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Recap / Breaking Bad S 4 E 10 Salud

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As Gus, Jesse, and Mike make their way to the Cartel's base of operations in Mexico, Skyler tries to contact Walt about their birthday present for Junior. Since Walt isn't picking up his phone, she decides to give him his present, herself: a PT Cruiser. Junior politely accepts the gift, but compared to the Challenger he had before, it's just not as exciting...

As Saul contacts Ted Beneke to inform him that he had earned an "inheritance" from "Great Aunt Birgit" to the tune of a little over $600,000, Gus, Jesse, and Mike arrive at the Cartel's laboratory, where Gaff and the Cartel's scientists would determine the quality of Jesse's cook. The chief chemist is less than enthused with working alongside someone as young and seemingly inexperienced as Jesse, his concerns becoming all the more poignant when it becomes apparent that Jesse doesn't know how to synthesize phenylacetic acid, an ingredient in Walt's formula that Gus had always provided at his own superlab. As the chief chemist berates him and Gus, Jesse, in an unexpected show of courage, tells the chemist (who speaks perfect English) that the only way they would learn his cook is if it's done his way; there would be no cooking until the lab was clean and he had his phenylacetic acid. Both Gus and Mike are surprised but pleased at Jesse's bravery.


Junior drives his new PT Cruiser to Walt's condo, concerned after not seeing him all day. Walt reluctantly allows Junior, who is shocked at his father's injuries inside. Junior prepares to call Skyler, but Walt, groggy from a long night, begs him not to, explaining that he had been "gambling" again. He breaks down in tears in front of his son, who helps him back to bed. Walt asks Junior if he likes his birthday present. When Junior politely says he does, Walt sleepily replies "That's good, Jesse..." before passing out.

Meanwhile, in Mexico, Jesse finishes his batch of meth. Members of the Cartel watch and record on video every tense moment of the cook, with the Cartel chemists taking a sample of the meth to a gas chromatograph to measure its purity. The final result is 96.2% purity; not as high as Walt's cook, but enough to put the Cartel's own cooks to shame. As everyone celebrates Jesse's cook, Gaff claps him on the shoulder and says "The first of many", clarifying for Jesse that with this cook, he now belonged to the Cartel, leaving Jesse worried...


Back in Albuquerque, Saul visits Skyler at the car wash. He had been reluctant to give Ted some of the money Walt had earned to help Ted pay off his debts, and his suspicions were confirmed when his private investigators learned that Ted used the money to lease a Mercedes a scant three hours after receiving it, completely blowing off his debts and his obligations to the IRS.

Walt awakens in his condo, finding that Junior had stayed the entire time after he fell asleep by telling Skyler he was staying with a friend. He plays off his sorry state from the previous night as the result of "beer and painkillers". Afraid of what Junior thinks of him, Walt tells him a story about his own father, Junior's grandfather; when Walt was young, his father suffered from Huntington's disease, a degenerative illness of the brain. Walt had always heard stories about the kind of man his father was from those who knew him, but the only memory of him Walt had was when he visited him in a hospital at a very young age. At that point, the disease had progressed into its final stages; he was barely recognizable, his breathing heavily labored and his eyes seeing his son, but not appearing to recognize him. Walt's father died not long after, and Walt did not want Junior to remember him as a pitiable, sick man. Junior, however, says he wouldn't mind remembering him like that; he was more afraid of remembering him as acting so strangely over the past year, and that at least the previous day, he seemed "real"...

After sending Junior back home, Walt is approached by Tyrus, who simply asks: "Somewhere you should be?"

At Beneke Fabricators, Skyler sees Ted in what remained of his office after his business was liquidated. She asks him about his finances, and Ted talks about starting his business back up thanks to an unexpected "cash infusion". Skyler urges Ted to pay his debts to the IRS, reiterating that she would be found culpable in his willful tax evasion and they would both be in prison. Ted continues to brush off Skyler's advice, leaving her incensed; before she leaves, she asks him if he really got that money from "Great Aunt Birgit", revealing to him exactly where that money came from...

Back in Mexico, Gus, Jesse, and Mike are standing poolside at Don Eladio's estate, with Mike assuring Jesse: "Either we're all going home, or none of us are." Don Eladio, accompanied by his men, greets Gustavo and embraces him, happy to see that he had finally seen reason. After introducing Eladio to Jesse, his new chemist, Gus offers a gift to celebrate their new friendship; a bottle of Zafiro Añejo, a rare premium tequila. Eladio decides to share it with Gus and all of his friends (except for Jesse, whom Gus explains is an addict who must stay sober), and they share a toast.

