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Hell on Wheels: Episode 2 “Immoral Mathematics” review

19 Nov

The Swede: a sadistic accountant

I don’t know exactly what AMC was thinking with that pilot which I still think trudged along with cliches laden throughout the narrative; however, I was pleasantly surprised with the second episode of the Hell on Wheels. It’s what I expected in the first place. And it is why I tend to give a show a second chance even if I hate the pilot. Last year, I liked the USA pilot for Fairly Legal. No it wasn’t earth-shattering television but I thought it was – cute. And honestly, sometimes cute is all I need with a television show. Then with expectations set high, I tuned in for the second episode and wondered if all the executives at USA had smoked loads of crack because what I was watching was not the same show. They had somehow ruined the good, happy, feeling and made it some miserable power struggle with a few half-lighthearted moments. I stopped watching by episode 5.

I’m the first one to admit I don’t give a rat’s ass about railroads or trains.  So I am not the audience for this show.  But I have a theory:  if a show is well written and you make compelling characters, it can make almost any subject bearable.  And that happened for me in this episode.  Finally, some of the characters are beginning to show – character.  Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) must prove he is more than just a good shot in a confessional booth.  He gets brought in for questioning regarding the murder of his former boss in the pilot episode.  Will he cover for Elam (played by rapper Common) or will he betray him?  To make this drama more compelling, the man who has Bohannan brought in for questionning is a new, twisted character, The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) who shackles Bohannan in an empty railcar until he confesses to murder or hangs him without the confession, whichever comes first.  What is clear is that Bohannan is going to die in this episode if he doesn’t take drastic action, take control of his life, and stop reacting to his wife’s death.  This episode represents the moment a character realizes it is up to him to change his life and control it or he will lose it.

SPOILER ALERT: Bohannan and The Swede have an intimate conversation regarding what made The Swede (actually A Norwegian), a sadistic torturer.  He was once an accountant.  No. That isn’t the explanation but if you have ever worked with anti-social accountants who aren’t people persons and there are many out there, believe me, then you might see an underlying similar personality. It was when he became a prisoner of war that he discovered killing people for his survival was not only necessary but on some level, pleasurable.  Of course, the pleasurable part is implied but it hangs in the air of the railcar while Bohannan realizes if he doesn’t not escape, he will become a statistic on The Swede’s balance sheet of “immoral mathematics” – hence the title of the episode.

Not only does Bohannan escape but he confronts Durant (Colm Meaney) and talks himself into his former boss’s job, winning his freedom from The Swede’s persecution.  At least temporarily.  Because once you’ve made an enemy with someone like The Swede, that problem usually doesn’t fix itself.  In the meantime, Durant has his hands full.  He’s worried about the missing surveyor’s maps that Lily (Dominique McElligott) escaped with.  He puts out a reward.  And he also manipulates the news story to make the Indians somehow look worse which I would have thought was almost impossible after the pilot episode.

Finally, Lily is on the run.  Well, ok on the hobble because she can’t move very fast.  After all, her husband was murdered in front of her (come on if the Indians didn’t get him that stupid cough would have killed him in a couple of months – at least he went out with a bang this way).  We also cannot forget that she was shot with an arrow but managed to extract it from her shoulder and murder the Indian who killed her husband.  I have some high hopes for Lily being a kick ass bitch.  They were a bit let down this episode though.  Yes, that scene where she has to sew up her wound was impressive and made me want to vomit, I’ll give the writers that.  But I feel like you can’t have it both ways.  She’s tough when she needs to be and vulnerable when it serves the narrative.  She ends up being rescued by the only ‘civilized Indian’ in the area, Joseph Black Moon (Eddie Spears).  I’m taking bets on how long it will take for those two to hook up and really cause some problems in the Hell on Wheels settlement camp.

