Breaking Bad: Loco Motives

Breaking Bad S05E05: "Dead Freight"

The cold open...

Aww, look at that adorable kid on the dirt bike picking up tarantulas in a glass jar! Not sure what this is all about, but he sure is cute going about his business as a care-free kid motorbikin' innocently in the New Mexico desert!

45 minutes and a great train robbery later...

Oh look! It's that teen tarantula collector again! I almost forgot about hi–HOLY SHIT LANDRY CLARKE JUST SHOT HIM DEAD!

Breaking Bad is no stranger to shocking moments, but the final 30 seconds of "Dead Freight" is still reverberating through our cores as though it's the first time we've seen something like that from the show. Todd shot someone. A kid. And it was his first instinct given the super-secret nature of their operation and potential residence in the worst the federal prison system has to offer. This isn't even the first time the show has killed a kid, but it is the first time we've seen it happen.

I just want to put this out there so you know where I stand: I am 100 percent against killing children. There. I said it. Let there be no question. "That Tim Surette doesn't agree with child murder," people should say. I'm a saint!

But...

And I'm going to do this just to play devil's advocate and because I'm an eternal optimist and because I like the process of convincing myself and others to take roundabouts when it comes to morality... this isn't the worst situation for Jesse and Walter. For Todd, it sucks. But for Jesse and Walter, not only is this accidental obstacle "taken care of," but they also have a guy to pin it on should they choose to get extra gangsta and put Todd in a ditch.

Let's look at this from Walter, Jesse, and Todd's perspective (as criminals) and imagine that they could freeze time the moment after motorcycle kid showed up and twinkled his fingers in a sheepish wave. They'd have a meeting to figure out what to do with the boy and go over their very limited options for hours. What could they do? They could pretend they're NOT stealing chemicals from a train and hope the kid keeps his mouth shut even after the feds crawl all over the place asking if anyone saw something suspicious. They could kidnap the kid and turn the series into some hilarious TV version of Three Men and a Baby. They could recruit the kid for the gang and teach him the ins and outs of making meth. Or, they could shoot him right there on the spot to make sure he stays quiet for good. In that moment where a decision had to be made right then and there, Todd obviously favored that last option.

Look, I don't know what the right answer is. And I must insist once again that I don't condone killing children. I like kids! I was once one of those children myself, and I'm forever indebted to everyone who did not shoot me dead. But Against all my moral fiber, I'm thinking Todd didn't act entirely in the wrong here, given the fact that these guys are drug dealers and this is a television show and we're allowed to explore issues like this without fear of repercussion. So much of this season has been about putting us in the mindset of Walter, Jesse, and Mike as professional drug dealers and following every minute detail they go through, and this is one of the toughest pickles they've been in. Murder is going to be part of the equation at times, and while no-kid policies sound like a great idea in theory, you won't be able dictate the predicaments you find yourself in. There's no accounting for someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I want you to reach down deep inside and tap into that dark place of yours by imagining a criminalized version of yourself in that situation (remember, getting caught isn't an option) and go through what you would have done. Let us know in the comments! I'm not sure I would have shot the kid right then and there (though he was on a motorbike and immediate action was necessary), but I sure as heck wouldn't have let him ride away. That's why if I'm Walter, I might be glad Todd did that. The decision was made for you, and your hands are–in some twisted way–relatively clean. Jesse obviously will not be pleased, but Mike is a pro at making things disappear and your goals now are clear: clean up your desert operation as soon as possible before the cops comb the area that the kid was known to ride around.

We have time to think the murder of spider boy through because we don't know what's coming next. But the bulk of "Dead Freight" involved Breaking Bad's biggest scheme yet, a good old-fashioned train robbery that unfolded from start to finish completely before our eyes. Remember the magnet plan from the season premiere episode? WEAK compared to this. Trains, bitch! So much of Breaking Bad this year has been about the process as the writers live out their fantasies of being a drug lord, which in turn gives the cinematographers the chance to live out their fantasies by filming a frickin' train robbery. My feet were tingling during the entire heist, and because Breaking Bad is so wonderfully unpredictable, the thought of something going horribly wrong was on the forefront of my mind the entire time. And that's what made the final seconds so powerful. We breathed a sigh of relief as the train took off beneath the horizon and Jesse and Walter jumped about like they, well, like they just pulled off a miracle train heist. We were all in the clear and basking in a non-violent job well done as Walt shutdown the motor to the pump that shot water into the train.

Only we still heard a motor running, and Walter heard it too. Breaking Bad uses all of its available senses incredibly well, and while most of the accolades go to the visuals, the audio is an unsung hero and was instrumental to the impact of the final scenes of the last two episodes. The ticking of the watch last week a metaphor for Walter's limited time, and the bike's motor this week signaling that the celebration was premature.

"Dead Freight" was a delightfully intense episode of Breaking Bad that toyed with the audience until the very last second.


NOTES

– I didn't mention anything before the train robbery because I'm not sure there is a whole lot to discuss about it. Walt's manipulation of Hank and the interrogation of Lydia were great, but they were there only to set up the train heist. If there's anything to complain about in this fifth season, it's that all this attention to detail consumes so much time that other stories don't blossom as much.

Breaking Bad has mounted cameras on Roombas, shovels, and several other things, but there was something about these train shots that really stood out.

"Dead Freight Photos"


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Nice work with your article title, Tim!
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While my feet were not tingling during the train sequence, I am not sure that I was breathing. That was the most intense sequence so far this season and I was STUNNED. Everything about it worked, dare I say even the child murder. Obviously, killing children is not a good thing, but I have to agree with you here that what Todd did worked out PERFECTLY for Walt and Jesse. As you said, the threat is taken care of, and they now have someone to pin it on in case the shit hits the fan. I found it quite telling that we only saw Jesse shout out 'No!'. As viewers we know Walt would risk a child's life (Brock) but Jesse does not know that Walt did that. I think that if Jesse picked up on that there is a possibility of him becoming suspicious.

