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Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Bullet Points’

August 7, 2011

Mike (Jonathan Banks) guards the back of the chicken truck.

Isn’t there some adage about the more lies you tell, the easier it is to get caught?  It is just a matter of time before Walt and Skylar will get caught in one of their fantastical tales. Tonight Skylar whipped out a real doozy (her word, not mine) when she concocted an elaborate story in which poor, cancer ridden Hank became a gambling addict and won a windfall of money, thus explaining their ability to suddenly buy a carwash.

It’s not just the fact that she came up with this ruse, but how tightly construed the story actually was. As Walt quipped when Skylar dumped the story on his lap, “It’s a novella.” Indeed, but it quickly turned into a screenplay, with Skylar giving Walt asides to “look at the floor with remorse” and her own plans to cry on cue (but only if the moment warranted it). The sequence was quite fun and comical, with the two bickering about the finer points of the story. Walt felt that he comes across much worse than Skylar, and asks where the bullet point is that talks about her affair with her boss. Priceless. Heck, she even made them attend a Gambling Anonymous meeting to set an alibi should the feds come sniffing around. There is no doubt that Skylar has quickly emerged as a shrewd and intelligent businesswoman. She has to be feeling a new sense of strength and power, but I’m afraid that will be her downfall-overconfidence.

As much fun as I had with their shenanigans, the best look of the night goes to “dead eyed” Mike. In the opening scene, Mike is freezing his ass off in the back of a refrigerated truck transporting hundreds of buckets emblazoned with “Los Pollos Hermanos”.  I’m no meth maker, but it’s obvious those buckets are transporting chemicals for the business. Off-screen, the truck is (hijacked?) by a couple of the competition’s henchmen, who shoot the truck full of holes and enter the back. Mike does what he is best at, and doesn’t so much as bat an eye, until he notices that part of his ear got shot off in the altercation. If the word “F**k” had a face, his next expression would definitely be it.

Skylar and Walt have made plans to go to Hank and Marie’s house, to spill their sad gambling tale, and set a believable premise for their newfound fortune. Hank is excited to show Walter Jr. his new mineral collection, but Walt Sr., who rattles off every physical property of Hank’s newest acquisition, undermines him.  Poor Hank looks defeated. Later, Hank and Maries seem to believe the gambling story, and Walter Jr. is just excited that he might get a car.

Hank takes Walt and Walter Jr. to his room to show him a ridiculous karaoke video “(Major Tom) Coming Home”, no less. A terrifically dorky, untalented man awkwardly flails about in the video, and Walt realizes with horror that it is Gale the former meth cook who Jesse offed last season to save Walt. It’s hilarious, yet so tragic, and Walt really looks like he is going to puke. That look intensifies when Walt becomes privy to Gale’s meth lab book, which Hank is studying for clues.  (Side note, I couldn’t get the proper embed code for the video, but you MUST watch it, and you can do so here).

Walt is understandably shaken for the rest of the evening. He sneaks back to Hank’s room to view Gale’s file during dinner, and actually manipulates Hank into seeking his advice on the notebook. The actual notebook is a well-organized collection of meth notes, recipes, poems, and lots of other quirky notes. Walt really starts sweating bullets when Hank casually mentions that the notebook is dedicated to W.W.  Hmmm, however could that be?  Is Hank onto Walt at all, or did he buy that little Walt Whitman explanation?  Hank seems to believe that Gale is the man he has been searching for, when he really sits right across from him.  Walt also learns that the authorities found fingerprints, so his next point of business is to find Jesse, and knock some sense into him. Jesse has continued to live in squalor, with addicts and hobos strewn all over his house. He has also shaved his head. He doesn’t even try to hide his money from these unseemly men and women. Walt is really disgusted, and when he confronts Jesse, it seems that for just a brief moment, Jesse snaps back to reality, but it is only fleeting.

Walt is not the only one concerned with Jesse. Mike speaks with Gustavo and says something must be done about Jesse, whether Walt likes it or not. Mike is waiting for Jesse when he gets home from work. Mike has cleared out all the miscreants, and tells Jesse one of them stole his money. Jesse doesn’t care, and taunts Mike. Bad move. The next time Walt looks for Jesse (after he misses work), he goes to Jesse’s house and cannot find Jesse. Mike is shown driving Jesse through the desert. He obviously got the okay from Gustavo. So the question is, will they or won’t they?  I think surely the powers that be won’t really off Jesse, but then again this is Breaking Bad, so anything can happen.  And was “bullet points” meant to be a double-entendre?  Walt put a lot of emphasis on whether or not Jesse removed the blanks after he shot Gale. Another great episode and solid acting all around.



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4 Responses to “ Breaking Bad Recap: ‘Bullet Points’ ”

  1. Leo Burton on August 8, 2011 at 2:01 am

    for the record, the buckets DO contain chicken batter. In the cold open to one of the season 3 episodes that begins with a pollos hermanos ad, we see workers hiding sealed bags of finished meth inside select batter containers. Gus does this to be able to distribute, as he owns the chain; and persumably because the batter hides the odor of the narcotics to, say, police dogs.

  2. John on August 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    It’s amazing how many recaps I’ve read in which the writer didn’t know that the shipment was the actual meth itself (not chemicals–the dry cleaning business is the cover for that), hidden in the chicken containers. As the previous commenter noted, there was a memorable opening sequence last season in which this was established.

  3. Shannon Hood on August 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    @John and @Leo Thanks for the clarification. I love the show, but when you write multiple recaps and reviews of shows and movies every week, those things that are “memorable” to most just aren’t as easy to recall to us. I can’t watch the previous season prior to the next, because I don’t have time due to the other shows I am covering. That last season was over an entire year ago, so I just try to recap the episode I am watching right now, trust me, I will not remember something from a year ago.

    I am glad there are readers out there who can clarify these things when they arise. It’s not a lack of passion on the part of the writer/recapper, I assure you, and if I could rewatch the prior season, believe me, I would.

  4. darci on August 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I think this is the episode that is turning the season towards how they promoted it – seems like everything is really getting going now and they’re upping the ante on action…I’m interested to see what is gonna happen with Jesse for sure.

    I love when Walter busted into Jesse’s trashy little party and confronts him about how they plan to deal with the fallout from the murder of Gale (you can watch at ). Great song, too (“Flyentology” by El-P) that is such an intense song for such an intense scene