Breaking Bad
Box Cutter

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 7 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
Taking One for the Team

Gus -- still silent -- walks out from behind Walt, towards Victor. Walt makes his ever-more-frantic closing argument: "You're too smart for this. Let us go back to work." Gus suddenly breaks his placid fa├žade, grabs Victor by the head, and violently rips the box-cutter blade across his throat. Walter and Jesse jump back in horror, of course, but it's Mike whose reaction I'm really watching. Mike, who is so rocked by this turn events that he reflexively draws his gun. The look on his face -- abject horror and disbelief that even Gus would go this far -- suggests a game-changer, if not here, then down the road. I have zero idea where this season is going, but I would put money on Mike having some kind of decision to make. Gus savagely holds onto Victor's head, ensuring the blood gushes freely from his neck out onto Walt and Jesse. An intimidation tactic, yes, but I'm struck by the idea that Gus wants this to go as quickly as possible for Victor. That poor guy. He'd just gotten good at something too. He bleeds out, as around him, a triangle of faces cycle through some emotions. Gus's placid expression is back to fury. Walt's horrified. Jesse's damaged catatonia has now become an intense hatred. He's back in the game. And all the awfulness that that implies.

Gus throws Victor's body down at Walter's feet, then stalks back to the clothes rack and begins the meticulous process of washing up and changing back into his fancy suit. Walt, speckled with fat drops of blood, looks like he might have a heart attack. Mike's brain is cycling through so many thoughts he can't even remember to look annoyed. Gus, now dressed, stalks back across the room, up the stairs, almost to the door. He turns back and looks down upon his still-employed cooks. "Well," he finally speaks. "Get back to work." Today's motivational seminar is officially over.

After the break, Walt and Jesse get to the unglamorous task of trying to dispose of Victor body, while Mike stands around and looks perturbed. Walt grabs an empty plastic vat and lays it down sideways, instructing Jesse on how they're going to stuff Victor in, feet first. Of course, Victor's dead weight and the vat keeps sliding. Mike watches this morbid Stooges routine for a moment before his get-it-done instincts kick in and he gives Walt and Jesse a third hand. With Victor finally in the bucket, the guys all don gas masks, and Walt wheels out a cart full of hydrofluoric acid in jugs. Mike says he's never used this stuff to dispose of bodies, but Jesse's like, "Uh, trust us, it works." Yeah, just don't put it in your bathtub. Mike tosses Chekhov's Box Cutter into the vat, and then Walt and Jesse start pouring the acid. Cut to: the filled vat, looking bright pink through the translucent plastic, with delightfully gross chunks of Victor still breaking apart inside. This show! Bravo, man. Walt makes sure the outside of the vat is washed completely clean, and before you know it, the vat gets slapped with a hazardous sticker, loaded onto a waste-removal van, and taken out of their lives forever. Murder by mass production.

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Breaking Bad

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