by Jason Zabel | Sun., Aug. 19, 2012 9:20 PM
Last week, we saw Walt (Bryan Cranston), Jesse (Aaron Paul) and Mike (Jonathan Banks) decide that the easiest way to get their precious methylmene—a key component in their meth cook—was to pull off a train heist. Yes, the guys figured out a way to block a speeding train, siphon the goods from the inside and replace it with an equal weight of water and then get off scot-free. And it was amazing to watch. That is until the end, when there was one minor whoops: A young boy on a dirt bike watched the guys pull off the whole thing, and he paid for that with a bullet to the head. Not a pretty scene.
WHAT WE LEARNED
What to do With a Child Killer Who Is Now on Your Team: After last week's unfortunate killing of the child dirt bike rider who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the three leaders of our meth collective have to decide what to do with Todd, who admittedly took too much control into his own hands, and shot the young boy because of fear more than anything else. They have a few options: a) Pay off Todd, who knows way too much about their "business," b) Get rid of him, i.e. commit more murder or c) Keep him on as part of the team, which is Walt's preference. In the end, Todd becomes part of the team, but not without a firm locker check from Mike, who will do whatever he can to put his subordinates in their place. Mike's the boss, Todd.
Mike and Jesse Want Out: Welp, Mike has had enough of being followed by the DEA, and apparently leaving childish notes for them (colorful language included) isn't getting them off his tail. So he wants out of the biz. Completely out, and a distraught Jesse is the first person he talks to about his decision. And it just so happens that after 14-year-old Drew Sharp was killed on account of their methylmene-stealing ways, Jesse wants out too. But what are we to do with enough methylmene to cook $300 million worth of meth, asks Walt? It just so happens that Mike has the hook-up, a serious buyer with loads of cash, who wouldn't mind taking the chemical for his meth efforts in the Phoenix area. Still, why would Walt settle for just $5 million when he could have a whole lot more? Our man is getting greedy. Very greedy.
Skyler is Still Waiting for Walt to Die: When Jesse and Mike go to visit the Phoenix-based manufacturer who can get them out of the game, they learn some hard truths: The Phoenix guy doesn't want their product, unless Walt sells his portion too. They want Fring's blue stuff, as they call it, off the street, and like any good business folks, they want to increase their market share. Sure, they'd buy the methylmene at a reduced rate if they can't get Walt to sell, but that's a no-go in Mike's book. So Jesse heads over to Walt's house in a fit of desperation to try and get Walt to sell his share, but guess what? He still doesn't want to. Walt has made bad business moves before, like the time he sold his share of Gray Matter, the company he co-founded and then sold for just $5,000, and now it's worth only a cool couple billion. The meth business is all Walt has left, Jesse learns. Skyler gets home and Walt invites a shocked Jesse to an awkward dinner where the truth from the last couple of weeks is revealed to Jesse in full: Skyler wants Walt's cancer to come back and kill him, because that's the only way her bad dream can end. So is Walt greedy? Sure, but he's also just trying to hang onto the only thing he has left.
Walt Gets Tied Up: Walt heads to the shop all worked up after his conversation with Jesse, but guess what?! Mike, consistently two steps ahead of the game, is already there waiting for him. He knows that Walt's pissed and after his methylmene. So the pair have a little sleepover in the office, wherein Walt is held captive until the final sale of the product the next day. But Mike has an important appointment with the DEA—and when he leaves, he ties Walt up using a plastic tie. But Walt's an inventive guy, and he fashions a kind of fiery tool out a coffee pot electrical cord—really—and once again he's free, and with only a bit of melted arm flesh. Meanwhile, Mike is busy getting a restraining order against his DEA rivals. When he gets back, he discovers Walt and Jesse back at the shop, and there's word of a new plan: Walt says he knows of a way that he can cook, and both Jesse and Mike can get away with their easy five mil. What will it be?
"I saw a threat and I took care of it the only way that I could." –Todd
"Marie, there are things you just don't know, that if you knew, you'd never speak to me again." –Skyler
"I don't know how else to say this, Mr. White, but $5 million isn't nothing." –Jesse
"These are great green beans, Mrs. White." –Jesse
"I have never seen someone work so hard not to get $5 million." –Mike
"Everybody wins." –Walt
(Originally published Aug. 19, 2012, at 8:52 p.m. PT)