Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Cornered" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of Breaking Bad and the thirty-ninth episode altogether.



Reminiscent of the teaser of "Bullet Points", cartel thugs (led by cartel buttonman Gaff) ambush a Los Pollos Hermanos refrigerated truck. Like before, they shoot and kill the driver. But rather than shoot up the truck like before, they proceed to bar the back doors to lock the guards in. They then hook up a tube to the exhaust pipe to redirect the exhaust into the truck's ventilation system and floor on the gas pedal. Gaff and his crew then eat the driver's lunch as the guards suffocate to death from carbon monoxide fumes. Once the guards die, the thugs break into the truck and take a single marked container of fry batter.

Act I

"I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger."

Skyler repeatedly listens to Walt's message while reading up on Gale Boetticher and finally reads between the message's lines correctly. As Walt awakens, hung over from his excessive consumption of wine at Hank's the previous night, she asks him several questions concerning Gale's murder and the people he works for. She asks if he's safe. Walt dodges these questions. Skyler theorizes that Walt is scared and that some part of him wants Hank to catch him. Walt, annoyed, rejects these theories and Skyler's suggestion that he goes to the police to obtain protection.

When Skyler asks him to "stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit you're in danger", Walt suddenly freezes and, his pride stung by Skyler's comment, starts an angry retort about how lucrative the whole drug business is and how indispensable he is to keep it running. He claims he is the danger and that when a guy gets shot opening his door, he's one who knocks (a boast that doubles as an indirect admission of his role in Gale's death), after which he walks away to take a shower, leaving Skyler stunned and appalled at who Walt is turning into, her vision of him irrevocably changed from then on. After Walt finishes showering, he comes out voicing a reassuring apology, only to realize mid-sentence that Skyler, Holly and her car are gone.

Walt goes to the car wash alone to obtain the files and keys. Bogdan Wolynetz talks about how bosses have to be tough and is not sure if Walt is ready for that. He insultingly recommends that if he's not tough enough, he should call his wife. When he then wants to take back the first dollar he made (hanging in a frame on the wall), Walt responds with "as is", and with a wry smile insists he leave it behind. Bogdan storm off in a huff. He then uses Bogdan's first dollar to buy a can of soda, relishing the moment.

Act II

Mike Ehrmantraut and Jesse Pinkman sit in a diner, Mike eating dinner and Jesse drinking coffee. Noticing Jesse's shaking hands, Mike asks if he's okay. Jesse indirectly tells him he is in withdrawal by telling him he "isn't using," which concerns Mike so he offers his dinner to Jesse. Shortly after, Mike receives a phone call, leaves some money and leaves to attend to whatever. Jesse offers to go along but Mike leaves him behind.

Walt and Walter White Jr. are eating breakfast. They talk and Walter Jr. assumes how Skyler is angry at Walt due to his 'gambling addiction.' Walt says she has a right to be mad. Walt Jr. tries to excuse his father's actions as equal to an illness, but Walt angrily counters that it was all down to "choice" and he owns it. On the way to school, as the argument left things tense between father and son, Walt decides to take a detour and buy a car for Walt Jr. At first he accuses Walt of attempting to "buy him off" but soon lights up when Walt buys him his dream car, a 2009 Dodge Challenger. Jesse and Walt meet outside the superlab and Walt asks about the 'Mike meetings.' Jesse replies that he's guarding him on pickups. To Walt none of this 'guarding Mike' makes any sense. Jesse meanwhile is energised by what he did, telling Walt that maybe he's not "just a loser" after all. Walt then theorizes that the robbery was probably a setup - which Jesse refuses to even contemplate, let alone believe, angry that Walt is belittling him again. Walt tries to get Jesse to understand : Gustavo Fring can't kill Jesse because Walt won't stand for it. Gus needs Walt and he hates that, so he's trying to drive a wedge between Jesse and Walt. But when Walt says that the whole thing is about him, Jesse can't take any more, both angry and disappointed, he stalks off to go cook.

Halfway through cooking, Jesse receives a phone call and leaves go out with Mike again. Walt is incensed to again be left to clean up by himself. In defiance he goes straight upstairs and asks three Spanish-speaking women working in the laundromat for help cleaning the lab. They refuse to go downstairs, seemingly afraid to, until Walt offers them more money for 2 hours more work than they're used to. Walt sits back and raises his coffee cup to the surveillance camera with a knowing smile, while the women scrub the lab equipment.


Skyler drives to the Four Corners landmark and, exasperated, flips a coin. It lands in Colorado. She frowns, flips again, and again it lands in Colorado. Skyler, using her foot, drags the coin from the Colorado square to New Mexico. She looks at Holly, picks up the coin and gets back in the car.

Mike and Jesse waiting outside a junkie's house

Jesse and Mike drive up to a house. Three guys inside are selling three pounds of blue meth that they didn't get from Gus. Mike advises that they should stake out the place until someone leaves, but Jesse, impatient as always, decides to play the junkie act and infiltrate the house. After getting the door slammed in his face, Mike taunts him as Jesse gets back in the car. Jesse, however, insists Mike might know 'stake-outs' but he knows junkies, so he gets back out of the car and takes a shovel out of the trunk.

