Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 8

Hermanos

17
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 04, 2011 on AMC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

8.7
out of 10
Average
342 votes
  • Still not a hint on how season four could end, but still quality entertainment

    8.0
    Season four's main plot comes to a bit of a halt in "Hermanos", but that doesn't diminish the importance of the episode as it adds a lot to the Breaking Bad universe (or whatever you'd like to call it) with a hugely interesting flashback and the writers digging up some sub-interesting characters and showing audiences how their lives are currently looking. Thus, "Hermanos" was a slow episode and was a bit sparse on rememberable moments compared to the two preceding ones, but was very well-made and entertaining nevertheless.



    Skyler and Marie are out of focus this time, with the first getting barely more noteworthy than a wordless scene pushing her story arc forward and the second at least getting her trademark ridiculously awkward dialogue, which makes the two men in their families come into focus, especially in a short spin that turned out to be more uncomfortable for Walt than that one time where he stood in a supermarket in his birthday suit. Reason for that is Hank putting out his feelers to Gus even more, even though the hermano that makes for one half of the episode's title passes his APD/DEA questioning with flying colors. Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston are superb when the subject of blue meth comes up that Hank is still unaware is coming from his brother-in-law. The latter one of them additionally gets the chance to once again show off his Heisenbergness as he encounters a fellow cancer patient in his monthly examination and gives him an insight into his philosophy, which was the coolest you can get while wearing one of these unflattering patient dresses.



    After him blowing away all Breaking Bad audiences in "Problem Dog", Aaron Paul took a step back in "Hermanos" and only said hello for visiting Andrea for the first time since season three's season finale (we didn't see them talking and I don't mind that at all) and further impairing his relationship with Walter while taking a leak. And then there's the really long flashback sequence giving a bit of an insight into Gus' past, but only as much as to show us that he hasn't always been the hardened stoic he is now. Besides the distracting yellow color tone and the most factitious Spanish, that scene was nice as well.

  • Sloppy Walter is supposed to be paranoid! Ain't he?

    8.0
    Like all Breaking Bad episodes, this is a good one, with Walt panicking and stressing over his increasingly dangerous relationship with Gustavo. However, this episode shows Walt turning up at Jessie's house and talking freely for a second time. (The same happened in the last episode) I'm moaning about this because I'm pretty sure, if this show was real, Walt wouldn't dare talk so openly inside Jessie's house. Anyone as paranoid and as stressed as Walt clearly is, would think the house might have been bugged without Jesse knowing. He definitely wouldn't start talking about ricin and assassinating Gustavo so openly like this, I know I wouldn't and Walt is a lot smarter than me. To make it even worse, his own house was bugged in the first season so he knows how easy it is and because he is fully aware of how much his employers resent him and Jesse, and how much they want to kill them at the first opportunity, it seems more likely than not, that they would have bugged Jessie's house and his own apartment.

    This is just a small criticism that I believe the writers should have considered. Maybe they did consider it, maybe It's just be me being a bit pedantic and over critical and the writers decided to ignore this likely scenario to give them some good locations to shoot important scenes. Well, I just thought I'd share what I was thinking while watching this episode.

    Anyway, as I said, this is a great episode overall as it had me on the edge of my seat as usual.
  • Walter and Jesse didn't huge roles in this episode but this episode was still excellent

    10

    I thought that this was an excellent episode of "Breaking Bad". Walter and Jesse's role in this episode wasn't too huge or anything like that but this episode still managed to be excellent and pure awesome. Definitely nothing slow or boring. Even the ending wasn't boring, slow, or rehashes. The ending of the episode was even exciting and intense. Walter going on his doctor appointment was pretty interesting and really good. Jesse's part in this episode was very good. Althought, you can tell that Walter and Jesse's partnership is starting to fall apart since Jesse has been with Mike lately and since Jesse didn't kill Gus yet. The best part about this episode was how Skylar barely appeared in one or two scenes. I guess you can say it's more like Skylar's cameo appearance which I really like since I don't find that character to be very interesting. The beginning of this episode had me wondering why there was blood on the water but the very ending of this episode totally explained why. I really loved the last 10 minutes with those foreign people talking about the Gus and all that stuff. The exciting and intense when that man was shot and then the other man was getting upset because he got shot definitely blew me away... one of my favorite parts of this episode and an exciting way to end this episode. Overall, one of the bestepisodes of "Breaking Bad" that I have ever seen this season. 10/10

  • Hermanos

    10

    Hermanos was perfect episode of Breaking Bad and I really enjoyed watching this episode because it focused a lot on Gus as he has become under suspicion of drug dealing by Hank, he must deal with the Mexican Cartel, and we viewed memories of his past adding to his character depth and development. There were some great scenes in this episode like when Saul was dropping money off for Jesse, Skylar hiding money away, and Walt being put into a difficult situation. I look forward to watching the next episode of Breaking Bad!!!!!!!!!

