Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 11

Crawl Space

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 25, 2011 on AMC
out of 10
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516 votes

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  • Episode Summary


    Walt takes action to protect Hank but when Walt learns of his new plan, Walt is forced to take drastic action. Skyler's efforts to solve Ted's financial problems hit a wall.

    Who was the Episode MVP ?

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    • The series' best episode up to that point, hands down.

      I don't suppose any sane person thought anything else than "WOW" when the credits for "Crawl Space" began to roll. Hands down, the ending sequence is one of the best things to ever happen on television and I don't suppose that I have to point out what it is that makes it that brilliant. But, contrary to its episodic predecessor, there's not only one amazing scene that you won't forget, but a whole episode you won't forget.

      Opening with the ramifications of "Salud" taking place in a portable, so to say, Mexican hospital, where Gus and Mike are treated, this episode cuts right to the chase, which is especially pleasant if you're watching the season in a row on DVD/Blu-Ray (and I guess there's no other way to go if you watch it on DVD/Blu-Ray for the first time). But very soon, we're north of the border again and are confronted with lots of trouble as well. For one, Ted Beneke's bitchiness reaches a new apex and in such a situation Better call Saul! That's what Skyler does and that's what provides for the funniest scene over the course of four seasons of the series, if you ask me. Bill Burr and Lavell Crawford excel themselves in their roles and, guess what, I don't have anything to criticize Christopher Cousins about. To that novelty comes an abrupt ending to Hank and Walt's investigation joyrides, something that may not have been the greatest scene, but something very important to the plot that is also a partial reason for the unforgettable episode finale (something that great has to be called finale, right?).

      Jesse gets something else to do as well in "Crawl Space", as we firstly see that he now has a wonderful relationship with Andrea and Brock (knowing the series, this is highly unlikely to last long), but secondly get further proof that Walter has lost all of his rationality due to the admittedly uncomfortable situation he is in currently. Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston have another paramountly acted confrontation that leads to a desert scene even better than the one we've had pretty much exactly one season ago. Giancarlo Esposito shows his intimidating side once again and now we're already at the final moments of "Crawl Space". Whoever had the idea for this should win a Nobel Prize or be canonized because that is sheer perfect. Oh, and same goes for Bryan Cranston who has now officially ascended to the highest tier concerning acting skills.

    • Brilliant.

      without a doubt the best episode Breaking Bad that ever did.

      the writing was outstanding, the directing was perfection and theacting was genius.Vince did an amazing job. Walt was at his best. now we know for sure that the next emmy is his to win for sure.

      I mean the last 10 min was pure awesomeness, I swear I stopped breathing for a while with some amazing score, that did it for the scene, and for sure a classic cinematography and art direction.

      the episode itself should win best directing, writing, actor and actress.

    • Walt grows more desperate while Hank gets closer to the truth.

      There's a reason the last four episodes or so have been at the top of the ratings list on this website. I still think there's some better episodes of the show overall, but this season, as a whole, has been darker, more intense and featuring the kind of acting, writing and directing that any show would be jealous of. This episode takes the intensity found in the previous ten episodes and mashes them all into one. I don't think I've found an ending as eerie as I found this one.

      While Walt waits for Jesse to return from Mexico, Jesse drives Gus and Mike quickly to a make-shift hospital, hoping their lives will be saved. While Mike is operated on, Gus and Jesse make their way back to America, with Gus hinting at the fact that Walt will be fired and that major changes will be made. Walt, on the other hand, is going absolutely insane attempting to keep his family safe and himself from dying. I have to say, people have been saying that Walt isn't as likable as he used to be and that he's a coward and getting kicked around, and after seeing this episode, I agree. I want to see Walt get a win. He may not be the hero anymore, after all the stupid stuff he's done, but I'm always cheering for the anti-hero.

