Season 4, episode 5: “Shotgun”

06 Aug

Breaking Bad, 4-5: “Shotgun”


Walt is driving his Aztek way too fast, weaving in and out of Albuquerque street traffic. He talks to Saul on his cell phone: “Tell me you understand, Saul. Every last dollar. Make sure she gets everything.” Then he calls and leaves a message for Skyler, still driving insanely: “Just wanted to say I was thinking about you and the kids. I love you.” He reaches under his seat for his 38 snub.

Scene 1: Los Pollos

Walt careens into the Los Pollos parking lot, checks to make sure his gun is loaded, and gets out. Tense music plays as he goes up to the counter, where he tells the manager he needs to “see Gus Fring now.” Told Gus isn’t there, he says, “I’ll wait,” and sits in a booth, noticing a camera mounted high on the wall.

Three tough-looking Hispanic guys come in, and Walt’s phone vibrates. “Hello?”

Mike’s voice says, “Walter, what are you doing?”

“Where’s Jesse?”

“Jesse’s with me. He’s fine.”

“Do you expect me to believe that?”

“Cross my heart, Walter.”

“Where is he?”

“Hold on.”

We hear Jesse say, “Yo.”

“Jesse – ”

“Yeah. S’up?”

“Where are you?”

“With Mike.”

“Are you all right? Is there a gun on you? What’s going on?”

“We’re driving.”

“Driving where?”

“I don’t know…uh – north.”

“Why is he driving you? Where are you going?”

“Beats me.”

“Put Mike back on.”

“Hello again.”

“Tell me now exactly what’s going on.”

“Jesse’s with me today. So, what you need to do is go back to your lab and get on with the cook. You’re gonna have to muddle through this one without him, okay? That’s what’s going on. Goodbye, Walter.”

Walter goes back to Gus’s office, despite the manager’s protestations, but Gus isn’t there.

Scene 2: Mike and Jesse do dead drops

Mike turns off the highway onto a desert dirt road.

“What you told Mr. White was just bullshit, right?” Jesse, wearing a leather jacket, has his keys splayed out in his right hand where Mike can’t see them. “What do you figure on, just leavin’ me in a ditch?”

“What do you care?”

“I don’t. But I’ll tell you now, you better shoot straight, old man, or I’ll slice off your other ear before this is over.”

Mike stops at a windmill, pops the trunk, and gets out. Jesse gets out, too, and takes a fighting stance. Mike, a shovel over his shoulder, approaches, then passes a surprised Jesse. Thirty feet into the desert, Mike uncovers a wooden lid, reaches down for a zippered canvas bank bag, replaces the lid, and shovels dirt back on top of it. We can see Jesse’s black T-shirt with a white raccoon face on it and hear the clanking of the windmill as Mike returns to the car. He puts the bag in the spare tire well, stows the shovel, and shuts the trunk, saying to Jesse, “You comin’? We gotta do this six more times today with a lotta miles in between. I’d like to finish before dark.”

Scene 3: Hank’s bedroom, more dead drops, the lab

Hank, wearing a DEA fun run shirt, tells his detective friend Tim that he believes Gale was Heisenberg, but other than that only knows Badger and Jesse Pinkman in connection with the blue meth. He says it would surprise him if Jesse was the shooter.

After Tim shows Hank a composite drawing of Victor and says there are prints from Gale’s apartment that still haven’t been identified, Hank says, “I appreciate your giving me this case to work on, but finding this guy Heisenberg dead like this kinda feels like closure to me.”

Mike gets another bank bag from an upside-down bucket hanging from a rafter in an abandoned factory. Returning to the car, he sees that Jesse is standing guard. “You don’t have to do that,” he says.

“This is why I’m out here, right? Your backup?”


“So, if I’m out here to guard the money, I need, like, a gun.”


Jesse’s wearing black jeans and sneakers; Mike’s dressed in black, too. In the car, Mike writes in a notebook as Jesse talks some more about needing a gun. Then Jesse pulls out a cigarette. Mike gives him a meaningful look, and he says, “I can smoke, can’t I?”

“Not a chance.”

There’s time-lapse photography of more dead drops, Jesse bored in the car, and Mike getting annoyed, as a woman sings a rap song in Spanish. “It’s finally hitting me what the plan is here,” Jesse says. “It’s to bore me to death, so mission accomplished. You know, I really do get what’s goin’ on with all the dead drops. Me and my boys had the exact same system when I was runnin’ things. Not the same cheese you guys are slinging, but the same theory. I mean, separation between dealer and supplier – reduced risk. Look – don’t you think it’s be good if there was some back and forth communication here? You got me ridin’ shotgun to every dark anal recess in the state – be nice if you clued me in a little. I mean, I’m here to do a job, right? And, I mean, yo – like, if I’m the guy, you should just tell me what the hell’s up.” Mike pulls over. “What?”

“You are not the guy. You’re not capable of being the guy. I had a guy, but now I don’t. You are not the guy.”

“Then what the hell am I doin’ here?”

“I don’t know. It’s not my call. I just do what I’m told. And now you’re gonna do what you’re told, which is to sit here, shut up, and stay in the car till we finish our pickups. Got it?” Mike gets back on the highway.

