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"ABQ" is the thirteenth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the twentieth episode altogether. It is also the season finale.

Summary

Teaser

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We return to the flashforward from previous episodes. Workers from the NTSB load the items collected from Walt's pool -- including the charred, one-eyed pink teddy bear -- into the back of a van. As the van pulls out, the camera pans up over the White residence to reveal two giant pillars of smoke rising in the distance over Albuquerque.

Act I

At his apartment, Jesse frantically tries to revive Jane, who choked on her own vomit overnight. Distraught and panicking, Jesse calls Walt -- unaware of his role in facilitating Jane's death -- who assures him everything will be okay. Cuddling Holly in his arms, Walt assures Jesse, "I know who to call."

A short time later, a man named Mike Ehrmantraut is sent to the apartment by Saul. Mike gathers Jesse's drug paraphernalia and cash, clearing away all the evidence. Smacking the shell-shocked Jesse, Mike coaches him on how to respond to medical investigators and tells him to not disclose that he was there.

Meanwhile, Skyler and Junior are excited by the apparent donations being donated through SaveWalterWhite.com, unaware that the donations are in fact Walt's own laundered drug money. Skyler chides her husband for seeming unenthused.

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Donald drives to Jane's apartment, leaving a voicemail warning her to be ready to go to rehab. However, when he arrives, Donald is distraught to find an ambulance on the scene. He immediately realizes what has happened.

Act II

Inside Jesse's apartment, Donald watches silently as paramedics move Jane into a body bag. In the other room with the medical investigator, Jesse follows Mike's rehearsed script. After answering a few police questions, Donald notices Jane's "Apology Girl" sketch, picks it up and leaves with it, with not even a glance towards a mortified, guilt-ridden Jesse.

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At the DEA office, after Hank hits up his co-workers for donations to Walt's surgery fund, the team is briefed on Combo's murder. Hank finds it strange that a "dipshit, wannabe banger" with no street rep was dealing professional-grade meth, while "Blue Sky" has disappeared from New Mexico yet is appearing elsewhere around the Southwest. Hank maintains that Heisenberg is still at large and most likely in Albuquerque.

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While Skyler and Junior continue monitoring the donation counter on SaveWalterWhite.com, Walt calls Saul and demands to know where he can find Jesse. Mike drives Walt to a dilapidated trap house known as "The Shooting Gallery". Against Mike's advice, Walt enters and locates a passed-out Jesse. As Walt insists on getting Jesse help, Jesse begins to dramatically sob as he clutches Walt. A tearful Jesse laments that he killed Jane. A saddened Walt is conscience-stricken by Jesse's anguish.

Act III

A grieving Donald, talking over the phone with Jane's mother, visits her apartment and searches for a suitable dress to put on Jane for her funeral. Meanwhile, as Junior continues watching the donation counter, Walt tells him to turn down the sound on the computer, claiming it's disturbing Holly. Skyler announces that, courtesy of Marie, the Albuquerque Journal will be interviewing Junior about his website. Later, Marie arranges for a local news station to interview Walt's family for a segment. An agonized Walt can barely fight back tears of guilt as Junior extols his virtues.

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At the DEA office, Hank's boss, ASAC Merkert, introduces him to three local businessmen who are donating to the agency, one of whom is Gus Fring. Noticing Walt's photo on Hank's donation jar, questions Hank about him and learns that Walt is his brother-in-law who is fighting lung cancer. Gus slips a donation into the jar.

Walt takes Jesse to Serenity, a high-end rehab center. Sitting in a bathrobe by the pool, a despairing Jesse says, "What you said in the desert. I get it now… what you meant. I deserve whatever happens."

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In the hospital, a nurse administers a relaxant to prep Walt for surgery. As it takes effect, Skyler asks Walt where his cell phone is so she can hold it for him. "Which one?" he groggily responds. Skyler is crestfallen. Walt is taken into surgery.

Act IV

Several weeks after the operation, Walt and Skyler visit Dr. Delcavoli and Dr. Bravenec, who tell them that the operation is a success. Choosing her words carefully, Skyler asks whether Walt can now live independently, to which Dr. Bravenec says that he can. Meanwhile, Donald returns to work for the first time since Jane's death. It is revealed he works as an air traffic controller.

Upon returning home, Skyler tells Walt that she and the kids are visiting Hank and Marie for the weekend and that she wants Walt gone by the time she gets back. As she packs up her things, Skyler reveals that Walt's lie about his second cell phone led her to unravel all of his other lies, learning that Gretchen and Elliott did not pay for Walt's cancer treatment, that Walt faked his "fugue state" after going missing, and that Walt never visited his mother or told her that he had cancer. Walt follows Skyler outside to the driveway, promising to tell her the truth if she agrees to stay. "Whatever it is, I'm afraid to know," she replies before driving away.

At the air traffic control center, Donald corrects himself after identifying a charter plane, JM21, as "Jane Mike Two One" instead of "Juliet Mike Two One", having been momentarily being distracted with grief over the similar sounding names. Sweating, Donald keeps talking — trying to correct his error — but his radar screen shows JM21 on a collision course with a commercial airliner, Wayfarer 515...

