Walter is the Lebron James of cooking meth — he’s the best at what he does and doesn’t mind saying it.
Last week, Walter-Jesse-Mike Meth Inc. appeared to going out of business. Two of the three partners, a majority obviously, wanted out of the business. But when Walter starts out in a poor bargaining position, he finds a way to improve it. This time he accomplishes it by stealing and holding the methylamine hostage in his and Skyler’s car wash. Mike can’t kill Walter, as much as he’d like to, because Mike doesn’t know where the prized asset is at.
So Mike, Walt and Jesse meet Declan — their potential buyer — out in the desert. Walt squelches the methylamine deal but offers Declan a 35% stake in the business if he agrees to distribute Walt’s meth and pay Mike his $5 million as a finder’s fee.
Declan is confounded by Walt’s galling demands,”Who the hell are you?”
Walt declares that he’s the cook — the man who killed Gus Fring. “Say my name,” Walt demands. “You’re Heisenberg,” says Declan.
“You’re goddamn right,” Walt growls.
Declan leaves. Jesse reminds Walt he wants out, too, asks when he’ll get his $5 million. Walt evades the question and asks for more time to get set up with the new crew.
At Vamonos, Mike reiterates that he’ll pay the legacy costs out of his own pocket, but that the last outstanding threat is the bug in Hank’s office. He curtly tells Walt to retrieve it. Walt storms off when Mike refuses to thank him for brokering the deal with Declan. Jesse says good-bye to Mike, repeats that he’s leaving the business. Mike clearly doesn’t buy it. They shake hands as Walt eyes them from the office.
Walt and Jesse retrieve the methylamine from the car wash. Fearing it will attract danger, Skyler demands to know what it is and why Walt was hiding it. Walt deflects Skyler’s questions, suggests she return to the office. Jesse stares sadly after her.
Dan Wachsberger — the lawyer for Mike’s imprisoned guys — visits a bank and stacks money in various safety deposit boxes. He puts the remaining cash in a larger box, along with an envelope that reads, “To Kaylee on her 18th birthday.”
Dan joins Mike in his car. “I guess this is it for a while,” he says, assuring Mike that his men’s families will continue to get their hazard pay.
Out in the desert, Mike listens to Hank’s bugged office via his laptop and learns that a search warrant for his home has just been expedited. Mike uncovers a hidden and abandoned well and tosses the laptop inside, along with a large cache of guns: he’s closing up shop so he can make a run for it.
At an airport parking lot, Mike stores a duffel bag in his trunk, hides the car keys nearby and hails a cab home. Shortly after, Hank and a crew of DEA agents arrive to search Mike’s apartment, but find nothing. Hank glares at Mike, stymied.
At Vamonos, Jesse again tells Walt he’s ready to collect his money and quit. Walt tries to change Jesse’s mind, offering him his own lab. When that fails, Walt asks why Jesse would squander his cooking skills. “What have you got in your life? Nothing, nobody,” Walt taunts.
Jesse angrily asks how many more people have to die at their hands. Walt counters that if Jesse is concerned about that, he has no business wanting any blood money. “Whatever man, you don’t wanna pay me? I don’t care. It’s on you, Jesse says, abandoning Walt. Walt impotently flings a few more words at Jesse, but it does no good. He’s gone, leaving Walt alone.
Via teleconference, SAC Ramey chastises Hank for obsessing over the Fring case and shirking his new duties as ASAC. To prevent further waste, he kills the budget for the surveillance of Mike Ehrmantraut. Undeterred, Hank instructs Gomze to trail Dan Wachsberger. Gomez is reluctant to tail a lawyer, but concedes: “You’re the boss.”
Walt suits up and enters the cooking tent, where Todd awaits as his new assistant. Todd takes copious notes as Walt explains the cooking process. When they finish the batch, Todd admits he’s overwhelmed.
“You applied yourself, that’s as much as I can ask,” Walt encourages, then brings up money. Todd says they can talk money once he gets the job right.
Back at the bank, Gomez and his men walk in on Dan as he makes another round of legacy payments. Dan’s caught, red-handed; Gomez grins.
