Breaking Bad S04E09: That’s Way Harsh, Walt

I love when Breaking Bad opens the way it opened this episode! Similar to last week, with the shots of blood in the pool that you didn’t understand until the end, this week opened with a flash-forward shot of blood dripping onto a shoe and Walt’s broken glasses. I guess if you were a very discerning Breaking Bad viewer you could’ve also picked up on how the table was Jesse’s table and the floor was Jesse’s floor, but I was too busy freaking out because I didn’t know what was going on. “What? What? What? What?” is honestly what I was saying OUT LOUD to only myself during this brief opening scene. Though that may be due, in a large way, to my own anxiety issues. Then we go back to the present and Walt and Hank are going to another “mineral show”!

On their way to Los Pollos to pick up the GPS device from Gus’s car, AKA on their way to the “mineral show,” Hank sings the Rocky theme song. Walt seems nervous so Hank says, “This ain’t no spy movie. It’s more like Rocky,” then he sings the theme. AND IT IS GREAT! Singing songs to annoy people is my #1 favorite thing, so this was perfect. A+. Walt picks up the device and it shows Gus travelling only from home to Los Pollos every day. D’oh! He tries to convince Hank that maybe he has the wrong guy after all, but obviously something is up because who the heck doesn’t go SOMEPLACE else, and Hank presses on with his DEA genius investigation.

Afterwards, we see Walt leaving his house. He pulls up next to New Gus Guy, whose name I knew at one point and now forget, but also whose name I kind of refuse to learn until he gives me a reason to learn it, and gives him some MAJOR teeth face.

Hahah, EASY WALT! Take it easy on the teeth. But anyway, in one of many very cool moments during this episode, Walt pulls up next to him, calls the police, and reports him for staking out the house while never breaking eye contact with him. Then he pulls up his window and drives away. BOOM, DROP THE MIC! The Walt drives to the super lab.

Jesse is smoking a cigarette outside of the lab when Walt pulls up, so Walt gets out and starts to make weird small talk with him. Also he asks him for a cigarette? While they’re making the small talk, Jesse speaks almost exclusively about how he hasn’t gotten the chance to poison Gus yet. And I’m not really sure if Walt’s small talk was really only meant to disguise getting this information out of Jesse or what, but in any case I loved it all A LOT. “What do you watch?” “I don’t know, stuff.” “Like what?” “I don’t know, Ice Road Truckers.” “Ice Road Truckers, what happens on that one?” “GUYS DRIVE ON ICE.” That is my favorite interaction in all of Breaking Bad. It will certainly go down in history as the show when the one character said, “GUYS DRIVE ON ICE” when describing Ice Road Truckers in a veiled conversation about murdering his boss. Jesse continues to try to convince Walt that he will poison Gus, and Walt says, “What does it matter. We’re both dead men anyway.” and the he walks away. BOOM! DROP THE MIC RE-RE-RE-REEEMIXXXXXXXX!

Before Walt falls asleep, he talks to Skyler. She tells him that they’re very close to turning a profit with the car wash, and that he should start thinking about working on an exit strategy from his “second job.” He says he’s working on it, which maybe means he just thinks his going to die, which is sad. Sad faces all around. He is awoken from a call from Hank, telling him that, blahblahblah, he found where the chicken distribution center is for Gus’s fourteen restaurants, and he wants to go check it out. But! Oh no! That’s where they distribute blue meth! Walt tells him he has explosive diarrhea, which is not a joke, so he won’t be able to take him for one or two days. Then he calls Mike to tell him and Mike hangs up on him. Ha-ha. The explosive diarrhea is really hitting the fan, RIGHT?

The next scene introduces us to another anxiety-inducing subplot — Skyler’s old boss/lover Ted is getting audited, and would like Skyler to uncook his books, please. But unfortunately she cannot uncook what she has already cooked, and once the IRS sees her name and signatures all over the books they’ll be able to monitor her as well. AH! BUT, THE METH! EVERYTHING IS GOING WRONG SO QUICKLY!

Speaking of the meth, Jesse and the gang are busy cleaning and moving Gus’s meth distribution place before Hank comes to check it out. Mike is going over the floor with a blue light thing and there’s another weird camera angle.

I’m not totally sure how I feel about these. I like them sometimes — they’re certainly interesting and not the kind of thing you see on every old TV show. But also they — especially this one — seem kind of pointless sometimes? Kind of just thrown in because they can be? I’m not complaining really, just saying that maybe I don’t think they’re used in a way that makes them a memorable component of Breaking Bad. Just kind of a thing that happens randomly sometimes.

But to get back to it, Jesse brings up the topic of Hank’s possible murder with Mike. He does it first as if he’s just bringing it up as whatever, then as he goes on he morphs what he’s saying into basically a list of the reasons why it wouldn’t be wise to do so. “A lot of angles to consider.” Mike asks him if he’d have a problem if Hank were to be killed, and Jesse responds with, “Who really cares what I think,” because it’s important to remember that he is cute and doesn’t feel in control of anything at this point and has a good heart and also is an angsty teenager.

