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Recap / Breaking Bad S 2 E 4 Down

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"Why are you blue?"

"Okay, so while you’re fixing fences, what about me, huh? Your A-hole brother-in-law took all my money."
Jesse Pinkman

At a convenience store, Walt and Jesse meet. Jesse asks for his half of their meth sales, but Walt chastises him, stating that he shouldn't have to pay for his carelessness before giving a destitute Jesse a small portion of their sales: $600.

As Walt tries to cook dinner and explain away the second phone by claiming he had mistaken an alarm on his phone to remind him to take his meds for an incoming call, Jesse attends a meeting with his parents. A lawyer is present, and states that Jesse is being evicted from his house and had seventy-two hours to vacate the premises. His parents tell him about Hank's visit and how it has burned their last bit of patience with him, but Jesse tries to explain it away with spinning a tale that he is actually working for the DEA. Jesse's mother calls him on this, saying that she found the meth lab he kept in the basement, and under federal law, authorities could've seized the house.


The following day, Jesse is awakened by his distraught mother to find movers taking away his furniture. Jesse is outraged, insisting that Aunt Ginny bequeathed him the house fair and square, because he was the only one who was willing to take care of her while she was sick and dying, even when everyone else in the family had abandoned her, including his mother. Provoked, Jesse's mother slaps him, then says that she just wants him to turn his life around.

Walt continues to try and bridge the rift that formed between himself and Skyler, but to no avail. Jesse calls him and begs for help after his housing situation went "completely testicular", but Walt is not interested in his problems.

Jesse's attempts to find housing among his friends, old and new, fall flat. With his motorcycle and his scant few belongings stolen afterwards, he is left with little choice but to break into Clovis's junkyard, falling into a port-o-potty along the way, and sneak into his RV for shelter.


As Walt tries to bond with Junior by giving him driving lessons, Clovis finds Jesse in the RV and threatens him with a shotgun. Jesse states that he doesn't have the money to pay him back, but that he would make good on his promise. Clovis, however, is not interested in excuses: he plans to sell the RV and Jesse's meth paraphernalia. As he calls around to find a buyer, Jesse sneaks back into his RV, turns it on, and makes his get-away.

Walt, still trying to mend his relationship with Skyler, apologizes to her for his cancer and not being a better husband. Skyler, however, is not interested in his excuses, and demand he say something to her that is not "complete bullshit". When Walt claims he doesn't know what she wants him to say, Skyler leaves in a huff.

Jesse arrives shortly thereafter, and Walt goes off on him, calling him a miserable junkie. Jesse begs for his half of the meth sales, but Walt, his nerves raw from his inability to reason with Skyler, absolutely refuses to give Jesse his share, berating him and calling him stupid. The two get into a fist fight, with Jesse quickly gaining the upper hand. Jesse ends up pinning Walt down, and is poised to pound his face in, but when Walt tells him to finish the job and kill him, Jesse relents. Exhausted, the two go back inside Walt's house, where Walt reluctantly splits his money 50-50 with Jesse (though he covertly keeps an extra stack of bills for himself), before offering to make him breakfast.

