Headscratchers: Breaking Bad

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     How was Walt able to poison Brock? 
  • They never show him doing it, but it's heavily implied, so when would he have been able to do it, and how was he able to get close enough to Brock to get the poison to him?
    • Vince admits this would be tricky, and might have involved putting it in his juice box.
    • Before Vince's explanation, I was on the lookout for hints of how Walt accomplished it. At one point, Walt, in an attempt to have a casual chat, verbally remarks to Brock about his Froot Loops cereal and I thought maybe it was the cereal box.

     Walter, Jesse, and Andrea 
  • During the scene in S 5 E 03 with Jesse and Walter on the couch enjoying a beer, was Walter purposefully manipulating Jesse into breaking up with Andrea? It's fair to say that that conversation is what prompts their break-up but it's always puzzled me whether Walter intentionally did it or not.
    • That was always my impression, yeah.

     Barrels and Barrels 
  • Is there any reason, other than dumb luck, why Hank, Gomie and Jesse knew exactly which barrel color and material to buy? It's very plausible that Walt overlooks the ground around it because of the adrenaline, how little attention people give to soil color, and the similarity between different samples of New Mexican desert soil, but if the barrels were metallic or blue or yellow, it would've been the kind of detail he'd immediately recognize and the jig would be up. It's also pretty clearly implied that Hank & Gomez's onscreen conversation with Huell (in which, IIRC, he gives no particulars on the barrels) is the only one they have, so is it just a Contrived Coincidence?
    • Huell actually does give them the size of the barrels and exactly which store he bought them from. Maybe they got lucky, and that particular store only happened to carry one color of barrel in that particular size. Or if it did become an issue, I'm sure they could have consulted with Huell off-screen. It's not like he wasn't available.
    • Huell says "plastic, black, 55 gallon type. I got 'em at Home Depot."
  • Speaking of which, where were those barrels when Jesse needed one to stuff Emilio's body in?

     A Talk with Past Walt 
  • This is question kind of combines Headscratchers with Wild Mass Guessing: Knowing that Walt admitted he enjoyed making meth what advice would last episode Walt give to first episode Walt?
    • "Don't cook meth." Sure, it got him money for his family, but it also completely alienated them from him. I think he realized this in the last episode.
      • Actually, if anything, I'd say it would be the opposite. Something more along the lines of 'Cherish every minute.' meaning both with his family and with the meth. It's clear that Walter's choices caused him a lot of grief but, in the kitchen with Skyler, he really does seem to be saying he regretted none of it. For the first time in as long as he could remember, '(he) was alive.'
    • Though, in the more practical realm, he'd probably warn himself not to call Uncle Jack when he's cornered by Hank and Jesse. Though it isn't given much attention in the show, I think it's fair to assume that Hank's death is among the things that caused him the most grief.
    • Or to get rid of the Leaves of Grass Gale gave him. Without that, Hank presumably never would have discovered he was Heisenberg.

     Mike: Impulse or Premeditated? 
  • It's always puzzled me: Was Walter planning on killing Mike before he did so? I think the commonly accepted interpretation is that it was a mark of utter impulsivity and scorned hubris; showcasing just how far Walter has degraded from his former self but there are a few things I've noticed that might suggest otherwise.
    • First off, he killed Mike with the gun from his Go-Bag which obviously meant he removed it before confronting Mike. In my mind, there are three broad motives behind this: 1) He had no intention of killing Mike 2) He considered the possibility of killing Mike or 3) He was definitely planning on killing Mike. #1 seems the easiest to dispense with: It's possible Walter removed the gun because he feared for his safety when confronting Mike alone. But if this was the case, then why did he leave it in the car rather than have it on him? A gun is only as useful as it is accessible. The same line of reasoning can used to write #3 off since why would you leave yourself (temporarily) vulnerable to a man you knew you were going to kill. So, this leaves #2 as most likely by process of elimination. And this is my first piece of evidence: The fact that Walter considered the possibility of killing Mike before Mike had a chance to piss him off.
    • My second point is with regard to the end of the episode, Hazard Pay. It always bothered me why exactly Walter decided to bring up Victor. The first time I watched it, I assumed it was just the writer's answer to a question that fans had been asking since Victor's Death and on technical writing level, I still believe this was the core motivation for including it. However, from a narrative viewpoint, there can't not be significance in Walter saying he understands that Gus killed Victor 'for taking liberties that weren't his to take' immediately after the heated expenditure meeting between him, Jesse, and Mike. It has been established both in and out of the show that, in Season 5, Walter was beginning to think of himself as the New Gus. And if, in Walter's mind, he was Gus, then perhaps Mike was his Victor and the 'liberties' refer to the hazard pay that Walter loathed paying. At the very least, it seems possible that murdering Mike entered his mind then. And this, I say, will be my second piece of evidence.
    • It's with these two points in mind that their general relationship can be shaped around. It is well-established that Walter resents anyone who challenges his pride and by the first half of Season 5, the only two who do have the cajones to challenge it are Mike and Skyler. It does seem fully possible that Walter grew to loathe Mike through the course of their business dealings because he was, in a way, the last barrier to the peak of Walter's pride. And because so much of Walter's story can already be understood as a series of eventual triumphs over others toward full self-actualization, it remains more consistent with the theme to understand killing Mike as another one of those 'triumphs' rather than simple rash act.
    • And finally, there was Walter's insistence for the names from Mike during their confrontation. There doesn't appear to be any good reason for Walter to have those names other than the prison assassinations he later executed. From that, it seems likely that Walter was planning on the assassination as or before he asked Mike(possibly as early as the aforementioned expenditure meeting.) Yet, Walter must've known as well as everyone else that Mike would not stand for his men being shanked in prison. It seems very unlikely Walter would even consider the possibility of executing a plan and leaving a huge loose end like Mike in the mix. When Walter finally does execute the plan, in no way is the set-up presented as a 'well, Mike's dead now so I might as well.'
    • And it's with all this that I believe the most reasonable interpretation is that Walter had intentions of killing Mike before he met with him. Because the circumstances of their meeting were little more than shitluck, it doesn't seem very likely that Walter had this premeditated past the drive to see him. But nonetheless, I feel the trigger may have been pulled even had their meeting gone cordially.

  • How come no one tares their scales before measuring meth?
    • I got the impression that they did but it happened offscreen.

  • Why in the hell was there a raisin in Gus's lab?
    • I remember Walt packed a lunch to the lab in some other episode..
      • For a professional chemist, he certainly has poor lab etiquette.
      • To be fair - it was probably Jesse's.

     Hank's Promotion 
  • Hank getting promoted. Yeah, he's done a lot of good at his job—taking care of Tuco and his cousins, suspecting Gus when no one else did, even though he didn't really contribute much to taking him down—but he's also done a lot of not-so-good. However many drug dealers you catch, I feel like you don't get a big promotion so soon after you follow a man into his home to beat him up without a warrant. He was also acting really erratically before that, with the beating the random guy in the bar and whatnot, and while he was right about Gus, he was going about it in a way that is legally suspect, at the least; he got his civilian brother-in-law to drive him around so he can stalk people he's been told are no longer suspects. He has good intuition, but he's pretty awful at everything else. He doesn't even speak any Spanish, which seems like something a DEA agent in New Mexico should be able to do.
    • It might be a political thing-promote the hero who busted a guy no one else even suspected? That's how he got put on the Juarez taskforce at least. In Breaking Bad-world, Jesse's refusal to go to trial against Hank also got him off the hook with internal affairs. Not speaking Spanish isn't a big handicap when 90% of his work is behind a desk and most Mexican police speak English, if anything it was a bigger problem when he was in the field.
    • I'm surprised he didn't have any mandatory counselling; he probably could have benefited from it.
    • What I'm wondering now is how Hank could possibly think it's a good idea to be alone in a room with Jesse when he's not even supposed to be there, with the expressed purpose of making Jesse angry.
    • Hank's behavior prior to beating up Jesse wasn't known to the DEA since Steve was covering for him. The Jesse situation probably dropped off everyone's radar since Hank got shot right afterwards (and like stated previously, was never officially charged).
    • It was most likely an attempt to keep him under control, his boss even berates him for serving search warrants and "knocking down doors". ASAC is apparently a purely office job, and he's told to stop looking into the Fring case.

     Jesse's Loud Parties 
  • When Jesse is throwing those massive, loud, drug-fueled parties at his house, with presumably-under-21 year olds, where the hell are the cops? It's not like he lives in a bad neighborhood where that sort of thing happens every night or the cops are preoccupied with other thiings. He lives in a $200,000 house in what appears to be a nice, middle-class neighborhood. Not to mention his house was covered in graffiti and his lawn went to shit. He didn't even get so much as a single neighbor complaining. How did Jesse get away with throwing these loud raves night after night? Does he live next to a bunch of deaf people?
    • Huh...that's actually one hell of a good question.
    • Jessie still holds leverage over Hank, who, in turn, likely told the AQPD to give him a wide berth.
    • For what it's worth, Jessie's parents were selling it for $800,000, and were coerced into selling it to him for $400,000.
    • Maybe complaints were made, but he only had to pay fines. He sure as hell had the money to spare at that point. I guess it probably never went too much further or the police probably would have discovered something, which would be strange, but not incredibly unlikely IMO.
    • Music from Jesse's place is heard as distant and muddled even from outside his front door. Even if the neighbors could occasionally hear a bass thumping, unless their specifically bothered by the noise, they wouldn't have any reason to complain to the police. So my neighbor likes his music loud. Who cares? Only certain people would call the police for this unless they were being specifically aggravated, and there's no evidence that Jesse is bothering anyone.

     Castor beans 
  • Where does Walt get Castor beans? He doesn't have time to order them and they don't grow in the states. Where does he get them?
    • There are variants grown in North Texas.
    • The plant isn't grown commercially for oil in the US (it's a tropical plant), but it is grown as an ornamental/annual, even in places that get far colder than Albuquerque. It's entirely possible that a quick stop at a large home and garden store was all he needed.
    • He told a story about how old baby rattles contained the beans before people knew what you could make from them. This is probably where he got them, spotting an old rattle at a garage sale or something similiar.

     Asleep at the Wheel... Yoke... Whatever Planes Have 
  • Were the pilots of the two planes in ABQ all asleep? How does one not notice a plane coming towards your plane?
    • It's actually hardest to see a plane coming right for you - when you're looking at a plane nose-on as it is just a round thing with narrow flat parts coming out of it. Also aircraft travel at high speed so it doesn't leave a lot of reaction time. A real-life example would be the 1986 Cerritos mid-air collision - the aircraft were closing on each other at about 1100km/h (300m/s) and neither pilot was able to react in time to avoid a collision.
    • They also had confirmation from the control tower that they were both good to go. A controller saying that your flight path is clear is supposed to be the end all, be all for pilots. Even if they had automated warning systems or any sort of fail-safe, it's likely they would have disregarded them in favor of the controller's go-ahead.
      • Actually, airplanes have a system called Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and it should override any directions from the air traffic controller should there be conflicting directions.
      • But that relies on the pilots reacting to it the right way. Remember the Uberlingen disaster of 2002 where a Boeing 757 and a Tupolev collided over Germany: the avoidance systems kicked in and advised to the collision; one pilot listened to the system and followed the suggested path, the other resorted to his instincts and made a judgement call for a different path, causing both to collide anyway.
      • The smaller plane would be unlikely to have the correct transponder type (modes C or S) that TCAS needs to work correctly.

     Blaming Walt for Brock 
  • When Brock is poisoned, why does Jesse immediately think that Walt did it? The more obvious conclusion, to me, was that Brock stole Jesse's "lucky cig" and smoked it.
    • Jesse knew he had it AFTER seeing Brock for the last time, because he swapped it out to a new pack. He says so when he confronts Walt. Walt even suggests perhaps Brock got it somehow. And because only Walt knows it exists and where.
    • If Brock's mom is a smoker too, he's probably been told many times to keep his hands off other people's smokes. Jesse would know this, so he wouldn't assume Brock stole his poisoned cigarette. As far as Jesse knows he and Walt are the only ones who know about the ricin. So the only logical possibility is that Walt stole it somehow and poisoned Brock to punish Jesse.
    • Brock wasn't poisoned by ricin, but from some other plant, that Walt had in his backyard.
    • It's also never established if smoking the cigarette with the ricin capsule in it would even allow the poison to enter the smoker's system. The show presents it more so that one would need to apply the poison in food, which would take planning.
      • Ricin is effective if inhaled (as dust), but it's also a protein, and those tend to denature (and therefore become inactive) and even decompose at much lower temperatures than are required to vaporize them. Whether Jesse would have known this or not is questionable, but it's certainly possible that Walt and Jesse had a discussion that we didn't see in which Walt pointed out explicitly they needed for Tuco to snort or eat the ricin, not smoke it.
      • You say "never established" but Br Ba's genius chemist warns Jesse when he first rolls the cigarette, "Just don't smoke it." I think we can take Walt's word for it that might be a bad idea.
    • Jesse has already seen that Walt has the skill to make and the guts to give people poison. Suddenly Brock is "sick", so of course the first person Jesse suspects would be the guy he watched put poison in Tuco's food.

