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Breaking Bad Recap: ‘I.F.T.’

April 4, 2010
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Walt does a lot of pleading in this episode

As usual, lots of spoilers ahead.  Take heed.

Well nothing like a little Danny Trejo cameo to start things off with a bang, huh?  Trejo plays Tortuga, who is wetting his whistle in a watering hole when he is visited by Juan Bolsa, from the cartel.  Juan makes some small talk with Tortuga, and tells him he has a birthday present waiting for him in a back room.  Tortuga is giddy to see a giant tortoise, but the rest of us know that the last time we saw a giant tortoise, it had a head attached, so this can’t possibly end well.

Juan tells Tortuga he is going to sign the creature, and he paints “Hola DEA”.  Now, I’m no knife expert, but I believe that Tortuga was then bludgeoned to death by a machete, which is a delicious  little wink to the upcoming release of  Robert Rodriguez’s Machete, which just happens to star a one Danny Trejo.

Tortuga's head on the tortoise from Season 2, Episode 7

So, I went back to find photos of that tortoise with the head, and damn if that isn’t Tortuga’s head, and the tortoise says, “Hola DEA”.  So was that a flash forward in episode “Negro Y Azul” from season 2?  I thought we were seeing everything in chronological order, but I must be wrong.

The next scene cuts to Walt painstakingly cleaning that pizza off the roof while Skylar is at work.  She sees his car and calls his cell phone  and Walt peers out the window and they start having it out over Walt’s right to be at the house.  He says he is not leaving.  She threatens to call the police, and Walt calls her bluff, stating that without his family, he has nothing to lose.   Just before the police arrive, Walt Jr.  shows up, much to Walt’s delight.  They make grilled cheese sandwiches and appear to be the picture of domestic bliss when the police show up.

Skylar is dismayed to find out that since they are not legally divorced or separated, and Walt has not physically her, there is precious little she can do to get him thrown out, particularly since Walt’s name is still on the house title.  Round one of Skylar vs. Walt goes to Walt.

For me, this will be remembered as the episode where Skylar becomes broken.  She just seems so dejected and detached.  Great job once again by Anna Gunn.

For now, Walt stays on at the house, although Skylar makes him as uncomfortable as possible.  She doesn’t allow him entrance to the bathroom, forcing him to urinate in the kitchen sink, which is humiliating for Walt.

Skylar decides to tell her lawyer that Walt cooks meth, and the lawyer urges her to immediately sue Walt for divorce and tell the authorities.  Skylar tearfully confesses that she can’t bring herself to do that to her son (who still blames her for everything, incidentally.)   She also hints that she is trying to wait it out until Walt kicks the can, so to speak.

The following morning, Walt has quite possibly the most honest moment he has ever had since the show started. He shows Skylar the duffel bag of money, and explains everything it represents to his family after he is gone-college education for Walt Jr and Holly, health care, groceries, and mortgage payments.  Skylar just looks mortified.

Walt then assures Skylar that the money is not stolen, he earned it.  Distinctions seem to be very important to Walt.  Remember last week when he kept insisting he was not a drug dealer, he is merely a producer?   So here again he seems to be moralizing how he acquired the money, like somehow earning it could never be as bad as stealing, but we know the truth.  Do you think that Walt still thinks of himself as a good guy?

His next statements seem to suggest otherwise.  He shudders a bit when he divulges he has done some things to get the money that he, and he alone, will have to deal with.  He pleads with Skylar to take the money, or all will have been for naught.  He tells her he will be awaiting her answer that evening.

At work that day, Skylar propositions Ted.  When she comes home and Walt asks what she  thought about their morning conversation, she coldly says, “I f***ed Ted.”  Abbreviated, that equals I.F.T; which is the title of the episode.  Walt looks destroyed.

Jesse had limited screen time, but Aaron Paul’s performance was truly devastating.  He kept calling Jane’s phone number, listening to her phone message.   When he finally reached the “this number has been disconnected,” message,  he is stunned .  Yet another character, so obviously broken.  Jesse makes a trek to the desert, to one of the old campers and dons his cooking gear…

In other developments, Hank is elated to find he is going back to El Paso, but he also has another panic attack.  Hank then overcompensates by beating the living crap out of two guys in a dive bar who he believes are making a drug deal.  His partner agrees to cover for him.

