Breaking Bad

Season 5 Episode 2


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 22, 2012 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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out of 10
317 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Great episode

    As usual, like all previous episodes, it had a rating close to 10, then this 1 person who has multiple accounts drops the rating down below 9. Why the admin doesn't stop this is beyond me, but I'll just bet he's either a fan of the Sapranos or the Wire and can't accept that Breaking Bad is the better show.

    Mike was boss in this episode.
  • Season 5 is on a Roll while Continuing a Major Theme

    Another awesome installment of Breaking Bad! Madrigal not only keeps the rhythm of the season going at a pretty smooth pace but it also gives us a chance to ask the question of which criminals on this show we should actually be rooting for while also widening Walter White's impact on the world around him to oversees and giving Mike some amazing character moments.

    This episode, like many of the shows, has another cold opening and its interesting not only in the fact that it opens up this seemingly very dangerous German world that Walt is not aware of yet, but it also continues a theme that is being established very hard this season so far: Living life and dying on your terms/Being free. With the way Gilligan opened up the premiere we are left to assume that Walter White is at the end of his rope much like Madrigal executive Schuler is at the beginning of episode 2. With the seemingly inevitable prospect of facing capture by the police and the destruction of his reputation as an upstanding business man or death at the hands of the Madrigal heads, Schuler decides to take his own way out by taking an EMP to a bathroom and shocking himself to death, in effect going out the way he wishes to rather than at the hands of others, in which we can only assume Walt is doing in the flash forward.

    There are some pretty awesome similarities going on between Season 5 and Season 1 that Gilligan has set up. In the first episode we see Walt in a desperate situation that seems to be way over his head in the cold opening, and in Season 1 the series opens with Walt holding a gun in a situation way over his head where he believes he has been found out and would rather go out his own way and take as many people with him as he can. Also in episode 2, we see Walt returning to his bedroom and Skyler in that position where her back is turned to Walt and she's feeling some level of disconnect (if not totally) from her husband, much like in Season 1 episode 1 where Walt comes home from his dangerous escapades and makes love to his wife out of a feeling of fear of the world he had opened up. Only this time, Walt is dishing out the fear and while he tries to make love to his wife in episode 2 of season 5, it is not wanted unlike in the series first episode where Skyler willingly accepts her husband.

    Walt is quickly destroying everything that tied him to his humanity and in the process he is losing the one person who has stood by his dangerous double life in his wife, and this will only continue as the season goes on as all the people close to Walt find out all the things he is responsible for and turn their backs on him just as his wife is doing. Anyone starting to wonder why Walt was rolling solo during his breakfast birthday bash? Can't wait for the next episode
  • Madrigal

    Madrigal was a perfect second episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of significant character and plot development. It was awesome to watch Walt and Jesse reunite and for them to talk with Mike about becoming partneres. I really liked watching MIke's story line as he was betrayed though he outsmarted those who would see him dead. Hank is really hammering down the case and the pressure is certainly on. It was great to see Walt transforming into the Kingpin he is meant to become. The scene with Skylar at the end being unresponsive to his advances seems like it may become a major point this season. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode to see what happens!!!!!!!!!
  • Walter White: gone, as we knew him.

    Loved it. This felt like a 'necessary' episode rather than a action packed game changer, but episodes like this are - in my opinion - exactly what makes this show so good. There's a masterfully methodical way in which the writers have obviously not allowed themselves to race away with where this is heading, and are reaching their destination in a steady but precise manner. Never is this more obvious than in Mike's line about going through a list of names and killing them being from a 'movie'. That's Gilligan's nod to those of us who'd prefer things to evolve more spectacularly - he's going to do it his way, and we'd all do well to trust him in that.

    So far, every scene Hank is in is a winner. The net is closing on Walt but it's going to take more than what they have to reach him. Mike's appearance in the questioning room took me by surprise - I wasn't expecting that so quickly but I'm not complaining! It was fascinating watching him under pressure and interesting to note that he may be in the game for similar reasons to Walt - his family. That's obviously the only thing that kept Lydia alive and the only reason he reconsidered Walt's offer.

    It now feels like things can indeed 'move forward', the emphasis shifting from mopping up to pursuing ambition, for all involved. The most naive of all parties is surely now Jesse, who has my sympathy for getting caught up in a game that is still killing him inside and which is far, far bigger than he knows, or would want a part of.

    The end of this episode was amazing, and surely the true 'point of no return'. It will mark the end of many viewers secret rooting for Walt, mine included, and the moment his delusion has truly taken over. One of the reasons I could previously almost overlook some of Walt's behaviour was the sense at which he really did have his family in mind. With the end of this episode, all that has gone. Walt is now a slave to the reasons he believes he's doing this, while the reality is that his 'family' either no longer knows him or is petrified of what he's now truly become.
  • Alright, that's more like it.

    Last week I came on here to see a 5.5 rating. This week, 9.8. WELL DONE, everyone.