Breaking Bad
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Joe R: A- | 3 USERS: A-
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Oh Danny Girl
gh Jesse's is way more endearing. Brock then asks if Jesse does tricks with firecrackers like Tomas does. Who's Tomas? Andrea, looking troubled and nervous, says Tomas is her kid brother. "And we don't talk about him." The three go back to eating, but Tomas is hanging in the air, a little bit.

Walt in Saul's car, having had him drive out to see the car wash. Saul's still defensive of his laser tag idea, and he says any cover will make sense if he sells it well enough, but the biggest drawback he finds with the car wash idea is that there's no "Danny." Allow him to explain. Danny's the guy who runs a laser tag business. And he got into shady dealings with Saul because he built that laser tag business up from the ground and will do whatever it takes to keep it afloat. "In other words, Danny can be trusted completely." Corrupt, is the word Saul's looking for. They have no idea if the guy currently running the car wash in his argyle sweater and "old man eyebrows" is corruptible. Which makes it a bad investment.

Having just Done It, Andrea beams up at Jesse and asks if he wants to stay for dinner. She also, very gingerly, says if he's holding, they could do a little something. Rather than pounce like the meth panther he clearly thought he was, Jesse is ... well, kind of appalled. Isn't Brock coming home in a few hours? And she wants to get high? "What kind of mother are you?" he accuses. As you might expect, Andrea gets agitated at that remark. She jumps up from the bed and is all "How dare you, with your zero-point-zero life responsibilities, tell me I don't take care of my son?" She says the day Brock was born, she vowed she wouldn't let what happened to Tomas happen to him. Jesse backs off and apologizes. She lights up a cigarette and sits down. He asks about Tomas, and she talks about how the gangs run the neighborhood. They took Tomas in, had him slinging at 8-years-old. "Then, when he was ten," she says, "for some initiation, they made him kill somebody." Jesse's taken aback, as any normal person would be. Andrea talks about seeing him several days after the fact, and he recounted the story to her like it was nothing.

Jesse prods a bit more, and she says the guy he shot was some dealer. "From an outside crew." That perks Jesse's ears up quite a bit. "Right around the corner from here." That does too. We all remember it. Jesse didn't see it, like we did, but he sure as hell heard about it. He asks when this was, and she says a few months back. "It won't happen again," Andrea vows. "Not to my son." But by this point, Jesse's face has regained that inconsolable anger it held after Hank beat him up. He's got a score to settle.

Back in Hank's hospital room, Marie bursts in with the "great news" that Hank is set to be released by the end of the week. Hank's voice has taken on a grim monotone, and when he says he has no intention of going home until he's well, it's not exactly a self-motivating moment. It's kind of heartbreaking, watching Marie and Hank speak at cross-purposes like this. She thinks she's being encouraging, telling him the doctors think he's healthy enough to go home, that he's getting stronger every day, and that he'll be just as comfortable at home. Hank, however, who sees not progress but pain in his PT sessions, isn't about to re-enter his old life as this shell of a man he's become. And when Marie tells him their home has been entirely set up to fit his needs -- i.e. hospital bed, harness -- he flips out. "You get that out of my house," he says, almost in tears. "Today." He says the only way he's leaving the hospital is if he walks out. I wonder when Hank's anger and shame are going to abate enough for him to question how they're paying for all this medical treatment.

Back at the Whites', Walt is explaining the concept of a Danny to Skyler, and how without a Danny, the car wash isn't really an option. Skyler asks if they can't just find one, but obviously that's, as Walt says, easier said than done. They sit in frustrated silence, then Skyler speaks up: "What about me?" And there it is. She's been wading into this pool for weeks now, but with that offer, to be the Danny of Walt's money-laundering, meth-cooking, totally illegal/immoral lifestyle, Skyler has put herself fully on the other side of the line. Walt immediately objects, of course, but Skyler's argument, such as it is, is a sound one: Who else can they trust with this? "If I'm in this, I'm going to do it right." Walt tries to tell her she's not in it. They're not married anymore, they're divorced. Skyler's like, "Well...about that." Turns out she never filed those divorce papers. Walt, to his credit, manages to not look smug, like he would have several weeks ago. Skyler hauls out that old saw about how married couples can't be compelled to testify against each other in court. And whether that's true or not (I ain't no fancy big-city lawyer), neither Skyler nor Walt believe that's the full reason why.

Back at America's Meth Kitchen, both Walt and Jesse are somewhat zombiefied, reeling from their recent revelations. Only Jesse forgets to put on his respirator, causing Walt to yell at him. Before they start cooking, there's a call on their little Batphone. They exchange quizzical looks and, with a deep sense of foreboding, Walt answers. It's Gus, and just like he always does, he turns something threatening (a mysterious phone call) into something domestic and innocuous (an invitation to dinner). Of course, Gus does the opposite -- turning the domestic and innocuous into something threatening -- just as well, so Walt can't be comfortable while dining with his boss.

The horrifically placid suburban home of Gus Frings scares me more than any of those dusty Mexican hovels where Tortugas got beheaded or statues of Santa Muerte got crawled to. It's aggressively beige, the kind of beige that actually allows Gus's tan sweater to pop. He invites Walt in the kitchen to help him cook, doing that thing he does where everything he says sounds like "I'm about to cut your heart out and serve it in my spicy chicken tacos." Example: he pulls out a giant kitchen knife, holds it in front of Walt for an uncomfortable few seconds, before turning the handle around and offering it to Walt so he can "slice the garlic."

Walt is appropriately suspicious as to why Gus asked him out here, but I'm surprised he asks him as much out loud. Gus delivers some platitude about working together and breaking bread together. As with most things surrounding Gus, you have to just let him get rolling for a while before you arrive at any truth. So Walt sits at his dinner table and listens to him yammer on about flavors and senses and how both take him back to his childhood. Ever the teacher, Walt mansplains about how it is that scents are tied to memories. It's through the hippocampus. I kid Walt about the mansplaining, but it's actually one of his more endearing qualities. Even if you can see that Gus receives it with a mixture of admiration for Walt's brain and a kind of Tony Soprano-esque resentment of anyone who might threaten his dominance in any area. So Gus decides to re-assert his dominance by offering to help Walt with this piece of advice: "Never make the same mistake twice."

One mistake Walt may be making twice -- partnering up with Jesse -- appears ready to blow up in his face, as Jesse pulls his car up right across from young Tomas. If you hadn't figured it out before now, it becomes clear: Tomas is the little shit that plugged Combo last season. He's still working the same corner. Jesse asks the kid for a teenth of meth, and balks at the $300 price tag. From behind Jesse, we see that familiar black car round the corner. Tomas nods it over, and Jesse hands his money to the bangers inside. Things are feeling awfully, sickeningly familiar, as Tomas reaches inside his pocket. But he pulls out a bag of meth this time, instead of a gun. As Jesse stares at the k

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Breaking Bad

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