Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 2: Madrigal
Some gut reactions: Skyler’s silence parallels Walt in Season 1, when he was just getting into the meth game and keeping his cancer secret; that said, I think that they ended the first two episodes with Skyler shots is redundant; “There is gold in the streets” is the new “I need to provide for my family”; the German cops waited like 10 seconds before demanding Schuler exit the bathroom—what if he was really taking a dump? Give the guy a minute; today I learned that Mike will ask you if you are ready to die, but he won’t wait for your answer.
Herr Schuler’s last meal, boneless chicken with five dipping sauces chemically engineered for the unrefined taste buds of Midwestern America, did not befit a man of his stature. But for a man who, it seems, knowingly aided a man who peddled chemicals in at least five states, perhaps that last meal was poetic justice. Schuler’s death will only delay the investigation into Madrigal Electromotive for a little while, but I can’t figure just exactly how it will lead Hank to Mike, Jesse or Walter.
More promising are the bank accounts revealed by last week’s magnet caper, which accomplished nothing good, we know now. Mike, the rest of Gus’ muscle and businessmen like Chow will have to continue standing up to the heat. If Mike’s faith in just one guy is misplaced, Mike and Lydia the mystery methylamine mom are compromised.
So much of this episode lays out the groundwork for the investigation that—I assume—will ultimately lead Hank to Walt. To that end, no scene was more important than the one in which Hank’s soon-to-be-gone boss pities himself for missing Gus, who was right under his nose all along. At the end of the anecdote, Hank is shown wondering if that could happen to him. The Whites dine at the Schraders’ house pretty often; if Skyler is catatonic and numb in his presence, Hank will only become more suspicious.
The final plot line of note is Walt’s manipulation of Jesse.
Yeah, that. Gus didn’t poison Brock, so Tyrus did not remove the ricin cigarette from Jesse’s pack. Consequentially, Jesse assumes he lost it and freaks out that some innocent will die because of it. Walt makes a salty forgery and plants it in Jesse’s Roomba so that Jesse finds it on his own. Jesse is calmed enough to think about their next move: a three-way partnership with Mike. By the end of the episode, Mike agrees, perhaps because he knows his granddaughter’s Gus money will be taken by the DEA.
Now that we know Jesse’s nickname for the meth RV, we may safely assume that he has listened to this song quite a bit, probably stoned.