Well. That’s a bad way to go.
Season 2, Episode 6 “Peekaboo”
Summary: Jesse goes to get revenge on the junkies who robbed him, but instead finds their adorable ginger child, who’s mute and living in squalor. Jesse takes pity on the kid, cooks him lunch, and hides him in the bedroom before holding up the kid’s parents at gunpoint. They give him the drugs, and enlist Jesse’s help in breaking open an ATM they stole so they can pay him back. When Jesse is distracted by the hungry child, the mom knocks him out. When Jesse wakes up, the woman gets mad at her husband for calling her a skank, and squashes his head with the ATM machine. (!)
Meanwhile, Skyler talks to Gretchen on the phone and thanks her for paying for Walt’s treatment (awk!). Gretchen, to her credit, doesn’t immediately spill the beans. She gives Walt a chance to explain, and like the idiot he is, he starts screaming at her about the company and tells her to go fuck herself. So she calls and, instead of outing him, tells Skyler that they can no longer pay for Walt’s treatment. Walt tells Skyler that Gretchen and her husband stopped paying because they’re broke, and looks like he’s having an actual orgasm as he fantasizes about their financial downfall. Gross.
Jesse practicing his “scary voice” before he threatens the junkies who robbed him. Too cute.
I don’t know what they did to that adorable ginger child to make him seem so haunted, but he’s tragic and makes the entire situation so much more harrowing. (Not to mention, Jesse’s kindness towards the kid makes him an even more sympathetic character. It’s cheap, but it works.)
Jesse’s interactions with the child are surprisingly funny, especially when he asks the kid why he doesn’t change a boring channel to a kids’ show, only to discover that it’s the only working channel.
Jessica Hecht’s performance as Gretchen. Last season, poor Jessica Hecht didn’t really get to do anything but be pretty and give Walt a lapdance in Insta-filtered flashbacks, but this time she gets to be a human being with actual motivations, and it’s great. The tension in the scene with Walt, when she’s asking why he lied to Skyler and he gets all passive-aggressive about the company they started, crackles.
The ATM. I’m a sucker for creative deaths.
The cartoonish stupidity of Jesse’s friends. “I’m slinging mad benjis, I can’t be worried about spelling and shit!” Even low-level drug dealers don’t talk like this.
Walt asks Gretchen to lunch, presumably to buy himself time to come up with a cover story, and then inexplicably refuses to give her one. He could have said literally anything that was better than drugs–sex work, anything, but instead he refuses to give her any sort of excuse, antagonizes her, and basically guarantees that she won’t go along with his lie. So stupid.
This was a good one! The entire sequence with the junkie couple, especially, was unbearably tense and sad.
Season 2, Episode 7 “Negro y Azul”
Summary: Word spreads that Jesse squashed someone’s head with an ATM machine (even though he did not, and is actually hiding in a sleeping bag to get away from the memory). Skyler gets her old job back, with a boss who once groped her at a Christmas party, because no one else will overlook her pregnancy. Poor Skyler.
Hank starts his new job in El Paso, and feels all left out because he doesn’t speak Spanish. Whatever. Then, it takes a turn for the super-real, their snitch’s head gets severed, and Hank’s entire team gets blown up at the border. Which, needless to say, does not help his PTSD symptoms.
The titular mariachi song, which funnily recounts the story of Heisenberg, the “gringo boss” of New Mexico, and the blue meth he’s moving.
Danny Trejo! If you’re going to write yet another vaguely racist Mexican gangster character who’s immediately killed off to further a white man’s plotline, it might as well be Danny Trejo.
People talking directly to Skyler’s stomach while she applies to a job. Too real.
Jesse’s pumpkin shirt, which he refuses to change out of for several days.
Jesse’s incredibly awkward, very high school attempts to woo Krysten Ritter with his flat-screen TV. “It’s got that thing where the blacks are like… really, really black.”
If his friends have heard that Jesse killed the guy with the ATM, then why haven’t the police caught up with him? He didn’t really clean his fingerprints, and he’s a known drug dealer.
Danny Trejo’s severed head on a tortoise. It’s quite an image, but it’s also… a lot.
This episode doesn’t super have a plot? Which is a let-down after “Peekaboo,” arguably one of the tightest episodes of the series, plot-wise.
Next week: Better Call Saul!