Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 10


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 18, 2011 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
442 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Jesse, Gus, and Mike head to Mexico where Jesse must show the cartel the recipe. Skyler and the rest of the family worry when Walt doesn't show up for Walt Jr.'s birthday. Saul and Skyler try to help Ted.

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  • Sorry, but I can't rate the episode for only one story arc

    Something that everyone who has seen "Salud" will agree on is that the ending was phenomenal. More aptly phrased I would say, the whole story arc of Jesse, Gus, and Mike making a voyage down to Mexico because the Cartel intends rough measures if Walt's recipe isn't passed on to them was phenomenal. Besides Aaron Paul giving another tremendous performance as his character gets more and more likeable, I simply loved the cinematography, scenery, score, and dialog in these scenes and they secure that "Salud" is one of the best Breaking Bad episodes up to that point.

    What secures that "Salud" isn't the best episode up to that point is the whole rest that is included story-wise. That isn't to say that Walt and his son having a deep conversation for the first time ever wasn't impressing and highly acceptable. Yet in comparison, it has the quality of a commercial the Mexico plot was just too good. But even if the Mexico plot hadn't been there, Skyler attempting to solve the fiscal trouble her ex brought up would have been sub-par. Christopher Cousins is annoying as hell (not as if I've come to expect anything else) and Anna Gunn's character notoriously is involved in the weaker storylines of the series.

    Thus, the only thing you'll remember about "Salud" is Mexico, which was, I just have to stress it that much, nothing less than outstanding. However, as I'm rating the whole episode, giving the full amount points is impossible but hey, that's why I'm writing a review and not only leaving an ambiguous rating, right?

  • If you have ever played Hitman... (spoiler inside)

    I don't know whether it was done on purpose or not, but the scene when Gus walks out of the bathroom is an exact replica of the third person camera in Hitman (the games). The slow walking pace of the action hero exiting the building while everybody else is in panic is sort of like a signature for the game.

    The only thing missing was a bar code on the back ofGus' head.

    It would be great if someone could actually confirm or deny my theory that this was the intention of the director.moreless
  • Not as entertaining as last week's installment "Bug" but this episode still deserves a perfect score.

    Okay, while this isn't as entertaining as last week's installment "Bug"... it still deserves a perfect score and the episode was strong enough for me to enjoy it. Of course, The Skylar/Ted doesn't me at all but I will let it slide. The other thing that kinda disappoints me was that Hank didn't appear in this episode. The episode still managed to be good without Hank though. Walter also has a short role in this episode. Probably the shortest role that Walter has ever had this season. So yes, this episode has less Walter and more Jesse. Maybe disappointing to the Walter fans while the Jesse fans aren't disappointed since Jesse had more screen time which is okay with me. Walter didn't do much in this episode. All he did was just lay in bed after he got into a fight with Jesse in last week's episode. He also talked to Walter Jr. while he is still depressed and hurt from the fight with Jesse. The Walter/Walter Jr. interaction is my favorite part of this episode. I loved how Walter Jr. was concerned on what happened to Walter and I also really loved Walter telling Walter Jr. on how his father died and what disease he died from. I just found those scenes to be extremely interesting and pretty powerful. The ending of this episode also was pretty awesome as well and I'm curious to know what's going to happen next Sunday Night and I wonder if Walter and Jesse are ever going to talk to each other again. Guess I'll have to wait til' next Sunday Night to find out. Overall, an excellent episode of "Breaking Bad". 10/10moreless
  • Easily the best episode of the season, with 3 more to go.

    Spoilers ahead, you've been warned.

    The tension with the cartel in Mexico has built up to this point, as the episode begins with Mike, Gus and Jessie getting picked up in a private plane and flown to Mexico. They meet up with Don Eladio and Jessie is there to cook a batch while the cartel documents his steps and keeps him as a peace offering. This damns Jessie to a life in Mexico as a cartel slave meth cook. However, Pollos Hermanos has other ideas about how it all goes down.

    If you recall, 20 years prior (in a flashback), Gus and his partner, who started Pollos Hermanos, humbly visited Don Eladio, basically telling him they were going to sell on his turf. They offered him a deal. He responded to the deal by putting a bullet in Gus's partner's head and forcing Gus to watch his partner bleed out from 6 inches away. Uncle Tio was the gunman.