As you mentioned, Breaking Bad is very unpredictable, and it is the final season, so ANYTHING can happen.

We are lucky to be watching it as it airs, I am currently rewatching the series with my boyfriend and I feel as if he is slightly cheated. He KNOWS that Walter and Jesse are both still alive currently, so I think that takes some of the tension out of late season 3 and season 4. There have been plenty of moments where either of the main characters could have been axed (literally too, especially if the crazy twins were around) and knowing that they are still alive kinda takes part of the punch out of moments where either of their lives are in danger. That being said, it is an absolute joy to rewatch the series, I get to see how far the characters have come, and am constantly saying "Just you wait."
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I thought if the kid knew he saw something potentially incriminating, his first instinct wouldn't have been to stop there and wave at the crooks... So killing him was purely to tie up loose ends, they could have arguably let him go without too severe repercussions. Then again, in the eyes of a hardened criminal, I guess a life's a life. Irregardless of age...
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Shocking scene, but very necessary. I'm so glad this show stays 'true to the game' -- in the world of drugs, innocents get killed, even the widdle babies!
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Ok here it comes Breaking Bad Season 5 with its 16 episodes broken into 2 parts the first dealing with meth cooking has already began in July and the second to commence summer 2013. My prediction is the story will go over into season 6 because from the first season nothing but good reviews have come to praise each episode.
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The story will definitely be over in 2013. The negotiations at AMC have been hard and we're lucky to get 16 episodes. Don't ask me what's wrong with those people but with the stated deadline there won't be a season 6 (also mainly because the story is written to end with the 2nd part of season 5).
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Maybe the best episode of any television show I've ever seen. You could almost watch this episode as a stand alone piece even without seeing any other episode of this series. Absolutely a gripping episode plot and beautifully shot.
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Walt's fingerprints on the picture frame are covered by Hank walking in and seeing him apparently holding it to admire the photo of Hank and Marie. If they discover the device he attached to the ethernet port on the PC, and manage to get a print off of it, Walt is screwed. Or, if Hank accidently knocks the picture off his desk and it breaks, and he discovers the bug, it might be possible to get a print off of it. Of course, Hank would have to suspect Walt enough to obtain his fingerprints to compare. Walt not having been arrested before, he's not likley to have prints on file in their database. Hank could just have a beer with Walt, and then take Walt's glass back to the lab to get his prints.



The device on the back of the PC seems the most likely to get discovered. Hank surely has some familarity with spy devices, considering his line of work. He bought an off the shelf passive GPS tracker to plant on Gus's car, for instance. If he drops a pen or something, and has to get down on hands and knees to retrieve it near the back of the PC, he might notice it. Anybody that has enough PC experience, and has ever had to move their PC and unhook and then reattach all the cables in the back would notice a weird black box attached to the ethernet port. I know of no legitimate device that connects between the ethernet port and the cable to the router (or bridge or hub or switch or wireless access point or whatever) that it could be mistaken for. Hank is still in the process of moving his stuff into his new office. He might decide on a whim to move his desk, and therefore the PC, and discover the device.



Maybe one of Mike's crew will get hired on as a janitor to remove it, or Walt will find another excuse to visit and retrieve it.
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One thing is certain: By shooting the boy, Todd just made an implacable and lethal enemy in Jesse. Sooner or later he's gonna pay for what he did.



A quibble about the train sequence: Todd was still on top of the tank car -- in plain sight -- when the engineers got back in place and started up the train. How could they have not noticed he was up there?
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The tanker cars were over 800 feet behind the locomotive. That's nearly three football fields in distance. Todd was dressed in black (the same color as the tanker cars) to help him blend in. The engineers were in a hurry to get moving again, and wouldn't likely be scanning the cars behind them, unless they were suspicious. Personally, the highly unlikely event of a truck breaking down right on the track crossing would have set me on alert if I was driving that train. But, it's plausible enough that a couple of naive guys focused on getting their train moving again, and maybe speeding up to try to make up time to cover their butts, might not think about checking over the train before starting up again.
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I thought the episode was great! I did notice, however, that while placing the spy gear in Hank's office, Walter left his fingerprints all over the place. Like the author here, my "spidey-sense" was on edge right up until the train pulled away. I was just waiting for Todd to drop one of the bolts or be too afraid to jump from the ladder.



On the point of killing the kid, I think in order for the plot to move it was a necessity. Put in the same position I probably would have chosen the same.



It's always awesome how Vince puts a scene meant for "down the line" in the opening scene of the season, and this time I absolutely cannot wait to see why Walt needed all that firepower and why he's needing to switch cars!
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I've rewatched the show a couple times and that is definitely "bugging" me now...see what I did there? HAHA!



ANYWAY, with as methodical and meticulous the show has shown Walter to be, it's going to be really hard to swallow that scene unless they reveal in the next week or two a plan for Walter to get the bug OUT of that office...and I kinda don't think they'll bother.



If that's what ends up busting Walt I'll be really disappointed because it will be hard to swallow that Walt didn't think of that.
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it was nice of matt damon to help them rob that train though
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnPWJOJYVKc
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lydia is an undercover cop...



i guess ...
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...who hires assassins and lives openly with her daughter?
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Did anyone else notice what the spider meant at the end after the kid got trapped. I think it was symbolize that they're not free yet. They are trapped and they can't do anything about it.
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Just when I thought I couldn't love Breaking Bad more, they have an episode centered around a train heist?! AWESOME.