  • yea, this was awesome

    10

    It's episodes like this that make this one of my favorite shows, um, ever. It was so amazingly done. The entire flashback, at first, I did not like, but I realized the significance of it, and it was amazing. Gus' friend/partner dying was great and him shouting over it, as the blood dripped into the pool, was such a haunting scene. And this i na way being foreshadowed at the end of the cold open, was so, so great. This episode was full of great scenes, like the ending, Hank questioning Gus on his real name (So Gustavo Fring could be a fake name? Nice), Hank and Walt at Los Pollos Hermanos, every scene with Jesse (I wonder if he is going to go through with murdering Gus? I still have a feeling Gus will die before the end of the season). Great episode. I can only hope that the show keeps it up for the rest of the season. It took them a while but this season is finally becoming really intense and interesting, and i simply can't wait to see what is to come next. A+ grade, definitely

  • There's Something About Gus

    10

    This episode served as a present and a retrospective of sorts for Gus. We start with a new bit of information where Gus goes to visit Tuco's uncle in the hospice to tell him that his nephews are both dead and this is the consequence of crossing him with an implied history of bloodshed between the two. Gus also gets called into questioning by the DEA and ABPD about his fingerprints in Gale's apartment and he gives a rather descriptive believable tale like he gave Gale a scholarship to college in biochemistry, even the scholarship itself is named after someone we see killed in a flashback in this very same episode. It also explains that Gus has been searching and creating cooks for himself ever since then and when one comes along he protects them as he knows their true value. He is cleared by them but Hank tricks Walt into taking him to Pollos Hermanos and getting him to plant a tracking device on Gus's car to which he goes inside and confesses to Gus that he didn't do it but Gus instructs him to do it anyway. This all happens with Mike watching and Walt goes to Jesse with the concern of moving forward their timetable but finds out something that may mean that Jesse isn't telling him everything. Skyler finds a way to hide the money Walt gives her and they have a family dinner. With the cartel on one side trying to pressure Gus and Hank on the other acting independently of the DEA this is looking bad for the Chicken Man as he is called. In the final bit of the episode we see a flashback to the 80's in Mexico where Gus and his old Chilean cook partner are trying to impress the local drug lord with the novelty of meth and the younger version of Hector Salamanca is there and just as things look up Hector puts a bullet through Gus's cook boy's head and makes him look at it. They tell him to stay with chicken and mock that he is not in Chile anymore. A plus for acting for Giancarlo Esposito in this episode for his primal fear and disgust. This is why Gus won't work with the cartel and we finally got to see another side to Gus as he was when he was a beginner as he told Walt last season "I made many mistakes in my first few years of business" this fills in the gaps of Gus getting started but once he goes down if he does things will go to hell but until then the conflict is solid as it always is on Breaking Bad.

  • Wow... progression and backstory. Heating up for an all-out war.

    10

    Tonight's episode simply had me hooked from start to finish. The progression was there - Gus has enemies coming at him from all sides. Did you see his hand tremble? Did you see his face all sullen and dark - Gus is feeling the pressure and while he maintains his composure, he is cracking on the inside.


    Hank really pushes on with Gus as his number one suspect. Walt gets caught in the middle of it (a really awkward situation) but ends up attaching the tracker as per Gus' request. It's no wonder that Walt then fears for his life - if Gus get's caught, he and Jesse are no longer safe. Worse, he may still be in danger from Gus' associates like Mike. He thinks more violence is coming - to hank, to people in general. But Gus remains calm once again.


    Meanwhile, Walt and Jesse's differences continue to escalate. Their ideas colliding.


    Finally, the backstory: this 8 minute scene provided a brilliant example of why this show remains on top - consistency and interconnectedness reign on as a powerful backstory. Why Gus came to the U.S. in 1989 - this was why. And how about some similarities to throw in as well - Max (the cook) claiming that he needs Gus, he is his partner, just like Walt (the cook) argues that he needs Jesse. That's how we know that Jesse and Walt won't die. But Gus, on the other hand, will not be so lucky. His life will end, I am sure of it. But just how and what leads up to it, will be very enticing to watch.


    Pacing, progression, guest stars - this episode shone through tonight and it will only get better as the season progresses.

  • "What do we know about this Gustavo Fring?"

    9.5

    The pressure continues to mount on Gus. The APD/DEA investigation into his connection with Gale and blue meth continues, if in an unorthodox way. His prize employees continue to plot his murder, with mixed results. And the Cartel, who we learn have had their ultimatum to Gus spurned, are certainly coming at him in force. In this whirlwind, we get some backstory to explain Gus's position and motivation.


    This was The Gus Show. Giancarlo Esposito did a masterful job of carrying the episode.


