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Season 3, episode 4: “Green Light”

05 Aug

Breaking Bad, 3-4: “Green Light”

Opener

We see a gas station in the desert, the RV pulling in, and Jesse pumping gas. Inside, a young Indian woman says, “$79.50.”

“Crap,” Jesse responds, looking through his wallet.

“There’s an ATM outside, or you could write a personal check.”

“I’m kind of in between banks. Do you think maybe I could come back later? I’m totally good for it.”

“If it was just me…but my dad’s a hardass.”

“Maybe we can trade…” Jesse puts a little plastic bag of meth on the counter. “Ever tried it?”

“It’s really addictive, right?”

“Not really.”

“What’s it like?”

“It’s awesome.” Jesse’s blue eyes shine like stars, and a smile plays on his lips. “Come on, what do you say?”A cop comes in, but Jesse’s unfazed – he keeps his eyes on the flustered girl, who finally accepts the deal.

Scene 1: Saul’s office, Beneke, Casa Blanca

We remember that Saul had Mike install bugs at the Whites’ house (in 3-2) because of his concern about Skyler knowing the true nature of Walt’s business. Listening to the first tapes from the devices, Mike and Saul hear Walt say, “Ted Beneke? You can’t be serious! That guy is a joke! I told you I was done cooking!”

Skyler says, “If you don’t like it, leave,” and Walt responds, “I don’t care! Screw ’em all – I’m not going anywhere!”

In real time at Beneke, Walt comes in demanding to see Ted. Denied, he picks up a heavy plant and throws it at Ted’s glass office wall, which doesn’t break. Skyler appears on an upper balcony, crying, “Walt! What are you doing?”

“I’m talking with Ted.”

After two security men throw him out, Mike, who must having been tailing Walt, pulls up and throws him in his car. At his office, Saul asks Walt what’s wrong with him and reminds him he’s not the first guy whose wife has cheated on him. Walt says, “I just wanted to talk to Ted.”

“Yeah, well, now I’m talkin’ to you. Consider this as an intervention. You could have been arrested back there. Get your shit together!”

“How did you know?”

“Don’t bog down on detail.”

“Did you bug my house?”

“Yeah. But I didn’t know it was your house, did I? You moved out. We did our due diligence, and your wife didn’t talk to the police – that’s the silver lining here.”

“You’re fired!” Walt shouts.

“Oh, boo hoo! I won’t cook meth anymore…You’re a cry baby – who needs you?” Saul threatens to stop laundering Walt’s money on Junior’s website.

“I want those bugs out of my house today! I want them out now!!”

We see Mike removing the bugs as Walt stands over him. “A, these things cost $800 apiece. B, you’re not that interesting. So, yeah, I’ll get all of them, Walter,” Mike says.

Walt: “Great line of work, by the way. Real upstanding field.”

“Yeah, well – I enjoy it…You know, Walter, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have someone watching your back.”

As Mike leaves, we see a scythe crudely drawn in yellow chalk on the street in front of the White house – a message from the cousins.

Scene 2: Walt’s school, the airport drop-off

A clock ticks and a faucet drips as Walt stares off into space in his classroom while the kids wait. Carmen, the vice principal intervenes, telling in her office Walt that she understands he’s been under a lot of stress. “Still…” Walt asks Carmen about a picture of her dog, then sits by her on the love seat and makes a pass at her, seemingly wanting to be fired.

At the airport, Marie’s worried about Hank going back to El Paso. He reassures her, even though he doesn’t want to go himself. After she leaves, he gets a call that more blue meth has turned up, giving him an excuse to stay in town.

Walt comes out of the school with a carton of his belongings, and Jesse’s waiting for him in his car. “Yo, did you just get fired?”

“No – a sabbatical.”

“Should we go somewhere?”

“No, this is fine.”

Jesse tells Walt he wants to go back to cooking, “the one thing he’s good at.”

“Now that is just not true. You’re good at a lot of things, son.”

“Like what?”

“What about your sobriety?”

“I told you – I’m not using – ever. I just want back into the business.”

“Well, I don’t. I’m sorry.”

“I know – that’s cool.” Jesse shows Walt what he’s cooked and tells him how he did it, hoping his mentor will be proud of him.

