Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Madrigal
The episode opens in Germany during a taste test with a big wig. He tries their new dipping sauces and you are waiting for him to do something sinister. His admin comes in and explains that they are back and this time there are 3 of them. He finishes his taste test and then heads to a conference room, where we see police officers waiting. Instead of greeting them he calmly takes the defibrillator from the wall and heads to the rest room. With a grace that is Gus-worthy he removes his coat and shirts before electrocuting himself to death. What is it with these crime bosses and worrying about their clothes in life or death situations?
We cut to Walt filling a tiny vial with salt crystals and duplicating the Rison cigarette. He has both cigarettes in his possession and he hides the Rison behind an outlet in his room. The salt cigarette is hidden in Jesse’s house to be stumbled upon after a John Huges worthy montage of searching. Jesse had been stressing about the loss of the Rison. He thinks that something tragic will come if found by the wrong person and Walt decides to help him search his home to alleviate his guilt. They collapse on the futon and Jesse is still upset by the loss of the poisonous vial when Walt suggests he clean out the Roomba that has silently been sweeping up during this scene. He opens up the Roomba and is brought to tears when he finds the planted cigarette. He begins to apologize profusely, and Walt accepts as gracefully as if he were actually innocent. Then in true Walt fashion he brings up the plan to “move forward” with their Meth business.
The duo pays Mike a visit and ask him to consider going into business with them. They explain that there is a demand for the product and that they would all make more money as owners. Mike gives them a firm no, but Walt insists that he think it over and get back to them later. Mike explains that it is not personal so much as he sees Walt for what he is; a time bomb.
Meanwhile at the DEA headquarters…
The board members from the German investment company, Madrigal, have come to cooperate with the investigating and show that they were ignorant of the crime connection in their business. Hank and his partner are meeting with their supervisor and discussing the Fring case. We learn that the laptop had been encrypted and then completely destroyed by the magnet attack. They explain that while this evidence was lost the broken picture frame revealed off-shore bank accounts for Gus’ illegal dealings.
Later on in the episode we get to see the police interviews for Gus’ employees being handled by Walt’s brother-in-law, Hank. Mike is called in and we get a back story as to who he was pre-Gus. Hank dug up info that Mike worked as the loss prevention department for Hermanos and as a private investigator. Before that he was employed as a police officer in Philadelphia. Hank implies that Mike was a dirty cop and that makes it interesting that he would be hired for such an integrity rich job. Mike keeps it cool the whole time and as he is about to leave we learn that one of the bank accounts in the Caymans was under Mike’s granddaughter’s name. Mike listens intently and after some not so subtle threats sticks to his story and leaves the DEA offices.
Team Meth is meeting in Saul’s offices and trying to figure out the next step for their business. They have everything ready to go, but the key ingredient Methylamine. At the mention of this big hiccup Saul tries to shake some sense into Walt’s plan. He suggests that they count their blessings and quit while they are ahead. Jesse seems like he will go along with whatever Walt decides. Walt wants money and will not stop until he gets it.
We switch back to Mike’s storyline and a skittish woman (later revealed to be named Lydia) enters the diner where Mike is eating. She tries to sit with her back to him like in a cheesy spy movie, but Mike is not having any of it. He listens to her overly anal attempts to order tea and then sits with her. She is paranoid and hands him a list of 11 people who could implicate them as major players in Gus’ operation. She hints heavily that these people should be “taken care of”. Mike calmly tells her that these people are his and can be trusted because they have all been paid handsomely for their silence. She seems convinced and leaves.
Mike receives a call from Chau, another person who had been employed with Gus. He asks Mike to meet him at his home to talk about money and the insistent DEA interviews. Mike arrives and we watch as an assassin, who has killed Chau, lies in wait. Mike is of course too smart to fall into an ambush like that and gets the upper hand. The gunman, Chris, spills the beans and tells Mike that he was hired to kill the eleven people on Lydia’s list and that he was getting triple to kill Mike. Chris is rewarded with a bullet to the head.
Mike then visits Lydia’s home and we see that she has a young daughter. Mike is hiding in the shadows when he grabs her on the way to the bath. She tells her daughter to go to bed and that she will see her later, knowing that she will be dead before then. Mike has a gun pointed at her head and asks for her last requests. “Please don’t shoot me in the head. I don’t want my daughter to see me that way.”
He explains that no one will find her body and she starts screaming that he can’t do that. She wont let her daughter think she was abandoned. Her pleas penetrate his anger and he asks if she can obtain Methylamine. She says it is possible and Mike calls Walt, “I’ve reconsidered and I’m in.”
Walt is pleased with this and is able to go to bed. Skylar is there and just as she was in the beginning of the episode is extremely depressed and wracked with guilt. Walt tries to soothe her and explain that their actions are justified because they are out of good intention.
Okay this is what I thought….
This week I felt like we were waiting for something big to happen. Walt was wheeling and dealing and had solved the Jesse issue (for now). This was definitely Mike’s episode. We got to understand what he did for Gus much better.
Lydia turned out to be one of the suppliers and she really pushed this episode forward with her paranoia. Hope to see more of her in the future. Mike is really level headed and understands the game much better than Walt does at this point. The way he is handling the aftermath really proves it. Another point he understands is the DEA angle. I am almost positive that if Walt had been in his position and they threatened his family then he would have panicked and struck a deal or let something slip. Mike kept a cool head and was able to leave without incriminating himself or others.
Mike is already a series regular, but this episode helps to grow his fan base. A former cop, who made a mistake and decided to make his living by shady means. Very much like Walt, but with more of a sense of his world. Perhaps it comes with experience. Walt is feeling more secure in his station, but I feel like there is still that sense of naivety. Jesse is just along for the ride and his loyalty to Walt clouds the fact that Walt is in a bad way and leading them into unknown complications.
The DEA has its teeth firmly in this case and I really want to know what is coming next and if they have any firm evidence besides Gus’ secret position in the underground crime world.
Skylar may become an issue for Walt down the line. She is fighting with her morality and as of right now shows no signs of where she will end up. Though my best guess backed up by previous seasons is that Skylar will eventually stand by her man and give into the temptation of Walt’s dark side and all it can provide her family.
We see that Walt and Co. are back in business and they have a new lab. I am happy that we are going to get to see these boys back to doing what they are good at and I wonder how the business will differ under Mike’s rule. There is some hint that there will be a huge mistake and that the mistake is Mike’s. Intrigue! Also nosy Sister-in-law, Marie, confronts Walt. If someone has to disappear I vote that it is her. She can be really annoying! (Doubt it will go that way, just wishful thinking)
Oh and delivering a great line is our man Mike on Walt’s leadership skills, “Just because you killed Jesse James does not make you Jesse James.”