This second episode of Breaking Bad, titled “Madrigal,” saw Walt (Bryan Cranston) looking to start up the meth-making business again because there’s a gap of product and a demand for his 99% pure product. Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul) ask Mike (Jonathan Banks) if he wants in, but he tells Walt he’s nothing but trouble and a time bomb waiting to go off.
Meanwhile, an associate of Mike’s wants him to kill everyone involved with the Gus business so she doesn’t get sucked down into the legal issues with them. But Mike has vetted these 11 names and will not do a “prophylactic cleaning.” She is obviously a pretty paranoid woman, in how she set up the meet and was in some “movie spy” mode. It was a funny and sad scene. Yet when Mike tells her to let it go, she doesn’t. Which gets her another meeting with Mike, but this time with the business end of his silencer. But between not really wanting to shoot her, and needing money and toying over the offer from Walt and Jesse, he asks her instead if she can get some supplies that Walt et. al, need for their new business start up.
On Mike needing money, well, there’s the complication.
Last week when Walt and gang magnetized the police holding building, the cops found a routing number behind a picture. Apparently this routing number led the feds to various bank accounts of the men who worked for Gus. Now, instead of rich, silent partners, everyone is once again penniless. That includes Mike. No longer do the vetted men have that $2M nest egg. Which makes everyone edgy and nervous and desperate. Gads, I hate desperate ex-partners.
The feds went after the organization that backed Gus and the man who the cops came calling for kills himself.
Walt is trying to set up a new situation, aka, lab. He doesn’t want to be as far out in the desert as they used to be. He thinks that Saul (Bob Odenkirk) can find something closer… even in town.
But what amazes me is that to start this up, Walt has to borrow from Jesse. He has no money. In fact he already owes $40k to Jesse.
And through all this, there’s Skyler (Anna Gunn). Living a tense life, in fear of Walt. He’s not the man she married. He’s something different.
I’m amazed how tough Walt is carrying himself. It’s true, he’s gone through a lot and pulled a lot off. He’s eliminated all the threats he’s ended up facing. He’s pulled through every high and low he’s encountered. But he’s acting the gangsta and has no resources to back himself up with. It’s an interesting dichotomy. If he faces a problem, as in maybe another competitor stepping up, he has few resources to depend on. He’s got Jesse, Mike and … (You’ll see)
One thing we got a chance to see was a tiny slice of Mike’s private life, with family. See, he is human.
And Jesse may also be changing inside. He freaked about having lost his poison cigarette, worried someone else might pick it up and smoke it. He called Walt and good ‘ol Walt offered to help search for it. The then planted a second one in the automated vacuum and when Jesse found it, he broke down, feeling horribly that he pointed a gun at Walt. I think we’re about to maybe see a new Jesse come around.
And all I’m seeing is Skyler backing into an emotional corner. Pulling in, deeper and deeper. But she can only retreat so far. She has two children to look out for. She runs the money laundering car wash business. I wonder how she’s going to come out swinging? But yet, in a previous season, she had almost driven away from it all. She was at Four Corners and all she had to do was move forward. But instead, she turned around. That Skylar has to be somewhere in there, doesn’t she? Or has she smarted up but now, she’s too deep in for that option?
That wraps another episode of Breaking Bad. Another excellent episode, that is.