AMC’s Breaking Bad
Season 4, Episode 5: “Shotgun”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by Thomas Schnauz
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Bullet Points” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Cornered” – click here
Walt (Bryan Cranston) is freaking out. He’s in the process of setting up things with Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) so he can disappear for good, off the map someplace. He believes, because he can’t find Jesse (Aaron Paul), terrible things have been set into motion. He tries calling home to Skyler (Anna Gunn) and leaves an emotional, strange message, sure to set her paranoia off when she hears it eventually.
This sends Walt straight to Los Pollos Hermanos, gun in hand, looking for the chicken man, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Of course the owner’s not there, or at least not available to Mr. White. Walt’s own paranoia runs pretty high, as well. He assumes all the security cameras are the extension of Fring’s eyes, that he’s being watched all the time. He’s not wrong.
He gets a call from Mike (Jonathan Banks), who lets him know Jesse’s all right and safe with him on the road. The hitman’s taking the young meth cook on a series of pickups. Meanwhile, Walt’s left in the dark.
Mike stops in the desert on a lonely road. Jesse thinks he’s going to die. Instead, the older man digs in a specific spot, lifting up a trap door in the desert floor. Inside the hole is a bag filled with money. All part of the intricate, untraceable system of drug trafficking. And the process needs to be done “six more times today.” Is this a way of bolstering Pinkman’s ego, making him feel more a part of the operation? Is it also a way of dividing the two cooks even farther apart?
At home, Hank (Dean Norris) fills Dt. Tim Roberts (Nigel Gibbs) in about Gale being Heisenberg. He mentions Pinkman, though feels the junkie wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger. There’s a composite sketch of Victor floating around, too— of no use, given he’s a liquid now! Regardless, Hank’s feeling a sense of “closure” believing Heisenberg has been caught finally. That’s what he says, anyway.
Mike continues driving. Jesse continues complaining and talking. Eventually, Mike gets pissed off and tells his ride along to shut up. Back in the lab, Walt’s getting the latest batch ready to cook on his own, doing twice the work as normal. Makes for a tougher shift, ‘yknow? In between, he’s got to get home to finalise the mortgage for buying the car wash. He and Skyler sign on the dotted line and become new business owners officially.
The couple make a deal with one another: “No more secrets.” It’s then she hears the voicemail he left earlier. The two fall into bed for the first time in who knows how long. This also leads to them considering whether Walt should move back into the house. When Walt gets back to the lab, he winds up dropping a barrel while using a forklift. This sends him into a rage at the security camera, refusing to work until his partner returns. After some time, Tyrus (Ray Campbell) shows up to an angry Walt, helping with his forklift troubles.
In an alleyway, Mike parks for one last stop. He leaves Jesse in the car and heads inside. Jesse notices a guy coming for the car holding a shotgun, so he guns it in reverse from the passenger seat, smashing the car behind and sending the gun wielding dude flying into the dirt. Jesse takes off as the other car follows, leaving Mike in the alley with a bag of cash. Soon, he’s picked up on the roadside.
At the lab the next day, Walt finds Jesse working away. He’s surprised and wants to know the whole story of where they went the day before. Jesse treats it as no big deal and mentions his heroic act of preventing a stickup. Although the chemist believes there’s something else motivating Jesse’s “two jobs.” And he’d be right, since Gus planned the entire thing.
During dinner with the Schraders, Walt gets hard on the wine. He’s in a foul mood, too. It doesn’t help his son brings up the case of Gale’s murder. Hank starts talking about him as a big time five star “drug chef,” giving the man all the credit while the real mastermind is sitting right next to them. Hank talks of him as a genius, in the same breath insulting Walt without knowing it, and rightfully so. Ultimately, Walt let the world crush him and squandered his genius. And he inadvertently convinces his brother-in-law Gale was only doing a bit of “rogue copying” off someone else. He’s literally talking Hank into continuing the case against him. Amazing writing, as well as the fact it’s acted to perfection.
Thus, Hank starts looking at the evidence with fresh eyes, noticing vegan Gale had Los Pollos Hermanos bags in his apartment. Oh my.
Just so goddamn good! All the time. Can’t wait to rewatch the next episode, and on and on. This chapter takes us into different places as far as the meth lab goes. Not to mention things with Hank are getting wild, only to get wilder.
“Cornered” is coming up.