     Walt's Pride and Charity 
  • "Skyler, it's charity." "Why do you say that like it's some dirty word?" Why does Walt say that like it's dirty word? I admit I've met people who were too prideful to accept charity but only when their money troubles were somehow their fault (bad investments, a gambling problem, whatever). But Walt's cancer and subsequent medical bills aren't his fault at all. So why does he have so much trouble accepting even the slightest bit of help? (Full disclosure: I'm still finishing up season 2 right now so if it's been explained since then I apologize.)
    • It's just Walter's personality. He has an insane pride, and he feels weak if he can't be self-sufficient. Skyler implies at one point that he was raised that way, and of course the fact that he's never really lived to his full potential (with his chemistry skills, he could have done a lot better than being a high school chemistry teacher) has made his ego easily-bruised. The idea of taking money from his former partner, his falling out with whom caused his current financial condition, is like salt in his wound.
    • Walt's tragic flaw is very much his pride. This becomes more and more obvious as the series continues. His breakup with Gretchen, the fallout with Schwartz, his refusal of their money, and his decision to cook meth are all these impotent attempts to wrest control of his life from an indifferent universe. He's always felt put-upon and bitter. There's always been this feeling, boiling just beneath the surface, that the world owes him something. And then he got cancer.
    • Because he's already making way more on meth and doesn't want people to have to sacrifice for no reason?
    • Some of this is personal: Gretchen and Elliot bought out Walt's shares in Grey Matter when it was a small startup and he feels like they cheated him out of millions. This isn't just charity, it's money that Walt feels is rightfully his-taking their money means he either the buyout was fair or he has to take his own money and let everyone think it was a gift from Gretchen and Elliot.
      • Of course, that's exactly what he's doing with his meth money anyway.
    • Walter's really obsessed with the idea of being the provider for his family. Look at his reaction to Saul's plan to launder the money through Walt Jr.'s website; he doesn't even want his family thinking the money is from strangers, he wants them to know that he is the big man and he has it all taken care of.

     Timeline Troubles 
  • The series starts with Walts 50th birthday on September 7th, 2009. In season 5, Walt turns 51, making it September, 2010. 4 episodes later (approximately september 9th, 2010), one of the gang members Walt hired complains that "whacking Bin Laden wasn't this complicated" - an event that would happen more than 7 months in the future to them.
    • Writers Cannot Do Math.
    • The episode was supposed to be set in 2010, Vince Gilligan admits the line was a mistake.
      • A mistake in writing. Though you could fan wank it and say the gang member is one of those conspiracy theorists that believes Bin Laden was taken out before then.

     More Brock Questions 
  • Okay, so in the season 4 finale we find out Brock was poisoned by much less lethal Lily of the Valley berries instead of ricin. Walt conveniently happens to own this species of plant. I'm guessing Walt was still the one who made the ricin cigarette disappear so Jesse would assume that was the source of Brock's sickness and he could turn it around and blame Gus. Now, between Gus constantly watching Walt, Walt being driven to paranoid insanity over getting his family killed, and Walt being terrified to leave his house, how the HELL did he actually do it? How was he logistically able to get the berries from the plant beside his pool (Point A) to Brock's mouth (Point B) in the window of a few hours while remaining completely transparent and not even having a plan before that morning?
    • Saul and his mooks. They had direct access to Andrea and her kid, since Saul was giving her the money from Jesse himself. Saul is VERY eager to give Jesse his share, even though Jesse is in no real danger. Sure, Saul was in a hurry, but it didn't stop him from meeting with both Jesse and Walt in the finale. Also, pay attention to Huell when he pats down Pinkman - it looks like he hides something in his pocket.
    • This is proven correct. Huell did indeed steal the ricin from Jesse. Jesse realizes this when Huell steals something else from him in a later episode, as he understands that he pulled this same "bump and snatch" trick before...
      • the mooks have been consistently developed as nothing beyond bumbling, incompetent comic relief before this event. Yeah, they helped Walt and Skyler get the car wash, but Skyler was the one who did most of the work there. Did these same goons manage to flawlessly pull off Walt's improvised master plan in a split second of time between episodes 11 and 12?
      • They may not be smart, but Saul is. He's been giving candy to Brock, too. And there was time - it's been at least a couple of hours between Walt's Russian roulette and Jesse getting the phone call from Andrea. Besides, these guys are stupid: the only real time they screwed up was when Ted got crippled, but in that situation would Gus Fring expect Ted to act like such a fucking moron?
      • But, why would Saul help out Walt? The episode before Saul had to be begged by Walt to make a phone call yet Walt talked him into poisining a kid he has previously showed affection for. Also, this plan doesn't fit Saul's usual motivation of self preservation.
      • He's a paranoid crook. And Walt's plan fits his motivations perfectly - Gus could easily consider him a loose end, especially after Walt's disappearance plan failed. Also, he's helping in a perfect opportunity to create a power vacuum in the meth business, and Saul's greedy enough to think of becoming Walt's Tom.
      • Not to mention that Saul was more worried about Gus finding out he called the DEA on him then actually making the call for Walt, once Walt says he doesn't have to mention Gus at all then he has no problem doing it.
      • The answer is that they didn't execute the WHOLE poisoning phase of the master plan. They palmed the ricin cigarette and that was it. Walt was the one who found Brock and gave him Lily of the Valley hidden in something, probably candy or chocolate. There were some pretty well-sized chunks of time he spent offscreen when he could have done this. If you don't believe it, check out the focused, almost fearful way that Brock eyes Walt when he visits Andrea's house in late season 5.
    • Why do people consider this part of the plan some kind of incredible coup? All right, yeah, a lot of the stuff having to do with Jesse and Hector were insane masterstrokes, but come on. Getting a six-year-old to eat something? Anybody over the age of 13 could pull that off, no problem.
      • You have to remember it's poison. Maybe anyone could, the remarkable thing is that Walt would.
      • Remarkable as this may be, it doesn't really have to do with the question at hand of how he could do that.
    • There is a small reference to this early in season 5 that vaguely confirms that Saul helped, though there's never any explanation besides Saul saying something like " I didn't know the kid would end up in the hospital." Basically we have to assume it somehow, since the show never explicitly tells us. Something that probably should have been done in a flashback in season 5 (we see a relatively trivial flashback about how Jesse squanders money for the RV at a strip club, yet the show skimps on a major plot/character development point in the season 4 finale?) It's done for dramatic delivery of the twist at the end of the episode, but that's still a somewhat weak excuse.

     Gus' Organizations 
  • How exactly does Gus's organization work? How does he have time to micromanage his fast food restaurant while also running a massive drug operation? How does he run a massive drug organization with what appears to be only two lieutenants- Mike and a random easily-replaced guy? How can Mike have the time to be a "cleaner" and a private investigator for Saul, respectively, if he's also doing all this work for Gus? How can the other guy have time to watch Walt and Jesse all the time they're at work, and Jesse long enough to figure out exactly which of his houseguests stole all his money, since he seems to be Gus' #2 guy? Why does Gus personally negotiate a dispute between a low-level drug crew and Jesse and Walt if he's so high up that barely anybody actually knows him? Given all these apparent limitations on his organization, how does he go up against the freaking Mexican Cartels and win?
    • To be fair, Mike was a cleaner before Gus got the meth lab running. We now see him being Gus's lieutenant full time.
    • Maybe this weird, small, tiny crew working inside legal bounds (the laundry, Los Pollos Hermanos) is the reason why this operation works out. And Gus' settling the dispute between Jesse and the two drug dealers makes sense, coming how he wants to give the vibe of a Benevolent Boss all the time. Also, this dispute is crucial - if a lackey of his makes a mistake, it could cost him Walt, his Golden Goose
      • His organization was never that large to begin with. After S4, we see all of gus's soldiers arrested in jail or in hiding. There was maybe 10 people, it's implied it was small, but, huge and most the workers were illegal immigrants.
    • Also, real-life criminal organizations aren't huge either. They consist of more or less the same amount of people that Gus has hired, for the same reason Gus had; the smaller the group the easier it is to maintain control and the less of a chance someone going to rat. It was already shown that while Mike was The Dragon, he still did a lot of mundane jobs like dead-drops. It's logical to assume that the rest of his henchmen also had many duties on top of being just muscle.
    • Actually, we see a lot of Gus's organization; the inspectors and packagers who prepare the meth once Walt and Jesse finish making it, the trucks that distribute it throughout the country inside buckets of batter, the street-level slingers, the drops where Gus's sellers leave the payments they received. Add Madrigal to the equation and we know where the chemicals come from. How did the meth actually get from the Pollos franchises to the dealers? Is there one person in each restaurant who extracts and distributes them? What happens if there's a fire, or if he gets pulled over on his way to a delivery?

     Hank's Stakeout 
  • In season 3, where Hank starts staking out Jesse's house, why doesn't Hank just show the picture of Jesse to that girl from the gas station? If he gets a positive ID, then he has enough to get a warrant and search Jesse's house.
    • First off, that picture isn't enough for a positive ID. That's why the police have line-ups. Hank couldn't get a positive ID without tipping Jesse off. And that wouldn't be enough to convict him. MAYBE they could get him for selling, but not producing. Hank needs to connect Jesse to the RV, and he can't do that if Jesse knows he's being watched. Also, a photo lineup would be just as useless. You need much more than just a static 2D visual. That's why TV cops are always telling each person to move forward (to identify gait or body language) and say something the witness heard them say (voice, pronunciation, etc).

     Jesse and Badger 
  • So Jesse leaves Badger in the desert after an argument and fight. Then after Jesse and Walter escape from Tuco, Jesse is all of a sudden hiding out with Badger? What gives???
    • Badger isn't really smart. Like, at all. We're talking about a guy who starts humping a canister of P 2 P. And he does call Jesse out that he was left in the desert, so he could have some slack cut here.
    • Friends fight. Friends make up. It happens. Badger doesn't seem the type to hold grudges.

     Why Doesn't Gus Just Kill Him? 
  • So, why doesn't Gus just kill Walter, cut his losses and replace him already? His reasoning is supposedly, with Gale dead, no one else can cook as high-quality meth as Walter can, but why exactly does he need 99% pure meth? Wouldn't Gus rather have an inferior cook that does what he's told instead of a loose cannon master chef who has this history of causing trouble for him? His customers are drug addicts, and probably used to much lower quality drugs. They're not going to stop buying because it's not premium quality.
    • Even if Gus really cares about the purity of the final product, it should be a non-issue; just repurify a lower-quality batch until it meets his standards. There'd be some loss involved, but he clearly doesn't have any problem getting the raw materials and they're cheap (if you can get them at all) compared to what he's paying Walt.
    • Explained in Season 4 Episode 8 in a flashback which showed a young Gus pitching the idea of selling meth to the cartels with a very good friend who is a talented biochemist. This friend could have stressed the importance of purity of the drug and he may sell only the best as to not disgrace his memory.
      • I rather suppose that he has to *absolutely* meet his quota. As Jesse said, he has no Gale left, and the guy who knew how they cooked was seen at the crime scene, and not reliable enough if something went wrong on the chemistry-side of things.
      • Exactly. I forget the episode, but Gus said that because of the enormous overhead costs of his operation, he can't afford to halt production even for a day. Plus, given the occupational hazards of the job (loss of product due to raids, or the need to pack up and get the hell out of Dodge in order to avoid the DEA) Gus probably needs some "cushion money" to stay safe and afloat.
    • The trouble of finding someone smart enough or experienced enough to handle the superlab, but who's willing to break the law. Ordinary meth cooks don't know enough chem to run things smoothly, and most chemistry experts aren't criminals. Remember, Gale wasn't just some guy Gus recruited, he knew him through that scholarship thing. And Gus' meth needs to be a certain quality for the operation to be effective, his superior product allows him to charge more and gives him an edge over the competition.
    • The same reason Walter wouldn't cook with a fly in the lab.
    • It's revealed in late Season 4 that Gus was originally planning to have Walt come to Mexico to cook for Don Eladio's cartel (ultimately having to use Jesse instead because of the blowout between Walt and Gus), thereby smoothing relations between Gus and Don Eladio enough for Gus to get close to him. That way he gets to enact his revenge-by-poison plan that we see in "Salud." Having the purest possible meth is key to this plan; it's very likely that if Jesse hadn't been able to cook meth at such a level of purity, the cartel would have entirely dismissed Gus (or would not have invited him to their base at all). It's also a form of triumph for Gus to be able to come back so many years later with the knowledge that not only has meth become increasingly more relevant than cocaine, but that he can still provide better quality meth than Don Eladio can. So I'd say that Gus actually does need the highest quality meth to ensure all of his plans will come to fruition, and it's not just a matter of preference.

     Wouldn't Jesse Object to Gus' Plans? 
  • So, Gus is planning on killing Walter's family if he attempts to interfere in his plans to kill Hank, and he just assumes that Jesse's going to be ok with this? The guy who was planned on getting himself killed to avenge a child's death is just going to be cool with Gus offing an innocent women, a teenager, and an infant?
    • We don't know that Gus told Jesse the part about killing Walt's family.
      • In fact, we now know that he didn't tell Jesse about that, since Jesse had to hear about it from Saul.
    • It's possible that he was only bluffing to keep Walter in line. In season 3, Gus is highly offended when Walter suggests he may have had a hand in the murder of a child.
    • Okay, he didn't tell Jesse, but still, he couldn't do it. If Walt's family was suddenly wiped out, Jesse would probably figure out that Gus was behind it. He must have been bluffing.
      • He was probably planning on killing Jesse, too, as soon as he could afford to. He had just manipulated Jesse into revealing Walter's formula and method in Mexico.
      • However, the only survivors from that incident were non-chemists, and they would probably have to teach ANOTHER non-chemist without the benefit of another chemist training him. So, a brilliant chemist teaches a talented amateur, whose formula gets sorta copied by non-chemists, who then teach it to maybe another talented amateur. At that point, the purity has declined so much with each successive imitation, it will only be marginally better than the Chili P crap Jesse sold at the beginning.

