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"Breaking Bad" Recap: "Salud"

Salomon Fuentes |
September 19, 2011 | 12:33 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Gus and Jesse (Creative Commons)
Gus and Jesse (Creative Commons)

You’re waiting for a plane. A plane that will take you far away. You know where you hope this plane will take you, but you can't know for sure.

Well, at least that’s what I was thinking as Jesse, Gus and Mike waited for their plane to take off and then land somewhere in Mexico. Turns out they were headed to a lab not unlike the one we've come to know and love. It just so happens this lab has a team of cartel chemists and the equipment looks like it could use a good cleaning.

Upon arrival, Jesse, the man who is supposed to be a marquee chemist, is rattled when he learns the cartel makes their own phenylacetic acid. But he quickly regains his composure when the lead cartel chemist tries to give Gus some guff. “Tell this (chemist) if he wants to learn how to make my product. He’s gotta do it my way. The right way,” Jesse tells Gus. Jesse has gone from adding chili powder to his crystal meth to respecting the chemistry and purity of things much like Walt preached and wows the cartel with his 96.2 percent pure crystal methBack in America, Walt is recovering from a fight he had with Jesse. He shamelessly peddles a story about getting into a fight while gambling to Walt Jr., even going as far as starting the waterworks. But he realizes his mistake and goes into a very personal story the next day about his dying father and how that was his final memory of him.

“I don’t want that to be your memory of me when I’m gone,” Walt says of the night before. But Walt Jr. has a response that has to guilt his father far more so: “At least last night you were real, you know?”

Skyler, meanwhile, is attempting to keep her former boss, Ted, out of prison and donates $621,552.33 to do so. Skyler’s plan is to let Saul give Walt’s money to Ted. Saul explains that the money comes by way of Ted’s Great Aunt Birgid from Luxembourg. Ted buys the lie wholeheartedly and begins to spend his “inheritance.” When Skyler spills the beans and admits it’s “her” money, it does leave the door open for something big to come out of this. But right now this plotline feels almost as if it’s just a way for the writers to give something for Skyler to do, which is a shame because she can be a good character when used right. The same could be said for Saul, who continues to be criminally underutlized this season.

Finally, Jesse, Gus and Mike are at Don Eladio’s place where Jesse is surprised to learn he’s staying in Mexico. Except he’s not: “I promise you this: either we’re all going home or none of us are,” Mike tells him. Gus, being back at the very place where his former partner was killed, decides that this is a good day for revenge and offers Don Eladio some high-end tequila, as a token of respect. Everyone but Jesse and Mike have some, including Gus, though he has meticulously planned ahead and takes a pill and later a quick stop at the restroom to vomit the poisoned tequila and returns to find the cartel members either dead or dying, including Don Eladio.

But in their haste to escape, Gus finds out there’s still some poison in his system and Mike takes a bullet. It’s Jesse to the rescue but there’s still the question of where their getaway vehicle will take them. 

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