Afterwards, Eladio throws a poolside party. He sits down with Gus and tries to explain that there was no ill will for him; everything, from his disrupting his meth business to the death of his friend Max, was "just business". Afterwards, Gus excuses himself to the restroom, where he turns on the sink, then forces himself to vomit into a toilet.

Shortly afterwards, Don Eladio's men begin to drop dead, one by one. As Eladio begins to feel weak, Mike strangles Gaff with a garrot as Gus returns to the now ending party, Eladio's men dead around him. Eladio realizes that he and his men had been poisoned by Gus and lurches towards him, but the last of his strength finally leaves him and he collapses, dead, into his pool.

After Mike takes Eladio's necklace, Gus begins to feel weak as well; he had poisoned himself with the tainted Zafiro Añejo as part of his plot to destroy the Cartel and took measures to prevent himself from dying, including taking an antidote and purging some of the poison in the restroom, but some poison managed to find its way into his bloodstream. With support from Jesse and Mike, Gus yells his ultimatum to any Cartel members within earshot:

"Don Eladio is dead! His capos are dead! You have no one left to fight for! Fill your pockets and leave in peace...or fight me, and die!"

With that, the three make their escape. Jesse finds a car he can use to make their getaway. One lone Cartel gunman opens fire on them, hitting Mike before Jesse fires back and kills him. With Mike wounded and Gus dying of poison, Jesse makes a hasty escape with them in tow...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Beforehand, Gus took an antidote and later activated his gag reflex to avoid the effects of the poisoned drink. Subverted, as he was still weakened by its effects.
  • All There in the Script: Feuentes' full name isn't stated in the episode.
  • The Alleged Car: Junior tries valiantly to hide his disappointment, but he's clearly not thrilled by the gift of a PT Cruiser.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Right before Mike is shot, it appears that he was about to shoot Jesse.
  • Asshole Victim: Every last one of the dons.
  • Badass Boast: After murdering the entire Juarez Cartel, Gus says this:
    Don Eladio is dead. His capos are dead. You have no one left to fight for. Fill your pockets and leave in peace, or fight me and die!
  • Bald of Evil/Beard of Evil: Most of the dons.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Joaquin goes after Gus, Jesse and Mike even though Gus warned the Cartel they'd die. Subverted in that he wounds Mike, one of the most dangerous members of Gus' crew.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In the span of 5 minutes, Don Eladio finds out that Jesse doesn't know any Spanish, is not a chemist, and is a former addict. But he doesn't care if Jesse's a pig farmer, as long as he can cook well.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Gus is acting as translator between the English-speaking Jesse and the Spanish-speaking cartel men. That is, until Jesse calls the cartel's chief chemist an asshole. This prompts the chemist to reveal that he can speak English. Jesse is unfazed and still intimidates the men into complying with his method of cooking Walt's meth.
  • Decapitation Strike: Gus obliterated the cartel's entire leadership in one fell swoop, leaving the members left with no one to fight for. Most of them took the hint and scooted off.
  • Dramatic Necklace Removal: Gus has Mike rip off Eladio's necklace when he falls in the pool, so he can later taunt Hector with it.
  • Evil Genius: Feuntes ought to be this, since he's the cartel's lead meth chemist, but he doesn't match up to Jesse.
    Fuentes: ...he's no chemist, I'll tell you that.
    Don Eladio: I don't care if he's a pig farmer. He cooks better meth than you do, with all your fancy college degrees.
  • Insufferable Genius: Feuntes, emphasis on the insufferable over the 'genius'. He's grievously offended when Jesse arrives on the scene.
    Jesse: Don't you have standards? I mean, this place is disgusting. All right, we're gonna scour every vat, every tank, every cook surface. We clean up every possible source of contamination. And then we cook.
    Fuentes: Who do you think you are?
    Jesse: I'm the guy your boss brought here to show you how it's done. And if this is how you run your lab, no wonder. You're lucky he hasn't fired your ass. Now, if you don't want that to happen I suggest you stop whining like a little bitch, and do what I say.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Don Eladio gives Benicio Fuentes, the wannabe chemist, a thorough put down, pointing out that Jesse could cook way better meth than him despite his lack of college degrees.
    • Gus poisons all the cartel members.
  • Lack of Empathy: Gus' murder of three of Don Eladio's most loyal subordinates hardly seems to faze him, given that he immediately throws a party for Gus after being sufficiently convinced of his unconditional submission. Similarly, during the party, he offhandedly threatens a servant pouring him a shot of rare tequila with amputation if he spills "even one drop" (with a festive smile on his face, no less). Later while speaking with Gus, he coldly "advises" him to let go of any personal grudges he has (including the cartel's murder of his beloved partner) and submit to his authority for the sake of "good business."
