Better Call Saul Review – “Marco” S1E10

Better Call Saul wrapped up its amazing first season with “Marco,” an episode packed with details, comedy, and Easter Eggs from its parent show.


The Bingo calling scene: We finally get an explanation of a Chicago Sunroof! And so does the retirement home in Albuquerque. Which just added to the pure comedy gold of this scene. It was far and way my favorite scene of the episode. Jimmy’s “lawyer” reasoning of why Chet, the guy with the BMW, was in the wrong for Jimmy defecating in his car was pure genius; it was a real show of how Jimmy can talk his way out of anything and part of why he is so likable. I also loved how all the “B” balls being called was what brought Jimmy to his breaking point to even tell the story in the first place. Not to mention, this scene had some of the best dialogue including:

  • “None of us is leaving this God forsaken wasteland.”
  • “I mean look out that window. It’s like a soulless, radioactive Georgia O’Keefe hell scape out there crawling with coral snakes and scorpions. You ever see the movie The Hills Have Eyes? It’s a documentary.”
  • “Guy wanted some soft serve; I gave him some soft serve.”
  • “But that is what a Chicago Sunroof is and now you know!”
  • “One little Chicago Sunroof and suddenly I’m Charles Manson?! That’s when it went off the rails. I’ve been paying for it ever since. That’s why I’m here!”
  • “Kitty cat notebooks for everybody!”

The explanation of why Jimmy came to ABQ: The entire cold open was pretty brilliant. The short scene with Jimmy fresh out of jail and going to tell Marco he is leaving was a good way to let us know that it was the jail stint for the Chicago Sunroof that sent him to Albuquerque. The exchange between Marco tells us exactly what will happen during the episode; Jimmy and Marco will pull off one last big con and Marco will spend the rest of his life on the bar stool. It mirrors the same set up of the entire series – we know how Jimmy’s life will end up because we have already been told. In this case, it is the journey that is more important.

All the showing: Knowing why Jimmy chose to not take the deal with Davis and Mane is not directly said to us. And I love that. There is a lot of story telling going on in this episode. Jimmy may be a “criminal” with Marco, pulling cons on people, but Marco gives Jimmy a feeling of self-worth. He may be a criminal, but he is a great one. In Albuquerque, he feels tries to be a lawyer, even doing the right thing, but he is always in the shadow of Chuck, who does nothing but put down Jimmy’s self worth. None of this is done with looking at the camera and telling us what is happening. It is done with carefully written dialogue and progression.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Howard is the good guy: I had a sneaking suspicion all along that Howard wasn’t the bad guy in the situation. If we are going with the color theory, the man only wears blue, indication that he isn’t all bad. Plus, Jimmy apologized for the whole pig-fucker thing, so that was worth the scene alone. But in addition, Howard seems to give Jimmy some validation for all the work he has done for Chuck the last year when he sees the shopping list.

How much “Marco” mirrored “Uno”: A lot of scenes came full circle here. They may be small, but we see the reappearance of the trashcan Jimmy kicked in at the beginning of the series. At the time he was upset that HHM wouldn’t release Chuck out of his contract. Now we see it after Jimmy realizes that Chuck has a lot more control over the firm than he originally thought and that Chuck is actually the asshole. We also see Jimmy pull out of the court parking lot like a bat-out-of-hell, this time though he has a friend in Mike instead of an angry parking attendant relationship.

The detail of the half-dollar con: I absolutely love how much detail went into the con of selling the Kennedy half-dollar that is facing the wrong way. Bob Odenkirk’s delivery and Mel Rodriguez’ reactions were so spot on. If you skip on down to the “tid-bits” section, you can read more of my theory on this scene.

Chuck is an ass to everyone: Howard gets Ernie, another mailroom employee to take care of Chuck. The delivery of the word “almost” was enough to show what kind of a person Chuck really is. It makes me wonder why he is so valued at HHM if he treats people this way.

Pride and Greed: Common themes in Breaking Bad, Jimmy is falling to the same thing Walt did. He may be doing it in a less murder-y way, but they are the same sins. Marco suggests that Jimmy isn’t a great lawyer because he isn’t making money. Jimmy gets the deal of lifetime, thanks to Kim and Howard, to fast track to partner at a firm in Santa Fe. Then he decides to not do it because he would still be living in Chuck’s shadow. There is no doubt that Jimmy would have made a lot of money there. But the fact that he and Mike could have made off with 800,000 dollars each is too much to bear. The thing that Mike has that Jimmy doesn’t is conviction and a moral code. Mike has never fallen to pride or greed (in the time we have known him). He has a job, and he does it. Jimmy could do the same, but we know he doesn’t.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"


The Con Montage: It’s not that I didn’t get enjoyment out of the different cons Marco and Jimmy were pulling off; it was that it seemed really long. It was almost as if there wasn’t enough material from the rest of the episode, and there needed to be some fun filler. It was fun, but at this point, I understood the passage of time in Cicero and that Jimmy and Marco are really good at pulling cons.

Jimmy would have come to the same conclusion either way: I don’t think Jimmy needed to go back to Cicero to “find himself.” Ultimately, he chose the easy path because of how Chuck treated him, not because of how Marco inspired him. At least I think. I feel that the real breaking point of Jimmy was finding out what Chuck really thought of him, not a week of playing hooky.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Easter Eggs:

Belize: When Jimmy is calling bingo, he mentions that B is for Belize, and he will never get to go there. He may be sad about that now, but if you watched Breaking Bad, you know that Belize means you’ve gone away to die.

White Caddy in the desert: Marco thinks that just because Jimmy is a lawyer, he is probably driving a white Cadillac. Although he doesn’t have that sweet ride now, it is the car he ends up having when we meet him as Saul in Breaking Bad.

The Pinky Ring: We finally know how Jimmy/Saul gets his pinky ring he always wears; Marco’s mother gave it to Jimmy after Marco passed away. This could also be similar to Walt’s way of picking up objects and habits of those close to him who die.


Wahhhh: That I will be a sad gal for the next year and over analyze every detail of the first season while I wait for the second.


The Credits: The opening credit shows Saul’s “World’s Best Lawyer” coffee mug crashing and breaking on his office floor from Breaking Bad. Is this a direct message that Jimmy is breaking from the good guy image lawyer image and he is about to be Saul? I think so.

Chet and Jimmy’s first wife: This isn’t the first time we have heard about one of Jimmy’s wives. This episode, we find out that Chet, the receiver of the Chicago Sunroof, got such a present because he was sleeping with Jimmy’s first wife. In Breaking Bad we know that Jimmy’s stepdad slept with his second wife. He doesn’t have much luck with wives. I just hope that Kim isn’t one of those wives; she doesn’t seem like the cheating type.

Marco’s cough: A habitual cough is never a good thing in the BrBa universe. It was clear from the beginning of hearing Marco’s cough that he wouldn’t be long for the show.