      Before I get to the incredible ending, I'll a couple of other major plot points. Hank is getting incredibly close to learning the truth about Gus' operation, and things get a little too close for comfort after he asks Walt to drive him to the laundromat where they cook meth. Walt, who's likely terrified to be caught by Gus or Tyrus, decides to take the easy (or hard?) way out and crash his car into oncoming traffic, which leaves him and Hank injured. It's yet another incredibly stupid and rash decision that Walt makes that ends up not working in the end. We also get a few scenes with Skyler and Ted, with Ted refusing to take the money, which ends with Skyler turning to Saul for help, Saul sending his goons over to Ted's house to force him to write the check and Ted falling face first into a wall, either knocking himself out or killing himself. We never exactly get an answer to that question, but either way, seeing Ted fly across the room and smashing his face into a wall was hilarious.

      However, there's not too much of the rest of the episode that was hilarious. It was dark, terrifying and bone-chilling. Things start getting sketchy after Walt attempts to visit Jesse and ask for help in saving his life and his family's life. Jesse brushes Walt off and Tyrus shows up, cattle prodding him and driving him out to the desert, where Gus shows up and claims that though he can't kill Walt without risking Jesse's work stoppage, he has no choice but to kill Hank and if Walt interferes, he'll kill Walt's entire family. Walt, freaking out, rushes to Saul's, claims he's going to disappear for good with his family and runs back home to get the money to pay for the "disappearing act." However, he learns, to his horror, that Skyler paid Ted the rest of the money.

      It's here that the episode takes a turn in a way that I've never seen done before. Walt screams at Skyler in rage upon learning of the fact they have no money to disappear and get new identities. He then begins cackling, laughing like a hyena, coughing over his laughs until he's out of breath and then continues laughing. His shrill laugh plays out in the background as Skyler gets a message from Marie claiming that they got a tip that Hank is in danger. While Skyler tries to calm down a distraught Marie, Walt's laugh acts as the background noise, while the soundtrack plays an electronic pulse in the background similar to a heartbeat. The camera cuts back to Walt underneath the crawl space and slowly begins moving up, the music's feedback crescendo-ing while Walt is framed by the crawl space, his body motionless from shock. Now that's how you end an episode.moreless
    • Absolute best episode of the series (not just the season) so far. Everything was brilliant, from acting (Skylar and Walt especially), plotting, cinematography, the list goes on. Got a few questions though...moreless

      That concluding scene was just riveting, but left me a bit confused.

      First, did they not really convey to the viewer the state of the White's finances before that moment? A few eps ago Walt was ranting about making more money than Skylar could ever imagine; Skylar was complaining that she couldn't launder it all; Hank's medical expenses were always an "any amount, no problem" type thing; and my impression was always that Skylar didn't tell Walt about her payment to whassisface b/c $600k was a drop in the bucket. So I always figured he was sitting on a multimillion dollar goldmine of unlaundered cash this whole time.

      Second, didn't Walt overreact a bit with the whole "gotta run, need a new identity STAT" thing? I mean, the whole point of the family threat was to keep Walt out without having to kill him. In time, sure, he'd need to bamf should Jesse ever be swayed, but that's hardly likely to be imminent if he made it to Mexico and back without turning. Maybe he was afraid tipping off Hank would call in Gus' threat? This feels like I missed a key line of dialogue or something...

      In other news, did TerraNova suck or WHAT?moreless
    • one of, if not the, best scenes with Walt... i had chills watching the end.

      one of, if not the, best scenes with Walt... i had chills watching the end.

      i love this show, and look forward to it every week. this week's ep had me staring slack-jawed at the final few minutes. how the hell did things go from Season 1 Episode 1... to THIS!?!?

    JB Blanc

    JB Blanc


    Guest Star

    Bill Burr

    Bill Burr


    Guest Star

    Ian Posada

    Ian Posada


    Guest Star

    Ray Campbell

    Ray Campbell

    Tyrus Kitt

    Recurring Role

    Christopher Cousins

    Christopher Cousins

    Ted Beneke

    Recurring Role

    LaVell Crawford

    LaVell Crawford


    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (5)

      • In the podcast, Aaron Paul mentions that he hated driving the RV. It was so sensitive to the wind he says, swaying with the direction of it.

