Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Blood Money" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad and the fifty-fifth episode altogether. It is also the mid-season premiere.



In a flashforward, following his purchase of the M60 machine gun, Walt drives up to his former residence, which is now cordoned-off and derelict. He grabs a tire iron from the trunk of his car and breaks into the house. Trash and graffiti are everywhere; a group of skateboarders are hanging around the now-empty pool outside. Walt notices a single, spray-painted word covering the wall of what used to the living room: "HEISENBERG." He reaches the bedroom and retrieves the vial of ricin from its hiding spot inside the wall outlet, contemplating his altered reflection in a cracked mirror. After exiting the house, Walt notices that he has been sighted by his neighbor, Carol. When he greets her cordially, she drops her groceries in shock.

Act I[]

5x09 HankAndAPanicAttack

Hank suffers another panic attack

A stunned Hank leaves the bathroom after discovering the inscription in Walt's copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. He places the book inside Marie's bag, then leaves the party early with Marie after feigning stomach trouble. On the drive home, Hank has a panic attack and plows onto the lawn of a nearby house. He stumbles out of his car while Marie yells for the homeowner to call an ambulance.

Upon returning home from the hospital, Hank assures Marie there is no need for him to see a doctor and makes her promise not to tell Skyler about what happened. He then retrieves the case file from Gale Boetticher's murder and lays out the evidence out on a table in his garage. Hank compares the handwriting from the Leaves of Grass inscription to the "Favorite W.W." inscription from Gale's lab notes; his suspicions are confirmed when he can visually confirm that both are written in Gale's handwriting.

5x09 WalterAndLydia

Lydia scolds Walt for the low quality of Blue Sky

Later, at the car wash, Walt suggests that he and Skyler purchase a second car wash to launder their money faster. Lydia visits, ostensibly for a wash, and complains to Walt that the quality of the meth being produced has fallen to 68% since he left the operation. She wants Walt to return to cooking for at least a few days, but he sternly insists that her problems are none of his concern any longer. Skyler, having noticed that Lydia wants to wash a rental car, asks Walt who she is. He admits that Lydia is a "former business associate" interested in seeing him return but reassures her that he will not. Skyler follows Lydia outside, telling her to leave the car wash and never come back.

Act II[]

The following morning, Hank tells Marie that he is not going into work. On her way out, she sees two DEA agents delivering boxes full of case files, which Hank has placed into the garage. Now alone, Hank pores over evidence related to Gus Fring, Mike Ehrmantraut and Hector Salamanca. He finally comes across a crude illustration of Heisenberg, which Hank now realizes bears an uncanny resemblance to Walt.

5x09 BetterListenToSaul

Saul attempts to convince Jesse to keep his money

Skinny Pete and Badger visit Jesse's house and get high. Jesse grows tired of their conversation — consisting of Badger detailing his Star Trek fan script — and retrieves the duffel bags containing his $5 million buyout. He takes the bags to Saul's office but has trouble getting in to see him. Since neither Francesca or Huell can help him see Saul early, he decides to light up a joint to attract attention to himself. Eventually, Saul calls him into the office. Jesse tells Saul that each bag contains $2.5 million: he wants one bag to go to Mike's granddaughter Kaylee and the other to the parents of Drew Sharp. Saul is uncomfortable with the idea, but Jesse is adamant. After he leaves, Saul calls Walt, who tells him to hang onto the money. He takes the call while taking a course of chemotherapy; his cancer has returned.

Act III[]

5x09 YouHaveToBelieveMe

Walt begs Jesse to believe he did not kill Mike

Walt shows up at Jesse's house with the money, asking for an explanation. He tells Jesse to stop focusing on the past, saying that he's out of the drug business himself and says there's nothing for them to do but live good lives. A teary-eyed Jesse thinks Mike's granddaughter needs someone to look after her. He further surmises that, since Mike hasn't come after Walt for organizing the murders of his men in prison, that Mike himself must be dead and Walt must know that. Walter denies killing Mike and tries to assuage Jesse's suspicions.

