Season 3, episode 8: “I See You”

06 Aug

Breaking Bad, 3-8: “I See You”


We see Jesse’s painfully bruised back (and skull tattoo) as he takes off his hospital gown and starts to get dressed. A few minutes later, an orderly’s pushing him through the corridor in a wheelchair. “Are you okay waiting by yourself?” the guy asks when they’re outside in front of the hospital.

“Yeah, whatever.” Jesse lights a cigarette.

“You need to be twenty feet further that way, if you want to smoke.”

“So, roll me further, bitch!” Jesse may have agreed to cook again with Walt, but he hasn’t lost his bitterness about what’s happened. When an ambulance goes screaming by, he wheels himself toward the emergency entrance out of curiosity. An emergency room nurse asks, “What’s coming?” Opening the back door of the ambulance, an EMT says, “Male Caucasian, early 40s, multiple gunshot wounds.”

Jesse stands, and sees Hank’s unconscious face on the stretcher. Throwing his cigarette down, he follows the procession into the hospital till he comes to a closed door. He’s outside again in his wheelchair when Skinny Pete pulls up. “Sorry I’m late, man…Damn, brother – look at you! Smashed up! How you feelin’? You okay?” Rap music plays from the car radio.

Jesse, in the passenger seat, looks out his window, away from Pete, still thinking about what he’s just seen. “Actually, I’m great,” he says, breaking into a smile.

Scene 1: the lab

Walt and Gale stand in face-off position in the super lab, as Gale asks, “Was it just my mistake with the temperature?”

“It’s more than that.”

“Could you elaborate?”

“I just don’t think either of us would benefit from a prolonged association.”

“I set up the lab, and you said you liked the configuration.”

“I do, for the most part. It’s just that we have different rhythms, Gale…It’s as if I’m classical, and you’re jazz. And there’s nothing wrong with jazz. It’s just that I require classical.”

At this point, Jesse enters the lab, and says loudly from the balcony, “Shit! Man! This is the bomb!” He descends the stairs. “What’s up, partner? I can’t believe it! Jesus!”

Gale says, “Hi! Gale. Nice to meet you,” but Jesse ignores him. Talking to Walt with his back to Gale, he says, “We should have ditched that RV months ago! It’s all, like, shiny up in here!” This is Walt’s ‘classical.’

Walt and Gale are still standing as before, looking at each other. As Jesse continues to walk around, expostulating, Gale says, “I’m sorry…I seem to be missing something. This makes no sense.” Victor, who’s come in with Jesse, stands behind Gale, listening. When Walt doesn’t answer, Gale says, “So, I guess this is – ” He puts his hand out for a good-bye shake. Walt doesn’t respond, and Gale leaves.

Walt grabs Victor by the shoulder, and tells him, “This is for the best.”

“200 pounds a week,” is Victor’s response.

Finally, Walt and Jesse are alone, Jesse still enthusing, and Walt saying, “Okay. There’s a lot to show you – some new techniques to learn.”

“What, now?”

“Yes, now. We’ve only got a couple days before our next batch is due, and I need you to get up to speed.”

“Right on! It’s just that there’s no telephone line down here.”

“There’s a hot line for emergencies.”

“So, you haven’t talked to anybody today, other than Captain Nerd there…”


“Your brother-in-law…”

“What about him?”

Scene 2: the hospital, the lab

An emergency room crew is working frantically on Leonel, whose legs have been severed, when Walt gets to the hospital. Gomez tells the police guard, “It’s all right – he’s family.”

Merkert, Marie, Skyler, and Junior are in the waiting room. “I’m so sorry!” Walt says to Marie, moving forward to hug her as Skyler watches, seeming to get the connection between Walt’s illegal activities and what’s happened to Hank. “How is he?”

“We don’t know,” Marie says tearfully. “They shot him four times!”

When Walt tries to comfort Junior, the boy says, “I’m fine. I just need some air.” He brushes past Walt, declining his offer of help with the door.

Introduced to Merkert, Walt asks if there are “any details.”

Merkert says, “Two men ambushed Hank…No ID…Mexican nationals. Tattoos indicate affiliation with the drug cartel.”

“Why did they attack Hank?”