    Gus gets called into police HQ to answer questions regarding Gale Boetticher, and does so deftly. But it's Hank's most basic of questions -- "Is Gustavo Fring your real name?" -- that knocks him for a loop. He is clearly rattled by someone asking about his identity.


    Gus's backstory comes by an extended flashback to the 1980's: a young Gus and his partner are invited to a poolside chat with the Cartel. It's great to see a young Gus, back before his eyes died; while Gus is known as cool, cruel and calculating, we get to see him with empathy and affection for his protege. Also at the meeting are a young Hector "Tio" Salamanca and Juan Bolsa (each of whom we've seen commit or direct horrific acts, and each of who have stated a distaste for "dirty" South Americans) and the heretofore unseen boss, Don Eladio. The meeting ends with the chemistry genius murdered, a scene which displays more raw emotion in Gus than we've seen in the entire series combined.


    What we learn is that Gus has a soft spot for down-on-their-luck geniuses, like he had for Gale and still probably harbors for Walt. He prizes loyalty and partnership, which may be what keeps Jesse from being summarily offed. And we learn that revenge occupies each chamber in Gus's heart.


    Where are they now? Juan Bolsa is dead, at Gus's tip-off. Tio Salamanca sits mute in his own waste, alive solely for Gus to torture. And Don Eladio? The confrontation between him and Gus has undoubtedly been playing out for the past few episodes, and will continue to an Act V showdown, which will destroy perhaps both men, but will certainly end Gus.


    Thanks to this episode, we will miss him when he goes. (Of course, saying that he goes is presumptuous; Gale was in 3 episodes before dying, but he has appeared in, or been central to, each episode since. David Costabile may have the richest posthumous career since Six Feet Under.) "This is whatcomes of blood for blood," Gus gloats to Salamanca; that will be the epitaph of both men.


    Walter and Jesse continue their plot, but Walter is starting to clue in that Jesse's heart is not in it, thanks to (let's be blunt) a contrivance that lets Walt read a vital text. (Contrivances and product placement ("Rage") irritate me, and the scene in Jesse's house had both.) Walter is also snookered into Hank's tailing of Gus, and the scene at Pollos had a shocking face-to-face meeting between the antagonists. Circumstances being what they were, this was Walter, the hapless nerd, facing Mr. Fring, the crisp professional with the American accent; the confrontation between Heisenberg and Gustavo will have to wait.


    In other news, Skyler is having trouble laundering Walt's money, and chucks it into the crawlspace. (Alert readers might note that we will get an episode titled, "Crawl Space" in three weeks.) And Andrea and her son Brock have escaped to a nice neighborhood, thanks to Jesse's benevolence; this is the only scene that felt out of place ... it seems that Andrea and Brock still have a part to play in this story.


    The show continues to be technically and dramatically flawless: every shot is beautful, ever performance engaging. We will continue Walter's story shortly -- we do get a scene of Heisenberg as a motivational speaker to a random cancer patient -- but it's a good thing to have that story take a back seat to flesh out a central figure.

  • 9/4

    8.0

    "Hermanos" gives us the background of Gus and Hector and it provides one of the most riveting drug dealer scenes in television history. Yes, I might be in the moment a bit when I write this, but I do know that it was an enthralling scene for this show. This is a program that has really been working hard to build up its supporting cast this season and perhaps they did it no better than tonight. Walt and Jesse were not even on as much as usual in this episode and it still was one of the season's best.


    Great episode tonight. The show might be on the verge of its first Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series after this season.

  • a whole new dimension to the story

    10

    HERE BE SPOILERS


    i'm getting tired of all the "this show moves too slow" comments and reviews. if it's too slow for you then stop watching.


    anyway here are a couple of my thoughts about tonight's epi:


    -i liked how they resolved last week's "gustavo situation" right away. although hank is still very suspicious about gus, i'm glad it didn't "all go down" tonight, in other words we see more of gus (awesome!).


    -the flashback was amazing! it gave a whole new dimension to the show. we get to see why gus tried to screw over the cartel last season. i believe more of the whole story will be told before the season ends.


    -was it me or did gustavo and his partner/brother's relationship resemble walt and jesse? you have the biochemist (walt; gustavo's bro) and the businessman (gus; jesse). i'd like to think this is why gus told jesse that he sees things in him, he reminded jesse of himself.


    -what's up with the hair/no hair/bald thing in this show? is it about their humanity and how it's removed or diminished from them because of what they do? (for example: the first glimpse of "heisenberg" we saw was walt came to Tuco (remember him?) with the chemical explosive thingy, bald. after jesse killed gale he shaved his head, bald. mike kills people, bald. gus had hair before now he has no problem sticking people (box cutter), bald. gus' new black henchman, bald.) this isn't even a theory just an idea i have. haha.


    tonight's episode was great and i expect nothing less from this show, the best thing on tv i believe.

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