Hell on Wheels: AMC’s newest drama entry

14 Nov

Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannan

I suppose I should begin this by saying: I don’t like shows that have to do with the Civil War or history of the Civil War. I find them mind-numbingly dull most of the time.  In fact, I’m really not a huge history buff at all.  I guess that is because after being forced to take an historiography class (for anyone that hasn’t had to go through an advanced degree program in liberal arts, historiography is the study of history, actually the history of how history is written).  Through this course, you get to examine how history is written, why it is written, whose point of view it is written in, whose voice is left out, and finally asking yourself, what does that mean?  Is any history really true or is it merely those individual’s opinions who managed to get their voices heard?  That is why primary research (finding documents such as birth certificates, hospital and military records, police reports, government studies and correspondence, telegrams, etc.) is so important to support any one historian’s theories;  however, if you think about it, anything can be falsified and although all of history isn’t a big lie, I would be glad to argue that a large part of history is written with a slanted perspective depending on who the author of any given subject is.  That is why I am honestly not a fan of watching historical shows on television.  That and honestly, war bores the shit out of me.  It is such a man’s game.  Although, I will admit to learning how to play Call of Duty and immensely enjoying blowing people’s heads off, I just feel like there are many instances in history that if testosterone would have been in a more limited supply maybe cooler heads would have prevailed.  Who knows.  I just don’t get excited thinking about battle movements.

What does all of this talk have to do with AMC’s newest show Hell on Wheels?  Well, in my mind, everything.  We follow a former confederate solider, Cullen Bohannan (what the hell kind of name is that?  I spent the entire episode not knowing what his name was until I was forced to look it up), on a journey of vengeance for his wife’s murder.  I am not quite clear if this took place during the war or right after it, but I’m assuming it happened while Cullen was fighting.  And by the end of the pilot, it seems fairly clear that his wife was gang raped and murdered by a group of Union soldiers.  So, here I am, realizing that I get to listen to history whether I like it or not.  And the problem is, that it doesn’t feel organic.  I feel like I’m getting my history shoved down my throat by AMC original programming.

I would argue a better way to show us history, is to create a character living in a specific time and not forcing us to listen to bits and pieces of what went on like school reports to give the viewer background.  Either make it happen organically, or forget it.  For example, I thought I was going to HATE the HBO show Carnivale.  Because I hate the circus.  Don’t ask me why.  It’s irrational.  It’s just that everything seems so seedy in the circus I find it depressing.  However, I ended up loving this show and was greatly disappointed when HBO cancelled it:  still a stupid decision HBO people.  Shame on you!  What I loved about this show is that the writers expertly wove in everything you needed to know about the Depression through the characters and the narrative.  Never once in my viewing of that show did I ever feel like the writers took a time out from the action to explain something that had gone on in the Depression that we needed to understand to get the story.

In Hell on Wheels, the way it is set up, they cannot help but do this jerky narrative technique.  At least they could give us flashbacks to learn about the Civil War.  Oh would that be too expensive?   You should have thought about that in the first place AMC.  Furthermore, the writers are using terms to show they have learned the lingo from that time (case in point, calling a knife an Arkansas toothpick), and while they think it is coming off as clever, I’m thinking, ok you guys, anybody can do a little research and learn this crap.  Stop trying to be clever and start telling a story I can follow.  And when I say that, I mean this backstory about what happened in the past that is informing the present.  Again, showing it is so much better than talking about it.  You learn that, literally, in Screenwriting 101.  The mantra “Show it” is shoved down your throat so much that if you can’t learn that basic idea, then I’m concerned about your overall ability to learn then convey ideas in an entertaining way.

In this pilot episode, I believe the principles of writing for television and film have been violated just like the wife of Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount, who by the way, does do a good job).  I don’t think I have ever seen quite so many cliches in a television show since the 1980s.  Case in point, Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney) who is responsible for financing the building of the Union Pacific railroad line might be the biggest cliche I’ve seen since… honestly, I can’t come up with a bigger cliche right now.  It’s not that the character isn’t well-acted, it’s that the character as it is written is one that we’ve seen a million times before.  Ruthless business man who will lie, cheat, steal and physically harm anyone who gets in the way of his growing empire of wealth.  Great.  I get it, but give his character a bit more depth.  Give him something.  Even a personality quirk that at least makes him interesting to watch.

And… the way the Indians are portrayed is no better than watching a 1930s western.  Or The Searchers.   I realize this is a drama for television but come on, there are two sides to every story.  And I just happen to be driving across the country when I saw this pilot and here I am driving through Oklahoma and entering so many reservation territories and I was struck by the way the attack on the railroad workers camp was shown.  It is definitely a brutally violent heartless attack and you automatically are forced to identify with the white man unless you are some sociopath who enjoys scalping people because let me just say, I sure as hell did not enjoy watching someone scalped alive.  But yes, I get it.  That shit happened.  But I also thought about it as I was driving along I-40 and thought, if it were me and I had been an Indian and all these assholes just showed up on my land and decided to take it, wouldn’t I be just as violent and brutal?  And my answer was yes.  That is how they lived and that is how they were going to respond.  And were the white people so stupid that they would not have employed far more guards, etc. with guns at these camps, realizing the danger they were in?  If all those idiot men could engage in great battle movements, didn’t they have the common sense to realize they needed some preventive measures?

