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Recap / Breaking Bad S 3 E 1 No Mas

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In the Mexican countryside, a group of people are seen crawling along an adobe road. They are joined by two cousins arriving in a Mercedes, dressed in sharp suits. They eventually arrive at a shrine made for Santa Muerte, the Mexican god of death, where they make an offering of a crude sketch of a man with a mustache dressed in a pork pie hat and sunglasses: "Heisenberg".

Albuquerque is shaken to its core as a result of the midair collision between Wayfarer 515 and a charter plane. Everyone on-board both planes died instantly, and debris from the collision rained across the city, causing yet more destruction and pain.

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As Walter White is torn between whether to dispose of his drug money, Skyler meets with a divorce lawyer to discuss her ending her marriage to Walt. When asked about finances, Skyler pauses, her lawyer pointing out that she had seen many couples hiding such information from each other.

As Junior is distraught over his mother's perceived mistreatment of his father, Jesse attends group therapy at the rehabilitation center. Despondent at the group leader's nonchalance, Jesse asks him if he ever killed someone. The leader admits that he killed his daughter, having hit her with a car in the days when he abused cocaine and alcohol. He once hated himself, the same way Jesse hates himself because of Jane's death, but eventually decided that self-loathing interfered with changing himself.

Skyler visits Walt at the apartment he moved himself into after being kicked out of his own home. She states that Walt is a drug dealer, and demands to know what drug he was peddling. Walt finally admits to her that he makes methamphetamine, shocking her. She states that she will not contact the police, but only on the condition that he sign divorce papers.

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Walt picks Jesse up from rehab. Jesse declares that he's done using, having decided that if he didn't use, Jane wouldn't have overdosed, and the Wayfarer accident wouldn't have occurred. Afterwards, Walt visits Los Pollos Hermanos and sits down with Gus. Walt declares that he is retiring from making meth. Gus tries to make him an offer of three million dollars for three months' work, but Walt declines, stating that he has plenty of money, but he doesn't have his family.

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This episode contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch: People crawling through dirt implies something really sinister is happening, like they're wounded, or being forced to do so, or hiding from some shooters; Cousins' ominous arrival only reinforces the assumption that something terrible is going on. Except that both immediately join the other crawlers, and this turns out to be merely a ritual of abasement to the god of death.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: The cousins live and breathe this trope.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "No Más" means "No More" in Spanish.
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins and ends with somebody crawling down a dirt road.
  • From Bad to Worse: Walt's position in this episode is already pretty unenviable; Jesse's in rehab, Skyler intends to leave him and knows he's peddling meth, and he remains unsure of what he's going to do with his money. Then The Teaser happens and shows us that he's become a target of the Salamanca Twins.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Walt wants "no more" business with meth making, and Skyler wants "no more" association with Walt.
  • Heel Realization: Jesse comes to this after getting out of rehab, following Jane's death, which came after he tempted her into relapsing.
    Jesse: I'm the bad guy.
    • Ignored Epiphany: Jesse, upon coming to this realization, decides to embrace it.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: The principal told the assembly of student, "You can say anything and everything that's on your mind." but then one blonde female inappropriately tries to tie this all to religion. Seeing that discussing the existence of a god is not relevant to the air crash, the principal asks her to stay on topic.
  • It's All About Me: Barry, who got a 58% on a test in Walt's chemistry class, tries exploiting the airliner crash and applies Insane Troll Logic to his speech defining the air crash as a reason to give students with emotional hardships because of this incident an automatic A. The microphone is confiscated from him by the principal.
  • Leave No Witnesses: The cousins shoot all the immigrants in the truck smuggling them after a young man identifies the two as gangsters by taking a look at their shoes.
  • Never My Fault: During a wake at the high school, Walt attempts to downplay the tragedy of the plane crash in order to rationalize his role in the accident.
  • Newscaster Cameo: The newscasters in the Wayfarer 515 broadcast montage include Ashleigh Banfield, Dana Cortez, Marla Tellez and Jeff Maher, all of whom are actual news anchors.
  • Oh, Crap!: An eager young man crossing the Mexican border continually chats up the Cousins until he takes a look at the silver skulls on their boots, and immediately shuts up.
  • Pet the Dog: The twins make a tense, but unusually peaceful trip to the residence of a small rural family, taking the father's drying clothes but depositing their expensive car and leaving without any violence.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Hank lifts Walt's duffle bag full of money and asks "What do you got in here, cinder blocks?" Walt pauses, looks him straight in the eye and says "Half-million in cash", deadpan. Another beat, and Hank laughs, complimenting Walt on keeping a sense of humor.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When one of the immigrants riding with the Cousins while crossing the border notices the silver skulls on their boots, his look changes from eagerness at the prospect of coming to America to one of defeated resignation, for he knows what's coming...
  • Too Dumb to Live: The truck driver should've played dead after getting shot the first time instead of trying to drag himself away.
  • Unflinching Walk: The cousins after they murder everyone in the truck they are using to cross the border into Texas, after which they set fire to the aforementioned vehicle.
    • This had to be done in one take, and Bryan Cranston, who directed the episode, basically threatened the actors into not flinching, and also suggested a casual cigarette-drag as they walked away. It worked.
  • Wham Line: Skyler reveals she's figured everything out between seasons: "You're a drug dealer."
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