"Bit by a Dead Bee" is the third episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the tenth episode altogether.




Walter White and Jesse Pinkman bury Tuco Salamanca's gun in the desert, then split up, hatching a plan to explain away their days of absence. Walt hitches a ride back to civilization in a pickup truck. Shortly, in a supermarket, a clerk follows a trail of clothes littering the floor to find Walt, weak and confused, walking naked down an aisle.

Act I

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Hospitalized back in Albuquerque, Walt joins Skyler White and Walter White Jr. in a tearful reunion. He says that he can't remember the last couple of days, but that he feels fine now. Skyler steps outside to make a phone call to Marie Schrader, who is at the DEA office with Hank, who has come by to deliver an official statement to his superiors, ASAC George Merkert and SAC Ramey, about what happened at Tuco's shack.

Jesse, also back in Albuquerque, sits in his friend Badger's car across from his house and watch some local police officers who are staking out the property. "Why don't they just kick your door down?" asks Badger. "They need probable cause," Jesse responds. Eventually, the cops leave, allowing Jesse and Badger to enter the house.

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"You are Willy Wonka and I've got the golden ticket," says Badger when he sees the meth-cooking setup in Jesse's basement, but Jesse says they can't cook anything now. They toss the supplies into the broken-down RV and Badger's cousin, Clovis, tows it away with his truck—for a $1,000 fee which Jesse can only pay half of but promises to settle later. Jesse then instructs Badger to make a call from a pay phone. "They need probable cause," he explains. "I'm giving it to them."

Dr. Soper and Dr. Delcavoli quiz Walt about his experience, but Walt says he can't remember much of anything. Walt suggests that his disappearance and memory loss could have something to do with all his medications. He's informed that no matter the cause, he won't be released until the doctors are confident it won't recur.

Based on the tip they received from Badger, Hank's team raids a motel room at "The Crystal Palace" that Jesse is sharing with Wendy.

Act II

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Hank interrogates Jesse, who insists he was partying at the motel all weekend even though his car was found at a shack that belonged to Tuco. "You found my car? Awesome! DEA all the way!" Jesse says, denying that the $67,920 recovered from the vehicle is his. Hank tries to intimidate Jesse, saying he knows Jesse was at Tuco's shack, but Jesse sticks to his story.

Hank turns his attention to Jesse's "girlfriend," but Wendy, remembering Hank's previous encounter with her when he tried to scare Walter Jr. straight, vouches for Jesse's story. Steven Gomez says they have to let Jesse go because there's nothing solid to charge him with any crime, but Hank wants one more shot at cracking him.

After a psychiatrist tells Walt it could be "days, weeks, months," before he is released, Walt confesses under doctor-patient confidentiality that he made up the amnesia story to cover for taking a few days off from his family.


Hank brings Hector Salamanca to Albuquerque, hoping to get Tuco's uncle to ID Jesse. Hector fully does remember Jesse, but he refuses to rat on the guy (because he's what Gomez calls an "old school gangbang Mexican", who will never cooperate with the cops under any circumstances). After Hank asks, "Don't you want to help us out?" Hector replies by defecating in his wheelchair.

The DEA is forced to release Jesse with nothing to charge him with. Upon being released, he calls his dad asking for a lift and telling him he's close to getting a data-entry job, but Mr. Pinkman isn't interested in helping him.

That evening Jesse calls Walt at the hospital and they bring one another up to speed. Hank bought his story, says Jesse. Walt asks him if Badger's cousin can get the RV working so they can start cooking again. "What's changed?" Walt asks when Jesse balks at the idea of making meth again.


In the hospital bed analyzing his finances, Walt remembers stashing his cash and Jesse's gun in a diaper box at his house. Sneaking into the house he returns them to his hiding place in the vent. Unseen, he witnesses Skyler and Walter Jr. share a close moment over a bowl of cereal then rides a bus back to the hospital.

Act IV

Back at the DEA, Hank reviews footage of the chemical warehouse break-in and sketches out his theory for Gomez: The chemical thieves cooked the blue meth recovered at Tuco's house. "Lab said that blue meth is the purest they've seen. At least since this," he adds, holding up the batch Walt made for Krazy-8.

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Hank's colleagues throw him a party to congratulate him for busting Tuco and hand him a small gift. Later on at the hospital, he shows Walt the gift: Tuco's glittering dental grill, set inside a lucite cube. Walt apologizes for putting Hank at risk, but Hank tells Walt not to worry—he's being treated like Eliot Ness at the office.

"I can't tell you how good it feels to be home," Walt says upon his return. In bed that night, he assures Skyler that he won't go missing again, but her reply is a question: "Do you have a second cell phone?" Walt says he doesn't remember much about the weekend but is sure he doesn't have a second phone.

Walt leans in to kiss Skyler, but she turns away.

Official Photos


  • The episode title refers to a quote from the film To Have and Have Not (1944); "'stung' by a dead bee" ie, potential harm comes after the offending person is dead, or deed done; "bit" for Tuco's dental grill.
  • This episode marks the beginning of Jesse and Hank's tumultuous relationship.
  • The painting Walter glances at while overhearing Skyler's questions in the hospital, and later focuses on in his sessions, is found later in Season 5 on Gliding Over All. In Gliding Over All, Walter claims to have seen the painting before.
    • The picture is a symbol of Walt's life, and possibly a flashforward of him leaving his family in the Season 2 finale.
    • Paintings are romanticized when sailors IRL had a secret free life of adventure away from family.
  • When an IV is inserted, the needle is removed and only a plastic catheter remains. Walt would not have a needle left in his hand and would therefore be unable to reestablish IV access without new equipment. Also, the angle he inserted the needle would have pierced completely through the vein and the IV fluids would not flow through the tubing.
  • In the opening the naked Walt is standing next to a bunch of pink teddy bears hanging from the wall.
  • Tuco's dental grill in a clear cube: he was "iced" [murdered]; ice also a reference to meth.
  • Tuco's dental-grill-in-lucite prop, given to Hank, sold at auction for $20,250 on October 8th 2013.





  • Michael-David Aragon as DEA Agent
  • Lawrence Gilligan as DEA Agent
  • Jamie Haqqani as DEA Agent

Filming Locations

  • The Hi-Lo grocery store where Walt walks naked down the isles has been purportedly identified by a few people as being Jerrys Market at 7543 Isleta Ave. The exterior shots of the store are actually a Hi-Lo at 2522 4th Street. As of 2017 the location appears to be closed, but the sign still remains.

Featured Music

  • "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Bob James (in the store where Walt removes his clothes)
  • "Waiting Around To Die" by The Be Good Tanyas (as Walt takes the bus back to the hospital)

Memorable Quotes

Therapist: "So, being found naked in a supermarket, that was your way of giving credibility to a lie? Of avoiding questions about your disappearance? Why run away? What did you feel you had to run from?"
Walter: "Doctor, my wife is seven months pregnant with a baby we didn't intend. My fifteen-year old son has cerebral palsy. I am an extremely overqualified high school chemistry teacher. When I can work, I make $43,700 per year. I have watched all of my colleagues and friends surpass me in every way imaginable. And within eighteen months, I will be dead. And you ask why I ran?"
―Walter telling the "truth" to the therapist about his disappearance.

Jesse: "Yeah, that's the thing, y'know? Your scumbag brother-in-law took my rainy day fund."
Walter: "Your what? What is that?"
Jesse: "My rainy day fund, $68,000, okay? Cue-ball son of a bitch laughed in my face. Now I got, like, 80 bucks to my name."
―Walter and Jesse's conversation about Jesse's money.
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