“Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.” Thus is the closing line and ultimate decision of Skyler in “Cornered.” After putting together Walt’s “I love you” call and drunken rant from last week’s episode, Skyler finally realizes the stakes of the game her husband has joined. Naturally, Walt impotently claims that he’s too much of a badass to be in mortal danger, but Skyler sees through his bullshit finally. After an existential journey with the baby to the Four Corners Monument, she comes back home ready to take charge of the home front and, well, the fucking drug front that is the car wash.
Speaking of the car wash and Walt’s impotence (These are the segues, folks) this is about as shitty a version of Walt as we’ve seen in a while. Playing big man for the wife then fucking with his ex-boss at the car wash (though that guy was being a real douche) then getting three Honduran laundry employees deported (in the best case scenario, anyway – they could be dead for all we know) over a lame on-camera tantrum for Fring’s benefit? Some childish shit right there. Then, of course, there’s the buying of Walt Jr.’s love and support with that fucking tasteless Challenger (that soulless reboot of a classic makes me madder than talk of Tony Scott remaking The Wild Bunch, though it is almost funnier than Walt’s ugly-ass Aztek), a painfully stupid and dickish move.
But Walt’s being cornered does lead to one smart moment this week in that he’s able to see through Fring’s decision to make Jesse Mike’s new guy, even calls bullshit on Jesse’s hero moment from last week in a shockingly accurate way. But Walt ending his confrontation with Jesse by saying that it’s all about him probably wasn’t the wisest way to explain the situation.
To make matters worse, Jesse is actually kinda good at Mike’s wet work, handling the blue meth-dealing house situation with some decent smarts – love the digging detail. (That whole scene plus the cold open were pretty masterfully handled this week, very smart suspense sequences both.) Add to that a word of encouragement from Fring and a debt owed to Mike for helping him clean up again and yeah, Walt, I’d say that wedge is getting pretty fucking snug.
So no Hank and Marie stuff this week, just watching Walt flail, Jesse be duped, and Skyler wake up, but lots of stuff on the border war with Fring and the Cartel. We saw that the Cartel has just been trying to get a sit-down with Fring and that Mike wants to soldier up while Fring wants to keep it cold along the battle lines. I’m guessing we’ll see what happens at the meeting next week, but until then, what do you all think of how shit’s been shaping up? Think this war could land in Skyler’s lap sooner than even she thought possible? Also, not a lot of laughs this episode, probably coulda used more Saul so…that’s not a question…