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Season 3, episode 11: “Abiquiu”

06 Aug

Breaking Bad, 3-11: “Abiquiu”

Opener

We see Georgia O’Keefe’s painting, “My Last Door,” with it stark intimation of death, then the camera pulls back to reveal Jane and Jesse looking at it in a museum. Apparently, they did make that trip to the Santa Fe area that they were talking about. When Jesse, in a yellow hoodie and a yellow, tasseled knit hat, complains that he doesn’t see any vaginas, Jane explains that she said some of O’Keefe’s paintings resembled vaginas. “Seriously,” Jesse responds, “not even close.”

Back outside, sitting in Jesse’s car on this beauttiful sunny day, Jane smokes a cigarette as she tries to explain why an artist would paint the same subject over and over. “Why do anything more than once?” Jesse asks, even though we know he made five attempts to create the perfect wooden box. He’s just joking, having fun with Jane, who says the same experience can be “new every time…It’s about making the feeling last.”

They seem very happy with each other as Jane puts her lipsticked cigarette out in the ashtray, then kisses her man.

Scene 1: the hospital, the lab, an NA meeting

Hank finds his first therapy session, in which he’s hanging from a harness, encouraged to try to take one step, so painful he has to abort it. Later, Marie shows Skyler the first therapy bill, adding that they’ll be coming weekly. Skyler says she and Walt can handle it.

At the lab, when Walt volunteers to weigh the product, Jesse says, “This is bullshit! You think I’m stealing.” Walt signals to him to be quiet, in case the lab is wired.

Jesse, Badger, and Skinny Pete are at an NA meeting at which the leader encourages new participants to speak. Andrea Cantillo introduces herself by first name, and admits she doesn’t want to be there.

At the doughnut table, Jesse gets mad when he finds out his friends are having a hard time selling meth to group members trying to “better themselves” (Badger) and showing “positivity” (Pete). “It’s like shooting a baby in the face,” Pete says.

“I’ll show you how easy it is,” Jesse counters, introducing himself to Andrea, and going outside with her.

Scene 2: Casa Blanca, Saul’s office

Walt, invited for dinner with the family, is good with the baby, funny, and charming. He feels he’s making inroads with Skyler, who brings up the subject of laundering the drug money and asks who his adviser is.

The next day they visit Saul’s office, and Skyler says, “If we’re going to go down this road, and clearly we are for the sake of my brother-in-law, I need some assurance that we’re going to go about it in a manner that’s safe and cautious.” She interrupts Saul’s Money Laundering 101 lecture, saying, “I’m a bookkeeper,” and Walt tells Saul that saying he won his money gambling was Skyler’s idea.

Saul says they should use Walt’s “one-time winnings” as “seed money for an investment,” and suggests that they buy a laser tag place he knows of. When Skyler objects that laser tag doesn’t fit Walt’s personality, Saul says she doesn’t need to be involved in the discussion, as he’s been laundering money for “a lotta years” without her help.

Scene 3: Andrea’s house, Casa Blanca, another NA meeting

Jesse and Andrea are on her bed kissing, and Jesse suggests using “something that lifts you off the ground.” Andrea’s interested, but says she can’t get caught using again. Jesse’s starting to say that he might be able to get some of the blue meth when Andrea’s grandmother comes in with Brock, Andrea’s son. After she leaves, Jesse charms Brock, inveigling him into a fist bump and a smile. Andrea, whose home is neat and nice, says Brock is “almost six.” She seems to be a good mother.

Meanwhile, Walt and Skyler, on their way home from Saul’s, are still discussing the money laundering question. “Safe and cautious is all I’m asking,” Skyler says, “and that man is neither.”

Walt: “I’ll admit he comes across like a circus clown, but he actually knows what he’s doing. And ‘safe and cautious’ is you not being involved in this at all.”

“Well, it’s a little late for that. This is what happens when you decide to pay our bills with drug money.”

“Skyler, this isn’t just about what happened before. My involvement in this is ongoing. Understand? I can’t just quit. I have something of a contract. It’s all very safe and rational, but I can’t simply quit.”

Skyler pulls into a parking area near the car wash where Walt used to work. “This is a story people will believe,” she says. “This is what you should buy.”

At another NA meeting, Badger and Skinny Pete use the break time to ask Jesse if he sold meth to Andrea. “What are you two even doing here?” Jesse asks. “If you’re not up to selling, what’s the point in coming?”

“I’m on, like, step 5,” Pete says.

“Deuce, yo!” chimes in Badger. “I’m catching up!”

