Breaking Bad: Kafkaesque   Rewatch 
November 10, 2014 4:42 PM - Season 3, Episode 9 - Subscribe

As Hank's hospital bills stack up, Skyler hatches a plan. Walt and Gus come to a better understanding. Jesse, looking for more independence, pursues a new opportunity.

The cold open: The old ways are still best at Los Pollos Hermanos.

CinemaBlend and Den of Geek list Breaking Bad's best cold opens. [spoilers for some future episodes]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You know, for all the talk of money laundering, Jesse seems to spend his illegitimate money fairly happily and never gets caught out. We also get Walt's gambling lie here, which Skyler creates to protect Walt Jr, and inadvertently makes herself more the villain in her son's eyes. This is a constant problem that Skyler has that she doesn't want Jr to know about what has happened, and all she really acheives for all her effort is to alienate herself from her son.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:26 AM on November 11, 2014

True; when Jesse gains the attention of the authorities it's only by hypothesizing about ricin or by throwing money out his car window.

At this point Jesse's being greedy (both in refusing to take a small hit on his enormous income by laundering his money and also in badgering Walt about how much more Gus is making than they are), but Walt seems content to keep their arrangement. They swap roles a few times throughout the series, with one pushing for more money and/or territory and the other content with the status quo.

Skyler's lie to Marie--intended to help Hank--pushes her closer to Walt, though she makes it clear that she's not forgetting that she thinks Walt's work is the reason Hank is in the hospital.

When Walt talks with Gus he gets a $3 million dollar a year raise. I wonder if he shared any of that with Jesse (or if he even had time to earn much of the raise). How is payroll handled when cooking meth? And how is it that Gus is just two steps up from a street-level dealer like Tomás? How much must the two dudes in the car be making, not to want to kill Gus and take over? How does Gus call contentious meetings without bodyguards? So many questions.
posted by johnofjack at 12:30 PM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

(Incidentally: the Los Pollos Hermanos ad in the cold open was the first mention of Madrigal Electromotive, which will become significant later in S4 and S5.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:46 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

When Walt talks with Gus he gets a $3 million dollar a year raise. I wonder if he shared any of that with Jesse.

It struck me too that Jesse has already complained bitterly to Walt that they're getting only a tiny fraction of what Gus is netting from their activity; but Walt accepts a fairly small raise here.

How much must the two dudes in the car be making, not to want to kill Gus and take over?

It's made clear in season 5 that Mike's guys were well-paid for their loyalty; and as Mike says to Walt in that series "we had a good thing going."

Skyler's lie is glorious because it's so much based in truth; and Cranston plays Walts' reactions so well, going from shocked surprise to admiration to false-modest self-aggrandizement: Walt can't resist a quiet boast about the money. "I did very well."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:54 AM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Mike says to Walt in [season 5] "we had a good thing going."

Having watched further in the marathon: also a few episodes down the line, in Half Measures: "Walt, you got a good thing going here. We all do."

(Full Measures also shows that Mike expects loyalty and punishes disloyalty: he shoots Chow through the hand to reinforce "I strongly recommend that you return our calls next time.")
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:40 PM on January 14, 2018

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