Breaking Bad: Back to the Lab Again

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Photo: Courtesy of AMC
Episode Title
Mandala
Season
2
Episode
11

In the universe of Breaking Bad, there's really only one certainty: People aren't necessarily who you think they are. In last night's disturbing opening scene, Combo, one of Walt and Jesse's drug dealer lackeys, is confronted by two thugs in a car. A young boy on a bike approaches, and Combo warns him to leave the scene. Right when we think that the boy's going to get caught in drug-war crossfire, he instead takes out a gun and shoots Combo dead, upending our expectations entirely. It's a recurring theme throughout the episode.

Walt and His Family
Walt's doctor tells him of a risky surgery option; for about $200,000, Walt can have the shrunken tumor removed. Skylar balks at the cost and danger, but Walt says yes immediately, displaying his newfound ballsiness. Skylar, meanwhile, finds that her boss/crush, Ted, has been skimming money from his company. She confronts him and he admits it. "I'm not going to turn you in, but I can't be a part of it," she says to him, perhaps foreshadowing a future conversation she'll have with her husband, the drug dealer. Later on at work, Skylar has her first contraction. "Baby's coming," she texts Walt, who at the moment is occupied.

Walt and the Drugs
Lots of drug action this week. After Combo's death, Skinny P and others in Walt and Jesse's employ quit. Out of distribution options, Walt and Jesse seek the advice of Saul the shady lawyer, who claims to know someone who can take the meth off their hands. "I know a guy who knows a guy ... who knows a guy," he informs them. Saul sets up a meeting with said kingpin at a fast food chicken chain, and Jesse arrives late (and high ... more on that later). No one ends up coming to meet them, and Saul tells Walt that the kingpin saw them and bailed. Walt, not one to be deterred, heads back to the restaurant, and deduces that the dealer is actually the owner of the fast food chain, Gus, and after a conversation in which Gus expresses doubts about Jesse (mainly that he was late and high), Walt manages to convince him that Jesse won't be a problem. Later, one of Gus's henchmen tells Walt that they'll buy the whole supply for $1.2 million if he can get it to a highway exit — in an hour.

What's Next
So much to look forward to! Walt breaks into Jesse's house to get the meth for the deal, and simultaneously gets Skylar's text that she's in labor. Jesse and Jane (who relapses) have been on a drug binge for the entirely of the episode, which is why they're passed out when Walt arrives. "You can never trust a drug addict," Gus tells Walt. And it's true; in this episode, Jesse is completely unreliable. He and Jane do a speedball together (shooting up a combo of heroin and meth), which doesn't bode well for Jesse's future. We had hope for him at points throughout this season (and we like him, we really do), but he may well go the way of Christopher Moltisanti.