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Season 2, Episode 3: “Bit by a Dead Bee”

09 Jul

Breaking Bad, 2-3: “Bit by a Dead Bee”

Opener

Walt and Jesse bury Tuco’s handgun in the sand, and walk away toward the horizon. After a long, hot, waterless slog, they hit a dirt road, which leads to a paved two-lane. A truck stops for them, and Jesse says, “It’s a bold plan, Mr. White. Are you sure this is the way to go?” Walt gets in the back of the pickup with two Mexican men, leaving Jesse behind.

Next, we’re at the Hi-Lo Market in Albuquerque. A store clerk finds Walt’s shoe in the doorway, and follows the trail of clothing he’s discarded. She looks up and sees Walt, buck naked, back to her, approaching the prescription counter.

Scene 1: Walt’s hospital room

We see a watercolor painting of a family seeing their husband/father off on a journey in a rowboat. Then Skyler’s talking to a doctor about Walt being oriented now that he’s rehydrated. She and Junior hug Walt, in the hospital bed. “I’m so sorry,” Walt says. “I feel like myself now.”

“Uncle Hank was in a shootout,” Junior tells Walt.

“A shootout?”

“He killed some guy – some big drug dealer.”

“Is he all right?”

Skyler: “We’re all okay.”

Scene 2: the DEA office

Hank, being questioned by two superiors, tells a few lies about how the gunfight with Tuco started (“I identified myself…”). He indicates that Tuco was using an M-16 assault rifle, and says he had no backup because he was “tending to an unrelated family matter.” He tells his bosses that that’s resolved, that it was all based on a “misunderstanding…The Monte Carlo at the scene belonged to a former student of my brother-in-law’s, a Jesse Pinkman. I was tracking down Mr. Pinkman’s car when I came across Mr. Salamanca.”

“What was this Pinkman’s car doing at the crime scene? Have you run him down yet?”

“No.”

Scene 3: Jesse’s house, nighttime

Jesse and Badger, in Badger’s car, parked on the street, watch the police knocking on Jesse’s door. Badger: “What’d you do, rob a bank?”

“I told you. This is serious shit. I’m, like, an outlaw.”

The cops leave, and Jesse and Badger go down to Jesse’s basement. Badger: “Holy Christ! You’re Willy Wonka! Put me on your magical boat, man! Sail me down your chocolaty river of meth! I can’t let you break this down! This is sacrilege!”

“I told you – that’s why we’re here. You saw the cops…”

“Couldn’t we just cook one quick batch for the road?”

“No!”

“Dude, you owe me! I mean, we’re cool and all, but I ain’t forgettin’ you just left me stranded!”

Jesse, desperate, grabs Badger by the collar. “Badger! Don’t mess with me! Got it?”

“Yeah. I got it.”

Outside, Badger’s cousin wants $1,000 to tow the RV to his lot because of its “cargo.”

Jesse, wearing another black T-shirt with a big white skull on it, this time with a lolling pink tongue, says he only has $560. Badger vouches for him.

Scene 4: Walt’s hospital room

Walt’s oncologist and a woman doctor are asking him about his last memories before the blackout. The oncologist says Walt’s cancer hasn’t spread to his brain, and he hasn’t had a stroke or a seizure. Walt asks if his “fugue state” could have been caused by his cancer drugs or stress, and asks: “When can I get out of here?” He’s told that a psychiatric evaluation is being scheduled, and that the docs need to know what caused his lapse in order to prevent a reoccurrence.

Scene 5: the Crystal Palace motel and a DEA interrogation room

A swat team approaches Jesse’s motel room (he’s had Badger drop a dime on him). Wendy’s in there with him. Jesse’s really nervous. The swat team bursts in and arrests him. “What’s going on? What’d I do?”

In the DEA interrogation room with Hank and Gomez, Jesse says he’s been partying with Wendy for three days. He didn’t know his car was gone, and wasn’t answering his phone because it was in his car. Hank: “We found your car, but your phone wasn’t in it.” If they’d really searched around Tuco’s casita, they would have found Jesse’s and Walt’s phones and maybe even Tuco’s handgun. One also wonders why Hank isn’t making any connections between Walt being missing for three days, just like Jesse, the former student he’d been in contact with. Trust, even if misplaced, is a wonderful thing.

Jesse: You found my car? Awesome! DEA all the way!” He’s never going to see that car again.

Hank: “Since we’re talking about missing property, did you leave anything else in the car?”

“Like what?”

“Like this.” Jesse’s red sports bag, containing $67,920 in drug profits.