Man, I loved this episode. Granted, it feels like it's been a long time since I've not liked a Breaking Bad episode, but really, this was great. Not the best of the series or anything, but it's up there.



Todd killing the kid was fantastic -- for TV purposes, of course... I'm not an evil asshole. However, I'm not entirely sure I'd have done anything different if I was knee-deep in a meth-cooking empire. I do believe that if I was some sort of criminal, kids would be off-limits, but what the hell do I know about situations I've never been in. As for whether it was necessary... probably not. Not only do I think he didn't see much, but assuming the train later passes inspection, no one was going to come around asking the local folks about suspicious behavior. If the kid did see something, it's unlikely he'd have found the ears of a believing authority figure. But I do think a quick decision was best -- no time for a huddle -- and a quick decision of killing the kid is a bit more reasonable than letting him ride off.



With the kid dead, I'm not sure how much attention it'll bring that area and effect the gang's plans. He seems to have negligent enough parents for him to be able to ride around in a desert on a motorbike picking up spiders and waving to strangers... so maybe he could be missing for a few days without there being a HUGE fuss. I don't think much will come from the kid's death as far as police attention... I think the biggest thing this will impact is Jesse. He's completely against killing kids -- he had a tough enough time killing an, albeit kind and gentle, meth cook. I assume this is going to cause a strain in his devotion to the drug game, which in turn will cause a strain in his relationship with Walt.
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First of all, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows ever made and I will cry after the final episode. Second of all, my first instinct was to shoot the kid. I was so in the mind set of the guys that I felt that need that they must have all felt but did not want to act on. What I found most disturbing was Todd's wave and then cold execution of the boy. Who is this Todd and what will his role be in the rest of the season? Lydia is SO annoying and Walt has become extremely scary and I am so proud of Skylar's new determination. Those are my thoughts. Thanks for loving this show as much as I do Tim!
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Geez i hate kidz and teenz but killing them ??!!...meh, God that scene was so intense !!!!!

This one hour was the best so far ...not in this season but in TV 2012!
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Landry Clarke is a serial killer.
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yea, bad of todd. bad instincts. but what a powerful scene. i kept wishing he hadnt shot him and walt would use his magical lying skills by playing it aloof like they where just working on the train or bridge (how long was the kid there anyway and what did he see) and make it convincing by showing the kid something about trains. but that scene would have been pointless.
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Killing the kid was the worst thing Todd could have done because now the cops are going to be swarming around trying to find him/solve his murder! Nothing draws media attention like a missing/murdered kid.



I mean, the kid couldn't have known what they were doing, and who's he going to tell? Police wouldn't even be sniffing around since the chemical company would have covered up the diluted methlamine, and Walt and Jesse could have cleaned up all the tanks and stuff so there'd be no evidence of a crime.



Plus now, this kid's murder is going to help set Jesse and Walt against each other. Jesse is all anti-killing kids, and Walt was downright relieved that Todd pulled the trigger. Which at least will make for some great drama!
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I had the exact same thought. I mean, the whole point of robbing the train the way they did was that there would be no detectable crime. And there was no way the kid knew what they were doing. I mean, what's the worst the kid could have done? Called the police and said he saw some men on top of the train when it was stopped? Maybe the police would have contacted the train yard or whomever, they could have done a quick inventory, nothing is missing, case closed. For me that added to the whole tragedy of the kid dying. Not only was it shocking, but it was totally unnecessary. Which, for me, made the episode ending even better. I love a good tragedy.
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I'm not sure I agree on the first part...basically his parents gave him an incredibly long leash. He was on a moped in a desert. From the perspective of the police he could be anywhere within several square miles. There's no reason the police would have to focus on that bridge.



I definitely agree that this will likely pit Jesse and Walt against each other.
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The dirt bike leaves tracks. They could definitely trace the trail to the railroad, where they'll see a couple recently-buried 1000 gallon tanks. Kill the kid or don't, either way, their operation will be found out.



Their top priority now: get the methylamine out of there. They won't have time to dig up the tanks.
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So you really believe that's the first time the kid was out there and there aren't dozens of sets of tracks?



He's probably been doing the same thing for weeks on end.



Let me be clear:

- If the kid is their downfall, I won't be surprised and I won't have a problem with it.

- If the police never put 2 and 2 together to make 4 in regard to that kid I won't be surprised and I won't have a problem with it.



Either way the writers want to take that particular plotI have no problem with, what I'm saying is just because the kid was killed doesn't mean they're automatically fucked. It could just as easily be Lydia getting leverage and turning on them...or more likely - they turning on themselves.
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Tsk, Todd!



I think that it's obvious that the kid was actually Walter's father, and that that particular area of the desert is an intersection of time and space. How else would you explain why Walt suddenly has a new name and is born in New Hampshire in the season premiere?

Yes, TV's best drama is channelling TV's best (american) sci-fi show. Walter White, meet Walter Bishop!
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Illegal drugs kill kids - mostly indirectly, but I'd guess sometimes directly too. As awful as it was to watch, even though we all know it's just a tv show, it's still a stark reminder to viewers that do drugs: There's a heavy cost that comes with "recreational" drug use - well beyond every hit someone takes is one step closer to becoming a pus-faced, rotten-toothed junkie.



OMG was that scene ever creepy! At first I thought, oh what a cute simpleton, waving back at spider boy, then a split-second later he kills him - #$*&#@$!!