Kevin Costner: I love that not only was Jimmy able to fool a woman into thinking he was Kevin Costner to get her in bed, but that once she found out, he started quoting Field of Dreams.

Holy Moly, if this one is true: MIND BLOWN: I have mentioned that this episode does a lot of mirroring of “Uno.” Jimmy represents three teenagers who do a terrible, terrible thing. In court, Jimmy starts his argument with “Oh, to be 19 again!” In “Marco,” when Jimmy is calling bingo numbers, he says “O 64 as in Oh to be 64 again!” So what does 1964 have to do with anything? 1964 is the year the Kennedy half-dollar was released. Boom! Now your mind is blown, too.

Want some more mind-blowing stuff? First of all, the Kennedy dollar has always faced west. That is the scam. But Jimmy goes into detail about how presidents face east on coins to symbolize the dawn. He also mentioned that graves face east for the same reason. Toward the end of the episode, Jimmy is walking to the courthouse for his big meeting and there is a shot of just his head facing east. Is this the way to show that Jimmy is honoring the dead (Marco), and then makes his decision to do things his way from now on? I think it could be!

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Music from the Episode:

The song that both Marco and Jimmy whistle is “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.


Hush Comics gives “Marco” a B+ for being chock full of detail, some of the best lines of the series, but for outcome being the case whether the trip to Cicero happened or not.

Better Call Saul Review – “Pimento” S1E9

This week, we got a big dose of reality. Jimmy tried to prove he is a good guy, but no one would take it. Chuck is the real villain in this situation. Mike pulled off a very impressive protection job. And Jimmy dropped the first F-bomb of the series. This has been the most Breaking Bad episode so far, and it was amazing. Let’s dive into it.


Chuck’s commitment to his allergy: At the open we see Chuck and Jimmy sitting on a bench outside. Chuck can’t help but stare at the transmitter not far from them with tears in his eyes. At this point, I think he is faking just so Jimmy will still take care of him. And lining his jacket with the space blanket material is pretty genius and hilarious. Granted it was Jimmy’s idea, Chuck actually wears it and feels better with it on. I think Chuck is a piece of work (especially after the final scene), but I commend him for the commitment to whatever it is he is trying to pull off.

Chuck is the real pigf***er: I knew it! I knew Chuck was the bad guy here! The way he treats Jimmy has always irked me. The real tip-off was at the beginning of the episode when Chuck makes a phone call on Jimmy’s phone. He was bathed in red and yellow lights (which is a huge indicator that he is doing nefarious things), but then to call Howard and tell him not to hire Jimmy?! What a pigf***er.

Jimmy stands his ground: Jimmy is pretty used to being rejected. But this time, he gives back a lot of what he has taken. Chuck convinces Jimmy to take the case to HHM because it would be too much work for the both of them. After agreeing to “Hail Satan,” Jimmy takes the multi-million dollar case that he has done all the work on to HHM and asks for an office. When Howard tells him that Jimmy won’t work for HHM and offers a puny compensation fee for the case, Jimmy gives this mind-blowingly amazing response: “Go to Hell, Howard. I’m not giving you my case. And I’m going to tell every one of those clients what lying miserable pigfucker you are. I will burn the whole thing to the ground before I give it to you.”

Kim stands up for Jimmy: We know that Kim and Jimmy have a connection, but she has never openly expressed that to anyone. It was good to see her stand up for Jimmy’s honor, even if she did end up agreeing that Jimmy needed to take the deal instead.

Better Call Saul - "Pimento"

The attention to detail: I love that we get a whole scene of electronics being turned off at HHM in honor of Chuck’s return. I also love that Jimmy’s phone dying ends up playing a huge role in the episode, and likely for the rest of the time we know Chuck.

Better Call Saul - "Pimento"

All the things that happen off screen: We never actually get to see the call that Chuck makes. We never get to see why Chuck is upset with Howard about not hiring Jimmy. We never get to see Kim’s conversation with Howard about not hiring Jimmy. The audience is getting the same perspective that Jimmy is getting about the whole thing until it all comes together at the end. Well played.

The final scene: When Jimmy confronts Chuck about making the call to Howard at 2 am, Chuck finally admits what he has thought all along. “You’re Slippin’ Jimmy. Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is a chimp with a machine gun.” Ouch! But thank god for transparency. And thank god that Jimmy told him exactly how much supply Chuck has and how long it will last. This scene gave me goosebumps because of the writing and the acting.

Mike Ehrmantraut, the early years: They may not be that early, but we now have some indication as to how Mike got in the game in the good ole ABQ, and it could not have been more bad ass. When he showed up to the meeting spot and one of the other “protectors” starts bragging about how many guns he is packing while Mike carries none, Mike takes the gun the douchey guy is waving around, and clocks him right in the neck with it. The Hodor-sized third man runs off because he is so scared. And the job was hilarious – a drug deal between Nacho and the man who needed protection – a goofy looking white guy trying to make a buck off prescription pills. And this dude has no idea how to deal the drugs, having to ask Mike how to do it before Nacho and his pals show up. Luckily Mike did his homework, and finds out Nacho is buying drugs without his boss knowing (sure to be important in the next episode). Mike also let’s the guy who stole the drugs know the difference between a good criminal and a bad man. These scenes allow us more into Mike’s life, and it is so damn intriguing. I can’t wait for more.

Mike's Totally Normal Day at Work.
Mike’s Totally Normal Day at Work.

The Intro: The fact that there is a “Better Call Saul” matchbook in a urinal with an old cake and a wet cigarette makes me happy. I don’t know why.


Length: This is selfish, but I wanted it to be longer. More Better Call Saul! I demand it!


Nacho will get caught by Tuco: I don’t know how this will come back to either Mike or Jimmy, but if Nacho is buying drugs without Tuco’s knowledge, something pretty bad will happen to Nacho.

Better Call Saul - "Pimento"

Hush Comics gives “Pimento” an A for being the most Breaking Bad – esque episode so far.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Ursula Coyote.

Better Call Saul Review – “Rico” S1E8

This week on Better Call Saul, we got some good backstory on the Hamlin-McGill beef (haven’t gotten over the face that the asshole still took the cake…), and just when the ball got rolling on a McGill x 2 tag-team match-up, things went and got crazy. The pace of this episode was finally to our liking, and the realization at the end made me feel like we’ve just started the descent on what will be an incredible roller coaster ride to the finale.


Unspoken politics: In the beginning scene, mail delivery boy Jimmy is well-received by everybody in the office. There are two justifications for this: lawyers and really nice people or Jimmy has the charm to win everybody over. How could somebody so loved (and hard-working) be denied a position when Kim got the position right away? Seems like there’s some expected QPQ going on at HHM… (because Hamlin is an asshole, not because I think Kim is engaging in it)

That dumpster scene: I wanted to cry, laugh and throw up in my mouth at the same time. That is great television for you. While it was cringe-worthy, it was totally Slippin’ Jimmy at work. Just enough rule-breaking to be looked at with a sideways glance, and just legal enough to get through the loopholes. Jimmy is all about the easy way out, but isn’t afraid to put in work to get what he needs, either.

