"4 Days Out" is the ninth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the sixteenth episode altogether.



BB 2x09 1

Walter White undergoes tests to see if the chemo and radiation therapies have reduced the size of his tumor. His doctor won't share the results for another four days, but glimpsing the scan’s image Walt notices a large white spot on top of his lung.

Act I

At Saul Goodman's office, Walt receives a tutorial on money laundering. After all the costs associated with Badger’s arrest, he only has $16,000 left, of which he would receive only $9,960. "Congratulations," cracks Saul, "You've just left your family a second hand Subaru!". Walt lets on that he might not have much longer to live, but he intends to cook a lot more. "Make hay while the sun is still shining," Saul agrees.

Skyler White suggests a weekend outing to take the family's mind off the test results, but Walt says that he's planning to visit his mother to ensure she'll leave money to Skyler if he dies. "I actually think the news from the scan is gonna be good," Skyler says. "Perhaps you should prepare for that."

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On Saturday morning, Jane Margolis persuades Jesse Pinkman to visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. The revelation that many of O'Keeffe's paintings "look like vaginas" seals the deal for Jesse. Walt derails the getaway, telling Jesse they need to cook non-stop until Tuesday. When Jesse balks, Walt tells him that their methylamine is losing its chemical potency.

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Skyler drops Walt off at the airport and drives off. After a moment, Walt exits the airport and Jesse pulls up in the RV to take Walt to their cook session. They drive deep into the desert and prepare for a long weekend of cooking. Walt mocks Jesse for buying only junk food to last them the weekend and scolds him for tossing the RV keys on their workstation. Jesse then stashes the keys in the ignition. Unbeknownst to Walt and Jesse, an indicator lamp on the dashboard lights up.

Act II

Two days of cooking yields 42 pounds of meth that will net them $672,000 each. "Hell, yeah!" shouts Jesse as he high fives Walt, but the celebration ends when they realize their generator has run out of gas. Jesse is concerned, but Walt wants to keep cooking until they've exhausted the methylamine.

Jesse suggests they break for the night: A trip to Denny's, a hot shower, and a bed instead of a cot are too good to pass up, he argues. Walt finally agrees, but they discover that Jesse left the keys in the ignition and the dashboard indicator lamp has completely drained the RV's battery. "Is this just a genetic thing with you? Is it congenital?" Walt fumes.

Walt siphons some gas from the RV and rigs the generator to jump-start the battery, but Jesse spills gas all over the generator. A subsequent spark sets the generator ablaze. Just as Walt arrives with a fire extinguisher, Jesse douses the flames with their remaining drinking water. "Excuse me for thinking on my feet," Jesse says when Walt blames him for their predicament.


Jesse tries to call Skinny Pete to ask for help, but can't get a cell phone signal. Walt's phone works, but he assumes that Skyler checks his call logs and only reluctantly hands it over to Jesse. Pete gets lost on the way, and Walt's phone's battery dies before Jesse can redirect him.

The next morning, Walt tries to "trickle charge" the battery by hand cranking the generator. He and Jesse share cranking duties for hours in the hot sun. Taking a break, Jesse walks over to Walt, who erupts into a heavy fit of coughing. "Methylamine doesn't spoil, does it?" Jesse asks, realizing that Walter's health must be eroding. "Yo, lie much?!"

After still more cranking, the engine fires up briefly, but dies. Jesse punches the dash in frustration. "Why couldn't I have just gone to Santa Fe?" he sulks. Jesse exits the RV to find Walt sitting in a field of grass, one palm covered in coughed-up blood.

Act IV

Resigned, Walt and Jesse lay on cots in the RV to escape the desert heat. "I deserve this," Walt says. Jesse argues that everything Walt's done he did for his family. Walt counters the only thing he ever did for his family was worry and disappoint them. "All the lies," Walt continues. "I can't even keep them straight in my head anymore." Jesse wants to start walking out of the desert, but Walt warns that he'll die within an hour. "You need to cut out all your crybaby loser crap, right now, and think of something scientific!" Jesse screams back at him.

Jesse rattles off things Walt could create with their lab supplies — a robot, a homing device, a dune buggy — until one idea clicks with Walt: Walt realizes he can make a mercury battery using chemicals, coins, and galvanized metal. Explaining the science to Jesse as he goes, Walt assembles the battery. The guys connect the homemade battery to the RV and a big spark shoots off the terminal. Back in the RV, Walt tries the ignition and after several anxious seconds the engine groans to life.

Jesse drops Walt off at the airport. "I know I can trust you to, uh…" Walt begins. "Whatever happens, your family will get your share," Jesse replies.

