Previously on Breaking Bad, Nervous Lydia found herself having less than an A1 Day, what with the quality of the product slipping to an ugly 68%, Walt reiterated to her that he was out since he left all his know-how to Declean and his crew, got slugged by Hank, then dropped the bomb on him that the cancer was back, Jesse gave a mad stack to a homeless guy, then made it rain in the neighborhood.
We open in the middle of the night on a house which we have never seen. An older gentleman steps out, likely heading to work. Panning back, we can see that this looks a bit like the area where Jesse was tossing bundles of cash, and sure enough when Old Man starts up his trusty old truck and turns on the headlights, he pauses to get out and see what was in his driveway. Ain't no newspaper, but rather one of the Pinkman provided money bundles. He looks around to see if he's on Candid Camera, and slowly realizes that these stacks are all over the place, and starts collecting. Further along he sees a glowing, flashing light just over the crest of a hill in what looks like a park, and heads toward it. This is like the beginning of every space alien movie, so Old Man would then be the first one to die, right? Alas, as he comes over the hill he sees Jesse's car, with the hazards on. The big bag of cash, with plenty still left in it, sits on the front seat. He scans the area and hears a creaking sound, which is our boy Pinkman, on his back on one of those old school merry-go-rounds - the kind that would be banned today - just slowly going around. An overhead shot slowly zooms in on our detached, distant anti-hero, as we go to titles....
Cul-de-sac, where that damn remote controlled car keeps racing around the street, oblivious to what's just gone down in the Schrader garage. We're in the immediate aftermath of the whole "tread lightly" episode, and the door opens, and out comes Walt, in full Heisenberg attitude.He pauses to turn back as Hank walks toward the door, and the two have a staredown for what seems like an hour before Hank hits the clicker to shut the door. Posturing complete, Walt screeches out of the driveway, nearly crushing the RC car in the process, then jams on the brakes and whips out his cell. He's trying to reach Skyler, but he can't - she won't get off the phone. Sensing trouble, he checks his rear view just in time to see Hank opening the door and coming out, cell phone pressed to his ear. Walt asks Mariano (the car wash guy on the phone) who Skyler is on the phone with, but he probably has already figured that out. He peels out and makes a beeline for A1.
Cut to Skyler, in her office, on the phone and looking very, very upset as she keeps saying "ok, ok, ok" to who we've figured out is Hank. Her cell phone vibrates on the desk, unanswered. Ruh roh.
Walt reaches the car wash and flies in to Skyler's office, but she is gone. He asks the man at the desk where Skyler is, and he replies that she "just kinda left" and didn't say where she was going. Walt's panic begins to set in as he realizes that he has no idea where she went, but knows exactly who she went to see.
Skyler cautiously enters what looks like a diner type restaurant, and stops when she sees Hank at a booth in the far corner. He gets up to greet her with a tentative wave as she takes a breath and makes her way over, and he says nothing as he gives her a long hug. He does all the talking as Skyler looks downward, a million things racing through her head. From the way he tells it, and it's clear he's not using cop tactics just yet, he's pretty sure that she is a victim here. Nothing more than a pawn in the Monster Walt's game. He's not even sure the extent of her knowledge of the whole thing. He lays it out for her: you and the kids move back in with the Schrader's, where they will be safe. Skyler interjects to ask if Marie knows and Hank says they'll get to that soon enough. Then he shows his hand by pulling out a recorder, asking Skyler to make a statement. Insert needle scratch sound effect here. Here? Now? she wonders. Hank suggests that her doing so would go a long way toward her being shown a degree of leniency when the courts get involved, and also worries that Walt will "run out the clock" before justice can be served. This perks Sky right up - what does Hank mean by that? He reveals that the cancer has returned, as if Skyler didn't have enough shit to worry about this morning. Hank goes on to say that maybe the cancer stuff isn't even true, and besides, he's got lots of bits of evidence floating around, but needs Skyler to help fill in the gaps which will allow him to have Walt in lockup by sundown. Sensing trouble, Sky haltingly suggests that she should get a lawyer, and Hank is all "no, no", since lawyers would put up roadblocks which would prevent him from controlling the situation. He wants to bring in the white whale on his own, you see, and Sky pretty much tells him so. Busted, Hank changes tack a bit, slows it down, and lays out what "we're gonna do": gather the kids and bring them to Casa Schrader, talk to a lawyer at some future unspecified time, then help each other "put that animal away". Sky isn't down with that, and as Hank gets up to start the action, she quietly asks if she is under arrest. Hank has no idea why she would ask such a thing, and doesn't respond, so she asks again, this time a bit more urgently. He's shaken up, tells her she's not thinking straight, but Sky get louder as she continues to press the point, screams it one last time and then leaves the diner in tears. So much for subtlety. Hank: "D'oh!"
