After narrowly (and unknowingly) avoiding death by Cousins, Walt cleans the pizza off the roof (that's good) and the proceeds to squat in his own home, above Skyler's protests. He forces her hand, and when she backs down from telling the cops (and consequently Flynn) that Walt's a drug dealer, she has no choice but to let him stay. She does, however, exact some petty vengeance, in ways small (she's smoking again) and not so small (she fucked Ted Beneke).
Meanwhile, Saul leans on Jesse to convince Walt to start cooking again. But Jesse's not really up to doing anything but re-dialing Jane's voice-mail just to hear her voice. And when that gets disconnected, he drives the RV out into the desert and starts cooking by himself.
Gus meets with the cartel folk -- including Tio and the Cousins, who are actually Tuco's cousins. They want Gus to step aside and let them take care of Walt, but Gus holds his prissy ground and insists that he be allowed to finish his business with Walt first.
And finally, Hank is still PTSD-ing like a mofo, which this week includes heading into seedy bars and picking fights with local roughnecks.
All that AND a Danny Trejo flashback in which we see how Tortuga ended up with his head atop a Tortuga? Excellent.
Previously on Breaking Bad, the Cousins found Tio and Ouija'd out of him the name of Walter White. Only when they went to kill him, they were called off at the last moment by the surprise intercession of Gus. Also, Jesse swindled his old house back from his parents, and Walt discus-tossed a pizza onto the roof of the house he's been kicked out of. Oh, also, last season, D.E.A. snitch Tortuga got beheaded, his head placed atop a desert tortoise, and said tortoise rigged to explode right before Hank's eyes.
We begin this week's episode in the past. We know this pretty much immediately, due to seeing Tortuga's head still attached to his body. He's enjoying a drink and a smoke at one of Mexico's most murderously lit drinking establishments. Our pal is throwing his weight around, pontificating about how to get ahead and generally feeling high on just how wired he's got it. Daylight peeks in from the door behind him, as an unassuming man in white linen tells the barflies to listen to this mouthy son of a gun. Danny Trejo's an amazing actor, and he proves it by how subtly but definitively Tortuga's expression changes as he greets this man he calls "Jefe." As with the Cousins, I'm going to take the shortcut and tell you that, according to the podcast, Vince Gilligan has named this guy Juan Bolsa. Which, yes, is the Spanish version of "Johnny Sack." Which is pretty funny.
Anyway, so what follows is a mundane/insanely tense conversation between Bolsa and Tortuga. Knowing what we know, everything Bolsa says is imbued with a silent "I know what you did, and I'm about to have your head for it." The magic of the scene is in trying to decipher how often Tortuga is catching on to this too. Every time Bolsa compliments Tortuga's way with words ... does he know? The life of a snitch. Bolsa ultimately invites Tortuga into the back room to accept a belated birthday present, which: oldest trick in the book, man! But what choice does Tortuga have? Refuse and blow his cover anyway? So back he goes, and we see the "present" Bolsa got for him is a tortoise. His namesake. Tortuga, the poor sap, seems genuinely happy for the gift. Until Bolsa offers to sign it for him. The inscription is one we've seen before: "HELLO D.E.A." Tortuga reads it and immediately panics. But it's too late. From behind him, the Cousins advance, force him down across the nearest flat surface, produce a machete, and while Tortuga's screams echo through the bar, begin the steady and forceful hacking off of his head.