Last week’s explosive episode, in which Hank beat the hell out of Jesse before later getting his karmic retribution from The Brothers, momentarily led us to believe that a quiet was upon us: Jesse and Walter are back together, The Brothers aren’t in the picture anymore, and Hank’s near-dead status would keep him from investigating the blue meth. For a while, anyway.
That path is primrose. Jesse and Walt are back together, sure, but every new relationship means there is a jilted former partner. My guess is that we haven’t seen the last of Walt’s lab assistant, Gale. He didn’t look too happy to be tossed aside for the jackassin’ Jesse, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a scorned physicist.
Meanwhile, Hank’s shooting seems to be slowly bringing Walt and Skyler closer together. The last two and a half seasons have made a man out of the timid school teacher, and the way Walt took charge in the hospital, especially with Marie, seemed like it gained him a lot of favor with Skylar, who by the end of the episode was sleeping on Walt’s shoulder. Marie, meanwhile, is blaming everyone but the actual shooters for Hank’s injuries. It doesn’t appear that any of this is going to take the heat off of Jesse; if anything, it’s only going to increase it, as many in the police department believe that Jesse had something to do with Hank’s shooting.
But the real story of last night’s episode was Gustav. Gustav, all legitimate and innocent-looking in his fast-food manager attire, is one fierce, mean motherfucker. Tuco and the Brothers were nothing compared to Gustav, and it seems like only a matter of time before Walt is pitted directly against Gustav. Last night, Gustav let Walt know that he knows all, and he remains three steps ahead of not just Walt but his own enemies, including the surviving brother and the Brothers’ boss, Juan, both of whom Gustav had taken out.
But if there’s anything we’ve learned from “Breaking Bad,” it’s that there’s always someone even further up the drug-dealing food chain.The Brothers’ boss, no doubt, has another boss, and we’ll have to see if that boss gets mixed up with Gustav. In the meantime, how long will Walt stay in Gustav’s good graces, particularly after firing Gale? It looks like Jesse has no intentions of playing nicely with Walt, either. Scenes from next week intimate that Jesse is going to do some double-dealing with his old dumbass gang. And at some point, Skylar is probably going to want Walt to avenge Hank’s shooting, which will probably bring Skylar into the fold and, perhaps eventually, Hank, too.
The circle is getting larger, and so is the noose. And that noose is starting to slowly close around Walt’s neck again. It’s hard to tell who has control of the situation right now, but my money is on Gustav.