The end reveal: This could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it, and I sure as heck wouldn’t argue with anybody who felt the opposite, but I think that it’s a good thing that at least one definite truth was told: Chuck does not have electromagnetic hyper-sensitivity. We can finally get that out of the way.

better call saul s1e8 02
Shit… act natural!



Switch and bait: I nearly lost my mind when Tuco and Nacho took over, and have done nothing but ponder when that relationship was going to be revisited. While it made for a great introduction, their appearances have ruined whatever organic pacing I imagined the show would have, and have given me unrealistic expectations on how things should play out – disappointing me every time the issue is never addressed.

The Legacy Effect: Would this show be half as exciting if it weren’t for the pretense that it is a prequel to Breaking Bad? No, of course not. That doesn’t mean we should expect it to be the same show, but it is of the same pedigree, so the slow burn is eventually going to lose viewers who aren’t as attached to the fandom.

Mike’s daughter in law with the guilt trip: Mike was ready to call it quits with the game, and Stacey comes right back in and makes him feel bad about not being able to provide for them. She chose her path when she lied to the cops to protect Mike, so now it seems his need to make up for Matty is putting Mike back in the fast lane.

better call saul s1e8 04
We’ve all been there, Mike.



Jimmy burns HHM to the ground: Things with Chuck will not end well. We all know what big business does when given the chance to show loyalty. Chuck is gonna get screwed somehow and Jimmy is going to be the cool guy walking away from the explosion, at the cost of his soul (and the cost of making great television).

The vet’s “friend:” I think the chicken man might be preparing to make an appearance soon here as a mutual connection. Bringing Gus onto the show would be nothing short of the best thing ever so far. The previews show Mike and some guy that looks like the white Suge Knight waiting to meet somebody in what could be the parking garage from the hospital in Season 4.

Chuck wasn’t a faker, but still wasn’t sick: It’s really hard to tell, and Adrian and I are conflicted here, but is Chuck really as obviously faking as he seems to be at the end there? Was he just so wrapped up in the case that he forgot to put on his struggle face when he was outside? Logic tells me that had he been trying to sneak out, he would have been sneakier getting out the door. However, when he gets outside, he puts on the lamest “oh my God, I’m outside” face. This should be interesting.

better call saul s1e8 05
Partners of Dickhead, Jerkoff and Wienerbreath at your service.


Easter Eggs & Tid-Bits:

U of AS (S?): Finally, a shoutout to the alma mater of Albuquerque’s favorite lawyer is name-dropped here. Best news is that they are totally legit; they even have a Facebook page. Just kidding, but there is an American Samoa Community College (in the Samoan islands). Those interested in gaining a degree in Pre-Law and joining alumnus Jimmy McGill, click here.

Chuck was kind of a Richard: When Jimmy was just a little mailboy, Chuck has him under his thumb – the charitable older brother that’s given Jimmy everything. The tables turn when Jimmy shows the initiative to pass the bar and Chuck isn’t having it. He’s passive about the prospect of Jimmy working as a lawyer because he isn’t under his thumb anymore.

You can’t paper-shred a paper shredder: Saul knows a thing or two about getting rid of evidence – or at least, he will in years to come. Getting rid of the evidence is only something guilty people do, remember that Jimmy.

Enjoy your Magic Flute, a-hole: While Jimmy is dumpster diving, he talks with Rick Schweikart, the lawyer representing the Sandpiper Crossing, about attending Mozart’s “Magic Flute” opera. Schweikart is played by Denniz Boutsikaris – who played Mozart in the Broadway play Amadeus.

They’re the Pistons, you’re the Bulls: Jimmy’s pep talk might have fell a little short on NBA fans’ ears. Michael Jordan and the Bulls lost to the Bad Boy Pistons three years in a row before finally beating them in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.

Regular ol Charlie Hustle: Howard’s lame-ass compliment to Jimmy (ya know, the one he gives right before he shoots down his dreams?) is comparing him to baseball legend Pete Rose, who just missed out on the Hall of Fame for being A BIG, FAT CHEATER! Dick move, Hamlin… but an accurate one.

better call saul s1e8 01
This job only sucks half as bad as it smells.


Music from the Episode:

During Jimmy’s insanely neurotic paper un-shredding montage, we are treated to “Coffee Cold” by Abaddon.

Hush Comics gives “Rico” a B+ for clearing some of the air, and finally leading us back into familiar territory.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Ursula Coyote.

Better Call Saul Review – “Bingo” S1E7


Cold-Open Shot: I was trying like mad to figure out if the men in the wanted posters were of importance. They could be, but mostly we get to see Jimmy and Mike right underneath the wall of criminals, showing their guilt, too. It’s clever. I like it.

Better Call Saul - "Bingo"

Nothin’ to Lose: The double-cross that Jimmy pulled on the Kettleman’s was pretty brilliant. By allowing Betsy Kettleman to possibly be implicated to, he was able to wriggle his way out of a pretty messy situation. I think it is safe to say this loose end has been all tied up, but that doesn’t mean Jimmy is in the clear. We still have Nacho and his gang to worry about.

Doing the right thing sucks: What else can I say than that? Jimmy has to give back the 30,000 dollars to the Kettleman’s for Kim basically. Jimmy and Kim’s relationship is unrequited – he loves her so much he would give her the corner office at his new law office, but instead he has to give back the money for her to keep her gig at HHM. Jimmy isn’t perfect, but in general, he is a good man.

Better Call Saul - "Bingo"

In a box: There were a few shots that boxed characters in. When Jimmy is looking for a way out for the Kettlemans, the shot shows the ceiling boxing Jimmy in. Just outside that “box” is the cash he took from them, which is their only bargaining chip. Kim is also boxed in with the stair railings as she talks to Jimmy on the phone about getting the Kettlemans back as her clients. I love how much thought goes into this show, down to camera angles and use of surroundings to tell the story.

Jimmy and Mike: We get to see the first “job” Mike ever does for Jimmy in this episode! As payment for Jimmy’s services, Mike steals the 1.6 million from the Kettleman’s home without question. Even though this deal made them square, we know they will be entangled in each other’s lives for a long, long time.

The nuances: At the restaurant, Jimmy and Betsey both decline coffee, but Craig, who wanted some, doesn’t get any because Betsy had already shooed the waitress away. Even without dialogue, we see that Betsy controls the man to a tee. And the man in the restroom at the restaurant thinks Jimmy says “Hey you” to him, but Jimmy was really on his cell phone. This small moment was so hilarious because honestly, we have all been there.

