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Recap / Breaking Bad S 3 E 11 Abiquiu

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Gus invites an employee over for dinner.

"Never make the same mistake twice."
Gus Fring

In a flashback, Jesse and Jane visit the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Abiquiu. As they drive back, Jesse says it was boring of O'Keefe to paint the same door over and over again, assuming she was trying to make it perfect. Jane argues that she painted the door so many times because she loved it and saw something new everytime, so she wanted to make that feeling last. She puts out a cigarette in Jesse's car with a lipstick smudge on it.

As Hank struggles with his physical therapy after the cartel's attack and Skyler and Marie discuss his medical bills, Walt continues to contend with the possibility that Jesse is stealing some of the meth they cook for his own side-business.

At the Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Badger and Skinny Pete confess to Jesse that they can't bring themselves to sell the blue meth to the other members, both suffering a pang of consciousness at trying to hook recovering addicts. Jesse, who has no such scruples, decides to show them how its done by attempting to work over a new member of the NA group: Andrea Cantillo, who claimed that she "didn't want to be here."


After dinner, where Junior announces he will soon be able to drive without supervision and wants a 1971 Mustang for his own car, Walt hands Skyler some of his money in confidence to pay for Hank's medical bills. Skyler is worried about whether the money is "unimpeachable". To that end, she goes with Walt to meet Saul. Saul suggests that they use money from Walt's "gambling addiction" as seed money to buy a business to launder his drug money: specifically, a laser tag arena. Skyler is perplexed: Walt's purchasing a laser tag arena would be too out of character, and would draw suspicion. After leaving Saul's office, Skyler proposes an alternative solution to Walt: using his seed money to purchase Bogdan's car wash, a business he worked at for many years, and one that would allow him to evade suspicion.


Meanwhile, Jesse seduces Andrea in an effort to coax her into buying his blue meth. His sales pitch to her comes to an abrupt halt when her five-year-old son, Brock, returns home. Jesse and Brock hit it off and become fast friends, and he refuses to sell to Andrea after finding out she's a mother. Andrea calls Jesse out on his hypocrisy, asking how a drug dealer like him could tell her how to live her life. She insists that she is a good mother, and that she wouldn't let what happened to her younger brother Tomás happen to her son. She confides in Jesse that Tomás had fallen in with a gang and, at the age of 10, was made to assassinate a rival drug dealer, shooting him through the neck. Jesse becomes horrified as he learns that Tomás was the one who killed Combo...

At the hospital, Marie excitedly tells Hank that he can be released soon, since he can continue his physical therapy at home. Hank refuses, however, and adamantly states that he will only leave the hospital when he can walk out.

Walt discusses the idea of buying the car wash with Saul, but Saul is reluctant: he explains that the car wash doesn't have a "Danny", an accomplice who would let his business be used for laundering money and ignore any wrongdoings to keep his it afloat, much like the owner of the laser tag arena, a fellow named "Danny". Walt discusses the idea of a "Danny" with Skyler afterwards. Skyler volunteers to be the car wash's "Danny", an idea that Walt is reluctant to go along with: he reminds Skyler that they are divorced. Skyler reveals, however, that she never turned in the divorce papers: legally, they are still married, and as such, they would not be compelled to testify against each other under spousal privilege.

Gus invites a surprised Walt over for dinner at his home. As the two share a Chilean dish that Gus has Walt help prepare, Gus offers Walt advice: that anyone can know how to be poor, but that one must learn how to be rich; and as such, to never make the same mistake twice.

Meanwhile, Jesse travels to the street where Combo was shot. He sees a young boy circling around on his bike, the same one that shot Combo: Tomás. He asks the boy for some meth. A car pulls up with the two gangsters who were present when Combo was shot, and Jesse buys some meth from them. He soon realizes that the meth is blue, exactly the same as the meth he and Walt cook.

From this, Jesse comes to a frightening realization: the people responsible for Combo's death are on Gus' payroll!

This episode contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: There are children's toys visible in Gus' house, and he mentions to Walt that his favorite Chilean dish is one he can't cook often because "the kids don't like it". This is the only mention between either show of Gus having a family (though his speech to Walter in "Mas" implied that he was providing for a family as well) so it may be that he's making all of it up to appeal to Walt's family values. However, given the fact that other characters like Tuco and Lydia are shown to have family members that are similarly only minor parts of their otherwise criminal lives, it isn't truly clear how much of it is a lie. According to Giancarlo Esposito, photos of Gus and his children (actually Esposito's own daughters) were actually prepared as props for the set, but went unused in the actual filming.
  • Becoming the Mask: Badger and Skinny Pete both get involved in the NA meetings to sell meth to the recovering addicts, but end up entering recovery themselves.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Saul encourages Walt to take this approach to his business, claiming that he once convinced a woman that he was Kevin Costner, and that it worked because he himself believed it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When Andrea's grandmother is told the lie that Jesse is a sponsor of her rehab program, she walks out of the house saying (in Spanish,) "Miserable, shameless. I'm tired, really tired of all of this. Miserable, shameless."note 
  • Brick Joke: Jesse is sad that there aren't actually paintings of vaginas in the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
  • Buffy Speak: Walt on Saul's qualifications: "My guy is a top... guy."
  • Call-Back: Skyler suggests buying the car wash where Walt used to work for laundering his money.
    • Jesse is once again confronted with the idea of a meth addict neglecting their child. Thankfully, Andrea is not nearly that selfish.
  • Call-Forward: "I just threw up in my mouth a little." The quotation's from a flashback prior to what happened in "Phoenix."
  • Contrived Coincidence: The kid that killed Combo turns out to be the brother of Andrea, the girl Jesse gets involved with at the NA meetings.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Badger and Skinny Pete are reluctant to sell meth to recovering addicts. "It's like shooting a baby in the face." Jesse chastises them for this, but eventually finds that he can't really do it either, once he finds out Andrea has a son.
  • Flashback: The Cold Open features one, showing the day Jesse and Jane finally went to see the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: After Walt previously signed the divorce papers Skyler gave him, she reveals that she had never signed them herself or turned them in.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Walt enters Gus' home, there are children's toys in his living room, suggesting Gus wanted to play up a family-man persona to Walt.
  • Gilligan Cut: Walt tries to call Skyler's bluff on seeing just "what kind of guy" he has to launder money for him. Cut to them sitting in Saul's overly crowded waiting room.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Skyler poking holes in Saul's idea for a money laundry scheme is full of condescension towards the man, and it's clear that she still distrusts and hates her husband's profession. That said, she's completely right to point out that Walter buying a laser tag building makes zero logical sense, as his lack of connection to the sport would be incredibly suspicious to tax auditors.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Gus invites Walter over to have dinner and dispense advice. Given the soon-to-follow progression of Gus being the series' Big Bad, this is certainly an example.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Discussed. Saul suggests to Walt and Skyler that they purchase a laser tag arena which they can use as a front to launder Walt's ill-gotten gains. Skyler objects because it's way too out of character for someone like Walt to suddenly show an interest in laser tag and would just attract suspicion. She suggests that Walt instead purchase the car wash where he previously worked for four years, because that would be far more believable.
  • Wham Shot: When Jesse buys meth from the dealers who had Combo killed, it's blue, proving that they were working for Gus.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jesse calls out Andrea on wanting to do drugs with a son to take care of.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Indirectly. Jesse is willingly to sell meth to a recovering addict, but gets cold feet once he finds out the addict in question is a single mother raising a little kid.