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Recap / Breaking Bad S3 E6 "Sunset"

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Season 3, Episode 06:

Written and directed by John Shiban
Air date: April 25, 2010

"This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed... bitch!"
Jesse Pinkman

A reservation police officer is called to check in on an elderly woman but finds that she's been killed by the Cousins, who are living in her farmhouse. He tries to confront them, but they surprise him with an axe and kill him.

Skyler calls Walt, who has finally filled out their divorce papers, and challenges him on his intention to provide for them with drug money after their separation. Walt shrugs off her concerns before closing a deal on a new condo.

Meanwhile, Jesse gives out samples of the batch he'd cooked on his own to his friends. With both Skinny Pete and Badger digging the product, Jesse proposes going back into business, but this time playing it safe, selling in small quantities and not pushing into others' territory. He has Skinny Pete set out to get materials while Badger has his cousin Clovis fix up the RV. But little does Jesse know, Hank is watching him after finding out about his connection to the RV, waiting for him to make an incriminating move...

Walt begins his work at Gus' superlab, where he meets his assistant: Gale Boetticher, an X-ray crystallographer just like Walt was in grad school. A staunch libertarian, Gale tells Walt that he got into the meth trade because he believe that some people will always go out of their way for drugs, so he should at least help in making the best drugs possible to give them what they want. Walt and Gale bond over their shared love of chemistry and their fascination with the written works of Walt Whitman.

The Cousins pay a visit to Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus assures his manager Cynthia that they are not a problem, but talks with the Cousins in confidence and tells them to meet with him at sunset.

As Hank continues to watch Jesse's house, Marie calls him and asks when he will be home. When Hank insists that he has to keep watch over Jesse's place, Marie suggests talking to Walt, since Skyler had once told her that Jesse sold him weed. Hank calls Walt and tells him his theory about Jesse having an RV being used as a mobile meth lab, putting Walt on edge: Jesse's RV has his fingerprints on it, so if Hank brings it in, he's as good as caught!

Walt races to the Clovis' repair yard as Badger is retrieving the RV, and tells Clovis that the DEA is close to making a bust on the RV. As Clovis recommends to Walt a guy who would wipe the RV off the face of the earth, Badger calls Jesse to tell him what's happening. Panicked, Jesse races out the door to stop Walt, unaware that he is now being tailed by Hank.

Walt brings the RV to a junkyard owned by Old Joe, whom Walt pays to have the RV destroyed. Old Joe reassures him that it would be shipped off to China to make patio furniture, and the authorities would never know where it went. As Walt takes a moment to look through the inside of the RV with some nostalgia, Jesse barges in. Walt peeks out the window and realizes Jesse had inadvertently led Hank right to them!

Hank tries to get into the RV, but finds the windows and doors locked. He tries to break in with a tire iron, but Old Joe returns and chastises him for trying to break into the RV without a warrant. The two argue over whether the RV could qualify as a vehicle that was legal to search, or a domicile that was protected from unwarranted search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Annoyed, Hank yanks the duct tape off of the doors, claiming that the bullet holes they were hiding give him probable cause. Under Walt's direction, Jesse tells Hank that he couldn't have known there were bullet holes before taking off the tape, which Joe concurs with, stating that probable cause had to be readily apparent.

Seeing no other way to get Jesse, Hank decides to call his ASAC to get a warrant that would let him search the RV. This gives Walt the time he needs to call Saul for a favor...

While waiting for his warrant, Hank gets a call from an Albuquerque police officer informing him that Marie was in a car accident and being airlifted to a hospital. Panicked, Hank drives away and makes his way to the hospital. While hurriedly searching for Marie, he hears his phone ring and answers. It's Marie, strangely okay, and asking about dinner as though nothing had happened.

Hank simmers with rage as he realizes he'd been tricked: the "police officer" that called Hank about Marie was actually Saul's secretary, Francesca.

With Hank off their tail, Old Joe goes through with the RV's destruction. Walt and Jesse watch on mournfully, yet with a sense of relief, as the recreational vehicle that served as their first lab when they started working together is torn up, then compacted into a small cube to be shipped away. Once the RV's completely destroyed, the two part ways.

