Jesse, meanwhile, emerges from rehab changed by Jane‘s death. “I’m the bad guy,” he tells Walt, who has quite a different self-image: “I am not a criminal,” Walt tells Gus, declining the businessman’s offer of $3 million to cook meth for three months.
Walt defies Skyler and moves back home. When the Cousins come calling, Mike (who’s been shadowing Walt at Gus’ behest) alerts Gus.
Meanwhile, Skyler calls the police to oust Walt but can’t bring herself to incriminate him. Since she can’t get Walt out of the house, she retaliates by sleeping with Ted.
Gus calls a meeting with the Cousins and their cartel boss, Juan Bolsa, who agrees to postpone vengeance until Gus ties up his business with Walt. Upon learning that Jesse is cooking on his own, Gus purchases meth from Jesse and gives half the money due to Jesse to Walt to compel him back into the business. When Walt resurfaces to return the money, Gus unveils a state-of-the-art superlab he’s constructed beneath an industrial laundromat.
Walt rebuffs Gus again, lamenting the loss of his family. “A man provides,” Gus lectures, “even when he’s not appreciated, or respected, or even loved.” Convinced, Walt begins cooking alongside Gale, a fastidious assistant installed by Gus, and then moves back out of the house.
Hank pursues the Heisenberg investigation despite being reassigned to El Paso, but a break in the case complicates matters. Short of cash on his way back from a cook, Jesse barters meth for gas. Hank traces the meth to the RV and the RV to Jesse. When Hank calls Walt asking if Jesse had an RV, Walt arranges to have the vehicle demolished at a junkyard. Badger tips off Jesse, who races to stop Walt, and, unbeknownst to him, Hank follows.
While Walt and Jesse huddle inside the RV, Saul‘s secretary, impersonating a police officer, tells Hank that Marie‘s been in an accident. Hank leaves the junkyard, and by time he realizes he’s been fooled, the RV is destroyed.
Hank brutally attacks Jesse in retaliation and gets suspended from the DEA.
Meanwhile, Gus identifies Hank to The Cousins as Tuco’s actual killer and grants an exception to the cartel rule against targeting DEA agents: “May his death satisfy you.”
In the hospital, Jesse plots legal action against Hank. To placate Jesse, Walt convinces Gus to fire Gale and hire Jesse instead.
Later, an anonymous caller warns Hank about an imminent attack. Hank spots the Cousins. In the ensuing clash, Hank is shot multiple times but manages to kill one cousin and gravely injure the other.
To Walt’s horror, Gus makes an appearance at the hospital where Hank is being treated. While consoling Marie, Gus recalls meeting Hank at the DEA and seeing the donation jar for Walt’s surgery. Gus then tells Walt privately, “I investigate everyone with whom I do business.” As Gus departs, the surviving cousin flat-lines. Amid the commotion, Mike discards a syringe and slips away.
In Mexico, Federales attack Bolsa’s compound and gun down the Cartel boss.
Walt requests a meeting with Gus to postulate that he was the Cousins’ real target and that Gus protected him as part of an effort to undermine the cartel. Walt leaves with a $15 million meth production deal and a guarantee of his family’s safety.
Walt’s negotiations coincide with Jesse’s increasing dissatisfaction with Gus’s operation. Yearning to return to his “outlaw” days, Jesse skims excess meth at the superlab. Badger and Skinny Pete attend Jesse’s NA sessions, where they hype the “blue stuff” as a sales tactic.
Hank’s injuries leave him paralyzed. After Marie learns that their insurance won’t meet Hank’s needs, Marie gets unexpected help from Skyler who offers to cover their bills using money that Skyler claims Walt won gambling illegally.
At the superlab, a housefly so obsesses Walt that he stops production. Weary from lack of sleep and sedatives that Jesse has slipped in his coffee, Walt describes the night Jane overdosed as the “perfect moment” for his own death. Walt also reveals his chance meeting with Jane’s father.
Skyler stakes out a more active role in Walt’s criminal life, citing the need to ensure that the money for Hank’s treatment is “unimpeachable.” At her first meeting with Saul, the two squabble over money laundering schemes. Alone with Walt, she proposes they purchase the car wash where Walt used to moonlight. She will handle the accounting.
Jesse hypes the blue meth to a recovering addict named Andrea and discovers that two rival dealers directed her pre-teen brother to kill Jesse’s friend Combo. Jesse wants to poison the dealers, but Walt tips off Gus who forces Jesse to make peace on the condition the dealers no longer use children in their operation.
Later, police discover the murdered body of Andrea’s brother.
Jesse drives to the rival dealers’ corner. Just as Jesse and the dealers draw their guns, Walt plows into the dealers with his Aztek. One dies on impact and Walt shoots the other dead. Walt tells Jesse to run.
Walt’s intervention infuriates Gus, who reinstates Gale as Walt’s assistant while he hunts down Jesse.
Walt meets secretly with Jesse to explain his suspicion that Gus plans to kill them once Gale learns to cook the blue meth. Walt reasons that he has leverage only if he alone can produce their special formula. They must kill Gale.
“I can’t do it, Mr. White,” says Jesse.
Walt agrees to kill Gale himself, but before he can act, Mike and Victor escort him to the superlab for an execution. Appearing desperate, Walt offers to give Jesse up but says he moves around, so he’ll need to call him.
“They’ve got me at the laundry, and they’re going to kill me,” Walt tells Jesse over the phone. “Do it now!”
Mike and Victor draw guns. “You might want to hold off,” Walt says defiantly. “Your boss is going to need me.”
Jesse arrives at Gale’s apartment and draws his gun. “You don’t have to do this,” Gale pleads. Jesse, his eyes tearing, pulls the trigger.