Last week we caught a glimpse of Walter White: Megalomanic. This week the same guy is still around, but he has a foil in the form of Mike Ehrmantrout: Serious Businessman.
Walt thought that once Gus died, he would be like Mark-Paul Gosselaar after his roommate committed suicide, i.e. Big Man on Campus. But he did not account for Mike and his demands. Mike wants in on the operation, but he wants to handle the business end, no questions asked. Walt and Jesse are the cooks, but Mike does the day-to-day. Walt agrees immediately because he thinks he'll be able to use his crafty chemistry teacher logic and mind games to get back on top when he needs to.
He, Jesse, and Mike set out to tour Albuquerque with their real estate agent, Saul Goodman, to look for a new cook spot. They see factories and laser tag places and tortilla bakeries and none of them are right. But it's at the exterminator business, Vamanos Pest, that Walt gets his brilliant idea. They will cook their meth inside tented houses before the guys come in and shoot off their bug killing chemicals. It's a brilliant plan, really, and I hope all of the upstart meth cooks in the country appreciate it.
The guys do their cook; and with the help of Todd Landry, who tells Walt about the Nannycam in the living room, everything goes off without a hitch. And the guys get paid.
And that's when Mike starts to play businessman. Everyone in the organization gotsta get paid. Out of the owners' pockets. There are the mules and the exterminator crew and the blah and the blah and the blah. Oh, and then there are Mike's guys, nine guys who knew about Gus's business and who need to be kept happy and quiet. And Walt does not like that one bit. He thinks Mike should have to pay these guys out of his own pocket. But then Jesse offers to fit the whole bill, and Walt feels peer-pressured into paying his share.
And then Walt thinks back to the box cutter and Victor getting dead and wonders if Victor stepped over his bounds and that's why he had to die. And we're left wondering who Walt's Victor might be.
I skipped over all the Skyler/Marie/Andrea stuff, but here are my bulleted thoughts and questions:
- Skyler needs to man up. She's in this, whether she wants to be or not. I'm hoping that she had her little breakdown tonight and next week she'll get back to being a woman with a plan.
- Maybe she'll go to Hank and cut a deal now that he's back at work?
- Maybe Marie will get a consulting gig at the car wash?
- Maybe the newly-smoking Skyler is Walt's Victor and he will offer her the cigarette laced with ricin?
- How did Walt get Brock to ingest the lily-of-the-valley? Do we know? Does Brock recognize him? It was kind of a throwaway line that Jesse broke up with Andrea, but I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them.
- Also, did Jesse tell Andrea something about the meth business? Before he broke up with her? I thought I heard him mention that, but I'm not sure.
- As much as Marie has needed to shut up for years, that scene with Skyler was a tad much.
- Jesse is quite the ideas man, Michael, what with his blueprints and recognizing that they made less meth and therefore got less money (but a bigger piece of the pie) than they would've earned working for Gus.
- Related: Walt was a little off his mental game tonight. Missing the math, the not being able to see how Mike's nine guys could be a problem for him, the mixed metaphor at the end. And Jesse asked him if he felt OK while they were cooking. Brain tumor, perhaps?
- The brain tumor might also explain his complete lack of morality...? Spit balling.
- I kind of hate this idea, and I will be mad if a brain tumor has been steering Walter White all this time. Sort of a cop out.
- Don't worry. I'm sure it's not a brain tumor.
What did you think of the episode?