As they load things into a truck outside, one of Gus’s nameless workers gets shot and killed. AHH! The guy is right next to Jesse, and after it happens Jesse freezes in the sniper’s sights. Jesse, nooooooooo! You’re too beautiful to die!

Mike tackles him and he doesn’t die, thankfully. While they’re hiding, they see Gus walk out. !!! Gus, no! I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO DIE! He walks toward the sniper, with shots firing all around him, and puts his arms in the air like he is the coolest dude in town. Ugh, it was THE COOLEST. Remember when we all hated Gus, and now we LOVE Gus? I hate it when TV shows prove to me how stupid and easily persuaded I am. JK, I love it. So it turns out the sniper is Handsome Gabe. He doesn’t shoot Gus and decides to pack up and leave because who can even stand to try to be cool around the guy who is the coolest.

Unfortunately, though, the next scene is Gus in his office, surrendering to the cartel’s demands. Oh well. Still love ya, G.

Back at the super lab, Mike and Jesse come in with the dead guy’s body to dispose of. Walt is upset because he assumes it’s someone Gus had killed, and Mike tells him to shut his GD mouth about it because didn’t he get the memo WE LOVE GUS NOW. He also tells him that if he ever calls the cops on one of his guys again, he better get two barrels. (Boom, drops the mic.) Jesse looks very spooked in this scene, especially after the barrels line. That poor baby! Outside, Jesse thanks Mike for saving him, and finds out that the cartel can’t kill Gus because they need his distribution network. Jesse continues to ask Mike questions about it and Mike is like, What is this, 20 questions? And tells Jesse to ask Gus himself.

Back in the subplot, Skyler is a superslut.

This was a great scene! This episode had lots of very funny little things, probably because last week I asked for more funny little things. Thank you. So Skyler enters into a meeting with the IRS guy and Ted, dressed real slutty and acting real dumb. Haha basically it was like that scene in Clueless where Cher is trying to help with whatever work her dad and Paul Rudd are doing, and she accidentally highlights all the wrong dates or whatever? So the guy freaks out on her (and Paul Rudd) because he says they were flirting the whole time and that’s why he’s going to get in trouble now? If you know what I mean you know that I am exactly correct. But anyway, she convincingly acts like the books are messed up because she is a straight-up dummy (“When I inputed anything in the Quicken, it didn’t flash red so that means everything’s fine, right?” “It’s like having a calculator on your computer.”) and since being a straight-up dummy isn’t illegal, Ted is allowed to not go to jail. Yay! As long as he pays back all the money he owes. Which he cannot. Booo. So I assume that Skyler will probably have to give him this money, which will open up a whole ‘NOTHER can of worms and I don’t even want to think about right now.

NEXT, Jesse shows up at Gus’s house. Gus prepares him a lovely meal. Somewhere is someone’s Breaking Bad fan faction, they spend a lovely evening together and fall in love. In reality, Gus asks Jesse if he can cook Walt’s formula and Jesse assumes he’s asking to see if he can get away with killing Walt. “You wanna talk like men? Let’s talk like men. If you kill Mr. White, you’re going to have to kill me too,” says Jesse. Awww. I wish he and Walt would just talk to each other, they love each other so much! This is a real You’ve Got Mail kind of situation and I do not like it. But no, Gus is apparently not trying to kill off Walt, PHEW. Instead he’s trying to send Jesse to Mexico to teach them how to make the blue meth and prevent an all-out war with the cartel. But, ah! That’s not good either! We’re all still worried!

In the final scene, another VERY VERY GOOD final scene, Jesse calls Walt and asks him to come over. Jesse explains the Mexico situation to a silent Walt, focusing on how scared he is of messing it up, since that would mean his death. He asks Walt to coach him, but Walt ignores him and asks, “So you saw Gus.” Eeessh. Jesse denies it, but Walt persists before finally admitting to placing a GPS tracker on Jesse’s car. Like all ex-lovers caught in the act through unjustified means, Jesse freaks out. Walt freaks out back, telling Jesse that he’s killed him and signed his death warrant, and that he should go to Mexico, screw up, and “wind up in a barrel somewhere.” That’s way harsh, Walt. And then they beat the F out of each other .

It’s actually an incredibly sad scene. I guess you always know you’re in for an incredibly sad scene when a character — Jesse, in this case — opens the scene being uncharacteristically vulnerable. The tension had been building between Jesse and Walt all season — as had Walt’s fear that Jesse would turn on him — and it came to a sad head here. After they stop fighting Jesse asks Walt if he can walk, and after receiving a positive response, ends the episode with “Then get the fuck out of here and never come back.” And we realize that this was the shot from the beginning. Aw, man.

Next week it looks like Jesse’s going to Mexico. I hope he doesn’t die!