Breaking Bad
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Joe R: A- | 4 USERS: A
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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Skyler lies awake in the middle of the night and finally gets up out of bed. She pulls up a floorboard that gives her access to the crawlspace, and, as we all figured she would, she considers the vacuum bags full of clothes and cash. Ted Beneke, you are lucky to know a woman with vast reserves of meth cash that couldn't fully be incorporated into her car-wash front business.

America's Meth Kitchen. Walt and Jesse are finishing up a cook, under the watchful eyes of Mike and Tyrus. Walt and Jesse, then, have no real reason to speak to each other. But you can see that Jesse obviously wants to say something. Ultimately, he asks if Walt is headed out. Walt merely gruffs out a, "Yeah."

Out in the lot, Walt plays the dropped-keys bit and retrieves the tracker that he bought and placed on Jesse's car LIKE A TOTAL JERK. At home, he checks Jesse's whereabouts yesterday. As Walt traces the route from Jesse's house to Gus's house, Jesse leaves a message on Walt's voice mail; he really needs to talk to him.

So Walt comes over -- the first time in a while he's arrived at Jesse's house without having to frantically ring the bell or bust the door down. Inside, we see the house is really returning to form. A futon, Jesse! Very good. There are still speakers up on tripods, like Jesse still wants to throw bumping dance parties, but also: curtains! Jesse gets right to the point: "they" want him to go down to Mexico. He's so nervous, you guys. He explains everything he's been told about Gus's war with the cartel and how they've been attacking Gus's operations. Walt, at his low level, knows about none of this, which has to make him even angrier. So between the cartel and Hank, Gus's hand has been forced; the cartel wants half of Gus's operation and Walt's formula. ...Okay, time out: no. I don't buy that Gus would do that. I don't at all think we have the full scope of what Gus's plans are. Half of the business PLUS Heisenberg? No. But anyway, Jesse says that "they" want him to go to Mexico and train the cartel workers how to make the blue stuff. Sounds foolproof. "Gus doesn't trust you," Jesse sums up, "so I gotta go."

Jesse is so freaked. More than anything else, he wants Walt to guide him. He's no chemist! He doesn't know! What if the instructions on the equipment are written in Mexican? Replace all the meth/chemistry/Mexico particulars in this scene and imagine yourself talking to your dad/mom/mentor about some scary job you've been offered where you're not sure you can do it. That's all Jesse wants here. He wants Mr. White to tell him he'll be fine and he'll be there for him if he has questions. He wants support. He finally says it out loud, to his credit: "Coach me. Give me some notes." But Walt's no longer interested in providing support. And why? Because Jesse won't commit a second murder for him.

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Breaking Bad

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