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Recap / Breaking Bad S 4 E 12 End Times

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Walt and Jesse reach their breaking point.

"I have lived under the threat of death for a year now, and because of that, I’ve made choices. I alone should suffer the consequences of those choices, no one else. And those consequences...they're coming. No more prolonging the inevitable."
Walter White

Walt and Skyler frantically pack their belongings as the DEA arrives so they can be taken into protective custody. Walt, however, stays behind: under the guise to everyone that he was remaining behind to look after the car wash, he explains to Skyler that he is the only one being targeted, so the only way for his family to be safe is to be away from them.

As Walt sits alone at his house in contemplation, Hank reveals to his family and Gomez that he had been investigating Los Pollos Hermanos and Gustavo Fring and their connection to the meth trade on the down-low, which he thinks is the reason why he is being targeted. He convinces Gomez to pay a visit to Gus' industrial laundromat and look for evidence. As Gomez convinces the owner, Dennis Markowski, to let him scour the laundromat, Jesse and Tyrus remain silent in the superlab to avoid being found. Gus calls Jesse and explains to him that everything that was happening was a result of his "former partner". Jesse, however, insists that if Gus has Walt killed, there would be a problem.


After work, Jesse finds that he has several messages on his cellphone from Saul. He goes to Saul's office where, after having Huell pat Jesse down, Saul explains that he is getting ready to leave town after Gus threatened Walt's family.

While Hank continues to find nothing on Gus, Jesse returns home to think over the day's developments. He receives a call from Andrea that frightens him: Brock has been hospitalized! His condition is deteriorating to the point where he has been placed into the pediatric ICU. Jesse goes to pay Andrea and Brock a visit at the hospital. While stepping outside for a smoke, however, he finds that his ricin cigarette has gone missing. A frightening realization dawns on Jesse before he dashes back into the hospital and tells her to inform the doctors that Brock wasn't just sick: he has been poisoned with ricin!


Jesse then makes a beeline for Walt's house, where, after Walt lets him in, he takes Walt's revolver and points it at him. Walt tries to talk Jesse down, but Jesse refuses, believing Walt had stolen the ricin and used it to poison Brock as revenge for winning Gus' favor. Walt denies having harmed Brock and, as Jesse becomes angrier at his denial, suddenly breaks into laughter. Walt explains to Jesse that the one who actually poisoned Brock was Gus: Gus noticed the ricin cigarette with his security cameras, had one of his underlings take it, and used it to poison Brock in the hopes that Jesse would think Walt poisoned him. After all, Jesse was the only thing standing between Gus and Walt, and what better way to dispose of Walt then to trick Jesse into doing it?! To seal the deal, he bluntly tells Jesse to kill him if he thinks he's lying.

Finally believing Walt, Jesse agrees to help him kill Gus.

Jesse stays at the hospital overnight, staying outside the ICU. When Tyrus comes to bring Jesse back to the superlab, Jesse refuses, going as far as to call for security when Tyrus tries to force him. As Tyrus leaves, he calls Gus to inform him of the situation.

Jesse then sends a text to Walt as he prepares a remotely-detonated pipe bomb, informing him that he has Gus' attention.

Gus comes to visit Jesse to try to convince him to return to the superlab. Jesse continues to refuse, explaining that Brock had been poisoned and subtly implying Gus was responsible. Gus offers whatever aid he can to Brock and gives Jesse leave to stay at the hospital for as long as he needs and departs.

Walt is on the roof of a neighboring building, having stealthily planted the pipe bomb on Gus' car and now awaiting his return. He watches with binoculars as Gus and his men walk towards his car, but suddenly stops. Sensing something is amiss, Gus decides not to take his car and walks away, leaving Walt feeling panicked and helpless: if he had somehow known of the bomb, what hope has he of ever besting Gus? What hope has he of surviving Gus' wrath?

