Warning: spoilers ahead. Tonight was a welcome change from all the domestic drama of late. We got an episode that focused on the down and dirty drug manufacturing, and ratcheted up the tension to unbearable levels. Did everyone exhale a sigh of relief when Hank was summoned away from the junkyard? I did, even though I know the showdown between Hank and Walt is inevitable.
‘Sunset’ begins with a New Mexico police patrol summoned to the residence of a woman who has not been seen for a few days. When he arrives at her isolated adobe, things are rather quiet. We see the sketch of Walt from ‘No Mas’, along with tell-tale candles and cult paraphernalia.
After the officer sees two suit coats hanging out to dry, he knows something is amiss, and starts checking the perimeter of the house. Buzzing flies (never a good sign) are swarming on one side of an outbuilding (which appears to be the same one that all the people were slithering toward on their bellies in ‘No Mas’), and the officer discovers a body.
He calls for back-up, and is confronted by one of the cousins, who refuses to stand down or obey orders, and nonchalantly munches an apple while his counterpart stealthily sneaks up behind the officer and bludgeons him to death, with what I believe was a scythe.
Jesse produces a perfectly clear, blue crystal meth rock for his two friends to try out. He is trying to convince them to go back into business with him. He assures them that if they don’t get too greedy, they can keep it under control and do well for themselves. One of the guys tries a hit, and does a celebratory jig. It’s some good stuff, and he is impressed with Jesse’s cooking abilities. Little do they know that Hank is watching from his car down the street. He has been able to track down Jesse because of the photo he found last week.
Walt methodically fixes a brown bag lunch, which he carefully marks his name on, and reports to the lab to cook for Gus. Once he enters the high tech lab,Walt discovers that he has an assistant, who quickly produces credentials and various degrees. Walt is giddy at the prospect of having someone who actually knows what he is doing, and who may be able to further enhance the finished product.
His new lab assistant also makes a mean up of coffee, thanks to some fancy titration techniques. In a rare display of humor, the two are shown engaging in a special “bromance” confined within laboratory walls. For a moment, I could have sworn they were going to kiss, they are so wrapped up in mutual admiration for one another. There is even a nice little jazz score gently playing in the background. It was so unexpected, and I loved it.
Alas, the tranquility is shattered when Hank calls Walt to inquire as to whether he knows anything about an RV owned by a former student. Walt looks horrified, and tries calling Jesse to warn him, but chickens out. He drives out there himself, after contacting Saul. Jesse rushes out to the scrapyard, believing that Walt is trying to steal his equipment.
Unfortunately, he leads Hank directly to the RV. Walt and Jesse have to barricade themselves into the RV while Hank uses a crowbar to try to open the door. It was suspenseful as hell. A scrapyard attendant saves the day (seems like he has been around an illegal activity or two in his day) and schools Hank on the legalities of search and seizure. Jesse yells through the door that this is his private domicile. Hank doesn’t seem to care.
A desperate Walt makes a phone call to an unknown individual. Conveniently, Hank gets a phone call saying that his wife has been in a car accident, and he should come right away. Was it just me, or did he look like he thought about it for a moment? Hank races off to the hospital.
Turns out that Saul was the person Walt hired, and the phone call to Hank was a ruse. When Hank finds out that his wife is fine, his rage is palpable. I thought that he was going to have a heart attack right there in the hospital.
Jesse and Walt look on at the scrapyard as the RV is demolished. My husband swears that a decoy was destroyed, and that there was another RV right next to the demolished one. I rewound the scene about 8 times, but I couldn’t tell if it was a different vehicle entirely or, the tail section of the RV. Readers-your thoughts?
In the final scene, Gus meets the cousins (at sunset, as promised), and convinces them that Walt is not responsible for Tuco’s death, but it is the DEA agent Hank Shrader. He also gives his blessing for the two to kill a DEA agent in his territory. Way to kill two birds with one stone. No more Hank, plus Walt will be spared so he can keep cooking. I actually feel sorry for Hank, for once.