Episode 7: Problem Dog

At home playing a first-person shooter video game, Jesse fires a gun at the demons attacking him. Images of Gale Boetticher's murder blend with the action as Jesse replays the real-life gunshot and Gale falling dead in his mind's eye. Distracted and disturbed, Jesse dies in the game. He catches his breath. The memory fades, and he re-starts.

At the car wash, Walt grouses about the restocking fee the dealership is charging to take back the Challenger. Skyler pleads with him to just return the car and not make a scene. She wants them to be done with it.

Instead, Walt drives to an empty parking lot and races around recklessly, laying heavy rubber and doing doughnuts until the car runs aground on a parking block. Without a pause, Walt gets out, sets the car on fire and casually calls for a taxi as it burns.

Walt slumps in a chair at Saul's office while Saul handles the fallout from his client's "little joy ride." Walt admits that the pressure of knowing Gus wants to kill him is getting to him, and then inquires about hit men. "Wrong answer!" blurts Saul, pointing out that any for hire assailant would likely know Mike, and have to outmaneuver him. Walt tells Saul that he tried to kill Gus himself but couldn't get near him. "Why not ask your partner?" suggests Saul.

That night at Jesse's house, Walt interrogates Jesse about how close he's been to Gus. Closer than they are right now, Jesse says, adding, "He said he sees something in me." Gus tried to kill them both, Walt reminds him, did kill Victor, and lied about not targeting children the day Andrea's brother Tomas was shot — he's making his case for Jesse to take action. "Drop the sales pitch," says Jesse. "I'll kill him first chance I get."

The next day at the car wash, Marie tells Skyler how well Hank's therapy is going and that his spirits have improved. Walt sneaks $274,000 in drug money past them hidden in pallets of soda. After Marie leaves, Skyler and Walt regroup, and Skyler's stunned to realize that Walt's yearly income is more than $7 million. Skyler protests that it's too much to launder. She needs to solve that problem, Walt replies coldly.

In the superlab out of the security camera's view, Walt cooks a batch of ricin. At his house that night, Jesse notes that they had more of the poison when they tried to murder Tuco. It's enough, says Walt. Jesse just needs to slip some into Gus's food or drink and Gus will die within 36 hours. Jesse conceals the slim ricin vial inside a cigarette that he returns to the pack upside-down.

Walter, Jr. drives Hank to Los Pollos Hermanos, where Hank chats briefly with Gus, who recognizes him from his charity work at the DEA. Gus replenishes Hank's soda and offers to pay for any future meals at Los Pollos Hermanos. Hank later slips the cup into an evidence bag and stashes it under his seat in the car.

The next day, Mike and Jesse drive to Gus's factory farm. "Big doin's today," says Mike. Inside the office trailer, Mike discusses security arrangements with Gus while Jesse makes coffee, his hands shaking as he holds his cigarette pack, trying to decide what to do. Mike startles Jesse by offering him a loaded gun. "Emergency only," Mike says.

Three Cartel members arrive at the farm, fewer than Mike expected. Only one, Gaff (the lead assassin who hijacked the Los Pollos Hermanos truck in Episode 406), meets with Gus. Speaking in Spanish, Gus offers the Cartel $50 million. "In return, our business is over," he says. Gaff replies that Gus knows what the Cartel wants. Is his answer yes or no? Gus seems to have made an error in judgment: "This is not a negotiation," Gaff says, bluntly.

Outside moments later, Gaff and Gus stare each other down as the Cartel members depart. On the drive back to town, Jesse asks Mike what it is Gus sees in him. "Loyalty," Mike replies. "Only, maybe you got it for the wrong guy."

That evening, Jesse attends an N.A. group meeting and indirectly bares his soul about killing Gale, telling a story about a fictitious "problem dog" he put down. Another addict criticizes Jesse for animal cruelty, but the group leader cautions the group not to judge. Jesse asks why not. Is he supposed to "accept" himself no matter how many "dogs" he kills? Breaking down under the weight of the guilt, Jesse lashes out, saying he's really at the meetings to sell meth. "I made you my bitch," he sneers. "You accept that?" The group leader takes this in as Jesse charges out.

Later at the superlab, Walt asks Jesse what's going on with the assassination attempt. Jesse lies and says he hasn't seen Gus.

Hank meets with Gomez and ASAC Merkert at the DEA. He describes Gale and his murder, and hypothesizes that Gale is Heisenberg's former cook. The letters and numbers scribbled on the Los Pollos Hermanos napkin found in Gale's apartment, Hank explains, were the parts number for an industrial air-filtration system that Gale took delivery on. A system, Hank notes, perfect "for the biggest meth lab north of the border." By coincidence, its manufacturer is owned by a German-based conglomerate that also has a stake in Los Pollos Hermanos.

Hank theorizes that a vegetarian like Gale wouldn't eat at a chicken restaurant, and further that he'd only go to Los Pollos Hermanos for a meeting, perhaps with Gus. "What do we know about this Gustavo Fring?" asks Hank, questioning Gus's supposed affinity for law enforcement. "Maybe he's our guy."

Merkert suggests that Hank is "really reaching." Hank concedes that he thought so too at first. But one thing troubles him, says Hank, pausing for effect as he reveals photographs of a fingerprint on a Los Pollos soda cup and prints from the crime scene. "What are Gustavo Fring's fingerprints doing in Gale Boetticher's apartment?" Hank asks, laying his trump card on the table.

Breaking Bad Season 4

View photos from the Episode 407, "Problem Dog"

Guest stars:
Jere - Jere Burns
Gaff - Maurice Compte
Gale - David Costabile
Female Group Member - Fran Martone
Mike's #1 - Keith Meriweather
Biker Group Member - Michael Yak Oliva
Gaff's #1 - Luis Pimber
Gomez - Steven Michael Quezada
Mike's #2 - Eric Steinig
ASAC Merkert - Michael Shamus Wiles
Written and Directed by: Peter Gould

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Next Episode: Hermanos

Breaking Bad Episode 408 Main

Skyler develops an unusual solution to her money troubles. Hank enlists Walt to investigate a theory. Walt’s impatience with Jesse grows.

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