Pop Culture references: There were quite a few pop culture references this week. I love that the lady at the retirement home tells everyone her cats are named Oscar and Felix – a nod to The Odd Couple, which Mike and Jimmy are turning into a little bit themselves. When Jimmy goes to Chuck’s, he announces that he is the friendly neighborhood Ice Man, a play on Spider-Man. And he compares the Kettleman’s antics to Maude and Ned Flanders, but in The 25th Hour.

Line of the Week: When Betsy tells Jimmy she is going to call the cops on him for stealing their stolen money, he says “Even on a good day, you and logic are * whistle *.”


So slow: As much as I feel like each scene was meaningful, it felt like it took a long time to get through everything. Perhaps there was more meaning than what I took away, but the Bingo scene and the break-in scene were both really long for what they were.

Mike’s Wrap-Up: It doesn’t seem like his daughter-in-law is going to tell the Philly cops what really happened. Revealing the dynamic between the young cop and the veteran cop was nice touch. It made a lot of sense that the veteran and Mike would get along. The whole thing does seem a little too neat considering it is murder we are talking about here. I doubt this is the last we have heard of Philadelphia incident; it seems to important to focus on to just sweep it under the rug.

The Bingo Game: It seems really unlikely that a retirement home would have that fancy of a Bingo set up, with the high tech ball wheel, flashing sign, and flashboards. The bingo cards with Jimmy’s face and slogan on them was funny, but I doubt Jimmy would actually be calling the Bingo game. I could be picky, but it just seemed a little much. Although the kitten notebook was a hilarious touch.

Better Call Saul - "Bingo"


Chuck is going through the files: I know Jimmy did it on purpose, but leaving his files at Chuck’s place is asking for Chuck to go through them. I don’t know what Jimmy’s play is here, but I know Chuck will be a little too hands on.

Better Call Saul - "Bingo"

Chuck will poison himself – to death: Chuck is working on building up a tolerance to the electromagnetism outside his home. While his doctor doesn’t believe him, I don’t think he is fully faking. Going outside that often may not be the best for him.


The New Color Theory: My god, I wish I had thought of it first. This color theory came out this week via BuzzFeed, and it is genius. Due to this revelation, I took careful note of the colors this week. The Kettleman’s were always wearing red colors. If you notice, Betsy is wearing BRIGHT red at the meeting with Kim, while Craig is wearing a muted pink. Based off her domineering personality, it seems pretty clear that she is the true culprit and Craig was just doing what his wife told him to do.

Better Call Saul - "Bingo"

Cocobolo: I was pretty curious about Jimmy’s Cocobolo desk. Apparently, it is a wood from the Dalbergia Retusa tree only in Central America. Thanks Wikipedia!

Committed: Chuck tells Jimmy he is “committed” to getting better. Interesting choice of words considering the last time we saw Chuck, he was almost committed.

Music from the Episode:

When Mike was doing his big break-in, the song that was playing was “Tune Down” by Chris Joss.

Hush Comics gives “Bingo” a B- for wrapping up the Kettleman’s story, keeping the essence of the dramedy, but being a lot slower than past episodes.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Ursula Coyote.

Better Call Saul Review – “Five-O” S1E6

You know that feeling you get after watching a gut wrenching, emotional, downright brilliant episode of television? They way you have goose bumps on your arms, your heart is slightly racing, and when it is over, the snap back to reality is a little unnerving? If you don’t, then you haven’t seen Better Call Saul’s “Five-O”. I highly suggest you go watch it now before this review spoils you.


Mike!: We haven’t even heard his last name until this episode, but we finally get a Mike-centric episode. If you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, “Five-O” may not hold that much gravity for you, but Mike was arguably the best character in Saul‘s parent show, so it was great to get a real backstory to the man of few words.

All the camera angles: From the get-go we are set up for a beautifully shot episode. From the train entering Albuquerque (those majestic mountains of the West), to the transitions from past to present, to the climax scene that felt very noir, to the final scene where Mike makes his confession against a row of blinds which resembled a set of bars behind him. I could gush about this alone, but hey, that would be boring.

Better Call Saul - "Five-O"

Pacing: The first half of the episode had a clear theme: denial. Mike never verbally admitted that he killed the two cops in Philadelphia. As Jimmy put it, he is pretty taciturn. It is so obvious though that he is asked twice by two different people how long he plans on staying in Albuquerque. All we know is that Mike’s son, Matty, is dead, and later his partner and sergeant came up dead, too. We also know that Stacey thinks Mike called Matty a few nights before his death, which he also denies. The second half is almost entirely the confession of what happened and why. It is rare when a show can pull off two opposite themes in one-hour and create the feeling this episode did.

The Story Unfolds: This goes along with pacing, but they way we are told the story is pretty damn clever. Jimmy is barely in this episode, but his scenes put him in the same position as the audience. He is only hired to spill the coffee, and therefore in the dark. He is let in on Mike’s past at the same time we are, and is able to put two and two together.

In the second half we get a very long scene taking us back to the night Mike killed his son’s partner and sergeant, Hoffman and Fensky respectively. His plan plays out and we see him kill the men (which I’ll expand on later), and then we see him tell Stacey the truth about the phone call and that he was the dirty cop. Unveiling this revelation through storytelling is brilliant for this character because of the acting power behind it and because of the first time we saw Mike tell a story in about his past in BrBa “Half Measures”, which was also directed by Adam Bernstein.

Better Call Saul - "Five-O"

The Vet: Mike’s entrance into the seedy underground of Albuquerque took less than a day. He gets a cabbie to take him to a vet who will take the bullet out of his left shoulder. The Vet not only takes out the bullet for a hefty price, but then he offers to sell Vicodin illegally. It’s possible we will never see him or the cabbie again, but I would keep my eyes peeled for them in the future, especially since the vet offered to get Mike work in the good ole ABQ.

Subtlety: Because the first half of the episode was all about denial, there were only subtle references to Mike’s past, particularly his addiction problem. He denies the Vicodin saying he is an aspirin man. His daughter-in-law Stacey asks about it and so do the detectives from Philadelphia. It isn’t until the second half we hear and see what Mike’s problem with alcohol really was like, especially after the death of his son.

Acting: Holy crap, Jonathan Banks can act. The man can act with an eyebrow and a slight turn of his eye. But this was a whole new ball game. The way his voice changed when he was talking about Matty was enough to induce tears. This emotional side brought the gravity of this event home for Mike and the audience. It is pretty rare when I, a 20-something woman who is not a parent can feel what an elderly man who lost his son feels. Honestly, it’s never happened. Until now.

Better Call Saul - "Five-O"

The Admission: The admission that Mike was the dirty one, that his son was clean, and that Mike “broke his boy” is a hard revelation to take. Honestly, we knew Mike was dirty. He takes full measures. And this is the proof in the pudding. But for the first time in Better Call Saul, we get to see how bad-ass this dirty ex-cop is. He figures out what happened to his son, who he loved more than life, kills the two cops who did it, gets shot in the process, takes it like a boss, and moves. That whole scene was beautiful, even down to the sound direction. The music becoming muffled at the bar, then very loud, the loud echoing gunshots in the alley way, and the dead silence after the murders. When Mike tells Stacey that he was the one who convinced Matty to take dirty money from a gang and then Matty died two days later, it is hard not to feel the raw emotion of what Mike must feel and the silence adds this greatly. The pan out at the end of the episode of Mike and Stacey after Mike says, “You know what happened. The question is, can you live with it?” was absolute perfection. There were a lot of elements going into this moment, but the fact that Mike never actually admits to her that he killed them fully defines his way of doing things.

