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Recap / Breaking Bad S 5 E 3 Hazard Pay

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Jesse mediates a pay dispute between Walt and Mike.

Mike visits Dennis Markowski, the laundromat owner, in prison and offers him his hazard pay as long as he doesn't rat them out. With Gus dead, Dennis doesn't see how he can get his money back, but Mike reassures him he's working on it. He leaves and plans to visit other former associates to make the same offer.

Meanwhile, Walter moves back into the house, much to Skyler's chagrin. Walter later takes Mike to Saul's office. He and Jesse want to bring Mike in on the operation. Saul is hesitant, but eventually gets talked into it. They discuss Mike's role in the operation, handling distribution while Walt and Jesse cooked, then take tours of potential labs and finally come to a fumigation company. Cooking in the warehouse is unideal, but they can use the exterminators as a front for cooking: they put tents up over the house, get the residents out of their homes for a time, then cook within an isolated tent like those used in the back alley hospital where Jesse took Mike and Gus following their business with the cartel, and leave after turning on the foggers. This way, they stay mobile and can remain incognito.


Jesse's relationship with Andrea gets more serious, but Jesse is concerned about keeping secrets from her, so he breaks it off with her. Marie and Skyler get into a heated argument concerning Walt's upcoming birthday and her new smoking habit, which makes Marie worry about bigger issues. Walt tells her about Ted's accident and reveals Skyler's past affair as the reason for her breakdown.

After the first batch is made, Walt argues with Mike about distribution costs and is even less happy when Mike reveals he has to pay hazard pay to Gus's former associates. Walt demands Mike find his own method of payment, but Jesse offers to let Mike take it from his cut. Walt refuses and pays his end with Mike promising this will continue for the foreseeable future. Jesse is okay with the situation since they are now "owners, not employees". Walt is not so sure.


After Mike takes his leave, Walt confides to Jesse about his thoughts on Victor, Mike's assistant whom Gus killed in the wake of Gale's murder. He explains that, at first, he thought Gus killed Victor to "send a message", but had recently thought of another possible reason: because Victor had tried to cook a batch of meth on his own, taking liberties and paying no respect to the chemistry. "Maybe he flew to close to the sun, and got his throat cut." Walt concludes before he departs, leaving Jesse concerned about what exactly Walt meant...

This episode contains examples of:

  • Big "SHUT UP!": When Marie berates Skyler about smoking, Skyler breaks down and shouts "shut up" at her many times before breaking down into tears.
  • Call-Back:
    • Once again, Saul suggests using a Laser Tag business as a front. Walt and Jesse aren't impressed.
    • Walt talks to Jesse about the secrets he will have to keep if he decides to get serious with Andrea. Jesse brings up Gale's death as a possible secret he might have to come clean about.
    • After Walt's argument with Mike, he brings up Victor's death at the hands of Gus.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Walters Sr. and Jr. are seen sitting together in the living room and watching Scarface. Scarface shares several actors with the show itself: Steven Bauer, who played Don Eladio; Mark Margolis, who played Hector Salamanca; and Miriam Colon, who would later go on to play Tuco's grandmother in Better Call Saul.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: Marie demands to know from Walt what is going on that has Skyler so upset that she had a breakdown. Walt acquiesces and tells her the truth... that she and Ted had an affair, and is now emotional after his accident. It's not exactly wrong, if only a minor part of Skyler's recent stress.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Walt is upset at the smaller net, stating that they did better working for Gus; but as Jesse points out, under Gus, they cooked 200 lbs. a week, and as their own bosses, they didn't even break 50 lbs. in their first cook.
  • Exact Words: Walt reveals to Marie that Skyler had an affair with Ted, strongly implying that this is why she had a breakdown, but never actually stating this to be the case. Marie helpfully fills in the gaps.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Skinny Pete and Badger buy roadie cases at a music store to carry equipment in and out of the labs under the pretense that they're in a band. When the salesman asks the name of their band, there is a Gilligan Cut to the logo of Walt's new fumigation business: Vamonos Pest.
  • Headphones = Isolation: Dennis' lawyer puts in his ear buds and listens to an iPod to avoid hearing Mike's conversation with him.
  • Hidden Depths: Skinny Pete shows off his musical skills while playing a keyboard in a music shop. It doesn't last long, however, as Badger tries to jam with him, but shows he has little in the way of guitar skills.
  • Implausible Deniability: Lampshaded by Dennis, as the manager of the laundry, there is no way the authorities would buy that he wasn't part of Gus's drug operation.
  • Implied Death Threat: Walt's "theory" about why Victor was killed because he "flew too close to the sun" is very foreboding.
  • Kick the Dog: Walt manipulates Jesse into dumping Andrea. This doesn't serve any real pragmatic purpose outside of isolating his partner and making him easier to control.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Walt makes small talk with Jesse about his relationship with Andrea, supposedly imparting advice on being an open book with your significant other about your criminal activities, but is really doing it to distance Jesse from her.
  • Match Cut: An audio version, between Al Pacino firing his machine gun in the climax of Scarface (1983), and a money counter.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In-universe. When Walt moans about how they made more money cooking for Gus, Mike replies, "Then maybe you shouldn't have killed him."
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Walt and Jesse's reaction to Saul proposing using Danny's laser tag arena as a cook site.
    Saul: All I'm asking is that you keep an open mind. Danny's already set some space aside behind the skiball games.
    Walt: No.
  • Rapid-Fire "Shut Up!": Skyler is at her wits' end over Walt moving back into the house, so when Marie scolds her over her smoking habit, it proves to be the Rage Breaking Point that pushes her into a nervous breakdown:
    Skyler: Shut up.
    Marie: What? I'm sorry, please don't speak to me like that. I am simply saying that—
    Skyler: Will you shut up.
    Marie: Hey—
    Skyler: Shut. The hell. Up. [Shouting] Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
    Marie: Skyler- Please, stop- I'm-
    Skyler: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! [Begins to cry]
  • The Resenter: Mike is still grinding his teeth over Walt killing Gus.


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