“We’re not sure yet. It may have been in connection with the investigation Hank was working on, or it may have been a message to the DEA in general. They had an axe.”

“Jesus! Where are they?”

“Hank got ’em. He killed one outright, and the other one’s upstairs in critical condition.”

Gomez puts in, “Your brother-in-law’s one tough son-of-a-bitch to take ’em both out, considering he didn’t even have his gun.”

Marie gets up. “He didn’t have his gun? Why didn’t he have his gun?” Merkert explains that Hank was on suspension pending the investigation of his beating of Jesse Pinkman. “He should have arrested that little degenerate! He didn’t have a gun?” Marie turns to Gomez. “What kind of a partner are you? You were supposed to back him up, and where were you? Texas! And you! You’re supposed to protect your agents! Get the hell out of here!” Gomez tries to apologize, but Marie insists. “You’re not welcome here! The DEA is not welcome here!”

Skyler urges her sister to sit down. “It’s not just them,” Marie continues. “It’s you, Walt! This Pinkman Hank was looking for? He never would have heard his name if it wasn’t for you! Do you ever think about that, Walt? Do you ever think about all you put him through?”

Skyler says, “You’re upset, Marie, and you’re looking for someone to blame. But don’t blame Walt. It’s not his fault.” Marie, cries and the Whites comfort her.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Gomez and other cops are giving blood, and time is shown passing outside at the emergency room entrance…Walt drinks from a fountain and bathes his face. It’s early morning of the next day, and the whole family’s still in the waiting room. Walt starts to look at a magazine, then notices that the coffee table is tippy. As detail-oriented as ever, he tears paper from the magazine to make a shim for the short leg.

Meanwhile, Jesse’s playing as he waits in the lab. “Hello! Hello!” he cries, creating echoes. He jumps off a ladder, evidently feeling better. “Yo, yo, yo! Jesse Pinkman in the house!” Wearing black pants, a black-and-white print jacket, and a black “T” with an orange Halloween face on it, he bangs on a shiny stainless steel drum, and laughs.

Back in the hospital waiting room, there’s a call from the PA system: “Paging Walter White! Would Walter White please pick up a courtesy phone?” It’s Jesse. “Yo, you workin’ sometime this year? How long’s this grieving process? Put a clock on it for me. We have a schedule, right? It’s not my schedule, but we have a responsibility here.”

“I’ll get there when I get there.”

“You know what? Whatever. I’ll just cook on my own.”

“You will do no such thing.”

“Why not?”

“You’re not familiar with the equipment.”

“There must be a manual around here somewhere. I can read…Yo, stop treating me like I’m your asset! I’m not your bitch to order around – we’re partners. Remember?”

“I need you to sit patiently and wait.” Walt adds something completely extraneous, having noticed Skyler coming toward him in the hallway.

“Your wife there? Hey, tell your douche bag brother-in-law to head toward the light!”

Walt hangs up, as Skyler suggests getting breakfast for everyone. When Walt says brightly, “You know who that was?” she gives him a brief “no more lies, please” look, and turns and walks away.

The three Whites and Marie are having breakfast in the hospital cafeteria when Marie’s complaint that the forks are dirty turns into a rant about the hospital being a “death trap.” Walt launches into a long story about his experience having surgery in this hospital. The story concludes with his evocation of the drive to the hospital with his family. “We got every green light. How often does that happen? And I asked myself, ‘Why today?’ I just wanted to stay in the car with my family…Anyway, I survived this place, and I’m not half the man your husband is.”

Marie, tears in her eyes, is quiet. Walt reaches for her hand.

Scene 3: Pollos, the hospital, the lab

Gus, in his office, gets a call from Juan Bolsa, the cartel jefe. He says, “I heard they attacked a DEA agent. Why would they do that?”

“Someone gave them the go-ahead,” Bolsa responds. “We need to lay low for a while.”

“Your man is in custody.”

“I’ll get him a lawyer, and then we’ll learn the truth.”

“Well, keep me apprised.”

A doctor comes into the hospital waiting room and tells Marie and the Whites that Hank’s “on his way to recovery.” When Skyler suggests that Marie go home and rest, she says, “I’m not going anywhere,” and Junior adds, “Me neither.”

