guys cornered while I go tend to my wife?" Just...gone.

This after weeks of absenteeism, distance, and blowups at Marie because of being so consumed with the chase for the RV.

Aaron Riccio said...

@Luke -- good point. But I can see where Hank's coming from. This case is all about being a man: that's part of why he can't bear to be around his wife. He's shamed by the way he thinks others perceive his choice not to return to El Paso, so he plunges into the one case left that will allow him to redeem himself. However, his wife being in critical condition--that's something physical, tangible, that he can be the man about. He can recklessly drive to the hospital, be the strong support she needs, become a hero again--even if he's not actually DOING anything for her.

This is sort of the opposite of what's happened with Walt. Walt has reclaimed his manhood (as prompted by Gus) by *leaving* the house, and making sure that he's going to do EVERYTHING for his family -- whether they want it or not.

Luke said...

Yeah, I'm with you on that, Ariccio. It's of course a complicated thing. Nobody in their right mind could BLAME Hank for dropping everything to aid his wife.

On the other hand, the scene also kind of showed that, while Hank is tough in a shootout or a fight, he's a bit of a boob as an investigator. Heizenberg's been right under his nose all along. He caused a brouhaha at the RV Park looking into the wrong RV. He can't handle El Paso. He got outwitted by a junkyard manager on probable cause issues. And then, minutes away from landing his big fish and presumably putting a halt to the scourge of blue meth in the American Southwest, he gets snowed by a fake phone call about his wife. Certainly any husband would freak out, but a good investigator may have kept his head and looked for some verification first before ditching his whole case.

Box Johnson said...

The biggest thing is that Gus is now "breaking bad" and losing a little of his own control. He clearly has a lot of money invested in his bunker, so he's willing to bend the rules to protect Walt. He's dealing with a bigger enemy than anyone in the series, though: the cartel bosses.

Also, nothing on Skyler? She obviously isn't dealing with the fact that he signed the papers well. While she was somewhat written off in the episode, I think that glimpse into her psyche was telling. Seems much more like the old, controlling Skyler who needs to watch over Walt. Now more than ever.

Lepidoptera said...

It mustn't be forgotten that the person who would have been playing Walt's meth-cooking music on Peanuts is Schroeder (pronounced Shrader).

Dear Lost, this is how you introduce a famous piece of literature into the script in a way that is actually germaine to what is happening in the story, and not as an empty means of attempting to look literate.

That is the greatest definition of a libertarian I have ever seen: LIBERTARIAN: One who uses the phrase libertarian as a means to try to separate themselves from people who are exactly like them, but who are also very bad people who do terrible things. Sure, it is people just like you who ruin the environment, destroy the economy, feed addictions, and/or poison the population, but if you can just call yourself a LIBERTARIAN, you can feel smugly better about yourself. (See Bill O'Reilly/Sean Hannity for more details.)

Luke said...

Nicely said about Libertarians, Lepidoptera...I didn't think of it like that but it's very good.

Unfortunately, though, Schroeder on Peanuts is pronounced "SHRODER", not "SHRADER". Amusing connection though...

D4P said...

Is there any logical explanation for how one of the cousins snuck up with his scythe behind the cop in the beginning of the episode? I don't believe he could have left the house and snuck behind the cop after the cop arrived. The only reasonable way he could have been behind the cop is if he was already out there before the cop showed up. But why would he have been out there before the cop showed up?

berkowit28 said...

The other cousin must have just been outside the house - bad luck for the cop. But what was he doing out there with his scythe (? - I assumed it was the axe we've seen them with at Walt's house)? I guess he must keep it for emergency use in the car or just with him at all times, or something.

Aaron Riccio said...

D4P -- you mean, you don't find it plausible that during the two minutes that the cop was skirting the sides of the house and looking at the dead body in the adjoining shack, one of the brothers could have left the house and hid near the cop car?

Or you don't find it plausible that he so casually strolled up with the axe?

The brothers are, as of yet, a mixture of the real and the mythic. That whole "cool guys don't look at explosions" bit was silly, but everything else about them that episode was real.

To me, the least realistic thing so far is that they sat in a Pollos booth for so long. Have you ever spent quality time in a McDonalds? Those places stink.

medrawt said...

So what is Gus' longer game here? Everyone feels pretty confident that he wants Walt for three months so his own people can master the formula. And that lab he built is obviously something you don't do for three months' worth of product.

