Final score: Mike wins the night! He stood up to Hank and the DEA, he brought Lydia back on the team, and kept us from Small Town Security for another two minutes.
The plot developments: Walt, Jesse, and Mike are going into business together, with Lydia providing material and money. The Germans are involved. Hank is slowly getting closer to the truth. Skyler didn’t get out of bed all episode. In other words, it’s like Season 4, but with a less compelling villain. Walt needs more screen time.
And somehow, mysteriously, Small Town Security is a reality show! Maybe I’ll watch it next week.
Thanks for reading my Breaking Bad live blog! See you next week.
10:59pm: Lydia can provide Mike (and Walt and Jesse) with methylamine, so she gets to live. Moral of the story: if you can provide a unique service (or a controlled substance), you get to stay aboard.
10:57pm: Mike can’t shoot Lydia. This is a mistake.
10:56pm: Mike asks Lydia if she has anything to say. Lydia responds by asking not be shot in the face. So vain!
10:54pm: We’re back with Mike in a very nice house with glass walls. He appears ready to shoot the house’s owner, which I’m guessing is Lydia.
10:50pm: Mike shoots the stick-up man, because he’s a professional assassin and enforcer, and that’s what they do. It was anti-climatic.
10:49pm: Surprise, surprise. Mike guesses that it’s a setup, breaks into Chow’s house, and gets the stick-up man. Chow is quite dead, so hopefully I’ve spelled his name right.
10:47pm: Mike gets a call from Chow (Chao?) asking him to come over to his house. This seems like a setup, and in fact, it is a setup, as there’s a guy in Chow’s house pointing a gun in is face.
10:45pm: Walt indicates that he is broke, but I think he really means that he’s not liquid. He does own a car wash, and Skyler paid off Ted Beneke in laundered cash.
10:44pm: Walt and Jesse are meeting with Saul to go over the logistics of where the new meth lab will be. Walt insists on a lab location close to Albuquerque, because he’s on a power trip.
10:42pm: Still in commercials. I feel like nothing’s happened in this ei save the whole death-by-defibrillator thing.
10:40pm: Commercial time. Aaron Paul (the actor who plays Jesse) is at a fake cocktail party for Ciroc vodka.
10:38pm: Hank and Gomez are attempting to intimidate Mike. Mike is unflappable. Yay, Mike!
10:37pm: Hank brings up the fact that Mike’s granddaughter has $2 million in an account linked to Gus Fring. Mike was apparently very good at her job.
10:36pm: Mike to Hank: “Drug empire? First I’m hearing about it.” He did get his ear shot off, of course.
10:34pm: Mike’s actual job is the head of corporate security for Los Pollos Hermanos. So, not a great week for him in his real career.
10:33pm: Mike is at the big police building/federal building conglomo. He’s in an interview with Hank and Gomez.
10:32pm: We’re back at the White house (ha!). Walter Jr. didn’t eat his raisin bran. This is a compelling episode.
10:31pm: Mike assures Lydia that his men are “solid” and that they won’t give in to the cops.
10:29pm: The woman asks, “who killed Gus?” Her name is Lydia, and she’s a nervous wreck. She’s somehow involved with Gus Fring’s old business, and she wants Mike to kill everyone that Gus ever worked with, ever. This is not a good risk management strategy.
10:28pm: The mysterious woman is not good at acting casually. She looks a little like Demi Moore.
10:27pm: We’re back. Mike is in a diner eating alone, and a mysterious woman in dark glasses sits near him.
10:24pm: Commercial break. I want an Intel Ultrabook.
10:22pm: The boss brings up his close relationship with Gus Fring, so maybe the fact that he missed Fring’s drug running merits his termination.
10:21pm: Hank’s and Gomez’ boss is getting canned due to the Gus Fring issue.
10:19pm: The Germans are in Albuquerque, talking to the DEA. It turns out that Herr Schuler was running a restaurant division within Madrigal, which is a big manufacturing firm in Germany. Anyway, the Madrigal CEO is there to “help out” as best he can. Hmm.