As Walt sits ruminating next to his pool, he is suddenly startled by a massive explosion overhead. Walt looks up to see smoke and fire resulting from the collision of the two aircraft. Mouth agape, Walt watches debris fall from the sky, and witnesses a pink blur splashing into the pool -- the half-burnt teddy bear. The screen transitions to the black and white of the flashforwards depicted throughout the season, as the teddy bear sinks to the bottom of the pool.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • Mike Ehrmantraut makes his first appearance in this episode. The scene was originally written for Saul Goodman, but because Bob Odenkirk was unavailable to film the scene that created a new character as "the cleaner," not knowing how popular the character would eventually become
  • The three 'black & white - Pink Teddy Bear' cold opens from previous episodes are reprised in sequence at the start of this episode. However the second of these, from "Down", omits the section where we saw a pair of glasses, reminiscent of Walt's, in the evidence pile.
  • When Hank brings up Walt's donations in the DEA office, Walt's photo is positioned under the "WANTED" sign on the whiteboard, a possible nod to being right under their nose, and his later status as a fugitive.

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  • This final episode of season 2 reveals that the teddy bear was most likely from a young passenger on the plane, with the two bodies also being former airline passengers.
  • This episode ties in together the titles of the other 3 episodes which also had the cold open of the teddy bear, which, when adjoined, reads : Seven - Thirty-Seven - Down - Over - ABQ, with ABQ being the abbreviation for Albuquerque, and '737' the flight model number of the Boeing that went down.
  • In the podcast for this episode, Vince Gilligan mentions that the photograph on Jane's bedroom wall is a photo of his favorite poet, not Jane's mother which most people assumed. The woman in the photo is Elizabeth Bishop.
    • Earlier in the episode Jane's dad reveals that Jane's mother's maiden name was Bishop as well.
  • Walt's pink sweater parallels with the arrival of the pink teddy bear.
  • This is the first episode that Walt does not have a mustache, as he has a goatee. This goatee remains until "Granite State".
  • When Donald Margolis is picking the clothes for Jane's funeral, he can't find the yellow dress that Jane's mother is talking about, only black ones. However there is a blue one which is picked for the burial. This could be a reference to 'a dark Blue Sky'.
    • In Jane's Apartment can be seen a black-and-white picture of a woman hanging on the wall. Viewers might assume it’s a photo of Jane’s mother, but it’s subject is the American poet and painter Elizabeth Bishop. The fact that Jane has a famous artist’s portrait hanging on her wall, but none of her own family, seems to suggest her strained, tempestuous, relationship with them. The choice of Bishop is certainly also helped by the fact that she’s Vince Gilligan’s favorite poet.
    • Also, while Donald is searching through Jane's closet, it is possible to see, in the top right corner of Jane's painted wall mural, a floating/falling pink teddy bear. As well, the central motif of a 'floating girl' is reminiscent of someone falling through the sky - almost as if Jane might've had a premonition when painting it. It could also symbolize, both, Jane 'floating' whilst in a drugged state & her final fate/death.
  • In the midst of Skyler's epic unpacking of Walt's house of lies, she mentions that she called Walt's mother. This is the second of only three times that Walt's mother has been mentioned in the series : previously in "4 Days Out" (2x09), in this episode, and in "Salud" (4x10) during Walt's speech to Walter Jr. about his only real memory of his father.
  • When Hank says "Anyone, anyone, Bueller?", this is a reference to the classic comedy film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
  • Technical error: the NTSB workers clearing the airplane crash debris are wearing North 5400 full-face respirators, but have no filtration cartridges installed.
  • Jane's dead body can be very visibly seen breathing when Mike comes in to clean up the scene.

Production

Credits

Filming Locations

  • Crack House - Walt and Mike go to a crack house to pickup Jesse. The house was located at the corner of Silver Ave & Cornell Dr. Nowadays, the house is no longer there, likely demolished.
  • Rehab Center - Jesse attends a rehab center, where he is visited by Walt. The rehab center is actually the hot tub area of the Isleta Resort & Casino/ Hard Rock Casino located just outside Albuquerque NM.
  • Hospital - Walt is admitted into the hospital for his surgery. The crosswalk, entrance, and building are shown. The building used is located at Gibson Blvd & Palomas.

Featured Music

  • "Unknown Track #4" by Unknown Artist (Music is heard from Flynn’s headphones as he checks his website for more donations)
  • "Afterglow" by Steve Gorn (in the sweat lodge at Jesse's rehab center)
  • "Life" by Chocolate Genius Inc. (during Walt's surgery)

Memorable Quotes

Mike: "Any other drugs in the house? Think hard. Your freedom depends on it. [Jesse shakes his head] What about guns? You got any guns in the house? [Jesse shakes his head] Here's your story: You woke up. You found her. That's all you know. Say it. Say it, please. "I woke up. I found her. That's all I know." [Jesse begins to cry. Mike slaps him] Say it. "I woke up. I found her. That's all I know.""
Jesse: "I woke up. I found her. That's all I know."
Mike: "Again."
Jesse: "I woke up. I found her. That's all I know."
Mike: "Again. Again."
Jesse: "I woke up. I found her. That's all I know. I woke up. I found her. That's all I know."
Mike: "Once you call it in, the people who show up will be with the Office of Medical Investigations. That's primarily who you'll talk to. Police officers may arrive, they may not. Depends on how busy a morning they're having. Typically OD's are not a high priority call. There's nothing here to incriminate you so I'd be amazed if you got placed under arrest. However, if you do, you say nothing. You tell them you just want your lawyer and you call Saul Goodman. And do I need to state the obvious? I was not here. You put on a long sleeve shirt and cover those track marks on your arm. [hands Jesse a phone] Count down from twenty and then you dial. Hang tough. You're in the home stretch."
―Mike dealing the Jane situation.
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