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Recap / Breaking Bad S 4 E 5 Shotgun

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Jesse takes a ride with Mike.

"You're gonna do what you're told, which is to sit here, shut up, and stay in the car 'till we finish our pickups. You got it?"

Walt races down the streets of Albuquerque, desperate to save Jesse after he thinks Gus has taken him away to kill him. He calls Saul, instructing him to give Skyler his money if he doesn't contact him in the next twenty-four hours; then Skyler's voicemail, telling her that he loves her. He clearly fears that he may die in the coming confrontation, so he keeps his gun in close reach, just in case. He drives to Los Pollos Hermanos and demands to talk to Gus, but the cashier tells him that he is not in. Walt decides to wait. He receives a call from Mike, and demands to know if Jesse is okay. Jesse, still rather detached, tells Walt he's riding with Mike and isn't being threatened, but he has no idea where he is going. Mike tells Walt that he'll have to cook on his own today, but Walt is still determined to confront Gus. He barges into his office, but finds it empty...


Meanwhile, out in the desert, Jesse begins to feel on edge. He holds his keys between his fingers, prepared to use them as a weapon if the worst comes to pass. Instead, Mike drives off the side of the road, parks his car, and goes to get a shovel. Jesse is convinced this is it: Mike is digging a shallow grave for him.

Instead, however, Mike merely digs up a bag of money, which he places in the trunk. Jesse's not going to die: instead, he is to ride along as Mike picks up various dead drops around New Mexico, of which there are still six...

As Hank and Tim discuss whether Gale is Heisenberg and whether Jesse, one of the few people known to carry blue meth, was his killer, Jesse continues to aid Mike in picking up his dead drops, thinking he's supposed to be keeping guard. He tries to ask Mike if he's officially his assistant, and whether he's his new "guy". Mike doesn't reply at first, but eventually barks at Jesse that "you are not the guy—you're not capable of being the guy," and that he doesn't know why Gus ordered Mike to take Jesse along with him.


Back at the lab, Walt manages to get a cook started, albeit with great difficulty. He returns home after work, so he and Skyler can sign the papers that officially grants them ownership over Bogdan's car wash. Skyler tells Walt that for this venture to work, they must be completely honest with one another. Walt agrees as Skyler plays back her voicemails, and hears the one Walt left for her earlier, saying he loved her. There is a moment's silence between the two of them before they rush to their bedroom to have passionate sex. After Junior returns home, Skyler suggests Walt move back home, to make things "easier to explain".

Walt returns to the lab, and tries to operate a forklift to carry a barrel of methylamine across the lab, but struggles to do so, eventually getting frustrated to the point where he screams at Gus through the camera, stating that the lab needed two people to operate, so he wasn't doing any cooking until Jesse returns. Tyrus enters the lab, and takes control of the forklift to transport the methylamine: it seems Walt's going to be working without Jesse for some time...

Meanwhile, while Mike is picking up his last dead drop, he leaves Jesse behind to watch the car. Jesse sees two men approaching him, one carrying a shotgun. Worried that Mike would be robbed, or worse, Jesse shifts the car into reverse and makes his getaway. He picks up Mike in town that evening, explaining what happened. Mike is impressed with Jesse, and lets him smoke as a reward.

When Jesse returns to the lab, he explains what he had been doing to Walt, who finds the fact that he was supposed to protect Mike hard to believe. Meanwhile, Mike and Gus discuss Jesse. The gunmen approaching Jesse during the last dead drop pickup were a plant—men working for Gus and Mike to test Jesse, a test that he unknowingly passed, and make him feel like a "hero."

After work, Walt and his family eat dinner at the Schraders'. Hank talks about Gale Boetticher, describing him as a meth-cooking genius, and that his notes contained information and schematics for a meth cook operation the likes of which he could never have imagined. Walt, just a little bit tipsy from wine but very much drunk on his own ego, dismisses Gale's notes as simple note-taking, and that the real "genius" could still be at large. This leaves Skyler very worried, and convinces Hank to look at the case once more.

The following morning, Hank confides in Marie that he had been looking into the Heisenberg case for a while. He takes another look at the crime scene photos, and notices something peculiar: a Los Pollos Hermanos napkin with a serial number written on it in Gale's apartment.

"Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?"

