Season 3, Episode 12

Half Measures

Against Walt's advice, Jesse lashes out. Fearing for Jesse's safety, Walt takes drastic action to intervene. A tragic event leads to a shocking confrontation.

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Wendy the meth whore turns tricks outside the "Crystal Palace" motel. Her finances replenished, she exchanges cash and burgers for blue meth with the dealers behind Combo's murder. Jesse, nearby in his car, watches the deal go down.

Walt sits in his car's passenger seat while Walter, Jr. practices for his upcoming driving test. When the two arrive home, Skyler privately presses Walt about the car wash scheme. Walt uses the opening with Skyler to negotiate four nights of family dinners a week claiming that the new family car wash business would be more plausible if they seemed reconciled.

At a bar after work, Jesse shows Walt the blue meth he purchased from Tomas and the dealers responsible for Combo's murder. "They work for our guy," deduces Jesse. Referring to Tomas, he says, "They used this little kid like some puppet. They used him to shoot my friend."

Jesse asks Walt for ricin, the slow-acting poison Walt suggested they use on Tuco. Jesse plans to have Wendy slip the dealers tainted burgers when she buys meth. Walt calls the plan "ridiculous," reasoning that he and Jesse lost a simple turf war, and that murdering Combo's killers at this point won't achieve anything. "I'm doin' it," a furious Jesse replies, "with or without you."

At the hospital, Marie baits Hank by mentioning to Walter, Jr. that the doctors say he is well enough to be released. "I can't move my legs," Hank angrily retorts, countering that he should not leave the hospital until he can walk. Walter, Jr. asks if Hank is suggesting that everyone in a wheelchair or crutches should be hospitalized. "That's exactly what I'm saying," Hank grumbles.

Walt and Saul wait in the law office for Jesse, who doesn't show. "He is going to do it. Or try, at least," says Walt, referring to the ricin plot. "Could you get him arrested?" Walt asks, grasping at straws, reasoning that Jesse will have time to calm down if he's off the street.

Over at the motel, Jesse tries to ease Wendy's qualms about committing murder by appealing to her maternal instincts — she has a son named Patrick. "These guys using kids like that?" he says, "they gotta go."

Mike surprises Walt with a visit to his home to tell him that neither he nor Saul will be pursuing Walt's suggestion of getting Jesse arrested. "My boss. Your boss," he says, revealing that he also works for Gus, would "take it as a problem" if Jesse landed in jail.

Mike then tells Walt a story about confronting a chronic wife abuser back when he was a beat cop. Mike intervened, and almost killed the wife-beater, but gave in when the abuser promised to change his ways. Shortly thereafter the man beat his wife to death. Mike's mistake was to take a half measure when he should have killed the abuser. "No more half measures, Walter," he says referring to Jesse.

At the drug corner, Wendy sits in Jesse's car clutching a bag of poisoned burgers, but the dealers aren't in their regular spot. Mike and Victor take Jesse and Wendy by surprise and whisk Jesse away to Gus's factory farm.

Walt and Gus sit side by side. The rival dealers are also present at this ad hoc summit. Gus concedes that his employees may have "acted rashly" in murdering Combo, but that "the man was selling on their territory. There is blame on both sides."

Jesse accuses Walt of ratting him out. "You have one friend in this room," dismisses Gus, adding that without Walt, "I would be dealing with this in a very different way."

Gus orders Jesse to make peace with the dealers. Jesse refuses. "They use kids," says Jesse. "You're supposed to be some kind of 'reasonable' businessman. This how you do business?"

Incensed by Jesse's insolence, but committed to finding a resolution, Gus tells the dealers "No more children," and orders Jesse to shake their hands.

Jesse leaves the farm in Walt's car. "Your actions, they affect other people," rationalizes Walt. "Sometimes compromises have to be made." Jesse doesn't respond.

Over at the hospital, Marie gives Hank a sponge bath and playfully bets him that she can arouse him using her hand. Certain that nothing will happen, Hank agrees to return home if she succeeds. "You got one minute," he says. Later that day, with a victorious smile pasted on her face, Marie wheels Hank out of the hospital.

Jesse and Andrea are post-coital and enjoying each other's company in bed when the phone rings. Andrea becomes hysterical as she listens to her grandmother's news. They rush to an abandoned playground, where Tomas's bike lies on the ground, his dead body nearby.

The next day, Walt impatiently calls Jesse from the lab but gets only his voicemail.

That evening at Skyler's, Walt sneaks to the bathroom to call Jesse, but again gets his voicemail. "I hope you're not waiting for an apology, because I did not rat you out," says Walt defensively.

After the call, Walt hears a TV news report describing Tomas's death as another casualty of Albuquerque's drug war. Walt, concerned, abruptly leaves the family dinner.

Jesse, parked at the drug corner, snorts some meth to get his confidence up. Spotting the dealers' black car, he picks up his gun and walks toward it. The dealers, also armed, notice Jesse and menacingly walk toward him.

Just as Jesse draws his gun, Walt plows into the dealers with his car. One is killed instantly. The other, badly injured, reaches for his gun. Walt rushes over, grabs the gun, and shoots the dealer in the head.

"Run," Walt tells Jesse.