The second episode of this season’s Breaking Bad is called “Madrigal”. My first response to knowing this was “What the hell is a Madrigal?” Upon looking it up, I determined that it’s a harmonious vocal music composition with two or more singers. It in fact has a lot with this episode…especially considering the lack of harmony, or dissension in the ranks, with Mike’s people and the fact that at the end of the episode, we find out that Mike has decided that he will work with Walt and Jesse.
Breaking Bad has made an art out of the cold open and this week’s episode is no different. We are introduced to a high level executive (Mr. Schuler) of Madrigal Electromotive as he tries out different sauces for the different fast food chains that is under the company’s umbrella. Mr. Schuler has a meeting with the German police (Madrigal is stationed out in Germany) and we also find out through a picture that he and Gus had a relationship of sorts. Schuler isn’t exactly interested in talking to the police so he decides to off himself with a first aid mini defibrillator in the bathroom. After all of that, we get more info on the ricin cigarette conspiracy. Jesse is all riled up about an innocent getting his hands on the ricin cigarette so Walt cooks up a plan where Jesse eventually finds it in his Roomba. When Jesse breaks down over the fact that he almost killed Walt over it, you see Walt at his certifiable worst as he consoles him knowing that he was really behind almost every single horrible thing that has happened to Jesse since they’ve met.
However, this episode seemed to center around Mike and when we finally get to see him, he’s about to sit down with a beer and watch a movie called “The Caine Mutiny” (which not coincidentally is about a naval captain who lets his ego get the best of him) when he gets a call from Walt. Next thing we know, Walt and Jesse are in Mike’s kitchen and asking him to join up with them so they can start up their own meth empire which Mike refuses, of course. In the next scene, Mike is visited by a female colleague that worked for Madrigal at a diner who wants Mike to tie up some loose ends from the Gus operation. Mike lets her know that she needs to calm the fuck down. Meanwhile, Hank has a meeting (along with other officers of the DEA) with the CEO of Madrigal who claim that Schuler was a lone wolf but if they find out that others in Madrigal were in foul play, to let them know. In a later scene, Hank and Gomez have a drink with their departing boss (who is taking the fall for being so chummy with Gus). The boss mentions something about how Gus seemed all cool but he was really someone else entirely and that he was under his nose the whole time. Hank’s interest seemed to have been piqued by that situation….as it should.
In the next scene, Mike walks into the DEA building where he crosses paths with a jittery Mr. Chow. Mike ends up being interrogated in a room with Hank and Gomez. Mike seemingly has the upper hand until Hank tells them about the $2 million in a bank account under Mike’s grand daughter’s name. Mike still doesn’t tell them anything and leaves. Chow ends up interrupting a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos between Mike and his granddaughter by calling and telling Mike he has to come over. Unfortunately, Mr. Chow only asked Mike to come by because he was coerced at gun point by someone else in Mike’s collective. When Mike finally gets to Chow’s abode, Chow is already dead but he gets the upper hand over the gunman and find out it was the woman (Lydia) at the diner who asked him to kill Mike and everyone in Mike’s band of merry men (who are all broke now thanks to the DEA). We pan to Lydia’s house as she comes home from work and talks to her daughter and babysitter. She goes to change her clothes where Mike is hiding out and he holds a gun to her head. He waits until Lydia’s daughter is in bed and the babysitter leaves when she starts pleading that her daughter has to find her body because she doesn’t want her daughter thinking that she would leave her. Considering the fact that Mike’s extremely attached to his granddaughter (and the fact that he really needs the money), he has a change of heart and asks her whether she can still get her hands on meth precursor. After which, he calls Walt and let’s him know that he’ll partner up with him and Jesse. Walt is pleased with himself, goes to bed, and has one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever seen with Skyler. Ughhhh.
Let me use the rest of this blog to say R.I.P. to Mr. Chow. I feel like I barely knew you. You’ll be missed, homie.