Breaking Bad S05E01: The Magnet Plan That Could Never Fail

By Kelly Conaboy / July 16, 2012

After a year-long wait and months of making idle conversation with acquaintances about how excited we were for Breaking Bad to come back, we’re finally here at the start of season five. And it feels wonderful! And, as always with Breaking Bad, by “wonderful” I mean “incredibly stressful and generally very bad”! Walter White is reigning at the top of the wheel of fortune and YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. (That his wife is going to die and then he is going to die?) (Breaking Macbadth.) It looks like it’s going to be a season full of Walt acting like a cocky jerk while everyone at home secretly prays for him to get knocked down a few pegs, and then Walt ultimately getting knocked down ALL the pegs when he accidentally shoots himself with a semiautomatic because the instruction manual in the trunk was a little vague. Or maybe not? Who knows. What am I even saying. Episode one, you guys! #Magnets! #CaymanIslands! Let’s talk about it!

The episode opens with a flash-forward to one year(ish) in the future, Walt’s 52nd birthday. I guess? For some reason we are forced to believe that he has chosen to list his real birthday on his fake ID, and also that he has chosen to name himself after Adam Lambert. Whatever. To each his own! Originally I thought that he was making a penis with his bacon:

But then it was revealed that it was just his age:

You may remember Skyler spelling his age out with veggie bacon when he turned 50 in season one. Finally, some real bacon to spell your age out with LIKE A CHILD WOULD. The waitress asks why he is doing that with the bacon, like a child would, and he tells her that it is his birthday. She explains that at Denny’s, your meal is free on your birthday. “Even if I was like rich, free’s always good,” she says, because Breaking Bad is a very good TV show, and that sentence will probably turn out to be the theme of the entire series. So Walt shows her his New Hampshire fake ID with his real birthday on it and then goes to the bathroom to buy a car with a gun in it from a man.

And here is the gun:

After the guy gives him the keys in the bathroom the guy says, “Well, good luck. I guess.” Uh-oh! The scary guy is even unsure of what Walt is doing! WHAT COULD HE BE DOING? After we see the gun in the trunk, we are flashed back to the present, where Skyler is talking to Walt about how Gus Fring is dead and Walt is taking forever to answer her, before finally saying that he won. “I won.” After getting off the phone, he puts a bunch of evidence into the trunk of his car — including the Lily of the Valley plant — and changes from a green shirt into a nice blue shirt. Looking good, Mr. White! Now you can finally drink that drink you poured, congrats.

Soon Skyler and Walt Jr. and Baby come over, and Walt Jr. goes on and on about how Hank is going to be thought of us such a hero, and how he’s known about him for a long time, and about how they went to the restaurant together one time, and blah blah blah. When Walt Jr. came in and immediately asked why the TV wasn’t on I thought that it was just because maybe Skyler didn’t let him watch TV and he thought that if you WERE in a position where you were allowed to watch TV, you should definitely be watching it all the time. Hahah. In case you thought my brain retained information from one moment to the next moment. IT DOES NOT. Walt goes into the bedroom to talk to Skyler and be adorable to the baby and tell her that he missed her and call her “sweet pea,” and it is so cute.

While he is being cute with the baby, Skyler tells him that she is afraid of him, which makes every bit of sense. He is terrifying! I was scared for THE DENNY’S WAITRESS earlier, let alone someone who’s close to him and who has hurt him in the past! You’re right to be afraid, Skyler! Take that face of yours and go someplace else and start fresh, you don’t need this bologna and also you aren’t that fun to watch! When Skyler leaves the room, Walt looks at himself in the mirror for a beat and then says, “Oh, shit.” “OH SHIT” WHAT!!?!? It could be so many things! But then we are taken to the exploded meth lab, where Hank and pals are exploring, and we find out what he was oh shitting about:

THE CAMERAS! D’OH! You a little bit wonder why Walt never thought of the camera thing, since they were always such an annoyance to him in the last season, but I guess he did have a lot on his mind at the time and let’s just let it go. So: the camera thing. That is a thing. That’s a big thing, but for now let’s go back to the episode WHERE WE GET TO SEE MIKE AGAIN, HOORAY! ALL OUR OLD FRIENDS! He’s at his desert hospital tent, feeding chickens, saying something inaudible that sounds like “weeshablen eat nobody eats,” when a male nurse comes up to tell him that Gus is dead. Then he nearly teethface drives himself DIRECTLY INTO THE CAR WITH JESSE AND WALT IN IT:

JK. It was a cheap camera trick! They didn’t drive into each other at all! But they do meet in a desert, naturally, so Mike can yell at Walt about killing Gus. “DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU DID?” he says. Jesse calms him down, though, with his beauty, and the gang decide to stay a gang because they’re all in it together and then Mike gives “the universal sign for keys” and Jesse and Walt just have no clue at all:

DUMMIES! While the boys are arguing with each other about what the universal sign for keys is, Hank is back at the restaurant where they are taking Gus’s laptop in as evidence. D’OH! TOO LATE! Hank looks at is as though he has never seen a laptop in his life:

His face made me think that he had already seen some of the videos on the laptop, because why else would he be so upset and confused at this laptop? Right? Did anyone else think that? IS THE JIG UP ALREADY? We don’t know if the jig is totally up already, but back in the Buddy Den all the buddies are trying to figure out their MO. Mike pretends to be a USPS official and calls the APD about investigating meter fraud as a means to obtain information about the laptop and I still have no idea how or why that would have worked, but, in any case, it did. (But seriously, how? What? Why did they give him information about a laptop obtained from a druglord murder victim because he said he was from USPS?) (Were they video chatting? Did he see the laptop in the background?) (HOW STUPID AM I, EXACTLY?) They have the laptop and Mike thinks that there’s no way to get it back, but Jesse wants him to give Walt a chance. “He’s good with this stuff.” Aww, JESSE I LOVE YOU WHY ARE YOU MARRYING THAT BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN IN REAL LIFE. Mike and Walt argue about how to go about destroying the laptop from the inside, while Jesse flails around in the background yelling about how they should maybe use a magnet, and when they finally pay attention to him he does this GIF:

ADORABLE WE GET IT. So they decide to go with the adorable magnet idea because who could say no to that face. They go to a junk yard and talk to that character actor who’s in a million things about getting a magnet, and Mike doesn’t think it’s going to work and he doesn’t want to help, but Jesse says the only way he knows it won’t work is if Mike doesn’t help, so Mike decides to help because, again, who could say no to that face. Also Walt has to borrow money from Jesse. Oops.

Elsewhere, Saul comes to talk to Skyler at the carwash and decides to open with the thought that the police may be calling her. SMOOTH MOVE SAUL! You know how 2 talk 2 a lady. She guesses that Ted is dead, and EVERYONE IN THE WORLD is shocked when Saul reveals the true answer: Ted had just woken up.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! I thought he was dead already! What a shock. Skyler goes to visit him in the hospital and he is looking a lot like the “jump to conclusions mat” character from Office Space:

Yikes. He seems very scared to see Skyler walk in, and promises that he won’t say a word. Great! See you never, Ted, I’m sure! Get well soon!

Back at the magnet yard, the boys are testing out their high-powered magnet on a Dell Laptop. It doesn’t work from 40 feet away, but DOES work when Jesse walks closer, and then it flies out of his hands and his the truck and explodes like in the GIF that Jesse did earlier.

NYCE! Then Jesse says the magnets quote that everyone immediately posted on a social networking site as soon as they heard it. They discuss how this is going to be very noticeable by anyone inside the station, but Walt says, “Doesn’t matter. In 60 seconds will be gone.” And I say, “GONE IN 60 SECONDS. LIKE THE MOVIE.”

That night the gang puts their plan into action. Mike breaks open the gate while Walt and Jesse drive their magnet vehicle in. Jesse has to drive over a small embankment, which is a little tough for him. Poor guy. Finally they turn on the magnet and the police officer inside notices something weird is happening, and then his computers get erased, and then a paperclip movies, and then a tricycle moves across the floor slowly, and then BANG BANG BANG BANG! All the things fly around everywhere. The police rush outside to the van, but — as Walt noted — the boys are already outta there.

Jesse is celebrating, but Mike isn’t convinced. When he asks Walt why he should believe the laptop thing even worked, Walt says, IN THE BITCHIEST WAY EVER, “Because I said so.” Ugh, gross. First (later) the bacon, and now this? HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY WALT, YOU ARE ANNOYING. (Stay safe!) When the officers are assessing the damage in the evidence locker, they note the computer’s screen has been smashed. I’m not sure if that means it worked or if that means it didn’t work, but as we’ve seen with Ted, ANYTHING CAN COME BACK TO LIFE WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT. So we’ll see. The bigger thing, I suppose, is that the magnet damaged a photograph of Gus and his guy and behind the photograph there was this address:

Earlier the character actor mentioned the God particle, and now Gus has a secret bank account in the Cayman Islands? When did Vince Gilligan write this episode, LAST WEEK? Anyway, so, now there is that to look forward to. Lots of secrets. Lots of exciting show.

Later, Walt visits Saul and Saul explains all the wheeling and dealing he and Skyler did with Ted behind his back. He is visibly upset, but doesn’t say anything and walks out of the office calmly and gets a caffeine-free soda at a gas station and watches a little TV when he gets home and then goes to bed. JK! He’s very mad and Saul gets mad back, and then we see the ricin cigarette he took from Jesse! ALL OUR OLD FRIENDS, INDEED! Saul confirms that whatshisname took the cigarette from Jesse, and tells Walt that he never knew Brock would end up in the hospital, and that he doesn’t want to work for him anymore. Then Walt goes in for the big smooch:

“WE’RE DONE KISSING WHEN I SAY WE’RE DONE KISSING!”

The episode ends with Walt coming home to find Skyler changing the baby on the bed (gross). He embraces her, and in a total dick power move tells her that he forgives her. It’s better than what I thought he might be doing, though, which could have been ANYTHING! That guy is scary!

Soooo. WHAT DID YOU GUYS THINK? A lot of tying and untying some loose ends, and setting stuff up for the future in this ep. Which makes sense. It was good, obviously. What else is there to say. Can’t wait for the next one. What do you think? Huh? MAGNETS, BITCH?