But Walt’s pissed. “This is my formula! My product!” Shades of Gray Matter…

“It’s our product. And I was going to cut you in.”

“Oh, you were going to cut me in? No…I cut you in.” Walt can’t lose control – of Jesse or of their business.

“Yo, what the hell’s your problem? All I’m asking is for you to set up a meet.”

“No! I’m not going lend my name to an inferior product – this is very shoddy work.”

“No way – I gave out samples, and everyone said it was the bomb.”

“Who, a bunch of meth heads?”

“Yeah – they should know, right?” Jesse looks at the bag anxiously.

“You know what? I can’t help you.”

“Fine, ass wad. I’ll contact the guy myself.”

“Good luck, because my guy’s a pro, and he doesn’t deal with junkies.”

“You know what? Eat me!” Walt’s gotten out of the car by now, and Jesse drives off, allowing the carton of Walt’s belonging to fall off the vehicle’s roof, strewing family pictures, etc. all over the parking lot.

Scene 3: Ted’s place

Getting out of bed at Ted’s, Skyler tells him she wishes she could stay.

“What’s stopping you?”

“My lunatic husband.”

“Move in here.”

“My son hates me even more. And everyone at work thinks I’m an evil, ladder-climbing whore.”

“They’re all fired, effective immediately!” The two laugh. Then Ted asks, “Where’d it go wrong between you and Walt? I mean, I always saw him as kind of mild-mannered. Did he change when he got sick?”

“I don’t know what changed, Ted, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about it.”

“Just asking out of self-interest. I want to make sure I don’t make the same mistake.”

“I would be amazed,” Skyler says.

Scene 4, the DEA office, Saul’s office, etc.

Hank and Gomez question a guy about where he got the blue meth, and all he can come up with is that the man’s name started with “M.” After the he’s gone, Gomez says, “This stuff could be a knock-off, or left over from an older cook. This is the reason you’re blowing off El Paso?”

“I’m getting tired of all this second-guessing,” Hank responds. “If you’re not interested in this investigation, ask for a transfer.”

At Saul’s office, Jesse throws his bag of meth on the table, and asks to be put in touch with ‘the guy who knows the guy.’

Later, in an unidentified location, Gus meets with Mike. They discuss Walt, and Mike says, “The Pinkman kid’s looking to sell.”

“I don’t work with junkies.”

“He and Walt are splitsville.”

“Really? Do the deal.” Gus knows this will get Walt’s attention.

Driving all over with a list of drug suspects whose names begin with “M,” Hank gets a message from his boss, who says, “El Paso is breathing down my neck.” At the Indian gas station, where Hank questions the girl who took meth in trade from Jesse. She says, “I tried it; I hated it, so I gave it to Matt.”

“Okay…Who gave it to you?”

“Some guy, he came in here a couple of days ago, and traded it for gas.” She can’t really describe Jesse or his RV, and the store camera doesn’t work. Outside, Hank studies the ATM camera, and realizes that he can get a rough picture of the RV from it.

Scene 5: Casa Blanca, the DEA, etc.

At the White breakfast table, Skyler hides behind the paper. When Junior says it’s been three days since the last web donation, Walt says, “People lose interest,” then announces that he’s not going to work for a few weeks for health reasons.

“Dad can babysit now, right?” Junior asks.

“Sometime,” Skyler says. “Maybe…We’ll see…”

Elsewhere in the city, Jesse’s parked under an overpass. Victor, Gus’s henchman, drives up and throws him a bag of money, but it’s half what he thought it’d be. “It’s your half,” Victor says.

Hank shows his boss the ATM pictures of the RV, and tells him that since it had no front plate, it’s probably a New Mexico vehicle. He has a list of 29 “of these early ’80s Bounders” registered in New Mexico.

“They need you in El Paso, Hank.”

“I can’t go yet. I’m close to something big here.”

“Better get to it then.”

Driving in his car, Walt quickly changes the radio station when news comes on that “Donald Margolis was rushed to an area hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” At a red light Victor pulls up beside him and throws a bag of money in the car.

The light turns to green. Walt’s being pulled back in.

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