Easter Eggs:

The Swing: There weren’t Easter Eggs as much as there were things that made me reminisce about moments from Breaking Bad. Mike aka Pop Pop pushing his granddaughter Kaylee on the swing reminded me of a key moment when he pushes her in BrBa. The episode this happens in is significant, too because it is in “Say My Name,” in which SPOILER, Mike is killed. It was a nice parallel to have this scene to bookend the beginning of Mike’s story and the end.

Bug: Not much of an Easter Egg, but when Mike tells the bartender that he is moving to Albuquerque, the bartender replies that there are tarantulas there. Bugs were a common theme in BrBa and should always be noted.

Sugar in the Coffee: In BrBa, Lydia was known to put Stevia in her chamomile tea, which wound up being the death of her. We get many shots of her putting her sweetener in her cup. We get a nice shot of Jimmy putting sugar in his coffee in this episode, where the coffee ends up meaning a lot – and will mean a lot in the future, too. The coffee certainly doesn’t mean the end of Jimmy, but it could mean trouble.


Mike isn’t in the clear: We know from the previews for next week’s episode that the cops know Mike swiped the notebook. He could be in more trouble than just murder charges, although those are pretty bad, too. My question is, what finagling will Jimmy have to do to get Mike out of murder? And will it even be Jimmy who does the finagling?


The Train: The train that Mike comes in on to Albuquerque is 106. Also, it makes sense to take a train because it is transportation you can pay for with cash, and thus no paper trail. Of course, the Philly cops end up finding him anyway.

Matlock: One of the best lines of the episode is when Jimmy approaches the Philly cops and they comments on his Matlock outfit. His response is: “No, I look like a young Paul Newman dressed as Matlock.” He also does not appreciate the comparison to Barney Fife, the idiot sidekick on Andy Griffith’s other show, ya know, The Andy Griffith Show.

Better Call Saul - "Five-O"

Juan Valdez: Jimmy says he won’t do the Juan Valdez bump and dump on the cop. Juan Valdez is the fictional character used to advertise the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia starting in 1958.

The Notebook: Mike was able to swipe the notebook from one of the detectives with the coffee spill. Throughout the book, there are maps of the different crime scenes, time tables of the night and the months following both murders, and a not about a cop named Paul Grant who was too drunk to remember anything.

Music from the Episode:

This week’s episode featured “Hold On Loosely” by 38 Special.



Hush Comics gives “Five-O” an A+ because really could not have been any better. Everything mattered in this episode, the acting was spot-on, and I cried. Yup.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Ursula Coyote.

Breaking Bad Week: Series Defining Episodes

Breaking Bad has been a series to help define modern television.  It is one of the smartest series to exist to date.  The writing is impeccable, bringing a myriad of literary techniques to the screen.  Not only is the dialogue memorable, but so is the vast amount of symbolism.  The character development is of such high caliber that it becomes obvious how the characters changing has also influenced the show changes.  With that being said, we felt there were certain episodes that changed the course of the series in the most dramatic ways.  Here are our Series Defining Episodes:

7. Blood Money

“Tread lightly.” The quote still sends shivers down my skin. This is the turning point of the series; Hank had just gotten the epiphany (or rather, the epoophany) that Walt had been the Heisenberg all along. Instead of quietly searching through the evidence for any proof, or telling anybody at the DEA, his pride leads him to confront Walt after Walt asks him about the LoJack he sloppily placed on the Chrysler 300. He decks Walt in the face and lets out all his anger to him. We can see the hurt and anger in Hank’s face, but Walt is still calm and in command. He advises Hank that he needs to drop the case, because he has no idea what the Heisenberg is capable of. It sets the rest of the season in motion, and truly marks the beginning of the downfall of the empire – all ironically when Walt is finally out of it. It’s also the end of Jesse and Walt’s relationship. Jesse knows that Walt killed Mike, the only true father figure to him through the series, and we realize that Walt has no power over anybody anymore. He pleads Jesse to believe that his hands are clean, because he needs him to.


6. Face-Off

Gus Fring represented a new type of “bad guy.” Unlike Krazy 8 and Tuco, Gustavo Fring didn’t have to be the villain. Gus gave Walt several opportunities to be a good asset to the business, and Walt was the one that proved to be the the sloppy, unpredictable one. It’s a theme that is consistent through The Walking Dead comics – it’s the realization that maybe our protagonist isn’t a good guy. A lot of fans were polarized by this because Gus Fring (an oddly charismatic character) didn’t have to be the villain, but Walt’s arrogance and greed put Gus in a situation with no choice in the matter. Walt poisons a little boy and throws Jesse right into the fire to save his own ass. He even literally uses Hector Salamanca to do his dirty work in killing Gus. “Face Off” marks Walt’s fall into villainy. While he does what he does out of the fear of his family’s safety, Walt proves that it’s little more than a pissing contest to him, telling Skyler “I won” after the deed was done.


5. One Minute

This episode is about much more than Hank’s parking lot stand-off with the Salamanca cousins. It marks the turning point for when Hank stopped being a jerk off and became a hero that we all rooted for. Hank Schrader was simply caught in the web that Gus Fring and Walter White had weaved for him. Hank was the sacrificial lamb Gus gave to the cartel hitmen, Marco and Leonel Salamanca, or so it seemed. The episode really showed us that Gus Fring is not simply your neighborhood “Chicken Man.” He is a manipulator, and with the botched attempt at agent Schrader’s life, he causes the death of a major cartel capo. More importantly though, this episode marks Hank’s true cross into lawlessness. The beatdown that he gives Jesse can be interpreted as his frustration that a junkie got the better of him, and not as much being about Marie. As we see later in the series, Hank hates to lose and will bend the law pretty far to make sure that he doesn’t. “One Minute” also captures the tragedy of Jesse; while Jesse undergoes even more tragedy, he never words his feelings quite as honestly as in this episode.

Well, this sucks.
This is how an average day at Wal-Mart ends.