     Gus' Operation Pre-Walt 
  • What was Gus doing before Walt? He clearly had plenty of money, a distribution network, a chain of Los Pollos Hermanos, and was constructing the lab with the intent of having it run by Gale, but how did he get it to that point? Was Gale working for Gus for a lot longer? It seemed that Gale was going to start working for him, but Walt came in instead and pushed Gale down the ladder.
    • Gus tells the ABQ police (Hank, Gomi, and the Leut.) that Gale was an aspiring chemist and Gustavo had financed his education. So yes, they went way back.
    • It's implied that Gus was working with the Mexican Cartel from the beginning, acting only as a distributer in the US. His plan, apparently, was to build his own superlab in the US, then cut ties with the cartel and get the DEA to go to war with them (hence the attack on Hank). That way, he'd control production AND distribution and eliminate his main competition.

     Gus' and Walt's Conflict 
  • The whole conflict between Gus and Walt bothers me. I mean, yes, Walt killed a couple of his dealers, but there were extenuating circumstances. Gus is nothing if not patient. This is a man who saw his best friend murdered in front of him and waited twenty years to take revenge. But he feels the need to kill his best cook over the lives of a couple of street dealers who presumably mean nothing to him? And okay, I can see the need to get rid of unstable and disloyal elements in his organization, especially after Gale's murder. But then why does he try to replace Walt with Jesse? Jesse, who defines the word unstable, who was responsible for the whole thing with the dealers, and who actually shot Gale? Seems to me that Gus should have just forgiven Walt a long time ago and this whole mess wouldn't have happened.
    • Gus wasn't just angry over Walt killing two lowlife dealers. Walt's actions created a grotesque murder scene and left bodies Mike had to spend the entire night cleaning up. Leaving bodies in a public place jeopardizes Gus's entire operation, making Walt a HUGE liability. Just look at how Gus reacted to Victor letting himself be seen in Season 4. Also, he recruits Jesse because Jesse can basically create Walt's product while still being younger, stupider, and more malleable than Walt. With Walt, all Gus sees is a man who is far too close to being his intellectual equal to ever be trained into serving under him.
    • Also, "Half-Measures" make it clear Walter and Jesse are loyal to themselves, not to their employer. Jesse was already an unstable element Gus allowed only out of respect for Walt and out of necessity. Gus was already dependent on Walt, letting this slide would give Walter a big mental advantage. Hell, trying to punish it STILL did that: just see how Walt acts in season 4 - he's both paranoid about his life and on a power binge after winning the battle with Gus. There was no way to control him anymore.
    • I dunno, the more I think about this the less sense it makes. OK, so here's the situation: Jesse wants to kill two low-level dealers who killed his friend, especially because they used a child. Walt rats him out to Gus (so that should be in Walt's favor). Gus calls a meeting, sternly admonishing the two who used the child, telling them to cut it out. They kill the kid, Jesse tries to kill them but Walt does it first. Why does Gus care about this so much? Either 1) the two low-level dealers disobeyed him in killing the kid (so they're at least as unreliable as Walt and Jesse), or 2) he ordered the death of the kid (which considering Season 4 seems more likely, but didn't at the time, to either the characters or us). Only in scenario 2 does it make sense for him to get angry at Walt and Jesse, BUT even then why wouldn't he just lie and say "Uh, hey guys, thanks for taking out those two dudes who totally disobeyed me and weren't supposed to do that, now get back to making me hundreds of millions of dollars"? Seems MUCH easier and more sensible for Gus, especially after he just made a big deal about being offended that Walt would dare suggest he ordered the death of a child. Things go back to how they were, with everyone content and making money—no dead Gale, no Hank on the trail, no dead Victor. Hell, no dead Gus. But that isn't just a mistake in hindsight—I don't think it made any sense at the time. Why was Walt's reaction after killing the two guys "run"? Shouldn't it have been "run...to Gus to tell him we killed two guys who disobeyed him and murdered a child"?
    • Walt and Jessie are Gus' cooks, not his assassins. Having them go off on their own to kill these two guys is not their job and it's a huge threat to his organization because they did it in such a public way. The killing proved to Gus that Jesse and Walt can't be trusted not to do something incredibly reckless and dangerous when they feel justified, and that makes them a liability. Also, Gus didn't order the death of the kid. He only said "No more children" in the scene, and the two idiots misinterpreted him.
    • True, but if Gus didn't order the death of the kid, then his killing (a very public child murder) is way worse than what Jesse was planning on doing or what Walt eventually did (a pretty public gang shooting, which is probably relatively routine for the Chicken Man's organization considering how much turf he controls). Considering that this was the first time Walt (or even Jesse) had ever done something like that, and the unique circumstances—Jesse's girlfriend's brother is the one murdered—it just doesn't make sense for Gus to immediately decide that Walt and Jesse need to go. Maybe he decides that they're too unpredictable (though I'd think getting rid of them would be riskier), but if so the obvious thing to do is pretend to forgive Walt and Jesse and get rid of them later down the line. Gus all but announces that he's going to off Jesse and Walt immediately after they take care of a huge problem for him, albeit one that they weren't supposed to solve.
    • Gus is mad at them because the very last orders he gave to Jesse and Walt were to leave well enough alone and let him handle it from here on out. In fact, Mike had already told Jesse that they were sparing his life in the first place as a favor to Walter. You do not kill a drug lord's dealers: as soon as somebody kills his dealers and gets away with it, it's open season on his men from anyone who wants a piece of his turf, because he's proven he won't defend them. Gus orders everybody to play nice and let him handle things, and the very next evening Jesse and Walt have killed those dealers even though they gave Gus their word that they would never even speak to them again. They've proven themselves both capable of violence and disobedient; Gus cannot afford to abide that.
    • Gus is supposed to be so cautious and yet these street-level dealers (or at most a half-step up from that) not only know who he is but meet with him personally? Either there's more to them than meets the eye, or Gus' vaunted caution is an Informed Ability.
    • How exactly did Jesse fare so much better than Walt with Gus and Mike, when both killed the two low-level dealers and Gale. If anything, Jesse is the trigger that drags Walt into it, since Walt gets involved just to save Jesse from the shootout. Jesse is the impulsive meth-head that Gus and Mike both wanted Walt to write off before this, and no matter how loyal, clever, and useful Jesse can be while sober, he will always be an impulsive, unpredictable, meth-head at his core. It was also Jesse that stole from the superlab and wasn't happy with their very generous pay package, not Walt. I understand Gus and Mike having their issues with Walt; what I don't understand is how Jesse gets off nearly scott-free with them, especially when Jesse was seen as the problem and Walt's trigger before. I'll buy into the idea that Gus chose to build up Jesse's trust while moving him away from Walt, in order to subvert the bond between the two. I'll also buy into taking Jesse to Mexico, because his 96% cook is still good enough for Gus' plans there, and he is more expendable. What I don't get is how Gus breaks his no-addicts rule, and allows Jesse to get genuinely close to the hearts and safety of Gus, Mike, and the organisation, while all the while dumping the blame on Walt only. Gus and Mike seem like perfect pros, carfully planning and building for 20 years. Why not just keep Jesse busy (and away from Walt) while at the same time giving Walt a chance to clear the air and give Walt some monkey-help like those cleaning girls (with no hope of understanding, let alone copying the formulea), which is all he really needs. If Walt felt he and his family were safe, he would never have plotted to kill Gus (or Gale), and he probably would have kept on making 99.1 pure Blue Sky until the end of time (or cancer). I always felt Gus and Walt were both cold blooded reptiles (no offense to reptiles), but they were both interested in a stable profit, and it would have been in both of their interests to work it out amicably and realize that Jesse was the true unstable trigger that just needed to be kept busy and important elsewhere in the organization. If Gus and Mike had some fatal flaw (like Walt's pride and ego) that would cause them to blame only Walt for the transgressions or to declare him alone to be unredeemable or expendable (and not Jesse), in order to move the story forward, then I felt that was never clearly fleshed out. Also, if the plan was to divide and conquer, first getting Jesse to allow Walt's death, but then eventually planning to replace Jesse as well, once a new Gale-like cook was trained, that was never fleshed out either. If anything, Gus and Mike acquire a genuine fondness for Jesse that prompts them to take risks, yet they fail to see that Walt was just doing the exact same thing with Jesse. Even Mike continues to lay all the blame on Walt (post-Gus), conveniently forgetting that Jesse was in on it too, and so was Gus and his goons in the way they terrorized, intimidated, bullied, and planned to kill Walt. How did Mike seriously expect Walt to react, other than to try and save Jesse's life (in the shootout), and to protect himself, once it became clear that Gus planned to murder him (Walt), and in the meantime make the cook as difficult as possible without the needed help in the lab, which is also in no one's best interests. It all left me headscratching how Mike and Gus got to that point with Walt alone, and not Jesse.
    • My fridge brilliant moment was that the dealers must be Gus's kids.

     Cousins' Motives 
  • Season 3 questions regarding the motives of Tuco's Cousins Okay, so I'm just watching this through now and I don't speak spanish so I'm missing a lot of Season 3 dialogue - but why are Tuco's cousins so gungho about killing Walt, and only go after Hank when Gus says they can't kill Walt (at least, I think that's what's going on, again, no subtitles on Spanish dialogue). Tio knows Hank killed Tuco (That's why Tio wouldn't help Hank put away Jesse). Yes Walt did try to poison Tuco (and failed), but Hank is the one that killed him, yet it seems like revenge on Hank is an after thought or a substitute for killing Walt. What gives?
    • The cousins originally thought it was Walt (Heisenberg) who had killed Tuco. What Gus told them was that it was actually Hank who had done the deed, which was the truth. This made them shift their anger and resolve towards Hank.
    • Hank is a DEA agent. Killing a government official or law enforcement means a LOT of trouble for organized criminals, so it's a big taboo. The cousins didn't have permission from the Cartel to kill Hank, so they went after the next best target. Gus told them that they were operating in his territory, and that he was willing to give them permission to kill Hank if they laid off Walt.
      • Also remember that Tuco's death took place outside, Hector only heard what was happening. Walter admitted that they'd tried to poison him, then there was a struggle and a gunshot. Then Hank pulled up and there were a lot more gunshots. Given that Tuco probably had a fatal wound before Hank even arrived, it's hard to say where to place the ultimate blame for his death.

  • In season 2 Tuco beats one of his boys so hard he starts convulsing and has no pulse. Tuco tells "Heisenberg" to "breath into his mouth" (perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) but Walt refuses, saying "they don't teach that anymore, it doesn't work". Uh, what? Because they taught it to me when I got my CPR certification.
    • He's lying because he doesn't want to do it. Also, I don't think mouth-to-mouth is going to fix someone who's been beaten to death.
    • That's the part I was unsure about. I thought he might have been lying, but why? Why not just say "it won't work"? Or even "I'm a chemist, not a doctor"? But instead he makes up a very specific lie that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation doesn't work and isn't taught anymore.
    • It IS taught, but you're also taught not to do it unless you have the right mask, otherwise you're just asking to catch something deadly. So it's really a lie by omission more than anything.
      • There is some truth to it. CPR isn't taught as much as it used to be, primarily because of how ineffective it is and how dangerous it can be to perform.
    • I've heard that they don't do mouth-to-mouth in CPR anymore. If it's untrue, then it might simply be an urban legend getting repeated as fact.
    • It's one of those last ditch things that they prefer not to do. Emergency responders are prepared for intubation, basically the same thing but without the possibility of catching hepatitis. Some docs complain that it used to be a rite of passage for a patient to vomit in your mouth.
      • There is an element of truth to it, depending on how up to date you are. So-called 'rescue breaths' are no longer taught as they are deemed to be a waste of time. Instead you are now taught to go straight on to chest compressions, followed by breaths into the mouth (with, as said above, a special mask to prevent transmission of disease).
    • It actually is not taught anymore for most situations ([1]). Mouth-to-mouth is shown to be unneeded in many situations where hands-on CPR is just as fine, so now the Red Cross offers courses on being both Hands-only trained and full CPR trained. Getting a full CPR certification now features a section on when to and when not to use mouth-to-mouth.