      • When the writing team were coming up with Saul and Walt's frantic interaction near the end of the episode concerning the man who could make Walt disappear, Vince decided that it might be slightly better to have Saul mention this previously. Luckily, the fourth episode was in filming and it was running a bit short, so they had Moira (one of the writers) add in a short scene with Saul telling Walt about this option.

      • When Ted hits his head, the oranges that are on the counter roll off. The color orange has been used to symbolize death before.

      • Goof: Skyler tells Ted to make the cheque payable to the IRS, but for business taxes, the money is actually sent to the United States Treasury and then mailed to the IRS.

      • Mike's full name is Michael Ehrmantraut. His blood type is mentioned to be O negative. Jesse's blood type is A negative.

    • QUOTES (7)

      • (The doctors ignore an injured Mike and work on Gus)
        Jesse: (About Mike) Hey! This man needs help!
        Head Doctor : (About Gus) This man pays my salary.

      • Gus: Hello, Hector. Gus takes out Don Eladio's necklace All of them, Hector. Don Eladio, Don Paco, Cesar, Reynaldo, Ortuno, Cisco, and Luis. Escalara. All dead. As is your grandson, Joaquin. Do you know who killed Joaquin? Would you like to see? This young man (Points to Jesse). Do you remember him? That young man shot Joaquin to death while I made my escape. I believe you have met him before. It was just you and Joaquin. He was the only family you had left. Now the Salamanca name dies with you. Will you look at me now? Look at me, Hector. Look at me.

      • Kuby: I'll tell you what this is about Mr. Beneke. This is about you and me doing our best to keep Huell happy.
        Ted Beneke: Huell? Who's Huell?
        Kuby: This is Huell. Huell, you happy?
        Huell: Reasonably.
        Kuby: What would make you unhappy?
        Huell: This little mofo not doing what he's told.

      • Gus: You are done. Fired. Do not show your face at the laundry again. Stay away from Pinkman, do not go near him, ever. Are you listening to me?
        Walt: Or else you'll do what?
        Gus: What did you say?
        Walt: Stay away from Pinkman or else you'll do what? If you you could kill me, I'd already be dead. But you can't. You can't kill me because Jesse wouldn't cook for you if you did. That's it, isn't it? No matter how hard you'd try to turn him against me, to screw with his head, so that he would hate my guts – and he still won't let you do it.
        Gus: For now, but he'll come around. In the meantime, there is the matter of your brother-in-law. He is a problem you promised to resolve. You have failed, now it's left for me to deal with him.
        Walt: You can't.
        Gus: If you try to interfere, this becomes a much simpler matter. I will kill your wife, I will kill your son, I will kill your infant daughter.

      • Walt: Jesse, Jesse, have you agreed to replace me? He will kill me.
        Jesse: You brought your brother-in-law to our lab, what the hell is wrong with you?
        Walt: That's not my fault, Jesse. Just [listen], you gotta help me, please!
        Jesse: Last time I asked for your help, you said I hope you end up buried in a barrel in the Mexican desert.

      • Gus: You did well down here and you also proved a point. I think you can run the lab by yourself. Don't you --
        Jesse: No. (Stops walking) Let Mr. White go. Pay him off or fire him. Don't kill him.
        Gus: You know that won't work.
        Jesse: Then you got a problem.

      • Walt: I don't want to talk about it. To you or to anyone else. I'm done explaining myself.

    • NOTES (1)

      • According to the podcast, the scene at the end of the episode featured a camera set-up that climbed up a production pole using a chain. The crew were going for a smooth pull-away but they couldn't get the wobbling to stop. In addition, the score mixer Dave Porter, created the static-like sound at the end in a creative way, feeding the sound into itself so that it became louder and louder. The result is the brilliant ending you see on the screen.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)