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Recap / Breaking Bad S 4 E 4 Bullet Points

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Hank: Right here, here at the top, it says, "To W.W. My star, my perfect silence." W.W. I mean, who do you figure that is, y'know? Woodrow Wilson? Willy Wonka? ...Walter White?
Walt: Heh. You got me.

As Mike deals with cartel goons trying to hijack a Los Pollos Hermanos truck (losing a piece of his right ear in the process), Walt and Skyler concoct a story to explain Walt's newfound wealth and their purchase of Bogdan's car wash: he earned money through gambling, but had become addicted and had to stop. After deciding that Walt will avoid demonstrating his supposed card-counting method by claiming to be in recovery, Skyler goes over a carefully prepared script for when they break the news to the rest of the family. Walt is less than enthused with the script Skyler concocted, thinking that it makes him appear weak and "out of control", but agrees to go along with it when Skyler reminds him that he would still come out of this ordeal ahead of her, being successful at gambling while she was being vilified as the "bitch mother" who gave Walt a hard time.

That night, Walt and his family visit the Schraders. There, Hank shows Walt and Junior a video that he received while investigating a meth superlab: it was a video of Gale Boetticher, singing "Major Tom". Hank pokes fun at the nerd on the video, finding it hard to believe that such an unassuming man could possibly be Heisenberg. Walt, however, is afraid that Hank might be able to tie Jesse to Gale's murder, and is hit with a pang of guilt as he's confronted with Gale's humanity and feels regret at having had him killed...

Afterwards, Walt and Skyler break the news of Walt's "gambling addiction" to the family. Walt excuses himself to avoid probing questions, but also to take a look in Hank's room for information regarding Gale's murder. As he leaves, he nearly runs into Hank, and to evade more probing questions, offers Hank whatever counsel he could about Gale's death. Hank reveals that some of Gale's notes make reference to "W.W.", someone who Gale seems to admire, but he doesn't know what it could refer to.

"Who do you think that is, y'know?" Hank asks Walt. "Woodrow Wilson? Willy Wonka? .....Walter White?"

"You got me." Walt sarcastically answers, hands raised in mock resignation. He then suggests that "W.W." simply referred to Walt Whitman, an author that Gale was fond of and writes about elsewhere in the notebook.

Walt makes his way to Jesse's house and is taken aback by the state of disrepair it has fallen into as a result of Jesse's ongoing drug parties. He finds Jesse, who had his head shaved. Walt tries to ask Jesse details about Gale's murder to make sure he didn't leave any evidence behind, but Jesse is upset by the memory and struggles to talk about it. When Walt presses him, Jesse pays a couple of junkies at his party a hundred dollars to kick him out of his house.

The following day, Walt vents to Saul about Jesse's self-destruction, Gus wanting to kill him, and Skyler buying a car wash as though he could simply walk away from Gus once his contract with Gus ends. Saul proposes having Walt get into contact with someone he knows of: a "disappearer" who can help Walt vanish off the face of the earth and give him a new identity. Walt dismisses the idea, leaving him at an impasse.

As Walt grows more worried still when noticing Gus' surveillance cameras watching Jesse, Jesse returns home after work to find that his money had been stolen: one of the tweakers camping out in his house saw him go into his room, come back with a wad of cash, and connected the dots. Jesse, however, has fallen into such a state of self-loathing and despair that he can hardly muster the energy to care. Instead, he continues to prevent himself from having to confront his demons by bringing a girl up to his room to play Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

The following morning, Jesse is awaken by Mike, who had chased off all of the tweakers squatting in his house, retrieved his money, and bound the tweaker that had stolen his cash as if to have him executed. Jesse takes back the cash, but doesn't really care about what happens to the thief (noting that Mike wouldn't have blindfolded him if he intended to kill him), nor does he really care about anything else; and returns to his room. Mike meets with Gus afterwards, relaying to him Jesse's behavior that is making him a liability, and that something has to be done about him, whether Walt likes it or not.

The following day, Walt is left to operate the lab by himself, as Jesse is missing. When he goes to Jesse's house after work, however, he finds that Jesse is missing: the reason he hasn't been answering his calls is because he left his cell at home, and there is no telling where he is! Walt returns to the lab, glares into one of the cameras, and growls to Gus: "Where is he?!"