And as far as Walt and Jesse feeling relieved that someone else killed the boy, won't Walt and Jesse will still be guilty if they don't inform on him once they're safely away from the shooter?
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Note that if that same drug were legalized, that kid would be alive. Prohibition kills kids, not drugs.
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People and their twisted nature kill kids.. prohibition isn´t a person and doesn´t pull the trigger.
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If it is in people's nature to kill kids, the pulling of the trigger is a foregone conclusion. Therefore the only act of free will to blame is the voting in of the prohibition and the guilty party is the system. If you must have a person to blame, it's the legislator who brought forward the bill.
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Haha "cute simpleton" was exactly my reaction at the waving. The shock came that much harder.
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Such a cool kid. Really look at him - the worn jeans jacket, the yellow shirt, the enormous yet cool helmet, his tiny muddy dirtbike, the shy wave. Gerhard Richter should paint that screencap.

And Todd shot him. Dead.

And here is BB at its best - even in light of such an enormity we can relate. No one is to blame, there is no other way to handle this shit. Talking to the kid, giving money, intimidation - forget it he will talk to friends or parents and some idiot father calls homeland security or the FB and I ...

If anyone's to blame, and I 'm sad to say so, it's Mike. He had the binocs and his job was to look out for uninspected guests. Yeah I know he had a lot to do at the time. But that is why you always need TWO spotters on a heist like this.

I'm mucho curioso about Jesse and how he's handling this.
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ty klotensen !
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Most busy adults would have shrugged off some ramblings from a little kid about three weird guys beneath a train trestle with a pump. Even if he was sitting there the entire time, he wouldn't really have known what to make of it. If the slightly weaker tanker load was never red flagged, there'd be no investigation, and thus no snooping police in the area later, and no newspaper articles to support the kid's story to any adult he might tattle to. I think they have a bigger problem on their hands with the kid dead. Now they're going to have to dispose of the body and the motorbike, and there are tracks from his bike leading up to the trestle. Can't count on a lot of rain in the desert to wash those away anytime soon.
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Thought the same, but I still stick with Mike:"witnesses get you busted". No train investigation means nothing if anyone finds the tank.

And body-disposal is not that hard with a guy like Mike on hand. Last but not least they can use the tracks to lure police AWAY from the bridge. It's sad but Mike has the right of it. A witness gets you busted.
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Single greatest episode of television, EVER, bar none, period. Game of Thrones, eat your heart out, The Wire, close but no cigar, The Sopranos, you wish. They murdered an innocent kid, robbed a damn train, bugged Hank's office at the DEA, "Burying bodies? Robbing trains.",used Lydia to essentially interrogate the DEA and get vital information. all believable, all entertaining and edge-of-your-seat TV. All hail the writers and Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad. Get this man a crown already.
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Two words: "Crawl Space".

Still, the best episode I've seen since Through the Looking Glass (S03E23-24 from Lost).
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Both are indeed historical even though they reflect different emotions.

My reaction to "Dead Freight" was closest to that of "Half Measures". The ending in HM was similiarly unexpected and got to be the biggest turning point for the characters in the series (of course picked up by "Full Measures").



This episode was awesome and is definitely one of the best. But I feel that certain other episodes had a slightly bigger impact on character development. It's hard to impossible to rank all this though, I'm just glad to experience it.
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I liked this episode a lot...I loved it...but I don't feel it was better than One Minute, Half Measures, and Full Measures (and that's just for episodes of Breaking Bad). If I went through other shows I do think I'd find individual episode that I liked better.



An amazing episode, to be sure, but I don't think I could call it the best.
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One minute and Half measures are still my favorite episodes.
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I did not like how twice now Jesse has interrupted Walt and Mike arguing by coming up out of nowhere some ingenious scheme to solve a problem. Jesse has always been some druggie moron, suddenly he is smarter than Walt, and more practical problem solver than Mike? Completely implausible in my opinion. Aside from being annoyed by that, I really enjoyed the scene at the beginning between Walt and Hank. It clearly hinted at how the Walt/Hank relationship is essentially the theme of this entire season , or at least one of the two or three themes. Especially with Hank inquiring about Walt's fancy new watch.... fascinating how Walt so coldly manipulated Hank, it really does suggest Walt no longer truly cares for or loves his wife, and is perhaps beginning to stop believing Hank needs to be protected. So that scene was the best of the episode for me. I also loved the brutal and extremely apathetic way Walt acted in the scene with Lydia. He showed he was ok with mudering her, and then seemed to think more about murdering Mike. Nice episode but a little too "special effects" ish regarding the train scene.
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I also disagree that Walt no longer loves Skylar. He's still trying hard to hold his family together. He ordered his son to go back to Hank's, out of respect for Skylar's wishes, despite disagreeing with her absurd plan to keep the kids safe. If someone wanted to target the kids to get at Walter, it's not going to matter where they are. They're no safer at Hank's, if someone really wants to get them. He's hoping that Skylar's heart will soften and she'll come around.
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I disagree with your assessment of Jesse. He's really grown since the beginning of the show. He has artistic and creative talent, and tends to think outside the box a bit more than Walter and Mike. He's also more empathetic and thus more motivated to spare others lives whenever possible. He knows Walter's cook routine so well, that he was able to teach the Cartel in the Mexican lab to duplicate it. He jumped in the driver seat of Mike's car and nearly ran those two guys down that were sent to fake an attempted heist, thus earning both Mike's and Gus's respect. He shot their way out of Mexico, pulling Gus and Mike's butts out of the fire. He's suffered a major self esteem problem because of how his uptight parents dote on his younger brother, and falling in with the wrong crowd in his high school days. He managed to get a handle on his addiction, and is keeping his head clear and in the game.
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I completely agree. I really liked how Jessie stepped up those two times. I don't think it was out of place because the show has really shown him grow. I never saw him as a druggie moron but as a lost kid that didn't have a direction or an opportunity to prove himself. Unfortunately it took becoming a drug lord to bring that out of him but, hey. I think those two scenes really emphasize how Jessie is now comfortable with himself. He truly sees himself as Walt's partner and not his apprentice.
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Yes, the illegal drug industry has been giving people opportunity for decades. It finds ways to let individuals rise to their potential that the American education system and welfare-to-work programs have tried and failed to do. From gang member to drug kingpin, there are opportunities for YOU in the illegal drug industry.
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Staff
Fantastic. Episode. Recap. Writing. Directing. Acting. Think I'm in shock.
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I wonder what Mike would have done if Todd had'nt killed him. He's the "fixer" and knows how to clean things up and tie loose ends. Would Mike have realized the kid had to die? Would he have shot him himself?
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Very hard to say. But I think he'll have a very negative reaction about this next episode. I think Mike would have tried convincing the kid or giving him money.
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No. Look at how he acted when Lydia brought her kid into things when pleading for her life? He loves kids.
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Super episode! Wow, this show is good! You never know what to expect one week to the other! Unbelievable!