     Gus' Professionalism 
  • If Gus is so concerned with caution and professionalism, why did he demand Walt have the meth within an hour when he made the first deal? That's just inviting in sloppiness that could draw attention to them for no real reason. It doesn't prove Walt is loyal or competent. It might have proven Walt was eager to do what it takes, but it was shown earlier that Gus values professionalism over eagerness by a long shot. It's possible that Gus' lieutenant set up the deal without bothering to tell Gus specific details, but it's still basically the same problem since Gus shouldn't have people like that in his organization. Besides, Gus knew in advance how good Walt's meth was, he shouldn't have delegated the first deal to someone lower down in any case.
    • Because Gus doesn't really want to work with Walt. It's a test. He only really got around the idea of hiring Walter for reals when Gale kept prodding and prodding about Heisenberg during the superlab set-up.
    • First, we don't know if the time demand was inheirant to Gus's deal or added by Victor to mess with Walt. Either way, it's a test how committed Walter is. Gus later states "you can never trust a drug addict" and complained that Walt's partner was both late and high for their initial meeting. Gus and Victor both have reasons to believe Walt's operation is less than optimal. This is a way of testing their commitment.

     Hector in ABQ 
  • How did Hector Salamanca end up in ABQ? He seemed to be based in Mexico. How did Gus find him in the nursing home?
    • Tuco's safehouse was on the north end of the border. Gus has a network of private detectives and associates in the Cartel that could've told him.
    • Hector did time in San Quentin in the 80s and 90s, so he was already in the United States before the series began.

     More Timeline Troubles 
  • I love the show, but I've noticed a strange timeline error. The show mainly takes place in the year 2008, with it having recently had the year turn to 2009. However, Jesse is shown playing Sonic and Sega All-Star Racing on multiple occasions. However, this game came out in 2010, so it doesn't make sense that Jesse would have access to it.
    • Chalk it up to slightly alternate timeline. :{dd
    • Same goes for the game Rage, which is even more recent (2011). I also wonder how well that '09 Dodge Challenger fits the timeline. One possible motive for anachronisms is promotional value. Both my examples are mentioned in the commentary as paid product placement — the show is expensive to make, so they seize these opportunities when they can.
      • The raid on Osama bin Laden's compound is also referenced in Season 5, which in real life took place in 2011.

     Gus' Idiot Ball 
  • Gus is smart enough to know to encrypt the incriminating surveillance records on his laptop, but still writes the account numbers down and hides it in a photo frame. So the only thing that can not only bite Gus in the ass, but the entire operation is left un-encrypted and ready to be found. Seems like a big Idiot Ball. Considering this was an insurance to keep other key members of his organization in line if they ever get incarcerated it's a pretty big one.
    • Hiding a small slip of paper in a photo frame is arguably more hidden than putting it in an encrypted file on a laptop. Any laptop encryption can be broken, and if Gus uses that laptop for web-surfing the possibility becomes even more likely. On the other hand, the only way a piece of paper hidden in a photo frame would be found is if someone knew where to look for it and they had access to the place where Gus keeps it.
      • If Gus had chosen a proper encryption algorithm, the decryption without knowing the pass-phrase would take a considerable amount of time (centuries at least). But even if you want to have the benefit of hiding an encrypted data storage, just buy a 1Gb micro-SD and hide that. It's even smaller than a piece of paper. If I'd be cooking meth and murdering people, I wouldn't leave anything plain text anywhere.
    • And it works if he ever needs it quickly. Only he knows where it is and he could have quick access to it. And we don't know if he didn't have a backup or if it wasn't on the laptop - it's safe to assume that such a savvy man as Gus would have that information backed up in many ways.
      • This. Imagine a scenario where he had only a short time before the DEA were going to come in to bust him. He can fry the info on his hard drive- but he's going to need the numbers, both for himself and for the "retirement funds" he's set up for his top guys- which will keep them from talking.
    • It's a series of Cayman Islands accounts. Gus is wealthy through legitimate means, the police would probably think those accounts were Gus' way of dodging income taxes-sleazy but legal (or at least less illegal than drug-dealing; tax evasion is most likely fines and possibly time in a minimum security facility, distributing methamphetamine is RICO confiscation of everything and hard time in Federal Pound-You-In-The-Ass Prison) if they found out about them. Even if they did bust him for meth distribution, a personal photo would probably be left alone. It only wound up in evidence because he's dead, which gives the police way more discretion in searching his home & office.

     Skyler's Financial Knowledge 
  • Two things way back in season one. In an early episode, Skyler berates Walter for spending $15 to buy paper with a credit card that "we don't use". Why have a credit card if you don't use it? Secondly, she found out about that, but never found out about Walter draining all the money from their account to buy the RV?
    • In these types of scenarios, credit cards like that are usually for emergencies. I got nothing on the other one though.
      • People usually get bank statements monthly, so she probably wouldn't find out about it until then. By that time Walt would have enough money could replace it and come with an excuse for why he withdrew it. Not a perfect explanation, but it's a small enough issue that I'll be going with it.
      • The amount of time between episodes on this show is really vague, so he may have charged it the day before they mailed the statement.
      • Most banks automatically call the cardholder if there's suspicious activity and let the cardholder define "suspicious", so Skyler could have them call whenever the card is used. Albuquerque teacher pay sucks and Skyler's writing career is floundering, so they can't afford the risk of someone fraudulently using that card. They might use it for emergencies, and a good credit score is required for many types of loans.
    • The credit union account is implied to be Walt's private savings account.
    • Depending on when they got the card, it could improve their credit score to keep it open, even if they don't use it. As for why they don't use it, it could be any number of things—high interest rate, fewer rewards, etc.
    • Early Installment Weirdness. Walt is later shown to keep extremely tight hold on the reigns of the family finances, which she shrugs off as "just one of those weird quirks" and/or "he probably doesn't want me looking at a constant reminder that he's accepting the Schwartz's charity" (that being his cover story at the time)... at least until enough other holes have been poked in his story that she gets suspicious.

     Jesse's Dirty Money 
  • How exactly is Jesse laundering his money? Unless I'm forgetting something, he rejected Saul's nail salon idea and we never heard anything past that, so as far as we know he is unemployed (on paper) but still has enough money to own his own home and pay bills without welfare. Wouldn't that arouse suspicion?
    • My thought: his parents are extremely well off and as the public perceives it, he got their house in a settlement along with some extra cash.
    • The house could be in Saul's name: His owning the house wouldn't be suspicious, and he could claim to be letting Jesse stay there for free. Jesse probably wouldn't care if the house was legally his.
    • The house may not be in Jesse's name- remember, his parents didn't know he was the buyer until after the deal was done. The check probably came from a "mortgage company" Saul set up. Plus, the government usually doesn't notice these sort of "income/outgo" disparities unless a person is already under investigation, or unless their income tax/property tax forms raise red flags. Since the whole series has taken place in about one year, it's unlikely anyone would have noticed anything yet- which is why setting up a money-laundering scheme would be important.

     Price and Bulk Discounts 
  • I was rewatching Season 2 and noticed something. After Walt encourages Jesse to expand his dealers' turf, he says they aren't charging enough and suggests they raise the price since they've cornered the market. Later on, after they cook the 40 pounds of meth in "4 Days Out," Walt asks Jesse how much they're charging and Jesse responds $40,000 a pound. Walt seems surprised at the high price and Jesse responds "You said raise the price." But wait a minute. When Jesse first started running his three man crew before any of that happened, he instructed them to sell for $2,500 an ounce. $2,500 an ounce is $40,000 a pound. So did Jesse raise the price or not?
    • That's by the ounce, not by the pound. It might be $2,500 an ounce and $30,000 for a pound for the bulk discount. At $2,500 ounces, they should be selling teenths at $150, but I vaguely remember a scene where a teenth was $300 or something. But yeah, drugs have price breaks at bulk.
    • I assumed that when Jesse said $40,000 a pound, he meant that he and Walt got $40,000 a pound after cutting the dealers in, meaning they each got $20,000 a pound. As it stood before, he and Walt got $16,000 a pound each.
    • Nope, this is a certified gaffe, people. It's all in the numbers. First, when Walt performs the calculations, he says, "$40,000 per pound, minus distribution charges", implying that the STREET price is $40,000/pound ($2500/ounce), not his and Jesse's cut. Second, Walt says he and Jesse each get $672,000 for their 42 pounds. That's $16,000/pound, or $1000/ounce, for each of them. So the street price is still $2500/ounce, and he and Jesse still get $2000 of that, split evenly between the two of them — exactly the pricing they had before Walt told Jesse to raise the prices.

     Walt's Insurance 
  • Don't most public school teachers get health insurance through their work? Insurance doesn't pay for everything, but I don't recall them saying that Walt got a dime from his own insurance.
    • Walt was going in for a special, more intensive treatment. Insurance companies don't like paying for terminal illnesses.
    • His health insurance would have paid for part of his treatment if he'd visited the (less skilled) doctors within his HMO network and stuck to only the (cheaper, less effective, less likely to work) treatment that his HMO covered. The copays would still have been steep, and the chances that it would all be a waste (the chances that he'd be paying all that money for a treatment that wouldn't actually work) would have been much higher. As it is, he went to a better doctor outside his HMO, and — as HMO's do when you visit a doctor outside their network — his HMO didn't cover it.
    • If you assume Walt is cooking meth ONLY for cancer treatments, this might be an issue. But cancer treatment is a gamble, no matter how good your oncologist. Marie and Skyler (coupled with the Schwartzes' money as Walt's alibi) talk Walt into seeking premium care. But he's as motivated to leave some money for his wife and kids behind (or more) as paying for treatment.

     Walter White's Work Woes 
  • So Walter White is a genius-level chemist, an absolute master of his craft, correct? Why is it, then, that he was unable to find better work after Greymatter than as a poorly paid High School chemistry teacher? He says himself that he is extraordinarily overqualified for his job and yet apparently never acted on that fact. Certainly a Chemist who has been recognized for work that won the Nobel prize would be able to find a more lucrative position in some chemical company than working in a public school, with part-time work at a car wash.
    • Walt was an underachiever before the start of the series. He spent his life doing work that was beneath him for people so much less intelligent than he was. That's part of why cooking meth was so intriguing. He was finally his own boss, doing something that only he can do.
    • Bad luck, pure and simple. Someone like Walt would normally lead a fulfilling and successful life, but due to a series of unfortunate circumstances he ended up stuck in a dead end job way below his qualifications and way below his pay grade. That, in addition to what the above troper said, is why Walt turned to crime. Deep down he feels the universe itself has conspired against him for decades, with lung cancer as the horrible rancid cherry on top of the shit sundae that is his life. So he feels morally justified in whatever he does.
    • Sooner or later, Walt fucks up everything because of his ego. He walked away from Gray Matter for what we can only assume was petty bullshit, and I seriously doubt that was the only time in his life he ever did something like that. He can't stand working with people who see themselves as his superiors or even his equals — not for long. He can't even deal with his family getting money from outside sources — he needs them to be dependent on him. Deep down inside, he stays with his teaching job because at least it gives him the satisfaction of knowing that he's smarter and more qualified than anyone he works with. He does better in the drug business than in legitimate business because in the drug business, the way that he naturally acts is more acceptable. If a chemist loses his shit over disrespect and demands that everyone acknowledge his superiority, he's insane — but a drug dealer who does that is just a drug dealer.
      • It's been implied in interviews with creators and such that Walt left Gray Matter (and Gretchen) because he couldn't handle Gretchen's family's extravagant lifestyle. Gretchen is some kind of trust fund baby from the sounds of things (not saying that she's not intelligent or has her own merits), and Walt was overwhelmed by the fact she's never really had to work for anything. Walt hates handouts, and much like how at the start of the series he and Skyler struggle to make ends meet, his family were incredibly poor growing up due to his father's Huntington's disease. He (probably) felt like staying with Gretchen would be marrying into a family of handouts and charity. This is mostly speculation though.
    • Walt worked at Los Alamos and Sandia, prestigious labs where many jobs require a PhD, after leaving Grey Matter but wound up leaving both for unknown reasons. Walt Jr. was born shortly after the move to Albuquerque, so he probably took a teaching job to avoid uprooting his family.
    • FWIW, I had a physics teacher in high school who was roughly as overqualified as Walt. In the summer he'd go do research with prestigious institutions on the East Coast, and the rest of the year he'd teach basic physics and astronomy to a bunch of jerkass high-schoolers in Arizona, one of the worst states in the U.S. in terms of teacher pay and benefits. He'd routinely butt heads with the school administration and taught those of us he considered his favorites some relatively subversive political ideas on the side, and he got away with it because he was also an excellent teacher, very popular with the students and most parents, and finding a qualified replacement who was willing to work for so little money would have been very difficult. Some people just like to be a big fish in a small pond.
    • Walt may just eventually fuck up all his workplace situations. The extenuating circumstances and short life expectancy may explain the examples in the series, but the fact of the matter is his making a move on Carmen and going 'deeeez nuuuts' on Bogdan are terribly unprofessional. Completely speculative, but he may have fucked up really badly (physical violence against a co-worker, for example) if he felt his boss/colleagues were stealing the credit for his work. The only way he could get a job after that was to get out of the chemistry research world, where it became a widely-known incident, and fake his references or apply to a place that he could get to hire him on the spot. High school teacher may have genuinely been the best job available. That being said, it really is a tough-to-explain Headscratcher, possibly so tough to explain the writers just gave up on it.
      • This makes sense especially in the context of the show's flashbacks. For instance, when we see Past Walt with Gretchen at Grey Matter or when he's house shopping with Skyler he's very arrogant, closer to Heisenberg than the beaten down milquetoast we meet in the pilot. It's easy to imagine that this arrogance not only cost him his job, but poisoned his reputation in his field—if word gets around that it's not worth the drama to hire him, his options are severely limited.
    • There is nothing unbelievable about this, it is actaully one of the most realistic elements to the series. Walter is extremely skilled but lacks the social skills to negotiate the workplace. I know literally *dozens* of people that are as smart as Walter but can never make >50k positions because of their egos/behavior/arrogance.

