Before the airing of season 5 of Breaking Bad, director Vince Gilligan had said that these 8 episodes had been the most humorous of the entire series. In the opening episode of the season, ‘Live Free or Die’, there were some laugh of loud moments which mostly involved Jesse, magnets and the word “bitch”. From Gilligan’s statements, I had expected Sunday’s episode to be on a similar scale of humor but that was far from the case. ‘Madrigal’ is a return to the gritty and serious tone of the show that we’ve witnessed throughout it’s duration. The pacing of ‘Madrigal’ is very similar to that of last week as we’re moving closer and closer to the end of this short season. Let’s jump into episode 2′s recap.
The first image we’re shown is an older man whom is tasting new kinds of condiments in front of a group of people. We soon find out that the location is Germany and the man is Peter Schuler, head of fast food operations at Madrigal Electromotive, whom is a parent company for Los Pollos Hermanos. Mr. Schuler gets word from his assistant that the police are in the office to question him and Schuler calmly avoids the police officers and strolls to the bathroom but not before picking up a defibrillator. He uses the defibrillator to commit suicide by making his heart stop so the police couldn’t find out his relationship with Gus Fring.
Back in New Mexico, we find out that Walt had kept the poisonous ricin cigarette all along. He had switched out the ricin cigarette for one with salt and had given it to Jesse which he then used the lilly of the valley plant to poison Jesse’s girlfriend’s son so Walt could convince Jesse to help him kill Gus. Walt falsely helps Jesse search his house for the deadly (fake) cigarette which they eventually find in his floor cleaning robot. Walt quickly flushes the fake cigarette down the toilet knowing full well that the real poison is in his bedroom taped behind a plug socket. Jesse breaks down crying while apologizing for almost killing Walt at the end of last season. The pair then make their way to Mike’s house to offer him a partnership in their new operation. Mike declines telling Jesse that Walt is a dangerous time bomb. The pair then visit Saul whom suggests that with Gus’ death they should quit the drug trade but with the money Walt owes Jesse and that Skyler lent Ted, he has almost nothing left. The biggest hurdle in starting up their next operation is getting their hands on methylamine.
Next we’re met with Hank Schrader whom is meets with the CEO of Madrigal Electromotive whom assures the police that Schuler’s actions were an isolated incident and that they will do everything in their power to aid in the police investigation. Afterwards, we learn that Hank’s boss has been forced into retirement due to his inability to suspect Gus as being a high up man in the drug trade. He tells a story about how he had Gus over for dinner and was shocked to find out that he was living a double life. He ponders about who else could be leading a double life as the camera conveniently zooms in on Hank. Next we follow Mike as he meets a mysterious woman in a diner. This woman, Lydia has some connection to Gus and his operation as she is completely nervous about their meeting. She gives Mike a list of 11 name whom she wants him to kill but the list contains the names of all of Mike’s hired guys and that Gus had paid them to keep their mouth’s shut in case something would happen to him and his operation. He assures her that they won’t talk and leaves somewhat infuriated.
Mike is then called into the police station for questioning where he meets one of his men Chow whom took care of getting methylamine for their operation. Chow looked incredibly frightened and nervous coming from questioning. Mike plays dumb during Hank’s grilling question session and is about to leave when Hank drops a bombshell that they know about Gus’ account in the Cayman’s that has $2 million in the name of Mike’s granddaughter. Mike retains that he doesn’t know anything about it and leaves.
Mike then receives a phone call from Chow saying that they have to meet. Mike says that they’ll meet in 2 hours as he’s babysitting his granddaughter as we see Chow being held against his will by a man with a silencer pistol. Mike uses one of his granddaughter’s toys to distract the masked man at the front door as he sneaked around the back of the house. The masked man, Chris, is actually a former worker for Mike and Lydia paid him to kill all the men on the list for $10,000 a head and Mike was worth $30,000. Mike did not come in time to save Chow, whom was shot in the head, but he took care of Chris once he knew that Lydia was behind the hit.
Mike hunts down Lydia to her home and gets the jump on her. Right before he is about to execute her, he reconsiders and asks her if she could get her hands on methylamine. Mike calls Walt and tells him that he’s changed his mind and is in on their operation. The episode ends as Walt is trying to seduce a frightened Skyler. He mentions that her fear of him and what he does will go away because they are a family. Once again, the episode closes with a look of terror on Skyler’s face which may be a glimpse of things to come.
A much darker episode than last week and we’re moving quickly along. The preview for next week’s episode hints at a power struggle between Walt and Mike as their new partnership in the meth trade is underway. Here’s a small glimpse of next week’s episode ‘Hazard Pay’. See you then!