“That’s not mine…I wish…”

Hank: “Your story’s bullshit. I think you knew Tuco Salamanca. I think your car was there ’cause you were there. Tuco had a bullet in him when I got there. I think you know somethin’ about that, too.”

“What are you saying? I shot someone? With, like, a gun?”

“You? No. All the shootin’ you do is into a Kleenex. But I think you know the badass who did.”

“I was partying with Wendy.”

“I don’t think so. We’re going to talk to her, and you know what? I have a feeling she’s gonna roll on ya.” Jesse always pays a heavier price than Walt for their misdeeds, and none of it was his idea!!

But Wendy hangs tough when Hank, whom she recognizes from the pot-scare incident, questions her.

Scene 6: Walt’s psych eval

Walt reassures himself that what he says will be held in the strictest confidence, then confesses to the psychiatrist that he wasn’t in a fugue state – just needed some time away from all the problems he has at home. “Doctor, my wife is seven months pregnant with a baby we didn’t intend, my 15-year-old son has cerebral palsy, I am an extremely overqualified high school chemistry teacher when I can work, I make $47,000 a year, I’ve watched all my colleagues and friends surpass me in every way imaginable, and within 18 months I’ll be dead.”

Scene 7: the DEA interrogation room, and…

Hank and Gomez try to get Tio, otherwise known as Hector Salamanca, to identify Jesse as having been at Tuco’s, but he not only won’t, he shits his pants to show his disdain for the feds. Gomez, later: “I told you – this guy’s O.G. [original gangster, senior gang member]. He kept his mouth shut in San Quentin for 17 years. Stroke or no stroke, old school Mexicans don’t help the fed.”

Jesse, released, calls Walt in the hospital from a pay phone. “Your scumbag brother-in-law took my rainy day fund. $68,000. Now I got, like 80 bucks to my name.”

“What does he know? Does he know it’s your money?”

“No, man, he doesn’t know shit. The plan worked. He bought it. But I got bills to pay, man.”

“Did he mention my name?”

“No.”

“What about the basement?”

“It’s clean.”

“The RV?”

“Badger’s cousin took it to his garage.”

“Can he get it running again?”

“Why?”

“So we can cook.”

“You still want to cook. Seriously.”

“What’s changed, Jesse?” Walt hangs up.

Next, we see Walt sneaking into his own house in the middle of the night. He takes the money and Jesse’s pistol out of the diaper box and puts it all back in the vent space, stifling his cough. When a light comes on in the hall, he hides behind the door.

Junior enters the kitchen, where Skyler’s making tea. “Did I wake you?” she asks.

“No, I was awake. You okay?” They’re having a hard time with Walt’s latest escapade.

Walt takes a bus back to the hospital, seeing his smiling face on the family’s flyer. Townes Van Zandt’s “Waitin’ Around to Die” plays: “Sometimes I don’t know where this dirty road is takin’ me…but it’s better than just waitin’ around to die.” Walt sneaks into his room, painfully reinserts his IV (the dead bee?), and the camera pans to the watercolor on the wall. Walt’s moving further and further away from the family he’s trying to help.

Scene 8: Hank’s surprise party at the DEA office, etc.

Hank tells Gomez that the blue meth, being made “P2P style,” is the purest they’ve seen since Krazy-8. Hank muses, “Krazy-8, Tuco – somehow, some way, it’s all connected. Simple explanation, only I’m not seein’ it.”

Then there’s cake and a gift (Tuco’s “grill,” in a Lucite cube) to honor Hank for getting Tuco.

Hank visits Walt in the hospital as he’s being released, and Walt apologizes about putting Hank in danger. Hank says it made him a hero at the office and shows Walt and Junior Tuco’s grill (metal teeth, put on over one’s own teeth). “Cool,” Junior says.

Later in the Whites’ bedroom, Skyler, wearing her coral robe, is putting lotion on her legs. Walt comes in wearing his robe, and puts on his Heisenberg hat. He lets his robe drop to the floor, and makes a joke about going out (naked) to the 7-11. When they’re both in bed, he says, “Skyler, listen to me. This will not happen again. I won’t let it. I’m still here – I’m me, and we’re gonna be okay.”

“Walt…” Skyler says. “Do you have a second cell phone?” She retells the story of what happened just before he disappeared, saying that there’s no record of a call “on the phone that I know about.”

“Wow. That is odd. I don’t remember any of that. But one thing I am sure of is that I don’t have a second cell phone.” He goes to kiss her, and she turns away, turning off her light. He needs her love and support, but isn’t going to get it while he’s lying to her.

 

 

 

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