And people get angry because some criticize shows like "Terra Nova" or "Falling Skies"... THIS is how you write a great series.

Shocking ending but nothing that doesn't happened regularly south of the border. The drug business is violent and heartless.

I think junior is gonna do something crazy which may put Walter into a tearing dilemma...

I love Skyler: that woman is definitely NOT suicidal.

I liked this one too:

Skyler "Out burying bodies?"

Walter: "Robbing a train!"
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"YEAH BITCH!" , Jesse's trademark line. Gotta love it.
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Notice how when the kid got shot.. Jesse was the only one trying to stop him. Walt was just standing there quiet.. Walt really doesnt give a shit now....
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The scene ended right after the kid got shot. I don't think there was enough time to draw any conclusions about Walt's feelings about it. He's definitely not the mild mannered school teacher he once was. And he was willing to make a kid sick in order to win Jesse back to his side (something that the lives of his family and his own depended on). But, I don't think he's descended to Gus's level of cold detachment that he would approve of dispatching the boy.



Man, it's really going to be a long wait for those final eight episodes, after these next three :p
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You may want to rewatch the scene. At the beginning Walt's mouth is open, when Todd waves it closes again and his face darkens a bit. As soon as Todd reaches his gun his eyes move to the gun (his face/head not changing). When the kid gets shot in the next scene Jesse has a hard reaction but Walt doesn't move an inch from the gun sound - which means he was expecting it. After rewatching I really think the second he saw the gun and his face darkened he accepted the kid's death.



Then again, these may be editorial errors and we get a completely different reaction next episode. But given the attention to detail I think it's safe to say Walt was ok with it (even though he'd never admit it to the others).
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Walter was behind Todd and saw him pulling the gun. He could have said or screamed "no", he did not... Hard to conclude that he is not OK with this.
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It happened pretty fast, and the camera focuses on Jesse kinda...Walt just stood there, but we don't get a look at his face or anything. I'm sure he's more likely to come to grips with what happened than Jesse will, but I don't think he's stone cold indifferent about it. Just my take. Can't wait for next Sunday to find out!
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at the end you will feel relieved the heist is over, then whoa!

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I'm concerned about the logistics involved in all of Walter's crazy plans, and what kind of expertise that would require. We all know Walter is a great chemist and an erudite man, are we also supposed to believe he has the skills to make bombs, assemble giant magnets, plan complicated train heists? Is he an accomplished engineer as well and we didn't know it? I think this is beginning to affect his believability as a character.



Wow, I didn't think Todd was such a cold-blooded killer. He seemed like a nice guy, an ordinary and petty criminal who just saw a chance of getting closer to the inner circle of meth-making.



And does Skyler plan to leave her children at Hank's indefinitely? That's simply not feasible.



The kid's death was a tragedy, but I'm concerned about something else. Who is going to let the poor spider out of the jar?
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Just for the record, I loved the episode. I just think if Walter has clear limits for his technical skills, he can be a more believable character. I'm sure he could've concocted some explosive mixing the right chemicals, but making a bomb that does exactly what you want it to do is no easy task, and usually the character has a background in demolition or as a soldier, which doesn't seem to be Walter's case.



Yes, the magnet could've been rigged by the scarp metal yard guy.



The logistics involved in the train heist were so elaborate that this really challenged my suspension of disbelief. It even looked like this wasn't Walter's first major robbery. I wonder how much experience Mike had in pulling something like that.
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"Yes, the magnet could've been rigged by the scarp metal yard guy."

Could've? They said exactly that in the dialog at several points.



"It even looked like this wasn't Walter's first major robbery."

Depends on your definition of "major" but stealing that barrel of Methylamine from that warehouse back in the season 1 finale was pretty major for a 2-man job.
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Could've, would've, you get the point, don't be difficult. Obviously I haven't memorized every line of the episode and considering that action was never shown in a scene, that's still in the realm of possibilities for me.



I was thinking exactly of that robbery and this is why I said "major." the train heist was a much greater accomplishment, and even then, that doesn't characterize Walter as an experienced thief, which a heist of this magnitude would require. Mike must've had more experience in that area (maybe), and even Todd could've given some contribution, but that's still unproven.there seems to be a tendency for the writers to transform Walter into a super gangster all of a sudden showing skills he never had. I just hope they keep him more grounded.
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He has help with all of those things except the bomb, and most genius chemists could make a bomb.
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Yes, every chemist knows how to make bombs. Also, every chemist took the physics class where you learn to make electromagnets (its often called something like Physics 2: Electricity and magnetism). Those are things I would expect from anyone with an undergraduate degree in any hard science. As far as train heists, that didn't look any more complicated than his superlab. Believe greater things.
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The bomb making was more chemistry (except for the trigger mechanism, which they actually showed - twice - didn't work very well, it took multiple clicks to get it to detonate both times)



The guys at the junkyard rigged the magnet...and it was Jessie's idea...



