Hey Breaking-Badders! Here’s the quick post-mortem on Season 4 Episode 3, “Open House”. Let’s get to it.
I’ll start with Skyler this week…Sky shows up on Walt’s doorstep to kick things off. She knocks and knocks but Walt doesn’t answer. She knows he’s there, so she calls him and can hear his cell phone ringing through the door. Finally he opens up, but he hides half his face behind the door so she can’t see the black eye from the scuffle with Mike last week. Sky tells him she’s come to talk about the car wash situation, but Walt isn’t in the mood. She pushes the door open a little more and sees the shiner. He lets her inside.
Walt doesn’t want to talk about it, but Sky insists. She has to know if he’s in danger. Walt minimizes it as best he can. He had a “disagreement” with a coworker. It came to blows and Walt took a punch, but he didn’t retaliate because the coworker was a much older guy. (That’s the one part of the story that wasn’t an understatement). Sky can probably tell he’s leaving most of the pertinent details out, but as long as Walt’s not in danger, she’ll drop it.
Later, they sit down with Saul to discuss how to proceed with their money-laundering scheme. Saul knows Skyler crashed and burned in her negotiation with Bogdan, the car wash owner last week, so he suggests they go the nail salon route. Walt agrees, but Sky won’t budge. Bogdan was so rude that it’s become personal to her. And when she tells Walt what Bogdan said about him—that Walt wasn’t man enough to come to the negotiation himself, and instead sent his woman—Walt’s onboard, too. If Saul was sick of dealing with Walt alone, he must hate dealing with two Whites at once.
So how to change Bogdan’s mind? Sky is doing the dishes at home one evening when she has an epiphany. We cut to Bogdan, outside his car wash with some water department functionary or other, (played by Bill Burr, the comedian…huh?). The water guy is taking measurements of the groundwater on Bogdan’s property, and apparently it’s full of chemicals. Bogdan will have to pay a few hundred grand just to retrofit his filtration systems, and he won’t be allowed to stay open for business while that happens. Bogdan is flabbergasted. He’s done nothing wrong! What specific laws is he violating? The water guy appears at a loss…and he genuinely is, because he’s not really a water guy but a con man Sky sent to roll Bogdan. The show cuts to her sitting in the car, listening in on the conversation through the water guy’s Bluetooth. She quickly looks up the right groundwater regulations and reads them aloud for the ersatz water guy to recite.
Works like a charm. Bogdan calls a few hours later with an offer. Walt’s genuinely impressed with Skyler’s newfound cunning. They celebrate that night with a bottle of champagne, a brand that was Winston Churchill’s favorite and cost over $300 bucks. When Sky hears the price she gets upset. Walt’s an unemployed teacher. What unemployed teacher buys top-shelf champagne? Even if they’re flush with cash in reality, they still have to make it look like they’re broke so they won’t raise anybody’s suspicions. It’s details like the champagne that get you caught. Walt reluctantly agrees, but it doesn’t totally kill the mood. Are they gravitating back toward each other?
Jesse gets a short runner that’s a pretty logical continuation from last week…in the lab, Walt notices Gus has set up a surveillance camera that tracks their every movement, but Jesse doesn’t seem to mind. He’s more interested in doing something fun with Walt–or most likely, with anyone else at all, just so he won’t have to listen to his thoughts. He suggests go-karting, but Walt declines. Walt can sense something’s off with Jesse, but Jesse won’t talk about it. After some solo go-karting, we follow Jesse home and see his house has pretty much turned into a crack den, full of the burnt-out dregs of Albuquerque. Badger and Skinny Pete are nowhere to be found. Jesse doesn’t even seem to know this new crew. But the company of other humans is enough for him right now. We leave him as he’s tossing a wad of cash into the air for everyone to fight over, while he looks on, thrilled.
Marie and Hank get a pretty meaty story this week. We first see Marie at an open house. She and Hank don’t seem to need a new place, so something’s obviously up, and sure enough Marie’s running a little con of her own. This one’s mostly harmless, though. She’s making up an elaborate fake life-story for herself—she’s a single mother with a gifted kid she’s going to home school. An act later and she’s doing the same thing at another house. This time she’s a hand model and her unseen husband is a former NASA employee. The second realtor buys it too, only much later, when she looks at a set of collectible spoons, she notices one has been stolen. Marie couldn’t resist.
Marie tries a THIRD con after that. This time her husband is an illustrator and they’ve lived all over Europe—that was before their daughter developed some weird bacterial infection Marie clearly just looked up on Wikipedia. But this time Marie’s luck runs out. The realtor from the last house shows up and recognizes Marie as the spoon thief. Marie tries to flee the scene, but the realtor catches her and calls the cops. Later at the police station, Hank has to call in a favor to a local detective to get her released, and Marie breaks down in tears.
It looks like that’s it, but then that detective friend of Hank’s shows up at the house to pay a visit. He’s come to see Hank. This detective is investigating Gale’s murder. Has Hank ever heard of Gale? Nope. He brought Hank a copy of Gale’s notebook anyway, because of Hank’s expertise with the local meth trade, and asks Hank to take a look. Hank shrugs and tosses it on his end-table. Doesn’t know how much good he can do. That night, after too much boring TV and too little activity, Hank cracks open the notebook. And we end there.
This one was pretty much the Deception Episode. After the murder in the season premier, the last two episodes have been a little slower, but there’s still tons of stuff I didn’t get to in the minicap–the scene where Walt, Skyler, and Saul brainstorm how to change Bogdan’s mind is crazy in particular. Check back Wednesday for the full run-down.