Meanwhile, out in the desert, Gus meets with the Cousins. He reiterates that while Walt is under his employ, the Cousins were not to approach him. One of the Cousins insists, stating that Walt killed Tuco, their family. Gus corrects them: while Walt did indeed betray Tuco, it was actually a DEA agent who ended Tuco's life. Even though Juan Bolsa told them that the DEA was off-limits, Gus tells them that north of the border is his territory, and what he say goes. As such, he gives the Cousins his blessing to exact their revenge against Tuco's real killer: Hank Schrader.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Batman Gambit: Gus now sets the Cousins on Hank instead of Walt.
  • Call-Back: Hank reveals the presence of bullet holes on the RV from when Emilio shot the door.
  • Cop Killer: Marco and Leonel kill a tribal police officer who stumbles upon them.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • Gus tells the Cousins to meet him at sunset.
    • Sunset is when the RV is destroyed, which is also its metaphorical sunset.
  • Downer Ending: Downplayed. This episode sees the RV, a very iconic part of the show, getting destroyed. Also, Gus sent the Cousins after Hank.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Downplayed: After Francesca gets Hank to leave the junkyard, calling him under the pretense of being a cop informing him of Marie getting into a car accident, she pointedly tells Saul she expects a raise for doing this. Saul, meanwhile, oddly looks slightly uncomfortable over this act.
  • Hidden Depths: Old Joe, the junkyard owner, turns out to actually have an impressive knowledge of the law.
  • Idiot Ball: Walt finds out that Hank knows about the RV and that he is surveilling Jesse's house. After consulting Saul he rushes to the yard where the RV is stored and orders its destruction. So far so good, but Badger is at the yard at the moment and asks Walt about Jesse. Walt ignores him, so Badger tells Jesse about Walt's plan, and a furious Jesse drives off to the junkyard to confront Walt, which of course, leads Hank right to the RV.
  • Indy Ploy: Walt pulls some spectacular shit out of his ass to get Hank away from the RV in the salvage yard; he makes a phone call to Saul who has Francesca to make a phone call to Hank and telling him that his wife has been hospitalized for a severe motor accident.
  • Kick the Dog: While Walt had to do something to avoid going to prison, making Hank think Marie was in the hospital still comes off as very cruel.
  • The Millstone: Jesse leads Hank straight to the RV.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Jesse accidentally leads Hank right to the RV while Walt is still inside it. Walt struggles to force the door shut even as Hank tries to pry it open. Walt is saved from being discovered due to the timely intervention of Old Joe arriving to get into a squabble with Hank over whether the RV is a domicile or a moving vehicle, and Walt then having Saul's secretary call Hank to tell him that Marie has gotten into a car accident.
  • My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: Hank gets into a legal debate with the junkyard owner while trying to break into the RV, which contains Walt, Jesse and their meth lab.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Marie recommends Hank ask Walt about if Jesse knows about the RV, and this causes Walt to know Hank has figured out the RV and he subsequently has it destroyed bringing Hank back to square one.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hank when he gets a call saying Marie's in the hospital for a car accident. Then again when she calls his phone, it dawns on him that was all just a ploy to get him out of the junkyard.
  • Pass the Popcorn: With a twist. Leonel calmly munches on an apple to the sound of Marco hacking a tribal cop to death with their axe.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: As it turns out, the only reason the Cousins have been targeting Walt for death and not Hank (even though, as Gus points out, Hank is the one who actually killed Tuco) is because they were specifically ordered by Juan Bolsa not to target a DEA agent. As soon as Gus gives the go-ahead to kill Hank, they go after him instead.
  • Shaped Like Itself: An exasperated Walt tells Saul he can't think of a way to hide an "RV-sized" RV.
  • Suddenly Voiced: One of the cousins speaks for the first time in the series when meeting with Gus.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: When Walt is telling Jesse what to say when Hank wants to look in the RV, Jesse decides to add his own personal touch to the statement.
    Walt: This is my own private domicile and I won't be harassed.
    Jesse: This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed... bitch!
  • Trash the Set: The iconic RV is destroyed in the end.
  • Whoosh in Front of the Camera: Leonel does one as the tribal cop is looking inside the house he and Marco have taken over.

"The agent's name is Hank Schrader. May his death satisfy you."