Breaking Bad
One Minute

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The "adult themes and violent content" warning at the top of the episode should be all you need to know to get you fired up. Your "advisement" is noted, AMC. I'll be using my "viewer discretion" to watch the shit out of this episode.

So we start things off in Mexico (we know because everything is red) and in the past (we know because these two identical, shaved-headed little Mexican kids are obviously the Cousins from way back when). One is up in a tree, holding the other's toy just out of his reach. Across the yard sits a young(er), less disabled Don Salamanca (clue #2), who picks up a brick of a mobile phone (clue #3) to take a call. It's interesting to see Mark Margolis, who usually plays Tio a good bit older than he is, now play Tio as a bit younger than he is. Not sure who he's on the phone with, but the context clues tell us he's discussing whether or not to allow Gus (the "Chicken Man") to run their operation in the States. Interestingly, Tio does not like nor respect Gus, though he realizes the decision is out of his hands.

By this point, one Cousin has now ripped the head off his brother's toy. The other -- look, they've got names now, so there's no point in waiting for them to be actually spoken on the show -- Leonel comes crying to Tio that his brother broke his toy. Tio tells him to get over it, but he won't. He wants his brother, Marco, dead. A typical childish rant from, at this point, a typical child. Tio calls Marco over to him ... no, closer ... and asks him to fetch a beer from the tub of icy water sitting at his feet. When he does, Tio grabs him by the back of the neck and holds him underwater. "This is what you wanted," Tio tells Leonel, calm as you please. Leonel struggles to break Tio's grip. "You're going to have to try harder than that," Tio scolds. After a few weak punches to Tio's chest, Leonel finally slaps him across the face. Tio lets Marco up. Leonel goes to Marco as Tio stands up, towering above them, to give them a message. "La familia es todo."

We dissolve into the present, where Les Cousines Dangereuses are back in front of Santa Muerte. Lighting another candle. Praying for swift death to visit an enemy. Only this time, it's not the Heisenberg sketch that sits at Santa Muerte's feet. It's a photo of Hank Schrader.

After the credits (where you can't spell "Hellacious Parking Lot Showdown" without "NaCl"!), we see Jesse returning home from last episode's RV crunchening. He's barely inside his front door when he sees Hank's SUV pull up in front of the house. From the second Hank gets out of the car, you know exactly what happens. Jesse doesn't, not yet. He's got all sorts of barriers he thinks Hanks can't cross. "You can call my lawyer, Saul Goodman," Jesse says. Hank keeps advancing. Jesse backs himself across his threshold, like maybe Hank is the world's only fat vampire and can't come in unless he's invited. Nope, that doesn't work either. Hank bounds inside the house and proceeds to deliver an absolutely vicious beating to Jesse. This is no calculated message, either. It's hot, boiling anger. Fear, too. "YOU HAD MY CELL NUMBER!" Hank screams, "YOU HAD MY WIFE'S NAME! HOW'D YOU DO IT?" Hank operating from fury, sure, but he also knows that whoever called him off knows officially too much about him and his family. Hank keeps pummeling Jesse's face, which makes it awful hard for Jesse to respond to Hank's repeated demands that he give him some answers.

Hank finally stops himself, speechless and horrified, and calls for an ambulance. Next thing we know, it's after sundown, and Jesse's being wheeled off on a gurney. After Jesse is driven off, Hank's boss, Agent Merkert, says the authorities want a statement, but he can hold them off a day. Which is probably best since Hank should maybe talk to a lawyer.

Yeah, maybe Hank should talk to a lawyer, because from the looks of Jesse's face right now, he's gonna need one. Saul's in Jesse's hospital room, making sure he gets the best angle possible for a photo. All the better to hold over the cops' heads should they ever try to arrest Jesse for anything in the future. "You see that?" he asks Jesse. "That's your Get Out of Jail Free card." Saul tries to sell him on this beating being the best thing that could've happened to him, but Jesse can only glare at Saul. Through the one eye that isn't swollen shut, I mean.

Walt skulks around the dark corridors of the hospital, looking for Jesse's room and hoping no one he knows catches him looking for Jesse's room. He ducks inside and, to his credit, is horrified by the state of Jesse's face. I know, dude, I was fond of it too. "You're now officially the cute one of the group," says Saul, still fiercely determined to keep things light. "Paul meet Ringo, Ringo -- Paul." Nobody's laughing. Walt says he's so, so sorry; this should not have happened. "But it did," rasps Jesse, "no thanks to you." That...doesn't mean what Jesse thinks it means, but go on. Lest Walt go too long with an apology hanging in the air, he starts to justify the Marie gambit that enraged Hank so. They'd be in jail right now if he hadn't done it. He never could have forseen this happening.

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Breaking Bad

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