Also, Gus was able to buy some time for Walt with the cartel, but it is clear his influence is limited, and he is advised to wrap up his business with Walt quickly, because the cousins (from the cartel) are chomping at the bit to off Walt.

What do you think happened to the handicapped woman?  I’m pretty sure I know, but I hope I am wrong.  Do you ever see Walt getting out of this alive?   What will get to him first, the cancer or the cartel?

Read the recap of “Caballo Sin Nombre”  here.

Read the recap of  ”No Mas” here.

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6 Responses to “ Breaking Bad Recap: ‘I.F.T.’ ”

  1. Dan on April 5, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Awesome review!!! In my opinion, this episode was just to set up for Episode 4. Check out the trailer for Episode 4 on AMC’s web site. Jesse is in a gas station selling meth to a girl and a cop walks in. SO INTENSE.

  2. MetsKnicksRutgers on April 5, 2010 at 5:59 am

    I have lost any compassion for Skyler. She tolerates, enables, and recently signs off on Ted’s embezzling, which is no better than what Walter was doing. White collar crime is more repulsive than drug dealing/manufacturing considering the outright innocence of the victims and their families. Maddof/Drier are the perfect examples ruining thousands of lives. Skyler does this for her freaking boss, but can’t at least have the decency to wait till her divorce goes through with Walter to betray him? How is Ted Beneke more important to her than Walt? Screw Skyler, Walt has made a lot of mistakes, but did it all for his family while Ted showed his true colors that he is really only a selfish asshole knowingly sleeping with a married woman.

  3. Pam on April 5, 2010 at 7:04 am

    I’m pretty sure they have more than the master bathroom; I doubt Walt Jr. or guests would go through the master bedroom to use the toilet. When we saw Walt be denied entrance to the master suite, he paused at another door, which I assumed to be the 2nd bathroom, and then, in his own vindictiveness, decide against it, and pee in the sink. Or am I totally off on this?

    I also think Skylar isn’t okay with what Ted’s doing either, but keep in mind, she hasn’t gone to the cops with Walt’s drug ‘manufacturing,’ she just can’t be married to him. Ted’s crime is definitely more of a business-man’s crime, while Walt’s product is harming people (and Walt has, himself, harmed people). I think Skylar slept with Ted not because she was attracted to him (although she always has been) but because she saw that as a way to get Walt out of the house. Walt is in so much denial and is so narcissistic, that he can’t comprehend or accept Skylar wanting him out. But by saying ‘I.F.T.,’ she is hoping to get him to realize this marriage is O.V.E.R.

    Now I think Walt’s going to get back to dealing, because this isn’t about a good man who has lost his way, it’s about a man that has found his calling.

    GREAT SHOW last night!!!

  4. Shannon on April 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    @MetsKnicksRutgers
    I am halfway on board with you about Skylar. I really felt like Walt was having a come to Jesus moment when he confessed everything to her, but I think her mind was made up a while ago. I still think it would be hard to be so cold to the man you used to love, especially if he was dying.

  5. Shannon on April 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    @Pam

    Good insights. I think you are right about the bathroom, I thought that was weird as well. I couldn’t rewind and rewatch, because I was not at home, but upon further consideration, that makes sense.
    Also, I think you are right about Skylar’s motivations for seducing Ted. It was not hot at all, she was purely mechanical, a means to an end.

  6. Dan on April 6, 2010 at 7:04 am

    Just a comment on your opening about the Tortuga sequence: This last episode was actually a flashback to when Tortuga was killed. It served only to introduce the cartel “miniboss” Juan Bolsa and Tuco’s cousins as two of the top hitmen in the cartel. It exposed the relationship Tortuga had with these men and the relationship Tuco’s cousins had with the cartel.
    After all, you need the scene where Tortuga’s head blows up to set into motion Hank’s panic attack. That’s the reason he is dreading going back to the El Paso job now: he remembers what happened last time.

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