AMC’s “Breaking Bad” begins “Hazard Pay” with a lawyer checking in at a jail to see Dennis Markowski, and he tells the cop he has his paralegal with him. The “paralegal” is actually Hitman Mike, and Dennis is one of his men who’s in jail. Mike blocks the door while the lawyer puts headphones on, so he won’t hear anything. Mike tells Dennis about Chow being murdered, and that it’s a situation that’s already been dealt with. Dennis’ deal with Gus is still in place. Dennis tells him he’s looking at eight years in jail, but Mike tells him a deal is a deal. Dennis says they’ve taken away his hazard pay, and Mike says they’ll be getting it back.
Mike and the lawyer leave, with plans of going to see all of the other arrested associates in the same day.
Walt and Jesse bring Mike to Saul, who’s not thrilled, since Mike had threatened to break his legs earlier. Walt says that’s just what Mike does.
Walt: Saul, Mike threatened me. He threatened Jesse. He probably threatened someone before breakfast his morning. It’s what he does. Come on. Grow a pair.
Saul: Let it be noted that I do this under duress.
Walt: Moving on.
Mike lays down the ground rules to the other three, and he handles the business while Walt and Jesse handle the cooking. Walt agrees.
Jesse: Hey, you’re okay with that?
Walt: Yes. He handles the business…and I handle him.
Saul takes them to a box factory to sublet as their meth lab, and Walt tells them one of the machines would hurt their product. Next, he takes them to a tortilla factory, but Walt says anything food related will have unannounced government inspectors. After that, they turn down the Lazer Tag place, and finally wind up in an exterminators building a quarter of a mile from a police station. Walt has an idea, to pretend to be bug-bomb fumigators, and use the houses as their meth labs. Saul knows a fumigation company who doubles as a burglary ring that would be willing to work with them.
Gus: So…should we take a vote?
Good point. Walt controls the cooking, it’s his call.
Jesse sends his old faithful friends and meth salesmen goons to the music store to buy roadie cases for their mobile meth equipment. They both want in, but Jesse tells them maybe someday they’ll have an opening.
Mike tells the crew of “Vamanos Pest” that now, the houses are out of bounds, and absolutely no stealing. Walt and Jesse should never be spoken to, but always obeyed.
Jesse is designing the mobile meth lab, and Walt likes the way he’s worked out the problems. While they’re talking, Andrea and Brock show up. They offer Walt dinner, and he says he’ll stay for a beer. Walt sits down beside Brock, the boy he poisoned, and seems to feel pretty awkward.
Vamanos Pest gets their first new assignment, and tents a house for Walt and Jesse. The boys come into the house and cook meth to the soundtrack of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.”
They finish the cook and sit drink a beer in the house, while watching the Three Stooges. Walt and Jesse talk about Andrea, and Jesse tells him he’s never told her anything about what they do. Walt tells him he’s earned the right to tell her if he wants.
Walt: Secrets create barriers between people. Speaking from experience, believe me. All that you’ve done is a part of you, and if you choose to spend the rest of your life with this person, then you have to decide how much you’ll share with her.
Jesse: Like, everything? Like…Gale?
Walt: …I’m just trying to say that I trust you, and I know you’ll make the right call.
At the car wash, Marie tells Skyler Hank is back at work. They talk about Walt’s birthday, and Marie says they need to do something big, since Walt was diagnosed a year ago. Skyler lights up a cigarette, and Marie tries to get her to stop. Skyler loses it and starts screaming at her to shut up over and over again, then breaks down crying.
Walt and Jesse finish their cook and turn on the poison in the house. Walt goes home to find Marie waiting on him, with Skyler in the bedroom resting. Marie tells him about Skyler’s breakdown. Marie says she’s not leaving until she knows what’s made her so upset. Walt blames it on Ted’s accident and hospitalization, and tell Marie they had an affair. That works, as Marie gets so uncomfortable she excuses herself and leaves.
Skyler is laying in bed when she hears gunshots, and comes out to see Walt, Walt Jr. and the baby all watching the movie “Scarface.”
Walt: Everyone dies in this movie, don’t they?
Walt is enjoying it, and Skyler is noticably afraid.
(For part two of this article including thoughts and analysis, please click here.)