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Breaking Bad Recap: Walt Is Mr. Nice Nerd No More

Breaking Bad Ursula Coyote/AMC

Last week, we learned that Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) would be returning to their mobile meth lab roots. But this time, they're not setting up in a rotted old RV, but in homes being fumigated for pests. Behind these clownish tents, Walt and Jesse make the blue stuff without so much as a peep from neighbors worried about weird smells or noises—because what house being fumigated doesn't create some weird smells? The best thing about cooking meth in a fumigated house is that people will stay away. Far away.

Read our last Breaking Bad recap

Meanwhile, Skyler (Anna Gunn) is getting closer and closer to something of a nervous breakdown, as the combination of being scared of not just Walt's enemies—but Walt himself—continue to exhaust her psychologically and physically. Walt, on the other hand, has to deal not just with the rocky situation at home, but with his newly designated business partner Mike (Jonathan Banks), whose hustling services come with great financial cost for Walt and Jesse. Oh, the joys of cooking again.

WHAT WE LEARNED

Walt Lets Loose: Walt continues to prove that—this season, at least—he's as much badass as he is chemistry nerd. And what better way to shove your stuffy lab past behind than by ditching that Pontiac Aztec and leasing yourself a flashy new black sedan for your 51st birthday? Oh, and his son Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) needs something a bit sexier than a PT Cruiser, so Walt re-gifted that rev-happy Charger that his mother took away from him. If one thing is clear from this season of Breaking Bad, it's that Walt is letting loose. And a side effect of Walt letting loose is that he can also become a bit scary. Like, very scary. Just ask Skyler, who doesn't know if she can trust her life with the man she once again shares a bed with.

Skyler Wants You to Know She's Not Stable: Skyler is seeing more and more how Walt puts a spin on reality, and she trusts him less. For his birthday party—an underwhelming affair consisting of just Hank (Dean Norris), Marie (Betsy Brandt), Walt, Walt Jr. and Skyler at a nighttime BBQ—he lies to Hank and Marie, telling them how he's capable of affording two new rides because they're leases, and putting his now-trademark PR-spin on the tale. Skyler stands distanced from the group, looking creepily into the depths of the White's glowing pool. And then she just walks in, slowly, like a woman gone mad, until at last she stands at the bottom of the pool with her eyes open, hair floating above her. That is until the birthday boy jumps in to save her while Marie screams hysterically in the background.

Breaking Bad wins with the TV Critics

Marie and Hank Figure Out That Not Everything Is So Rosy: Once Marie and Hank have left the house—with baby in tow—we learn the real reason Skyler is acting erratically: She wants the kids out of the house, and she'll do any crazy old thing to make it that way. If that means posing as a mentally disturbed, distant mother, that's fine with her. Hank and Marie have agreed to take the kids for a few days, but then what? Skyler is determined to keep the kids out of their home environment—especially now that Walt is the new drug kingpin. And, now, more so than ever, it's Skyler and Walt who are against one another. The easiest out for Skyler, she says, is waiting for Walt's cancer to come back and kill him. Zing!

For the first time, it seems that Walt is no longer the victim—but the man causing the harm.

Missed more than the last episode? Here's another recap

ONE-LINERS

"You're back at it?" –Skyler

"It could be old inventory [meth] leaking out…it could be rebooting." –Hank

"Hell of a couple of cars there, Walt. For my next birthday, I'm going to take a page from Walt and buy myself a jet plane." –Hank

"I will count every moment that the kids are away from here as a victory." –Skyler

"We are not ramping down. Nothing stops this train. Nothing." –Walt

Catch up on some of the show's biggest OMG moments!

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