by Jason Zabel | Sun., Aug. 12, 2012 9:59 PM
Last week, we saw Walt (Bryan Cranston) ditch his angular old Pontiac Aztec for a sweet new whip, and along with that transaction came a shocking transformation in the way he treats his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), who is now, seemingly, more foe than friend.
Whereas once it seemed as though Walt was in the meth-cooking biz solely to help his family, things have changed, and the deranged glimmer in Walt's eye has him looking like a bit more creep than family man. In response, Skyler is acting out in alarming ways (creepily walking into a pool, freaking out at her sister at her car wash), so as to get the kids taken out of the house. And it works.
There's also drama with Lydia, the supplier of methylene, a key cooking ingredient. Her warehouse is under investigation by the DEA, and a tracker has been found under a barrel of her precious product. But who put it there?
WHAT WE LEARNED
Walt cries in front of Hank, because Walt is a manipulative genius: After the tracking device was found on the bottom of a barrel of methylamine as it was leaving Lydia's warehouse, Mike and the gang are none-too-happy with the law-breaking chemicals exec, because, well, they think she had something to do with the tracker.
But they don't know for sure—so Walt visits Hank's office, cries in front of him in an attempt to make him feel awkward enough to vacate the office in search of coffee, giving Walt enough time to tap Hank's phone line. Then Walt and the bad boys force Lydia to call Hank and report the recently found tracker: "Is this something you planted?" she asks. And lucky for her, it was the work of the DEA. Not that that makes Mike want to kill her any less. (Remember when she put a hit out on Mike? He's…not a big fan of Lydia.)
Mike and Walt still sorta hate one another, too: So, when you're in the business of cooking meth, sometimes tensions rise among those in power. For example, when Walt, Mike and Jesse learn from Lydia that they could get enough methylamine to fill a swimming pool—if only they robbed her company's train shipment while it moved through a "dark zone," an area with no communication capabilities—they begin to quarrel. Just a bit. Robbing a train is risky business, says Mike. But it doesn't matter to Walt—he doesn't see any other way, partly because of the 9 or so people they owe fat wads of cash to in exchange for tight lips. What's a meth manufacturing concern to do?
Let's Rob a Train: As Jesse suggests, the best way to rob the train of its precious methylamine is to do so without the people on the train even knowing. So the guys make an elaborate heist plan, the way only they can, with the expectation of nabbing 1,000 gallons of the stuff. Meanwhile, back at the White ranch, Walt Jr,—err, Flynn, sorry—is back in his parents' home, despite the wishes of his increasingly irritated mother, who'd like him as far away from his meth-making father as possible. But Walt Jr. insists on knowing what it is that's keeping him at his aunt's place, and he's growing increasingly frustrated with the mystery at home. But his dad shuts him down with a classic line of parental logic: "We're your parents. You'll do as we say." But it's hard to see this bossy decree ending well.
Watch Out for Little Boys on Dirt Bikes: In what is perhaps one of the more dramatic scenes of the entire series, Walt and company successfully complete their train heist. Truly, it's something to watch, because their plan obviously doesn't flow as easy as 1, 2, 3, the way they've planned. But still, they've done it, and just in the knick of time. There's only one problem: a young, innocent bystander on a dirt bike. He saw the whole thing—and he pays for it with a bullet, despite the screams of Jesse. Not good. Cue Jesse's breakdown in episode six.
"Skyler doesn't love me anymore. And I don't know what to do, Hank."—Walt
"You want the stuff? I'm offering you enough to fill a swimming pool."—Lydia
"What if we can rip off that train, and no one ever knows it got robbed?"—Jesse
"I'm not your wife. I'm your hostage."—Skyler
"The track is clear, Walter. I said get out of there!"—Mike
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