Gus got his face half blown off and walked out of the room and straightened his tie. Maybe gilding the lily, maybe a believability stretch. Still a nice touch. It’s a lot like the scene where Gus makes himself throw up after taking the poison in 410 “Salud,” he was alone, no one was watching, and he was still so Gus. Same here, he’s pretty much dead, in shock, and habit takes over. Gus doesn’t just put on a face for the outside world of this meticulous, inscrutable, insanely professional man. Gus is Gus to the core.
RIP, yo. Gus is dead. Walter White has “won” so he says.
But before that, one of my favorite lines ever. “Did you just bring a bomb into a hospital?” Jesse asks Walt. Great callback to “You brought a meth lab to the airport?” from Walt to Jesse in Season Two. So funny how Walt’s bag sticks to the door.
Gus’s “spidey sense” must be tingling towards the end of this episode.
This is a challenging episode to write about. It’s amazing, but there’s so much I can’t say until the next one without giving too much away.
It’s interesting, the first time I watched this one, I was so caught up in what was happening, and the drama and the suspense of it all. This time around, I paid more attention to some of the small things.
I think this episode could unofficially be titled, “Walt’s Ego is Bigger Than Jupiter.”
On Breaking Bad, there is always so much attention paid to visuals, colors and sound, and all of this seemed especially true in this episode, starting with the sound of the metal detector wand thingy in the first shot of the teaser.
The teaser for this episode was the most straightforward we’ve seen this season. It was pretty great to see Mike dressed as a paralegal. And we meet another one of the guys on Mike’s list, Dennis, who was mentioned in last week’s episode during the conversation between Mike and Lydia–he’s the manager of the laundry. That lawyer, Dan, seems pretty nervous, what with the way he taps his fingers and the way he’s looking down and not making eye contact when he says he has his paralegal with him.
All of Dennis’ money was taken by the feds, just like the money Mike had set aside for his granddaughter Kaylee. Like I mentioned last week, a lot of this happened because of the magnet vs. laptop heist that Walt, Jesse and Mike pulled off in 501 that broke the frame, revealing the account info that gave the DEA the money trail. But that’s in the past, no way to get that money back, so Mike wants to move forward, and as for his guys, he’s promising to “make ’em whole.” Love that phrase!
UPDATE AUGUST 26: After last night’s episode, there are a lot of questions about Jesse’s desert revelation and how it all fits together, so I updated this post to include that toward the end, to keep it chronological. You can skip to that part here.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people come across my blog from googling something like, “How did Walter White poison Brock?” or “What happened to the ricin cigarette?” or “what happened berries Walter Brock” or something similar. On the Breaking Bad message boards, questions about these topics still rage. While watching the latest episode on Sunday night, some friends were asking the the same questions. This storyline definitely has to be one of the most complex–maybe even convoluted–plotlines on the show. Some of it is more left to assumption than explicitly shown. So I thought I’d try to elucidate with my understanding of what happened, start to finish.
In episode 407 “Problem Dog,” Walt makes some ricin in the superlab. He gives it to Jesse, who puts it in a “lucky cigarette” that he keeps upside down in his cigarette pack. The ricin cigarette is born.
Walt, his revolver and lily of the valley
In episode 412 “End Times,” Walt is despondent and doesn’t know what to do. Gus has just threatened his wife, son, infant daughter and brother-in-law. Walt knows that Gus could be close to turning Jesse against him and that Jesse’s flagging loyalty is the only thing keeping Gus from killing him. Since Skyler gave a big chunk of Walt’s drug money to the IRS for the Ted thing, Walt doesn’t have the money to get himself and his family out of town through Saul’s disappeaerer “vacuum guy.” He sits out back behind his house and spins a revolver. The first two times, it points at him. The third time though, it points to a potted plant, which (we will later come to see) is a lily of the valley plant. Here is where Walter White gets his idea.
Contains some spoilers (relating to the end of Seasons 2 and 4).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Walter White’s actions at the end of Season 2 and the end of Season 4. In both cases, he causes harm to someone close to Jesse, and I’ve been thinking about how these two acts of Walt’s alone tell us so much about the dark turns his character has taken. Even though what happens to Jane is worse (she dies) than what happens to Brock (he’s fine, as far as we know), the progression of Walt’s moral demise is still evident because what Walt does to Brock is in some ways worse, for Walt’s part anyway.
At the end of Season 2, Walt watches as Jesse’s girlfriend Jane chokes to death on her own vomit. When Walt goes over to Jesse’s apartment and finds Jesse and Jane passed out in a heroin stupor, he shakes Jesse which causes Jane to roll from her side onto her back and start choking. Walt mumbles, “No, no, no” to himself and you think he’s going to go over and save her but then he stops himself and lets her die.
At the end of Season 4, Walt poisons Brock, the son of Jesse’s girlfriend Andrea, a boy whom Jesse has become very close to. Walt does this as an elaborate plan to manipulate Jesse into thinking that Gus Fring has done it (Gus has used kids in the drug trade before, as well as allowing his guys to kill Andrea’s little brother, both points that Walt uses to convince Jesse that Gus would poison Brock) and win Jesse back on his side so they can work together to kill Gus.