4. Phoenix

“Phoenix” was defining in so many ways.  Walt just missed the birth of his daughter.  He claims to be doing everything he does for his family for the entire series, but it is a rare occurrence when he is actually there for his family.  Missing Holly’s birth continued Walt’s dead-beat daddy routine.   Walt Jr. sets up a website for Walt’s cancer treatment,  It highlights Jr.’s kind heart and what he thinks of his dad, or probably the man he used to know.  But as so well stated in this episode, Walt is not the man he used to be.  He mars the point of Jr.’s website and allows Saul to use it as a money laundering technique for the meth business.  Walt will continue to ruin nice things for the sake of the money he makes.  Most importantly, “Phoenix” defines the series because of what happens to Jane Margolis, Jesse’s girlfriend.  In the duration of the episode, Jane lies to her father about using again, lies to him about seeing Jesse, blackmails Walt into giving Jesse his fair share of money, and helps Jesse shoot up a combo of meth and heroin.  She shoots up the mixture herself.  Walt goes to Jesse’s house while the two are both passed out due to the drugs.  Walt tries to wake up Jesse, seemingly to talk about his drug abuse, and in the process of shaking him, causes Jane to roll onto her back.  She begins to vomit and choke.  Walt looks on at her with his hand covering his mouth.  He knows he has every opportunity to roll her on to her side, but instead he chooses to let her choke and die on her own vomit.  This act, or rather, lack of act, set in motion not only the pain that Jesse endures from Walt, but the fact that Walt is willing to let go of anybody as long as it benefits him.

I only set my DVR to 60 minutes...
I only set my DVR to 60 minutes…

3. Dead Freight

“Dead Freight” is the episode that really changed the game.  Not only was it masterfully pieced together, it influenced the rest of the series up until the tonight’s finale.  With a serious lack of methylamine, Walt, Jesse and Mike devise a plan using Lydia to get what they need.  According to Lydia, there is “an ocean” of the methylamine in trains that run in the northern part of New Mexico.  The three men plan to  rob the train, replacing it with water to make up for the weight difference when the train is weighed.  With Todd, the worker from Vamanos Pest, in tow, they are able to stop the train with a road block.  Todd is at the top of the train with the hose to release the water, Jesse is on the bottom of the train to release the methylamine, Mike is radioing Walt to tell him what is happening at the front of the train and Walt is counting off the gallons.  The train starts moving with Todd still on the top and Jesse still on the tracks.  In the end everything goes off without a hitch.  Except that Walt made it clear to Todd that no one can know what they did.  So after their short celebration, they turn and see a young teenage boy on his motorbike.  Todd without hesitation raises his gun and shoots the boy, killing him.  The episode ends there, with Jesse screaming “No!” but the effects of that one action have continued to take their toll.  Jesse got out of the meth-game because of it, Todd has been revealed to be an even bigger piece of trash since, Walt killed Mike, and Hank is dead.  And it all leads to Walt’s stupidity of trusting Todd at the train heist in the first place.

dead-eyes Opie son of a bitch
Dead-eyed Opie son of a bitch

2. The Pilot

In a 45-minute period, we meet a normal high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who turns into a meth cook.  We saw his life quickly spiral out of control in one episode.  He is diagnosed with cancer, turns 50, quits his part-time job, goes on a meth-lab bust with his DEA brother-in-law, reunites with an old student of his, and decides to cook meth with said student, Jesse Pinkman aka Cap’n Cook.  Walt and Jesse cook meth together, and Jesse takes it to his friend Krazy-8, who was part of the meth bust Walt was a part of.  Krazy-8 is upset with Jesse about the bust for leaving his cousin, Emilio to be caught by the cops, so he questions the high quality of the cook.  Jesse is forced to take the two druggies out to the desert to the RV he and Walt bought to cook meth in.  Jesse lets Walt know they are in danger, promptly trips and Krazy-8 and Emilio beat him up badly.  Then they force Walt to teach them how to cook the meth he made.  Instead, he uses red phosphorus to kill them.  Or at least just Emilio.  There are so many decisions made in this episode that could have avoided the decay of this man everything he touches.  Without being on the car ride with the DEA or seeing Jesse, or decided to cook meth at all, Walt may be dead because of cancer, or he may be alive and just in debt.  But for such a prideful man, we know that he couldn’t live with constantly being at the bottom of the food chain.  His pride alone set in motion the consequences of the rest of Breaking Bad.

My life after Breaking Bad
My life after Breaking Bad

1. Ozymandias

If you’re a family member of Walt’s, sorry, you don’t get any free trips to Belize. After several offers to off his brother-in-law, Walt’s twisted sense of morality keeps him from taking out his one real threat to him and his empire. Picking up at the end of the shootout that began in “To’hajiilee,” we see a very weak Walter White pleading the Uncle Jack and the Aryans to spare Hank’s life (oh, and Gomey’s dead already). This is the same man who was a hardened criminal that ordered Jack to murder ten men in prison. In a panic, Walt offers Jack and crew $80 million to turn their back. The Aryans counter Walt’s offer by killing Hank and taking all of him money for themselves. Walt’s two treasures are his family and his money – and in just one segment, they are both stripped from him. It’s not as satisfying as I thought it would be, and is instead terrifyingly tragic. In a panic to make his family disappear with the remainder of the cash that Todd convinced Jack to leave him with, Skyler deduces that Hank is dead and that it is Walt’s fault. When Skyler and Walt get in a tuft over the kitchen knife, Walter Jr. becomes the man that must protect the family from the man that protects this family (cue Inception music. Baauumm!). Not to mention Walt’s ultimate sacrifice of absolving Skyler and saying goodbye to baby Holly, who he realizes he does not even know due to his exploits of the Heisenberg. Plot aside, there is so much symbolism in this episode, most of it stemming from the first cook. The call-backs to the Pilot remind us of a simpler time, a simpler lie. Walt has been broken by Hank’s murder, and in turn, his wife and child have abandoned him. “Ozymandias” does a superb job of making a full-circle to the beginning of the series. Not too be hyperbolic, but this is one of the best episodes of any drama. Ever.

Tonight is the last episode of the Breaking Bad.  How will our lives go on?  There is nothing on cable as high of caliber of writing.  Vince Gilligan, sir, you spoiled us.  Thank you for such a rollercoaster of emotion through your writing.  “Felina” an anagram for finale and the chemical symbols for Iron, Lithium and Sodium or as the internet has deemd it, Blood, Meth, Tears will surely by the final piece of the puzzle of “Growth, Decay, Transformation.”  Be sure to read our recap and review later tonight.

