Season 2, Episode 2: Grilled

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ep2As we could have expected, Walt and Jesse’s escape from Tuco was simply wild. The episode starts off with Jesse’s red car bouncing up and down, an image that is also shown again at the end of the episode. The plot starts off with Hank debriefing his DEA team about their raid on Tuco’s drug hideout, where they were able to nab nearly all of Tuco’s drug partners, but no Tuco himself. Hank pumps up his team getting them to cheer “Hell Yeah!” that they are going to catch Tuco, while Hank admits to his partner when he walks out of the room that they are never going to find him. Meanwhile, Hank is also committed to finding Walt, who has officially “gone missing” as far as his family members know.

Hank goes to meet with Skyler and Walt Jr. at their house to talk to a private investigator who will try to locate Walt. As Skyler explains her last encounters with Walt before he disappeared, she mentions that the last thing he did before he abruptly left during their conversation in the bathroom was get a phone call which he did not answer. Hank and the private investigator walk outside and discuss that it’s possible that Walt may have a second cellphone. They agree to investigate this detail further, as having another cellphone that your family doesn’t know about is not usually a good sign when that person suddenly goes missing.

We then see Walt and Jesse panting and sweating as they are trapped inside the trunk of Jesse’s red car that was shown in the opening scene of the episode. In a daze, Walt imagines that Skyler has opened the trunk as she looks down at him smiling saying “I understand.” Yeah…let’s hope that’s how she reacts when she finds out what’s been going on, Walt. Coming to his senses, Walt realizes that it is Tuco that has opened the trunk and he pulls him out and throws him on the ground, while Jesse yells and threatens Tuco.

ep-2-5Eventually the three of them end up at Tuco’s house, where his crippled elderly uncle resides and communicates only with a bell that is attached to his wheelchair. Tuco tells Walt and Jesse to empty their pockets, which is when Walt calmly and cautiously pulls out what might possibly be their only way out of their dangerous situation—the risin. Tuco grabs Walt and asks if he can trust him. He then mentions how all his friends have been caught by the DEA raid, except for Gonzo, who he has also not been able to reach by phone. Though we know this is because Gonzo is dead after he got pinned between two cars while trying to dispose of their crew member that Tuco had beaten to death, Tuco is convinced that this is because Gonzo ratted him and his crew out to the DEA. He then goes on a rampage about how betrayed he feels by Gonzo, stabbing his knife repeatedly into a cutting board as he describes how he is going to cut out Gonzo’s heart. This terrifies Walt and Jesse as they too await what their fate might be at the hands of Tuco. After calming down, Tuco explains his plan to bring Walt to Mexico with him and set him up in a large facility where he will be able to cook tons of meth for them to sell. He makes it clear that Jesse is an expendable member of this operation, and he might kill him at any minute since he is not needed for the cooking. In an effort to save him, Walt makes it clear that he needs Jesse as a business partner in the operation.

When Tuco says that he needs to get high, Jesse pushes him to snort the risin, which he markets to him as their new product with a special ingredient. Right as Tuco is about to snort the risin, he asks what the special ingredient is. As Jesse smiles excitedly and says that it is chili powder, Tuco’s face drops and he says that he hates chili powder, throwing the risin (and Walt and Jesse’s hopes) on the ground.

Meanwhile, Skyler, Hank and Marie are conversing about Walt’s disappearance. Marie blabs to Skyler about Walt’s second cellphone and the group continues to try to unravel the mystery surrounding Walt’s actions. Marie suggests that maybe Walt is “addicted” to marijuana after using it for therapy and possibly owes a lot of money to his drug dealer. Hank decides to visit Jesse’s mom and ask about his whereabouts. She says that she has spoken to him in months and has no information for Hank. In what will turn out to be a life-saving move for Walt and Jesse, Hank asks if Jesse still owns his red car, which his mother confirms. Hank runs calls an agent to find the location of the car.

Back at Tuco’s place, there have now been two failed attempts to poison Tuco, one by trying to get him to snort the risin and the other by putting it in his food which Tuco’s seemingly unresponsive uncle manages to foil. Tuco, after finding this out, begins beating Jesse and is about to kill him when Jesse hits him with a rock and manages to grab his gun and shoot him in the stomach. As Tuco lies bleeding but still alive, the Walt and Jesse see a car coming, thinking it is his cousins. They hide in the yard, as none other than Hank pulls his SUV into Tuco’s driveway. As Tuco gets up and faces Hank. The two have a shoot-out and Hank kills Tuco. Walt sees Hank emerge from the shoot-out and instantly gets up and runs away, with Jesse following behind him. The episode ends with the eerie dinging of the bell from the uncle’s wheelchair. Once again, Walt has managed to not only survive, but continue to keep his drug life a secret.

