Oh, boy. It has gotten to the point in a season of Breaking Bad where I start to dread each moment in an episode, knowing things are just going to get worse and worse and more and more anxiety filled until the end, like I’m watching Meet the Parents, and, man, I just DO NOT NEED IT! Who needs this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Because Breaking Bad is so good and we can’t stop watching it even though it makes our emotional lives definitely worse, even though it is just a fictional TV show, which also causes a little bit of stress because we’re allowing the events on a TV show to actually affect us in our real lives? YES! This episode begins with Mike acting as a lawyer’s paralegal, visiting his guys who have been taken in by the police for their association with Gus Fring. Fun fun fun let’s talk about it!
We open with Mike going around to each of the guys who have been taken in to let them know that Chow’s murder wasn’t meant to be taken as any sort of message, and that everything is still totally chill, and that the deal they had with Fring was still in place, and that Mike has a new thing starting up, and that their families will still be taken care of, and They Will Be Made Whole, Whatever That Even Means. Mike wants to visit with all the guys today, but the lawyer is like, “OOoooh, but I don’t waaaaaant to get to them all todaaaaaaayyyyy,” and Mike is like, “Tough.” At one point he yells, “HEY, OPEN UP!” in order to get whoever to open a locked door for him and I think he says, “HANK, OPEN UP!” and it is very confusing. Mike’s job seems hard! It’s a good thing he loves it, or I bet it would be very mentally taxing.
This episode jumped around a lot, and from the prison scene it cut to Walt moving back into Skyler’s house. Eeeek! What a crazy person! I’m so sorry, Skyler! I bet you’re going to kill yourself soon, that’s going to be very, very sad! Walt takes out his worn copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which I’m sure means something, and stares at it.
Coooool book, Walt! At that point Skyler comes in and asks if he thinks it’s a good idea to move back in, to which he replies, “Yes.” That answers that! Can’t wait for these two lovebirds to get their hearts back on track.
From there we go to Saul’s office, where Mike is waiting in the lobby doing a crossword puzzle while Jesse and Walt try to convince Saul that just because they’re going to be friends with Mike now, doesn’t mean they will be friends with him any less. Saul finally says ok, and Mike is allowed into the secret clubhouse. Mike explains to all of them that he deals with the business half now, and Jesse and Walt have to stick to the cooking. They agree, and Saul brings them on a tour of potential new meth factories. The first is not so good because Walt worked in a box factory once and knows that to make boxes you have to use steam and salt and blah blah blah, WE GET IT, WALT, YOU WORKED IN A BOX FACTORY OOOH LALA WE’RE SO IMPRESSED. The second isn’t good because it’s a tortilla factory and will be subject to unannounced government inspections and then Jesse steals a tortilla. The third isn’t good because laser tag. The fourth is tiny and Mike and Jesse say no immediately but then Walt says, “It’s perfect.” “How are we going to fit a lab in here?” everyone asks. “Who said here?” says Walt, because he is a normal human who knows exactly how other normal humans communicate thoughts and ideas to each other.
Walt apparently waits until everyone is in a car watching a house being tented before explaining the plan to them, and the plan is that they’re going to operate as if they are part of this bug bombing company that Saul has been helping get out of “breaking and entering” crime jams for about five years. They’ll set up shop in the homes, cook, bug bomb, and then leave. He explains that the smell will be covered by the bug bomb, and that they’ll be safe from prying eyes because no one will want to go into a house that is being bug bombed. After Walt explains the plan, Mike asks, “Do we take a vote?” Walt responds, “Why?” The audience responds, “UGH.”
In the next scene that takes place at something like a Guitar Center, we find out that Jesse’s skinny meth friend is good at keyboard:
And that his other meth friend is not so good at guitar:
But they’re not there to buy guitars OR keyboards — they’re there to buy four huge road cases, the kind that you probably wouldn’t be able to buy in-store that day and certainly wouldn’t be on display at something like an Albuquerque Guitar Center but WHATEVER. They buy them with cash and even get the “band name” (bug bomb name) (meth name) on them — Vamanos Pest. They deliver them to Jesse and ask if they could get in on the business. “Maybe someday,” Jesse replies, in a way that is so sad for some reason — as if he is a father who knows he is going to die soon and his son just asked him, “Dad, can we go to the moon together?” Afterwards, Mike gives the Vamanos Pest guys a rundown on what they cannot do, which is basically anything. What they CAN do though is refer to Jesse and Walt as “Yes Sir” and “No Sir.” Neat!
Afterwards, back at Jesse’s place, Jesse and Walt are talking about the logistics of getting their equipment in and out of the houses. Jesse has come up with a plan that Walt agrees with, and we are all so proud of him! Good job, Jesse! A+!