Back at the storage facility, it's Saul's guys, Huell and Kuby. They get a first hand look at the hot tub sized pile of cash we first saw back at the end of last season. Huell takes a look and decides he "has to do it", "it" being laying on the pile like Scrooge McDuck. Kuby joins him after a bit of hesitation, and as they lay there Huell says "Mexico. That's all I'm saying", e.g. let's take a bit of this booty and high tail it out of here. Kuby reminds him that the owner of this pile had ten people in two prisons killed within a two minute window, and that idea is officially squashed.
Better Call Saul, who is in his office with Walt while leaving yet another voice mail for Jesse re: the bags of cash. Walt's cell rings and it's Sky, but Saul (wisely) tells him not only to not answer since it might be tapped by Hank, but to pull the damn battery out in the event he's setup a triangulation of some kind. Walt is then left with the mistaken impression that Sky ran right to Hank and blabbed, but Saul reminds him that she really only has hearsay type evidence other than the money, which is being taken care of as they speak. Yeah, but what about the little fact that Hank Knows. He's not exactly going to turn the other cheek. Quietly, Saul suggests a possible solution to the Hank problem, by indicating he could perhaps, maybe, oh you know, take a "trip to Belize".....where Mike went. Gotta hand it to him, that option has worked out pretty well for Walt in the past. Walt turns even more stone cold serious at this - Hank is family and that is off limits. He's ready to send Saul to Belize when there is a knock at the door - it's Huell and Kuby, and they're come back with the cash, which is now in big barrels in the back of a van. They may have skimmed a bit off the top, but Walt isn't about to quibble about a few lost bucks. He grabs a bag to pay the three of them, orders Saul to find Jesse, and speeds off. Where? To the desert, to a spot which looks a lot like where he and Jesse first cooked in the Crystal Ship way back when. He pulls out a pick axe and shovel and starts digging.
Casa White, where Sky is trying to reach Saul and by extension, Walter. Getting no love there, which doesn't matter because Marie is knocking st the door and says she ain't leaving. Great, now she knows. Deep breaths, people, this is going to be big. She begs Sky to tell her that Hank is loony tunes, but the lack of response tells her that he's not. Now the bigger question: how long have you known? Speculation by Hank says it was right about the time Sky went for he dip in the pool, but Skyler's subtle head shake says, "go back further". Since Gus Fring? Noope. The gambling story was bullshit? Yep. Now, the biggie - did you know before Hank was shot? More sobs from Sky which lead to a "I'm so sorry" finally cause Marie to lose it, and she smacks her right in the face. Before storming off, she flat out tells her that she won't talk since she thinks Walt is going to get away with this. But wait, she's not done, and the recovering klepto makes her biggest attempted heist yet - Baby Holly. They go back and forth, Marie summons Hank, before he finally has to yell at Marie to give the kid back and go. Sky tries to sooth the kid as Hank leaves. Back in the car, Marie stares straight ahead and says "We have to get him". The battle lines have been drawn, people.
Back to the desert, where a weary Walt works until darkness falls, after which he has to unload the heavy barrels of cash int the hole. He finally manages to get all of them buried and cover his work nicely before making sure to capture the GPS coordinates, memorize then, and destroy the device.
Cut to him pinning a fresh lottery ticket to the fridge, showing that he has played those numbers not cause he feels lucky, but to have them hidden in plain sight for future reference. Skyler hears him and has sooo much to say to him, but he's not really in any condition to respond. As he prepares to shower, wearily shedding his clothes, she stresses that she didn't tell Hank anything, and after imploring Walt to respond, gasps as he collapses to the floor in exhaustion.
