Turns out, Saul's new-identity guy is played by Robert Forster, and he has very specific requirements for getting both Walt and Saul out of Albuquerque. Walt is obsessed with getting revenge on Jack's crew, asking Saul to find him the names of assassins he can use, completely unaware of the irony in his situation. He also seems to think there's still a way to funnel his money back to his family, so this whole ugly enterprise won't have been for nothing, but Saul thinks he's absolutely crazy.
Back on the home front, Walt's attempts to exonerate Skyler last week were not 100 percent successful. She's still the target of prosecutors who want her to give them something on the whereabouts of her husband. After a late-night visit from ski-masked Todd and his crew -- who tell her specifically to clam up about having seen Lydia -- you can imagine Skyler clams up even more. As we fast-forward in the episode several months, Skyler and the kids have had to leave the house, and she has taken up a job as a taxi dispatcher.
By this point, Walt has been ferried to an isolated cabin in New Hampshire (hence the episode title). Robert Forster is actually quite kind to him, bringing him newspapers and Ensure and, most crucially and fantastically, chemo treatments. But he makes no bones about how Walt can't leave, lest he get caught. Walt, of course, tries to do just that, in an attempt to get a care package of cash sent home. But when he calls Walter Jr. at school and attempts to set up a drop-off with one of Flynn's friends, he gets loudly rebuffed, with Flynn asking him why he hasn't just died already.
Dejected, Walt sits in a bar and ends up catching a bit of Charlie Rose with his old business partners Gretchen and Elliott, who are in the process of publicly distancing themselves from their notorious old associate Heisenberg. This seems to stiffen Walt's spine, remove the last vestiges of conscience from his being and spur him into whatever conflict awaits in the finale.
Meanwhile, with Jesse's help, Todd has gotten the purity of the blue meth up to the mid-90s. Lydia is impressed, though still majorly skittish about all the risk that this enterprise has suddenly taken on. Todd is thankful enough that he brings Jesse ice cream late at night, the little psycho. Jesse, meanwhile, is working on an escape plan. But climbing his way out of that pit and making it off the property to freedom are two different things. He's caught, and then he's made to watch helplessly as Todd shoots Andrea in the back of the head. With the threat of Brock over his head, a somehow even more broken Jesse is taken back to work. One more episode left to brutally murder Todd, Vince Gilligan! Don't let me down!
Previously: Seriously, stop. I can't with this right now.
I'm not sure why I never gave a thought to whether we would ever see Saul's "vacuum cleaner repair" guy or beyond that, who would play him. But here we are, being ushered into the back room of the guy's place, and he's played by Oscar nominee Robert Forster. If ever there was a nonsense-free, seen-it-all, no-time-for-this-fuss face, it's Robert Forster's. It initially looks like we're resuming things from last week's roadside pick-up of Walt, but this time the red van is delivering another poor soul looking for a change of identity and a new life: Saul Goodman. Not for the first time this season is Saul wearing his bright purple shirt, and it's also not the first time I wonder if this portends a future interaction with Marie. She IS single now.
Poor Saul. His hair is looking stressed, too. He expresses some mild surprise that Forster is actually running a vacuum cleaner shop, but he shouldn't. This guy impresses me as someone who defines thorough. He's taciturn and to-the-point, but he's not curt, nor is he grumpy like you might expect -- just very goal-focused and mellow. Saul is slightly chagrined to learn that his new destination will be somewhere in Nebraska. Not for a few days, though -- he's a somewhat notable local figure (recall Flynn's wide-eyed reaction to him a few episodes ago), so it'll take some time to properly arrange an exodus. Until then, he'll be bunking in a secure room downstairs… with some company. Walt is also a special case that will take some finessing, so yeah, he's still here. Forster flips on a monitor and lets Saul peek in on the client that ruined his life and career, pacing in his little cell. The closest he will likely ever get to going to prison. And looming oh so large in the frame? His big black barrel of money.
After the break, Marie is returning home. I have been really turned around by the passage of time this season, and this episode already has me spinning. I guess Marie has been staying at Skyler's place during the whole Holly abduction? I'm not sure I wholly believe that. How could Marie even be in the same room as Skyler after learning what happened to Hank? Even if she bought Walt's phone call (not a given), her sister is still the walking embodiment of the poison that ultimately felled her husband. Or is this not supposed to be the first time Marie has returned home since Hank died? She's being driven home by some D.E.A./FBI/APD person, who is assuring her that they will find Hank and Gomez out in that desert. Maybe she had to go downtown to answer questions? You guys, I don't know. All I know is that Marie looks like she's had the life drained out of her. Appropriately, she's wearing black instead of purple. When they pull up to the house, the agents immediately go on alert. The camera takes us inside, with papers strewn about, locks busted, the whole place completely ransacked. So much broken purple interior decoration, I almost can't handle it. HASN'T THIS WOMAN LOST ENOUGH? The Feds speed Marie away to a secure location, while other agents scour the house. But it's gone. Obviously, this was the work of Uncle Jack and the Nazettes, searching for the video with Jesse's confession.