In the aftermath of the airplane collision, 167 people are dead, Jane's dad is swiftly sussed out as the responsible party, and while no one but you and me and Walter White know it, the line from Jane to her dad to 167 dead air travelers begins with Walt.
But he can't understand why Skyler left him! She's living at Hank and Marie's, with Flynn and bouncing baby Holly. Flynn's pissed as hell, and frustrated because he doesn't know why, because Skyler can barely voice her suspicions to herself, much less Flynn. (Or Marie, who is just dying to know.) Ultimately, Skyler serves Walt with divorce papers, and when he demands to sit down and talk about it, she lays it out: "You're a drug dealer." Sure, she first guesses he's dealing weed...then coke, before Walt sets her straight about how he's cooking and maybe-kinda-dealing meth. Skyler offers him a deal: grant me this divorce and stay out of our lives, and I won't tell anyone.
Meanwhile, Jesse's still living in the giant terra cotta onion, getting clean. His demeanor has changed entirely; he's almost catatonic under the weight of his extreme guilt. After he's released, he tells Walter he's learned to accept who he is: "I'm the bad guy." Oh, dear.
So with all this carnage being his fault -- and after an aborted attempt to burn his half-mil as atonement -- Walt meets with Gus (who may have grown a Mexican accent in the offseason) and tells him he's out of the meth business. Gus makes him another offer: $3 million to cook for three more months. Walt, though initially gobsmacked, again refuses.
So that's that, then! Walt's got a family to win back and a damaged apprentice to do right by, but at least "Heisenberg" isn't hanging over his head anymore, right?
Yeah. So there are these two Mexican badasses making their way to the States -- crawling towards pagan statues, hitching rides on haywagons, walking away from explosions like cool guys. They've got skulls on their boots and death at their fingertips and they are headed directly for Walt. So, you know. Gulp.
Previously on Breaking Bad: Walt got cancer. Walt started cooking meth. Jesse started dealing meth for Walt. Walt yelled at Jesse, a lot. Walt was very good at cooking meth. Walt's product got him a reputation, an alias ("Heisenberg"), and the attention of a decapitatingly dangerous Mexican cartel. Walt and Jesse got in on a million dollar payday from Gus, who owns the local El Pollo Knockoff-o. Jesse met Jane. Jesse and Jane got co-dependant and heroin-y. Walt got mad. So did Jane's dad. Jane choked to death on her own vomit while Jesse slept. Walt was there but didn't do anything to save her. Jesse didn't know that and blamed himself. Jane's dad probably blamed Jesse too, but what he also did was show up for work as an air traffic controller in a mentally compromised state. Two planes crashed into one another, raining debris on Walt's house and most of his corner of Albuquerque. Walt's drug money financed his chemo. Walt got better. Walt's wife, Skyler, found his second cell phone. Skyler tried to silence her suspicions. Skyler found out that the money to pay for chemo didn't come from where Walt said it did. After Walt's surgery, Skyler left Walt.
So! Season 3 begins obliquely, much like Season 2 began with the aftermath of what we would ultimately discover was the plane crash. Only this time, we're in Mexico, and a dusty older man is crawling across the desert ground. Away from something? Someone? We can't tell what. He's whimpering, and though cars, villagers, and the occasional chicken walk past him, they pay him no mind. Weird. Weirder: we soon see that he's not alone. Dozens of Mexicans now are crawling across the village, not even on their hands and knees, but on their bellies, inching forward with their elbows.
A shiny sedan drives up and gets everyone's attention. Out step two bald men, almost identical to one another, in expensive suits and silver skulls on the tips of their boots. The peasants crawl past them, around them, but not necessarily away from them. I'm just gonna cheat right now and call these guys The Cousins, since that's apparently what they're being called in the scripts, and I can't think of a better or more clever moniker. So the cousins survey the crawling villagers for a moment, then get down on the ground and start crawling with them.
As they get outside the village, we finally see what they're crawling towards. It's an adobe hut, adorned with flowers. A shrine. Inside, there are dozens of candles burning down to waxy nubs, and small statues of skull-faced death. Cousin/Cousine light a candle and place it atop what looks like a deck of tarot cards. It all feels very Catholi-Pagan, an impression that's made even more clear when we see the statue of Santa Muerte. The statue is adorned with totems, symbols of the prayer requests of the supplicants who crawl to her door. The Cousins tack up a sheet of notebook paper next to the statue. This is who they want Santa Muerte to bring them luck in finding. We finally see it, but it's no surprise. It's a pencil sketch of the man the cartel knows as "Heisenberg." Psst! Santa Muerte! He's got a full goatee now. Just FYI.