Walt manages to escape by offering to get toothbrushes for everyone. He runs into all the cops on his way out, and Gomez asks for news and introduces him around. Then he asks if Walt wants to see “the other guy,” and a group of 10-15 of them go upstairs. Leonel turns, and seeing Walt through his room’s window, tries to get out of bed. Throwing back his blanket and exposing the bandaged stubs of his legs, cut off above the knee, he falls on the floor. Ripping out tubes, he starts crawling toward the door, an evil look on his face and his stumps trailing blood. He’s wrestled back to bed.

In the lab, Jesse’s playing again, as reggae music plays. He’s blown up his yellow protective suit and is dancing around in it when Victor comes in and asks, “Why isn’t there anything cooking?” Jesse gets Walt on the hospital courtesy phone again and tells him, “We’ve got problems – big ones. Turn your phone on.”

Outside, on his cell, Walt says, “I told you to wait…Gus?”

“No, the other one, the one I’m qualified to speak to…Our quota is due tomorrow.”

“Remember when Tuco said some people were coming up from Mexico? His cousins?”

“Yeah, cousins. Why?”

A while later, Walt’s cell vibrates. Outside, he tells Gus that the delivery will be late. “Gale really screwed us up. We’re playing catch-up. I’m out doing errands…It’s all very technical, but we’ll have 400 pounds for you by next week.”

That night, still at the hospital, Walt asks Gomez, “Is there anything new on these guys?” Then: “Steve, do you think there could be others?”

Gomez answers, “Buddy, nobody’s getting to Hank. That was their one shot, and they blew it. So – no. No way…Jesus, I’d love to walk in there and shoot that bastard in the head!”

Walt: “Me, too.” We can see the wounded cousin through his room window. Gomez gets a call that Gus is having a party for the cops downstairs, donating food from Pollos Hermanos. Gus is also offering a reward for information about the case. He tells the family in the waiting room, “I wish I could do more.” Merkert thanks Gus for his support, then Gus says to Marie, “I can’t express how sorry I am. I actually met your husband. He was collecting money for Walt, who had health concerns. I hope there’s good news on that front.”

“Things have improved,” Walt says.

“That’s good to hear. It was clear to me how deeply he cares for you.”

Walt goes outside after Gus. “You knew my brother-in-law was with the DEA?”

“He’s not a problem for us, for our business.”

“You being here – is it some sort of message?”

“I’m just supporting my community. I hide in plain sight, the same as you. Are we done?”

“I don’t understand this attack – what it means. I fear for my family.”

“I’m sure they’ll be all right. The surviving assassin is gravely injured.”

Suddenly, there’s a flurry of cops heading upstairs. The hospital staff’s performing chest compressions on Leonel, who’s pronounced dead at 8:43 PM. We see Mike disposing of a syringe and leaving.

Back at Pollos, Gus gets another call from Bolsa. He tells him, “Your man died.”

Bolsa says federales are surrounding his house. “I think you’re behind this,” he adds. “When the others find out what you’ve done…” The police burst in, firing their guns, as Gus listens, smiling. He breaks his cell phone and throws it in the trash.

In the hospital waiting room, everyone sleeps – Marie with her head on Junior’s shoulder, Skyler with her head on Walt’s. The doctor comes in and says Hank is “stable enough” for a short visit. When everyone gets up, he says, “Just family,” and Marie says firmly, “We’re all family.”

They visit Hank in the ICU (“I See You”). Marie kisses the top of her unconscious husband’s head and takes his hand.

Breaking Bad episode titles

Trying to match “Breaking Bad” episode titles with episode events can be fun and instructive. Aron Hubbard and Jim Jones (probably not their real names) of the “Breaking Good” podcast available on iTunes try to find at least three instances of the title in each episode. I found seven in this episode: Jesse sees Hank on the incoming ambulance and in the emergency room hallway, Hank and Leonel are in the ICU, Walt and Leonel see each other, we see Mike leaving Leonel’s room after injecting something into his IV on Gus’s orders, Skyler’s onto Walt and his connection with Hank’s shooting, Victor (and hence Gus) are onto Walt re: his replacing Gale with Jesse, and Juan Bolsa realizes that Gus is behind the deaths of the cousins and the attack on his headquarters.


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