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At the doctor's office, Walt learns that his cancer is in remission and his tumor has shrunk by 80 percent. Skyler, Marie Schrader, Hank Schrader, and Walter White Jr. celebrate but Walt admits he has been coughing up blood. His doctor informs him that there was a white spot on the scan indicating tissue inflammation that's easily treated. Coughing up blood could lead to a dangerous rupture of the esophagus, explains Doctor Delcavoli. "No more secrets, Walt."

In the restroom at the doctor's office, Walt washes his face. Slowly drying his hands, he looks up and sees his reflection in the metal towel dispenser. He pauses briefly, and then brutally pounds it with his fist in anger.

Official Photos


  • The title is a reference to the length of time Walt had to wait for his test results, as well as how long he was stranded out in the desert with Jesse.
  • The teaser was shot the front lobby of the Breaking Bad production office at Albuquerque Studios. The bathroom in the following scene is also the real bathroom just down the hall from the production office.
  • The plot of the episode is a homage to "The Flight of the Phoenix" the 1965 film about a plane crash that leaves its passengers stranded in the desert
  • The footage of Jesse driving the RV onto the highway was filmed when Aaron Paul accidentally missed a turn, and entered an on-ramp. There was no intention to actually put such an unstable vehicle on the open road, but the cameras kept rolling and Aaron Paul managed to never break character as he tried to get back on track.
  • Depending on the scene and direction of the camera, the intern of the RV had to be shot in two parts - either inside the actual vehicle in the desert or in the RV set on stage.
  • The shot of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul urinating wasn't in the script, but Michelle MacLaren really wanted to do. Cranston and Paul were ready early on the first day of shooting, so the crew was able to steal the shot right at sunrise before the starting of the day's work.
  • The Breaking Bad team took a little bit of artistic license with the battery storeline in this episode. It's not possible to trickle-charge an RV battery in this fashion
  • It was Bryan Cranston's idea for Walt and Jesse to use the lawn chairs for shade
  • Barely visible, there is a trained tarantula crawling right by Walt's arm in one scene. The scene originally had footage of the tarantula crawling down his arm, but was cut for time. In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Cranston had to let a tarantula crawl over his face
  • Vince Gilligan's favorite line of the episode was unscripted: "...a robot?" The line was pitched by the show's 1st AC, Nick Shuster.
  • Cranston could not punch the location's real paper towel dispenser, because it was incredibly hard and would've broken his hand. Instead the art department put up a fake dispenser of more malleable material for him to strike.
    • This scene seems to have been partially recreated in the first episode of Better Call Saul "Uno", when Jimmy McGill repeatedly kicks a metal trash can at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill's parking garage after rejecting Howard Hamlin's offer to get Chuck McGill to cash out of the firm as an equity partner
  • At the beginning of the episode, Saul Goodman suggests that Walt is aspiring to become a Vito Corleone-style figure in the underworld, but then suggests instead that he's more akin to Fredo Corleone; Vito's hapless son. At the end of the episode, when Walt receives his test results, Hank inadvertently implies that he is in fact Michael Corleone, by quoting a famous line from The Godfather Part III; "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in!"
  • Although Walt criticises Jesse by saying masturbating doesn't constitute a real weekend plan, in the Pilot (2005 script), Walt himself masturbates in the morning out of boredom.



Featured Music

  • "Good Morning Freedom" by Blue Mink (during the driving montage)
  • "One By One" by The Black Seeds (during the cooking montage and over the end credits)
  • "Three Days Out" by Dave Porter (when Jesse finds Walt coughing up blood and as he tries to trickle charge the generator)

Memorable Quotes

"Sitting around, smoking marijuana, eating Cheetos and masturbating do not constitute plans."
―Walter on Jesse's plans for the day.

Walter: "I have it coming. I deserve this."
Jesse: "Snap out of it. First off–everything you did, you did for your family. Right?"
Walter: "All I ever managed to do was worry and disappoint them and lie. God. All the lies. I can’t even–I can’t even–keep them straight in my head anymore."
―Walter and Jesse in the RV

"What? Come on! Man, you're smart. You made poison out of beans, yo. Look, we got, we got an entire lab right here. Alright? How about you pick some of these chemicals and mix up some rocket fuel? That way you could just send up a signal flare. Or you make some kind of robot to get us help, or a homing device, or build a new battery, or... Wait. No. What if we just take some stuff off of the RV and build it into something completely different? You know, like a... Like a dune buggy. That way, we can just dune buggy or... What? Hey? What is it? What?"
―Jesse attempting to motivate Walt.

Walter: "Good. And now, what shall we use to conduct this beautiful current with? What element?"
Jesse: "Wire!"
Walter: "Copper"
―Jesse showing his enthusiasm but lack of scientific knowledge while trying to solve their battery issue

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