The halfway point of this season’s Breaking Bad can also be considered the boiling point for certain characters and the season. Shit is about to hit the proverbial fan. Let’s go through the boiling points one by one:
- The episode starts off with Jesse playing a first person shooting game at his house. While he’s shooting his make believe victims during the game, memories of his real life victim (Gail) keep popping up. Though disturbing, he moves forward with the game…trying to move on. Moving on is a theme that is also explored later on in the episode when Jesse goes back to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting he used to go to. Jesse tells a story about how he killed a dog in order to deal with his killing of Gale. The counselor at the meeting gives Jesse the spiel about self acceptance which triggers probably the best monologue of the season from Jesse, where he attacks the mentality that you need to accept everything that you do and in the end that you are a good person. Jesse doesn’t accept what he’s doing is right at all and this could be the start of Jesse’s road to redemption.
- Walter’s stress causes him to boil over in the 2nd scene of the episode. Stress from the threat of Gus, being emasculated by Skyler, and the threat of Gus trying to turn Jesse against him causes Walter to take the Dodge Challenger that he’s supposed to take back to the dealer to an abandoned parking lot where he proceeds to blow it up (BTW, I feel like that this scene is a metaphor of Walter trying to do what he feels are good things for people and then eventually destroying them). This leads to a hilariously entertaining dialogue with Saul Goodman at his office after Saul gets Walter off the hook with criminal charges from the exploding car incident. Walter wants to hire a hitman to kill Gus to which Saul insists is an incredibly horrible idea for numerous reasons. So Saul asks Walter why he doesn’t just ask Jesse? Walter, not knowing that Jesse has met Gus a couple times since the killing of Victor, confronts Jesse after which he then starts to patronize Jesse to the point that he tells Walter that he’ll kill Gus at the first chance he gets.
- Skyler finally comes to the realization how much money Walter makes, $7.5 million. This is more money then Skyler can launder as the money is literally overflowing. Walter gives her the choice of backing out of the situation now to which she declines.
- And now finally Gus. Gus has a meeting with a representative from the Cartel with which Gus has done business with. Gus is upset that the Cartel’s big wigs would only meet with him through a representative which is interesting because it mirrors the way Gus treats Walter now. Gus tries to seperate himself from the Cartel but they are not having it. Gus decides it’s time for war as made apparent by Mike telling Jesse that it’s time for him to teach Jesse how to shoot a gun. Things are going to get sticky for Gus’ operation in more ways than one though. Hank takes Walter, Jr. to Los Pollos Hermanos for a bite to eat where he meets Gus. Gus gets Hank a refill for his soda (but not after he offers Walter, Jr. a job which may come into play later on in the season and would definitely add a wrinkle to the Gus-Walter dynamic) which is all a part of Hank’s plan actually. When Hank goes to the DEA office at the end of the episode to reveal his beliefs about Gale, Gus, Heisenberg, and the blue meth to Gomez and the head of the DEA (who gave slight indications that he might be working for Gus), he not only tells him about what he learned but also reveals that Gus’ fingerprints (which he got from the cup which Gus refilled for him at Los Pollos) match fingerprints left on a cup at Gale’s apartment. Game, Set, Match. Hank shits on everyone at the table who initially didn’t believe him.
So even though he only appears in a couple of scenes, this episode is really about Gus. Gus’ boiling point is the season’s boiling point. He is going to be fighting a war on three totally different fronts: Walter White, Hank and the DEA, and the Cartel. As Jim Ross used to say when I was a kid, “Business is about to pick up!”