I’m just in for the recaplet, but with this show that’s as draining as the full recap is for most others. So a couple bits and pieces first: The DEA is keeping Mike under surveillance at all times, even when he’s spending time with his granddaughter. Mike, unsurprisingly, is several steps ahead of them, but their dogged persistence (and Mike’s monitoring of them thanks to the bug Walt planted in Hank’s office) convinces Mike he needs to take action. Meanwhile, Skyler visits Marie and her purple shirt and purple rug and purple throw pillows and breaks down crying yet again – she wants to tell Marie the truth, and she even alludes to it, but she can’t get there – but she does learn about Walt telling Marie about the Ted affair. In seasons past, I would have worried for Walt’s safety, but she seems too beaten down for that – at least for now.
With the introductory elements out of the way, we pick up pretty close to where we left off last week, with a montage of the four train robbers breaking down their dump truck – and destroying the dead kid’s motorcycle. Of course, then it’s time to dispose of the kid’s corpse, but at least the show doesn’t make us watch that bit. What we do see is Landry cracking jokes at this exceedingly appropriate moment and getting Jesse’s fist in his face as a result, which is nice. In the aftermath, Landry pleads his case to Walt and Mike – the kid could have gotten away on his dirt bike – while Jesse plays witness for the prosecution. Walt, with Mike’s tacit approval, uncomfortably lays out their options, and Mike and Walt concur that keeping Landry on to tent houses is better than paying him to keep quiet or killing him. Of course, the last we see of Landry is him looking excitedly at the dead kid’s tarantula, so maybe natural selection will do Jesse a favor here?
Regardless, unfortunately, at their next house-tent cook, Jesse sees a TV news story about the boy they killed, and is distraught. Walt feigns empathy, but when Jesse soon after catches him whistling, without a care in the world, he knows on some level that he and Walt aren’t wired the same way. This leads to Walt walking into an ambush: Mike is quitting the business, thanks to the DEA surveillance – and so is Jesse, thanks to his possession of an actual conscience. Walt would be happy enough to let Mike go on his merry way, particularly if he’d train Jesse on the finer business points, but losing Jesse would be devastating. Unfortunately, he has no cards to play — that is, until the Gus Fring contact to whom Mike was planning to sell their methylamine for a cool ten million says he needs to take it all – even Walt’s share. Walt won’t sell, due to his capital-issues-issues over his old business Grey Matter (recently valued at $2.1 billion, yikes), so Mike decides to detain Walt physically while he sells the kit and caboodle without his permission (while still planning to cut him in; also, in fairness, Walt was ready to steal all the methylamine himself). Unfortunately, Mike has to leave Walt alone to go watch Saul buy him a window of non-surveillance from the DEA, and thanks to Walt’s willingness to chew through electrical wire and to burn his own skin, when Mike returns, he finds the methylamine gone. He’s ready right there to fulfill a long-denied wish and blow Walt’s brains out, but after Jesse talks him down, Walt – by the way, completely unfazed at having a gun to his head — claims he has a way for them to sell the methylamine and still retain some for him. How that will not happen, we have to wait until next week to see.