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Season 3, Episode 2: “Caballo sin Nombre”

13 Jul

Breaking Bad, 3-2: “Caballo sin Nombre”

Opener

Walt’s drives down the highway, feeling cocky, and singing along with Neil Young’s “Horse with No Name.” A cop going the other way turns around and flashes his lights. Walt pulls over, but leaves the music playing loudly till the cop insists he turn it off.

When Walt finds out he’s been stopped because of his cracked windshield, he argues, in effect, that as a victim of “Wayfarer 515,” the airplane crash that dropped debris on his house and car, he’s entitled to drive as long as he wants without repairing the damage. It’s as if he wants to keep the windshield as is, so that he can  see himself as one of the many victims of the crash, instead of the indirect cause of it. When the cop cites him, saying his car “isn’t safe to drive,” Walt gets out of the Aztek in a rage, despite an order to stay in and then return to it. Out of control, he spews abuse at the officer. “Hellfire rained down on my house! My house – where my children were sleeping! Body parts rained down in my yard!”

Finally, after saying, “Sir, this is your last warning,” the cop pulls a can of pepper spray from his holster, inciting Walt to even greater heights of anger. “You’re going to pepper spray me for exercising my 5th Amendment right to free speech?” Well, yes. The next time we see Walt, he’s crying, face red, in the back of the cop car.

Scene 1: the DEA office

Hank shows his team a photo of the burned hay/migrant truck, a “chicken run out of Juarez and Laredo,” that ended with nine illegals and the driver murdered. “It looks like high-end cartel work,” he says, “a message for our side of the border. Maybe one of those extra crispies knew something he shouldn’t. Keep your eyes open.” This is highly ironic from a later perspective, as the Salamancas will end up gunning Hank down and paralyzing him.

Hank and Gomez are both wearing dark shirts and have blue ribbons pinned on their chests. They confer together, agreeing that it’s been 29 days since they’ve seen “the blue meth” in Albuquerque. Then Hank’s phone rings – it’s Walt, calling from the police station.

Scene 2: in front of Jesse’s old house

A 45-day metal sobriety disc hangs from Jesse’s rear view mirror as he parks in front of a house “for sale” sign. Wearing a plain, dark, collared shirt over a white “T”shirt, and dark pants, he looks good.

We see a workman, then Jesse’s dad in the yard.

Mr. Pinkman: “Jesse?”

“Hey, dad. Fixin’ up the house?”

“Doin’ a little work, yeah.”

The house, a two-story adobe with a red-tiled roof, doesn’t look anything like our memory of Jesse’s old house, but we’re supposed to believe it is, extensively renovated. (This actually happened, apparently, during the second season.) It has a covered porch on one side of the front door, a small adobe-fenced courtyard on the other, and a red-tiled building (garage?) beyond that.

“That’s cool,” Jesse says.

“You doin’ okay?”

“Yeah, I’m good. I just happened to be drivin’ by, and saw that sign. So, you’re sellin’ the place…”

Mr. P., wearing the blue ribbon, says, “Yes,” and describes extensive renovations, including fumigating the basement and putting in a new upstairs bath.

“Right on,” says Jesse. “Resale value. That’s great, Dad. Think I could get a tour?” When Mr. Pinkman says it’s not a good time, Jesse nods, and backs off a few steps.

Hearing, “You’re looking healthy. I’ll tell your mother – she’ll be happy,” Jesse comes closer again, and says, “Thanks. You know, I could come by sometime for dinner or something.”

Mr. P. nods. “Sometime…”

Getting that this will be no time soon, maybe never, Jesse still manages to smile. “Okay. Later, Dad,” he says, walking back to his car.

Scene 3: an Albuquerque police station, Hank’s car

Walt’s handcuffed to a chair as Hank negotiates his release by describing his history and background. Walt gives the cop who arrested him an abject apology. In the car, he tells Hank that Skyler’s divorcing him. “She doesn’t want me to see the kids.”

