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Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Abiquiu’

May 30, 2010

WWSD? (What would Skylar do?)

This recap contains spoilers for the Breaking Bad episode, “Abiquiu.”

“Abiquiu” opens with a flashback of Jesse and Jane pontificating about the artwork of Georgia O’Keefe.  The two are examining a more chaste collection of O’Keefe paintings featuring a series of doors, which Jesse finds boring and pointless, while Jane admires artistic liberties that O’Keefe took with each individual painting.

Jesse can’t understand why O’Keefe basically repeated the same painting with slight variations. “Isn’t that insane?” he asks Jane.

Jane counters that she believes you should go wherever the universe takes you, and by using Jesse’s logic, there is no point to repeating anything, even acts that are enjoyable.  She takes a last drag and crushes her cigarette out in his car ashtray, leaving the tell-tale lipstick trace that caused Jesse to fish it out of the ashtray earlier this season, as it is the the last tangilble remnant of her physical being.

The scene brilliantly cuts to a pair of feet dangling several feet above the ground.  Uh oh, who is that hanging?  Once the camera pans back, you see that it is Hank, in the Hospital, in some sort of harness device that is lowering him to the ground.  A physical therapists encourages him to take a step while Marie, Walt Jr., and Skylar look on.

Hank labors intensely trying to will his legs to move, to no avail.  At this point, he lashes out at his family members, which is a wholly believable response.  I’d do the exact same thing.

Out in the hallway, Marie sheepishly asks Skylar if her offer to pay Hank’s bills still stands.  Skylar assures that it does, and Marie hands over the bill.  You see relief, embarrassment, and pity all wash over Marie’s face.  She feels bad, but she really doesn’t have much of a choice, and since Walt and Skylar have come into all this money…

Jesse is annoyed with Walt because Walt won’t let him oversee the weighing of the meth product anymore.  Later he attends his support group (with Peter and Brandon) and attempts to exploit the vulnerable participants  by selling them meth.  Frustrated that Brandon and Peter have been unable to actually make a sale, he targets a new Hispanic girl named Andrea.

He flirts with her and accompanies her home, where the two start kissing on the couch.  He plants the seed for her to start using again.  Just then, the door opens, and her son and mother come in.  Jesse looks genuinely horrified about what he was trying to do to her.  Seems the kid makes him grow a conscience.

Jesse delivers the best line of the night, once again, when he tries to interact with the boy (named Brock), “So, you’re a kid, huh?”

Jesse starts hanging out with Andrea and her son, and one day (in bed) Andrea decides to take Jesse up on his offer to get high.  Jesse becomes indignant, “What kind of Mom are you?”

Andrea is defensive, and says she will never let what happened to her younger brother Tomas (sic) happen to Brock.  She tells Jesse about her brother being courted by the gangs when he was eight years old, and then killing a man when he was ten as part of a gang initiation.  He killed a dealer, just a few blocks away.

This is a real “holy crap” moment, because Jesse comes to the sickening revelation that Tomas was the person who killed Combo (back in season 2, episode 11.)  Does anyone else get the feeling that these writers know a heck of a lot more where they have been going than the Lost writers did? I love how everything is intricately related, and here we are almost a season later and just discovering that it is all tied up together.

Jesse visits the same street corner that Combo got killed at and finds Tomas on his bike.  He asks to buy a teenth, and Tomas signals a car to come around the corner and take the money.  A menacing Hispanic duo drives forward, and takes the money.  Tomas then slips Jesse the drugs.  Jesse turns and walks away with a truly frightening look on his face.  Once again, a great acting job by Aaron Paul.  I could not decide if Jesse was angry about Combo, or pissed that Tomas is cutting into his business.  At any rate, Jesse was crazy-pissed.

Meanwhile, Skylar has Walt over for dinner.  She wants to make sure the money is “unimpeachable” by the time it pays for Hank’s bills.  She demands to meet the person who is taking care of the money.

Skylar, meet sleaze-bag Saul.  Saul, be your usual charming self and horrify her beyond belief.  At the end of the day, Skylar decided she wants to be the one to launder the money.  You know the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

Skylar thought that Walt buying a “laser tag” business as a front for his money was absurd and unbelievable.  She encourages Walt to think about buying the car wash he worked at for four years.  Only trouble is, the laser tag came complete with a “Danny”,  or basically a manager of the business who looks the other way.