This episode contains examples of:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Walt convinces Hank that the real Heisenberg is still out there due to a combination of Pride and a lot of wine.
  • Bait-and-Switch: It looks like Mike is hauling Jesse away to execute him — he drives Jesse out to a remote spot in the desert, then gets a shovel out of his trunk. Turns out he's just making a cash pick-up, and needed to dig up the stash. Eventually zig-zagged as, during the final pick-up, two men on Gus and Mike's payroll come intending to kill Jesse, but Jesse managed to evade them and prove his worth to them (see Batman Gambit and Xanatos Gambit below).
  • Batman Gambit: Mike is amazed that Gus knew that Jesse would evade the hit put out on him. For reasons not yet disclosed, Gus wanted this to happen.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Gus has security cameras in Los Pollos Hermanos, just like in the lab. Walt is not amused. Admittedly, the restaurant cameras have the double purpose of being useful in the event of a robbery.
  • Boredom Montage / Hard-Work Montage: A two-for-one, for Jesse and Mike, respectively. Jesse is riding shotgun, but allowed to do nothing at all, while Mike does all the work making his pick-ups.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: After listening to Hank extol Gale's genius and wonder aloud how much good he could have done with a mind like that, Walt butts in to suggest that the real "genius" might still be out there.
  • Confidence Building Scheme: The crux of Jesse's plotline this episode is spent on Gus and Mike secretly testing Jesse for a new role, hoping to reinvigorate his flagging confidence in the process.
  • Continuity Nod: Walt and Skyler sign the final papers to buy the car wash. They again want to celebrate with a drink, but nothing too expensive this time.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Mike is sufficiently impressed with the way Jesse handled his assailants that he cracks a rare smile and permits him to smoke in the car.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Jesse rides shotgun with Mike, then later has to make a hasty getaway from an assailant wielding a shotgun.
  • Dramatic Irony: Hank doubts that Jesse is capable of having killed Gale.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Walt during the opening scene.
  • False Flag Operation: For reasons not explained, Gus is behind the attempt on Jesse's life at the last pickup.
  • Foreshadowing: As Mike is stopping the car on the alleyway outside his destination, his car radio is set on the frequency 50.5. It being a digital display, these 3 numbers look like "SOS". Needless to say, there's an attempted robbery a minute or so later.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: An implied aversion. Mike makes a comment that suggests the "guy" he used to have around to watch his back during errands was the late Victor.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Mike has seven pick-ups to make before the episode ends.
  • If I Do Not Return: During Walt's Drives Like Crazy open, he thinks there's a chance that Mike might kill him, so he makes two phone calls: the first to Saul to make sure that Skyler gets all his money, and the second to Skyler to tell her that he loves her.
  • In Vino Veritas: The Whites have dinner with Hank and Marie, and Walt is guzzling wine. The topic of Gale and his lab notes comes up once again. Hank (still thinking that Gale was Heisenberg) calls Gale a genius. Walt's drunkenness and Pride get the best of him, and he tells Hank that the notes don't indicate genius, that they're just rote memorization, and that Heisenberg is probably still out there. Skyler gives Walt a Death Glare throughout the speech.
  • Just Following Orders: When Jesse starts to get on Mike's nerves during the pickup runs, he asks why he's been assigned to this errand:
    Mike: You are not "the guy"! You're not capable of being the guy. I had a guy but now I don't. You are not the guy.
    Jesse: Then what the hell am I doing here?
    Mike: I don't know! It's not my call! I just do what I'm told and now you're gonna do what you're told, which is to sit here, shut up, and stay in the car until we finish our pickups! You got it?
  • Mathematician's Answer: Walt gets this one twice in a row. He knows that Mike has taken Jesse, and calls Mike to find out what's going on:
    Walt: Where's Jesse?
    Mike: Jesse's with me, he's fine.
    Walt: Where is he?
    Mike: Hold on.. (gives Jesse the phone)
    Jesse: Yo.
    Walt: Jesse?
    Jesse: Yeah, s'up?
    Walt: Jesse, wh-wh-where are you?
    Jesse: With Mike.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Walt hadn't gotten drunk on his pride and suggest to Hank that Gale wasn't his man, Hank wouldn't have redoubled his efforts into investigating his death, wouldn't find the link between Gale and Gus, and thus would've saved himself a boatload of trouble.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Skyler mentioned right before dinner with Hank and Marie that the visits are the only thing that gets Hank out of bed ever since his paralysis. After Walt's In Vino Veritas moment, Hank's interest is piqued. The next morning, he's up bright and early, in the dining room, reviewing case information, politely apologizes for making a mess, and asking Marie for coffee.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: During a fit of spontaneous sex, Walt and Skyler hear Jr. walking into the house. They try to sheepishly play it off as he approaches their room, but halfway there, he realizes what is going on, gets disgusted, and leaves.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Mike letting Jesse smoke in his car.
    • What does Walt do when he thinks he's going to die? Call Skyler and tell her how much he loves her. Hardly begins to make up for all the terrible things he's done but considering how difficult their relationship can be it is rather sweet.
  • Right Through His Pants: Walt and Skyler, right after Skyler hears Walt's declaration of love. She doesn't know the context of the message, and Walt doesn't tell her — even though this happens right after he made a pledge to total honesty.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Hank is back on the Heisenberg case, he notices a curious anomaly in Gale's lab notebook: that Gale dotted it with vegan/all-organic/fair-trade recipes — and a take-out menu for Los Pollos Hermanos.
  • Villain Ball:
  • Wham Line: "Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?"
  • Xanatos Gambit: Tied to the Batman Gambit above. What goes unspoken by Mike is that, had Jesse not evaded the hit as planned, he'd have been killed, and as far as Gus is concerned that would take care of the issue just as well.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: Hank wonders aloud how much good Gale could have done for humanity if he'd used his "genius" mind for something other than making meth. The only part that seems to register with Walt is someone else getting the credit for his work.