“She said that?”

“Yeah.” Still red-eyed, Walt looks terrible.

Scene 4: the Beachcomber laundry room, Walt’s room

Saul comes in while Walt’s doing laundry at his new place, and they adjourn to Walt’s room. When Walt describes “disaster,” Saul says at least Skyler isn’t going to the cops. Apparently, she recognizes what the “blowback” of that could be, including the seizure of the White home. “She’s bluffing, and she knows it,” he concludes.

“Her going to the police is not the point, Saul. I’ve lost my family – everything I care about.”

“Hey, buddy. It’s bad. It’s a calamity. But we live to fight another day. And, after a decent interval of time – well, there are other fish in the sea. Get back on the horse, and get cookin’.”

“I can’t be the bad guy.”

“What?”

“I can’t be the bad guy.”

“Okay, we’ll revisit. Just promise me you won’t hang yourself in the closet.”

Scene 5: an Albuquerque park

We see Kaylee, Mike’s granddaughter playing, then running to him for money for the ice cream man. Mike’s the perfect crusty grandpa with the heart of gold. His phone rings. Saul tells him their client has “wife problems,” and gives Mike the Whites’ address.

Scene 6: Casa Blanca

We see the SaveWalterWhite website, then Skyler, Junior, Hank, and Marie, eating takeout at the dining room table. Skyler says, “Flynn’s looking for a part-time job.”

Junior reacts harshly, “My name’s Walter, Jr. What? You can’t even say his name?”

Skyler is calm: “If you’ve changed your mind about being called Flynn, all you have to do is tell me.’

“You know what? Dad didn’t even show until fourth period! And his eyes were all red, like he’s been crying or something…But you don’t even care! And now he won’t drive me home. He won’t say why, but I know it’s because you told him not to!” He stands. “You may not love him anymore, but I do! I mean…why do you gotta be such a bitch?”

Hank objects, and Skyler says, “It’s all right.” Junior slams his door, as Marie consoles Skyler.

Hank says, “Skyler, it’s none of my business, but – you don’t want him with the kids?”

Skyler, hurting and alone, but trying to be cool: “You’re right, Hank. It’s none of your business.”

Outside, Hank and Marie speculate about what’s going on. Hank thinks Walt’s been cheating on Skyler, but Marie thinks if it was “just” that, her sister would have told her about it. “It’s something more.”

Scene 7: Saul’s office

Saul gives Jesse his money, and Jesse asks Saul if he wants a job.

Scene 8: Walt’s place

Walt walks by the complex pool, then goes back and uses the skimmer to fish out the one piece of trash in it. Then he climbs the stairs with his briefcase. At the top is Junior, with all his stuff.

Scene 9: an Albuquerque retirement home

We see a mylar “Happy Birthday!” balloon and old folks dozing in front of the TV. Dumb music plays, as a white-haired lady drops one of the pieces of her “Two White Kittens” puzzle.

The Salamanca brothers are visiting Hector, who sits in his wheelchair, bell at the ready. One of them finds a Ouija board in a stack of games, and puts it on the table. With Hector dinging as one brother points to the letters, the other writes on a pad. The letters spell out “WALTER WHITE.”

Scene 10: Beneke and Walt’s place

Ted enters the meeting room where Skyler has work materials spread out on the conference table. Baby Holly, in pink, is in her car seat on the floor. Ted says, “I just wish you could be back full-time. You do brighten up the place.”

Skyler: “Listen – I can’t sign off on these quarterlies. If you’re gonna do this, it can’t be so glaring.”

Ted shuts the door and proposes pushing twenty odd thousand into “next quarter…Maybe you could sign it then.”

Skyler, carefully trying to avoid complicity: “All I’m saying is I can’t sign it as it currently exists.”

“I’ll take care of it.”

“What if, later, your kids find out?”

“I’ll say I did it to provide for them. But, really, Skyler, I haven’t thought that far ahead – I’m just trying to keep my head above water.”