    ''"Gustavo, cheer up, man. Gustavo, I'm not angry. I had to spank you. But what choice did I have? Look, once every twenty years you forget your place. There's no place for emotion in this. You of all people should understand. Business is business."
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Even after witnessing Gus poisoning Joaquin's bosses, and when Gus was giving the opportunity for any surviving cartel members to leave, Joaquin still chooses to attempt to kill Gus, Jesse, and Mike. Subverted in that he actually manages to surprise Mike and wound him and would have killed both him and Gus were it not for Jesse.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Fuentes is clearly Spanish, but when speaking English, he talks in Rota's native English (as in, he was born in England) accent. A case of Truth in Television, since some people do learn to speak English without their native accent (Or they make take on the accent of the person who is teaching them the language.)
  • Perfect Poison: Gus uses the same bottle of tequila to dispatch Don Eladio and all his capos at once.
  • Pet the Dog: When told that Jesse is a recovering addict, Eladio refuses to let him have a drink. However, this could very well be because Eladio didn't want Pinkman (who is his presumptive new cook) to develop any habits that might impede his cooking.
  • Properly Paranoid: Before Don Eladio even opens Gus' "gift" he looks at Gaff to make sure the case is safe to open. He then makes Gus take the first shot of the rare tequila, in case if it was poisoned. It was. Gus drank it anyway. (Earlier, he's seen taking some pills that likely slowed or dulled the poisons working, and when he uses Eladio's bathroom later, he induces himself to vomit, thus preventing the poison from running its course.) And finally, when Gus is going to leave his sight, he has his bodyguard go with Gus to keep an eye on him. Eladio really didn't trust Gus and was trying to be careful not to give Gus any opening to use against him. He was right to be paranoid, he just wasn't quite paranoid enough.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Lot of this going on here. First Jesse betting that Don Eladio will put up with him talking trash to his henchmen if he can make a superior product, and then Gus's Xanatos Gambit to poison the Don—by poisoning himself as well.
  • Rule of Drama: Eladio is seemingly the last person to succumb to the poison; he of course manages to linger just long enough for Gus to come back out and non-verbally let his nemesis put two and two together before dying.
  • Self-Poisoning Gambit: Gus brings a rare and expensive bottle of tequila (which is of course poisoned) to the meeting with the heads of the Cartel where they think Gus is going to surrender to them. Don Eladio, who is Properly Paranoid, refuses to drink until after Gus does so. Gus apparently anticipated this, as shortly before the toast he took a pill of some kind and shortly afterward he excuses himself, goes to a bathroom, and tries to vomit up the poison. Gus is still affected by the poison and would have died without prompt medical care, but he fares better than the heads of the Cartel, who drop like flies within minutes.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Feuntes gets two of these. One from Jesse when Fuentes insults both his poor understanding of Spanish (and he subtly insults Gus when asking if Jesse as chemist was a joke) and his lack of basic chemistry knowledge. He gets a second one from his own boss later on, who says that even with Fuentes's college degrees, Jesse still cooks better meth.
    Jesse: Tell this asshole if he wants to make my product, he's got to do it my way. The right way.
    Fuentes: I speak English.
    Jesse: So you understand what asshole means. Now go get me my phenylacetic acid, asshole.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Feuntes is so arrogant that you get the feeling he still would've acted the same way had Walt or Gale been there instead of Jesse (though Walt or Gale would at least have been able to make phenylacetic acid).
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Joaquin doesn't even have any dialogue, but if it weren't for his last ditch effort to kill Gus, Mike would have never been wounded and would have been present for Gus's showdown.
  • Smug Snake: Feuntes thinks he's a lot better of a chemist than he actually is.
  • Taking You with Me: After realizing that Gus has poisoned him, this is clearly the last thought that crosses Don Eladio's mind judging by his Death Glare and lunge in Gus' direction. However, he succumbs to the poison before he can bring this desire about.
  • Volatile Second Tier Position: Jesse is arguably the second-most important component of Gus's plan, and the pressure is on for every minute of the job.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: How Skyler lends the money to Ted to fix his problems with the IRS. Saul admits he didn't think that would work. Of course, Saul probably meant it in the sense of "the story wouldn't be believable", not as in "he'll probably not realize that the money is meant to pay his taxes".
  • Wham Episode: Gus singlehandedly wipes out the entire cartel in one move. Walter has an emotional breakdown and calls his son "Jesse".
  • Wrong Name Outburst: Walt accidentally calls Walt Jr. "Jesse" after he drifts off on painkillers.

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