Season 4, Episode 9
Skyler's past mistakes come back to haunt her. Gus takes action to thwart his rivals. Jesse seeks Walt's help, with mixed results.
In flash-forward, we hear heavy breathing and see a pair of broken eyeglasses. Blood drips onto the floor and a familiar Wallabee shoe. A man's hand -- is it Walt's? -- struggles to collect the glasses. What happened here?
In the present, Walt drives Hank to Los Pollos Hermanos. Though he's unaware Tyrus is tailing them, Hank senses Walt's anxiety and attempts to lighten the mood. Walt retrieves the GPS locator from Gus's car but refuses to enter the restaurant, much to Hank's annoyance.
Back home, Hank curses when the GPS data reveals only trips that Gus made between home and one Los Pollos Hermanos location. He's squeaky clean -- suspiciously so. But either way, he's very careful. "How do I get this guy?" Hank wonders aloud. "Yeah," echoes Walt, wondering precisely the same thing. "How?"
Leaving Hank's house, Walt spots Tyrus surveilling him. He pulls up to Tyrus' car and calls 911 to report a suspicious man in the neighborhood, forcing Tyrus to leave.
Outside the industrial laundry, Walt is mildly taken aback when Jesse says that he's already started the cook. Walt bums a cigarette and sees the ricin still in Jesse's pack. Jesse insists that he still intends to poison Gus. Walt lights his cigarette over Jesse's disapproval -- not the smartest move for a cancer patient. Walt shrugs it off: "We're both dead men anyway,” he replies.
That evening, Skyler calls Walt from the car wash and suggests that they buy Walter Jr. a used car for his sixteenth birthday. Walt agrees without enthusiasm. Skyler then reports that "profits" are so good that Walt could begin preparing "an exit strategy" from his "second job." He doesn't know what to say; he knows there's no way out as long as Gus is alive.
The next morning, Hank calls Walt and proposes a drive out to what Hank theorizes is Gus's meth distribution center. Knowing that Hank means the factory farm, Walt feigns illness and convinces Hank to delay until Walt recovers. Walt immediately calls and warns Mike, who hangs up without responding. Later at the factory farm, Mike directs Jesse and other operatives as they remove evidence of meth distribution.
Meanwhile, Ted Beneke visits Skyler at the car wash and tells her that the IRS is auditing his business. As the bookkeeper of record, Skyler realizes that a criminal investigation would permit agents to monitor her mail and phone calls, and probably open the books at the car wash—a disaster across the board.
Back at the farm, Jesse muses to Mike about what the potential fallout from killing Hank would be given his connections to both the DEA and to Walt, who would surely stop cooking. Mike asks if Jesse would have a problem if something happened to Hank. Jesse replies that no one cares what he thinks.
Outside, a sniper kills one of Mike's operatives. Furious, Gus walks straight toward the gunfire as bullets continue to explode around him. Mike tries to stop him, but Gus ignores Mike's calls. He stalks toward the gunman's position, defiantly raises his arms and stands in plain view. The shooter, who stops firing, turns out to be Gaff, the thug who delivered the Cartel's ultimatum in episode 407. He stops shooting, and smiles.
That night in his Los Pollos Hermanos office, Gus receives a call. "Tell them my answer is yes," he says in Spanish.
Mike and Jesse arrive at the superlab to dispose of the shooting victim's body. Walt sarcastically asks if corpse disposal is a new sideline before launching into a diatribe against Gus, whom he assumes ordered the man dead.
Outside the laundry, Jesse asks Mike why Gus pulled "that Terminator shit" at the farm. Gus knew the Cartel wouldn't kill him because they need his distribution system, explains Mike. "But what, the rest of us are like, open season?" asks Jesse. Mike suggests that Jesse speak with Gus directly about any questions he has.
The next day, Ted fumbles his way through his IRS audit until Skyler unexpectedly appears. Dressed in a revealing outfit and playing the dumb blonde, Skyler explains Beneke Fabricators' unreported income: As a "paper person," she didn't record electronic payments because there wasn't a physical check. "But the money's there," she assures the CID Agent, who buys the act.
Outside the IRS building, Skyler says that her stunt spared Ted jail time because ignorance doesn't constitute criminal fraud. He just has to pay the back taxes and penalties -- to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars. "I don't have any assets," Ted confesses. When he unlocks a used subcompact instead of his BMW, Skyler realizes that he's not kidding.
That evening, Jesse has dinner at Gus's house. While Gus chops vegetables, Jesse stands next to the pot of stew with the ricin cigarette in his hand.
Over dinner, Gus agrees to address Jesse's concerns after Jesse answers one question: "Can you cook Walter's formula?" Jesse accuses Gus of playing the part of his "buddy" so Jesse will take over after Gus murders Walt. "You kill Mr. White," Jesse says, "you're gonna have to kill me too." Gus calmly responds that he needs Jesse's help to prevent an all-out war with the Cartel. Jesse's not sure what he means.
Unable to sleep that night, Skyler looks pensively at the vacuum-sealed bags of money under the house.
After work at the superlab the next day, Walt removes a GPS locator that he planted on Jesse's car. At the condo, Walt examines the data, which reveals the trip to Gus's house. Meanwhile, Jesse leaves a message on Walt's voicemail that he has something important to tell Walt.
Walt drives to Jesse's house, where Jesse announces that to avert war, Gus wants him travel to Mexico and teach Cartel chemists Walt's formula. Fearing that he'll fail and be killed, Jesse begs Walt to coach him.
Walt asks several times if Jesse has seen Gus, which Jesse guiltily denies. Walt grabs the cigarette pack out of Jesse's pocket and finds the ricin still there. "Two hours and eighteen minutes and you couldn't figure out a way to give it to him?" asks Walt, before producing the GPS device.
Jesse yells at Walt for bugging him "after all I've done for you." What he's done is sign Walt's death warrant, says Walt. "And now you want my advice?" he asks. His advice to Jesse: Go to Mexico, screw up, and end up in a barrel too.
That's it. Jesse snaps. He throws the GPS device at Walt, and a vicious fight ensues. They're not playing in any way -- they look as if they're truly trying to kill one another. Near the end, Jesse repeatedly pounds Walt's face, breaking his eyeglasses.
We've now caught up with the flash-forward teaser. The fight now over, Jesse asks if Walt can walk. When Walt nods yes, Jesse stares at him coldly and says, "Then get the fuck out of here and never come back." As Walt exits, he looks over at Jesse, who turns away without a word.