     Fulminated Mercury 
  • When Walter first meets Tuco, he uses a chemical compound to cause an explosion. An explosion that he sets off near his feet and is powerful enough to blow out all the windows in the room, yet it leaves Walter almost completely unharmed?
    • The compound was fulminated mercury. As for the event, chalk it up to Rule of Cool; fulminated mercury, while highly explosive, in such small amounts cannot produce enough force to kill a person. The effect on the building was a bit exaggerated but still cool as fuck.
    • Walt also threw the pellet across the room, not at his own feet. Quite possibly, it was much closer to the windows than humans, though the exact angle is not shown.

     Better in Texas 
  • During his interview with Hank, Mike mentions that he's licensed as a private investigator in "New Mexico, Utah, Arizona; every state where we operate." Hank brings up Colorado, but neither of them mention Texas. But if you go back to Season 4, the opening of 'Hermanos' is a Los Pollos Hermanos commercial which fades into a glimpse of the meth operations, specifically the meth being packaged and hidden in buckets of batter. Two of the shipments of batter are being sent to Lubbock and Brownfield, both of which are in Texas. Does Pollos operate in Texas after all? (Texas does require a license to be a private investigator, so it seems unlikely that both Mike and Hank would forget to mention it.)
    • Hank was looking for any evidence of Mike's illegal or off-record work for Gus, and Mike was giving just enough information to shut Hank up and prove he was following the law. Hank realized the licensing question wasn't helping the case, so Texas didn't matter. So yeah, they are in Texas, it just didn't come up in the interview.
    • It might be a partial list of the states, simply omitting an "et cetera" at the end of the list.

     Walt the Suspect 
  • It seems like Walter should have been at least suspected of something fairly early on. I understand why Hank wouldn't think his brother-in-law was up to something, but when a bunch of chemistry equipment goes missing, some very chemically pure meth turns up, a robbery is committed using a chemical compound, and this is all connected to the deaths of two major drug dealers. Not to mention that during the second drug dealer's death, Walter, the genius chemist with access to all this stuff, was missing for two days. Not to mention that Jesse was a major suspect in the Tuco case, and it is known that Jesse is an associate of Walter's. Somebody at the DEA should have at least been asking questions.
    • Hank has an idea of what a meth cook looks like before he investigates the chemistry equipment storage and Walt doesn't fit it, ditto for the parents. Hank also generally writes Walt off as book-smart but dumb at everything else. There are tons of chemists in this country, and even high-school dropout Jesse can turn out high purity meth. Jesse and Walt have alibis for the time they were with Tuco, and Hank thinks Jesse is too cowardly to be Tuco's killer. No one thought Walt's disappearance was drug related, so the APD and DEA would have no reason to talk. Skyler doesn't mention Jesse to the cops, and Hank probably doesn't care about the Jesse-Walt connection since it turned up jack. As far as the DEA knows, Emilio skipped out on bail and Krazy 8 is a missing informant, since their bodies were dissolved. Thermite is available from chemical supply stores and isn't tracked, you don't need to be a chemist to use that stuff. Hank is pushing the blue meth-Heisenberg case at the DEA harder than anyone else, so his biases are going to factor into the investigation.
    • The fact that Hank doesn't believe Walter when he bluntly states that the duffel bag contains $500,000 in the Season 3 premiere all but confirms this.
      • That could just be Hank humoring his brother-in-law through the divorce.
    • Plus, even if they didn't focus in on Walt specifically, they still have a limited pool of suspects in the lab robbery due to no signs of forced entry. There should have been investigation for every one of those people with access, to the degree that discrepancies in how Walt was operating should have shown up.
      • I think it might partially be because Hank's killing Tuco and subsequent promotion and reassignment puts the chain of command for the investigation on hold, and by the time Hank is firmly reestablished as running the blue meth case there's a combination of the trail being assumed to be cold, and Hank's own distraction and uncertainty in his investigation.
    • Hank sees Walter as a mild-mannered underachiever who "who wouldn't know a criminal if he was close enough to check you for a hernia." Pick the dorkiest, gentlest person you personally know and imagine them as a ruthless drug lord. Hard to make that leap.

     To Trap a Badger 
  • So, I might be missing something, here, but how exactly does Badger not get off scot-free due to entrapment in "Better Call Saul"?
    • Eagle Land
    • Badger would have to show that if not for the police officer's behavior, he wouldn't have tried to sell meth to anyone. US criminal law has a really high standard for entrapment, and entrapment allegations would have to be made to a judge to get the charges dismissed. Given the circumstances, claiming entrapment would force him to admit meth possession without guaranteeing acquittal on the other charges. Cooperating gets Hank and Gomez to drop the charges.
    • If those circumstances were valid criteria for entrapment, then sting operations would be worthless.
    • I'd have to rewatch the scene to be sure, but I don't think the cop ever actually says, "Could you please sell me some crystal meth?" The whole deal was done on a wink-wink/nudge-nudge basis, where they both know they're talking about meth, but don't say so out loud. So long as the cop doesn't explicitely ask someone to do something illegal, it can't be entrapment.

     Hiding the Bodies 
  • I assume it probably wasn't an important plot point, but does anyone know what Mike did with Chow and Chris' bodies?
    • Most likely broken down with acid the same way they did with Victor and others.
    • We see a photo of Chow's body at the start of 5B when Hank is going through the case notes, and Mike himself never used acid and relied on Jesse and Walt for that. Most likely answer is he cleaned up all evidence of his connection to the crime scene and let the police handle it.

     The Train Job 
  • Walt, Jesse, and Mike were awfully lucky the train car they needed to rob happened to stop on the bridge above the tanks they buried. They only knew which car carried the methylamine a few hours before, long after the tanks were already in the ground. And they couldn't control where the train stops, since there was only one road for the decoy truck to break down on. What was their plan?
    • They had a lot of extra tubing and could have just run the hoses a few extra cars up/down as needed.
    • According to Vince Gilligan, a tanker full of a hazardous material like methylamine would have to be kept on the rear of the train. You see Jesse running a wheeled device over the tracks of the trestle before the robbery; he's measuring to figure out exactly where the car will be.

     Dark Territory 
  • What was the point of having Lydia bring up 'Dark Territory' in Dead Freight? It's somewhat of a clumsy conversation over a topic that turns out to be completely irrelevant - the engineer and conductor make no attempt to call for help.
    • Trains are GPS equipped, so an unscheduled start or stop outside of dark territory automatically gets reported to Homeland Security, even if it's due to something completely mundane. Post-9/11, standard policy has been to treat any unscheduled stop as an emergency.
    • It seems safe to assume they make no attempt to call for help because they've done this route a number of times and they already know cellphones will be useless in that area.
    • Also, at the time Lydia made that suggestion, Jesse hadn't come up with his idea to rob the train without anyone realizing it. She was working under the assumption that they were going to board the train and capture/kill the crew, who certainly would have called for help if they got the chance. She proposed they stop the train there to prevent them from doing that. It still ended up being important (because it gave Kuby an excuse not to have called a tow truck) just not for the reason she initially suggested it.

     Offing a DEA Agent 
  • In "Buried", Saul recommends assassinating Hank. Wouldn't that cause way more problems than it solves? Skyler knows that Hank knows, and killing Hank would lead to a crackdown.
    • Maybe, but if they got to Hank before Hank brought his concerns to the police, they wouldn't know to trace it back to Walt. The DEA would surely swarm all over looking for the killer, but if they didn't have any evidence, they'd be out of luck. It's a risky suggestion, but not a completely unreasonable one.

     The Cousins' Travel Plans 
  • The Cousins. Can't they just book a plane to enter the United States?
    • And bring in guns with hollow-point bullets through customs? Uh uh.
    • *Sigh* Take the plane and buy the bullets in the States.
    • Right, because that wouldn't arouse suspicion at all.
    • *Sigh* If you're a Mexican national coming to the USA with the intention of murdering someone, maybe you would want to avoid Customs and Immigration? Especially if you know an easy way in?
    • I thought you pretty much needed a spotless criminal record to get into the States, especially from Mexico. What's the likelihood those two have clean records?
    • No, no, and no. First, buying weapons in the States is less suspicious than blowing up a truck of migrants. Second, are you going to tell ICE that you come to the States to murder someone? Third, it's not impossible. Juan Bolsa gets to the States without problem.
    • Yes, yes, and yes. First, they're nutjobs who love their obviously custom-made axe, and probably their guns. Second, whatever you tell the ICE, there's now a record of you coming into the states. Third, we have no clue as to how Bolsa got into the States, so your point is moot.
    • Coming into the States is not a crime, and records are useless if cops can't link you to any crime. And yes, we have a clue as to how Bolsa got into the States. He said the day he could no longer cross the border is the day he retires. Either he is willing to be reduced to sitting along a bunch of illegals in a coyote's truck, or his record is clean. Take your pick.
    • What makes you think the cops wouldn't end up being able to link them to a crime? They weren't exactly subtle- they left the body of the woman whose house they took over outside- didn't even bury it. And they attacked Hank in broad daylight , in a public place. I imagine they're probably known killers, even if no one specifically knows their faces- remember how the one kid reacted to their boots when he realized exactly what design was on them? I don't think that was just a "ooh, they're bad guys' response- he knew something about two guys wearing boots with skulls on their toes. They knew they either were already or would be on the cops' radar- why call attention to themselves by travelling in public, when there are trips across the border every day- trips where it's easy to get rid of any trace that they were ever there?

     Does Saul Know About Mike? 
  • In "Blood Money" and "Buried" both Jesse and Saul correctly think Walt killed Mike. For Jesse it's the logical conclusion considering that Mike has disappeared without a trace and Walt had Mike's men killed. Does Saul think the same or does he actually know?
    • Saul knows. He made the comment about "sending Hank to Belize."
    • In Blood Money, Saul asks Jesse rather pointedly if he's been in touch with Mike, and Jesse shakes his head slowly, as if to say, yeah right. Saul likely suspects (he's no dummy), but uses the 'Belize' conversation to feel Walt out more fully on the matter. Walt's reaction ("I'll send YOU to Belize") is confirmation enough.

     Hank and the Nursing Home 
  • How does Hank know, or rather correctly suspect Walt bombed the nursing home? even if he knew about the connection between Heisenberg and Gus, Declan's thinking that Gus' death was engineered by the cartel makes more sense, even if it is wrong. Hank knows there are several people who were involved in Gus' illegal business, so why would he think that the maker of blue meth and the person responsible for killing Gus, Mike's men, and probably Krazy-8 and maybe even Gale (even if that one was Jesse) as well would be one and the same?
    • Anyone who was anyone in the cartel died before Gus did. With that in mind, Hank's assumption probably makes more sense than Declan's. Even if there were a few stragglers left over, like Hector, it would be a hell of an effort to pull off that kind of move from so far away with your manpower already crippled. Plus, Hank probably thinks it's too coincidental that Gus died exactly as the DEA was starting to move in on him. It reeks of someone allied with Gus, i.e. Heisenberg, taking him out to cover their tracks.
    • Hank also remembers how Walt was insisting on staying at the car wash when the DEA took the White family to Hank's house for protection. In hindsight, Hank realizes that Walter had something to do with planning Gus's death.

     Juice Box Man 
  • If Vince Gilligan's "juice-box man" theory regarding how Walt poisoned Brock is canon, How does Saul know Walt poisoned Brock? Why would Saul think there's a connection between the cigarette box Walt got Saul to steal from Jesse using Huell and Brock getting sick unless Walt told him so? And if that's the case, why would Walt do that?
    • For the record, the "juice-box man" theory is that Walt put the ricin in a juice-box and gave it to Brock at his school.
    • From what was said in one of the last scenes of "Live Free or Die", Saul had no idea that Brock would end up poisoned, possibly thinking that the ricin was for Gus or one of his men. So, the best that we can extrapolate is that Saul must have put two and two together after news of Gus' death spread around.
      • Technically, Saul only said that he didn't know the kid would end up in the hospital. Walt could have just assured him that Brock would only end up with a mild fever and a stomachache or something. A couple days of bed rest, long enough for Walt to execute his plan, then up and back in action.

     Half Measures 
  • What was Mike actually trying to convince Walt to do with the "half measure" speech?
    • Give up on Jesse. Not kill him or anything, but stop trying to save him.
    • He's not trying to convince Walt to actually do anything. It's an appeal to Walt's rational side. Jesse is a danger to the operation, including Walt, at that point, and Mike is pointing out the way to eliminate a danger is to eliminate it, not to wave your hands at it and hope things go okay. Mike really just wants Walt to understand this and not to try to protect Jesse or fly off the handle when he turns up dead.

