Breaking Bad

Season 1 Episode 7

A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 09, 2008 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
458 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Walter accepts his new identity as a drug dealer after a PTA meeting. Elsewhere, Jesse decides to put his aunt's house on the market, and Skyler is the recipient of a baby shower.

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  • After Only the First Seven Episodes, You Can't Help but Be Hooked on Breaking Bad

    The last episode of Breaking Bad's first season is not at all a breathtaking cliffhanger finale, but still a very good ending to the introduction part of this fantastic story that will make you want to see more of the series. The plot features Walt and Jesse again showing audiences all the possible ways to break the law, Tuco again showing his insanity, and Marie again showing kleptomaniacal tendencies.

    Despite some little flaws, I consider "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal" an exceptionally well-made episode. Screenwriter Peter Gould emphasizes humoristic scenes that the cast portrays sometimes a tad too ironically; director Tim Hunter deploys a rather usual course of events without any overlong conversations or wordless landscape shots. These aspects hinder the season finale from being a genuinely outstanding episode, but they make for entertaining 50 minutes that even the mass-market can enjoy.

    Some scenes are a bit dreary, especially when watching the episode for a second time, and could have been shortened, but then there's also a decent amount of really awesome scenes that change course. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul sharing the screen together never disappoints and "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal" too includes some great discussions between the chemistry teacher and the drug dealer-cum-junkie. The ultimate scene also includes them, yet it is Raymond Cruz's Tuco that steals the show and leaves you perturbed while fascinated.

    Conclusion: it's not perfect, but it'll make you put season two in the DVD player right afterwards since the story is so damn good.moreless
  • Walt is forced to cook four pounds of meth in a week for Tuco

    If it seems like Season 1 ends a bit abruptly, it should be known that it was because of the Writer's Strike. The first season was originally supposed to be about thirteen episodes long, but the writer's strike cut that in half. However, something about the short season makes the seven episodes as a whole feel a lot tighter than the following seasons. That's not to say that the second and third seasons are bad or worse; it just means that this season feels the most complete in places and somewhat lacking in others.

    Either way, this episode was just as intense as any of the ones that came after or before it. Walt screws up and sets his sights too high after promising two pounds a week to Tuco. Jesse realizes how ridiculous this promise is, since it's difficult to get the Pseudo (the cough medication) necessary to cook the meth. As a result, Walt is forced to think quickly and find a new way to cook. We get a series of great scenes showing just how far Walt and Jesse are willing to go in the name of making money. The scene where they use thermite to break into the garage was great, and any scene between them and Tuco was superb as well.

    As for the family, not much happens. We get another reference to Marie's shoplifting issues, which has no real importance except for an interesting conversation between Walt and Skyler that brings up what it means to be a true criminal. It's one of those moments that makes us really think: Is Walt a good guy doing bad things or a bad guy doing bad things? There's a huge difference, and I think it's up to Bryan Cranston to make us believe in the character, and he does an amazing job. I think this season pretty much explains whole-heartedly why Cranston has won three consecutive Best Actor Emmy's.

    Overall, this episode brings Season 1 to a satisfying enough close, especially considering it was six episodes short. The look on Walt and Jesse's face as they see what they've gotten themselves into with Tuco is priceless, and it shows just how bad Tuco is. Bring on Season 2!moreless
  • Full Review of "A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal"

    Breaking Bad was initially given a nine-episode order for its first season, but due to the Writers Guild of America strike, only seven were written and produced. The result is that "A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal" is the season finale, and while it contains some of the show's most compelling drama yet as Walt and Jesse do business with the usually uncompromising drug distributor Tuco, I can't help but feel a tinge of disappointment that payoff was a little lacking to close out the season.

    That's not to say that payoff is non-existent, though, because we see plenty of signs that Walt has come to terms with his status as an illegal drug dealer. For instance, he starts pleasuring his wife in the middle of his school's PTA meeting (and a serious one at that, as present parents make clear their concerns of a possibly dangerous meth drug dealer having the freedom to roam around the school) before they have sex in their car. As a man who used to be strictly straight and narrow, Walt admits to now enjoying the thrills of crossing the line. He comfortably lies to Skyler about planning a trip to New Mexico to try alternate medicine for his cancer when he's really intending to spend that time cooking meth with his partner-in-crime Jesse, and later at Skyler's baby shower, he relaxes with an illegal Cuban cigar and casually talks to his brother-in-law Hank about his view that what's legal and illegal is arbitrary and could change in an instant.

    This changed man forms the core of the episode, as Walt and Jesse are at first trying to meet Tuco's expectations of producing two pounds of meth before their meeting. When they fall way short of the two pounds due to a sparse supply of pseudoephedrine, Walt boldly requests more money from the clearly dissatisfied distributor without so much as a quiver – another indication that he belongs in the drug trade – so that he and his partner can deliver double the intended amount next time. Jesse starts to freak out about the enormity of the task, but Walt, calm and collected, hands him a shopping list. Walt intends to produce meth a different way, one that bypasses the lack of 'pseudo' available to them, and asks Jesse, who's threatening to bolt, to buy everything on the list. "This is the first day of the rest of your life, but what kind of life will it be? Will it be a life of fear…of never once believing in yourself?"

