Breaking Bad Blog: Shotgun
By Andrew Voerman
After this episode, it feels like Jesse Pinkman is emerging as the most important pawn in Gus’s conflict with Walt.
After a frenzied dash through the city streets to Los Pollos Hermanos, hoping to confront Gus in order to save Jesse’s life, Walt receives a phone call from Mike, letting him know that everything is okay and that he should get back to work. Walt isn’t willing to just take Mike’s word for it but he is only confused when he talks to a totally unbothered Jesse on the line. After offering all he can, a warning, Walt heads back to the lab.
While Walt’s cooking meth, Mike and Jesse are driving around New Mexico, picking up cash from a series of dead drops. Much to Jesse’s annoyance, he’s not allowed to do anything, not even have a cigarette; he’s riding shotgun, but he’s not allowed to carry one. His day quickly becomes monotonous, as we are shown in a montage, and with Mike not offering any answers as to why he’s there, Jesse is left to with nothing to do but wonder.
Walt’s day at the lab is interrupted when he has to rush home to finalise his and Skyler’s purchase of the car wash. Afterwards, Skyler suggests they have a drink to celebrate, but that drink quickly leads to celebrations of a different kind. Lying in bed afterwards, Skyler suggests that Walt move back home, in order to further strengthen their cover story. While he is hesitant at the time, the next morning he finds out that Skyler made his mind up for him, by telling Walter Jr. that his dad will be moving in on Tuesday. After seeing the smile on his kid’s face, there’s no way Walt can back out.
While Walt was celebrating, Jesse finally got to do something. When Mike went into a building to pick up yet another lot of cash, a man with a shotgun walked up behind Jesse, who was sitting in the car. Jesse reverses in to the man, knocking him over, before a car appears and chases him off, leaving Mike to emerge, only to find his ride missing. He needn’t worry though, because Jesse appears not long after, having lost his tail with suspicious ease. As a way of saying thank you, Mike allows him to light up.
When Walt arrives at the lab the next day, Jesse is already there, hammering away at a block of ice. Walt is full of concern, wanting to know what happened the day before, and then wanting to know why Jesse is being so calm about it. When Jesse asks him to get on with work, because he’s meeting Mike that afternoon, Walt only freaks out further. Jesse has two jobs now, a change of circumstances that certainly doesn’t please Walt.
It turns out that this newfound friendship has not come about by accident. Gus, as we’ve come to expect by now, was pulling all the strings. The robbers were working for him all along, and in pushing Jesse away from Walt and closer to Mike, they appear to have done their job.
Elsewhere, it’s dinner party time at the Schrader’s, and Walt is trying to get more information on the Gale case from Hank. As Hank explains the particulars to Marie and Skyler, he makes Gale out to be a genius, which is a notion that doesn’t sit well with a slightly-drunken Walt. His ego won’t allow this lie to stand; he suggests that, based on what he saw in the notebooks, Gale might have been copying someone else, i.e. him.
It seems that Walt’s ego might prove costly. The episode ends with Hank looking over the evidence from Gale’s house, and asking a question - if Gale was a vegan, why does he have a serviette from a fried chicken outlet?