'Breaking Bad' recap: Live Free or Die

bryan-cranston-breaking-bad.jpgOkay, so first thing's first: we open the fifth season with what is apparently a flash-forward, to Walt -- who's sporting hair, hipster glasses, a fake New Hampshire ID and fake name, and the telltale cough of someone whose lung cancer has maybe come back -- purchasing a no-****ing-kidding automatic rifle. So things are going well in the future!

Back in the present, we pick up right after Walt and Skyler's phone call, where Walt declared that he won. Skyler and the kids return home, though she is rightly scared as **** at what her husband is now capable of. Walt has bigger fish to fry, however, when he realizes (at about the same time that Hank discovers at the scene of the burned-down America's Meth Kitchen) that Gus's ever-present security cameras were obviously feeding to somewhere and, knowing Gus, he kept a record. So Walt and Jesse race out towards Mexico to find Mike, while at the same time Mike gets the news of Gus's demise and hauls ass to New Mexico. They meet in the middle and forge a HELLA-tenuous alliance to retrieve/destroy the hard drive that is, by now, in police evidence. Delightfully, it's Jesse's idea to use magnets that ends up being the winner, and it all adds up to Walter White taking the next step to comic-book villainy by using a giant junkyard-sized magnet to destroy the laptop from outside the evidence building. Of course, the damage the magnet causes to the evidence room also leads the cops to Caribbean bank account numbers Gus kept hidden behind a photo of him and his Pollo Hermano, but otherwise a rather successful venture. Wait until next week when he gets his hands on that weather machine!

In other news, Saul pays Skyler a visit to let her know that Ted Beneke is awake and in the hospital, after last season's attack. Skyler is horrified at the turn of events that she's ultimately responsible for, and when she goes to visit Ted at the hospital -- where he's wearing one of those halo-collar things like that one guy in Office Space -- he is petrified of her. Ted promises Skyler he won't say anything about anything and begs her to spare him and his family. Skyler sees him looking at her the way she was looking at Walt earlier and, while freaked out at what she's become, says the only thing she can think of: "Good."

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