“I’m in the empire business.”-Walter White, Buyout
We start off with a familiar shot, Walt in the center of the back seat, Mike and Jesse in the driver/shotgun position, respectively. They’re driving out to the desert to meet with Mike’s connect from Arizona, a fellow meth-pushing operation who’s expecting to buy the whole of the methylamine from the trio.
Walt has another idea.
He offers 35% of his blue meth haul in exchange for the distribution services Mike is giving up in favor of retirement.
Guy says, well why don’t we just kill you right now and take your product off the market?
WALT: “…you’re generic cola, I’m making classic coke.”
“Do you really wanna live in a world without coca-cola?”
The new distributors would have to give Mike $5 mil to take his spot, but a batch of product is all ready to go.
Walt asks his new partner, “Are you ready?”
Walt asks if he knows who he is. Guy says no. Walt says, yes you do. I’m the man that killed Gus Fring. Guy says, Cartel did that. Guy looks at Mike who shakes his head as if to say Walt isn’t bullshitting. And then…
“Now, say my name.”
“You’re goddamn right.”
Walt is a beast and that was a really fun cold opening. Breaking Bad has had some of the best cold openings in TV.
“I gotta hand it to you Walter,” Mike says, impressed and his severance pay seemingly at hand.
He has two parting thoughts, though. No more legacy tax, and get the bug out of Hank’s office before they find it. Walt wanted more from Mike as he left, maybe a hug, but got none; instead, he gave Jesse a handshake and a, “Kid, just watch out for yourself.”
Walt hid the methylamine he hoisted from the office at the end of the last episode at the car wash, under Skyler’s watchful eye despite her not knowing the contents of the large vat of chemicals. Walt and Jesse are there to retrieve them.
“Vamonos,” Jesse says, referring to the pest control company.
“I wish,” Skylar says, referring to her yearning to leave this life of crime.
Skyler is worried why the stuff was hidden there. Jesse is realizing how broken Skyler is-the excessive drinking, the awkward dinner convo last episode, Walt’s verbal bullying.
She’s been broken and manipulated by Walt and it’s a direct reflection on Walt’s character, someone Jesse is increasingly becoming disenchanted with-the whistling while he worked right after the news story of the child they murdered, his complete lackadaisical allowance of Jesse’s presence at his home and the insistence that he stay despite the obvious level of distraught it brought to both Jesse and Skyler.
Jesse watches as Skyler walks off, defeated, into he darkness of the car wash. He’s realizing just how poisonous Walt is.
A lady in a bank vault is unlocking a bunch of bank lock-boxes for a lawyer. New one to unlock: number 603.
The lawyer, Daniel, is loading the lock boxes with cash. It’s the legacy payouts to the 9 guys still holding their tongues over the Gus Fring case. Box 603 is getting the lions share of the cash with a note attached: To Kaylee on her 18th birthday. It’s the money Mike is leaving for his granddaughter, his driving motivator for continuing the business he seemingly has no stomach for anymore.
Mike tosses a laptop and a stash of weapons into a well in the desert. He’s unloads everything criminal, stashes a bag in a car, then grabs a taxi back to his place. In the next scene, the DEA and Hank come yelling search warrant, tearing apart Mike’s place, but they ultimately find nothing. Mike sits by coolly, they have nothing on him.
Jesse confronts Walt about getting his own walking papers. Walt, instead, offers Jesse his own “cook”. Jesse just wants his $5 million like Mike, and wants out.
Walt is laying heavy pressure to stay with him. He goes low: “How soon will you start using again?”
Walt’s trying to convince him he’s just as hurt by the boy’s killing. “Todd did things just as bad as we did,” he says referencing Gale and host of others killed in the wake of Walt’s empire of meth.
“How many more people are gonna die because of us?” Jesse asks
He’s finally fed up with Walt’s bullshit.
“We’re done.” Jesse says
Walt refuses to hand over the severance pay. He wants him to stay. Jesse walks out with some menacing parting words.
Walt: “IF YOU LEAVE YOU GET NOTHING, YOU UNDERSTAND NOTHING! JESSE!”
Looks like we just saw the dynamic duo break-up, once again.
Hank is left in a DEA conference room with his boss via video chat. Way too much time and resources are being used on the Fring case he says, it’s just one case. He wants Hank to move on from Mike, no more surveillance budget for him, the case is turning up nothing.
Hank hangs his head. The 9 guys aren’t talking and Mike is living like an old man. In one of his only moves, Hank orders the 9 guys’ lawyer, Daniel, followed. He’s trying to find the hush money.
Walt’s new #2 is Todd, the kid-killing newbie. It’s training day at the cook. Nice pep talk from Walt then a cook montage.
Afterwards, Walt: “You did fine Todd, you applied yourself. Now all that’s left is to talk money.”
Except, to seemingly Walt’s amusement, Todd said that talk could wait.
Daniel is loading the lock-boxes for the legacy costs again, but this time three DEA agents are waiting for him, ready to bust him, smiling ear to ear as if they just finally got the break they needed.
Walt tries talking to Skyler at dinner, she just gets up and walks off to bed without saying a word. She’s done pretending.
Walt’s crying to Hank again in his office, asking for coffee just the same as last time. Walt retrieves the bug he put in the photo frame and the one from his computer, but then Walt overhears that Daniel is going to flip and hand over Mike to the DEA. That’s really not a good thing for Walt and the gang.
Mike is watching his granddaughter swinging on a park swing. Walt calls him right after Daniel calls him asking for a meet.
Walt: “They’re coming for you Mike, right now!”
Patrol shows up. He takes off and hesitantly leaves Kaylee at the park.
Saul, Walt and Jesse are powwowing. Mike won’t flip Jesse says. But his 9 guys will, Walt retorts. Mike calls Saul, he needs the “go-bag” he stashed in the car earlier with the passports and money.
Jesse wants to help, Mike says no (he’s really looking out for him), and Saul doesn’t want to attract more heat. Walt volunteers to get the bag for him, and when Walt retrieves it, he also finds a revolver inside. Walt takes a long look at it. Uh oh…
Mike is skipping rocks at a ravine, waiting for Walt and the bag. Walt wants the names of the 9 men. Mike suggests leaving town instead, he won’t give up the names. Walt says he has a family, he can’t leave. Walt obviously intends to kill the 9 men now that they won’t be getting their hush money.
“Goodbye, Walter,” Mike says,”I don’t owe you a damn thing!”
Walt begins to blame Mike for things falling apart. He attracted the DEA.
Mike: “WE HAD A GOOD THING YOU STUPID SON OF A BITCH!”, he says referring to their operation with Fring and Walt’s role as just the cook.
Mike goes to leave, Walt goes to the car, gets the gun and shoot him through the driver’s window. Mike skirts off but crashes only a few hundred feet away.
Walt pursues and finds him back at the ravine, gun in hand but motionless, he’s dying (Nooooooooo).
Walt takes the gun from him effortlessly. He begins apologizing, saying he just realized he can get the names from Lydia anyway, this could have been avoided. Mike cuts him off…
Mike: “Shut the fuck up and let me die in peace.”
Another great line from the great Mike Ehrmantraut, and, his final.
He slumps over and does just that with Walt standing by, two guns in hand.