Andrea and Brock then come home, interrupting Walt and Jesse’s meth chat. Walt starts to talk to Brock about how he heard he was in the hospital, and how he heard he was so brave, etc., and it is VERY UPSETTING. Brock looks uncomfortable and doesn’t say anything and sits on the couch, playing his videogame. Andrea invites Walt to stay for dinner, or at least a beer, and Walt accepts. Andrea and Jesse then leave Brock and Walt alone in their uncomfortable silence:
When they show up at their first bug-bombing meth house, the owner seems a bit wary about how they’re bringing a million huge road cases into their house in order to bug bomb it. And then one of the employees runs up to Walter and Jesse to tell them that he disabled a nannycam that was in place in the living room, and, uh, THAT’S A LOT OF PROBLEMS ALREADY THAT YOU COULD’VE ENCOUNTERED ON DAY ONE, WALT! But they do get to wear these cute new uniforms:
Looking good, boys! So they go in and cook their meth to the tune of “On A Clear Day,” and afterwards settle down together for a beer on the family’s couch. Walt talks to Jesse for a bit about how good he looked with Andrea and Brock, which seems sweet at first so you know SOMETHING IS UP, and then tells him that if Andrea loves him she’ll understand that he cooks meth (the drug that sent her to rehab and killed her brother) for a living and murdered Gale for it, and that he should be honest with her about it and also they should get married! We all understand then that this is merely a calculated move to convince him to get both Andrea and Brock out of his life (people who could never understand what he is doing and love him anyway) since Brock is a piece to the Walt-Poisoning-Brock puzzle that could one day lead to Walt getting found out. What a fucking jerk, this guy. What a poor sweet lamb, Jesse guy.
MARIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! In the next scene, Marie is back and is just as annoying as ever. She’s complaining about Skyler’s carwashers leaving streaks on the windows, and telling her to guess what and REALLY MEANING TO GUESS, and asking her about Walt’s birthday, and forcing her to throw a party for Walt, and yelling at her about smoking, and JESUE CHRIST MARIE JUST SHUP UP! SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UUUUUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Skyler freaks out at her and bursts into tears, and yet Marie still refuses to JUST SHUT UP, following Skyler home and refusing to leave until she got some answers about why she freaked out from Walt, and until both of them finished practicing their hand acting.
If I were Walt I would have said, “Well, for how much time during the time you were talking to her this afternoon were you Maire? Oh, all of it? WELL THAT EXPLAINS IT THEN.” Instead of that, though, he tells her about Skyler’s affair with Ted, and how Skyler just got the news about Ted’s brain damage or whatever, and says that’s why she’s so upset. Even though I hate Walt, for a moment here I was pretty happy with how he zinged Skyler there, effectively damaging her further in order to save himself. Good cover, Walt. You in charge. Marie then hugs walt and then leaves THANK GOODNESS.
In the next short scene, Jesse plays videogames with Andrea and Brock and looks sad. Andrea asks him if he’s ok and he says yes even though the answer is no.
Poor Jesse! Similarly, Skyler is lying in bed and doesn’t look too ok either!
Poor Skyler! The rest of her family, INCLUDING THE BABY, is watching Scarface (to be seen during AMC’s Mob Week!) very, very loudly. She walks out like a zombie and then stands there for a bit and, jeepers creepers, IS she going to kill herself do you think? Are both of those kids going to be orphans after Walt also dies? IS WALT GOING TO KILL JESSE I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF? Anyway, the scene ends with Walt saying, “Everyone dies in this movie, don’t they?” Hm. I WONDER WHAT THAT MEANS OR WHY HE SAID IT.
In the final scenes, Mike divides up the money each of them get after their last cook. Before Meth Taxes, it comes to $367,000 each. Walt already has a problem with this, saying that they’re $300,000 short, and Mike explains to him that the drug mules take 20%. Walt asks what Gus paid his mules, and Mike tells him that Gus didn’t use mules and that maybe if he didn’t want to use mules he SHOULDN’T HAVE KILLED GUS! Boom, Walt. Ya boom’d. Then there are a million other people who need to be paid, including Mike’s guys who worked for Gus. Walt’s very upset at that tax, and he and Mike fight about it for a while before Jesse says that they can just take their whole fee out of his money, he doesn’t care. Aww. Jesse! Jesse just hates to see the grown-ups fight. After he says that, though, Walt agrees that it should just come out of everyone’s pay equally. A regular King Solomon, that Jesse. After taxes, everyone’s pay comes out to $137,000. “That’s less than with Fring,” says Walt. And then Mike says the line I’ve been waiting for since I saw it on the “next week’s scenes” last week: “Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.” BOOM, WALT! YA GOT BOOM’D AGAIN! YOU BIG DUMB IDIOT, YOU’RE THE WORST!
Then just when you think you can’t hate stupid power-hungry-and-greedy-for-no-reason Walt any more than you do already, he stops Jesse on their way out and asks how he’s feeling. Jesse thought he was dealing with a human momentarily and says that he had to break up with Andrea, but is still going to pay for their housing because it’s only right, and Walt cuts him off telling that he was asking how he felt ABOUT THE MONEY. Boo. Terrible. We’ll see how having to break up with Andrea affects how calm and sweet Jesse has been so far. Stay sweet, Jesse! PLEASE! And in the final moments of the episode, Walt tells talks Jesse about an alternate theory he’s developed about why Gus murdered Victor — that perhaps he “flew too close to the sun” and was “taking liberties that weren’t his to take.” It all sounds like a veiled threat against Mike, but also seemed — to me at least — like a possible double-veiled threat against Jesse, who, throughout the episode, proved that he is on his way to no longer needing Walt.
We’ll see. In any case, Walt is acting like a roommate who I guess just thinks that laundry detergent grows out of the laundry machine and that dishes do themselves and that toilet paper is always just there. GET BACK TO REALITY, YA DUMB-DUMB. And answer your cell phone!