Walt in his Crawl Space

Crawl Space

Bad Ass Quote of the Week

If you interfere I will kill your wife.  I will kill your son. I will kill your infant daughter.”  –  Gustavo Fring

Thoughts on “Crawl Space”

Just before the episode starts we are given a heart pumping reminder of how “Salud” ended, with Gus poisoned, Mike shot – their lives in Jesse’s hands as he peels out of Don Eladio’s hacienda.  The teaser begins with medical staff rapidly preparing a field hospital and we quickly see that Jesse has been directed to drive straight there.  When he pulls up, Jesse immediately runs to open Mike’s door to get him assistance, but the medical staff just give Mike a glance and then are completely focused on Gus.  They get Gus into the hospital and start filtering his blood to remove the poison as Jesse helps a barely ambulatory Mike, with blood pouring from his pant leg ,  onto a bed.   In reply to Jesse’s appeal for help for Mike, the Doctor working on Gus says “This man pays my salary.”  Leaving Jesse in total dismay.   We see how Jesse’s bond is with Mike, and even though Gus pays his salary, Gus will never elicit this concern from Jesse.  This scene already shows us just how complete Gus’ planning was.

Next we see Tyrus giving Walt the silent treatment in the super lab, except to let him know his weighing of a box of meth is off by .02 pounds.  I”m not sure what this signifies other than to demonstrate that everything Walt does is being watched and is under scrutiny.  Walt reiterates that without Jesse he’s “done”… no response.   Walt tries to get some input on whether he should be the one to take Hank out to look at the “Chicken Ranch”… and gets the barest of nods from Tyrus.   I don’t know why Tyrus is being such a dick to Walt, but then again, his job isn’t to make friends with Walt, just to protect Gus from him.

Walt talking to Hank when they are observing the “Chicken Factory” is enough to make us wince at how obvious his motives are – to dissuade Hank from his task and to learn anything he can about what has happened to “Team Gus” in Mexico.  When Hank asks about what happened to Walt’s face (punched up by Jesse in “Bug” remember) Walt’s reply is “I”m done explaining myself”.  Hank still isn’t suspicious of Walt? But then again, we know what’s going on here, and Hank still thinks Walt is Norman Normal.

Back at the hospital, we now see just what a mastermind Gus is in his planning – going so far as to have Jesse’s medical history researched and have blood matching his type on hand.  (This should put to rest the debate whether Gus/Mike were planning to kill Jesse in Mexico.)  Gus enters and the Doc says “You need protection, Gustavo?”  Gus smiles (almost guiltily) and looks perhaps about to laugh, and the Doc says “I wouldn’t have guessed.”.   Maybe means he’s surprised that Gus has defeated all of the cartel, and there is no danger left.  Or perhaps the smile from Gus means that he trusts Jesse to protect him, and the Doc wouldn’t have guessed that skinny, hollow eyed Jesse was strong enough to protect Gus.   OR – going with the “Gus is homosexual” idea that many are debating –  this conversation was about something else entirely?

Jesse doesn’t like to see Mike left behind in Mexico, and neither do I!  Gus tells Jesse “You did well down here… I think you can run the lab by yourself now.”  There is no larger compliment that Jesse can receive from Gus – he has earned the respect of the man who dismissed him as a risky, useless junkie.  Despite his recent fall out with Walt, he still doesn’t want to see him killed, and tells Gus that he has a problem if he does this.   Jesse has always spoken his mind to Gus, and he’s not going to stop now!

Mimbo Ted has decided not to pay the IRS.  Skyler has told him the “gambling” story to explain where the money came from, but Ted plays “mister integrity” not wanting to use illicit gambling winnings to pay?  After having his books cooked and committing adultery with Skyler?  Give me a break!  I didn’t feel that Ted was trying to blackmail Skyler for more money here, but Vince Gilligan, George Mastras and Sam Catlin (the writers of this episode) say that he is on the Insider Podcast.  On watching a second time, perhaps he is – in his own dumb Ted way.  Skyler starts this meeting acting rather meek and helpless when appealing to Ted, and escalates to trying to force him to write a cheque to the IRS at the end.   Didn’t work- better call Saul!

As predicted Gus visits Tio Hector Salamanca and dangles Don Eladio’s necklace in front of him and torments him with the names of everyone who is dead.  Hector has no friends or family left.  Why doesn’t Gus have him killed?  Gus wants Tio to suffer the rest of his life…cold revenge!