Andrea comes out, Jesse says, “Later,” and the couple walks off arm in arm.

Pete: “Dude needs to come into the fold.”

“Yup,” agrees Badger.

Scene 4: a Mexican restaurant, near the car wash, Andrea’s

Jesse, Andrea, and Brock are having a meal at a Mexican restaurant, and Jesse tells Brock he has “magical powers.” He shows him some tricks, and Brock asks if he can do “tricks with firecrackers.”

“I don’t have any firecrackers on me. Who does tricks with firecrackers?”

“Tomás.”

“Firecrackers, huh? Who’s Tomás?”

“He’s my kid brother,” Andrea says, “and we don’t talk about him.” She’s wearing a dress, and Jesse’s in a yellow shirt and a hoodie the same dull purple color as his “Peekaboo” beanie.

Walt, showing Saul the car wash, says “It makes a better story than laser tag.”

“Is that you talkin’ or Yoko Ono?”

“She has a point.”

“There’s no Danny here,” Saul says, explaining that Danny, the laser tag guy, “will look the other way to keep his dream alive.”

Andrea, in bed with Jesse, asks if he’ll stay for dinner, then says, “If you’re holding, we could do something.”

“What? The kid’s coming home.”

“In a few hours.”

“And you want to get high?”

“I don’t know what you’re getting so pissed about. You’re the one who brought it up the other day.”

“That was before I found out you got a kid! What kind of mother are you?”

“What?” Andrea is young and innocent looking, a dark beauty, but very different from Jane. Strong, but no swagger or bright red lipstick. “How can you come to my house and judge me? I take care of my baby! The day he was born, I swore – I won’t let what happened to Tomás happen to my son. I’ll die first.”

“Sorry – I just – Look, I’ll get out of here if you want.”

“If that’s what you want to do, then go.”

“It’s not what I want. Look, I was out of line talkin’ about that stuff.”

“We both were.”

“You’re right. I don’t know what you’ve been through…You can tell me if you want.”

“A gang took Tomás in when he was eight years old. When he was ten, for some initiation or something, they made him kill somebody…They gave him a gun, and he shot some dealer from outside the crew.”

“Where?”

“Around the corner from here – by the train tracks.”

“When?”

“A few months back.”

“What else did he tell you?”

“He shot the guy dead, just ’cause he was working the wrong corner.”

Jesse has always felt responsible for Combo’s death. Now he feels responsible for Andrea’s family, too.

Scene 5: Hank’s hospital room, Casa Blanca

Marie tells Hank he’s being released at the end of the week, and he says he’s not ready. When she tells him she’s installed the same equipment at home, including a hospital bed, he says, “You get that out of my house! I leave this hospital when I walk out of here, and not before.”

At the Whites’, Walt tells Skyler about the need for a Danny, and she volunteers herself. “Who else could we trust? Walt, I’m in this, and if I’m in it, I’m gonna do it right.”

“You are not in this.”

“I’m married. How am I not in this?”

“We’re not married, Skyler. We’re divorced – right?”

“I never got around to filing the papers. Married couples can’t be compelled to testify against one another.

Scene 6: the lab, Gus’s house

Walt gets a phone invitation to Gus’s for dinner while he and Jesse are working in the lab.

Gus greets Walt at the door in a V-neck sweater, soft jazz playing, and asks his guest to help him cook a Chilean stew. After they’re seated at the table, Walt asks, “Why did you invite me here?”

“We’re working together,” Gus says. “Why not break bread together?” Later, he adds, “Walt, I would like to help you if I could.”

“How?”

“Well, when I first started out, I made a lot of mistakes. More than I care to admit. I wish there had been someone to advise me. You are a wealthy man now, and one must learn to be rich.”

“What advice do you have for me?”

“Never make the same mistake twice.” Gus could be referring to Walt’s continued association with Jesse, but in light of what happens later, I think he’s talking about the pair killing Tuco. He doesn’t want to be challenged by his new cooks.

Scene 7: Tomás’s corner

Jesse parks near the site of Combo’s death, and walks up to Tomás, circling, as before, on his bike. “Hey,” he says.

“What’s up?”

“You, Tomás. Heard you were the man.”

“Yeah? What you want?”

“Crystal. You think you could hook me up?”

“Three hundred.”

“For a teenth? C’mon, yo!”

The dark car approaches, driven by the same two thugs. Jesse goes over, and says, “Hey, s’up?” He gives them the money, and they drive off. Tomás gives Jesse the meth, and tells him to “bounce!” Jesse walks away, looking angry.

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