I haven’t even touched on the politics between the “irony” that Cullen is a former slave owner and he’s put in charge of a crew of former slaves working on the railroad.  But he is an enlightened slave owner.  He gave his slaves their freedom a year before the Civil War broke out and paid them wages, and did not have sex with any of the women.  I was ready for Cullen to say that he also listened to “All Things Considered” and “Morning Becomes Eclectic” on NPR because obviously Cullen is just a good guy.  He fought in the Civil War because of pride and honor.  That did a lot of good for his wife.  So, now we must watch, if we choose to, Cullen go on his rampage because he choose the country and ideals over the woman he loved.  A noble choice?  I say that is a masculine choice that causes all this shit to happen in the first place.  And I just wasted an hour of my time watching a guy feel sorry for himself.  He got paid to do that.  Nobody paid me a cent to sit through that.  I suppose I will watch one more episode to see if this gets any better or just sucks.

Breaking Bad and The Spaghetti Western

11 Oct

Vince Gilligan creator of "Breaking Bad"

This season, Walt was particularly alienated. It isn’t as if Walt (Bryan Cranston) hasn’t been distanced from everyone else through the entire series, after all, the man started out with cancer and became a powerful meth cook who battled evil personalities he came up against one by one. With Walt and the individuals he encounters because of the line of his work (drugs) the punishment for transgression tends to be death. While yes, all of this is obvious, I realized this series was a prime example of noir on TV. Something you don’t actually get very often. While yes, you could say any of the detective shows are noir, I would argue, no they are not. Because the thing about noir is that it is usually a hybrid genre and there tends to be a mood of overwhelming doom. If you are not familiar with critical studies terms, that’s ok, I’ll explain it simply: a hybrid genre is a combination of one or more genres mixed together. What is a genre? A genre is a literary term or a way to categorize or classify a group of work (film, literature, music, even tv) that holds the same elements in the scope of the narrative. In plain talk that means: if you are watching a romantic comedy, there are certain things that you as a viewer expect to happen: you expect to laugh a lot at the fiobles of the two main characters, you expect that you will be introduced to your two main protagonists in a story and they are secretly perfect for each other, but their own stubborn personalities somehow keep them apart, they will come together but something will go wrong and they will have to go on some symbolic learning journey together to discover they are really soul mates and meant for each other. There will always be a comic relief best friend of one sex or the other, depending on the protagonist in the story (think of Sandy Lyle (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Along Came Polly), and there will always be some sort of embarrassing, self-effacing moment the protagonist suffers (think of the many embarrassing things that happen to Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) in the beginning of Romancing the Stone).

In noir you get two genres that mix; they tends to be things like the crime drama and melodrama (Mildred Pierce or Shadow of a Doubt) or the gangster film and melodrama (The Big Heat, White Heat, Out of the Past).  Sometimes it can be a strange combination like Fritz Lang‘s musical noir, You and Me.  Finally, there is one combination that is sometimes neglected or forgotten:  the western noir.   Anthony Mann is a prime example of a director who made Hollywood studio western noirs with such classics as The Naked Spur and Winchester ’73.  But there are other western noirs as well including two of my favorites, Johnny Guitar and Rancho Notorious.    What is so important about the western and noir is that, according to Vince Gilligan, in an interview after the final episode of this season of Breaking Bad, he credits not only noir as his influence, but the western, specifically, the spaghetti western.  The spaghetti western was made famous by Clint Eastwood in the mid 1960s, with a group of films directed by Sergio Leone in Spain for low budgets (many other spaghetti westerns were shot in Italy).  The Eastwood character tended to be a lone hero, alienated by all and would stop at nothing to get what he needed to accomplish with little dialogue and a lot of riding around the desert.