    Gus and crew get sweet, sweet revenge by poisoning every halfway important cartel member at the pool party, Don Eladio included. This is shortly after Jessie spends a day talking smack to the cartel's stuck up chemistry professor cook and making a 96% pure batch of the Blue. During the cook, everyone present (must have been at least 50 people) had gas masks and cameras, and one was only a few feet from Jessie during the process. Although he was masked, I have a feeling this little bit of evidence will come back to bite him.

    Meanwhile, in Arizona, Walt has some father/son time after finally crawling out of bed on his son's birthday. He's in a drug-induced haze, healing up from Jessie's epic beatdown, and says some things he wouldn't normally say. He openly cries and apologizes to his son. To his surprise, the next day, his son says he preferred the "weak" and honest version of his dad to the superman front Walt has been putting up for the last year. Oh, and Skyler buys him a Chrysler PT Loser for his 16th birthday and you can tell he really hates it after having the muscle car.

    To keep her feet out of the fire, Skyler indirectly feeds Ted the money he needs to pay the IRS. What does Ted-tard do? Buys a brand new Mercedes SLK on lease and decides to open his business again. Stay out of jail, or resurrect the family business? It's a tough decision for him apparently. It's hard to understand that a guy willing to bang Walt's goofy wife would put the lives of his employees before his own. Are we supposed to believe that he has morals, but that his compass is skewed? Skyler visits him to put him in check, and he gives her a verbal tongue lashing before she lets him know that yeah, she's the one who gave him 600k to stay out of jail. Cliffhanger. *yawn*

    Back to Mexico for the poisoning of the century. Basically everyone gets poisoned by drinking Gus's special tequila, including Gus, despite him taking some sort of antidote prior to the party. Mike puts on his badass hat and does some garrote work to Don Eladio's surviving bodyguard just as Gus comes back from the restroom. As they are leaving, Mike gets shot and Jessie empties an entire clip into the shooter. Gus gets dumped into the back seat of the car, Mike asks Jessie to "get us out of here, kid", and they all ride off into the sunset.

    This episode really cements Jessie as an honest-to-god gangster. In an older episode, Gus and Mike set up a robbery to make Jessie feel better about himself. The trick appears to have worked very well, as Jessie is becoming powerful, hardened, and fearless. In his mind he has saved Mike's life twice now, even as Mike saved his in the last episode. He also delivered a serious ass-kicking to Walt last episode. Jessie has taken center stage, and the way the story is crafted, he deserves it despite his shortcomings (he's still not too bright).

    The greatest part of this episode? No Hank. He isn't mentioned, they don't show his house, and his kleptomaniac wife doesn't stop by to chit chat with Skyler.

    As Breaking Bad is wont to do near the end of the season, this one really turned up the heat. I had to watch it twice and will probably watch it again. Great stuff here and easily the best TV show ever.moreless
  • Walt recovers, Jesse cooks meth for the cartel and Gus proves to be a genius.

    Say what you will about Season 4, but if there's anything I love about this season, it's the way that Bryan Cranston can just sit back and let the rest of the supporting cast take the reigns. I heard complaints about the show early on and how the supporting cast was weak in comparison to Cranston and Paul, but wow... I think this season has been all about letting other actors show their range.

    This episode completely belonged to the trio of Gus, Mike and Jesse. After Hermanos, I was glad to see him getting more screen-time, and after this episode, I'm thinking the man needs to be at least be nominated for his role here. All the stuff that Jesse said about having to go to Mexico to cook for the cartel is true; Gus and Mike escort Jesse there and Jesse proceeds to show how great he is at cooking by himself now.

    Back in the States, Walt is healing from his wounds from fighting with Jesse and gets a surprise visit from his son. It turns out Walt is zonked out on painkillers, and as a result, we get some awkward moments, such as him sobbing to his son claiming he made a mistake and also him calling Walt Jr. "Jesse." Later, he gives an extremely long monologue to his son about his father and how he had Huntington's Disease. Bryan Cranston was completely on his game tonight, and props to the make-up crew for making Cranston look completely broken down. Or maybe that's just Cranston being awesome.