Jessie also came up with the plan for the train robbery...



I agree the ideas seem to be more and more outlandish, but I believe they they bring in necessary help (like the junkyard guys) when they need to make an idea a reality.
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Walter should have been basking in the shared success of his friend's company, that he was formerly a part of (but personal issues intervened...like apparently there was some attraction or even an affair going on with his partner's wife). He is definitely smart enough to build a bomb and rig a big magnet. The principles involved in those things aren't very complex. Easily within the scope of a Ph.d holding chemist.



I get that Skylar is freaked out with concern over her children, but Walter deserves more love and respect for what he's tried to do for her and their kids, despite a bleak prognosis of cancer. And she has the balls to say to his face she's waiting for the cancer to come back?? Pretty cold...though she did get dragged into the whole meth thing without being consulted first. She has her reasons to be upset, but enough with the cold shoulder, and using Walt's 51 mug as an ashtray. Keep that attitude up, and she might take the big dirt nap beside Lydia :p
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he is not just a lab chemist of highschool teacher level. he is more of an industrial chemist from a tech school. he even contributed for winning a nobel. and his technical idea about crystal even warranted the foundation of a company.
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p.s. does anyone know if DEA offices are being swept for bugs on a regular basis.
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We do know for sure Hank clearly saw Walt fiddling with and holding that picture frame. I'm struggling in my head to imagine the process by which Hank is going to discover Walt is Heisenberg... will it take him a very long time, after more and more blatant evidence comes to the fore? Like Hank will just keep telling himself "no this is impossible" over and over again? I'm curious how it will work out, but Hank has a LOT of clues by now. A LOT.
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What was the module that Walt plugged into the back of Hank's PC? Was that a keystroke recorder? Or was it a receiver that relayed what the bug planted in the picture picked up, and transmits it out via the internet? The bug couldn't have been a mere FM transmitter. Not nearly enough range. The bug had to be celluar to reach them hundreds of miles away.



I don't know if DEA offices are swept for bugs, but they probably should be :p From what I've read, detecting bugs is not easy. The more sophisticated ones are tiny, and transmit in small cellular bursts. They don't emit a continuous signal that could be detected easily by an RF receiver. Plus, you have to rule out all those other legitimate signals that are present in a busy office complex full of PC's and other telecommunications equipment, to find that needle in a haystack.
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Took a closer look at that part of the episode again, and it appears that the little black box that Walt installed on Hank's PC had RJ45 jacks. So, it was hooked up between the ethernet cable that runs to the office router and the network interface card on the PC. Probably the receiver for the bug on the picture frame, that digitizes what the mic picks up, and sends it out via the network to the internet. And perhaps monitors keystrokes and logs all other activity on that PC. If Hank's PC needs maintenance of any kind, and their IT guy isn't a complete moron, he's going to know something's not right immediately on sight of that black box with the glowing red light on it.
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Yes, based on where it was plugged in, I'd say that it can definitely intercept network traffic, and almost certainly notthing else (like keystrokes, screenshots, etc.). It could send (a selection of) the captured data to Mike over the mobile phone network or over the internet.



I was also thinking that it should contain a receiver for a radio signal from the bug in the picture frame. But there could also be a receiver outside the building, that somehow relays the information to Mike.



If the guy who made the network device is smart, the red light will be on for at most a few seconds, to let the user know that he just switched the device on, not off, and that the battery is working. (The 3D glasses for my TV have lights like that).
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All my spy gear has a glowing red light on it. You know, so people look at it and say "that is clearly not spy gear, because no one would be stupid enough to put a glowing red light on it".
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I always thought they scanned for magnetism from the microphones in the bugs.
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The scan would be for radio signals.
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Making a kid disappear is tying up a loose end? turning in a pedophile witch hunt is more likely. They're better of if the kid gets found somewhere away from the railroad. Shooting the kid wasn't the best option. Even shooting a police officer doesn't get more attention then shooting a kid. Only a kid that disappears gets more attention. (This particular kid, that is, as he is white and not from the wrong side of the track although in this instance he tragically was.)
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Well that's where the tarantula comes into play. All they have to do is let it out of the jar, and on top of the kid or something. Kid got bit by a deadly spider in the desert, somewhat weird but could make sense no?
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As edge1710 said, there's also a bullet hole.



I also don't think anyone dies from a tarantula bite. Maybe if you have an allergy or something.



There's also the possibility that even if they could get the spider to bite him, a medical examiner would be able to see that he died before he was bitten.
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accept for the bullet hole.
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I'm sure Jesse will figure this out.

