Breaking Bad

Season 5 Episode 2


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 22, 2012 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
303 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Breaking Bad: Point of No Return

    We knew the day would come when we started to hate one-time hero Walter White, but now that it's here, it's very unsettling.

  • Episode Summary

    Walt and Jesse try to restart the business venture with Mike on their side. Meanwhile, Hank and the DEA explore new leads after understanding more about the explosion at the senior's centre.

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    • A multifariously entertaining episode and a great introduction for season five's story

      With "Madrigal", Mike enters into the spotlight and we, for the first time, get to see what his daily routine consists of besides the meetings with Walt and Jesse. But though he may have got the most screen time in this episode, it's still Walt who remains in the centre of discussion afterwards, as his evolution to becoming Heisenberg is now completed.

      Whether it's him terrifying his wife in bed, impassively upholding the lie of what happened to the ricin cigarette and Brock straight into Jesse's face, or accepting Mike's news at the end calm as a motherfucker (that did it for me) Walt is more startling than ever in "Madrigal", the first episode of the series to indicate his new persona that evidently. Despite all the awkwardness these aforementioned three scenes hold (watch the extended version of Walt and Skyler's scene in the bed for this sentiment to increase even more), the acting is sublime and, together with Vince Gilligan's script, perfectly illustrates the characters' current positions. In one story arc though, Breaking Bad's creator and mastermind prefers to stay ambiguous: newly introduced character Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, very believably portrayed by Laura Fraser. She was one of the biggest names in Gus Fring's hidden and now unveiled drug empire, yet manages to stay out of prison, at which point in the story we first meet her. The distraught, uptight broad she seems to be at first glance when conversing with Mike in what is possibly the series' best diner scene does also have some different facets, as she reveals in the succeeding episodes.

      "Madrigal" could have been an outstanding conversation-only episode, as this series does it so very often, but there are also some rougher parts here and there, one reacquainting us with the wonderful James Ning as Chow and one at Lydia's home, which ensures a multifariously entertaining episode that also functions as a great introduction for the marvellous plot of season 5A.

    • Haters

      There are always going to be haters out there. I choose to ignore them and so should everyone else.

      Great episode! Mike now needs a new job. Walt is at least the devil he knows. My guess is that Lydia won't be around for very long. Sooner or later they will find another source of methylamine.
    • "Nobody's going to find you, Lydia"

      Following the police finding Gus's financial partners identities in the picture frame that broke the cold open follows Herr Schuler, the owner of the whole restaurant chain (Madrigal Electromotoren) that Pollos is a part of, taste testing different dips. He returns to his office and sees men from the police there waiting for him. He methodically takes an AED, defibrillator and hooks it up to himself in the bathroom while the cops are knocking and yelling at him to open the door. He kills himself and we get the intertitle so now we know that Gus's boss also knew about the distribution of meth. Walt and Jesse approach Mike with an offer of three way split of funds so that they can start cooking again. Mike would cover most of the security and whatnot while cooking itself went to Jesse and Walt. Mike refuses saying he doesn't want to be anywhere near Walter when he blows up (metaphorically). Mike is also approached by a woman who worked for Madrigal and is worried about the DEA interrogating all of Gus's former employees and how they may not keep their mouth shut. She hands Mike a list of eleven names and asks him to do what he can. Of course Mike tells her to stop watching movies and that killing off eleven people like that isn't doable. Hank is remorseful that his boss is taking the fall for not listening to him about Gus. The chief tells a compelling story of how he spent a fourth of july holiday with Fring at his house and how he was under his nose the whole time and he never even noticed, obviously paralleling Hank on the trail of Walt here and how he never suspects his brother in law to be that way. Mike goes in for an interview with the DEA and he sticks to his "I know nothing" and how he was corporate security for Gus and all the Pollos Hermanos locations. Despite Saul telling Walt and Jesse that now would be great timewise to retire Walt refuses, even though idyllically now would be the best since Hank's "Heisenberg" theory led him to Gus and that's that, but he is deep in debt for paying for Hank's rehabilitation. They also face a challenge with cooking in a new location that's not an RV and they would rather cook in the city like Gus managed to. The obstacle is finding Methalomine so that they don't make Sudofed meth as Walt wants to make the purest product possible. And it's good to see Hank back on his feet again after a whole season pretty much sidelined physically speaking. Madrigal agrees to cooperate with the DEA but they want their transparency to be both ways and to find out if Schuler was a lone operative or part of a network. Skyler is depressed and tries to stay in bed but Walt urges her not to, that paired with the cold fear in her eyes at the end when Walt is justifying "when you do bad things for good reasons you have nothing to worry about" show how wayward his path has gone indeed. When being interviewed by Hank and Gomez Mike is told that Gus kept offshore account (obviously that he knew of) and that a whole two million dollars is in his granddaughter's name and so every Pollos employee is going to lose their cash. Mike is called by one of the other employees to talk, Chow, and is told to come to his house right away. Someone was in fact holding Chow at gunpoint and when Mike walks up to the door he had attached a pig on a sticky thing to bounce against the door to confuse who was watching him at the door. Mike subdues the gunman, Chris, another Pollos employee who had jsut killed Chow and Mike kills him after being told that Lydia (the woman in the beginning) had paid him 10,000 dollars a name on the list of hers. Mike goes to deal with Lydia at her home where her daughter and nanny are. He waits in the shadows and when Lydia walks that way he grabs her and tells her to stay calm and tell them to go to bed. They leave and Mike tells her that she is responsible for the deaths of Chow and Chris. She says to not shoot her in the face implying that she wants her daughter to find her, Mike tells her in the coolest line of the episode "Nobody's going to find you Lydia" she pleads and begs and Mike eventually relents and sees a new opportunity and asks if she can get her hands on Methalomine. He goes back to his car and calls Walt to tell him he's in. Great in between episode and by now the "gold in the streets" that Walt is talking about will be waiting for them when they set up shop in the upcoming episodes.moreless
    • Madrigal

