Breaking Bad
I See You

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I See You
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Previously on Breaking Bad: BANG! BANG! SCREEEEEECH! CRUNCH. BANG! BANG! BANG! ping Step-step-step. [sound of axe being dragged across asphalt] Pause. BANG! SPLAT!

We're greeted by Jesse's back tattoo, which is of a skull that may or may not be blinged out. It looks oddly like something you'd find in Santa Muerte's shack, actually. We're seeing this because Jesse is gingerly getting dressed in his street clothes, as he's getting sprung from the hospital today. Clearly, a whole lot of him is still sore. He gets wheeled out to the curb by an orderly (or something), who asks Jesse if he's good to wait alone until his ride comes. Jesse -- who wasn't exactly the most friendly sort to outsiders even before Hank beat him into New Angry Jesse -- grunts his response, then moves to light a cigarette. The orderly says he'll have to move another 20 feet from the entrance if he wants to do that. "So roll me further, bitch!" is Jesse's charming reply. The orderly leaves his ass right where it is.

So Jesse smokes. And when the ambulance speeds up, he's sufficiently bored that whatever's inside is bound to entertain him for a moment. So he rolls on down and takes it in as the ER crew wheels Hank out and reads off his vitals. His pulse is weak and his belly is rigid -- neither one a good sign. Jesse's kind of amazed at seeing this up close, until he gets a good look and recognizes Hank. His expression becomes inscrutable. He follows the gurney into the ER (still holding his cig, I think), until they're past where he can follow. Then he returns to his wheelchair and his spot on the curb. Skinny Pete rolls up soon after and marvels at the holy hell that is Jesse's face. Jesse's expression is still a mask of shock. Skinny asks if he's okay. "Actually," Jesse says, and a wicked, sickening smile widens on his face, "I'm great."

After the credits, we catch up with Walt down in America's Meth Kitchen, firing the shit out of Gale. Gale, who totally doesn't get it. Gale, who feels shocked and betrayed and with a not inconsiderable flash of rage every here and there. Walt, who has trouble with honesty when it doesn't reflect well on him, mumbles around until he stumbles upon a metaphor: it's like he's classical, and Gale is jazz. You see? Just a clash of styles! Nobody's fault. Nobody made a power play to haul in his burnout old partner to save his brother-in-law from a costly lawsuit. (I'd also be remiss if I didn't point out Bryan Cranston's hilariously off-the-cuff snapping when Walt described Gale as "jazz." Wonderful.) Anyway, Walt's whole classical/jazz thing gets flushed down the toilet with the arrival of Jesse. And not just Jesse, but Jesse with the "obnoxious" dial turned up so high it broke off. "SHIT!" he keeps hollering as he marvels at the spiffiness of America's Meth Kitchen. With his face still half-swollen and purple, he greets Walt with a "Wassup, partner?" He barely acknowledges Gale, who shoots Walt the greatest "You have got to be fucking shitting me" glance ever. "IT'S ALL FUCKING SHINY UP IN HERE!" Jesse bellows. "This makes no sense," Gale says, in a last-ditch effort to restore some sanity in this room full of buffoons and the taciturn men who prefer their company. Gus's bag-man (you know, the guy who literally distributed the bags of money to Jesse and Walt) escorts him out. Walt, seeing how this all must look, grabs Bag Man by the arm and assures him, "This is for the best." Bag Man could not give less of a shit. "200 pounds by the end of the week," he bottom-lines.

Jesse's still orgasming over all the shiny vats, but Walt, already exhausted, says there's a lot to go over today. "Now?" Jesse asks, incredulous. When Walt makes it clear that the 200-lb. order of meth is the only thing weighing on his mind, Jesse's mind clicks. He ascertains that there's no cell service down here, so it makes sense. Walt hasn't heard. "Your brother-in-law," Jesse begins. What about him? Jesse lowers his head, looking away from Walt. It's one of the few indications to me this week that Jesse's humanity isn't totally gone.

Cut to the hospital, where it sure seems like the ER crew is working hard to keep Hank alive. Only it's not Hank. It's our good friend Leonel Salamanca. Before we even see him, amid the rapid-fire medical jargon of the ER docs, one of them says "his femur feels like a wet bag of gravel." GAH! May you never have to hear that sentence uttered in your real life. And apparently "the other one's not much better." They even have to cut off the poor guy's wicked skull-tipped boots. Sad.

