It's Walt's birthday, and he's celebrating by going car shopping for a pair of giant erect penises (one for him, one for Junior) and bullying Skyler into doing something for his birthday. Skyler fights back in her own way, first by merely inviting Hank and Marie over for birthday dinner and then by excusing herself from the dinner conversation to throw herself into the bottom of the pool. The fallout from this is that Marie and Hank offer to take the kids for a week or two, while Walt and Skyler get their shit together -- which it turns out was exactly what Skyler was angling for, to get the kids out of the danger zone of Walt's general vicinity. This leads to a hellacious argument between Walt and Skyler, where Skyler finds her voice and spins her wheels imagining ways she could keep Walt from influencing their kids. Ultimately, at a loss, she tells him she's going to wait for his cancer to come back and take him out for her.
Meanwhile, Lydia continues to crack under D.E.A. pressure. When her distribution/warehouse guy gets picked up by the Feds, Mike sends Jesse to pick up the methylamine. While there, Lydia spots a D.E.A. tracker attached to the barrel and freaks out. When Jesse brings the news back to Mike and Walt that their methylamine connection is now compromised, Mike figures out that Lydia planted the tracker herself, to give herself a good reason to bow out of the business. Jesse and Mike argue over whether he's got to kill her now (Mike takes the pro argument), but Walt lays down the law: the methylamine connection stays open, no matter who Mike has to not kill.
You guys, I can't even deal with this opening segment. I'm going to try, but before I begin, I need to tell you how very, very much I neither know nor care about cars. Sorry. If you're looking for piercing insight or sharp wit on the subject, I am not your man. I know Walt has an Aztec that keeps getting wrecked via the many scrapes he's been in. Right now, he and Junior are at the garage retrieving the ol' girl after once again needing repair. The mechanic -- a kindly older sort -- explains about the parts he's replaced and how he used after-market parts in order to keep the whole thing on the insurance company's dime... and oh by the way, I think there was blood in your grill, but I guess you did mention hitting a deer, so whatever. Walt takes all this in and signs for the repairs, but when the mechanic notes that the notoriously unsexy car is "sturdy as hell," he starts to get that look on his face. That look that says he's feeling slighted by life's inherent unfairness towards him. So after reaching inside and pulling out his Heisenberg hat, he offers to sell the car to the mechanic on the spot. What's his best offer? $100? $50? Junior's not sure what Dad's doing and Benny is dumbfounded, but he agrees to the sale. Walt, for his part, gets a look at himself with his old hat on -- the hat that made him such a notorious image among the baddest of the bad in Albuquerque and Mexico -- and then the scene cuts to...
...Junior rolling into the driveway in his Skyler-approved PT Cruiser, followed by Walt screaming into frame driving this ludicrously slick, onyx-black, giant erection of a car. All the while, electro-hip-hop music plays in the background and Walt appeals to Junior to sign off on Dad's new coolness. Junior only thinks it's kiiinda cool, so we cut again, this time to Walt screaming into the driveway with his car followed by Junior screaming into the drive way with his new car: that red Challenger that Skyler made Walt return last season because it was too extravagant. So now we see what's happening. Walt knows he's got Skyler beaten down into catatonic submission, so no one can tell him what to do -- or what not to buy -- anymore. As both men ("men") rev their engines, director Rian Johnson (who helmed the overrated-if-you-ask-me "Fly" episode a few seasons ago) really turns up the dial on this scene, visually and aurally, in order to shove Walt's obnoxious adolescent-male wish fulfillment down our throats. Basically, if you're still on Walter White's side at this point in the narrative, Johnson is doing his best to make you choke on it. As you should.