Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Breakage" is the fifth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the twelfth episode altogether.



Two border-hoppers hurriedly swim across the Rio Grande. Once ashore, one of them finds a dental grill encased in a lucite cube: Hank's souvenir from his encounter with Tuco.

Act I[]

Following a chemotherapy session, Dr. Delcavoli advises that Walt be cautiously optimistic about his chances. However, Walt's optimism quickly fades when he sees the final bill for the treatment.

At the White residence, Skyler tells Walt that the three-day hospital stay following his "fugue state" will cost an additional $13,000 and asks whether Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz would be willing to pay this bill as well. Walt tells Skyler they will and promises to handle it. He smells cigarette smoke on her, but she denies being around any smokers. That night, Walt counts his drug money, realizing that after everything he's been through, he has almost nothing. Later, Walt retches into the toilet and finds it clogged when he tries to flush. When he uses a plunger, Skyler's pack of cigarettes floats to the surface.

The next day, Hank tells his boss, ASAC George Merkert, that so far no one has filled the power vacuum in the local drug trade caused by Tuco's death. However, DEA agents keep hearing the name "Heisenberg" on the street. Praising Hank for his abilities as an investigator, Merkert offers him a promotion to the Tri-State Border Interdiction Task Force in El Paso, Texas, which will require him to split his time between there and Albuquerque. Alone on the elevator down to a congratulatory lunch, Hank suffers a panic attack and struggles to breathe but manages to compose himself before the doors open.

Act II[]

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At the repair yard, Jesse returns and pays Clovis for services rendered and for the damages to his fence and toilet, then makes a deal to stash the RV at the repair yard and buy a used 1986 Toyota Tercel.

Searching for an apartment, Jesse finds a small duplex managed by a young woman named Jane Margolis. Jane asks Jesse to provide a credit report, proof of employment and a former address in order to rent the vacant unit. Jesse only has cash on him, but Jane cuts him a break when he tells her about his parents kicking him out of his house. Jane raises the rent, though, and demands more money up front.

Meanwhile, Marie expresses dismay when she discovers Hank has called in sick the day after his promotion so he can brew "Schraderbräu" beer in his garage. While he's capping bottles of beer, one shatters and cuts his hand.

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In the desert, Walt and Jesse cook meth and argue about their partnership. Walt wants Jesse to sell small quantities again to avoid dealing with another distributor like Tuco. Jesse protests, stating that the DEA is onto him and thus he is no longer willing to take the risk of selling meth if the money isn't worth it, adding that he has bills that need paying, which angers Walt because his monetary returns have already been sapped by his medical bills. Instead of going into business with "yet another homicidal lunatic" or selling small quantities, Jesse proposes a third option: they control production and distribution themselves. Jesse offers to bring guys in who can handle the street end of the business, but Walt is not comfortable bringing unknown entities into their operation. When Walt balks at being denied a say in the decision, Jesse chastises him for altering their original plan by getting Tuco involved. Realizing Jesse is right, Walt takes responsibility for the situation with Tuco and promises that will never happen again. Jesse tells Walt that they will be handling business his way from now on or he walks.

Act III[]

Setting out pretzels and soda in his new apartment, Jesse presents a business opportunity to Skinny Pete, Badger, and Combo. He'll front them each an ounce of meth at a time, and they in turn sell the product for $2,500, $2,000 of which goes to Jesse, which Jesse then splits 50/50 with Walt.

Walt's family has dinner at Hank and Marie's house. Alone with her sister, Skyler demands she apologize "now or never" for stealing the baby tiara and nearly getting Skyler arrested. Marie resists at first, but tearfully apologizes when Skyler says she needs her sister back. Elsewhere, Walt listens as Hank regales Junior with the story of his confrontation with Tuco, comparing criminals to cockroaches. Meanwhile, Badger, Combo, and Skinny Pete sell Jesse's meth all over town. Everything goes fine until Skinny Pete is held up by a pair of junkies who make off with the money and meth.

Act IV[]

Walt and Jesse meet up in a secluded area, where Jesse tells them that they made $30,000 and gives Walt his share of $15,000. Walt is upset, as he had given Jesse 16 ounces to sell, meaning his share should've been $16,000. Jesse then admits to the meth theft and argues that they need to accept a little "breakage" (loss of revenue due to stolen or damaged goods) as the cost of doing business. However, Walt reminds him that things will not bode well for them if their customers start realizing that Jesse can be robbed with impunity. Jesse then asks Walt what he should do about it, although Walt does not answer.

At the White residence, Skyler heats up a panini. Walt then enters through the door challenges her for consuming the excessively salt-laden food, but she retorts that she had a craving. Walt leaves the room and returns with the crumpled cigarette package from the toilet, and accusingly asks if she knows anything about it. Skyler admits to having smoked three-and-a-half cigarettes before disposing of the pack and says that of course she feels ashamed. Walt says it's unlike her, but Skyler dismisses this, asking, "How would you know?"

That night, Hank and Marie are awakened to loud gunshot-like sounds and shattering glass coming from inside the house. Gun drawn, Hank tracks the sound to the garage. Marie opens a separate door, causing Hank to aim the gun at her. Another "gunshot" reveals that it's his Schraderbräu bottles exploding due to excessive pressure.

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Walt shows up at Jesse's apartment and places the gun Jesse bought to defend himself against Tuco on the kitchen counter. Walt then tells him to use it in order to "handle" the meth thieves.

Down on the bank of the Rio Grande, Hank takes a deep breath, and throws Tuco's grill into the water.

Official Photos[]


  • The title of the episode comes from the conversation between Jesse and Walter, during which Jesse explains that Skinny Pete's incident was "breakage." It is also a symbolism of Walter's change into a Tuco figure, insisting that revenge be taken. It is also symbolism of Hank's mental breakdown from post traumatic stress disorder stemming from his shootout with Tuco, as well as Skyler's smoking.
  • This episode marks the first out of two times in the series where Jesse calls Walter, "Walt" instead of "Mr. White". The second and last time this happened was in the season five episode, "To'hajiilee".
  • Jesse tells his friends: "Apply yourselves!" Walter White wrote "Apply yourself!" on his high school chemistry test.
  • The scene where Hank believes there is an intruder because of his exploding Schraderbräu bottles is reminiscent of the scene in "Seven Thirty-Seven" where Walt believes there is an intruder because nobody is home, only to find Skyler taking a bath. Both of them nearly shoot their wives in self-defense.



  • In the scene where Jesse discusses the new business arrangement with Skinny Pete, Badger and Combo there is a slight continuity error. Combo takes the cap off the bottle and as the camera cuts to behind Combo the lid is back on. It then cuts back to in front of him and the lid is off. The camera cuts again and Combo takes the lid off again.



Featured Music[]

  • "Hook 'Em Horns" by Johnny Ringo (playing in Jesse's new car as he pulls up outside Jane's apartment)
  • "Schraderbräu" by Dean Norris (as Hank) (Hank sings as he bottles his home brew, Schraderbräu, in his garage)
  • "Lonesome Road" by Big Jack Johnson (with Kim Wilson and Pinetop Perkins) (in the background, outside at Hank and Marie's house)
  • "Peanut Vendor" by Alvin "Red" Tyler (during the montage of Badger, Combo, and Skinny Pete selling meth)

Memorable Quotes[]

Jane: "And in addition to first and last, I want two more months. D.B.A.A. fee, non-refundable."
Jesse: "Yeah, of course. Non-refundable. D.B.A.A. Obviously. Yeah., uh...what's D.B.A.A?"
Jane: "Don't Be An Asshole."
―Jane and Jesse.