Gilligan explains that he actually had the potential directors this season watch Once Upon A Time in the West which now makes all of the strange openings and extreme alienation of Walt something that makes even more sense.  In noir as in the western, your protagonist is always going to be an antihero, someone who usually did his best to play by the rules and work within the system but something happens, something dramatic (in Walt’s case, he got cancer and needed money for bills and to provide for his family) and our antihero decides to throw caution to the wind and make his own rules.  Hence, why Walt has evolved so much in the past 4 seasons.  It makes even more sense, this hybridity of the western and noir, to remember the locale Breaking Bad takes place in:  New Mexico.  The Old West.  Where laws are broken constantly and lawmen are scrambling to keep some sort of barrier between civility and lawlessness.  If the protagonist is a true anti-hero and cannot live within the system any longer and function as a human being, there are only two options for him, to live somewhere, usually alone or with other outlaws or to die.  In true noir, as well, our protagonist/anti-hero tends to die at the end of all great noir films, since their lives are doomed from the start.  I just don’t see a happy ending for Walt.  All I know is that so far it has been a great ride.

Breaking Bad: “Face Off” Season 4 Finale

10 Oct

SPOILER ALERT: It’s been a long summer for us, Hank (Bryan Cranston), Jesse (Aaron Paul), Skyler (Anna Gunn) and the rest of the characters in Breaking Bad. Sometimes things went very slow, but that’s because we had to descend into a bit of madness with Hank, Jesse and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) at different times this season. Descending into madness, from what I can tell, is not something that happens fast, it is like slow-drip coffee. It takes a while but once you are there, you will remember the richness of the experience for quite some time to come.  If you have watched this episode, you will understand the double entendre, almost triple if you think about the film Face/Off and we discover Walt’s new, evolved persona.  He didn’t need an actual skin transplant, he just needed thicker skin.  A lesson for us all, really.  And Vince Gilligan makes sure we all learn just what it takes to grow a thicker skin and makes us question the price we tend to pay… our humanity.  The real question is, how important is humanity when you are trying to survive?

Walt is literally on a mission:  to kill Gus.  First he plants the car bomb that Gus ‘senses’ and avoids.  Then in one of the best scenes ever, Hank has to take back the bomb and bring it into the pediatric intensive care ward in a flowered baby bag.  Jesse can’t believe he brought a bomb into the hospital.  At this point, their life has become so surreal that it doesn’t phase Hank.  After all, that bomb is all he really has to kill Gus.  Hank implores Jesse to think of a place where there are no cameras where Hank can plant the bomb and kill Gus.  Jesse is so upset about Brock that he can’t come up with an answer then he is hauled off by the police because of his ricin comment to Andrea in the  last episode.  Saul (Bob Odenkirk) must rescue him and that’s when Jesse remembers the nursing home where Hector (Mark Margolis) lives.  He gives the information to Saul who passes it along to Hank.

Hank’s reunion with Hector might be filled with hate but their mutual hatred of Gus overcomes their feelings for each other.  Hector gets on board the plan and allows Gus to think he has talked to the DEA.  This draws Gus out and exposes him.  He wants to kill Hector personally, which is what Hank is betting on.  Tyrus (Ray Campbell) does a sweep of the room and it seems clear.  Later, Gus and Tyrus visit Hector.  He finally looks directly at Gus which alerts Gus something is terribly wrong since Hector starts ringing his bell which is now a trigger for the bomb.  It explodes killing all three men.  But not before one of the best scenes in television, as we see Gus walk out of the room, seemingly unscathed, fixing his tie, then the camera pans around to show us that half of his face and head have been blown away.  Gus is dead before he realizes what’s happening.  The moment he crumples to the floor, you know Hank has finally won, for now.  Hank and Jesse torch the superlab so there is no evidence of their presence.

Later, Jesse tells Hank that it wasn’t ricin that hurt Brock (who will recover).  It was a flower, Lily of the Valley.  For some reason, apparently, Brock ate one or some of the berries and it poisoned him.  Walt looks relieved and Jesse goes back in for his vigil.  Walt calls Skyler to let her know they’re safe and she looks a bit ill, realizing just what her husband is capable of since it’s all over the news.  Finally, as Walt contemplates his new power, the camera takes us on its own journey – to Walt’s backyard, to show us the Lily of the Valley potted plant.  And yes, I stand corrected, I didn’t think Walt was capable of harming a child but he had to think like Gus and he won as soon as he adopted his opponent’s tactics.  This particular gesture has made Walt even less human and a bit more like Gus.  I can’t wait to see what next season brings.