But what does that mean about his long term plans? He reminds the cartel bigshot rather testily that it's always been understood he can deal with other suppliers, but now he's turning himself into a supplier. Would he do this if he intended to also continue dealing with the cartel in the long run? Is he trying to cut them out of his business? - and if so, does redirecting the Cousins have anything to do with insulating himself from the people who are about to be his competition?

Greg said...

Totally agree about your Tony Hillerman comment. I thought of those books and the very good, not great, PBS Mystery adaptions as that opening sequence progressed. That made the policeman's murder even harder on me. It would have been nice to see this cop developed into the anti-Hank. It would be GREAT to have Vince Gilligan and company take on the Hillerman books.

Anonymous said...

when Walt made the call from the RV I swore it would be to Skyler - demanding that she concoct some emergency lest she be pulled down with Walt. This would have kept her in the plot and set up some potentially explosive scenes between her, Hank, Walt later... Never would have guessed he'd Call Saul, especially after the disastrous call earlier....

Anonymous said...

No Canadians around that have seen 'North of 60'? It was a show when I was a kid(the 90s) on CBC that was based around a Native American town in Canada and focused strongly on a couple of Cops.

That was the first thing that popped into my head regarding the tribal cop

bleibtreu said...

Amazing episode, had me on the edge of my seat certainly throughout the whole second half.

My only quibble is a very minor one: Hank unholstering his gun and putting it in his jacket pocket as he first approaches the RV.

Absolutely no way would anyone trained to use a handgun do that. Far from giving quicker access, it's much more likely to get hung up on the pocket when you need it than it would in the holster -- which is designed for quick release and is also a motion that is practiced regularly. And it's also more likely to fall out on the ground, especially if you get into any kind of altercation.

What might be done in that situation is to take it out of the holster and keep it in your hand at your side as you approach (never pointed up in the air next to your cheek as is often depicted in movies, but which is worthless for anything other than the chance for the gun and the star's face to be in the same shot). But in the pocket... no way.

Dan said...

I didn't notice until the second time that Hank sees Badger coming out of Jesse's house and recognizes him from when Badger was busted with the blue meth in S2. He says something like "Brandon Mayhew, I know you.. Small world, Albuquerque.." Another great example of how this show has excellent continuity.

Sareeta said...

Comcast On Demand FINALLY posted Mas and Sunset, so I just got caught up on them. My jaw was on the floor most of Sunset as well; I was racking my brain trying to figure out how Walt and Jesse would get out of the RV with Hank right there. My initial thought was that Walt phoned Hank; getting someone else to do the deed was a better & safer idea.
I fear for Hank, but I think you all might be right about the murdered cop at the beginning drawing attention to the twins. I am hoping Hank gets to the twins before they get to him; the show works much better with Hank being Walt's pursuer; however, he knows so much; by now, he has enough info to put Walt and Jesse together.

Fantastic episode.

By the way, how great was Badger's dance?! And Jesse + Walt in the RV---they have such good chemistry, no pun intended. I loved Jesse's idea to just RAM Hank's car and the priceless look on Walt's face at that suggestion.

If Gale is a mole, if and when Walt finds out, I fear for Gale.

Anonymous said...

1. Walt's cover styory as to why he is working at Gus' laundry? (People will see him driving there every day).

What will it be? studying chikjen slurry?

2. Recall in series 1 after he went missing Walt ordered Jessie to call him from a "distant payphone."


3. Walt's plausible deniability as to why he called Jessie and hung up? As a "MJ user" he was shocked by what he heard. Yet the circumstantial evidence is creeping up.
How does he answer as to how he is paying for anice new apartment? Studying Gus's chicken slurry for environmental impact.

berkowit28 said...

@Anon #834:

In Canada they wouldn't be "Native Americans", would they? They'd be "First Canadians", I think.

I left Canada long before then so I didn't see the show.

Dennis said...

I liked this season but didn't totally love it but the last two eps put me over the edge.

Much was discussed here so I will try and add something new and even Saul looked disgusted when he had his assistant make the Marie call to Walt.

bleibtreu said...

" I loved Jesse's idea to just RAM Hank's car"

Yeah, but really... Walt should have just built a robot.

Anonymous said...

Season three is excellent. BB continues to be the best show on TV, IMO. Top ten dramas ever, easy. ('course, I think HBO's The Comeback was real real good).

But it is now mathematically impossible for season three to surpass season two in television greatness. Season two hit like a perfect storm. Did you ever get so high from watching TV? Ding.

