9 episodes into the season and miraculously a flashback doesn’t slow down the show at all. Seeing the some of the Chicken Man’s origin story added a reservoir’s worth of depth to the show – especially the point where at now. Being put into a situation where he doesn’t know what’s coming is certainly something Gus isn’t used to. He’s quick on his feet and great at improving, but he was visibly shook in the elevator. And while Gus may not be a person of interest to the DEA, but that doesn’t stop Hank from going maverick on his ass. On top of that, the Cartel isn’t budging and Jesse is still a wild card.
This is the first episode in a long time where I felt really bad for Walt. I usually don’t have a lot of sympathy because his ego and pride are the harbingers of his own shit luck, but he was just such a sorry sap in “Hermonos” I couldn’t help but feel for him. We’re not sure if he’s actually still in remission or was lying to Junior. He seemed pretty distant later at dinner. The text Jesse got leads Walt to believe that him, Mike, and Gus are plotting against him. And then there’s the shitty but humorous situation Hank puts him in at Pollo Hermanos.
This is the first time Walt and Gus have seen each other since “Box Cutter” and boy howdy was it awkward! Gus, as always though, is top notch at improv and nails the shit-eating grin. Walt’s pleading was pretty painful to watch. He has no problem using Jesse as his hitman, but he was practically pissing his dockers looking Gus in the eye. Man, even Hank lied to him about the gem and minerals show. Horrible episode for Walt.
Let’s talk about the flashback a bit…We get to see how Gus went from an enthusiastic entrepreneur in the meth game to the cold and calculating sonsabitch he is now. The mystery behind his “real name” also pops up as Don Eladio tells Gus he was spared because he’s heard of him. It was difficult to see him in such agony as he watched his partner Max’s life drain out of him into Don Eladio’s swimming pool. But the look he gave stroke-ridden Hector was priceless.
IN BRIEF: In the waiting room, Walt states that it’s been less than a year since he was diagnosed with cancer. Seems like a short time given Skyler’s pregnancy and everything else.