Breaking Bad

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 12 USERS: A+

The next day, Skyler's meeting with her lawyer. She's explaining the whole incident with Walt squatting at her house and how he's living there against her will now. She alludes to how she "almost told" the cops ... something. Lady Lawyer presses -- "I can't advise your properly if you don't give me all the facts." Guessing correctly, she also reminds Skyler about the attorney-client privilege that keeps her from revealing incriminating information. This finally nudges Skyler out with it: "My husband makes meth," she says. She makes sure to draw the distinction that Walter "cooks" meth, he doesn't deal it. Which is either willfully naïve or clear-headedly accurate. Lady Lawyer doesn't need to hear much else. In the strongest possible terms, she advises Skyler to file for divorce TODAY. Then let HER go to the police with what Sky just said; they'll get a restraining order, and Walt won't have to be around her or the kids anymore. Ultimately, Skyler can't do it. Not to her children. Especially not when -- and this is the first time this has come up this season -- his cancer is always a threat to return and allow things to "resolve on their own, without anyone else knowing."

Hank and Gomez are drinking in the shitkicker hole in the wall to end all shitkicker holes in the wall. Gomez is exceedingly uncomfortable. Hank's gotten sullen, and Gomez's complaints just make him grumpier. After some small talk about El Paso (which clearly doesn't put Hank any more at ease), Hanks spies some drunken lowlives who appear to be maybe possibly if you squint engaging in a drug deal. He glowers at them on the way to the (gross) bathroom, whereupon Hank has a bit of a panic attack. You can tell because the music becomes a wall of feedback sounds, while the camera zooms in on his face. BREAKDOWN! WOO! Back at his barstool, Hank can't keep his unhinged, accusatory stare at the two guys. He tells Gomez he thinks they're holding. Gomez is like, "Who ISN'T holding?" But Hank is undeterred. Gomes wants to call for backup or to confirm they're not just messing up a random sting. Now Hank wants to forget it, and heads off to the bathroom again.

In the parking lot, Hank waits for Gomez to return from paying the bill, and he seethes. Just seethes. Finally, he grabs for his gun, before thinking better of it and leaving it on the seat. He marches back to the bowling alley, crossing paths with Gomez along the way. While ZZ Top blares on the juke, Hank strides up to these two burly-as-fuck dudes. "Stand up," he orders, almost inaudibly. They then all make the internationally-recognized hand signals and facial tics that inevitably mean "Let's Fight!" And fight they do. Hank's rage holds its own, smashing one guy's face down on the edge of the bar, while another gets smashed into a mirror. Once Hank has punched them both unconscious, that's when the rest of the barfolk advance on him. "DEA!" Hank squeals, like he's making a legitimate arrest. The mob backs up. He tells someone to go fetch his partner, while about a dozen folks look at him like he's completely locopants. Which he is.

Back to Jesse, who's lying in a sleeping bag on the bare floor. He calls Jane a couple more times. On the third try, he's informed that the number he's trying to reach is no longer available. Cut to a long shot of the RV out in the desert, the next morning. Jesse's taken it out to go cook, by himself. Back where we started.

Skyler sits on her bed, working up the energy to head out into the rest of the house and face Walt. When she does, she sees an open duffel bag on the floor, and Walter's half of the million-dollar payout inside. Well, the part that wasn't burned or drowned by Walt two episodes ago. "I've done a terrible thing, but I did it for a good reason. I did it for us," Walt begins. He points to the money and says it's for college tuition, for health insurance when he's gone, for SAT tutors and birthdays and mortgage payments. "This money, I didn't steal it. It doesn't belong to anyone else. I earned it. The things I've done to earn it. The ... things that I've had to do. I've got to live with them. Skyler, all that I've done. All the sacrifices that I've made for this family. All of it would be for nothing if you don't accept what I've earned." Okay, first of all, throw that up on the ol' Emmy reel for Bryan Cranston. That was a hell of a monologue. Second of all, Skyler's face registers at least some recognition of what Walt's saying. He tells her not to say anything now, but to give him her answer after work.

Intercut with that scene is this one of Gomez and Hank, awkwardly regarding each other in the bathroom at work. Gomez tells Hank what he told their supervisors (or Internal Affairs, or whoever they answer to when a cop roughs up some locals): that they watched a deal go down, Gomez went out to the car to call for backup, and that's when "they attacked you." Hank wordlessly nods at this fabrication. "What I didn't tell them," Gomez says, clearly pissed at Hank for putting him in this position, "was that you left your gun on the seat before you went back in." In other words, Hank went back in there looking for a fistfight. Hank, who has no defense, at least not one that includes the phrase "pants-shittingly scared of going back to El Paso," just grunts and nods and walks out.

At Beneke, Skyler runs off photocopies in a daze. Why the copy machine seems to be in the kitchen is one of many enduring mysteries about the way Beneke does business, but it means that when Ted walks in to get some coffee, he and Skyler are alone together. Skyler walks up behind him, a look of grim determination on her face, and places a hand on his shoulder. She turns him around, and without saying anything, pulls him into a kiss. Because I don't think a whole lot of Ted, I don't feel too bad for him that he's being used this way. But used he is. Think of Ted as Skyler's equivalent of Tio's bell. She's mad as hell at Walt, and she's gonna ring the fuck of out of it until at least some of that anger subsides. Anyway, they manage to break their embrace before the other employees show up. When they get another moment alone, Skyler asks him if his kids are home. DING! DING! DING!

That night, Skyler returns home with a look on her face that might be regret. But by the time she walks in to see that Walt has been playing the happy homemaker while she's been out, that regret hardens into a mercenary anger. She sets Holly down by Flynn and his pal -- that's the one thing that skeezes me out, that Skyler brought Holly along to Ted's -- and goes into the kitchen to talk to Walt. He goes on for a bit about Flynn's pal Lewis, but Skyler's stone face says this isn't small-talk time. "I feel good about our talk this morning," he says. And by "our talk" he means "my monologue." He's eager to hear what Skyler has to say about it. You know, whenever she's ready. "Honesty is good," Walt says, as he mixed the salad. "Don't you think?" And if Walt's going to be that passive-aggressive about it, I don't feel a bit sorry for him when Skyler saunters up to him, pulls her face right close to his, and blows him out of the water: "I F*cked Ted," she hisses, dealing us our episode title and dealing the White marriage what she hopes is its death blow. DING! DING! DING! And then she takes the salad out to the dinner table. Now it's her turn to play the happy parent who's done something awful.

Joe R did not fuck Ted. He can be reached for lavish praise and nothing but at Previous 1 2 3 4Next

Breaking Bad




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