This week’s episode begins with a rather ominous suicide of a Madrigal Electromotive—corporation that owns Los Pollos Hermanos—executive. A picture of the exec and Gus seem to imply a mutually beneficial drug-related relationship, but it is not fully explained.
The full repercussions of this relationship are yet to be revealed, but it is sure to be emerge as an obstacle for anyone associated with Gus’ drug trade.
With seemingly all remnants of the past erased—minus the unknown bank account routing number—Mr. White and Pinkman began things by taking over for their now deceased former boss, Gus.
Walt still manages to be the cold, calculating leader willing to do anything—without remorse—for things to work as he sees fit.
After a phone conversation where Jesse explains his concern for his lost ricin cigarette, Walt quickly creates a second cigarette with a salt insert to throw his partner off the trail.
Feeling sorry for having nearly killed Walt, Jesse immediately begins to cry, allowing for the increasingly more sinister Walt to rear his ugly head yet again and officially reveal his idea to continue cooking methamphetamine.
To start on their journey to replace Gus, the new power couple head over to Mike’s in hopes of convincing him to join them on their endeavor to become the new drug kingpins at an even split of the earnings.
Mike, of course, responds with a “Thanks, but no thanks.”
The show has been nearly devoid of any true tension since Gus’ death, but oh was this episode a thriller.
As if refusing to partner up with the two wasn’t enough, Mike offers words to that are both an apt description of Walt and also foreboding of things to yet to come in the episode and/or season:
“You are trouble. I’m sorry the kid (Jesse) here doesn’t see it, but I sure as hell do. You are a time bomb—tick, tick, ticking— and have no intention of being around for the boom.”
To which Walt smugly counters with,”Well, sleep on it. Maybe you’ll reconsider.”
What then ensues is the Mike Ehrmantraut hour, exposing his full range of abilities as hitman and caring human being—him playing Hungry, Hungry Hippos with his granddaughter was quite the transition from his normally surly self.
Act one of the Mike hour begins with him heading over to his favorite diner for a comical rendezvous with Lydia, an unknown accomplice to the drug trade later revealed to be Gus’ former supplier of methylamine.
During the rendezvous Lydia hands Mike a list of 11 names she considers possible leaks to the current police investigation once again being headed up by a much less hobbled Hank.
Later on, Mike is brought in for interrogation by Hank that can only be described as a superlative retort filled battle of wits that leaves you vacillating between who to root for.
Ultimately Hank comes out with the win after revealing their discovery of offshore accounts in the names of Mike and his men. The police have frozen all the accounts, leaving Mike and his men essentially bankrupt.
The latter two sequences set the stage for Mike to show once again why he has been able to last so long in a profession that constantly puts his life at risk.
Overall, the episode was one of the series’ best. The episode unravels in a way that follows along the lines of Newton’s law of action and reaction: Any action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Watching this episode was a full display of how quickly a series of events can lead to one once unreachable scenario.