Time passes, and we see a close of of Walt as he starts to wake up. She's propped his head under a pillow and covered him with a blanket on the bathroom floor. Her only question is about the return of the cancer, to which Walt asks if that would make her happy. He has no memory of what happened just before he fell, and figures she made a deal with Hank to save herself. He offers to give himself up in order to save the kids and allow them to eventually get the money he just buried. Don't let him have done all of this for nothing. Sky wonders how Hank found out, and Walt cops to it without providing any details. She then reasons that Hank has suspicions, but no real solid evidence without the money, and suggests that their best course of action is to just stay quiet. It's a nice parallel to the whole "tread lightly" speech from last week.
Middle of nowhere, with a few junk cars strewn about. A pickup trunk pulls in to the heavily guarded compound, and as it comes to a stop the driver instructs the passenger to take off the blindfold. It's Nervous Lydia, of course, in the passenger seat, and she has come to what is now the cook site. She's greeted, less than warmly, by Declean, who wonders what was so important that she has to pay them a visit. She's bringing in lots of dough, and wants to see up close what is going so wrong re: the diminishing quality of the product. Where is Dim Bulb Todd? Isn't he the new Master Cook in this outfit? They dispense with the pleasantries and bring her to the lab, which is nothing mire than a bus, buried in the ground. Walt would go ape shit if he saw this place, and Nervous Lydia invokes him indirectly while giving this dump the white glove test. Why not use Todd, she suggests, and we find out why that isn't such a good idea. Seems that our boy, even though his first two cooks were at 74% purity, nearly burned the whole place to the ground on Cook #3, thus was relieved of his duties. No deal, says Dec, since he doesn't trust Todd and wants to stay with his guys. At this, Lydia sighs and turns away, says she wished Dec would have given Todd another chance as she presses a button on her watch. What's that. Well, it must be some kind of bat signal because right away the boys above indicate that there is a developing situation. Dec leaves and tells Lydia to stay put while he checks it out, and within seconds we hear an exchange of several rounds of gunfire. The hatch opens and down comes none other than Dim Bulb Todd, who escorts Lydia out of the hole and walks her through the carnage she just orchestrated, which she simply can't bear to look at. She's sensitive, you know.
We see what went down: Dec and his men are down, and Todd's White Supremacist uncle and his crew are the folks responsible. Scratch that, Dec wasn't dead just yet, so Uncle Jack pumps another one into him to finish the job. Once confirmed, Jack tells the boys to take it all. So, Lydia doesn't need to try and recruit Walt now that she has her boy Todd back on the job, right? Whew, glad that's taken care of.
Back to Hank, who is working through more piles of old evidence, searching for anything that will help tie things back to Walter. Marie comes out, and implores Hank to tell his colleagues what he knows. Tell Gomie, at least, but tell somebody. Nope, says Hank. The day he goes in with this is the say his career is over, done, caput. Imagine, going in, looking these guys in the eye and admitting that the person he has been chasing for the better part of a year has been right under his nose the entire time? It's as much about pride and ego for Hank as it is about justice, maybe more so. He cannot go in there without concrete proof, nothing less. Yes, but...Marie counters, what if they find out anyway and then realize you were sitting on all this evidence? No answer, but instead a scene transition....
....to the DEA, where Hank, dressed in a suit, returns to work. Gomie comes in, and the two exchange some typical macho crap before working out some office details. Gomie goes to leave and provides an oh-by-the-way, did you hear about that money thing with our boy Jesse Pinkman?
Smash cut to an interrogation room, where TweedleDee and Dum are amusing each other, speculating how and why Jesse would 1) have millions of dollars to toss around and 2) toss it out at all. Hank shows up and convinces the cops to let him have a minute or two, since he and Jesse have a long, rich history together. Maybe he can soften the kid up and if anything of value comes out he would be more than happy to share it. Deal? The cops come up with a flimsy reason to abandon their detail and allow Hank to have at Jesse. He opens the door, it closes behind him, and we're out.
- Aaron Paul did not have one line of dialogue this entire episode.
- Emmy reels for all - Anna Gunn, Betsy Brandt, Dean Norris. Submit this one, and you'll all win.
- Is Jesse the missing link Hank needs to tie everything back to Walt?
- The body count is underway: Declean, though a minor character, is the first one down. More to come.