“Everyone dies in this movie, don’t they?”
It’s a simple question asked about “Scarface” by Walter White two thirds into the episode that could foreshadow on what the future holds for Breaking Bad. Vince Gilligan has said before in a New York Times article that he wanted to use Breaking Bad as a device to show how someone like “Mr. Chips could turn into Scarface.” Last night, and to Skyler White’s horror, we see our first allusions to the movie about a man whose grandiose aspirations about being a drug kingpin and his megalomania lead him to his own self-destruction. And seriously, why the hell is Walter letting little baby Holly watch “Scarface?!?! He obviously doesn’t believe in the MPAA’s movie rating system.
Most of this episode was used to further the tensions between Walter and Mike (and eventually the tug of war for Jesse’s soul) and Walter and Skyler. Skyler clearly doesn’t want Walter around anymore but is way too afraid of him to tell him. When Walt starts moving his stuff back into the house, Skyler wusses out in telling him “Fuck outta here.” This seems to be causing her grief as it leads to her nervous breakdown where she tells Marie to shut up in what seemed like an infinite amount of times. I feel like most viewers have felt the same way whenever Marie opened her mouth on the show so that felt pretty relieving as much as it was disturbing.
But the most interesting part of the show right now is the escalating tension between Walt and Mike and the eventual tug of war for Jesse’s allegiance (and Walt has started to plant seeds in Jesse’s mind by telling him that he trusts him to do the right thing when it comes to letting Andrea know about what Jesse does while they were making meth). The episode starts off with Mike going from prison to prison, masquerading as a paralegal, to talk to the incarcerated members of his crew to reassure them that Chow’s death was not to be perceived as a message and that “they will be made whole” in terms of their hazard pay. This cold open goes a long way in showing you that Mike was more than muscle in Gus’ operation and that he had his hands in a lot of the day-to-day aspects and some financial aspects of the operation as well as keeping people in the business happy. However, you also see how professional and fair Mike to the people he’s responsible for. As you find out later in the episode when Mike is doling out the money between the 3 so-called bosses of the company, this contrasts with how Walt feels the business should be run. He feels like there shouldn’t be legacy costs. Why should Walt pay for Gus’ fuck ups? What Walt doesn’t know is that’s the cost of being the boss. In fact, he feels somewhat frustrated that he doesn’t have more control over Mike (considering the fact that Walt thinks he’s a boss) than he thought he would as evidenced by his quote earlier in the episode at Saul’s office: “He handles the business and I handle him.” Obviously, Mike has proven to be a lot more difficult to manage than Walt originally thought. And according to the last scene (where Walt compares Victor’s slaying at the hands of Gus to Perseus), Walt’s gears are grinding so he could find out a way to put Mike back in his place.