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Season 2, Episode 1: Seven Thirty-Seven

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This episode, entitled “Seven Thirty-Seven” after the $737,000 Walt still needs to fully support his family, opens with a grim black-and-white scene of an eyeball floating in what appears to be the White’s family pool. The eyeball slowly makes it way into the pool filter, and we see that (thankfully) it is not a human eyeball but one belonging to a pink teddy bear also floating in the pool. The teddy bear is the only object shown with color in the scene, similar to the movie Schindler’s List in which the red coat of a young girl is only colored object shown in the mainly black-and-white movie. From what I’ve read about the future episodes of the show, this pink teddy bear will serve as a recurring theme through the coming seasons. I am definitely looking forward to finding out what this tattered pink teddy bear has to do with Walt’s drug deals or his family. My first guess was that it would come as a present to Walt’s future baby, but that he would have to end up using it to smuggle drugs, further conflicting his two very distinct lives as a family man and drug dealer. That might be too obvious, however, and I have learned that you can never really predict anything with Breaking Bad, so we will see where this goes.

Next, during a drug deal with Tuco, Walt and Jesse watch him mercilessly beat one of the members of his crew for speaking out of turn. This ultimately leads to the man’s death, of which Walt and Jesse are witnesses. When Walt returns home, he is noticeably shaken by the event and cannot hide his feelings from Skyler. He is so out of it that he begins to force himself on her and only snaps out of it when she screams and hits her head on the refrigerator, smearing her avocado mask on the door. After Walt stops and goes outside, Skyler confronts him, relatively calmly, saying he cannot take out his pain and frustration from his illness on her. This is the point where I think to myself, “Skyler…wake up.” Although Walt has been pretty good at hiding exactly what it is that he is involved in, he has not been able to hide the sheer fact that he is constantly out of the house at places unknown to her all the time. That fact that she has not angrily or hysterically confronted Walt yet, followed him, or simply sat him down and asked “No, seriously, where the hell have you been?!” is confusing and annoying to me. I’m waiting for her to have more of a reaction to what is going on.

In one of the next scenes, this reaction finally occurs…but not with Walt. When Hank comes over unannounced asking Skyler to call her sister back and that Marie really needs support for her stealing problem, she snaps. She yells sarcastically that, yes, Marie is the one who really needs the support, not herself for dealing with her late pregnancy, Walt’s illness, as well as his recent mysterious and distant behavior. She goes on about this while Hank just stares back at her speechless…Finally. Nice job, Skyler. Now, why don’t you go figure out why your husband is acting so weird and creepy! I think it’s about time.

Back to Walt and Jesse- After seeing Tuco murders his crew member, Jesse decides to buy a gun. He tells Walt that they have to kill Tuco before he kills them for being witnesses to the murder. Walt asks Jesse how exactly he plans to kill Tuco. Jesse lays out an ill-conceived plan, realizing that he can’t even open the gun to see how many bullets it holds. Later, Walt comes back with another plan of poisoning Tuco with ricin, and they decide to go with this idea.

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While Hank is at a crime scene, he sends Walt a picture where it looks as if Tuco murdered his other crew member who was present at the drug deal. Walt and Jesse think that this means they are definitely next on Tuco’s list, so they split up and both plan to leave town. Jesse grabs his stash of money and drives off, while Walt goes home. He finds Skyler and is about to confess to her about the danger they are in, when he sees headlights outside. He abruptly leaves Skyler mid-conversation and walks outside, seeing Jesse in the front seat of his car. Walt asks him what he is doing there, then sees Tuco in the backseat with a gun. Tuco orders Walt to get in the car, and they drive off. The episode ends and we are left wondering how Walt and Jesse are going to survive this one. When Walt thought Tuco was coming for them, he took Jesse’s gun to protect his family, but then hid it in a box of diapers in his house…meaning that, as far as we know, neither Jesse or Walt have a gun on them. I didn’t catch if Walt had the risin with him, so perhaps if he does they can use this to kill Tuco. Either way, I’m sure Walt and Jesse’s showdown with Tuco will be just as crazy and unpredictable as everything else that happens in this show. Breaking Bad has so far delivered.