     More on Brock 
  • OK, so Brock was poisoned with Lily of the Valley and not ricin... so why exactly did Walt steal the ricin from Jesse in the first place? Back-up plan? Unconnected desire to keep him safe by taking it off him? Given Jesse's Right for the Wrong Reasons Eureka Moment in "Confessions", that could turn out to be a major goof.
    • The plan was for Jesse to think Walt poisoned Brock, so Jesse would go after Walt. Then Walt could convince Jesse it was Gus who poisoned Brock. Then Jesse would find out that it wasn't ricin, but Lily of the Valley, but by then Gus would already be dead and Jesse convinced that killing Gus was the right thing to do and that Brock getting poisoned was an unrelated matter. Also, consider the relationship between Walt, Gus and Jesse at this point. Walt is disconnected from Gus and Jesse so it's not like Walt could have poisoned Brock then called Jesse to tell him Gus did it. Walt doesn't know what Gus is doing at any given time. At the same time Walt knows that Jesse wouldn't stand a chance against Gus on his own. What Walt needed was a situation that would turn Jesse against Gus, and want him to team up with Walt. And Walt couldn't approach Jesse with this, he needed Jesse to come to him. But not thinking Saul and Huell would ever use the same steal an item technique again was an oversight, though it could be attributed to Walt's state of mind.

     The Fly 
  • A whole episode revolves around Walt's inability to cook with a fly in the room contaminating the process. But in series 5, he and Jesse start cooking in houses undergoing pest control - that is, buildings that will be filled with insects. And this was Walt's idea. How does that work?
    • They were cooking inside a little plastic tent area, separated from the rest of the house by its walls. Presumably, Walt made sure the tent area was immaculate, even if the rest of the house was bug-infested. And as far as I can remember, it was in the middle of the main living area, away from your typical major infestation cites like walls, corners, and the kitchen.
    • Walt never genuinely cared about contamination. Whenever Walt is feeling pressured and out of control, he tends to focus on small, practical problems (usually problems that absolutely nobody cares about but him). Remember when Hank was shot, and there was that scene where Walt fixes that wobbly table? Walt gets his sense of self-worth from solving problems. The events of Fly were essentially Walt grasping at something to make him feel in control.

     Are the webisodes canon? 
  • Things like Walt talking to Hank before the wedding and Walt and Badger breaking into the old lady's house.
    • They don't contradict anything said in the show proper, so there's no reason to assume they aren't canon.

     Hector and the DEA 
  • In the season 4 finale, Gus sees Hector leaving the DEA and assumes he gave them information. So he doesn't think Hector turning up dead within a few hours of telling the police he's a criminal would be suspicious?
    • Suspicious, sure. But presumably the needle he was going to shoot him with would make it look like Hector died of natural causes, and if there was no hard evidence to link Gus to Hector's death, there wouldn't be a lot the cops could do.
      • Well Gus did go to see Hector many times, including the time before Gus was planning to kill him, which the nursing home would have a record of. So there's that.
      • I dunno, that nursing home seems to let just about anybody wander in and out as they please.
  • But if Hector told the DEA about Gus, wouldn't they put him into protective custody, so Gus couldn't kill him? How come this didn't occur to Gus?
    • Organized crime culture absolutely forbids talking to the cops-Gus' disgust with Hector's actions, and fear that he might have said something incriminating, trumped his instincts. Notice that he went from deliberate and patient to wanting Hector dead the second he heard about the meeting with the DEA.
      • Gus wasn't completely blinded by rage. He first sent Tyrus to Hector's room to see if it's bugged. It wasn't, so Gus thought it's not a trap. But why would Hector break that important rule of crime culture and talk to the DEA if he's not saying anything important and not setting up a trap?
      • Not everyone who goes to the DEA qualifies for protective custody-Hector would need to show that his life would be in imminent danger if he's not given DEA protection, and that's assuming everyone at the DEA bought Hector's story. Much like Walt's confession tape, the truth is stranger than fiction here.

     We Don't Need No Stinking Badges 
  • Hank and Gomez don't show their badges when confronted by the Neo-Nazis?
    • They knew damn well the Nazis didn't care about seeing the badges, they just wanted to trick Hank and Gomie into putting their guns down so they could shoot them.

     Extracting Saul 
  • This might be a dumb question, but how much danger would Saul be in exactly that he had to use his extractor? I'm sure he's had clients before that went belly up in the judicial system, so to speak (as well as being involved in the exposed Gus empire).
    • With Gus, Saul was a bit player and was mostly protected by his role as a lawyer. Mike was probably the only one who could seriously incriminate him. With Walt, Saul is knee deep in the entire mess. The feds will have enough probable cause to go through his life and finances with a fine tooth comb. As an accomplice he can't claim lawyer-client privilege. Huell already talked to Hank so he will probably spill everything to the feds which will link Saul directly to the money. Plus, the neo-Nazis might want to silence him permanently.
    • Gus' empire is legally irrelevant since everyone who knows the details is dead or refusing to talk. Saul's definitely looking at charges of money laundering and conspiracy because he knowingly handled Walter's drug money. If he's considered a leader of the drug empire, then under racketeering laws he could also be charged with anything he ordered Huell and Kuby to do, which includes fraud and impersonating a federal agent. While he's awaiting trial for all of this, his home and office are probably under 24-7 surveillance, including wiretaps, so his vaguely respectable lawyer job also collapses in the process. Saul's clients have presumably gone to prison before, but this might be the first time where he's at risk of prison.

     Gale's Address 
  • In Full Measure, why did Walt recite Gale's address when Mike had him at gunpoint after he ordered Jesse to kill Gale? Doesn't seem useful to his plan to possibly have Mike or Victor save Gale before he can get shot.
    • Mike and Victor are literally moments away from killing Walt. Walt recites the address to prove that he knows where Gale lives and credence to his claim that Jesse's on his way to kill him, which provides an incentive for them to make sure their backup cook is safe before following through.
    • Also, he said that if he could make a phone call, he could give them the place where Jessie is right now. Before he called, he didn't know exactly where he was. After the call, he knew Jessie would go kill Gale, so he knew where he would be. It's not the reason why Walt recited the address (that was to stop the others from killing him), but he also made a point of not lying to them when he said he would tell them where Jessie is.

     Tuco's CCTV 
  • Tuco's HQ had a CCTV on it. The DEA should have known who Heisenberg is sooner, then?
    • I don't think the DEA investigated the building explosion, just local police (based on the sirens at the end of that episode). So either Tuco's surveillance equipment was also damaged in the explosion or Tuco lied to cover Walt if he was questioned about it.
    • I'm talking about DEA raid in Season Two (the episode's "Grilled", yeah). Anyway, Tuco's CCTV is on the first floor, and Tuco had fled his HQ before the DEA arrived. So?
    • I think the CCTV was simply for security, see who's coming up the steps in the next five minutes. Tuco is crazy, but he isn't dumb enough to record his interactions during the course of his drug business, not to mention, it probably wouldn't occur to him to record anything.
    • In the same episode, Tuco has Walt and Jesse's driver's licenses and other ID—remember how he said he likes family men. He left all that on the counter, and Walt and Jesse didn't have time to take it with them when they escaped. Yet Walt isn't connected to the incident at all, and Jesse's only link is his car.
    • Actually, Tuco let Walt and Jesse pick their stuff up after he's done going through them.

     "Say My Name" 
  • In "Say My Name", why didn't Mike let Jesse bring him the bag when Jesse offered to do so? Mike has firmly established a pretty solid relationship with Jesse by this point. By contrast, he utterly despises Walt and pretty much does not trust him with anything. Why then let Walt bring him the bag? I can't help but get the feeling that things would have gone a lot better, at least for Mike...
    • Probably because Mike has a fatherly care for Jesse and didn't want to involve him in any further business knowing that Jesse, too, wanted out. It was obvious to Mike that Walt would do whatever it took to keep Jesse under his control, so Mike probably just wanted to leave Jesse out of it and deal with Walt himself. Obviously he wouldn't have died if he'd just let Jesse get him the bag, but on the other hand he did say some well-deserved truths to Walt.
    • Mike was trying to make sure Jesse could stay 'out.' As for why he accepted Walt's help, Saul was refusing, and deep down, Mike likely wanted one last chance to deliver his Reason You Suck Speach to Walter. I think that is the real reason Mike let Walt get the go-bag. He knew it was a bad idea, but he couldn't resist the temptation to blame Walter, face to face, for their predicament. Up to then, he'd been mistrusting of Walt, but never confronted Walt directly for what he did to Gus and their entire operation which (as Mike put it) ran like clockwork.

     Why "Flynn"? 
  • What is with Walter Jr's choice of the name Flynn?
    • It might not have any specific meaning, but the fact that the name is heavily associated with Errol Flynn, the legendary swashbuckling badass and ladykiller, makes it evoke the kind of image that a teenage boy would like to assume.
    • Isn't it his middle name? I think he's just using it symbolically to show that his identity is independent of his father and family. He's not gonna make up an entirely new name, so Flynn it is.
    • I assumed his middle name was Hartwell, like his father's. A friend of mine whose name is William and whose dad's name is William says he is not "Junior" because they have different middle names.

     Saving Jesse 
  • Why did Walter attempt to save Jesse in the first place? The last time they saw each other, Walter was the one who intentionally got Jesse captured in the first place. Walter stood by as Jack and Todd discussed how they would torture and kill him. And finally, he told Jesse he watched Jane die for the sole purpose of causing him as much pain as possible. So what changes between that and the finale? It's a complete 180 for Walt to go from trying to cause him as much pain as he can to trying to save him.
    • He didn't go there to save Jesse, he went there to eliminate Jack and his gang, as they were a lingering threat to his family. As for why he pushed Jesse down to avoid the bullets, seeing how Jesse looked after months of torture may have made him feel like the kid had suffered enough.
    • I didn't have any problem with that, Walt had really tried to keep Jesse alive throughout most of the series (at times even hinting he actually thought of Jesse like a son). Walt's arc towards the last 2 episodes or so is closure; accepting he's been an a-hole. Wanting to kill/hurt Jesse was part of his a-hole days. It stands to reason he would not want to do that anymore now that he's left his a-holeness behind to die peacefully.

     Whatever Happened to the Jesse-Mouse? 
  • Despite the narrative implying otherwise, isn't Jesse still completely screwed? The cops are after him. They're sure to be watching his house. He has no money. He's homeless. The tape of Jesse confessing all the things he did is still probably in the clubhouse the cops are sure to search. And to top it off, the last time an innocent was indirectly killed because of him, Jesse pretty much broke down. Is he likely to do any better with Andrea dead? How could things possibly go well for him?
    • It's not supposed to be a happy ending. Jesse has done terrible things and hasn't earned one. What he gets instead is the chance at a happy ending.
    • One could also argue that Jesse is presumed dead, he has been missing for several months, and the last living person to see him is Marie, who probably assumes that he died along with Hank and Gomez.
    • As for the tape, it's likely Jack's gang destroyed it to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
    • It would look terrible if the police publicly prosecuted Jesse after he spent the last ~4 months in a Neo Nazi dungeon, especially if he said he got coerced into working with Hank and Gomez. He might be able to get a settlement and even therapy since the media would be more likely to portray him as a victim at this point.
    • Also, Badger and Skinny Pete are still out there. They pretty much consider Jesse a hero, so they'd definitely help him.

     Walt Can't Hotwire 
  • So Walt can rig a bomb to blow when a bell gets rung, he can help hook up a giant magnet to a truck to wipe out a laptop, and he can jury-rig a machine gun and a garage door opener into a Gatling gun and hook it into his remote keyless system, but he can't hotwire a car?
    • It does not seem that he cannot do it, but rather he thinks of an easier solution after he shocks himself.
    • The only one of those things that's even remotely complicated is getting the opener to pull the trigger and wiggle the machine gun and not jam the feed while doing so and all of them are at least plausible given sufficient time to study the situation and possibly test a couple of ideas out first. The one that gives Walt trouble is the one where the method isn't necessarily immediately apparent from inspection (because the parts you need to inspect are concealed or at least awkward to get to) and where he doesn't have time to spend analyzing the problem. I suspect most people with a science background would find their experience similar to Walt's: trivial, some work and considerable expense but doable (and we watch him doing the testing), tricky but possible given a little luck, freaking impossible, since automotive theft is not likely to have been a major factor in their prior careers.

     Los Pollos Hermanos 
  • What kind of restaurant is Los Pollos Hermanos? I assume it's fast food but the commercial explains they slow cooked their chicken like Kenny Roger's Roasted so which is it?
    • It's a fast food place. The real life version of the place is. The chicken is probably cooked way ahead of time and then held in a warmer. Consider that it's probably competing with KFC for customers in the Albuquerque metro area.

