Breaking Bad: Mandala   Rewatch 
October 2, 2014 12:47 PM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

When Walt and Jesse’s crew of dealers begins to dwindle, Saul proposes a new business partner. Meanwhile, Skyler makes a disturbing discovery at work and confronts Ted. Jesse divulges his real profession to Jane, and their relationship takes a dangerous turn.

"You two suck at peddling meth." Saul has contacts. "Let's just say I know a guy who knows a guy. Who knows another guy."

The introduction of Gustavo Fring: chicken magnate, meth kingpin.
"I was told that the man I would be meeting with is very careful. A cautious man. I believe we're alike in that way. If you are who I think you are, you should give me another chance."

"I don't think we're alike at all, Mr. White. You are not a cautious man at all."
The title: Sanskrit for "circle". The episode begins with a death, ends with a birth.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"You can never trust a drug addict. "

One of my favorite episodes:
  • The shock opening of Combo being shot by the "little man".
  • Jane is SHOOTING HEROIN INTO HER FOOT as Jessie rises on a heron rush to the ceiling.
  • The wonderful direction of that scene (YouTube link). It reminds me very much of Ewan McGregor sinking into the carpet in Trainspotting, and I guess was an intentional reference to that scene.
  • The juxtaposition of the heroin scene and the orchestration of the '50s song, "Enchanted", The Platters really worked for me here, later on, with the prison shunting or whatever it was, it didn't, for unknown reasons. :D
Is it this episode or the next when we get the answerphone message from Skinny Pete about Combo's funeral? I find that so heartbreaking - and pathetic - that Jessie cannot even answer the phone, all he wants to do is get high. SAD. It's like he's nearing his all time low at this point.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:38 PM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yes, it's this episode: Skinny is impressed by the pearlescent white coffin, "definitely high-end."

A low point, but Jesse has SO MANY low points; rewatching, it's very clear that his partnership with Walt is very destructive to him.

So why was Gus convinced by Walter? Because ultimately Gus's first impression was very correct: Walt does have poor judgment. Maybe Walt impresses Gus by identifying him, by seeing through his low-profile front? Also, in retrospect: Gus is itching to get out from under the cartel's thumb, and he maybe considers taking on Walt as a supplier as worth the risk.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:57 PM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's a flashback scene in a later season where Gus is talking to Gale about Walter's meth. He tells Gale that he won't be working with that chemist because he's not a reliable man. But then Gale goes on and on about what a genius the dude must be, and you can see Gus changing his mind.
posted by isthmus at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yep, Gus really should never have gone with Walt. Sometimes I do wonder about the premise of this show. Is there reaaaallly a market for perfect meth? Especially when non-perfect meth will be a lot cheaper to produce? Are meth users realllly that picky? But its kind of a central tenant that Walt is the most magical meth maker in all the land, so I shouldn't be fussy.

Oh yeah, and we get Walt ignoring the baby being born here in favour of the money. Its one of those decision that even sort of makes sense, but it underlines that when the chips are down, Walt will choose this new business over his family.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:30 AM on October 3, 2014

"Are meth users realllly that picky?"

"We've got, like, the least picky customers on the planet!"

Nice bit of lampshading by the writers there through Jessie, I forget the episode ("Fly" ISTR).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:36 AM on October 3, 2014

"I don't think we're alike at all, Mr. White. You are not a cautious man at all."

I haven't been participating in the rewatch but have been skimming the threads sometimes, but I did want to hop in and say:

This line really sold me on Fring as smart. One of my favorite things in the show is any time someone doesn't buy the bullshit Walt's sold himself on and then some and is now trying to get them to believe. Fring seeing right through it and flatly rebutting it tells you a lot about him. Unfortunately for Fring, his greed and hatred of the cartel cause him to take up with Walt anyway.
posted by sparkletone at 9:04 PM on October 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

High or not, Jesse's really perceptive in his Los Pollos scene, too. He tells Walt flat out that what Walt's doing doesn't make sense and is a huge departure from what he was saying just a couple of weeks earlier when they were in the desert; and from that he figures out that Walt will keep selling meth, constantly changing the number for how much money he needs. (At this point Walt had been expecting them each to make $670,000 off the meth they had on hand, which would have put him most of the way to the $737,000 he said earlier that he wanted to leave his family.)

I really liked Gus as a character and would love to know more about him. He plays his cards so close to the vest, it's hard to know what he's thinking at any given time. His initial assessment about Walt--that he's not a cautious man--is right; and his later decision--that he can trust him--is wrong. And he's wrong, too, about Jesse; without Walt around as a master manipulator, Jesse would have been loyal to Gus to a fault.

Less importantly, I've only just realized it but the art in Walt's chemistry class is much cooler than any of the art I can remember from my own teachers' classrooms (including the art teachers'). Also, it really doesn't match his personality in the first episode at all; the aesthetics are way too adventurous.
posted by johnofjack at 6:12 PM on October 25, 2014

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