Skyler gets a call from Walt about Junior. Walt says he’ll bring their son wherever she wants, and they agree to meet at home.

Next we see Walt and Junior sitting on the end of Walt’s bed, as Walt lovingly explains why his son has to go home. “Your mother has her reasons…There are two sides – always…This is just how it has to be – for now.”

“But it’s your house! You haven’t done anything wrong! And everybody’s on your side!”

“It’s not about taking sides…I love you and your sister, and you’ll come first always.” They hug, and then Walt, anticipating being able to win Skyler over, goes in the bathroom for a shot of mouthwash and a dab of aftershave.

Scene 11: the Pinkmans’ lawyer’s meeting room

Saul offers to buy the property at 9809 Margo for $400,000 cash, half the Pinkmans’ asking price. They’re about to walk out when he threatens to reveal that a meth lab used to be in the basement. “I applaud your cojones,” he says, “but I could file suit and encumber the property indefinitely.”

Scene 12: Casa Blanca

Walt brings Junior back, along with a giant pizza, but Skyler stonewalls him at the front door. Frustrated, Walt throws the pizza on the garage roof as he leaves.

Scene 13: Walt’s place the next morning

Walt’s lying on the floor in his underwear on top of spilled popcorn, surrounded by empty beer bottles. The eyeball watches from under the bed.

Skyler calls and leaves a message asking if he knows anything about a pizza on the roof. She says he needs to “calm down” and accept the status quo, or she’ll get a restraining order. Walt jumps up, trying – unsuccessfully – to get to the phone, bumping his head on the table. “Restrain this!” he shouts, grabbing his crotch.

Scene 14: Jesse’s old/new house

Mr. and Mrs. Pinkman are loading pots of flowers into the back of their car. “Poor Jake,” Mrs. P. says. “He had his heart set on going to space camp.” She sees Jesse driving up. “Oh, no! God!”

“Hi, Mom…Dad…How’s it going?”

“This isn’t a good time,” Mr. P. starts to say, as his wife adds, “Jesse, the house has been sold. The new owners are expected any moment.” Jesse’s headed for the front door. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Bought the place,” Jesse says, holding up his keys. He goes inside.

Scene 15: Casa Blanca

After Skyler and Junior leave the house the next morning, Mike gets out of a blue car with a duffle bag and a metal suitcase. Noting the pizza on the roof, he goes around the house and drills a hole in the wall. He inserts something on a cable-type cord, then hides it with a potted plant.

Walt drives up and gets out of his car with a suitcase and a black duffle bag, as Mike does something to the outside wiring of the house. Walt tries to open the front door, but Skyler’s changed the locks, so he tries windows, and finally gets in through the crawl space, as Mike hides.

Walt crawls through cobwebs and enters the house through the utility closet. As Mike’s leaving, he sees a dark car pull up. The cousins, one wearing a metallic silver suit, the other a metallic zinc suit, get out of the car, one of them carrying an axe. Somehow managing to get in through the front door, they walk through the house.

Walt’s in the shower, singing. We see his surgery scar. The twins look at family pictures in the hallway, and Mike listens through his device to Walt singing “Horse with No Name.” Mike calls Victor at a commercial laundry, and Victor goes to Gus, who’s there looking at blueprints.

The cousins look in Holly’s room, then go in the master bedroom and sit on the end of the bed. They’re wearing black gloves, and the brother holding the axe taps his finger on the shiny side of its head. He picks the eyeball up out of Walt’s open suitcase, examines it, and tosses it back.

As Walt finishes his shower, still singing, the axe man feels his cell phone vibrate. He sees that the caller is “Pollos,” and shows the phone to his brother. Walt, toweling off, is obviously feeling cocky again. By the time he opens the bathroom door, the cousins are gone. He notices that the eyeball is in a different place in his suitcase, and, wearing the towel around his waist, looks down the empty hall.

Skyler and Junior are never to know how close they came to coming home to Walt’s mutilated body…

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