Walt visits Hank at work. Again he sobs about his marital problems, asks Hank for coffee. Walt removes the bug before Hank returns, then overhears Gomez briefing Hank on the Wachsberger interrogation: “He’s willing to give us Ehrmantraut,” Gomez says, celebrating with Hank.
Mike watches Kaylee play in the park; he receives a call from Dan, who requests a meeting. Mike senses something is wrong, but doesn’t notice anything amiss in the park. Walt calls and frantically warns him the DEA is coming for him. A patrol car drives up, and cops flank Mike’s car, searching for him. Mike steals one last look at Kaylee, then flees the cops who close in.
In his office, Saul worries that Mike will flip if captured. “He won’t flip,” Jesse insists, but Walt worries that one of his nine men will. Mike then calls, asking Saul to fetch his go-bag. With the police watching Saul’s movements, and Jesse out of the business, Walt volunteers to retrieve it.
At the airport, Walt grabs the duffel bag from Mike’s car and opens it, finding cash, a passport, and a holstered revolver inside.
Walt meets Mike in a remote area near the Rio Grande. Walt Hands over the duffel bag, insists Mike reveal the names of his nine men. Mike refuses, rants at Walt for ruining a “good thing” by destroying Gus’s empire.
“It was perfect, but no you just had to blow it up,” Mike sneers. “You and your pride and your ego, you just had to be the man. If you’d done your job, known your place, we’d all be fine right now.”
Walt storms off, infuriated, but quickly doubles back toward Mike.
Meanwhile, Mike opens the duffel bag in his car and finds the revolver missing from its holster. Immediately Walt appears outside his window and fires.
Mike slams the car into gear and drives off, but quickly crashes into a nearby rock. Walt, in shock, cautiously approaches the car and finds it empty. He follows Mike’s blood trail into the reeds by the Rio Grande, where Mike is sitting quietly on a rock, bleeding to death.
Walt gently takes another gun from Mike’s hand and looks off, dazed. “I just realized that Lydia has the names,” Walt says. “I’m sorry, Mike, this whole thing could’ve been avoided if—”
Mike cuts him off: “Shut the f—— up and let me die in peace,” he says.
Walt and Mike stare silently at the river until Mike slumps over, dead.
And that’s it for this episode. Mike nails it when he declares, “You and your pride and your ego, you just had to be the man. If you’d done your job, known your place, we’d all be fine right now.” He’s saying in relationship to Mike’s own precarious situation but it’s applicable to Walter White’s character in general. Had not Walter taken down Gustavo Fring and then destroyed the superlab, Mike would have been still reaping the benefits of the Gus drug empire.
And there’s the line to Jesse when Walt is trying to keep Jesse in the business: “What have you got in your life? Nothing, nobody,” That’s awfully presumptuous of Walt. I know it might appear that way as Jesse hasn’t really had a real job since high school. The one thing he’s done to make money is sell meth but how does Walt know Jesse won’t find a legitimate career that will make him happy? Or how does Walt know Jesse won’t meet that special someone so there is someone in his life. But again, Walter isn’t about speaking the truth. He’s about manipulating people into doing what he wants them to do in order to further Walt’s ends. Walter has to speak the truth sometimes otherwise no one will believe his lies. So he intersperses his litany of lies of with morsels of truth. The resulting symphony soars with gaudy pomp and circumstance but its dark undertones are more than a little unsettling.
Alcoholics and addicts tend to feel they have no one or nothing in their life so that’s why they get drunk/high. But if they stop using, maybe they’ll find really cool people to connect with and incredibly exciting opportunities to find things that will make them happy. Like Jesse getting out of the meth business, substance abusers who quit using have an monumentally exciting, albeit frightening, chance to discover how exciting and beautiful the world really is.
If you want inspiration, motivation and ancient but timeless insights to aid you in your journey towards sobriety, go to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/leewriter.com or Amazon and look up “Overcome Any Personal Obstacle, Including Alcoholism, By Understanding Your Ego.”