Written by Adrian Puryear and Sherif Elkhatib

Breaking Bad Review – “Blood Money” S5E9

Warning!  Major Spoilers ahead…


The long awaited (a whole year!) 9th episode of Breaking Bad‘s season 5 premiered on AMC tonight, and opened where we left off at the beginning of the episode 5.01 “Live Free or Die” prologue.  We hear loud noises and see skateboarders.  As the camera pans out, the skaters are using the White’s now empty family pool.  Walt, with hair and new glasses (proving this starts from where we left off) gets out of the car he was given the keys to at the Denny’s.  He is parked in front of the White home, which is now gated, boarded up, and obviously abandoned.  He opens the trunk and we get a glimpse of the gun he illegally bought at Denny’s (and who hasn’t seen some crazy shit happen at Denny’s?) and pulls out a crow bar.  Walt then breaks into his own home.  As the camera pans out, we see that someone has graffitied on the main wall in the living room in bright yellow “Heisenberg”.  The house is empty, yet trashed.  None of the furniture is there, but there are papers scattered and the home has been vandalized.  Where did the furniture go?  And clearly, it is well known who the Heisenberg is, since his name is so glaringly scrolled across the wall.  Walt looks through the blinds after hearing laughter and sees the teens skating in the pool.  He slowly walks down the hall, and in a symbol that has appeared throughout the series, flies are seen and heard in the kitchen.  Walt continues to the bedroom and the door has been been knocked off the hinges, is laying on the floor in the room, and what seems most odd is that it is really bashed in.  Walt then heads for the outlet, unscrews it with a quarter, and pulls the ricin pack off that he left there after bringing it to his Czech Republic meeting with Lydia.  He closes his eyes and seems to reflect for a moment.  On what? Perhaps on everything that we don’t know that has happened to get to this point.  Maybe on what he is about to do with ricin?  Who does he plan to use it on?  Is it for himself?  Is he ready to go out, guns-a-blazin’ and then end himself with the ricin?  He then goes back outside, puts the crow bar back in the trunk and turns to see his old neighbor.  She is holding bags of groceries.  Walt says, “Hello, Carol.”  She drops her groceries (Trivia: When Carol drops her groceries, oranges roll out of the bag and down the driveway. This could be a shout out to The Godfather, where oranges often symbolize death. Earlier in Breaking Bad, when Ted puts himself in the hospital, several oranges fall on his body when he slams into the kitchen cabinets).  And it was almost as if she had seen a ghost.  Why would the house be in this condition?  Number one, shit has hit the fan.  Heisenberg is not only caught by Hank, but he is outed by other people in the biz, and they are mad.  Where are the kids?  Where is Skyler?  My guess is that Skyler is dead, and most likely, the kids are either being taken care of by Hank (if he is alive at this point) and Marie, or also dead.  And more than likely, people either know that Walt fled, or that he may have faked his own death.  Perhaps the reason for Carols’ reaction.  EIther way, he is now back, and it looks like he is out for vengeance.

Coming back to present day, we come back where we left off at the end of 5.08 “Gliding Over All”.   Hank leaves the restroom, his breathing is labored and he is visibly upset. He puts Leaves of Grass in his bag and stares at Walt through the sliding glass door.  When he finally opens the door, we hear Marie jokingly tell Walt, “You’re the Devil!”  Not only is this what Hank is thinking, but it is a continuation of a Breaking Bad theme: God.  It seems odd that in a story about meth and many an un-Godly thing, that God could be a theme, but here he is.  In the past, we have heard Walt say he prayed to God the RV wouldn’t crap out and that if Jesse believes in Hell, they are both going there.  We will hear more about God in this episode, but I’ll get to that in due time. Hank goes out to the patio where the family is having a fun time and tells them he doesn’t feel 100%.  Hank and Marie leave and the White family walks them out.  Walt asks Hank if he is alright to drive, which we will find out he’s not.  As the White’s go back up their driveway, Walt turns and greets the neighbor, “Hello, Carol.”

Hank and Marie’s drive home does not end well.  Not only is Hank tuning out Marie’s surprise at Skyler’s idea of going to Europe, which she apparently mentions on the patio (is this where the White family is in the future?) but Hank is having tunnel vision.  He Is mad.  He is mad at Walt.  He is mad at himself.  And he is afraid.  Because he knows who The Heisenberg is and what exactly he is capable of.  Hank crashes, and then is taken to the ER for a possible heart attack.  Hank and Marie return home and Marie is warned to not tell Skyler about the incident.  Then Hank goes to the garage and pulls a single manila envelope off a top shelf with the label “Boetticher, Gale.”  Isn’t it odd that this file is at Hank’s home and not the office?  He has continued to obsess over it because he knows the story doesn’t fully add up.  He pulls the copied notebook of Gale’s and matches the handwriting to the inscription in Walt’s book, confirming something we have long known.

Walt comes to work at the car wash and opens the garage.  And then something happens that hasn’t happened in SEASONS.  Skyler greets Walt.  And they are nice to each other.  And they are working together.  When did Walt start actually working at the car wash?  He has obviously quit being the cook.  And something else of note, yet another symbol.  The color they are wearing.  In the past, Walt has been notorious for wearing green (money) or red (blood) and Skyler wears blue (pure, her name is Skyler, or the reason in the first place for cooking the blue stuff) but here, at the car wash, with all their niceties, the Whites are wearing… White, to keep up with their lily-white facade.  The facade that Walter White is a good man.  The facade that Walter White still really exists.  And that Skyler is just as innocent.  But then Walt tells her, “The story is”.  And he ropes her into the facade again with the car wash (even though the car wash was all Skyler’s idea) because Skyler has been and always will be Walt’s greatest alibi and he trusts her more than anyone.  But why this moment to talk about what their story is?  Walt doesn’t know that Hank is on to him.  Walt has been out of the business for a little while.  What is he scared of that he reminds Skyler of the “story”?  TIme will tell.  Enter Lydia, the lovely basket case who is Walt’s old connection to the Czech’s and all that money.  She tries to speaking to Walt about coming back because the product is only at 68% pure rather than the 99.1% that Walt used to make.  So who is making the new stuff?  Todd?  The people from Phoenix?  My bet is on Todd.  And Todd knows too much (The train, the kid at the train, the meth recipe, and Mike).  More than likely, he will be a liability later.  The best part of Lydia pleading for Walt to come back to fix things, because she is scared for her life, is that Walt has an extremely Gus Fring attitude toward her.  She talks meth business, he talks car wash business.  Not too long ago, Walt was talking meth business and Gus was talking fried chicken business.  Skyler realizes something is amiss because Lydia brought a rental car to be washed and Skyler sees an ulterior motive.  When Walt admits who she is, Skyler gains the upper hand over everyone and tells Lydia to never come back.  Not only is Lydia Skyler’s bitch right then, so is Walt.  As much as Walt can suggest moving soda cans, or buying another car wash, Skyler is running the show right now.

Hello!  We're the White Family and we are upstanding people wearing our white clothing!
Hello! We’re the White Family and we are upstanding people wearing our white clothing!

At the Schrader house, Hank has the DEA bring him boxes of evidence, much to the dismay of Marie, as Hank should be “recovering.”  As he opens the boxes and files, we see a lot of things we haven’t seen in a long time bringing many things full circle.  Here are some things I noticed: a picture of the DEA and Gus shaking hands over a check for an anti-meth program, a close up of Gus, a Los Pollos Hermanos bag with the Madrigal serial number, The Salamanca brothers, the cars at the Hank/Tuco shoot out, including Jesse’s license plate “THECAPN”, Combo’s dead body and his grade school picture, Tio Salamanca young and old, Mike Ehrmantraut, Chow close up and Chow dead, gas mask found in desert, close up of Gale,  Ron (the guy Lydia gives up the DEA), Gus’s guard Tyrus, the burnt meth lab below the laundromat, the guy who was cut in half at the junkyard who Hank poses with, the video of Walt and Jesse stealing a barrel of methylamine, which is too grainy for Hank to see who it is, and of course, the sketch of Heisenberg himself (For the full list of case files, click here).