Jesse starts digging a hole in the front yard of the house. One junkie approaches him as Mike watches from the car. The junkie asks why he's digging. Jesse hands the shovel to the junkie and asks him to take over the digging. He also asks if he can use their bathroom and the tweaker agrees, digging away anxiously. Inside, there's another junkie all the worse for wear, gripping a shotgun over his shoulders. After pretending to wanting to buy some blue meth and getting rejected, Jesse keeps pushing it and the tweaking paranoid junkie aggressively points the gun at Jesse. After the junkie is distracted by the noise of Mike coming to check, Jesse knocks the tweaker out with a nearby bong. Mike finds and picks up the stolen Los Pollos Hermanos fry batter bucket; words in Spanish are written on the lid in big black letters.

Act IV

Walt walks out of the superlab with the three Spanish-speaking women. Tyrus Kitt approaches them and takes the women away. Walt questions what Tyrus is doing and he claims he is putting and sending them on a bus back to Honduras (or possibly having them murdered for entering the lab). Feeling guilt, Walt tells him to have Gus blame him instead and not the women. Tyrus assures him that Gus does blame him for what he has done to these women.

Mike and Jesse again eat at a diner. Gus walks in and sits at the booth. Jesse knows he has to wait outside. Mike informs Gus that the whole truck robbery was about sending a message, the one on the bucket. Mike recommends that he get 10 or 15 good operators and retaliate immediately. But Gus dismisses this and wants to set up a meeting. Before leaving he asks Mike how Jesse did that day. As he leaves, he tells Jesse outside that he heard that he can handle himself.

Skyler drives into the driveway and is unimpressed to see the new car Walt bought for their son. Walt Jr. tries to convince his mom that the car is safe and promises he'll drive it safely. Walt, seeing Skyler silently seething, tries to apologize and says that everything he does, he does for his family. Skyler chides Walt about the new car and how it's a stupid idea that directly contradicts the story they're supposed to be following. She wants it sent back the next day. Walt attempts the sly angle that if he does so he worries Walt Jr. will only blame her for taking away the car. Skyler's well aware she'll be blamed as the "bitch mom" again and 'thanks' Walt for once again placing her in that position. When Walt insists he only wished to do something nice for his son and provide as a father should; and again that he's only protecting the family. Skyler insist that if his reckless buying of an expensive car is his idea of protecting their son and the family, then she'd have to step up - "Someone has to protect this family from the man that protects this family." She picks up Holly White and takes her to her room, slamming the door behind her, leaving Walt sullen and speechless.

Official Photos


  • When giving his "I am the one who knocks" speech, Walter takes off his light red shirt to reveal a darker shade of red symbolizing a darker turn for Walter after the speech.
  • The three laundry workers who clean the lab for Walt share the same first names as the women playing them (Celia, Maria, Veronica).
  • When Jesse tries to enter the house, he uses the name "Diesel," which is the same name he used last time he was trying to recover stolen meth from junkies in "Peekaboo".
  • The episode title name may refer to:
    • Skyler cornering Walt with several questions
    • Walt is cornered into giving back the car
    • The trapped guards in the refrigerated truck
    • Skyler's visit to the Four Corners landmark.
  • There is a continuity error in this episode. In the very beginning of the episode, when the Cartel thugs are opening the back of the Pollos Hermanos truck to retrieve the container, the angle at which the truck is parked changes between shots. When the camera shoots from inside the truck, the truck is parked at a 45 degree angle to the road, but in outside shots, the truck is parked parallel to the road.
  • This is the second episode that doesn't use the word "shit".
  • Samuel L. Jackson is a big fan of Breaking Bad. In a video to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, Jackson puts his own spin on a "Breaking Bad" monologue, reading Walt’s infamous "I am the one who knocks" speech. [1]




  • Luis Pimber as Cartel Henchman
  • Celia Holguin Anaya as Laundry Woman #1
  • Maria L. Pardo as Laundry Woman #2
  • Veronica Jaquez as Laundry Woman #3


  • Andrea Good as Laundry Worker

Filming Locations

Featured Music

  • "(I Can't Believe) She Gives it all to Me" by Conway Twitty (in the diner where Mike & Jesse eat at the start of the episode)
  • "'Till I'm Gone" by Tinie Tempah (feat. Wiz Khalifa) (playing in Walt Jr's Challenger as he arrives back at the White residence)
  • "Four Corners / Waiting for the End" by Dave Porter (as Skyler & Holly visit Four Corners)
  • "Here Lies A Good Old Boy" by James Hand (in the diner where Gus meets Mike & Jesse)

Memorable Quotes

"Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how much I make a year? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn't believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop going into work? A business big enough that it could be listed on the NASDAQ goes belly up – disappears; it ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler; I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!"
―Walt explaining who he is to Skyler.

Walter: "I just worry that he'll blame you for this."
Skyler: "Oh, he will. Once again, he'll blame his bitch mother for taking away what his loving father has given him. So, thanks for that. But you know what, Walt? Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family."
―Skyler explains why Walt must return the car he bought for Walt Jr.