Season 3 Summary
Like the cover of the season 2 DVD, the cover for the season 3 DVD has Walt and Jesse on it in their protective cook suits. The only differences are that the suits are yellow and more professional looking, the two men are standing, and this time Jesse is the one holding the gun (behind his back).
Albuquerque is in shock after the mid-air collision at the end of the second season. Walt tells Skyler about his involvement in the meth business, and she asks for a divorce and for him not to try to see the children. Walt is initially hesitant to take Gus up on a lucrative offer to continue cooking meth in a high-tech “superlab,” but later discovers that Jesse, out of rehab, has cooked a batch of the blue meth by himself using Walt’s techniques. Furious at this, Walt accepts Gus’ offer, leaving Skyler with signed divorce papers that list him as the financial provider for the family.
Jesse, meanwhile, has used Saul Goodman to help him buy his aunt’s house anonymously, surprising his parents. He misses Jane terribly, but, remembering how she died, stays clean and continues to attend outpatient counseling sessions.
Hank, despite orders to go to El Paso, follows a tenuous lead on the “Heisenberg” case, and ends up linking Jesse and his RV to the blue meth. Walt races to the vehicle lot to try to get rid of the evidence, but Jesse, tipped off by Badger, inadvertently leads Hank there before the RV can be destroyed. Walt, with the yard owner’s help, has Jesse claim rights against illegal searches and draws Hank’s attention away with a feigned emergency call regarding his wife, giving them time to crush the RV. Furious at the trick and the invasion of his personal life, Hank assaults Jesse at his home, leading to his temporary suspension from the DEA.
Meanwhile, two assassins from the cartel arrive in Albuquerque to avenge the death of Tuco, their cousin. Hector Salamanca directs his nephews to Walt, but Gus holds them off, saying Walt works for him. In exchange, he gives the assassins the name of Tuco’s killer, Hank. On his way home from the meeting at which he was suspended, Hank is warned by an anonymous caller of their imminent attack. He’s able to kill one hit man and severely wound the other, though he takes gunfire that leaves his legs paralyzed. With the police investigating Hank’s attackers, Gus has cartel leader Juan Bolsa killed, ending the cartel’s access to the area and putting him in control of the meth business there. Walt realizes that the assassins were meant for him and, understanding Gus’s strategy, fears him.
Jesse has agreed not to press assault charges against Hank because Walt’s asked him to be his “fifty-fifty” partner and told him his meth was properly made. Walt likes Gale, the assistant he’s given at the superlab as a person, but needing to honor his deal with Jesse and keep him under his control, claims dissatisfaction with Gale, and is able to negotiate for Jesse to replace him.
Skyler, recognizing that there’s a connection between Walt’s drug business and the attack on Hank, offers to help Marie pay for Hank’s therapy, telling her that Walt, upset about his imminent death from cancer, has been earning illegal money gambling. Gathering family ranks, she also breaks off her affair with Ted. She admits that, afraid of having to incriminate her husband, she neglected to file her and Walt’s divorce papers. Concerned that Walt’s drug money be laundered correctly, Skyler annoys Saul Goodman (and Walt) in her efforts to find a legitimate business to funnel Walt’s drug money through. She talks Walt into buying the car wash where he used to work, volunteering to manage it on behalf of the family.
Jesse skims a small portion of the meth he and Walt are making for Gus at the superlab to sell on his own, an action that both Gus and Walt are aware of but don’t discuss. Seeing Andrea, a young woman he met at his rehab sessions, he discovers that her younger brother Tomás killed Combo on the orders of Gus’s street-level dealers. Jesse tries to talk Walt into poisoning these two dealers with ricin-laced hamburgers delivered by meth addict and prostitute Wendy, and when Walt refuses, is about to execute the plan on his own. At the last minute, Jesse is scooped up by Gus’s men, Mike and Victor, and taken to a meeting at Gus’s chicken ranch. There, he refuses to “make peace” with the dealers until Gus orders them to end the involvement of children in drug trafficking. When, soon after, Tomás is gunned down, Jesse surmises that Gus’s agents are responsible. He goes to exact revenge, but before the two thugs can kill Jesse, who’s approaching them, gun almost drawn, Walt arrives and runs them over with his car. Shooting the one that’s still alive with his own gun, Walt tells Jesse to run.
A day or two later, Walt has to face an angry Gus. He tells his boss that Jesse has left the area, and that they should continue their business arrangement and forget that he ever existed. Gus reinstates Gale as Walt’s assistant, and has his right-hand man, Victor, oversee everything that take place in the lab. From Gale’s questions about the meth cooking process, Walt realizes that Gus plans on killing him once he’s outlived his usefulness. Meeting Jesse in secret, he tells him they need to kill Gale to protect themselves. Jesse thinks Walt should turn himself in to the DEA and get into the witness protection program while he flees the area, but he agrees to locate Gale’s residence so Walt can kill him. Some nights later as Walt prepares to kill Gale, he’s instead brought to the lab by Victor on the pretense of a chemical spill. When Walt sees Mike, Gus’s “cleaner,” there, he realizes his time is up, and offers Jesse’s current location to save himself. He calls Jesse under the pretense of luring him in, but instead tells Jesse to kill Gale, knowing that Gus’s men will not be able to arrive in time to stop it. Jesse, reluctantly but loyally, goes to Gale’s apartment and, hand shaking and tears in his eyes, shoots him.