Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: Fifty One
This episode was centered on Walt and the balance in his life. He is having a bit of a crisis, but you could not tell by looking at his expressions. However, starting off an episode by acquiring two muscle cars is a good indication that all is not steady in his world.
Click for a complete re-cap of last night’s episode.
So Walt is getting his car back from the mechanic, it is a metaphor for everything his life with his family should be/ was. It is reliable, easy to maintain, going to last him another 200,000 miles if he takes care of it. Then he finds his iconic Heisenberg hat in the back and makes the hasty decision to throw caution and his cover story into the wind… a bit. He rolls into his driveway in a brand new muscle car and he even gets one for Junior.
Skylar is still in her silent mode and you can tell by her expression that she is not happy with the new additions to their finances. Walt has this covered though, he leased both vehicles and hands her 20,000 in cash. Skylar is a time bomb waiting to happen and you see a plan forming in her desperate mind. Skylar is convinced that she is trapped in Walt’s dangerous world and she is frantically trying to find a way out for their children. She tries offering boarding school as a solution, but Walt sees through the suggestion and assures her that they are safe now that he is in charge. He shrugs off her concerns and asks her to throw him a birthday party which should include a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He actually seems like the husband from season 1 when he says this. The next morning at breakfast Skylar is not in a celebratory mood and Jr. notices because she forgot to spell out Walt’s age with bacon; 51. This is important because it gives us a timeline! At the beginning of the first episode Walt did the same thing for his 52nd birthday breakfast.
Meanwhile on the business side of things…
We see that Lydia is in fact alive and still considerably shaken by her role as supplier of the methylamine. She is wearing mismatched shoes and has a stressful morning as the DEA comes to arrest one of Mike’s guys working in the Madrigal warehouse. She calls Mike completely panicked and looking for an out, but Mike simply says he will send another guy to retrieve the barrel. This turns out to be Jesse coming from cooking with Walt earlier that day (who left early to attend his birthday party). Jesse spends a little bit of time with her, mainly confirming that he works for Mike and is not a narc. When he is retrieving the barrel Lydia freaks out because there is a crude tracking device stuck to the bottom of the container. She convinces Jesse that the DEA is tracking the barrels and they need to stop using her as a supplier.
At the DEA offices we learn that Hank may be taken off the Fring case to be head of the department. This is big news for Hank and Marie, but also gives some separation for Walt and his crew from the DEA.
Back to Casa White….
Walt returns home from work and is puzzled when there aren’t any guest’s cars outside. He enters to an ordinary homecoming and is visibly disappointed that there is not a big celebration waiting for him. Skylar is busy preparing dinner and informs him that Hank and Marie will join them later for dinner and cake; as requested. She is not warm at all with him. After dinner Walt is feeling nostalgic and he recounts that over the last 5 seasons only a year has passed in their world. He tells Hank and Marie about how Skylar got him through treatment and the sickness. All the while Skylar is staring into the pool as though in a trance. Eventually she wades in and refuses to come up. Walt has to dive in to keep her from drowning. Hank and Marie take the kids for a few days to allow the couple to have some alone time and Walt knows that this was all a stunt to get the children out of the house. He confronts Skylar once they are alone and she tells him that she will do anything to remove their children from his dangerous world. He is able to squelch any of her threats with barely a pause. He asks what she wants and she tells him she is a coward and is trapped in this bad situation, but her kids don’t have to be. She explains to Walt that she is waiting and biding her time. For what he asks?, “For the cancer to return.”
Jesse calls Walt and Mike for an emergency meeting. He tells them about what he and Lydia found and Mike realizes that Lydia is behind the tracker not the DEA. He tells his business associates that Lydia will be killed and that he should have killed her before, “This is what I get for being sexist.” Best line of the episode by the way. Jesse tries to stop Mike because he doesn’t want any more blood spilled especially since he thinks Lydia is harmless. He even tries to appeal to Walt, who has remained silent through this entire meeting. Walt is in full Heisenberg mode though and says he doesn’t care either way as long as the methylamine keeps flowing. Before Walt leaves the meeting Jesse happily gives him an expensive watch as a birthday present; effectively stunning Walt.
He returns home to find Skylar smoking in the dimly lit living room. He gives her an update on the outside world and she could care less. He starts towards their bedroom and then returns with some fire inside him. He shoves the watch in her eye-line and tells her the person who gave him the watch wanted him dead too. He had even had a gun pointed right between his eyes, but he changed his mind. The way she will eventually change hers.
This week was mainly to address Walt’s home life and to see his power seep over the line. Skylar is still a liability, but maybe knowing she is outsmarted will keep her in line for a bit longer. I am not sure what to expect from her, but I really am more excited to see what is next for Walt’s Meth business. The previews look like they are gearing up for a Heist of methylamine.
Till next week…