By Andrew Voerman
At the end of this week’s episode, Walt is invited over to Gus’s house for dinner, and warned not to repeat the same mistakes twice. Gus is referring specifically to his working with Jesse, a former addict, but the idea can be seen all throughout this hour. Whether it’s Hank’s recovery, Skyler’s involvement in Walt’s life of crime or even Jesse’s friends actually working on the twelve steps, people are looking forward, not back.
Hank is definitely looking to the future, as he begins what is sure to be a slow recovery. We see that he is unable to make even one step at the moment, and is too easily held back by the overwhelming pain. He is also easily embarrassed, as he refuses to go home before he can walk - to do so in a wheelchair would be cheating. He needs to earn his way back in to a normal life, in order for it to be worth anything to him.
Hank’s predicament has had some unintended benefits for those around him: it has brought the Whites together as a family again. Take for example the scene where they are gathered around the dinner table, joking and laughing about Walter Jr. wanting a car. They haven’t been that close in ages. Skyler doesn’t just want the closeness of before, however, she wants something more.
We see her wanting to take a more active role in looking after Walt’s ill-gotten income, as she interrogates Saul Goodman about how exactly he is laundering the money. When Saul suggests investing in a laser tag business as a front, Skyler laughs it off as unbelievable, and suggests instead the car wash where Walt use to work. When Saul defends his idea, because the laser tag business is owned by a willing accomplice and the car wash isn’t, Skyler offers to become that accomplice. Walt tries his best to ward her off, pointing to the fact that they aren’t even married anymore, which leads Skyler to reveal her big secret - she never actually filed the divorce papers.
While Walt and Skyler are renewing their relationship, Jesse is starting one of his own. Looking for an easy target to sell some of his pilfered product to, he gets involved with Andrea, a fellow member of his N.A. group. When she attempts to score some meth, after Jesse has met her young son, Brock, Jesse goes off at her, disgusted that she would try and get high while looking after a kid. As she defends herself, explaining that she loves her son and would do anything to ensure he doesn’t turn out like this local gang kid, Tomas, that she once looked after but now doesn’t.
Upon hearing of Tomas, who, according to Andrea, was forced to kill a rival gang leader as part of his initiation, Jesse perks up. This situation sounds exactly like what happened to Combo last season. Out in the streets, Jesse finds Tomas and confirms that he’s the same little punk that once killed his best friend. As we watch him walk away, a determined look of anger on his face, it seems inevitable that he’s about to make yet another mistake, only this time he won’t be the only one that feels the consequences.