About halfway into the episode we finally see Jesse sitting in his living room and high.  Skinny Pete and Badger have really funny banter about Star Trek and Badger’s screenplay he wrote for it.  In the middle, Jesse gets up, goes to the bedroom, comes back with the two bags of money Walt gave him not so long ago, and leaves the house.  As a side note, who thought that Badger and Skinny Pete would be Trekkies?  And to know the difference between the original and Voyager?  Impressive.  Jesse takes the bags to Saul Goodman’s office.  After finally making it into the office (after blatantly smoking weed to be let in ahead of the packed room) and catching Saul at a bad time with a lady friend, Jesse gives Saul the money to give to two people: Albert Sharp and Kaylee Ehrmantraut.  Albert Sharp turns out to be the father of the little boy, Drew, who was killed after the train robbery.  Again we see Jesse’s affinity for children, proving Jesse’s moral compass compared to the rest of the characters and maybe even how feels about himself, a misguided child.  Saul strongly advises Jesse not to give the money away as it may tip people off as to why.  He also asks Jesse if he has had contact with Mike.  Walt and Todd still are the only people to know what happened to him.  Jesse leaves Saul’s office and tells him to take care of it.  But as always, when Jesse is in trouble, Saul calls Walt to clean Jesse up.  As a side note, when Saul opens up his drawer of phones, does anyone else notice that one of his phones has Hello Kitty on it?!  When Walt talks to Saul and assures him he will take care of it, we find out for sure that Walt’s Cancer has returned.  This is something I have predicted for a while as we have never found out the test results of Walt’s MRIs.

Badger gets all philosophical-like with Skinny Pete about Star Trek.

Jesse looks at his reflection in his dirty coffee table and another bug crawls across, this time a cockroach.  Walt knocks on the door and brings back Jesse’s money.  This is one of the most important scenes of the episode.  Walt asks Jesse if he has an explanation to which Jesse replies, “It’s like you said, it’s Blood Money.”  And now we know the meaning of the title of the episode.  But then Walt says a curious thing, something i don’t believe Walt has ever said before.  He admits he said it was blood money in the heat of the moment and that … wait for it… that Walt was wrong.  Since when has Walt admitted fault?  The scenes layers unfold as Walt begins to tells Jesse to let bygones be bygones.  He places his hand on Jesse’s knee and calls him “Son”.  Jesse isn’t looking at Walt.  For a long time, Walt has been a very twisted father figure to Jesse, giving him guidance in a world that Jesse knew, but Walt recreated.  Is this why Jesse has such empathy for children, because he still is one?  Has Walt been more of a father to Jesse than to Walt Jr.?  Walt tells Jesse that he has been out of the business for about a month and Jesse looks at him.  Then Walt does something he has always done: push buttons.  He asks why give the money to Kaylee Ehrmantraut.  And then short dialogue, very common in Breaking Bad, leads to Jesse letting Walt know that he thinks Mike is dead and he thinks Walt did it.  Walt is adamant that he did not kill Mike.  Again, Walt is not lying to Jesse to protect Jesse, but to protect himself and his newly adopted pure persona.  Walt tells Jesse he needs to believe him, that Walt needs this to happen, placing Jesse as his partner, his son, and his friend again.  But the silence that Jesse gives Walt fills in the blanks.  Jesse knows this is Walt’s classic way of manipulating him.

Jesse doesn't believe Walt anymore.
Jesse doesn’t believe Walt anymore.

During a rare family dinner, Walt runs to the restroom; the effects of the chemo are hitting him.  As he sits on the floor by the toilet throwing up, he notices the Leaves of Grass book missing (Trivia: Walt places a towel under his knees while vomiting, an act that Gus Fring did while at Don Eladio’s home to expose of the poison he ingested. Walt’s behavior is consistently imitating Gus’ even in subtle ways.  And this is not the first time this has happened.  Since season 1, Walt has eaten crustless sandwiches, like his first victim Krazy-8 and now drinks scotch on the rocks like Mike.).  Later he asks Skyler if she has seen the book.  Walter puts it together.  In the middle of the night, he goes out to his car and finds a GPS device attached the back passenger wheel.  He knows Hank knows.  Jesse, presumably high, is passed out in his car in a parking lot when a homeless man begs for change.  Jesse gives him a stack of cash from the bag.  He then drives down a street that looks similar to the street Andrea used to live on and throws stacks of cash onto the lawns of the neighborhood and crying as he does so.  Is he now the Robin Hood of the meth business ala Omar from The Wire?

In the last scene, (which happened a lot sooner than expected) Walt comes to Hank’s house to “check on his health”.  They have small talk about the other one’s life, and again as so often, the silence fills in the blank.  They both know why Walt is really there.  Walt even makes it apparent by resting his hand on one of the boxes of evidence.  As Walt leaves, he stops himself and confronts Hank about the GPS.  He chooses his language carefully to note the bond Hank and Walt had chasing Gus Fring.  He asks if it is the same device they used on Gus when it was “just the two” of them.  Hank closes the garage and then does the best thing Hank has done since collecting minerals.  He punches the shit out of Walt’s face.  I mean he reared back and that fist smashed hard.  He picks him up and lists all the things he could think of that Walt had done to throw Hank off and ends by declaring he knows that Walt is the Heisenberg.  Again with God, Hank says “I swear to Christ, I will put you under the jail!”  Walt then uses his manipulative tactics to choose this time to tell anyone, much less Hank, that he has cancer again.  Hank doesn’t sympathize that easily, though.  Walt declares he is fighting like hell and then let’s Hank know he has 6 months to live, and therefore will have no way to be ever put behind bars as he will be dead before it happens.  “I am a dying man who runs a car wash. My right hand to God, that’s all I have.”  Hank tells Walt that he doesn’t know who he is.  And Walt, or rather Heisenberg, tells Hank, “If you don’t know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.”  As Hank looks at him, it becomes clear he can’t look at Walt and see this monster, all he sees is the brother-in-law who betrayed him.  Will Hank tread lightly?  Or will he be looking for revenge?

Walt tells Hank he's the Heisenberg without saying much at all.
Walt tells Hank he’s the Heisenberg without saying much at all.

With all the classic Breaking Bad devices used in this episode, the flash forward and the inevitable Hank/Walt confrontation I give “Blood Money” an “A”.

written by Adrian Puryear (with mad props yo to Sherif Elkhatib, Taylor Lowe and Evan Lowe)

*All pictures and video content courtesy of AMC TV.