All the while, Skyler drives to a gas station. She begins lighting up a cigarette despite being pregnant. She notices a woman parked next to her looking at her and disapprovingly shaking her head. Skyler just shoots back a withering glare at her and starts to smoke...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Butt-Monkey: Jesse is this big-time. He goes homeless, vehicle-less and destitute in that order.
  • Blatant Lies: Walt pulls a few of these trying to explain away Skyler's second cell phone suspicions.
  • Broke Episode: Jesse goes homeless in this episode.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Shortly after Clovis kicks him out of the lot, Jesse climbs the fence, gets into the RV, and drives it right through the gate, escaping.
    • After being evicted, robbed, and berated, Jesse finally snaps and nearly strangles Walt to death.
  • Forced from Their Home: Jesse gets kicked out of his (now deceased) aunt's house when his parents buy the building and forcibly evict him.
  • Foreshadowing: The Cold Open and title of the episode are the second part (following "Seven Thirty Seven") of a short film and hidden message, respectively, which foreshadows the ending of Season 2.
    • This episode also foreshadows Walt's worsening relationship with Jesse, which will be very important in Seasons 4 and 5.
  • The Ghost: Whoever stole Jesse's bike (plus the very last of his money on it) is never shown on-screen nor brought to justice.
  • Hypocrite: In his confrontation with Skyler, Walt brazenly tries to play the victim with Skyler and act wounded by the fact that she believes he’s keeping stuff from her despite the fact that he actually is keeping stuff from her.
  • It's All About Me: Most of what Walt says to Jesse in this episode centers around his own life and problems.
  • Jerkass:
    • Walt refuses to give Jesse any of his meth money despite the fact that Jesse's money was seized by the DEA. He later gives Jesse half of his own money after seeing what he's been going through (though only after Jesse knocked him to the RV's floor and strangled him).
    • Mrs. Pinkman (Jesse's mother) kicks her son out of his Aunt Ginny's house. Jesse points out that he cared for his aunt while his mother stood idly by and literally just waited for her own sister to die just so she can collect the house and put it on the market.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: On the other hand, Jesse showing up in the RV right outside of Walt's house is going to raise a lot of questions neither of them can answer if they're caught, so some of what Walt says makes sense even if he goes about it in completely the wrong way.
    • Also, it was quite cruel of Mr. and Mrs. Pinkman to kick Jesse out of his own house, it was also not quite unwarranted. As they point out to him, cooking meth under property that is under their name could make them a liability, even though they are completely innocent.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Jesse's parents force him to move out of his house (actually his late aunt's house, which she informally left him but is still in his parents' names), leaving him with no place to live. After Jesse begs his mother to reconsider, she slaps him in the face.
    • Clovis, the owner of the impound lot, also does this to Jesse after he finds him sleeping in the RV. When Jesse is unable to pay him the money he owes, he begs for some more time, only to have Clovis kick him out and indicate he's going to sell off Jesse's cooking equipment.
    • Walt has a moment when after he gets shunned by Skyler, he immediately takes it out on Jesse and insults his intelligence. Though he regrets it soon after and gives him his half then makes him breakfast.
  • No Sympathy: None of Jesse's friends show him any compassion for his predicament, Walt most of all. Paul, the one guy who took Jesse in had to let him go immediately because his wife's in-laws were (supposedly) visiting and so there wouldn't be enough room in Paul's already meager apartment.
    Jesse: (calling Walter) Yo, I get I shouldn't call but I'm in a situation over here, and I need my money!
    Walt: I JUST gave you six hundred dollars.
    Jesse: Yeah, and thanks Daddy Warbucks, but that was before my housing situation went completely testicular on me!! OKAY?!!
    Walt: You smoked the entire $600, didn't you?
    Jesse: WHAT?! NO! (Walt and Jesse exchange Yes and No respectively)
    Walt: Look, Jesse, your problems are just that. YOUR problems. NO CONTACT! Do not call here, EVER! When the moment is right, I will call you abou...
    Walt: NO! NO! (hangs up)
  • Rage-Breaking Point: After Jesse has already suffered through a Trauma Conga Line the entire episode, Jesse finally hits this when Walter screams at him for showing up at his house, refusing to pay him his half of the money and insulting his intelligence. Jesse attacks him mid-rant and starts strangling him on the ground.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Jesse getting kicked out of his late aunt's house was because the show's crew lost permission to film in the house (temporarily). As a result, the season premiere featured a set of the kitchen with the RV blocking the view out the window, before they could work up to this development. They would regain permission prior to the filming of season 3.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Both Walt and Jesse argue on the phone about whose at fault over Jesse going homeless. As Jesse keeps calling and bugging for money, Walt takes his rage out on his phone by beating it. Jesse responds by doing the same with his phone.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Jesse undergoes one throughout the episode, starting with his parents taking back his house and ending with him sleeping in the RV in the impound lot, covered in fecal matter and blue gunk, and wearing a gas mask. Whatever your feelings may be towards Jesse at this point in the series, you WILL pity him after that.
  • What You Are in the Dark: As Walt splits up his stashed bills to pay Jesse his half share, he realizes that there is an odd amount of rolls — there's one left over. It would be easy enough to split this final roll in half, but after glancing furtively over his shoulder, he saves the entire roll for himself.