Maybe turn the Tarantula into a gun-shooting-half-robot-Tarantula?
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Was it really necessary to shoot the kid? Would a kid that young have any idea what they were up to? They could have been railroad workers, for all he knew. If they'd just played it cool and chatted casually with him, and gave him some BS about siphoning off a tanker that was overloaded, and they wanted to avoid getting fined or something. Mum's the word kid, here's a couple hundred if you keep quiet :p

I used to work as a lab tech at a chemical factory, and part of my job was to test incoming raw materials for purity. Several times a tanker was a few percent out of spec., and the boss just had me "pencil in corrected numbers" (lie our ass off). This was pretty much a daily occurence on incoming materials, and outgoing products. I don't know anything about methalymine, and what its legitimate industrial applications are, but 4% dilution might just get swept under the rug and never raise a red flag to anyone. In that case, there never would have been feds sweeping the area afterwards. Plus, the whole point of the crazy scheme was to avoid killing two engineers, not trade two adults lives for one kid's. Would sure suck to have to live with that, even if they get away with it.
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I'm really interested to know what exactly are Todd's motives.
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I agree with XY. I figure it's why the director/writers put a bit of an emphasis on it earlier on as Walt, Jesse, and Todd were preparing under the bridge.



Jesse: NO ONE, other than us, can EVER know that this robbery went down. NOBODY. Got it?

Todd: Yeah. Absolutely.

Walt: You sure?

Todd: Yes sir.



From the little we've seen of Todd in previous episodes, he seems to want to impress Walt and Jesse... and I can assume that he thought killing the kid would be effective in 1) making sure no one knows of the robbery, and 2) showing Walt and Jesse that he can be as cutthroat as need be.
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They made it very clear to him that noone except them may ever know. Todd's strict interpretation of these words made him do that without thinking twice.
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Im still stunned Todd even had a gun with him in the first place. Why? It wouldnt make a ton of sense unless he feared for his life just being around Walt/Mike/Jesse.
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You said it yourself. He could have brought it for self-defense in case the others decide that HE is a loose end. Shreela's answer is also good.
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IIRC, all the exterminator team are already criminals of some kind, so I wouldn't be surprised if they all packed some kind of weapon, especially in southern states.
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He wants to stay out of jail and he thought the kid would talk to people about seeing them in the desert.
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I have to say that kid has/had some balls. With my spiderfobia, I'm always awed by some people's gut to handle a dinner-plate-size tarantula without gringing. I would have wept like a baby. Oh, and it was a fantastic episode as well! In my opinion, childmurder was probably necessary but something that will rip the team appart in the future episodes.
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I don't have arachnophobia, necessarily, but I wouldn't go near a spider that big.
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I wouldn't be able to do it either, but it shouldnt be a problem for people who DON'T have arachnophobia. I didn't even finish watching that scene..
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O H M Y G O S H!!!!!!!
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Yeah bitch!! This is Breaking Bad at it's best. From the beautiful opening shot to laughing out loud (Skylar:"Burying bodies?" Walt: "No, Robbing a train") to literally shouting at my TV and pacing around like a lunatic during the heist no other show is capable of putting me through this many emotions in a space of one episode. Still kind of shocked but...feeling high /confused.
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Dude, you need to relax. It's a great show but it's just a tv show. No need to get worked up over a scripted program.
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If you can't get worked up over a stressful moment in Breaking Bad, then why would you even bother to watch TV?
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If you can't get worked up over what is, by many accounts, the best TV show ever (though I still favour The Wire) then maybe you should watch more reality TV?



And, I'm totally with badpony11. That briefest of exchanges between Skylar and Walt when she asks if Walt is burying bodies and he simply replies "robbing a train", might be my favorite 10 seconds of one of my favorite episodes of this or any season.
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I love how Jesse is the one to come up with these crazy plans. He also came up with the magnet plan.
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i love how Jesse is becoming the brain to this elaborated pland, first with "Magnets, bitch" and now the train heist. I wonder if at some point in the future the truth about Walter and the thing he's done will come out and considering Jesse's new role, and the fact that Mike does like Walt, could they be the force that stand against Heisenberg.
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What a great episode. This show keeps ripping my heart into million tiny pieces and I enjoy every second of it.
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Oh my god, that episode was awesome! That's pretty much all I have to say.
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Wow my jaw dropped at the last 40-30 seconds of the episode!
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I had thought about an ugly end for Todd since when they asked him his name. I didn't think that he would have been a crucial character in a situation like this.

They have made him repeat more than once if he understood that the train affair wasn't nobody business but theirs. He surely has, after all. However I would love to see if his gesture comes from an innate cruelty or some kind of fear of both Walt and Jesse. Needless to say, however, that the narrative crescendo of this fifth season is capturing me in an incredible way; as much as the evolution / involution of the characters. I'm waiting only for a break in the wall that keeps the human side of Walt in hostage. Ah, just a small, final consideration: is it possible that by now the genius of the trio is that adorable idiot of Jesse? First with the magnet, then with being the only one to understand that Lydia didn't have anything to do with it nothing with the GPS, now with the robbery train. Teacher's pet just grew up, yo. An emotional breakdown is coming for him, too
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I agree that he literally did what he was told to do. No one can know? BANG. Bye kiddo.



I'm not sure about the fear that he may have of Walt and Jesse though. I guess it's kind of like fear, but I think it's more about respect. In the previous episode where he first told them his name and of the nanny-cam in the house and whatnot, it looked like he really wanted to impress Walt and Jesse. I think he wants to get out of his thieving crew and get in with the big boys, and he probably felt he'd be making a good impression if he acted like a badass that kills kids if necessary.
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Todd is a cold blooded killer. He had no fear when he pulled the trigger, in fact he was calm. He even waived to the kid before he shot him.
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I think I'd characterize Todd more as a bit simple minded with which comes the cold blooded murder. In a way I feel he is way more "innocent" then the others even though he did what he did. He is the kind of guy who doesn't think much and ends up in trouble making bad friends.

Then again, this is my interpretation from the limited time we spent with him.
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Todd could be the perfect guy to take care of Mike for Walter. Then no nine other guys to pay...
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Well, one of the 9 (the laundry mat owner) can almost certainly identify Jesse and Walt in a lineup even if he probably doesn't know their names.



