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Recap / Breaking Bad S 2 E 5 Breakage

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Skinny Pete deals with some occupational hazards.
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After a session of chemo, Walt's doctor recommends cautious optimism regarding his chances of survival. All signs of optimism, however, evaporate when Walt sees just how costly his treatments are, combined with the cost of his hospital stay following his "fugue state". When Walt checks in on his stash of drug money, he realizes that after paying his hospital bills, he'll be left with virtually nothing. When he goes to the bathroom afterwards, he finds the toilet clogged with a pack of cigarettes...

At the DEA, Hank is informed that the power vacuum in the drug trade left by Tuco remains, although the name "Heisenberg" has become commonplace. He is also given a promotion to the Tristate Border Interdiction Task Force: accepting means splitting his duties between Albuquerque and El Paso, Texas. Hank accepts the promotion, but when he boards an elevator afterwards, begins to suffer from a panic attack.

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Meanwhile, Jesse returns to Clovis's repair yard. Clovis is quite angry to see him at first, but Jesse gives him the money that he owed him for services rendered, plus interest for the damages to his fence when he made off with the RV earlier. With the two of them now squared, Jesse pays Clovis to keep the RV in the yard, and even buys a new car; a 1983 Toyota Tercel.

Afterwards, Jesse starts hunting for a new place to live. His search leads him to a duplex managed by Jane Margolis, a part-time tattoo artist. Even though Jesse has no proof of employment or former addresses to give, he manages to get some slack when he tells her of how his parents kicked him out of his old place. She agrees to let him stay and pay in cash in exchange for an increase to his rent to cover his "DBAA clause" (Don't Be An Asshole).

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After completing another cook in the desert, Walt instructs Jesse to go back to selling small quantities of meth, so they don't have to deal with another Tuco. Jesse rejects this proposal: with Tuco out of the picture, they could rise up to take his place. Walt disagrees, but Jesse recounts the original terms of their partnership: Walt handles the cook and Jesse handles the business. He threatens to break off from Walt if he doesn't agree to his proposal. Walt relents.

At his apartment, Jesse holds a small house-warming party with his friends Badger, Skinny Pete, and Combo. He also proposes a new business deal with them: he fronts them an ounce of his blue meth at dead drops, and they distribute the product for $2500 an ounce. Jesse would take $2000 from each sale and give his friends a $500 cut.

When Walt's family visits the Schraders, Skyler confronts Marie one final time about the tiara she stole. Marie resists at first, but when Skyler claims she wants her sister back, she breaks down into tears and apologizes.

Badger, Skinny Pete, and Combo proceed to sell meth throughout the city. Things go smoothly until Skinny Pete finds himself held at knife-point by a pair of junkies who steal his meth and his money. Walt confronts Jesse about the matter: while Jesse tries to write off the loss as "breakage", Walt demands he take action.

Back at home, Walt, still miffed with Skyler over her acting aloof towards him, confronts her about the carton of cigarettes he found in the toiler. Skyler dismisses Walt's concerns, stating that she must've suffered a "fugue state" when she smoked. An argument breaks out where Skyler admits she smoked three and a half cigarettes before disposing of the rest, and that she did feel ashamed for smoking while pregnant. Walt says Skyler isn't acting like herself, to which Skyler snaps back "How would you know?" before storming off.

That night, Walt gives Jesse his revolver back and tells him to do what he must in order to get back the money that had been stolen from him.

Meanwhile, Hank continues to struggle with panic attacks and PTSD from his encounter with Tuco. After an incident where he mistook bottles of his homemade beer popping with gunshots, he takes Tuco's preserved grill and chucks it into a river.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Call-Back: A subtle example: when Hank suffers a panic attack in the elevator, the sound of the hydraulics from Jesse's car echoes in his ears.
  • Cool Car: Averted: Jesse spots an El Camino in Clovis's lot, and asks if he's selling it. When Clovis offers it to him for $9,000, Jesse reconsiders and spots a more modest vehicle: a 1983 Toyota Tercel hatchback.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jane. "D.B.A.A. Tax. Don't be an asshole."
  • The Dreaded: Walter is angry that one of Jesse's runners got robbed, costing the operation $2,000 in product. He tells Jesse that the only way to prevent it from becoming a recurring problem is for Jesse to become this.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Following Hank's promotion, Marie mentions that she's heard the Mexican Cartel sends severed heads as a calling card. This will prove to be more than a rumor.
    • Jesse singles out Badger when making sure his friends know exactly how to distribute; he also lingers on Badger a moment longer than the other guys when the group disperses. While Badger isn't the first member of the crew to screw up (Skinny Pete is hoodwinked by a pair of addicts), Badger's own misstep down the line is much more serious.
    • Jesse briefly takes interest in an El Camino in Clovis's lot.
  • How We Got Here: The Cold Open shows some river workers fishing Tuco's encased grill out of the river.
  • I Gave My Word: Jesse, having stolen the RV from Clovis' yard and wrecked the gate all while owing him money from before, returns to pay him back, pay for damages and makes a deal to keep the RV in the lot. As Jesse said, his word is his bond.
  • Montage: Another meth-slinging montage, this time with Skinny Pete, Badger and Combo doing the slinging. Also Soundtrack Dissonance —the track used is the Charlie Steinmann Orchestra's light and jazzy "It Is Such a Good Night (Scoobidoo Love)"
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