This week’s episode was about control and how, as Walt harshly advises a newbie cancer patient while they wait to do a scan, you can never give it up. Walt talks tough in front of the poor guy, saying how he chooses how to lead his life everyday, how cancer and other forces don’t have sway over him and the like – similar bullshit like his “I’m the one who knocks” monologue to Skyler. To shit on his take, they then cut to him suiting up at the lab then cut to Gus instructing a kid employee at his chicken shack. Walt may be making more money than him, but he’s in the same position as one of Fring’s frycooks.
Because while Walt’s cancer may still be in remission (at least as far as we and his family know), untimely death still looms large. Hank drags him into his “extra legal” investigation into Fring, the two of them spotted immediately by Mike while Walt tries to put a GPS tracker on Fring’s car. Walt begs for understanding from Fring, impotently shouting into the lab security camera that Hank has squat and Walt didn’t know what they were doing ahead of time, but such excuses don’t guarantee either his or his meddling brother-in-law’s lives. Making his life even more unstable is the realization that Jesse has had opportunities to kill Fring that he hasn’t told him about, making his only current strategy to take back control seem less likely by the day.
Through some spectacular bookending flashbacks in “Hermanos” we see just how much of a stickler Fring is for control and how he came to be that way. The cold open shows Fring fucking with the stroked-out Hector, relishing the chance to tell him how his nephews died thanks to a well-timed phone call to Hank. Then the last ten minutes of the episode explained why he hates Hector so, going back to when he and his “pollo hermano” tried to break into the methamphetamine business in Mexico, his “hermano” taking a bullet to the brain from Hector for their trouble.
The flashbacks help deepen the reasons behind Gus’ war with the Cartel and are generally just fucking nifty as hell, but they also hammer home that Fring, cool customer though he may be when dodging Hank and the brass’ questions, is still indeed the boxcutter-wielding psycho who demands respect and complete control. Hank and Walt eating it may draw attention towards him, for sure, but Hank catching wind of a war between Fring and the Cartel would draw even more.
What do you guys think? Do you like the flashback stuff or does it slow things down for you? I always like that “fucking with the timeline” shit, it seems so I’m not sure I’m impartial. Not a lot from Skyler this week, just lamely hiding unlaunderable money in shrink-wrapped clothes under the house. Jesse’s a mystery this week too, still on the fence about where his allegiances lie. Been apparently setting up Brock and his mom huge, though, maybe even getting back together with her, it seems.