Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Hazard Pay
This week we got back to the show’s roots and I must say I was quite pleased. Last week seemed like they were laying some much needed foundation for Mike’s character and now we are exploring the new team dynamic. So click for a complete episode 3 recap…
It all begins with Mike visiting his men in prison, not as Mike the man with the plan, but as a paralegal along for the ride with the men’s attorney. Of course the point of this whole scene is to give insight as to how Mike has things covered. He had a previous agreement with all his men that they would be taken care of in the event that they needed to do some time. To add to this problem each of Mike’s men lost their take due to the DEA’s RICO Act . Mike assures his men that they “will be made whole.”
We then check in with Walt who has just come from moving back into his home (which Skylar seemed apprehensive about). He has called a meeting at Saul’s office and Mike is left in the empty waiting room with a seemingly asleep bouncer watching him. Saul is not happy about their threesome becoming a foursome and is loudly voicing his opinion about how unwise it is to include Mike. Of course Walt gets his way in the end and Mike enters Saul’s office.
Once inside he lays down how this partnership is going to work. Mike will run the business; Walt + Jesse will handle production. There will be NO cross management. Period. Each of the partners agrees to this and Saul takes them on a tour of potential lab spaces.
1st stop – Cardboard Factory
Pros: Illegal workers willing to stay quiet for obvious reasons, Loud Machinery, Smell to mask the cook.
Cons: Corrugator will produce too much steam and will ruin the product.
2nd stop – Tortilla Factory
Pros: Free Tortillas!
Cons: Meth will ruin the food and unannounced government health inspector visits.
3rd stop – Lazer Tag (from last season)
Walt: “No.” Jesse: “Hell, No.” They never even made it out of the car.
Final Stop – Vamanos Pests (Exterminator)
Jesse + Mike concerns: No Space, No Ventilation, close proximity to lots of police.
Walt: “It’s perfect” He kicks a stack of fumigation tents and you can see his wheels turning.
Saul gives them the run down on who runs the exterminator business. It is a four man operation and they tent 4 houses a week for fumigation. The homes stay tented for about a week and no one will say anything about the smell or come to check in the house. What makes these men so trustworthy? They are thieves. They typically make copies of the keys and either sell them to other thieves or come back months after the fact to steal. So very professional and reliable, right?
Everyone is satisfied and the plan is set in motion. Jesse sends his former crew members to get roadie cases that will fit through normal doorways to bring the lab equipment in and out of the tented homes. They have the sides of the boxes stenciled with Vamanos Pests. His boys try to get in on Jesse’s new business, but before Jesse can consider Mike’s intimidating form looms in the doorway and Jesse quickly sends them on their way with a half-hearted promise of maybe later. I think this is the moment where Jesse realizes how big this operation really is.
Mike lays down the law to the exterminator crew. Walt and Jesse are to be treated as ghosts, do not see them, talk to them, nothing! However if they ask for anything it is done without question. One of the crew members, Todd, is a familiar face for viewers, Jesse Plemons or as I know and love him Landry Clarke from Friday night Lights. This casting choice alerts me that I should be watching Todd this season. He has already proven his worth to Walt and Jesse by disabling the nanny cam that was set up in the living room of their first cook house, though this meant breaking the rule about ignoring the duo completely; though I jump ahead a-tiny-bit.
Walt and Jesse have a quick meeting about the logistics of having a mobile lab when they are interrupted by Andrea (Jesse’s girlfriend) and her son Barack (her child and the kid who Walt poisoned). Andrea insists that Walt stay for a while and he doesn’t even bat a guilty eyelash. He talks to Barack like an adult who will soon be called Uncle. Honestly, it made my blood boil a little to see him with absolutely no remorse for what he did to this child, but I think that is what makes this show so addictive to watch. I want to see what Walt will do next and the extreme change from the mild Chemistry teacher we first encountered.
The next day they arrive at the first cook house. Todd gives them a heads up about the nanny-cam and leaves the two to do their thing. Cue the montage! They set up the lab and it gives me a bit of a Dexter feel since they are inside a plastic greenhouse area. Everything is sterile and we watch as they create 50 pounds of perfect product. Afterwards they wind down with some Three Stooges in front of the homeowner’s TV and pop open a couple of beers.
Walt decides to put his Dad hat on and talk to Jesse about his future with Andrea. He tells him that honesty is always better and he will have to decide how to handle the business and his personal life. Jesse is confused because he had never even thought about telling Andrea the truth. At this point she knows he is involved in something illegal, but not what. Walt assures him that whatever he decided Walt will be okay with. (I wasn’t so sure about that because Walt usually does away with any outside threats he encounters)
In the Skylar storyline we witness Skylar’s breaking point. She is with her oh-so-annoying sister Marie in her office at the carwash. Marie brings up Walt’s birthday and starts blathering on and on about Skylar and Walt and Skylar feels the need to smoke. This send Marie on a tear of criticism and Skylar totally loses it. She mimics me perfectly and starts screaming “SHUT UP!” over and over again. A quick jump to the White residence and Marie is visibly shaken and waiting for Walt to arrive home (keep in mind he has just finished cooking a batch of Meth).
Marie announces that she is not leaving until she understands what is going on with her sister. Walt puts on his sincere face and tells Marie about Ted Beneke’s accident and implies that Skylar and Ted had a thing going on. Marie puts it together and is shocked (which thankfully renders her speechless) causing her to quickly leave the house. Instead of checking on Skylar Walt decides to give her space and spend time with their children. Skylar is hearing gunshots and all sorts of noise so she goes into the living room to find Walt watching Scarface with his kids. Skylar is shaken by the sight. Walt makes a fore shadowy comment, “Everyone just dies in this movie, don’t they?”
I am waiting for Skylar to choose which side she will finally land on. I am getting bored of her inner turmoil and was hoping her “Shut up!” moment was going to be the end of it.
Mike calls a meeting to hand out each of the owner’s shares. There are three piles of money and then we get to see the business breakdown. Transportation: 20%, Saul $$, Exterminators $$, Legacy Fund $$$.When the Legacy fund is Mike’s solution to making his guys whole again and at this mention Walt blows up! The legacy fund is to help recoup what Mike’s men lost due to RICO. Technically this is from Gus’ reign and Walt doesn’t think it is fair that he and Jesse have to pay it. Mike doesn’t feel the same and Jesse is again, caught in the middle. As we saw in the preview Mike tells Walt, “Just because you killed Jesse James, does not make you Jesse James.”
Jesse’s frustration over Walt and Mike’s bickering got Walt to consent to his share of the Legacy Fund.
They each walk away with over 100k and Walt gives Jesse something to think about. He asks Jesse what he thinks, and Jesse thinking he was asking about his personal life told him that he decided to break up with Andrea. He can’t be honest with her and he thought it was for the best. Walt doesn’t even pretend to be interested he clarifies, “What do you think about the money?”
Jesse urges Walt not to be greedy. They only made 25% of the product and made 10% of the profit. Walt is not happy about those figures, but Jesse says that in the big picture this is a better situation. Walt leaves him with an ominous thought.
“I’ve been thinking about Victor. All this time I was sure that Gus did what he did to send me a message…” He refers to Victor (Gus’ muscle) who attempted to cook a batch by himself. Walt thinks that he was “taking liberties that weren’t his to take.” Victor “flew too close to the sun, got his throat cut.”
Perhaps this is what Walt thinks should happen to Mike?? We’ll see next week!
Heisenberg is back! The DEA is wise to the Methalyine connection. Walt looks so power Mad that I am counting down the days till Episode 4.