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Recap / Breaking Bad S1E2 "The Cat's in the Bag..."

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Walt and Jesse deal with a very nasty chemical spill.

Walt: Do you think he is capable of listening to reason?
Jesse: I mean, what-? What kind of reason? You mean, like, "Dear Krazy-8, hey, listen, if I let you go, will you promise not to come back and waste my entire family? No Colombian Neckties?" You mean that kind of reason? No, man, I canít say as I have high fucking hopes where that's concerned.

Teaser: We pick up right where we left off in the pilot episode, as Walter and Skyler finish having sex, and Walt goes to the bathroom to wash up. We flashback to 12 hours earlier, as Walt and Jesse pay a Piro, Tiwa, or Pueblos man to pull the RV from the ditch. As they are about to leave and agree to park the RV at Jesse's house, they hear a coughing noise and realize that one of the two men in the back (Krazy-8) is still alive. Cue opening credits.

After the title rolls, Walt wakes up on the floor of the bathroom naked, and joins his family for breakfast. Jesse calls the house phone, pretending to be a telemarketer, and Walt covers the obvious lie. Jesse demands that Walt help him out after their semi-disastrous outing yesterday which has resulted in the RV contain the dead body of Emilio and the still quite alive one of Krazy-8, the latter of which something Jesse is quite anxious about. Walt informings Jesse he has to go to work first. Afterwards, Skyler redials and hears Jesse's voicemail filled with slang, leading her to investigate his website and ponder what a MILF is. Jesse, meanwhile, goes to check on the RV, and finds the door broken open along with the tape used to tie up Krazy-8 scattered in front of it.

Walt barely makes it through teaching while hallucinating his students asking him about murder (when they are actually asking about midterms), grabs some hydrofluoric acid from the supply closet, and heads to Jesse's house. On his way, a half-blind Krazy-8 stumbles down the street, having escaped from the RV. Upon seeing Walt, he sprints off only to collide with a tree and knock himself out again. Walt brings him back to Jesse's house and locks him in the basement. Walter wonders how they can prevent him from escaping again, noting that just tying him up didn't stop him for long. Jesse briefly ponders this, then goes to his garage and gets his bike lock, which he uses to chain Krazy-8 to one of the support beams in the basement. Walt and Jesse then turn to the subject of Emilio's body, and Walt says that the best way to leave no evidence is to dissolve him in the acid he brought along. They also agree that Krazy-8 can't be left alive, though they are both very reluctant to be the one who actually kills him. Walt eventually suggest that the fairest way to distribute the tasks is by coin flip. After a tense flip, it's decided that Jesse will dispose of the body while Walter will kill Krazy-8. Walter instructs Jesse to shop for a plastic bin, specifying that it must be one made of polyethylene. Jesse, however soon give up after a brief visit to the local home depot store, because he is unable to find a container big enough for the body.

Meanwhile, Walter is drinking beer as he is gathering courage in Jesse's kitchen, and ponders various methods of murdering Krazy-8. He eventually goes down to the basement with a plastic bag and finding Krazy-8 awake. He finds himself unable to kill him, and instead retreats to the kitchen. Where he makes Krazy-8 a sandwich, and also brings him makeshift toiletries. In order to relieve his stress, he takes some of Jesse's marijuana, and after several failed attempts at roll a blunt, he eventually manages to make a smokable one.

Jesse returns empty-handed home from shopping, and while he is at first highly amused by the visage of his former high school teacher smoking pot in his kitchen, he is somewhat less amused when he realizes that that Walt made the blunt from his marijuana, and he is downright upset when he learns that Walt hasn't completed his end of the deal either. Walt promises an understandably incredulous Jesse that he will take care of the Krazy-8 situation tomorrow and leaves to meet Skyler for a pre-natal check-up, where she privately asks him about his connection to Jesse Pinkman. Walt, still a bit high, informs her that he's a former student who sells him pot, and politely tells her to get off his ass. Skyler later pays Jesse a visit as he is moving Emilio from the RV to the house, and tells him not to sell Walter weed anymore, warning him that her brother-in-law is a DEA agent. Jesse barely avoids detection and manages to put Emilio in the bathtub upstairs, where he applies the acid.

When Walter comes back, Jesse yells at him that Skyler came by and almost caught them, and he calls Walt out on not mentioning anything about having a DEA agent in his immediate family and not having upheld his part of the deal. Walt asks him if he was able to upheld his end, and Jesse admits that he couldn't find a bin big enough for a human body, and says he improvised a bit by using his bathtub instead. Walter, horrified, runs to the hallway where acid is already leaking through the ceiling. Emilio's half-liquified remains then burst through the ceiling with what's left of Jesse's destroyed bathtub and completely cover the entire hallway. Walter tersely explains that plastic is the only substance hydrofluoric acid cannot eat through, and glares at Jesse.