    Skyler is also screwing her family over even more. In order to save Ted, she gives Ted 600,000 bucks under the guise of aninheritance. Saul thinks it's stupid, but Skyler goes on with the plan. She ends up admitting to Ted that it was her money, and I'm betting that she'll admit what she and Walt are doing. I don't hate Skyler as much as some people seem to, but darn it, they're making it tough right now. Anna Gunn is still fantastic though.

    But the crux of the episode is all about Gus and Jesse and Mike. The entire episode is dedicated to making us believe that Gus is really going to sell Jesse out to the cartel. However, it turns out that the visit to Mexico was all about revenge. Gus finally gets the upper hand, proving once again how smart he is. If you think he was crazy in "Box Cutter," check out the ending here. I don't want to spoil it, but wow. I had to rewind it and immediately rewatch it.

    This season has been a lot about letting the supporting characters take the reigns and I have no problem with that. We're set up for a tumultuous final three episodes. What will Walt do? Will Jesse feel indebted to Gus for saving him? Who knows what to expect here. And that's a great thing.moreless
Steven Bauer

Steven Bauer

Don Eladio

Guest Star

Maurice Compte

Maurice Compte


Guest Star

Amanda Fresquez

Amanda Fresquez

Hot Cartel Girl

Guest Star

Ray Campbell

Ray Campbell

Tyrus Kitt

Recurring Role

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

Ted Beneke

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Steven Bauer says in the insider podcast that he had to psyche himself up for the scenes with Mike (Jonathan Banks)in this episode because when Jonathan is in character, he has this scary presence that is very serious and somewhat intimidating.

    • At the end of the episode where Jesse shoots the last member of Don Eladio's gang, Vince Gilligan asked editor Kelley Dixon to make Jesse's shots appear faster, so she spliced out the milliseconds in between shots to make them feel overlapping and faster. You may not have noticed it while watching the first time, but if you review the scene, the slices are clearly evident when taking a closer look. However, it's barely noticeable if you are taking in the full scene. Kelley Dixon also couldn't do the effect with sound, so they later re-added the sounds in.

    • Regarding the pills that Gus takes, the team researched and found "activated charcoal" tablets that apparently can soak up poison and help delay the actions of it.

    • No tequila company would let them use their booze as poison. The tequila bottle was an antique that the prop crew found at an antique store. The crew hand-crafted a box for it. According to Steven Bauer, the bottle was also incredibly dangerous, he cut his hand three times with it while filming. They only had one bottle and they couldn't replicate it.

    • Michelle MacLaren notes in the insider podcast that the Mexican drug lab was a closed down power station and the production designers worked to transform it into the large methlab scene. The crew only had one day to film there.

    • The location of Walt's apartment is actually owned by Vince Gilligan

    • This episode required a second unit film crew because shooting did not fit within the 8 days allotted for the 10th episode. For the plane scenes, they required clearance for the takes involving taking off and landing from the FAA. It was also windy so some of the planned shots had to be rethought.

    • Carlos Rota (Cartel Chemist) actually has a British accent, so it's interesting in that he has to mask this with a Spanish one and then talk normally in English soon after.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Skyler: You can't come to my work like this, you're too recognizable. Your face is plastered on every bus bench within a 5-mile radius.
      Saul Goodman: Celebrities have to get their cars washed, just like everybody else.

    • Jesse: (Aside to Gus) Look, I get my phenylacetic acid from the barrel with the B on it. That's how I do it.
      Gus: (In Spanish) Mr. Pinkman was under the impression that the phenylacetic acid would already be synthe upon his arrival.
      Cartel Chemist: Any sophomore chemistry student could make it. What kind of amateur have you brought us?
      Jesse: What did he say?
      Gus: We're working it out.
      Cartel Chemist: This is ridiculous. I'm not letting some infant who can't even synthephenylacetic acid teach me my business.
      Jesse: Tell this asshole that if he wants to learn how to make my product, he's gotta do it my way. The right way.
      Cartel Chemist: I speak English.
      Jesse: So you understand what asshole means. Now go get me my phenylacetic acid, asshole.

    • Walt: I made a mistake. It's my own fault, I had it coming. It's all my fault. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

    • Don Eladio: Gustavo, cheer up man. Gustavo, I'm not angry. I had to spank you. But what choice did I have? Look, once every twenty years you forget your place. There's no place for emotion in this. You of all people should understand. Business is business.

  • NOTES (2)