This episode contains examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: At this point in the series, before the next episode which informs us of the answer, the audience doesn't know whether Gus' team were the ones who poisoned Brock or whether Walt is the culprit and doing a gambit.
  • Blatant Lies: When Gomez is trying to persuade Dennis Markowski to let the DEA search the laundry for evidence of the underground lab, he spins a bogus lie about being sent because some US Senator's son got busted for heroin possession and the guy's claiming the heroin came from the place where his chef whites are laundered.
  • Call-Back: Once again, Jesse has Walt at his mercy with Walt daring him to go through with it. Once again, Jesse is unable to follow through and the two make up.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Skyler does this at one point, although her being anxious is subtlely implied.
    • Jesse tries this while at the hospital where Brock at, but doesn't get too far after discovering the ricin cigarette is missing.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Walt's plan to use a pipe bomb to blow up Gus backfiring when Gus seemingly realizes that's what Walt's going to do and decides to not drive his car.
  • Death Seeker: Implied at the beginning of the episode, where Walt chooses to stay at his house without protection, knowing that Gus would likely try to come after him instead. This is after him learning that he lacks the money to relocate himself and his family for their own safety, and that Gus has fired him and intended to kill Hank.
  • Dramatic Irony: Walter Jr. and Marie are noticeably upset that Walt refused to stay at Hank's house and be in protective custody... After all, doesn't he realize that the hitmen are after Hank?
    Walter Jr.: He's going to risk his life over a stupid car wash? Does he even understand what's going on with Uncle Hank?
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Walter tries to protect his family from Gus by sending Skyler and the kids to Hank's where they'll be be under DEA protection and refuses to come with them since it would only place his wife and children in more danger.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Walt invokes this when asking Jesse if he really thinks that he's the type to poison an innocent child. This is what gets Jesse to finally back off.
  • Foreshadowing: As Walt sits in his garden, he spins his gun around three times. The first two times it lands on himself. The third? A plant nearby...
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: After Huell pats Jesse down, if you look close enough, you can see him sliding something into his pocket: the ricin cigarette.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Walt claims to Jesse that this is Gus' plan: make Jesse think Walt poisoned Brock so that he'll kill Walt in retaliation.
  • Meaningful Background Event: An auditory example: when Walt tells Jesse that Gus poisoned Brock, the background music that plays is the exact same track that played during last episode's final scene. You know the scene...
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Gus feels profoundly ill at ease as he walks back to his car, scans the area at length, and ultimately chooses to leave via another route. What, if anything, tipped him off to the danger isn't clear, but his paranoia pays off.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jesse goes through three instances of this: Learning through Saul that Gus threatened Walt's family, learning that Brock was sent to the ICU due to being poisoned, and learning (after going outside to smoke) that his ricin cigarette is missing...
    • Noticeably, Walt is very worried that Jesse is about to shoot him. Almost as if he didn't anticipate that...
  • Pet the Dog: Gus ultimately decides that one batch can be forsaken and lets Jesse stay at the hospital. The next episode's reveal that Gus didn't poison Brock calls any ulterior motives Gus might have had into serious question.
  • Pride: Hank is able to provoke Gomez into doing a preliminary search of the laundry where Gus' lab is hidden, by insulting Gomez's detective abilities.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Jumping to the conclusion that Walt might've poisoned Brock drives Jesse to head over to Walt's and, after getting a hold of his gun, try and shoot him point blank.
  • Red Herring: When Jesse still refuses to allow Gus to kill Walt, Gus only ominously responds that there will be an "appropriate reaction". Later, Jesse realizes that Brock has been poisoned and Walt gives him enough reason to believe Gus made this happen in order to turn Jesse on his partner and pull the trigger himself.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Gomez invokes this when bluffing Dennis Markowski into allowing a search of the laundry without Gomez having to go back to the DEA office to get a warrant. He claims the DEA has busted some restaurant chef who had heroin in his chef whites, but the guy's claiming the heroin came from this laundry where his clothes are washed, and to make matters worse, the guy's dad is a US Senator, meaning Gomez now has to check out this BS story or else his entire DEA office is gonna get tied up. So Markowski can either consent and let Gomez and two other guys comb the laundry with a search dog, or he can be served with a search warrant and be forced to shut down for the day while twenty agents comb every inch of the facility.
  • Title Drop: A panicked Saul drops it on Jesse when the latter enters his office.
  • What You Are in the Dark: After Walt makes his case to Jesse that Gus poisoned Brock, and that he did so in order to make him think Walt did it instead, Walt point blank tells Jesse to shoot him if he thinks he's lying. He even grabs his gun hand and pulls it directly into his forehead.
    Walt: If you think that I am capable of doing this, then go. (yanks Jesse's gun hand closer to his head) Put a bullet in my head and kill me right now. (lets go; sits still)