Jesse is riding in a car with Mike. Mike asks if Jesse knows what's going to happen, but Jesse says "No", completely detached and emotionally numb...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Analogy Backfire: Hank tells Walt about how he had personally wanted to apprehend Heisenberg, by waving at him like Popeye Doyle at Frog One. Walt recalls that Popeye never actually caught Frog One in that film.
  • Answer Cut
    Walt: (into a lab security camera) Where is [Jesse]?
    (cut to Jesse getting hauled into the desert by Mike)
  • Bait-and-Switch
    • While Walt's rehearsing the gambling story, this line:
      Walt: (to Skyler) "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I put you through all of this." (Beat) How's that sound?
    • After Jesse discovers his cash is missing, he brings a tweaker girl up to his room, as if to have sex with her. Instead, he just plays video games with her.
  • Blown Across the Room: Mike takes out the two Cartel Mooks with single pistol shots that send them flying out of the back of the delivery truck.
  • Camera Abuse: During the opening shootout, fry batter splatters onto the lens.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Saul brings up for the first time that he knows a person who specializes in helping people disappear and setting them up with new lives, who finally becomes important in Season 5B.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Skyler's talent for fiction writing comes in very handy in this episode. She basically writes a one-act play, right down to stage directions, about how to deliver the gambling story to Hank.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In-Universe, Walt Jr and Hank are far too impressed by Walt's supposed gambling prowess to pay much attention to the downside of his "addiction".
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to both the cartel goons filling the Los Pollos truck full of bullet holes in the intro and the script Skyler helps make for Walt's cover story.
  • Ear Ache: At first, it seems Mike walks away from the shootout with barely a scratch on him. Then he takes his hat off and feels the cartilage on his right has been hear torn. He keeps it bandaged for a few episodes.
  • Empty Shell: Jesse continues to shove his trauma down by continuing the parties at his house and messing around with the guests, from shaving them to inviting a girl for videogames. Mike threatening the life of one of his random guests doesn't phase him, since he sees through the intimidation tactic. Not even being driven to an undisclosed location is enough to bother him (yet at least). The only time he really gets reactive is when Walt badgers him about the specifics during the night he killed Gale.
  • Epic Fail: Walt cannot play blackjack or count cards at all. He and Skyler both agree to forgo teaching him to count cards and just say he's "in recovery".
  • Freudian Slip: Skyler tells Walt that they will be "... coming clean with Hank and Junior." Er, "Appearing to come clean with Hank...."
  • Get Out!: Growing further irritated at Walt forcing him to relive his killing of Gale, Jesse pays a few of the party-goers to kick him out of the house.
  • Hitler Cam: On Walt, while Skyler goes through the gambling story at Hank and Marie's house.
  • Important Haircut: An understated example with Jesse, who buzzes his head down to the barest follicles as he continues his downward spiral and sets himself up as kingpin of the squatter junkies who have come to fill out his social circle.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Subverted. Mike captures and ties up the meth-head who stole Jesse's money as a clear threat to straighten his act. Not only is it somebody Jesse doesn't give two shits about, he doesn't even care for his own life enough at this point to take Mike seriously. Plus, he figures Mike wouldn't have gone through the trouble of blindfolding the guy if he was actually going to kill him.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Mike doesn't even notice that one of the bullets took off a bit of his right ear until after he's climbed out of the truck, and even then only seems annoyed about it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Walt's claws come out to some extent when it comes to indirectly manipulating Hank into showing him the Gale/Heisenberg investigation.
  • More Dakka: Par for the course when two men shoot with automatic guns to perforate a truck full of Los Pollos Hermanos cargo and Mike (or just his ear). Mike survives their shooting and replies with "Less Dakka"—kills 'em both with one shot per person.
  • Motor Mouth: The zombie-shouter from the previous episode is still in Jesse's house, but now is yammering non-stop about radiation and microwaves.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The cartel ambushes one of Gus' trucks and sprays bullets across the entire back. Thinking they've killed everyone inside, the two open the back and climb in, only to be blown away by Mike.
  • Only Sane Man: Walt believes he is this, and goes into Saul's office and rants at-length about it. Saul is understandably dubious. The audience gets a glimpse how far down the rabbit hole Walt has gone.
  • Red Herring: Invoked. Walt convinces Hank that the "W. W." in Gale's notes refer to Walt Whitman, to cement Hank's suspicion that Gale was Heisenberg.
  • Running Gag: Let's hear it one more time — Hank doesn't have a rock collection, he has a mineral collection.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Walt, to Hank, while going over Gale's lab notes. Hank notices that there's a rather affectionate dedication to "W. W." inside it.
    Hank: "W. W." Who do you think that is, huh? Woodrow Wilson? Willy Wonka? ...Walter White?
    Walt: (raising his hands in mock surrender) Heh. You got me!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hank really wanted to catch Heisenberg, overtly styling himself as a modern-day Popeye Doyle. Walt notes that Popeye never actually caught his suspect... in that film.
    • The special effects used to create the illusion of cold temperature when Mike is in the truck (to elaborate, Jonathan Banks inserted a little box of dry ice into his mouth to simulate cold breath) is a technique that was used in several Brian De Palma films.
    • Jesse plays a game of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing at his house.
  • Title Drop: Skyler, while rehearsing the gambling story with Walt.
  • Trauma Button: Walt visits Jesse and reminds him of Gale's death and the circumstances surrounding it, as Hank is investigating the matter. Jesse becomes more vibisbly agitated as Walt pesters him about the specifics, until Jesse decides he's had enough and gives Walt the boot.