    Putting aside the fact that this quote could've easily applied to Walt himself in last week's episode (he overcame his fear and confronted Tuco with considerable success), it's interesting to see the choice that Jesse has to make. Does he leave town and try to lead some semblance of a normal life, or does he stay and get himself drawn further into the drug trade? Just a few episodes ago, we saw him applying for real jobs, but he was easily sucked back into cooking and dealing. A similar sort of thing happens here. He is easily convinced by Walt to remain his drug partner, and this reaffirms that Jesse won't get out of his current lifestyle in the foreseeable future. The situation with his aunt's house mirrors this. Jesse intends to sell it and find another place to stay, because he wants to distance himself from the time he dissolved Emilio in his bathtub and flushed the watery bloody remains down the toilet. But, he's forced to at least temporarily send prospective buyers out during an open house session and declare the house not for sale to save the meth operation down in his basement. There's always something that stops Jesse from making radical changes in his life. He's stuck where he is.

    Aaron Paul has had a superb season as Jesse Pinkman. I'll admit to not being familiar with him before Breaking Bad aside from a couple of guest-star roles, so to see a series of mature and convincing performances was a brilliant surprise. He's been a revelation, and it's not a shock to see that he's been nominated for two Emmy Awards for his following work on the second and third seasons of the show. Likewise, Bryan Cranston as the protagonist Walter White has been excellent, showing that he has real variety in his acting after several years being the hapless Hal on Malcolm in the Middle. His range is easily admired, and he's proven in just one season that he deserves to be named alongside the likes of Michael C. Hall, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie as the standout television drama actors of recent years. Cranston has made the journey of his character as compelling and believable as it is, as he gradually evolves from a moral man going through a mid-life crisis to one who doesn't hesitate in doing illegal activities for the sake of his family. He had no problem in promising double the amount of meth to Tuco or suggesting to Jesse the idea of robbing a guarded supply base of methylamine. The Emmy that he notched up for the first season was extremely well-deserved.

    It's because of these two talented actors and the superb writing that make the Walt and Jesse scenes consistently the best throughout the season. They have always been polar opposites, but notably in different ways as the season has progressed. In the premiere, Walt was uptight and tense, characteristics now associated with Jesse. The season finale shows Walt as a more determined and driven man, liking to take control, while his partner provides a realistic perspective on things given his past experience dealing with drugs. The differences also lend themselves to funny moments of understated comedy, from Walt choosing a junkyard as the meeting place with Tuco to him handing an appalled Jesse a decorative balaclava.

    Everything leads to the final scene, where Walt and Jesse succeed in delivering their target of four pounds of meth. A partnership between them and Tuco is struck, but before they get too comfortable, they witness Tuco severely beating up one of his minions when he speaks out of turn. For the first time in the episode, Walt is visibly shaken. For the first time in the episode, we see that maybe Walt isn't cut out for this line of business. Jesse also looks like he regrets getting this much involved, but it's too late for them to back out, lest they face Tuco's wrath. On one hand, it cleverly brings the audience back down to earth. The drug trade is an extremely unforgiving place to be in. This was clearly evident in the first three episodes with Emilio and 'Krazy-8', and it's reinforced here with Tuco's psychotic behaviour before we get too complacent from the easy money Walt and Jesse look set to be raking in. On the other, the ending was a little anti-climactic for a season finale. The arc is incomplete, with not much consequence or payoff.

    The B-plot also suffers from the same problem. Skyler receives a tiara from her sister Marie at her baby shower, but upon trying to return it, finds out that it was shoplifted. A confrontation between the two sisters in which Marie denies all knowledge of the theft is pretty much the last thing about the storyline before the episode ends. Again, we have to endure a wait to find out the consequences, and it feels like we're left hanging. It's such a shame that two episodes were forcibly cut due to the writers' strike. But, if you treat "A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal" as an ordinary episode, it's undoubtedly one of the strongest outings of the series so far. In particular, the character development of Walt and Jesse is handled excellently, and that should be more than enough reason to continue watching Breaking Bad.moreless
  • Season 1 Finale

    Breaking Bad has easily become one of the best dramas of all time, after a brilliantly well done season, we get a blissful finale, that brings us intriguing character interactions, development, suspense, intense drama and just brilliant acting from all the actors. Sadly the first season is over, but it sure ended with a bang. This goes to show that season finales still have the potential to be amazing without having a huge cliffhanger which is how usual TV shows end things, with a cliffhanger. But this episode hardly had a cliffhanger, and it was still absolutely outstanding.

