But no, “Shotgun” continues with Walt walking into Los Pollos Hermanos, revolver drawn, demanding to see Gus. It turns out that Walt is pissed that Jesse’s gone missing. He’s assumed the worst - that Jesse’s been murdered and is lying in a ditch somewhere. As the episode progresses, character motivations and Jesse’s purpose begins to come into clarity.
It turns out that Jesse’s staying with Mike for a ride along - accompanying Mike for the business-side of the drug world… picking up money at random drop-offs. There were some fun moments throughout their trip (including one fantastic montage), but it was especially nice to see another side of the drug world. Furthermore, it finally takes Breaking Bad out of the lab and into the beautiful New Mexico landscape. That’s something that’s been missing this season.
Meanwhile, Walt’s personal life undergoes some drastic changes as he rekindles his relationship with Skyler. She’s been seduced by the money and excitement of his illegal enterprise and there was a dark undertone to this renewed passion. I have to say, the whole dinner scene at the Schrader house is especially well-done. There’s some great direction there, from Skyler and Marie speaking at the same time, to Walt downing wine as the family discusses the car wash in the background.
It all culminates with Hank explaining Gale’s murder and a drunken Walt sneakily suggesting that Gale is no genius… that he’s not the real Heisenberg. It was a nice way of showing Walt’s pride - the same pride that’ll inevitable lead to his downfall. I like how Hank picks up the case again and notices the Pollos Hermanos bag. A nice addition since it’s Gus that’s in hot water now… not Walt. Then again, if Gus gets caught, it won’t end well for Walt.
One thing that bothered me about “Shotgun” was the reveal that Gus set up the whole situation with Jesse saving the day. Yes, it completely makes sense in context, but I found that predictable and it didn’t quite have the impact the writers desired.
Still, it’s an important change for this season, as we finally see that Gus trusts Jesse more than Walt. There’s a reason he’s pulling Jesse out of his depressed, destructive behavior. He likely sees Jesse with a potential future in the drug business… Walt’s suddenly the unstable one that needs to be out of the picture.
I should also mention before I wrap this review that Breaking Bad has been renewed for a 16-episode Season 5. It’ll be the last season and it’s wonderful that Vince Gilligan and his brilliant writers have a chance to close this show properly. With an endgame in sight, the wait to see it unfold is excruciating.