Breaking Bad: Bullet Points   Rewatch 
December 9, 2014 7:19 AM - Season 4, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The Cartel takes steps to gain the upper hand. Walt and Skyler share an embarrassing secret with the rest of the family. Jesse’s activities draw unwanted attention.

AMC content:
Gale’s Interactive Case File [Flash, auto-playing audio]
Gale's Karaoke Video

"When did this stop being a business, hmm? Why am I the only person capable of behaving in a professional manner?"

Donna Bowman, AV Club: "Walter betrays a fundamental misconception of the business he’s in."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This leads to one of the oddest twists in the series, where Gus decides to subvert Jesse. This is kind of my favourite series as it has Walt at his most futile and pathetic, and deservedly so. He has so much anger, so much self belief that he deserves things he has not earned.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:43 AM on December 10, 2014

I wonder if Gus already has a half-formed plan about going to Mexico, pretending to want to mollify the cartel. If so, it would make sense that he'd take advantage of the tension between Jesse and Walt to shore up Jesse's ego and pretend to need him. Gus already knows that Walt has outsmarted him once, while Jesse apparently was just his gunman, so he's probably thinking that Jesse might be useful outside of the superlab provided he can gain his loyalty. Walt, on the other hand, has already proven that he's dangerous and untrustworthy, so he's only useful to Gus in the superlab, under supervision.

Given that Walt has already tried once to kill Gus, I can't imagine Gus wanting to take Walt with him to Mexico for any reason unless he was certain that he'd never hear from him again. Walt wouldn't want to go--because of his family and because of his hatred for Gus--and he's both smarter and more suspicious than Jesse so he'd start plotting immediately.

None of this would be an issue if Gale were still around; he'd be quietly, competently handling things in the lab, probably with a minimum of fuss. He was also very open and naive so he'd probably go willingly with Gus to Mexico to teach the cartel chemists how to make their meth.
posted by johnofjack at 5:28 PM on December 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Walt and Skyler rehearsing always seems to me a bit meta: it's a scene about the mechanics of show business.

Lovely acting in that scene. Cranston's body language: he's all elbows and knees, folded in on himself, desperately unwilling to engage.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:04 AM on December 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

"We have to make this believable, they have to understand how you could do something so stupid." (offended look from Walt)

"So... chop-chop!"
"Don't 'chop-chop' at me...!"

"'Terribly, terribly ashamed...' *two* 'terribly's'? And why am I so ashamed, exactly?"

"You come out looking great -- there's no line about 'I had an affair with my boss' in here..." (or something like that... I don't have it verbatim)

Really great comedy moments here, never undermining the tension but certainly bringing some comedic relief. And yeah - it is definitely a meta commentary on the actors' lives.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:51 PM on December 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the desert scene in Crawl Space, Gus reveals one reason [maybe his only reason?] for trying to gain Jesse's trust:

Walt: "Stay away from Pinkman or else you'll do ... what? Kill me? If you could kill me, I'd already be dead. But you can't. You can't kill me because Jesse wouldn't cook for you if you did. That's it, isn't it? No matter how hard you try to turn him against me, to screw with his head so that he'd hate my guts, and he still won't let you do it."

Gus [smiling slightly]: "For now. But he'll come around."

Of course, by that point Walt had made himself more of a pain in the ass by calling the cops on Tyrus, and had also failed to stop Hank's snooping from causing any problems with Gus's business, so (as usual) it's not clear what Gus was thinking at this particular time. It's possible he hadn't yet decided to kill Walt as soon as possible (though I doubt it since Walt had already tried once to kill him).
posted by johnofjack at 4:29 AM on December 14, 2014

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