Walt and Jesse are back in business in this week’s episode of Breaking Bad. After Mike joined up with their brand new cook project in last week’s episode, ‘Madrigal’, the guys are eager to make some money. ‘Hazard Pay’ is a pretty formulaic episode without any of the curveballs that may have appeared in the earlier episodes of previous seasons. This episode addresses the humorless instances of last week’s episode and greets the audience with some chuckles and lighthearted moments but also pounds more emphasis into the ever evolving monster that Walter White has become. Time to jump into the events of this week’s entry into the series.
The episode opens with Mike entering a prison disguised as a paralegal to visit one of his men whom was serving 8 years. The man mentions that the RICO Act has taken away the hazard pay Gus put away in the account in the Caymans in case something would happen to him or his operation. Mike tells the man that he will be taken care of even though the DEA recovered all the cash stored away for Mike’s employees. The man assures Mike that he won;t talk but he couldn’t vouch for others whom were in prison elsewhere. Mike leaves the prison saying to the man posing as a lawyer that he need to visit all him men that same day. After this we are shown a short scene where Walt begins to move back into his house as Skyler tries to talk him out of it with a look of horror on her face.
Mike, Jesse, and Walt meet with Saul to discuss taking the next step and starting up their business. Saul is hesitant to work with Mike due to him threatening Saul towards the end of last season. Mike insists that he should take control of all of the business aspects of their dealings. Walt and Jesse accept this proposal and they begin hunting for places to set up their cook lab. No location worked for them so Walt comes up with the idea to never cook in the same place. This plan could only be attained with the help of another company. The men team up with pesticide house bombers by the name of Vamonos Pests so they could infiltrate a house, cook there without anyone knowing and then set off the pesticides to finish off the operation. The men of Vamonos Pest were more than happy to give up the burglary game to get their cut using the house they fumigate as cook labs. We also get a glimpse of Jesse’s old crew mates Badger and Skinny Pete as they buy roadie equipment so Walt and Jesse can store their lab equipment which they could be disguised as fumigation paraphernalia.
While Jesse and Walt were discussing plans on their upcoming cook when Jesse’s girlfriend, Andrea, and her son, Brock, enter where they invite Walt for dinner. As Jesse and Andrea leave enter the kitchen, Walt is awkwardly stuck on the couch alone with Brock whom he had poisoned at the end of last season. Meanwhile, Marie visits Skyler at the car wash where she brings up the subject of Walt’s 51st birthday. Skyler says that she doesn’t want to do anything for the event and Marie starts pressing her on it. Skyler then completely flips out and repeats “Shut up!” over and over until she breaks down into tears. Walt and Jesse’s first house cook goes without a problem and we’re treated to a cool montage sequence as they work. After the cook is finished, Walt pretends to be interested with Jesse’s relationship with Andrea and tells him that he may eventually have to disclose all his dealings with her one day. This ultimately leads to Jesse deciding to break off his relationship with Andrea.
Marie visits Walt to talk about Skyler’s behavior when she was visiting her at the car wash. Walt lies and tells Marie about her affair with Ted and that she is unhealthily concerned about his wellbeing. Marie leaves abruptly and completely shocked by the news of her sister’s affair. Skyler emerges from the bedroom hours later as she witnesses in horror as her family sits around the television watching the final scene of Scarface. Foreshadowing perhaps of a drug dealer tycoon’s rise and fall as his family and loved ones are cut down tragically in the end? Mike distributes their shares from their first cook and begins taking out for all those whom were a part of the cook such as Saul, Vamonos Pests, drivers, etc. Walt becomes increasingly angry as his pile of money keeps dwindling with each contributor. Once Mike mentions that they each have to take money out of their share for Mike’s personal employee’s hazard pay, Walt loses it. To end Walt’s complaining Jesse offers to pay both of their shares but Walt reluctantly concedes and pays the hazard pay money. After everything taken out they only made about $150,000 for their high risk cook. When leaving the place where they split the money, Walt mentions Gus’ man Victor and why he believes that Gus cut his throat. This little story hints that Walt will not hesitate to clear out those who get in his way.
With Walt and Jesse just getting started with their newest operation, there may be a couple hurdles in their way in the upcoming weeks. Next week’s episode entitled ‘Fifty-One’ clearly hints at Walt’s 51st birthday. I wonder what kind of celebration we’ll see on Sunday. Here’s a promo of next week’s installment.