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Recap / Breaking Bad S 2 E 1 Seven Thirty Seven

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"Right now, Tuco's thinking, 'Yeah, hey, they cook good meth, but can I trust them?' What happens when he decides 'no'?"
Jesse Pinkman

Walt completes his meth sale with Tuco. Before the two part ways, however, Tuco gets into an argument with his underling, No-Doze, and beats him bloodily. Tuco departs with No-Doze's unconscious body and Gonzo, but returns when No-Doze stops breathing. Tuco demands Walt and Jesse try to save him with CPR (which Walt claims won't work), but No-Doze dies where he lays. After taking his frustrations out on No-Doze's lifeless corpse, Tuco orders Gonzo to dispose of the body.

Walt returns home, and is seen mindlessly flicking through channels the following morning by Skyler. Stressed out, Walt tries to initiate sex with Skyler, but she demands he stop, and tells him that he must contain himself when in distress.

That night, Walt and Jesse meet to discuss how to deal with Tuco, whom they believe wants to kill them since they were witness to No-Doze's murder. Jesse, paranoid that Tuco is having him surveilled, has bought a gun, which he intends to use to take out Tuco before he can take Jesse out.


As Skyler and Marie's relationship becomes rocky over Marie's shoplifting and her subsequent refusal to discuss it, Hank and Gomez watch grainy surveillance footage of two thieves breaking into a chemical plant to steal methylamine, supposedly to make old-fashioned biker crank. Little did Hank know, one of the masked thieves in the grainy video was none other than his brother-in-law...

When Walt drives home at night, he finds that a suspicious van is parked near his house. He meets with Jesse and asks if Tuco knows anything about his identity. Jesse denies revealing anything to Tuco. Walt concocts an alternate plan to simply shooting Tuco: processing castor beans into a deadly poison called ricin, and cooking a batch of meth laced with ricin to give to Tuco. The symptoms of ricin poisoning are similar to a flu, and the toxin is untraceable by conventional means, allowing them to kill Tuco and not be suspected.


While he's making the ricin, Hank calls Walt from a crime scene. Hank had discovered the body of Gonzo - who had returned to properly dispose of No-Doze's body after hiding it under a stack of cars, but wound up getting his arm crushed by a piece of debris from the junkyard and bleeding out. Hank assumes at first that Tuco had Gonzo killed, causing Walt and Jesse to believe that Tuco is tying up loose ends and killing everyone who knew about No-Doze's murder. Walt tells Jesse to run off while he stays to protect his family.

That evening, Walt returns home. Skyler asks where he has been so late at night, but Walt is as cagey as ever. He gets a call as Skyler questions him, and steps outside to find Jesse parked in front of his house.

To his horror, Tuco is hiding in the backseat. He orders Walt, at gunpoint, to get in, and forces Jesse to drive them away...