Breaking Bad: “End Times” Episode Review

9 Oct

Only one episode left until the season finale of Breaking Bad and the big question is: who is going to die? Because there is far too much tension that has built up to not pay off the audience with a spectacular death. My money is on Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) or at least Tyrus (Ray Campbell), his right-hand guy, as Mike (Jonathan Banks) seems to still be recovering from his gunshot wounds after the Cartel encounter.

SPOILER ALERT:

The displacement of familiar space and surroundings seems to permeate this episode.  What do I mean by that vague sentence?  I mean, everything that is familiar to Walt (Bryan Cranston), Skylar (Anna Gunn), Junior (RJ Mitte), Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie (Betsy Brandt) functions in a different way.  What was once simply ‘home’ is now a barricaded fortress awaiting attack.  Home is no longer a haven, it is a space awaiting hostile forces to invade.  Jesse (Aaron Paul) isn’t immune to this phenonmenon, as he lies on his couch, smoking and waiting because this episode is primarily about waiting for the inevitable, his ‘attack’ comes in the form a phone call from his girlfriend, Andrea (Emily Rios), informing him that Brock (Ian Posada), her son, is in the hospital.  Saul (Bob Odenkirk) temporarily shuts down the shop and desperately tries to get rid of incriminating evidence knowing that his bodyguard is not enough to keep his storefront law firm from being attacked.  Finally, Gus, the instigator of all this angst also loses his safe space, his car, where Walter has planted a bomb.

I don’t necessarily believe the way the story went down about how Gus knew about the ricin cigarette and had Tyrus steal it from Jesse and set Walt up.  Why?  Because Walt just argued with Jesse about how Gus was a child killer and although Jesse is currently thinking the worst of Walt, even Jesse wouldn’t believe that Walt is capable of poisoning an innocent child for revenge.  I also don’t buy that Jesse believes only he and Walt knew about the cigarette since, as Walt pointed out, Gus had cameras everywhere and Jesse pulled that stupid cigarette out enough times over the past few episodes to let Gus get a glance at it and wonder why he kept looking at it and not smoking it.

Hank’s obsession with the laundry is only the beginning of the end for the superlab.  His heckling of his former colleague, Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada), and the subsequent search of the laundry premises sets up the initial investigation into what might be the real breakthrough for bringing down Gus – and possibly Jesse, Hank or both.  Hank and Jesse are losing everything important to them and no matter how hard they fight back, Gus is still one step ahead, evidenced by his sixth sense when he can feel someone is watching him and has tampered with his ultimate safe space, his Volvo station wagon (symbolically a car long-associated with safety).  I have a feeling in tonight’s season finale, nobody will be safe, wherever they hide.

Breaking Bad: “Crawl Space” Review

8 Oct

Things on Breaking Bad are heating up.  The noose is tightening around Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) neck in this episode aptly named “Crawl Space”.

SPOILER ALERT:

If you were wondering if Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) survived ingesting the poison, that would be a resounding yes.  Apparently, if you are a rich enough drug dealer, you can have a pop-up hospital in the middle of the Mexican desert with a top-notch doctor and surgical team on your payroll.  Both Gus and Mike (Jonathan Banks) survive the Cartel ordeal.  Jesse (Aaron Paul) is impressed with Gus’s planning abilities when he discovers the doctor probably knows more about Jesse’s medical history than Jesse.  After recovering from surgery, Gus and Jesse set off to walk across the border to get back to the US.  On the journey, Gus announces his intention of promoting Jesse to Walt’s position which promptly causes Jesse to insist that Gus not kill Walt.  Later, just so we see how much Gus enjoys revenge, he visits Hector (Mark Margolis) to inform him all the key members of the Cartel are dead, including his grandson and only heir.

Hank (Dean Norris) is stirring up more trouble.  Walt is stuck helping him on stakeouts, trying to dissuade him and steer Hank away from Gus and the operation.  Unfortunately, Hank does more digging and discovers the laundry facilities that Gus owns and asks Walt to take him there.  In a sheer panic, Walt does the only thing he can to prevent the inevitable… he causes a car accident.  Both Hank and Walt are fine but this prompts Hank to order a car he will be able to drive and conduct his own surveillance.