We hear more of the woman singing Spanish rap as Walt works in the lab by himself. He seems to be getting tired, as machines beep and he pushes buttons. He takes off his respirator, sits down, and throws away his blue gloves. Then his watch beeps, and he jumps up.

Scene 4: Casa Blanca, the lab, dead drops

Walt and Skyler sign the final papers in their purchase of the car wash, and the realtor leaves. “Wow! It’s official,” Skyler says. She admits feeling nervous and scared. “It’s a big step, Walt.”

“We’ll be fine.”

“There just can’t be any more secrets or mistakes like before. There has to be complete honesty.”

“I’m all for that.”

Later, Skyler plays the message Walt left earlier in the day, turns to him, and they end up tearing each other’s clothes off in the bedroom. Afterward, Skyler says Marie wants them to come to dinner “tomorrow night. She says it’s the only thing that’ll get Hank out of his room.” Junior comes home from school, and calls “Mom!” and “Dad!” and Skyler hurries to shut the bedroom door. She says, “Maybe you should move back in, just so it’s easier to explain to everyone.”

Back at the lab, Walt has problems using the forklift. He shouts to the camera, “Hey! This is a two-man job! I can’t do it alone. That’s it! Finished! Nothing else happens until I get my partner back.” He’s lying on the lab couch when he hears someone coming in. “Jesse?” It’s Tyrus. “Where’s Jesse? I need him! Jesse operates the forklift, not me, so I suggest – are you listening to me?”

Tyrus almost runs over Walt’s feet with the forklift. He picks up the barrel Walt dropped and asks, “Where do you want it?”

It’s dark by the time Mike pulls into an alley, the last stop according to Jesse’s count. Waiting in the car while Mike’s inside, Jesse drums on the dashboard, sings a bar or two of “Fallacies,” and yawns. Another car pulls up, and a figure approaches the car with a sawed-off shotgun. Jesse backs up, knocking the man down, and crashing into the other car. He drives away, as Mike comes out, sees the strange car chasing Jesse, and runs down the alley.

A few minutes later, Mike’s standing in front of Garcia’s Café, saying into his phone, “I’m gonna need to be picked up,” then, as Jesse pulls up at the curb, “Cancel that.” Inside the car, Jesse says, “This dude was comin’ right at me with a shotgun. They, like, blocked the alley. They were going to rip us off, man! I didn’t have a choice. I put it in reverse, slammed into the guy’s car – ”

“I saw.”

Jesse’s still catching his breath. He pulls out a cigarette, then remembers, but Mike says, “Go ahead, kid – smoke up.”

Scene 5: the lab, Pollos

When Walt arrives at the lab the next day, Jesse’s banging on a tray of product, breaking it into crystals. “What are you doing?” he shouts.

“Breakin’ the ice.”

“I mean, what are you doing here? Where’s your car?”

“Mike dropped me off.”

“Jesse, what happened yesterday? Where were you?”

“I was out with Mike, helping make pickups.”

“Picking up what?”

“Cash – dead drops. Mike made the pickups and I guarded him.”

“You guarded Mike? What is this, some kind of joke?”

“Hey, you know what? Two dudes tried to rob us, and I saved the stash. I took care of business, just like I’m takin’ care of business right now. You wanna stand there dickin’ around, or you wanna suit up and get to work? I’m meeting up with Mike again tonight.”


“Guess I have two jobs now.”

Gus comes out of Pollos and gets in Mike’s car. “Any injuries?”

“Twisted ankle – nothing too bad. It all went like you thought it would, more or less.”

“I will of course reimburse you for the damage to your vehicle…Question?”

“More than a few, yeah. But I know better than to ask. Anyway, just like you wanted, the kid’s a hero.”

Scene 6: the Schraders’

The Whites and the Schraders sit around the dinner table and talk about the car wash. Walt’s getting pretty heavily into the red wine, still nervous about the danger from Gus and mad about Jesse falling under Mike and Gus’s influence. Junior asks Hank about the “case with the crazy singer guy,” and Hank says, “I’m off that now.”

“Who was he?” Skyler asks.

“A meth cook,” says Junior.

Hank corrects him: “He was a meth chef. We’re talkin’ five stars with candles and a white tablecloth. He was a genius, plain and simple.”

Walt, gets even angrier at this – Gale stealing his thunder? He drinks more wine, and says, “Hank, not to tell you your business, but I’m not sure I agree.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I mean you showed me that notebook, and from what I saw – genius? Not so much. There was no analysis or deduction – it was simple rote copying, probably of someone else’s work.” Skyler, sitting next to Walt at the table, is getting visibly nervous as he continues, “This genius of yours – maybe he’s still out there.” Hank listens intently.

The next day Hank’s at the same table, working, when Marie gets back from the store. As she unpacks her purple grocery sacks, he explains: “Tim brought over some file boxes on that case…Thought I’d take another peek.” He’s looking at pictures taken in Gale’s apartment, and is struck by one of a Pollos menu with a number written on it. He reminds Marie (and himself) that everything all of Gale’s food was “organic, fair trade, and vegan. Since when do vegans eat fried chicken?”


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