Lydia can definitely identify them...



So I feel like even if you get rid of Mike you have to get rid of Lydia and the Laundry mat guy at a minimum



Point is, going that route would get real messy real quick.
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The Breaking Bad way...
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The go-to-guy of the team. What has to be done...
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I had my stomach in lurches through out the heist! And train scenes were o so so well shot! I think Todd shooting the kid shows why Mike would include him in the operation... This is the kinda guy that works for Mike, taking care of loose ends
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Vince gilligan enjoys killing kids... such a psycho...
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Yes. The only reason Gilligan wanted to make Breaking Bad is he wanted to see kids die on screen. He said it numerous times. It is known.
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Really? Gee... You better watch other shows.
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The Kid had to die. There was no way around it. Any other action on their part might have spooked the kid and then they'd be in a world of shit. Now, all they have to do is clean up and move on.
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I heard he also abuses the elderly.
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Dont forget how he likes to blow up disabled people.
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Tim, the heist was great and all but I can't believe it took your attention away from the entire episode! The thing was the best this season has seen. Walt & Hank was so beautiful and genuine (until of course Walt went all espionage). Junior was touching as well and how Walt was standing there offering no explanation except "Cuz we're your parents" showed how he's completely clueless on how to handle his situation with Skylar! And Lidia, we finally got to see another side of her. It's also the first time we see Walt, Mike & Jesse working as a team and not at each other's throats.

And with all my respect to the writing staff, Breaking Bad is at its best with Gilligan at the keyboard.
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well this episode wasnt written by Gilligan the writer was actually George Mastras who also directed the episode but yeah i agree with the rest of the post :)
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Gilligan always give them the main story lines for the episode. Writers then write the details... and the whole script has to be approved by Gilligan to be shot.
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Yeah, you're right. Sorry about that!
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While I did prefer last week's episode, this one was great as well. I liked how they handled the situation with Lydia, and her weasling her way out of death again. It's pretty obvious that the longer she stays alive, the more likely she is to screw things up. I also liked Walt bugging Hank's office, which can help inform Walt on how the Heisenberg case is progressing, but could also easily screw him over if Hank ever finds out about the bug, especially since Hank saw Walt with the picture. But yes, the ending was easily the best thing about the episode. There's so much drama that can result from that kid's death, especially for Jesse. Obviously he has a special place in his heart for children, and he will take this hard. If he had to make the choice again, he'd definitely agree to kill the two people on the train if it meant sparing the kid. And as for Walt, he's sunk pretty far, and this isn't that different from him poisoning Brock, despite Brock surviving, so he won't have much of a problem with Todd's decision to kill the kid. But his reaction will surely catch Jesse's attention, and Jesse will start having doubts about Walt, and it could lead to him finding out that Walt poisoned Brock.
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Hmm... Not sure about Walter having a free rein to mess about with Hank's PC stuff. Surely every office in that DEA building will be covered by CCTV? Also, wouldn't the guys on the train tried to push the truck off the rails FIRST? At the very least I'm sure a 200 ton loco could have given that truck a little nudge to the side?Possibly jury rigging a pinioned hoist or some such. Freight trains carry loads of ancillaries. That apart, BB still the best thing anywhere, respect to the writers and actors.
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Uh...if the train pushes the truck, it will probably just fall over on its side, and be *more* difficult to remove. Even if it doesn't fall, the push will almost certainly damage the truck, and maybe also the locomotive or the rails. And even if I'm wrong about that, two random train engineers won't be sure enough of that to gamble. They could end up making sure that no other train can get through there for days.
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Nuh uh, I think your analysis is flawed here. Assuming they got the weight close enough to correct, the heist will never be detected and there won't BE any "feds crawl[ing] all over the place" asking questions. On the other hand, now there is a missing kid, which means police WILL be combing the area, which means that tank of methylamine has got to stay buried until the missing persons search ends.



Letting the kid go would be risky... if they play it cool, MAYBE he thinks they were just train workers or something and there is no problem. But maybe not. However, it's not at all clear-cut. Offing the kid guarantees they will be bringing down a lot of heat to the general area, whereas depending on what the kid thought he saw, letting him live might have avoided any troubles.
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The problem is: would they know what the kid saw? He could have been there that entire time, and witnessed the whole theft (which would be hard to say was anything but what it was, if that was the case); but, is a kid going to be forthcoming with that info, to people he just saw commit a crime? Basically, they can't trust the kid, because they don't know him OR what he saw. The safest bet was to kill him.



Walt's talk with Todd, earlier in the episode, about whether he understood how important it was for them not to get caught was great foreshadowing for the ruthless shooting. To borrow from Rick James: COOOOOLD BLOODED.
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We know what the kid saw. He put the tarantula in his coat then he heard the train whistle. The train whistled after the truck was clear and they were on the way. The kid could have only saw the 3 men jumping up and down in the desert.
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True, but I was illustrating Walt, Todd, and Jesse's POV. They were wrapped up in the heist, and didn't know when the kid got there. What we know =/= what they know. They only realized he was there when the job was in the "congratulate yourself prematurely" stage.



So, suddenly being presented with a potential witness to their crime, their safest bet would be to assume he saw everything and just kill him (and have Mike make the body disappear).
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Now I see that you wrote that the first time, I just cannot read.
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Thought the interrogation scene with Lydia was a parallel to season 1 where Walt has to decide whether to kill the mexican kid. You can see how much Walter has changed in a year that he was indifferent to Mike killing her....



Its also interesting looking back at Walt and Lydia discussing their kids in light of the ending. So heavy. So good.
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