This episode provides examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Hank finds Gonzo's body in the junkyard, sends a picture of it to Walt as a joke. Walt and Jesse panic, thinking Tuco killed Gonzo and they are next. Hank then deduces the death was an accident. Subverted in that Tuco still kidnaps Jesse and Walt that very evening.
  • Call-Back: Season 1 sees Walter's money fly up the air vent he hides it in. In this episode, it is revealed he tapes the money to the floor of the vent.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted. White knows they should call an ambulance first and that the Kiss of Life has been disproven as effective. Of course, it doesn't work.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: This is how Tuco kidnaps Jesse and Walt.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: No-Doze dies while in the car with Tuco, as Walt and Jesse soon discover.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Jesse is rightfully terrified of Tuco and points out that he's too unstable to work with.
    Jesse: What is that? Conjecture? Are you basing that on that he's got like a normal, healthy brain or something? [...] And that way — that way he just kept staring at us... Saying, You're done. Wh- You're done? You wanna know what that means — I will tell you what that means. That means exactly how it sounds, yo! [...] Right now Tuco's thinking 'Yeah, hey, they cook good meth, but, can I trust them?' What happens, when he decides no?
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A faint "Better Call Saul" can be heard from the television as Walt channel surfs during his breakdown.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The teddy bear foreshadows an important event in the Season Four finale.
    • The Cold Open and title of the episode are part of a short film and hidden message, respectively, which foreshadows the ending of Season 2.
    • When Gonzo hides No-Doze's corpse under a stack of cars, the precarious pile of cars shifts forebodingly. Three guesses as to how Gonzo meets his end.
    • The making of the Ricin is juxtaposed with Marie putting artificial sweetener in her coffee.
    • Before Hank comes to beg her to talk to Marie, Skyler is seen looking at an old photograph of her and another man: Ted Beneke.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Walt come home half-whimpering after a really traumatic ordeal and seeks some sexual healing from his wife. Skyler is not in the mood however, causing Walt to regain his composure.
  • Immediate Sequel: Flash Forward Cold Open aside, this episode (and Season 2) starts at and continues on from the end of "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal". Fitting, given how the gap between the episodes' air dates was exactly one year.
  • It's All About Me: Skyler asserts this to Hank when he asks her to support Marie's shoplifting problem. Justified by most of what she says next: husband with cancer, unplanned pregnancy, a shoplifting sister who got her in trouble and denied her wrongdoing, and other issues she has to deal with.
  • Jerkass: Marie very obviously runs over the kid's RC car on purpose. Nice Guy Hank hands the kid a twenty for his troubles.
  • Not What It Looks Like: While at the junkyard, Hank texts Walt a photo, revealing Gonzo's corpse right next to No-Doze's. This prompts Walt and Jesse to assume Tuco killed Gonzo, when in reality we later learn that Gonzo died in a freak accident; as he was hiding No-Doze's corpse in a pile of cars, one fell on Gonzo in such a way that he got trapped and unable to free himself as he bled out from an injury sustained from the car.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Walt has a very subdued version of this regarding his erraticism, when Skyler rebukes his attempt at sex.
  • Oh, Crap!: Walt and Jesse's silent but visceral reaction to watching Tuco beat No-Doze to death. They have another one later when they see that Gonzo is dead, mistakenly thinking that Tuco offed him and is likely closing in on them next.
  • Properly Paranoid: Both Walt and Jesse believe Tuco is now out to get them. Walt manages to spot an idling SUV very obviously staking out his house which, when approached, drives away. It's Tuco.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Walt and Jesse both assume Tuco killed Gonzo and he’s now coming for them. As it turns out, Gonzo got himself killed when he went to move No-Doze’s body. Nevertheless, Tuco is still coming after them as shown at the end of the episode.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The episode proper picks up right where we left off, with Tuco beating No-Doze up and then leaving... only for him to show back up a minute or so later, demanding Walt and Jesse help him, as he was beginning to convulse and he had no idea why. Apparently it slipped his drug-addled mind that, if you beat a person within an inch of their life, they would start to die. What's worse, he demands that they give him CPR, which would not have saved No-Doze in any possible sense.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hank attempts to persuade Skyler to start talking to Marie again, making the case that Marie requires support to overcome her shoplifting problem... only for Skyler to tear Hank a new one for daring to believe Marie should deserve any sympathy when Skyler herself has to deal with being unexpectedly pregnant at 40, her son's delinquency, her husband's delinquency and lung cancer, and her water heater leaking enough to rot her house's floor.
  • Title Drop: In addition to being part of the secret message, seven thirty-seven is also Walt's estimate of how much he needs (in thousands of dollars) in order to pay for his treatment and leave his family enough money to live off when he's gone.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Walt and Jesse's ricin plan relies on Tuco being this: put the ricin in some meth, give it to Tuco saying it's a new formula, and he will snort it. Gonzo also qualifies, having been killed by falling car bodies when trying to move No-Doze's body.