Finally, in the desert, two children are playing, and one of them discovers Walt's discarded gas mask and puts it on.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Artistic License Ė Chemistry: As the MythBusters would later demonstrate, Hydrofluoric Acid isn't nearly as powerful in real lifeas this episode implies it is. While it could be used to dispose of a dead body, it most assuredly could not eat through a ceramic bathtub or the floor underneath it.
  • Best Out of Infinity: After Walt loses the coin flip and has to kill Krazy-8, he sheepishly asks, "Best 2 out of 3?"
  • Black Comedy: When Walt sees Krazy-8 staggering through the middle of the street, he tries to wave him over. Krazy-8 recognizes him instantly and sprints away...directly into a tree, knocking himself out.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Jesse and Walt need to dispose of a body; Walt steals some hydrofluoric acid from his lab at the high school, gives it to Jesse and tells him to get a specific kind of plastic tub. Jesse doesn't see the reason for the second part and simply puts the body and the acid in an ordinary bathtub. As it turns out, the plastic tub was necessary because the hydrofluoric acid would dissolve anything else... including the bathtub. And the floor. The Rule of Drama applies in that what was once a human corpse falls through the ceiling in a chunky liquid form only after Walt shows up to make sure Jesse hadn't done anything stupid with highly toxic acid. The camera lingers on the gory mess long enough that there is a nausea factor, but (a) Walt's Oh, God, (b) the way they slooowly back away from the dripping ceiling (c), Jesse's expression as Walt, with exasperated patience, explains how the acid did what it did and (d) the cartoonish shot of them looking up at the bathtub-shaped hole in the ceiling are too funny not to get a laugh.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Walter tells Skyler Jesse sold him weed.
    Jesse: And why'd you go and tell her I was selling you weed?
    Walt: Because somehow it seemed preferable to admitting that I cook crystal meth and killed a man.
  • Disposing of a Body: The first attempt to get rid of Emilio's corpse goes badly wrong when the hydrofluoric acid eats through the bottom of the bathtub and then the floor, dumping a vile pile of half-digested body bits and acid onto the floor below. If you don't vomit, you'll crack up. The later efforts at disposing bodies are less disastrous, thanks to barrels that resist the acid.
  • Epic Fail: Jesse disobeys Walt's advice of using plastic containers to contain Emilio's body for acid dissolving and instead uses the bathtub on the second floor.
    Walt: I'm sorry, what were you asking me? Oh, yes, that stupid plastic container I asked you to buy. You see, hydroflouric acid won't eat through plastic. It will, however, dissolve metal, rock, glass, there's that.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Subverted. Jesse thought that Walt had betrayed him by telling Skyler of what they had done together. Fortunately, Walt had only confessed a lesser crime of buying marijuana from Jesse to prevent Skyler from finding out that he and Jesse had killed Emilio and cooked crystal meth.
  • Fan Disservice: In the opening scene, we see Walt's bottom as he walks naked to the bathroom after sex with Skyler.
  • From Bad to Worse: The entire situation Jesse and Walter are in by the Pilot's end becomes worse and worse over the course of the episode. First, Krazy-8 is not dead like they thought, but Emilio is. So they have to kill one man and get rid of the other's body. Then Krazy-8 is not just alive, but lucid, and Walter can't bring himself to kill him. And then Jesse forgoes a plastic tub and uses his own bathroom to dissolve Emilio in hydrofluoric acid...which results in the whole thing crashing through the floor in one giant, soupy, blood mess.
  • Genius Bonus: Walt hesitates for a moment in class while coming up with an example of an organic compound with chirality. The chemists watching will realize he probably thought of meth, as R/levomethamphetamine is a legal, less potent isomer used in nasal decongestants. Its chiral counterpart, S-methamphetamine, is the crystal he's currently selling with Jesse - a little too much to use as a teaching aid.
  • Heads or Tails?: Walt and Jesse use this to decide who takes care of Emilio and Krazy-8.
  • Hollywood Acid: To get rid of a body, Walter and Jesse plan to use hydrofluoric acid. Walter tells Jesse to get a plastic container so it won't melt (which is correct), but unable to find one big enough and unwilling to splitting the body apart otherwise, Jesse just uses his upstairs bathtub instead. The result is not just a soupy mess of blood and guts, but it ends up eating through the tub and crashing through to the bottom story.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Faced with the fact that he's going to have to kill a very conscious man, Walter rolls himself a joint from Jesse's stash.
  • Moral Myopia: Skyler charges toward Jesse and ignores his demands to stay off his property, but she orders "Don't touch me! DO NOT. TOUCH ME." as he moves to physically force her out.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Walt and Jesse give money to the guy who saved them from dying in the desert though Jesse's contribution is rather small.
  • Of Course I Smoke: The amusing montage of Walt trying to roll a joint. The poor guy has to bend over and use the stove as a lighter.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Walt after Jesse tells him that he dissolved Emilio's body in the bathtub.
    • Jesse after Walt tells him that hydrofluoric acid will eat through a variety of things, plastic not being one of them.
  • Oblivious to Her Own Description: Skyler asking "What's a MILF?"
  • The Public Domain Channel: Jesse watches a The Three Stooges short while smoking meth.
  • Pet the Dog: Jesse tries to make Walt feel less guilty about having to kill Krazy-8.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Krazy-8 was originally supposed to die in the pilot, but the crew liked the actor so much they kept him around.
  • Totally Radical: Skyler's rather pathetic attempt at appearing threatening to Jesse has her briefly adopting some of his slang usage.