     Walt's Overqualification 
  • Was Walt really as "grossly overqualified" for teaching as he claims? We know he's a brilliant chemist. We know he's both book smart and street smart. We also know he spent his twenties and early thirties getting his master's degree(s). But it's never stated that he has a PhD, and given Walt's incredible pride it's hard to imagine he'd tolerate being called Mr. White instead of Dr. White. More than half of all teachers, and esspecially those Walt's age, have their master's degree(s). Many are also very skilled at their subject matter as well. They enter teaching accepting that they'll never make as much as they potentially could. So while Walt is underachieving in his mind. Calling himself grossly overqualified is likely just his pride.
    • It's definitely a point of pride for him, but that doesn't mean it's not also true. I think it's safe to say that most high-school chemistry teachers can't do half the things Walt can, up to and including co-founding a company that's now worth billions. If skills like Walt's could be found on half the teachers in the country, Walt never would have been as valuable to Gus or the meth industry as a whole as he was. And on a purely professional level, depending on just where you're working and how long you've been there, even a single master's degree can make you overqualified for a teaching position. I'm an aspiring teacher myself, and it's something my professors have repeatedly warned me about.
    • "Grossly overqualified" is probably an exaggeration, at least on paper. Walt never actually got his doctorate, probably because doctoral degrees are CRAZY expensive and time-consuming to get, but he's certainly intellectually capable of doing doctoral-level work and probably wouldn't have had much trouble doing so if he'd ever had both the time and the money at the same time. (And if he'd stuck with Gray Matter he probably would've gotten tossed an honorary doctorate at some point even if he never took the time away from corporate work to return to academia.) Call it "grossly over-TALENTED" and you're probably closer to the mark. He's capable of far more than he actually achieves until he breaks bad.

  • OK, really minor question, but it'll bug me for days if I don't ask. In "Cornered," what was Jesse digging for (or, probably more accurately, pretending to dig for)? Is it just that he knew Tucker was high and would get curious?
    • Yeah, that's what he meant with 'I know how meth-heads think'. Not very clear-thinking, paranoid, and easy to distract.

     Have an A 1 Day 
  • What's a "car-wash professional"? And for that matter, what's the disc with the car-wash logo that the Whites tell their customers to give to their car-wash professional for?
    • I figured 'car-wash professional' is their word for 'person who is washing your car', and the disk is a sign that you paid for the wash.
      • She actually says "car care professional". But yeah, it still just means "the person who washed your car".
    • I always assumed they had different disks depending on what service you ordered. So this color means a basic wash and that color means a premium wash, while this border means a hot wax treatment and that symbol means vacuuming the interior.

     Kidnapping Jesse 
  • What was Gus thinking, kidnapping Jesse at the end of Season 4 and making him cook at gunpoint? A big chunk of the season focuses on how Gus needs Jesse to work for him willingly, and the steps he takes to try and win Jesse's loyalty. And then he throws everything away and decides to force him because a batch is running late? Did he expect Jesse to keep cooking for him voluntarily after his mooks tasered and kidnapped him?
    • This is after he has a moment of clarity in the car-park, realising that Walt is trying to kill him. He likely assumed (correctly, given that at this point Jesse is back in Walt's corner) that Jesse lured him in on purpose as part of the plan. Cooking at gunpoint is probably a temporary solution while he deals with Walt and sorts everything out. Jesse was probably going to disappear not long after that. Gus states previously that he doesn't believe in using fear for motivational purposes, but by then things are falling apart and he starts making decisions that don't gel with his established m.o in effort to keep things moving. I think he always knew Jesse wouldn't be a permanent part of the operation, but having him work with Mike was a way to keep him out of trouble as they worked around Walt, who was a lot more of an issue. To paraphrase Walt in season 2: "He does what I say.". Gus finally understood that Jesse's loyalty would always be to Walt, and that came on the heels of Jesse asking him to let Walt go a few episodes ago.
      • Speaking of which, how DID Gus know about the bomb under his car? He walks towards it, sees it stand there in the same spot as before, unchanged, stops, then looks out the car-park, trying to find anything suspicious there, and when he doesn't, he decides that it's a trap and leaves. How would he? Walt suspects that Jesse slipped up talking to Gus, but there's literally NOTHING in their dialogue one could be suspicious of. Did Gus just read in the script that there was a bomb under his car, or what?
      • It's unlikely Gus figured out exactly what would happen if he got into his car, but on the assumption that his moment of clarity clued him into something being up, then it was safer to ditch the car.
      • There's a healthy measure of luck required to be as successful as Fring was for as long as Fring was. Call it "luck," call it a "sixth sense," call it an abundance of caution, Fring has a knack for survival and sniffing out plots. Walt was only able to kill Gus because he took advantage of the one thing that made Fring lose control: his hatred of Salamanca.
      • In more practical terms, Gus walks to the parking garage after Jesse reveals Brock is not suck, but was poisoned, after which Gus asks, "How did that happen?" Gus is trying to put the pieces together, and this is a man who already knows not to let Walt anywhere near him. Gus's pause in the parking garage need not be any more mystical or complicated than a proven chessmaster trying to calculate whether he has been deliberately maneuvered. Even if he doesn't know for sure, he opts for caution. Not a bad conclusion where Walt's considered.

  • Season 4, episode 2: Jesse has just started The Party That Never Ends. He's leaving to go to "work" at around 19:30 into the episode. Just as he steps out the door, a guy that looks a lot like Walt (in particular, he looks like Walt in "Granite State" with longer hair, though of course at the time we don't know that yet) sits up right in front of the camera. It clearly can't be Walt (in addition to that making no sense, Walt is shaved bald at the time). So what's it supposed to mean?
    • Probably nothing. It was just some dude being awoken by the music suddenly, like everyone else in the room.

     Leaves of Grass My Ass 
  • Walt leaving Leaves of Grass in the bathroom. Did the possibility of Hank finding it really never occur to him?
    • One of my favorite lines was Walt admitting, "I screwed up," on this very point (because he so rarely admits it). I think it's less than the possibility of Hank finding it that Walt overlooked: Hank finding it, opening it, bothering to read a front page inscription and making the connection is a specific series of events that never occurred to Walt. It's more evidence of Walt's hubris, a tiny symbol that he thinks he can now get away with anything. And he's wrong.
    • Walt's hubris would be a good explanation, but Walt always TRIED to get rid of incriminating evidence to his crimes (even if it doesn't work out). He never at least thought of ripping that signed page out?
      • Nope. Like the troper above you pointed out Walt never considered that it could be incriminating against him, and by that point in the series he had the book in his possession for months with no ill consequences. The evidence that Walt did get rid off were all immediate, pressing matters that he had to deal with then and there (I.E. getting rid of evidence that he made the bomb and poisoned Brock happened on the day he did them, taking care of the camera footage was a massive threat to him, etc.), whereas the book wasn't any of those things.
      • I get that, but wouldn't getting rid of the signature in that book have been an immediate and pressing matter right around the time he helped Hank go through Gale's lab notes after Gale's murder? Way before he thought he was untouchable? I can understand Walt keeping the book all this time, but to not rip out that page or at least sharpie that signature out is just plain stupid. Especially after having a conversation with Hank where he threw him off the trail of Gale's "W.W".

     Mike's Work for Saul 
  • I understand Mike's work as a P.I., it's a legitimate job and can be used as a cover story, but why was he doing illegal jobs for Saul, like the cleaner job he's introduced doing or bugging Walt's house? Saul couldn't have been paying him enough to be be worth the risk, especially compared to the money Gus was likely paying him, considering how much he was going to leave his grand daughter
    • Connections. Mike does the job as a favor to Saul, and in return Saul gives him Saul's connections. Yes, Saul himself has once said that Mike has far larger connections than himself, but to Mike, having an Amoral Attorney on his friend list doesn't hurt.

     Blue Sky 
  • So before i ever watched the show, i had discovered by reading about the show online that the name of Walter's blue meth was Blue Sky. Well now ive watched the entire series and i never remember anyone referring to the meth by that name even once. Did i miss it?
    • Yeah, they call it that at least once, in the season 2 finale. It's during Hank's briefing of his DEA pals, right when he announces Walt's recovery fund.

     Even More on Brock 
  • So just for the sake of clarity, i would like to hear a more descriptive opinion on how Walters plan to poison brock was supposed to play out. Because everyone seems to have the impression that getting jesse to initially suspect Walter was part of his plan. But i always interpreted it as Walter was simply expecting jesse to blame gus in the first place and the fact that he blamed Walter was totally unexpected to him(though Walter was fully capable of working around it, as we would expect of him). Am i crazy or is there something im missing?
    • I don't think Jesse ever would have made the jump from "Brock is poisoned" to "Gus must have done it" by himself, and I don't think Walt ever would have expected him to, either. The more natural and immediate conclusion would be that Walt did it himself, since Walt, unlike Gus, definitely knew about both the ricin and Jesse's connection to Brock. So, Walt's plan was to have Jesse come after him, then redirect him to Gus.
    • Why the heck wouldnt he have made the jump by himself?. Bet you more then 3/4 of the people watching that episode when it aired pinned Gus as their first guess right off the bat. If Vince Gilligan saw Walter being the culprit as a twist, Why wouldnt Walter, someone who has demeaned jesse's intelligence numerous times over the course of the show, Think the same thing?
      • Think, for a moment, about Shutter Island. (I apologize for spoilers, but the very nature of the metaphor I'm constructing hinges on them.) There comes a moment in the first time you watch the film where you suspect that Teddy Daniels is insane. However, once he enters the cave and you meet "the real Rachel Solando," you suddenly know for a fact that Teddy is not insane. What she is saying makes too much sense. By the time the ending is revealed, the twist is that he was insane all along. You predicted the twist from the beginning, but you were misled, and when you were finally revealed to be correct, you were surprised. Now, consider this sensation in the context of Breaking Bad. Jesse heard that Brock was sick, and the logical next step in his reasoning is that Walt was responsible. He confronted Walt, who explained point by point how this conclusion doesn't add up, and the blame shifts to Gus. The twist at the end of the episode is the revelation that Walt had the Lily of the Valley plant in his back yard, and he was the one who used it on Brock. Jesse was right from the beginning, but he was misled. I hope that helps.
      • Jesse's first suspicion was that Walt poisoned Brock to get back at him for helping Gus. Not being a Chessmaster, the idea that it was a part of a larger plan on anyone's part wouldn't occur to Jesse on his own.

     Watching Jane Die 
  • Minor point, but: what was Walter's motivation for telling Jesse that he (Walter) watched Jane die? Most people seem to assume that it was petty, meant solely to hurt Jesse as much as possible, but the way the line was read, I disagree. Up until that point, Walter keeps trying to protect Jesse. Even after Jesse turns completely against him and begins threatening his family, he has to be brought around to the idea of having Jesse killed. And he keeps insisting that he wants it done quickly and painlessly. I think this was, in part, his way of saying, "I'm not protecting you any more. No more secrets. You deserve to know the truth." Cruel, yes, but he was also acknowledging Jesse as an equal. And in part it was also a confession. Walt was never quite as confident about letting Jane die as any of the other lines he crossed. For all Walt knew, this was the last time he'd ever see Jesse, and he wanted Jesse to know the whole truth so that if Jesse hated him, he could hate him for the right reasons.
    • It was petty. He saw Jesse working with Hank as the ultimate betrayal, plus he blamed him for Hank's death.

  • I know this may sound stupid, but I've been thinking and, how did exactly everyone find out about Walt being Heisenberg? After Hank and Gomie's deaths all the evidence was stolen from his house by the Aryans. In "Ozymandias", Skyler claimed to be "just a victim" of Walt's actions and she "shouldn't" known anything about him being Heisenberg (And, anyways, I don't think Skyler ever heard that name). Yet, after Walt escapes everyone knows that he's Heisenberg, that he's the manufacturer of the blue meth, that he killed Gus, etc, etc. Pretty much ALL he did. When all the police actually had was what Skyler and Marie could told them.
    • Marie did know all of that because Hank told her everything he had figured out, and brought up in his confrontation with Walt in "Blood Money".
    • This isn't Dexter, where a cop is killed and there is no fall out whatsoever. Hank and Gomez's dissapearance would have prompted a federal investigation: A.) Debriefing Marie and Skyler would confirm That Walter was Hessy and Pinkman was his former accomplice. B.) When the cops got a copy of Walter's faux confession speech (which Skyler would've doubtlessly confirmed was bullsh*t), they would have a map of the Gus/Walter fiasco. C.) Once the cops got a hold of Huell (yeah yeah I know we all like to joke he's still in hiding but...) that would've exposed the Saul angle and complicity. and D.) At some point Badger and Jesse's other friends would've been hauled in and questioned. You have to remember, Granite State took place during a timeframe as long as seasons 1-3, there was *alot* going o n n behind the scenes.

     "Hazard Pay" 
  • In the episode "Hazard Pay", why the heck was Marie wearing her lab coat outside the hospital?

     Taking the Bullet 
  • How exactly Walt get shot? His back balloon when the M60 starts shooting?
    • He appears to be hit with his own gun while keeping Jesse down, effectively taking a bullet for him.
      • He is already down. How does the bullet get him?
      • Ricochet?
      • Either that, or a bullet simply managed to hit him. Heavy machine guns aren't the most accurate weapons, so it's not unlikely that a bullet or two out of hundreds would stray off-target.

     Protective Custody for Skyler 
  • After Walt was exposed, why weren't Skyler and the kids moved into protective custody? As far as the world at large knows, he's a dangerous crimelord on the lamb and an abusive husband. For all they know, he could have them killed at any time.
    • There were cops stationed outside of their new house when... hehe, Walt broke in. May seem a tad lax for the situation, but it was nonetheless a preemptive action. Not knowing Walt's dangerous cunning, the cops probably figured it was enough.
    • It's implied that was just in response to Walt being spotted again.
    • The cops were hoping Walt would make contact with his family.
    • The point is, Skyler and her family were under police protection, even if they were trying to bait Walt.