10:18pm: Hank walks into work, because he’s miraculously cured in the span of a couple days.
10:17pm: Mike to Walt: “You are a time bomb.” Fortunately, since the episode’s going so slowly, there’s a lot of time before the boom.
10:16pm: Walt and Jesse meet with Mike and ask him to join them, providing distribution and protection. Walt gives a nice MBA business plan, but Mike turns him down.
10:15pm: We’re at Mike’s bachelor pad. It turns out that running protection for an international drug lord pays off, if “pays off” means “living a moderate middle-class life.”
10:13pm: Walt helps Jesse “find” the plant, and now Jesse’s crying because he almost killed Walt in Season 4 over the “lost” ricin. This is the first time since some of the Ted Beneke scenes in Season 3 that I’ve felt the show has just slowed to a stop. There better be a payoff here.
10:12pm: I’m not sure what’s going on now, because this planted cigarette thing is taking forever. When an episode opens with the head of a multinational company electrocuting himself to death, though, I guess there’s enough action already.
10:11pm: Walt is at Jesse’s, helping him look for the ricin cigarette. This plot point must be important later on, because they’re spending a lot of time for Walt to just plant a cigarette.
10:09pm: Walt is assembling a fake ricin vial, filled with salt, while a VO about Jesse and Walt plays in which Jesse says he’s concerned that he’s lost his ricin cigarette. In reality, Walt stole the ricin cigarette, and now he’s hiding the ricin in an electric socket. So, yeah, a lot of text for a little action.
10:08pm: It’s a commercial for Microsoft Internet Explorer. IE9 is AMAZINGLY fast, apparently. I will check the next time that Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are permanently deleted from my laptop.
10:06pm: It’s an early commercial break. AMC airs a self-congratulatory commercial about its Emmy nominations. Herr Schuler, unfortunately, cannot attend the ceremony.
10:04pm: Herr Schuler sees three policemen waiting in his office, looking at a photo of him with Gus Fring. He then grabs a defibrillator, locks himself in the bathroom, and shocks himself to death.
10:03pm: Madrigal’s corporate headquarters are shown. It turns out that they own a number of fast-food restaurants, but as Herr Schuler walks through the hallway, custodians taking down the “Los Pollos Hermanos” logo.
10:02pm: Herr Schuler, the dip taste-tester tells his assistant that he’ll see the three men there to see him shortly. So, yeah, it looks like he’s going to get shot.
10:01pm: We open in a German food testing facility, where the German scientists are creating new dips for chicken nuggets. This must be Madrigal. The executive-type person is testing the foods absentmindedly, so he probably lost a lot of money when Gus was killed.
10:00pm: It’s time! Breaking Bad is on and Jesse is bringing up the poisoning again.
9:58pm: Wikus is the protagonist of District 9, as well as holder of the most unlikely first name in cinema history.
9:53pm: “It’s a respect laugh. Howie Mandel gets them all the time.” This is either: (a) a line in Workaholics; (b) how we laugh when anyone but Saul Goodman makes a joke on Breaking Bad.
9:50pm: We could have watched District 9 on AMC in advance of Breaking Bad, but we elected instead to catch up on Workaholics. Neither of these options are schoolwork.
9:40pm: Tonight’s Breaking Bad episode is entitled “Madrigal,” which is the name of the giant conglomerate that owned Gus Fring’s chicken business…and his side business of selling blue rock candy. Just as a side note, couldn’t the other drug kingpins in Albuquerque add blue coloring to their regular meth and sell it as the blue stuff? Seeing a difference in one variant versus the other is like being able to tell different wines apart.
Anyway, Walter White is getting too big for his britches, and we’ve got 15 more episodes before his demise. Will it be cancer? Assassination? Rock candy? Let’s see if tonight provides more answers.
See you here at 10pm for tonight’s Breaking Bad live blog!