Walt races through the hospital corridors (which are a lot better lit now that they don't have to be metaphors for Walt's secret life) and ends up at the waiting room. An armed guard tries to stop him, but Detective Gomez is there and ushers Walt inside. There, Marie, Skyler, and Flynn are waiting, as are Gomez and Merkert. Marie is, of course, a giant mess, and Walt picks her up in a hug that feels incredibly genuine even as it's thoroughly galling considering Walt's place in this whole mess. Although, to give Walt a bit of credit, he honestly doesn't know that he's part of the chain of events that led to this. Not yet anyway. And yet, the way Walt relishes playing The Man of the Family here ... it's unseemly, right? It's not just me?

Of course, not everybody's playing along. Skyler is keeping her distance, and Flynn bristles when Walt tries to comfort him. Gomez introduces Walt to Merkert, and rather than act squirrelly around such a high-ranking DEA official, Walt asks for specifics about the attack. Of course, when Merkert mentions the assassins probably are affiliated with one of the cartels, Walt looks a good deal clammier. They don't have a bead on the "why" of the attack, but they do mention that Hank killed one and put the other in critical condition. Pretty impressive, says Gomez, particularly for a man who didn't have his gun. Marie's ears perk up at this one, and you can see it coming a mile down the road: why didn't he have his gun? Markert can see it too. He explains he had to suspend Hank pending the assault charge, and that meant taking his gun. Marie freaks, gets right in Merkert's face. If they'd have listened to Hank and let him arrest "that little degenerate," he wouldn't have had to beat Jesse up, thus he would have still had his gun, thus none of this would've happened. Skyler tries to calm Marie down, but Marie shakes her off. "It's their fault," she concludes, energized now that she's got something to blame. Then she turns to Gomez: "What kind of partner are you?" He was supposed to back Hank up, and where was he? In Texas. Yes, it's disingenuous of her to say that given how relieved she was that someone besides Hank took the El Paso position, but Marie's having a moment here. She orders both men out of the room. "They're not welcome. The DEA is not welcome here."

Gomez and Merkert leave, and Walt, having heard Marie trace the chain of events just sort of where he came in, is feeling the guilt pretty heavily. Maybe Marie can smell it on him? I wouldn't put it past her. Whatever the case, she turns to Walt, and says he shares the blame too. After half a second wondering how she knows, Marie says that if Walt had never bought weed from Jesse, that little shit would have never been in their lives. Then Skyler, who knows that while Marie may be wrong by the letter but not by the spirit, has the balls not only to defend Walt but to say Marie is being unfair. She's backsliding in a serious way, guys. But she gets Marie to back down -- in tears, no less. And she ends the scene once again crying on Walt's shoulder.

The hospital hallways are positively choked with police, all waiting to donate blood for their boy in blue. Time-lapse takes us to the next morning, where Marie, Skyler, and Flynn are all still sitting zombie-like in the waiting room, while Walt splashes drinking-fountain water on his face. As he sits down to read a magazine, he's vexed by the wobbly table. He takes a subscription card, folds it twice, slides it under the leg. No good. Folds it again. This time it's perfect. Walter White: solving problems.

America's Meth Kitchen. Jesse's hollering into the void. Um, literally. He's got nothing to do but Wait for Walt, so he's reduced to shouting to hear his own echo. He surveys the lab equipment and performs tests to make sure they're all properly calibrated. That is to say, he bangs his hands on the big steel vats so they'll make big CLANG sounds. Jesse is overstimulated.

Walt is severely under-stimulated at the hospital. Then he hears the intercom call for him to pick up the courtesy phone. Skyler gives him the hairiest eyeball you ever saw, but honestly, what's she going to do about it? As she's proven time and again: nothing. Anyway, it's Jesse on the phone, and he's antsy to start cooking. Walt's all "I'll get there when I get there; family trumps meth." Which is pretty hilarious, Walt, but do go on. Jesse thinks he could just start cooking by himself, but Walt puts the kibosh on that. He doesn't know how any of the equipment works, for starters. "I'm sure there's a manual," Jesse offers. "I can read!" Wow, Jesse is in primo pathetic d-bag form this week. "Touch nothing," Walt re-iterates. Jesse bristles at the order and snaps that Walt can't do that anymore -- "We're partners, remember?" At this point, Skyler walks out into the hallway (apparently to speak to a doctor, but if we're being honest, it's to spy on Walt), so Walt has to pretend he's thanking a well-wisher for his support. Jesse catches on and starts acting like a jealous lover. "Hey!" he says with faux-enthusiasm, "tell your douchebag brother-in-law to head towards the light." Walt hangs up just as Skyler approaches and says they should probably go and get everybody some breakfast. Walt stops her and gestures towards the phone. "Do you know who that was?" he says, smiling. Ready with a pro-active lie. Skyl

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Breaking Bad

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