5x09 GenereousJesse

Jesse gives away his "blood money"

Later, Walt excuses himself from dinner and rushes to the bathroom to vomit. He inadvertently peers above the toilet and notices his copy of Leaves of Grass is missing. He continues to search for the book all over the house. When he turns in for bed, Walt wonders whether Hank may have taken the book; he learns from Skyler that he hasn't come to work all week. Now even more suspicious, Walt sneaks outside in the middle of the night and checks around his car, discovering a tracking device in one of the wheel wells.

Act IV[]

That same night, a homeless man knocks on the window of Jesse's parked car at the Dog House, waking him up from a nap. He asks Jesse if he can spare some change; Jesse gives him an entire bundle of cash. The man, confused by this windfall, eventually accepts and Jesse drives off. Jesse then drives through an impoverished neighborhood, frantically tossing bundles of money into random lawns, desperate to be rid of it all.

5x09 TreadLightly

Walt menacingly advises Hank to "tread lightly"

The following morning, two DEA agents drop off more case files at Hank's house. As they leave, Walt pulls into the driveway and they chat amicably. Hank nervously clears his files from the table. After initially feigning normalcy, Walt shows Hank the tracking device, which is similar to the one they used to track Gus. Hank drops the facade, closing the garage door behind Walt and then knocking him to the floor with a punch to the face. He expresses his disgust with Walt for what he has done. After failing to reason with Hank, Walt reveals that his cancer has returned and that he may not live long enough to be prosecuted. Hank looks at Walt in total disbelief, commenting that he doesn't even know who Walt is any more. Walt menacingly replies that if this is true, then Hank should probably "tread lightly."

Official Photos[]


  • This episode was the series' most-watched episode at the time of its airing with 5.91 million viewers, but was later passed by "Ozymandias", which had 6.37 million.
  • The episode is dedicated to Kevin Cordasco, a 16 year-old Breaking Bad fan who succumbed to neuroblastoma in March 2013.[1]
  • In the flash forward, Walt breaks into his former house using a tire iron, which is what Hank used in his attempt to break into the RV in "Sunset".
    • In the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast for the episode, Vince Gilligan revealed that an original idea for the opening scene was to have the White residence completely gone and demolished and only the empty pool in the backyard.
    • When Carol drops her groceries in the opening, oranges are seen rolling down the sidewalk. It could be yet another reference to The Godfather, where oranges are known as a sign of impending violence.
      • Oranges previously made a prominent appearance after Ted Beneke crashed into a cabinet, and a number of oranges fell on him. ("Crawl Space")
  • The first thing Marie audibly says to Walter when Hank walks onto the porch is "you are the devil" - referencing Hank's realization just moments ago.
    • This also symbolizes Walt as now being morally unforgivable.
  • When Walt and Hank confront each other in Hank's garage, Hank is wearing a dark red shirt (a sign of aggression or death) and Walt is wearing white or light beige (symbolizing innocence or peace). 
    • Walt confronting Hank with the GPS tracker mirrors him confronting Skyler with an empty cigarette packet in Season 2's "Breakage".
  • The license plate of Walter's car reads 5BB920X, which may refer to Season 5 of Breaking Bad Episode 9, part 2.
  • Hank drinks out of a plum Fiesta mug.
  • This is the last episode where Walt Jr. interacts with his uncle Hank.
  • While discussing Star Trek, Skinny Pete incorrectly refers to the Gamma Quadrant as being from Star Trek: Voyager. Voyager was actually set in the Delta Quadrant, the Gamma Quadrant being featured in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Saul jokingly compares Jesse to Woody Harrelson, an American actor who got arrested in Lee County, Kentucky, after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. This is in reference to Jesse lighting up a joint earlier in Saul's waiting room.