Again Hank and Walt going on stake-out together… again Walt asking his weakly veiled questions and trying to steer Hank away from Gus’ operation.  Maybe now Hank is suspicious of Walt though…He doesn’t tell Walt they are going to the laundry until they are on the way there.  In their previous work together, Walt had a chance to alert Gus to what to be ready for – the bug on the car (before Gus drove it anywhere), and the impending surveillance of the Chicken Ranch.  Could be that Hank doesn’t want to give Walt the chance to communicate his objective this time, just out of some slight suspicion.  If Hank doesn’t have suspicions at this point, will the car crash now finally awaken them?  It appears so based on the subsequent hospital scene, when Hank indicates he will be operating on his own from now on.

Saul is going to send his “A-Team” to convince Ted to write a cheque to the IRS, and Skyler makes it clear she wants no violence.  This kind of removes the mystery of what the A-Team is up to, but it does establish that Skyler does not intend harm to Ted.  Saul’s A-Team consists of Huell and Kuby (played by stand up comedians Lavell Crawford and Bill Burr) who are fun to watch here, and even provide a much needed breath for us at this point in the episode.   Had to laugh at Huell absorbed in “Traditional Home” magazine.  Naive Ted still doesn’t seem to be able to believe that his “dear friend” Skyler could be behind this.   I have no idea where Ted thought he was running to, but Huell barely bats an eye – perhaps his mind was more on the sandwiches promised by Kuby.  I suppose it is still open as to whether Ted died with his header into the table, but Huell referring to what happened as an “act of God” later on makes me pretty sure Ted is no more.

Walt now needs to be smuggled into the laundry in order to avoid being spotted by Hank, and Tyrus continues to jerk him around by doing it by hiding him in a cart of dirty laundry.  When Walt realizes that Jesse has been cooking in his absence and receives a wry smile from Tyrus, he realizes he is in imminent danger again.

Jesse has established a sanctuary from his crazy life and is enjoying an evening of video games with Andrea and Brock, when Walt interrupts by arriving at his door.  Jesse wants nothing to do with Walt and offers no help to him, while we know that he has appealed to Gus to leave Walt alive.   Tyrus and another goon show up and taser Walt.  I don’t know why this was necessary, other than whatever message Gus is about to give Walt, he wants it to be crystal clear how serious it is.

In the desert Gus fires Walt and tells him to stay away from Jesse.   But this is the clue Walt needs to know that Gus is not planning to kill him.  Now he stupidly challenges Gus on this point.  Gus is going to “deal” with Hank and if Walt interferes his family will be eliminated.  Whatever sympathies we may have developed for Gus over the last few episodes now evaporate – he is completely evil.  I was considering putting a poll on this site to see who was on “Team Walt” and who was on “Team Gus”, but after threatening to kill Walt’s infant daughter, I don’t suppose Gus would get votes!

Well, Walt’s going to interfere anyway to save Hank and his family, bursting in on Saul with his A-Team to get Saul to inform the DEA of the risk to Hank, and to help him and his family disappear.  Saul reluctantly agrees to call the DEA but blame the Cartel, not Gus for the impending hit on Hank.  I think Saul is going to find himself in trouble here – most likely with Gus, or maybe with the DEA.

It will cost $500,000 in cash paid in full before the “Disappearerer” will lift a finger.   Walt rushes home in panic to gather his family and the cash, only to find it missing.   Skyler arrives alarmed by a frantic phone call from Walt, and when questioned about where all the money is she confesses that she gave it to Ted to protect the family.  Walt’s mind snaps, he screams and  goes into insane laughter, terrifying Skyler.  Skyler manages to regain enough composure to answer the phone and speak with Marie who reveals that the DEA is aware of the plot on Hank’s life and are on their way to protect them.

There is no way of recovering the money for an escape.  There is no way to call back the DEA – Gus will know Walt has interfered.   Walt has destroyed everything, and has collapsed into madness, and finally, it seems, into catatonia.

There is a lot of symbolism in the final scene, as there is throughout this episode, but these thoughts have gotten long enough, so I have posted a separate detailed discussion on this.

If your heart rate was high at the start of this episode, it is bursting through your chest at the end!  I think the only solution left for Walt is to become Heisenberg and do something drastic.

Time will tell!

New Predictions

I really am reeling at the end of this episode, and have absolutely no idea of anything I am confident enough to predict!

Prediction Results

I will give myself 1 and 1/2 points this week…

1/2 point for predicting that Ted Beneke would try to blackmail Skyler.  From the episode I didn’t initially think so, but the creators of this episode do – so to keep it fair, only a half point.

1 point for Gus visiting Tio Hector Salamanca with Don Eladio’s necklace.

So my score so far since starting this site is 1 1/2 predictions correct, 1/2 prediction wrong, and 1 still pending.

Humorous Quote of the Week

What’d you expect?  Hajji’s Quick Vanish?”  –  Saul Goodman on the “Disappearerer” being a vacuum cleaner repair company.