      I was fine with the idea of Mike being the focus of the episode and Jesse and Walt taking a backseat, but this was another boring installment of a show. It was just too slow-moving, the scenes in the interrogation room and where Hank was talking to his boss were about as sleep-inducing as a bottle of Nyquil.

      I guess the end had me intrigued, but this is not Breaking Bad.moreless
    • Always Be Cleaning

      Mike's getting desperate, but Walt doesn't realize it. That's going to be a problem down the line, especially after his decision to keep Lydia alive...

      Walt and Jesse's housecleaning tied up their trust issues quite nicely and Walt's creepiness increased.
    Norbert Weisser

    Norbert Weisser

    Herr Schuler

    Guest Star

    Carrington Vilmont

    Carrington Vilmont

    Chief Food Technician

    Guest Star

    James Ning

    James Ning


    Guest Star

    Steven Michael Quezada

    Steven Michael Quezada

    Steven Gomez

    Recurring Role

    Michael Shamus Wiles

    Michael Shamus Wiles

    ASAC Merkert

    Recurring Role

    Wolf Muser

    Wolf Muser

    Herr Herzog

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (5)

      • The Madrigal "set" was really a newly built high school that had not yet opened. Michelle MacLaren chose the place based on it's never-been-used kitchen and the hallway where the companies brands could be placed. In the hallway shot, there is a place called BurgerMatic which is the same name of the restaurant in Vince Gillian's first movie "Home Fries".

      • The set location for Lydia's house was owned by an architect. Michelle MacLaren explained that they originally wanted to find a trendy high-rise apartment but it was difficult getting the shots and pertaining that the house was actually set in Houston. Vince also decided against using a legend to indicate the change of location, but they had never used legends before. Vince stated that viewers initially might not realize the Houston location but it would eventually come together in latter episodes.

      • The last scene, described as creepy by viewers, was actually a part of a longer sequence. It was cut down due to runtime, but Walt and Skyler go to bed and Walt starts trying to initiate sex with Skyler but Skyler is further mortified and does not want to participate so she pleasures him in another way.

      • Goof: Despite what the opening sequence depicts, an AED will only deliver a shock if the heart is in arrhythmia. It will not deliver a shock if there is a regular heart beat or in flat line.

      • Madrigal Electromotive GmbH is the multifaceted company that is headquartered in Germany and owns Los Pollos Hermanos. The GmbH is a common German suffix for companies with a limited liability.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Saul: Can I offer a thought? Say a guy wins the lottery. Ten million bucks. The very next day, what's the one thing he does not do? He does not go buy another lottery ticket. Right? He counts his lucky stars and he sails off into the sunset. Which, it seems to me, all due respect, is some advice you two might take...
        Walt: What lottery did I win exactly?
        Saul: Hey, you're alive... I mean, as far as I'm concerned that's the Irish sweepstakes.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)