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Recap / Breaking Bad S3 E4 "Green Light"

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Season 3, Episode 04:

Green Light
Walt is gently escorted from the premises after communications with Ted break down.
Written by Sam Catlin
Directed by Scott Winant
Air date: April 11, 2010

"You know, Walter, sometimes it doesn't hurt to have someone watching your back."
Mike Ehrmantraut

Jesse fills the RV up with gas after cooking a batch of meth out in the desert, but doesn't have any cash on him. He charms the cashier into accepting a sample of his meth as payment.

Mike meets with Saul to discuss Walt's situation. Mike's bugs picked up a heated argument between Walt and Skyler after she'd told him she'd slept with Ted, leaving them concerned.

Walt goes to Beneke Fabrications to confront Ted, but is escorted off the premises by security, then forcibly picked up by Mike, who drives him to Saul's office. As Saul chastises Walt for his reckless behavior, Walt realizes that he must have been bugged and fires Saul, who declares he'll stop laundering Walt's money through Walt also demands the bugs in his house be removed.

Hank is on his way back to El Paso after a promotion, but Marie is worried that he'll be in danger like his last trip to the border. Hank tries pretending to be unconcerned, but when Gomez calls to tell him that blue meth has been found on the street again, he quickly abandons his trip to follow the lead.

Walt, still incensed over Skyler's affair, tries to seduce his own boss Carmen, but to no avail: this, combined with his slipping performance at work, results in him being fired. As Walt is leaving the school with his belongings, Jesse arrives: he wants to get back into cooking because, according to him, it's the only thing he's good at. Walt tries to encourage him and tells Jesse that he's out for good. Jesse is fine with this, though, because he's been cooking on his own and has proudly brought a sample to show Walt. He asks Walt to help him get in contact with Gus so he can sell his batch. Walt is suddenly furious and tells Jesse that he has no right to cook Walt's formula—plus, Jesse's meth is complete garbage. An angry and hurt Jesse speeds off with Walt's cardboard box of belongings still on the roof.

As Skyler continues her affair with Ted and Hank's ASAC badgers him about delaying his trip to El Paso, Mike meets with Gus to discuss Walt and his brush with death at the hands of the Cousins. Mike suggests telling Walt about the Cousins and that working for Gus could save him. Gus, however, doesn't want to scare Walt into working for him: he sees Walt as an investment, and fear would not be an effective enough motivator. In addition, Mike passes on a message from Saul: Jesse is looking to work with Gus. Gus is reluctant to work with an addict, but when Mike tells him that Walt and Jesse are no longer on good terms, Gus considers and gives him permission to "do the deal".

Hank continues to investigate Heisenberg, his search leading him to a gas station where a young man with Sky Blue paid for his gas in drugs. While the security camera in the store doesn't work, he does manage to get an image of his vehicle from an ATM: an 80s Fleetwood Bounder, of which there was only a small number registered in New Mexico. As he conducts his investigation, ASAC Merkert tells Hank that El Paso cannot afford to wait for him to wrap up his investigation of Heisenberg any longer and tells him he must decide if he is going to El Paso now. Hank ultimately declines, desperately claiming that his work in Albuquerque is too important.

At an isolated overpass, Gus' employee Victor meets with Jesse to pay him for his batch. When Jesse looks in the sack of money he is given, however, he realizes that there is only half of the full amount he was expecting inside: "Your half", Victor clarifies.

Walt is driving through the desert when he hears a news report about Donald Margolis, Jane's father, who is in the hospital after attempting to commit suicide following his role in the Wayfarer 515 crash. While Walt fights back his guilt, Victor drives up next to him and tosses a bag of cash through his window: "Your half", Victor states before driving off...

This episode provides examples of:

  • Blatant Lies: "I'm talking with Ted," Walt says as he tries to break Ted's office window by throwing a potted plant at it.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: Walt gets fired from his teaching job and we see him carry a box with his work items into the parking lot. He places it on top of Jesse's car where it is forgotten. When Jesse speeds off the box crashes to the ground, much to Walt's chagrin.
  • Dirty Coward: Ted hides away from Walt knowing Walt would probably plant him one for sleeping with his wife.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Jesse: Yo, did you just get fired?
    Walt: No. No, no, no, it's, uh, more like a sabbatical. Indefinite.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Jesse continues to embrace his role as the bad guy by trying to become the new Heisenberg. He perfectly replicates Walter's meth formula and starts taking steps to take his place as Gus' partner in crime.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Mike shows a rather blasť attitude towards the Cousins when debriefing Gustavo regarding their failed attempt to kill Walter, to the point where he doesn't seem to recognize who they are outside of being two crazy Cartel members who want to kill one of his boss's assets. Better Call Saul later establishes that Leonel and Marco had previously threatened to murder his granddaughter on Hector's orders, making Mike's lack of familiarity with the Twins looks decidedly out-of-character for him.
  • Epic Fail: Two from Walt.
    • Walt's hilarious attempt to shatter a glass office door with a potted palm tree; the only thing that broke was the tree. Well, and Walt's composure. Oh, and then he got dragged outside by staff. And then taken away by Mike.
    • Walt utterly misread his relationship with Carmen and attempted to put the moves on her. At school. During school hours with students on premises. He's fired within the hour.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Gus refers to the Salamanca twins as "animals" when Mike tells him that they painted a scythe in front of Walt's house.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Hank while interrogating Russell:
    "Just let me see if I'm following you here, Russell. You got this stuff from some guy at Gasparza's who was wearing tan pants and who you're 80% sure had a moustache. That's it, right? That's your brain working at maximum capacity?"
  • Marked to Die: Mike is the only one who notices the Cousins have drawn a scythe on the ground with chalk in front of Walt's house.
  • Put on a Bus: Carmen, after being forced to terminate Walt, as well as Walt's students, not that any of them were ever developed to begin with.
  • Soft Glass: Subverted, much to Walt's embarrassment.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Walt's constant absences and erratic behavior finally cause too many problems at his teaching job, and despite being friendly with Walt and empathetic to his situation, Carmen has no choice but to put him on suspension. Then he tries to seduce her, which apparently led to a full-out termination.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Subverted. Walter tries to put the moves on Principal Carmen after Skyler sleeps with her own boss, Ted, out of spite at Walter. However, while Ted and Skyler already had Unresolved Sexual Tension between them, there wasn't even a hint that either Walter or Carmen were attracted to one another, so his out of the blue attempt to seduce her just comes across as weird and pathetic. Rather than turning the cheating into a mutual affair to get back at Skyler, he is fired from his job as a teacher.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We find out Don Margolis tried to commit suicide. Whether or not he succeeded was not resolved...but since we don't ever hear from him again...
  • Woman Scorned: Gender-flipped. Walt tries to flirt with Carmen as revenge for Skyler's cheating, but gets suspended indefinitely in the process.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Mike's reaction when Walter lunges at Saul for his flippant comments about Skyler's infidelity. He rolls his eyes at the sight of the Wimp Fight in front of him, then he calmly gets up and drags Walter off Saul.

"Your half."