    Was anyone else completely enticed the whole time? I know I was, from Walt & Jesse breaking in somewhere to get a certain chemical for meth to the open house going on while Walt & Jesse are making meth. Even Skyler & Marie's storyline was intriguing, we all knew Marie stole, I'm just so happy that they brought the issue up again in the finale.

    The very end left us with a sense of relief since they managed to get the 4 pounds of crystal meth, and also left us in utter shock after Tuco beat one of his employees almost to death. This drama is perfection, just like the finale. If you haven't watched this show yet, go watch it!

    As perfect as when it started, Breaking Bad brings us a wonderful season, and keeps us ready to watch the next season. Can't wait, perfect episode.moreless
  • Dude!

    I loved the conversation between Walt and Hank, talking about what's legal and what's not, and how arbitrary it is.

    Kevin Costner had a line at the end of "The Untouchables," where a reporter asked his character, Eliot Ness, about the end of Prohibition, and how he'd celebrate, and it was something like "I'd raise a toast." My reaction is that it may be incredibly arbitrary -- for example, cocaine used to be available as soda pop, pot is legal in the Netherlands and now even in some states with a prescription, and Cuban cigars are only illegal because of economic sanctions -- but substances are controlled for a reason. Tobacco is age-restricted, and even alcohol isn't carte blanche for 21 and older, because drunk driving is illegal.

    Meth is controlled for perfectly good reasons, and if it were to come back to its OTC status, I still don't think I'd necessarily want to use crack caffeine.

    All that being said, I loved the blue meth, and Tuco's reaction: "Blue, pink, yellow, you keep bringin' it!" :D

    And the guy insisting that he get a look at the basement. Jesse: "It's occupied!" :lol:

    Loved the sex in the car, and the shoplifting thing. Really, this whole episode kicked major booty, and I look forward to seeing where they take it next. Good work, everyone! :)moreless
Geoffrey Rivas

Geoffrey Rivas


Guest Star

Clark Sanchez

Clark Sanchez


Guest Star

Dave Colon

Dave Colon

Concerned Parent

Guest Star

Carmen Serano

Carmen Serano


Recurring Role

David House

David House

Dr. Delcavoli

Recurring Role

Raymond Cruz

Raymond Cruz

Tuco Salamanca

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The 2008 writer's strike prevented the next two episodes from being aired subsequently as part of the first season. They were already shot and edited, so the episodes simply became the first two episodes of Season 2.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Skyler: (After she and Walt finish making love in the back of a police car) Where did that come from? And why was it so damn good...?
      Walt: Because it was illegal.

    • Tuco: (referring to Walt and Jesse) Mr. Clean and his boy!

    • Open House Goer: (Tries to enter basement) I just want to see the basement.
      Jesse: (Holding door) It's occupied!
      Open House Goer: It's not a bathroom?!
      Jesse: You ain't seeing the basement b****. House is not for sale. All of you, get the hell out.

    • Walt: Well this thing's not going anywhere (Smoke rises from the RV's front end).
      Jesse: Well we're not cooking on my damn driveway, I'll tell you that.
      (Cuts to next scene: 20 gallon tin of methylamine tumbles down a flight of stairs to the basement)
      Walt: What part of "slow it down" did you not understand!

    • Walt: Here. (Hands Jesse a knitted ski-type toque with bright colors)
      Jesse: What the hell's this?
      Walt: It's all they had!
      Jesse: You go to another store. If this is all they had you're in the wrong place.
      Walt: Just put it on.

    • Jesse: (After Walt tells him the lie about going to a sweatlodge and while carrying heavy a canister of gas) Sweatlodge?
      Walt: Yeah.
      Jesse: I'm already sweating, help me out.

    • Jesse: Junkyard… let me guess – you picked this place?
      Walt: What's wrong with it. It's private.
      Jesse: This, this is like a non-criminal idea of a meeting place. This is like, oh I saw this in a movie, look at me.
      Walt: So where do you transact your business, enlighten me.
      Jesse: I don't know… how 'bout Taco Cubesa. Open 24 hours, no one ever gets shot.

    • Jesse: So you do have a plan! Yeah Mr. White. Yay science!

    • Tuco: (at the junkyard) What are we doing way the hell out here? What, did they close the mall or something?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: February 25, 2011 on Nova Cinema

    • Featured Music:

      "The Hand Clap" by Hurricane Chris
      "Candy Everybody Wants" by 10,000 Maniacs
      "Suddenly Last Summer" by The Motels
      "Double Concerto in D minor, Largo Flute" by Bettine Clemen
      "Beautiful Emile" by Keziah Jones
      "Who's Gonna Save My Soul" by Gnarls Barkley


    • Tuco: (referring to Walt and Jesse) Mr. Clean and his boy!
      Mr. Clean is a reference to the mascot of the Mr. Clean brand of cleaning products. Mr. Clean is famous for being bald much like Walt is now.

    • Jesse: You look like Lex Luthor.

      Jesse is comparing Walt to a character from DC Comics' Superman. Lex is the bald archenemy of Superman, the titular superhero, and was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.