Breaking Bad
Hazard Pay

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Joe R: A- | 9 USERS: A
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Just Like Jesse James

At a local prison, an affable, doughy, nondescript lawyer checks in to meet with a client, one Dennis Markowski, and he's brought his paralegal with him. That paralegal, of course, is Mike. I'm so glad to see he had a backup career ready to go! Inside the meeting room, the lawyer sits and drums his fingers and listens to headphones, while Mike goes to business. He explains to Markowski about what happened to Chow and tries to perform some rumor control: it wasn't a message and it wasn't payback; it was a third-party action that's been taken care of. More importantly, he wants to assure Markowski that his deal with Gus Fring is still in place. Markowski is understandably dubious: not only did the Feds take away his "hazard pay," but Fring's entire organization burned to the ground, or hadn't you heard? He maintains that he's no rat and that he'll do his time without talking, but he's positive someone else is gonna flip. Mike insists no one's flipping because he insists the hazard pay will be there. He's got something new in the works, and he promises Markowski that he will be "made whole." Markowski still can't quite believe it, but he ends up taking Mike at his word.

As Mike and the lawyer leave the meeting room, the lawyer talks about the other prisoners at other prisons they will need to meet. He can't imagine Mike intends to see them all today, but oh, Mike does. And the stress of these meetings has him a bit on edge. Which we see when he screams at the security camera for someone to unlock a particular door. People, just let Mike go about his business, jeez.

After the credits and some commercials, we see Walt at home, moving his clothes back in to his closet, cheerfully defiant of Skyler's obvious reservations about him moving back into the house. Oh, he'll hold on to the condo, sure, but "it's time" he was back "home." Skyler, as ever (at least this season), looks shaky about it.

Better Call Saul. Outside Saul's office, Mike does his crossword while Huell looks on and breathes loudly. Inside, Saul is upset with Walt and Jesse that Mike, the guy who so viciously threatened to break his legs once upon a time, is invading the Three Amigos vibe they've got going. "Saul," Walt condescends, "Mike threatened me. He threatened Jesse. He probably threatened someone before breakfast this morning. It's what he does. Come on. Grow a pair." Saul wants it noted that he does this under duress, and then has Huell let Mike in.

First order of business (after brushing off a make-nice attempt by poor Saul) is that Mike wants the division of labor to be crystal clear: Walt does the cook, Mike handles the business. Bottom line. Walt is not to interfere with the way Mike conducts his business. Walt takes this in and gives his assent, so Mike, satisfied, leads them out to tour the possible sites for their new operation. Saul pulls Walt aside and asks if he's really okay with Mike laying down the law like that. Walt says he is: "He handles the business. And I handle him."

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Breaking Bad

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