Anonymous said...

www.reason.com

Gotta help the terminally stupid.

Jungle Orangeman said...

@ Katanma
Yes, I would watch "Breaking Beans!"

I talk this show up to people as often as I can (including some of the brighter junior high-schoolers I teach), and this episode has me spreading the gospel louder than ever. The shit Hank went through in this, which will end up even worse I bet, rivals the most cold-blooded "oops/almost" moments from Sopranos or the Wire. Hank: losing his department's respect, relationship issues, pure ignorance to Walt, thinking his wife was hurt and then discovering he'd been duped and realizing he missed his chance at the RV+JP, all that AND getting a cartel death sentence?! That look on his face was Emmy-caliber. Hope he gets to wail on some fellow baldies before he moves on to what will have to be an inferior program.

Anonymous said...

i, too, liked how jesse puncuated his through-the-door talk to hank by dropping the "B" bomb. it came after a slight pause and drew smirks from the three actors. i wondered then if it was in the script or if it was an ad-hoc addition by aaron paul. the smirks suggest to me that it was not scripted.

gale may be hunting for walt's meth recipe & technique but it took walt MINUTES to capture the secrets behind gale's cup-o'joe. i sense that this will be significant at the end of the series as walt heads off into witness protection. would you buy your coffee at "walt & jesse's?"

i have been saying all along that all characters will break bad. i never saw Gus breaking bad and am stunned at the direction this is heading. i fear for marie.

one loose thread that i still don't get: the most recent scene a few eps back w/the turtle and the guy lured into the back room and killed by the cousins. who was that character? i have not re-watched the episode but i was puzzled at the time who that character was & why the cousins killed him. and will someone get hank a cell with caller ID!!

Anonymous said...

Was just looking at a business presentation and saw a picture of the wizard of oz. You know who else wore shiny suits and carried a shiny axe?

The tin man...

dez said...

one loose thread that i still don't get: the most recent scene a few eps back w/the turtle and the guy lured into the back room and killed by the cousins. who was that character?

That was El Tortuga, the guy Hank was going with the El Paso DEA to talk to. Instead, they find his head attached to a tortoise, which then explodes.

Chris said...

Reason #1245 why I love reading Alan's TV reviews:

He can name check a relatively obscure awesome comic book series without sweat.


This episode was fantastic from top to bottom. The look on Dean Norris's face in the hospital has me so pumped for the next couple of episodes.

Anonymous said...

one loose thread that i still don't get: the most recent scene a few eps back w/the turtle and the guy lured into the back room and killed by the cousins. who was that character?

That was El Tortuga, the guy Hank was going with the El Paso DEA to talk to. Instead, they find his head attached to a tortoise, which then explodes.


Also when they show that scene, we as the viewers get confirmation that the exploding head came from the cousins, and their cartel.

Anonymous said...

Are libertarians exempt from the No Politics rule? I've seen comments deleted for much milder offenses, yet I'm counting three quite disparaging comments, directed at or from libertarians, with not even a warning from Alan.

Anonymous said...

some nice aditions on the BB web site: interview with giancarlo espisito on role/life/plans. he has plans for year 4 in the role of gus. but some nice thoughts on the walt/gus dynamic. worth reading.

Alex Mullane said...

First Sledge gives an almighty stare of contempt upon sight of the pretty volunteers in The Pacific, and now Hank gives perhaps the most intense, rage filled expression I have ever seen.

Good week for facial expressions.

Joshua said...

My goodness, I cannot say enough about that scene with Hank in the hospital! What an awesome, ultimately frightening sequence! The editing, cinematography (especially what they did with the color scheme), sound design (complete silence until Marie's ringtone slowly builds to a crescendo), and of course the amazing acting chops from Dean Norris. Damn, what a brilliant example of film/tv making. Great scene, great episode, great show - the best on television IMO.

Trilby said...

@Joshua-
Speaking of cinematography, you just reminded me of the opening sequence as the Indian cop rode up on the house. Beautiful breathtaking shots, one after the other.

bob2bok said...

I thought when the Sopranos , & then the Wire ended , that was it ...tv land bereft of a worthy drama .
BB surpasses 'em two gems , & long may it continue........at least to six series .

cgeye said...

Well, speaking of contempt for libertarians, this week's episode got there first.

