Hey guys! Welcome to the brief summary of season 4, episode 2. Let’s get to it…
The week starts with Walt. He can’t let go what happened to Victor last week, and he’s terrified for his own life. We find him in a dingy hotel room meeting with a shady-looking gun dealer, the person you visit when you’re feeling like some murder. The gun dealer suggests a .38 snub nose for Walt–just the right amount of stopping power, and small enough that nobody but cops would likely notice it on him. Walt’s satisfied and takes it. But the gun dealer is curious, despite himself. He asks Walt if the .38 is for defense or for something else. Why buy a gun with its serial number filed off if you’re just using it for self-defense? Walt tells him it’s for defense. The guy doesn’t believe him, but sells him the piece anyway.
The gun dealer’s intuition was pretty much spot on. This is Walt’s solution to the looming threat Gus poses. Walt practices and practices with the gun, putting it in his holster and quick-drawing it over and over and over, pulling the trigger on the empty chambers, just getting used to it. Soon it’s part of his morning routine, something he straps on his belt after putting his wallet and his keys in his pockets. The gun goes to work with him. Walt and Jesse have finished their first batch of crystal post-Victor, but things have changed. Victor has been replaced by a new assistant. Gus has stopped coming to the lab, for good Mike says. Walt needs another way to get to the boss. So, he drives over to Gus’s house that night. With his Heisenberg hat on, Walt gets out of his car and approaches the house, and then he gets a phone call. It’s Gus, advising him to go home.
Walt goes for Plan B. He approaches Mike at a bar, with a sales pitch. Mike saw what happened to Victor. The same could happen to him. If he and Walt work together, Mike explains, maybe they could get out of this. All he needs is for Mike to get him in a room alone with Gus. Mike’s seen through him the whole conversation, but waits until Walt comes right out and says what he wants before sucker punching him and kicking him in the ribs, right where the cancer is.
And that about says it all about how dangerous Gus is. If people who actually know stuff wouldn’t cross him, Walt’s got a long way to go.
Meanwhile, Jesse has finally gotten around to furnishing his once-empty house, which is a pretty fitting metaphor for everything he’s about to do in this episode. The centerpiece of Jesse’s spending spree is a crazy new speaker system. He has Skinny Pete and Badger over to show them his new setup. They’re impressed. All Jesse talks about is the specs on his hardware. Then he busts out the coke. Even though Skinny Pete and Badger are trying to stick to a twelve-step program, all Jesse has to do is a couple rails and they’re right there with him. Jesse sits back and watches them ramble on about video games and the Waffen SS, and then realizes it’s not enough. He needs a full-blown party. Soon Jesse’s house is full of strangers dancing and going wild. And the next morning, when Pete and Badger are about to leave, he urges them to stick around and keep the party going for an entire second day.
That night, Jesse gets a surprise visit from Andrea–they dated briefly last season, until her little brother was murdered, which is what sparked the whole chain of events that led to Jesse killing Gale. She’s not here to see why he hasn’t called her lately. She asks him if he knows anything about the killing of the gang members who murdered her brother, and then pulls out an envelope full of cash. Jesse admits it came from him. He hopes she’ll use it to get herself and her son Brock out of their shitty neighborhood, but he can’t force her to.
And the next morning–three days of partying, now–Badger and Pete stagger out the door. Jesse can’t entice them to stay. They need rest. He’s finally left alone. And he sits down against his speaker and blasts the volume, drowning out his thoughts.
Skyler and Hank get their own stories this week, too. Skyler calls Walt to let him know she’s moving forward on the car wash plan–last season, Saul wanted Walt to buy a legitimate business to funnel drug money through, and Skyler’s pushed for it to be the car wash where Walt worked when the series began. Walt’s focused on his own problems, so she’s left on her own. She looks pretty capable. She stakes out the car wash for a couple days to get a sense of the kind of business it does, then approaches its owner and Walt’s former boss, Bogdan. Skyler and Bogdan try to talk money, and she shows off her research skills when he tries to high-ball her with a price of $10 million. She counters with a more reasonable $870K. But Bogdan raises her to $20 million. Walt spared no insults when he quit, and Bogdan hasn’t forgotten. Looks like they might have to go for some laser tag instead. And, it’s starting to look like Skyler’s not being as present in the kids’ lives, too–more on that in the full recap.
And finally, Hank and Marie. Things are where we left them last week. Hank is obsessing over his new minerals and crystals collection, (and I have to wonder if this is all sublimated frustration at not being able to investigate blue meth–they could have picked any hobby and they have him collecting crystals). Marie finds him sitting up at night poring over his rocks and gently suggests he get some sleep, and he responds that the house has four bedrooms. She’s welcome to sleep in any of the other ones. It continues when Hank’s physical therapist visits the next day. Hank makes some progress, to his and the trainer’s delight, but when Marie tries to celebrate with them Hank turns cold. It must be killing him to be so physically reliant on other people, and Marie’s got to suffer for it.
Lots more to talk about. See you Tuesday for the full post-mortem!
To check out last week’s recap while you wait for last night’s, click here.