Skylar volunteers to become the “Danny” for the car wash.  Gosh, whatever could go wrong here?  Skylar is fully embracing the life of a criminal.  Oh, yeah, and she never actually signed the divorce papers.  Married folk can’t actually testify against one another.  Has Skylar been plotting all this for a while?

Finally, Hank is adamant to Marie that he will not leave the hospital until he can walk.  But what if he never walks again?  There are only a few episodes left.  What do you think will happen?

By the way, if you are geographically challenged like me, the title (Abiquiu) is a city in New Mexico.

To read previous recaps, click here.


11 Responses to “ Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Abiquiu’ ”

  1. richard on May 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    FYI – Abiquiu is where Ghost Ranch is located; Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico home.

  2. pepper lin on May 30, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Great episode!Oh,and by the way,you forgot to add the part about Gus having Walt over for dinner.Just thought you should know…

  3. Shannon on May 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    @richard Thanks, that is good to know. Obviously was not aware of that.

  4. Shannon on May 30, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    @pepper lin

    Yeah, I didn’t put that in, because I felt like Jesse’s story line really dominated this evening, and I wasn’t sure about his cryptic message of ” don’t make the same mistake twice”. If I put it in, but don’t explain, people feel cheated, but I honestly wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about.

  5. kathryn on May 30, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    I don’t know about anyone else, but Gus is one scary guy…he can seem so passive and you know better. What mistake is he referring to, that Walt may have commited twice. I agree that Aaron Paul is truly amazing….

  6. chris on May 31, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Gus is talking about Jesse ripping off the half pound of meth. He already told Walt that “you can never trust a junkie”

  7. kathryn on May 31, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Thanks, Chris I missed that…

  8. Core on May 31, 2010 at 2:02 am

    I only started watching this show at the beginning of this season when AMC had their “season premier marathon”. I wasn’t expecting much, I live in a town where meth is basically the ONLY drug available….more meth than pot even, but I was totally surprised and basically blown away!!! It’s pretty funny that someone who dislikes meth would get into a show ABOUT meth, but the characters are so believeable, and the storylines written so well, I’m hooked!! My father died of cancer 25 years ago, and was head of the bio/chem department of our local college, so I can totally relate to everything Walt is going through. Fortunately, his insurance paid for almost all of his treatments (some of the holistic treatments and non approved/experimental drugs he took were on us) and we had other income to fill the gaps, but I can really understand where Walt’s head is in wanting to make sure his family was well taken care of. In a different situation it’s quite possible that my dad might have used his science knowlege to make sure we were set financially, regardless of the risk. I know I would!!

    I hope they continue to renew this show for at least a couple more seasons!! With all the interconnections, backstories, and new characters they still have ALOT more story to tell!!

    Just sayin…

  9. Alan Schwarz on May 31, 2010 at 2:10 am

    I think Saul Goodman(anyone notice his name sounds like “it’s all good,man?)spells nothing but trouble.Hard to see why Walt has such trust in him. Guess he doesn’t have a real choice.

  10. Jordan on May 31, 2010 at 2:28 am

    I think Gus invited Walt over to “cook” in order to justify his advice and to get him to come to his senses about Jesse. Gus was showing Walt that trust is needed when in a working environment. Somehow I don’t think Walt would hand Jesse a knife and turn his back on him. In the beginning of the episode you can see Walt watching Jesse like a hawk while he’s preparing the meth and Walt takes over reading the scales as well when Jesse insists that Walt knows he’s stealing. It’s obvious Gus knows about this and has a feeling that things are about to erupt. He’s just trying to prevent a catastrophe

  11. JD on June 1, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Amazing writing. I can’t believe how long ago the writers set us up for Skylar to be the money launderer. After all, she’s a bookkeeper!

    It’s great they brought Jane back for a flashback, she’s an intriguing actress and good looking, too.

    Hank’s storyline has been pushed to the background, but I have a feeling when he does eventually walk out of the hospital there will be hell to pay for somebody. Lot of anger in the guy.

    What’s Jesse’s angle buying the teenth? Just checking out the competition’s methods? Plotting revenge for his slain friend? Revulsion at how a Andre’s brother Tomas has been corrupted? What happens when he opens the package and sees his own blue ice?

    I am sure Gus meant by “same mistake twice” that he wants Jesse gone. I see now that Gus handing Walt the knife and turning his back may have symbolized trusting a partner, or perhaps foreshadowing stabbing a partner in the back, like Walt offing Jesse? We know how Gus dealt with his own partner in Mexico.