     Saul's Dirty Cash 
  • By the end of the show, Saul should be very, very rich. At a minimum, he's been taking 5% of Walt's profits, per their agreement. So why is he still working as 'two-bit bus bench lawyer', as Walt calls him, operating out of a strip mall? I suppose it could be explained by Walt needing him to maintain his low-class 'cover' while laundering his money, but by the time he has to seek the vacuum cleaner repair guy's help he's talking to Walt about being forced to work a crap job in Omaha as his best bet. Even if he can't flaunt his wealth without drawing attention, shouldn't he never have to work another day in his life given how much money Walt brought in for him? Certainly Saul is smart enough to have started getting his money ready for transport, like Walt, the moment things started to unravel for them.
    • I imagine he'd have to have a job for the same reason Walt had the car wash: You can't live purely off of dirty cash. And the job is crap because he has to stay low-profile to avoid drawing attention. It'd be very suspicious if some big, huge business tycoon just appeared out of nowhere one day, and it'd be even more suspicious when he happens to look just like the cheesy old lawyer whose stupid commercials are probably all over YouTube. But managing a Cinnabon? That's something he can do. It's peaceful, it's quiet, it's low-key. It's a good gig for him.

     Walt's Mom 
  • Why doesn't Walter's mother play a bigger part in the series? It's mentioned that she's still alive, but we never see her or learn much about her. If we knew more about her, it could shed some light on what made Walter who he is and possibly his motivations for his actions in the series.
    • We probably don't see her for the same reason we never see what led to the falling out between Walt, Gretchen and Elliot. Introduced into the story directly, it would serve as a distraction and unnecessary plot thread. Hinted at indirectly, it gives subtle hints about Walt's character without ever revealing anything for certain. All we really know about Walt and his mom is that he has so little interest and involvement with her that he never bothers to tell her he has lung cancer and speaks about the possibility of visiting her with distaste. I think the writers simply made the judgement call that anything beyond that was unnecessary to the story.

     Sparing Walt 
  • Why don't Jack and the Neo-Nazis kill Walt after they kill Hank? They clearly have no loyalties to him, or anyone but themselves, and since they shoot Hank right after Walt begs them to spare him and then steal most of his money, he's probably going to do anything he can to get revenge. Maybe they think he's in no position to get revenge on them, but with a DEA Agent dead it justs seems beyond reckless and stupid to leave a living witness free to go, especially one who they know must now despise them.
    • Because a.)as Jack said, Todd really liked Walter and would've be devastated if they killed him b.) I always thought that Jack liked or at least respected Walt c.) that $11 million dollars they "give" to Walter is hush-money. There's no way he can go to the police without losing it d.)Hank died because of Walt. When the investigation begins the heat will be on him which will easier if he's still alive and e.) like Jack says, he's in an incredibly good mood because of the $69 million dollars they procured.
      • An additional consideration: At this point, they have no idea how much the DEA knows. If Jack were to kill Walt and the DEA found his body, they would know that there was a new player in town and start searching for Jack's crew. By leaving Walt alive and giving him enough money to disappear, they insure that the heat stays on Heisenberg and off themselves.
    • Why show up in the first place when Walt told them not to come? Because they do have loyalty to him.
      • The first explanation was satisfactory enough, but 'Because they do have loyalty to him'? I'm not sure what word I'd use to describe showing up unannounced and unwanted at a site where they start a shootout with Walt's brother-in-law, kill him and his partner, then steal nearly all of Walt's money, but I'm pretty sure 'loyalty' is about as far away from it as I could imagine.
      • There is no loyalty to him. Jack's only reason to help Walter at all was to get him to train Todd to have a better purity in their meth and thus increase their own profits. They showed up because as far as they knew Walter was alone with someone who was going to kill him and they still need one cook out of him.
      • They show up because Uncle Jack knew there would be something there to find. He tells Walt that most people give very vague addresses or directions but Walt gave him specific GPS co-ordinates. If that isn't where Walt was hiding his money then what else could it be?

     Shaggy Dogs 
  • Did anybody else get the feeling that 75% of the plot turned out to be Shoot the Shaggy Dog? Most of the charactors: dead. Skyler loses the carwash, completely negating that plot arc. Walter is exposed, so all those episodes revolving around hiding his secret identity (the 5th season premiere, killing the ten witnesses, the climax of Sunset, and so on) turned out to be for nil. Its like nothing was really *accomplished*, save the money Flynn and Skyler may never even see.
    • That may be the point, crime really doesn't pay.
      • The above is correct. While Walt is the main character, he is still a conniving, murderous, self-centered crook. We may have been rooting for him, but we must not forget that he is a criminal, and him and his family living happily ever after along with the rest of the characters would totally destroy the realism the show is famous for.

     Jesse's House 
  • Other than the apartment he rented from Jane, Jessie's house is supposed to be the same throughout the entire show right? So the house that he has his destructive parties in with hobos is still supposed to be his aunt's old house? Because he bought (or scammed I guess) it off the parents right? Why then does it look completely different after he moves back in? I know it was renovated, but the stairs aren't even in the same place, the exterior is completely different, the lounge is never seen before season 3/4. I can't see even one similarity between the house from season 1 and the house from season 4.
    • The rest of the house in season one isn't featured primarily in season 4. It looks different because we are never shown anything beyond the bedroom and the living room. The layout is the same; we just don't see it exactly like with the White household.
    • Actually, that part of the house was seen before. In season one when Jesse and Walt discuss Krazy8 and flip the coin, it is the same room that we see in Jesse's house from season three onwards. In reality what happened was, they used a real house as a location, someone new bought the house and didn't want a film crew around. Later it was recreated as a set. Unfortunately the geography of the set makes no sense! The front door has moved, leading outside where it used to lead into another room. This is hand waved in season three when Jesse comments on his parents renovation, he mentions they "moved the garage, bold move".

     Gus's "sixth sense" 
  • OK, Gus was able to know someone placed a bomb in his car even being meters away, so how could his "sixth sense" not tell him that there was a bomb in Hector's wheelchair when he was just a couple of centimeters away?
    • There was no sixth sense involved. He didn't "know" that Walt rigged his car to explode, he stopped and began thinking about why someone would poison Brock, and ran through his head everything he knew to conclude that it was to bring him out to somewhere specific. With Hector though he has always let his emotions and desire to make him hurt get the better of him, which is why he didn't consider that it was a trap (and to be fair he did send a henchmen in first to scope out the room).

     Walt's "electric" scape 
  • When Walter scaped the radiator Mike tied him to, how did he just burn his wrist with the current he took from the cables? Shouldn't that have electrocuted him?
    • From what I remember, Walt only stripped the ends of the wires of their insulation, and his skin was up against the protected parts. Since he's not actually part of the completed circuit when he puts the wires together, he can't be electrocuted, just burned from being too close to the reaction.
    • Honestly, the real problem with that scene is where on his wrist he places the wires together to burn the zip-tie. He places the wires together almost exactly where his major artery is, which is incredibly dangerous. It would have been much smarter to do it by the edge of his wrist, or on the back where there aren't any major veins.

     Why would Gus bother getting into the Meth business in the first place? 
  • In the flashback to Maximo's death, Gus is mentioned to already be running Los Pollos Hermanos. If this is the case, why bother getting into drug making at all when he's already making plenty of cash safely, legally, and ethically?
    • We don't know whether Gus' restaurant business was profitable at the time; it seems to be doing just fine by the "present," but that may have been due to an early cash infusion from the drug trade, and by the time it became self-sufficient he may have been in too deep to quit. Or it may not have been about the money at all; like Walt, he may have been in "the empire-building business" first and foremost.
    • Moreover, he was using the drug side of the business to get closer to the cartel.

     Walt's Exile 
  • "Granite State" shows us all the gritty details of Walt's exile in hiding from law enforcement. While Walt's reasons for going through with it are fairly clear (determination to give his family the money he has left), the "Vacuum Cleaner Repair Guy" must have known that Walt's living conditions were no better and possibly even worse than imprisonment, especially with Walt's cancer returning. So why even bother? Chances are Walt was going to die sooner rather than later and even if he wasn't, that money would have dried up because of the expenses. There wasn't really any point to it short or long term except for Walt's refusal to go to prison.
    • Hell, considering that his whole schtick is to disappear someone so thoroughly that there is no coming back ever, what incentive does the Vacuum Cleaner Repairman have to actually do his job? Who would know the difference if he killed his clients and threw their bodies in an incinerator?

     Walt's deal for Declan 
  • I understand that writers are not great at math sometimes, and we've seen the math be fuzzy in this show before, but I'm trying to wrap my mind around the partnership Walt and Declan had for a few months. Here's how I understand it.
    • Declan's original plan was to spend 15 million on 1000 gallons on methylamine, which he would have cooked by his chemist and sold. How much could it be sold for? Well, a deleted scene in Dead Freight indicates that the methylamine was good for nearly 300 million dollars worth of meth in the hands of Walt, and Walt's offer in Say My Name mentions a loss of 130 million dollars if the meth is handled by a substandard cook (implying he's talking about Declan's cook). Now, the 300 million dollar scene is deleted and perhaps not canon, but in Season 2 in his first meeting with Gustavo he claims that his meth can be sold for double the usual rate, so I'm comfortable with the estimate at least being close. So that 1000 gallons becomes 160-170 million in Declan's hands. Then you have shipping and distributing costs, plus lab upkeep and other materials and substances required for the cook, and of course the cook gets paid. I won't try to make guesses about cost in those categories, but the series seems to indicate that the overhead of cooking meth is mostly in the cost of methylamine. In any case, 160 million of meth, minus 15 million, makes 145 million.
    • Walt's audible is for Declan to spend 5 million for 35% of Walt's empire, where Walt cooks the methylamine, for apparently 300 million dollars worth if he cooks all 1000 gallons. So Declan's cut of that would be 100 million or so. It seems like Walt was sending half of his product through Madrigal to the Czech Republic (I believe Lydia uses the figure 25 pounds in Gliding Over All, and Walt cooks 50 pounds a week, so this is the estimate I came up with), and I doubt Declan was seeing any of that since he couldn't have been distributing it. Now we're down to 50 million for Declan. Subtract the 5 million he gave Mike, 45 million. He still has shipping and distributing costs (since that's his role in Walt's empire), he may or not be responsible for non-methylamine cook ingredients (I would guess he's not but it's not impossible) and he doesn't have to pay his own cook anymore. That looks like a drop in profit for Declan that might be nine figures. Why would he agree to this? You can't even say it's safer for him since he's still doing distribution, which is the hardest part. Hell, even if you assume Declan's take got bigger when Jesse left, to maybe 50% (which is very generous) it's still a crap deal for him. Why'd he take it?
    • Because he's the cook. He's the man who killed Gus Fring. Now. Say his name.

     The math of Walt's three month cook-spree 
  • Again, writer's can't do math, but I've been thinking about those three months in Gliding Over All where everything worked perfectly for Walt and the money he made. Ignore for a moment that the size of the pile of cash shown in the storage locker is very inconsistent with the claims of the characters in Ozymandias and onward. The show keeps using the 80 million number, so I'll use that even though that pile couldn't have possibly been more than 35 million and probably closer to 20 million. In any case, we know that as of Madrigal, Walt is broke (and actually 40 grand in debt) because of the 620k given to Ted, 800k for the car wash, 5% cut to Goodman, and assorted other expenses. The cook in Hazard Pay gets Walt back in the black by a little bit. It's implied that this was the only cook Walt did prior to Dead Freight since the methlyamine supply had been cut off. So basically, as of the start of Gliding Over All, Walt basically had nothing. He seems to cook 50 pounds a week, since the limited space in the tent doesn't allow for any more. 25 pounds go to Declan, which Walt got 65% of, and 25 pounds go to Lydia, which Walt got 70% of (Declan's deal was for 35%, and Lydia's deal was for 30%). We're never told what Walt's product sells for at this point but Declan's probably selling for around 40k a pound still, which would be a million dollars a week, Walt getting 650k. Lydia's half might be going for more since the Czech Republic is accustomed to such poor quality meth, so let's go crazy and say 60k a pound. 1.5 million, of which Walt gets 1.05 million. That's 1.7 million per week, then Todd has to get paid (he probably started getting paid at some point, right?), then Saul has to get paid (although at this point I'm not 100% sure what he's even being paid for since Skyler is laundering the money)...and we're supposed to believe 13 weeks of this got Walt 80 million? Even if Todd never got paid a dime and Saul was just taking 5%, that's 1.6 million a week, or about 21 million. Ironically, the size of the cash stack might have been accurate, but the 80 million dollar figure actually used isn't even remotely close. Walt would need to be doing 4 cooks a week, which seems impossible, or cooking 200 pounds per cook, which seems slightly less impossible. Is there anything I'm not accounting for? Or is this just a whiff on the part of the writers?

     Gus's Caution (or Lack Thereof) 
  • Why would the otherwise cautious Gus discuss with Walt whether or not he knew anything about the attempt on Hank's life as well as their business in the middle of a crowded hospital full of police and DEA agents?

     Why Didn't They Wear Masks? 
  • Why didn't Walter, Jessie and Todd wear masks when they robbed the train? The engineers wouldn't be able to identify them if they were caught in the act and able to run away and Todd would probably have felt less inclined to shoot that kid who stumbled upon them at the end of it.