Evidence observed by Hank[]

  • A picture of Gustavo Fring making a donation, large novelty check in hand, smiling with a recipient.
  • A portrait of Gus.
  • Gale Boetticher's napkin notes.
  • A picture of Gale's corpse.
  • A photo mosaic of items at Combo's murder.
  • A photo of Combo's corpse.
  • A childhood photo of Combo.
  • A black and white picture of Don Eladio Vuente.
  • A picture of a chicken farm.
  • A receipt from for an International P7050 Mini Bug Detector.
  • A photo of the rear of Jesse's first car, "THE CAPN" on the licence plate.
  • Photos from the scene of Tuco Salamanca's death, mostly of Hank's 2006 Jeep Commander.
  • A photo of Tuco's corpse.
  • A mugshot of a younger Hector Salamanca, accompanied by a certificate of baptism.
  • Long-distance photos of Mike Ehrmantraut.
  • A portrait of Duane Chow, and a photo of his corpse.
  • A photo of the gas mask Walt left behind at his first cook.
  • A portrait of a young, unshaven Gale.
  • A mugshot and sketch, both possilbly of Emilio Koyama and a mugshot of Ron Forenall.
  • A portrait of Tyrus Kitt.
  • Photos from the scene of Gonzo's death, including one of Hank smiling by his corpse.
  • A photo of the charred superlab remains.
  • Surveillance footage of Walt and Jesse's first methylamine heist.
  • A "Heisenberg" drawing which the Cousins had obtained in order to carry out a hit on him.

Episode References[]

  • The title of the episode refers to Walter White's comment that Jesse Pinkman should not take his share of the money, since it is "blood money." ("Say My Name")
  • The episode title may also literally reference Walt's use of barrels throughout the series. Before this episode, he would use barrels to dispose and liquefy the corpses of murdered victims into blood and other chemicals. Shortly after in the next episode, he would use barrels to hide all his drug money, which would then be buried.
  • While in the bathroom, Walt folds a towel and places it under his knees shortly before vomiting. This is reminiscent of Gustavo Fring's preparation before vomiting in Don Eladio Vuente's bathroom. ("Salud")
  • Walt switching his voice tone while talking to Lydia at the A1A Car Wash is similar to Gus' handling of Walt while at Los Pollos Hermanos. ("Bug")
  • Like "Gliding Over All", this episode features several objects and references to previous events on the show, of which they include:



Featured Music[]

  • "White House Visit" by Dave Porter (as Walt walks around his former home)
  • "If I Didn't Love You" by Squeeze (during the barbecue with Hank & Marie)
  • "Manhattan (aka NYC Delight)" by The Longo Brothers (feat. Moe Koffman) (in the car wash while Walt talks with Lydia)
  • "Wordmule" by Jim White (during Hank's montage)
  • "Where Is Santa Claus" by Mr. & Mrs. Yellowman (in the background while Badger enthuses about Star Trek)
  • "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" by Chill Wills (in the background in the reception of Saul's office)
  • "Patriotic" by Patricia Cory (Music is heard for a brief moment as Jesse leaves Saul’s office)

Memorable Quotes[]

"It was you. All along, it was you! You son of a bitch. You drove into traffic to keep me from that laundry. That call I got telling me Marie was in the hospital...that wasn't Pinkman. You had my cell number. You killed ten witnesses to save your sorry ass. You bombed a nursing home. Heisenberg. Heisenberg! You lying, two-face sack of shit."
―Hank confronting Walt.

"I'm sorry you feel that way. I want to beat this thing, I do. I'm back on chemo and I'm fighting like hell. But the truth is... in six months you won't have someone to prosecute. Even, even if somehow you were able to convince anyone that I was capable of doing these things. You and I both know I would never see the inside of a jail cell. I'm a dying man who runs a car wash. My right hand to God, that is all that I am. What's the point?"
―Walter White to Hank.

Hank: "I don't even know who I'm talking to."
Walter: "If that's true, if you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course... would be to tread lightly."
―Walter's subtle threat to Hank.