We know Gale's there to move product after the three months are over -- no way Gus can amortize all that equipment, let alone use it until it's worn out, for only three months -- so he's deliberately making Walt feel safe until either Walt caves in and makes this his permanent job, or that Gus lets the Cousins or the cartel waste him. Either way, Gale's on the wrong side of the law and of our sympathies.

Does that mean discussion of that equasion (libertarian = corrupt academic turned drug dealer) is also verboten?

Vic said...

I completely missed this but my girlfriend pointed this out to me. In the scene where Gus talks to the cousins in Los Pollos, you can hear the distinct bell sound of the cash register ringing in the background. Sort of the like the creepy bell used by Tio (Don Salamanca) as he demands vengeance for the death of Tuco. I think this is intentional since the bell becomes noticeable louder once Gus enters the scene.

Anonymous said...

to dennis: i totally agree that in having the secretary make the call to hank, saul had finally reached a point in his career HE never thought possible. forget the money laundering, the look of saul's face screamed "humiltiation...i went to law school for THAT??"

Anonymous said...

Just a few random thoughts: I agree with others who have suggested that Gus is handing the cousins over to the DEA by setting them on Hank's trail.Smart move IMO although the cousins do present an ideal way to put Marie out of our misery...
Really great to see Badger again - for a complete schlump, he is somehow strangely compelling.
Does anyone else think that he way Walt's new lab is constructed would make it frighteningly simple for someone to lock him down in there and make him a prisoner?
Also - Dean Norris' dark, explosive look of complete anger at the hospital: brilliant! I think this show rivals The Sopranos for tight writing and stellar performances large and small.

Casey said...

the scene where Hank went to the hospital was excellent. by there being no sounds from the hospital it was like you were in Hank's head and he was deaf to everything around him except finding out what happened to his wife. very well done.

Hank has really become a fascinating character. "as far as I'm concerned, you didn't inhale." that line was great.

Dinko said...

Alen and all readers, thank you for great posts and a great discussion. This is my first post.

It was an incredible episode. Hank in the hallway of that hospital. with that look on his face... I was expecting him to go Vic Mackie and start breaking stuff.

Gus was brave (or foolish) to meet alone with the two cousins with no backup.

Great blog!

Ross Faulder said...

did any notice that the painting in Walt's new condo is the same painting in the pilot, when the doctor tells Walt he has cancer?

Box Johnson said...

Can we stop with the "Gus is going to steal Walt's recipe" talk?

It's a forgone conclusion, and Walt already knows. Jessie isn't the sharpest cactus in the desert, but he managed to recreate it. Gale has his masters. It doesn't look like Walt is even trying to hide anything. The recipe is in capable hands and may even improve, which Walt can live with on a chemistry level.

It's three million dollars for three months work. He's looking at that as "retirement".

Joshua said...

Hold on a sec, Box. I don't think we can assume Walt is completely aware of the situation regarding the stealing of his recipe and his inevitable replacement.

When Gus presented the methcave to Walt, he was precise with his wording, making sure to emphasize YOUR lab. I believe Walt's ego and sense of self-importance has blinded him to the reality of the matter, however blatantly obvious it is to us as viewers.

When Mr. White discovers the motivation behind Gale's friendly inquiries and poetic musings, the impact will hit Walt on the level of what happened with Gray Matter with Elliot and Gretchen. Only this time Walt is going to take it lying down...

Joshua said...

NOT going to take it lying down, that is. Watch out Gus and company, Vince Gilligan has stated that Mr. Chips is gradually transforming into Scarface, which doesn't bode well for anyone getting in Walt's way.

Just Me said...

When Walt was cutting the crust off of his sandwich did anyone else think it was a callback to him doing the same for Crazy 8 in Season 1?

Joshua said...

Yep, this is actually the second time we've seen this reference surface this season. In the first episode of season 3, Walt takes painstaking measures to get his PB&J just right by removing the crust.

Sarah Jane said...

I don't get why quality product (and so his tenacious pursuit of Walt) is so important to Gus, given that you could probably sell most meth-users any old s*it and they'd be happy. We're not talking coke connoisseurship here. Does he really think he is going to put his competitors out of business by offering a superior product? Gale could give him all the passable product he needs, even now. As could Jesse, for argument's sake. Or is Gus forestalling the possibility that Walt will start working for his competitors, by employing him himself? But Walt will be a free agent in three months anyway, and could then work for whoever he likes, again. So I really don;t get the Gus and Walt thing, and the 3 month thing, from either of their perspectives.