The week opens with Walt speeding through traffic. He’s trying to figure out what the hell happened to Jesse. Right now he’s barking orders to Saul over the phone, but his voice is inaudible over the din of the traffic and the city. Then, he calls Skyler…to tell her he’s thinking about her. I’m done trying to predict where their relationship is headed.
After the credits, Walt arrives at the Los Pollos parking lot and reaches under his seat for the .38, then heads inside. There, he approaches a Los Pollos employee and demands to speak with Gus, but she claims Gus isn’t around. Walt doesn’t believe her as Gus’s car is in the parking lot, and he isn’t leaving until he sees the boss. When the employee disappears into the kitchen, Walt notices how vulnerable he is out in the open—especially when he spots the two video cameras covering the restaurant. When the employee emerges, without Gus, Walt’s phone rings. It’s Mike. He’s got Jesse with him. Mike tells Walt that Jesse is OK and doesn’t elaborate, other than to say that Walt needs to forget about it and return to work. He hangs up. Walt still isn’t satisfied, so he grips the .38 in his coat pocket and storms back to Gus’s office—which is empty.
Cut to Mike and Jesse driving through the desert. Mike drives down a deserted country road to a broke-down farmhouse, and Jesse is starting to get worried. Is Mike going to whack him? Mike gets out, opens the trunk, and pulls out a shovel. Uh-oh. Jesse grips his car keys in his fist, preparing to defend himself…but Mike walks right on past. He starts digging. But Mike isn’t digging a grave. There’s hole, and inside is a canvas bag full of cash. Jesse realizes it’s a dead-drop—in a drug-trafficking organization, dealers store their revenue in these dead-drop areas for the boss’s henchmen to pick up, so as to minimize risk. So what the hell is Jesse doing here? He still has no idea. Neither does Mike—or so he says.
Jesse and Mike spend the entire day driving all over Albuquerque collecting similar bags of cash. Finally, they wind up at an abandoned factory, the last stop. Jesse is bored out of his mind. But as Mike goes inside to get the cash, Jesse notices a man in the rearview mirror. The man has a shotgun and is approaching the car. It’s a stickup! Jesse quickly slides over to the driver’s seat, puts the car in reverse, and guns it out of there, barely escaping. Later, when Jesse reunites with Mike, Mike congratulates him for the good work.
But that’s not the end of it. The next day, Mike and Gus meet to discuss the collections. Mike tells Gus that things went exactly according to plan—meaning, that Jesse was made to feel like a hero. Walt and Jesse have always had a father-son relationship. It now seems that Gus is fully aware of it and is pushing some buttons. Is Gus giving Jesse the fatherly approval Walt typically withholds? Looks like it. And it looks like a wedge is beginning to form between Walt and Jesse.
While all this has been going on, Walt’s been forced to work in the Superlab alone, and he looks drained, but before he can even catch his breath his watch beeps a reminder that he has to be back at the house. Today he and Skyler are finalizing the purchase of the carwash, so he rushes over. After the paperwork is signed and he and Skyler have a moment alone, he reassures her that it’s all going to work out, but Skyler makes him promise her that he’ll be honest from now on, which he does. They then move to the kitchen to celebrate. Skyler notices the answering machine is blinking and nonchalantly hits the playback button, and Walt’s earlier message plays back to her. She’s stunned to hear Walt openly expressing his feelings…and soon, they’re in bed together.
After their interlude, Skyler invites Walt to move back in. And surprisingly, he hesitates, claiming he has to be back at work. But he agrees that for now they’ll put up a happy front, and they make plans to go to Hank and Marie’s for dinner the next day. Later, Junior and Walt share a moment alone in the kitchen. Junior’s happy to have his dad back, as Skyler’s told him Walt’s moving in on Tuesday. Which is news to Walt, since he didn’t officially agree. Then, he notices Junior is drinking coffee from a Beneke mug. Could be me, but I think that might have something to do with his hesitation to re-commit to Skyler.
Hank gets the third story of the week. He meets with Tim, the APD detective investigating Gale’s murder, and officially concludes that Gale is Heisenberg. Tim asks Hank to now help him find Gale’s killer, but Hank resists. Finding Heisenberg has given him a sense of closure and he’s done with the matter.
Then it’s time for that dinner with the Whites. Junior steers the dinner-table conversation to that “crazy singing guy”, i.e. Gale—referring to last week, when Hank showed him and Walt Gale’s goofy karaoke DVD. Hank muses about Gale/Heisenberg…based on the notebook, clearly Gale was a genius. So how could Gale waste his talent on something so heinous? Walt and Skyler, listening to Hank, have separate realizations—Skyler, figuring out that Gale is actually Walt, realizes Hank is dangerously close to catching her husband. While Walt realizes Hank really does recognize his genius, only Hank doesn’t actually know that.
It could just end there, with the bitter irony of Walt getting Hank’s respect without the credit…but it doesn’t. Walt’s, with a few glasses of wine already in him, decides to speak up. Maybe Hank’s drawn too hasty a conclusion. In Walt’s opinion, Gale was no genius. Gale was copying from someone else. The real Heisenberg is still out there, most likely.
Pretty fucking devastating. Skyler watching her husband slit his own throat, while Walt risks everything for the sake of proving to Hank what a genius he really is. God, that’s a lot of fatherly approval for just one hour of television, with both Jesse and Walt. I’ll have a lot to unpack for the full recap on Wednesday.