Skyler (Anna Gunn) has mounting problems with Ted and her monetary ‘gift’ to him.  He refuses to use the money to pay the IRS and essentially tries to blackmail Skyler for more when she visits him and attempts to persuade him to write a check and pay the back taxes.  She resorts to enlisting Saul (Bob Odenkirk) who sends over his bodyguard Huell (Lavell Crawford) and another associate, Kuby (Bill Burr) to strong arm Ted into writing the check, which, in the end he does.   Later, as Kuby explains to Saul, “an act of God” occurs when Ted trips on his throw rug while trying to escape and injures himself on a piece of furniture.  He’s either dead or in bad shape but we don’t get to find out.  I’m hoping for dead but if he lives, that would be more stress for Skyler and better drama.  And possibly a great death/torture scene for Ted.  If he died by tripping like a klutz, that is a waste and really a moment out of a Coen Brothers’ movie.

Walt discovers Jesse has been cooking in the superlab without him.  He goes to confront him and it’s clear although Jesse secretly wants to protect Walt as much as Walt secretly wants to protect Jesse, they are still hurt from their altercation.  Jesse yells at Walt, reminding him what he said when he last saw him.  It’s more like a lover’s quarrel than a fight which reinforces the idea of Walt and Jesse’s friendship functioning as the most significant relationship in the show.  After Jesse stomps back inside, Tyrus (Ray Campbell) and one of the henchmen from Gus’s crew taser Walt and bring him to a meeting with Gus in the middle of the desert.

Gus informs Walt that he’s fired and warns him to stay away from Jesse.  He also says he’ll be killing Hank and if Walt intervenes, he’ll kill Walt’s family.  Walt runs to Saul who gives him the contact number for the guy who can help him and his family disappear.  He convinces Saul to call in an anonymous tip to save Hank’s life.  Surprisingly, Saul does this.  Walt rushes home to get the money together in the crawl space only to discover most of it’s gone.  Skyler admits to Walt that she gave the money to Ted.  Walt loses it as he begins to laugh like a mad man, and in a very film noir-ish cinematic moment, the camera slowly pulls back to frame Walt’s face in the crawl space, causing him to look more and more like a corpse until we fade to black.  I can’t wait for the next episode.

Breaking Bad: “Salud” Episode Review

20 Sep

If I had been feeling a bit slighted this season with episodes that didn’t have quite enough action, Vince Gilligan made it up to me with last night’s episode, “Salud”.  Breaking Bad is picking up speed as it nears the season ending and it isn’t disappointing its fans.

SPOILER ALERT:

We begin the episode with Jesse, Gus and Mike waiting in an open field to get on a plane and fly to Mexico to do “the cook” for the Cartel.  Jesse, surprisingly, rises to the occasion, channeling Walt and impressing Gus.  He not only pulls off the cook but intimidates and insults the cartel chemist in charge.  That was most likely cathartic after what he went through with Walt.  Things go so well, in fact, that Jesse is informed he will be staying in Mexico for all the cooks.  He is not pleased to say the least.

In the meantime, Skyler tries to reach Walt, who is passed out after taking many painkillers.  He misses Walt., Jr.’s birthday and giving him the ridiculous PT Cruiser.  The gift is an epic fail.  Later, Walt, Jr. goes to Walt’s and finds his dad beaten up and wasted.  Walt ends up crying in front of him.  Junior responds by comforting and taking care of his dad.  The next day, the closeness ends when Walt tells Junior he doesn’t want him to remember him like that and Junior says he prefers crying Walt to the Walt of the previous year.  There’s always some fall out when you become Meth King of Albuquerque.

Skyler has problems with Ted.  She’s instructed Saul to give Ted money to pay off the IRS and pretend it is an inheritance.  Instead of paying off his taxes, he leases a Mercedes and decides to start up his business again.  Skyler pays him a visit and ends up insisting he use the money she gave him to pay off the debt.  That was most likely a bad idea as we can all see Ted is an idiot.

Walt has more to worry about than he imagined since Jesse ends up using the poison Walt gave him to kill Gus to kill Don Eladio and his lieutenants.  We’re not sure what story Jesse has told to Mike and Gus but we see Gus ingest the poison then go throw it up.   Not sure if that’s going to work for him and as Cartel members start dropping dead, Gus doesn’t escape unscathed.  He’s doubled over in pain as they run for a getaway car and things only get worse when a Cartel member we thought was dead shoots and hits Mike.  Jesse drives both of his wounded comrades out of the compound as the episode ends leaving all of us to wonder:  who will die?  Mike?  Gus?  Both?  I prefer Mike.  Gus creeps me out so you know who I’m banking on to survive.

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