Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Fifty-One" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad and the fiftieth episode altogether.



Walt and Walt Jr. visit an auto repair shop, where a mechanic has made repairs to Walt's Pontiac Aztek. Walt offers to trade the Aztek to the mechanic for $100 and immediately lowers it to $50, which the mechanic eventually accepts. Back at the White residence, Walt arrives in a brand-new black Chrysler 300. With some silent prompting by Walt Jr., he further trades Junior's PT Cruiser for a new Dodge Challenger. Father and son beam at each other as they rev up their engines in the driveway.

Act I[]

At the Houston office of Madrigal Electromotive, Lydia anxiously sits at her desk during a conference call with her colleagues in Germany. Seconds after receiving a warning call from Mike, Hank and the DEA arrive to question her. She leads them into a warehouse and points them to the foreman, Ron Forenall, who is promptly arrested. Lydia calls Mike to tell him that the methylamine transport will be cut off due to Ron's arrest. Mike informs her that he will send someone else.

At the White residence, Walt and Junior debate about who between them would win in a drag race while Skyler silently eats. In the bedroom, Walt gives Skyler $20,000 to launder. Realizing that Walt is back in the drug business, Skyler offhandedly suggests sending Junior away to a boarding school in Arizona, vaguely justifying the suggestion by mentioning "conditions around here." Walt dismisses her concerns and tells her that he is looking forward to a party and chocolate cake for his 51st birthday the following day.

Act II[]

During breakfast, Skyler doesn't shape Walt's bacon into "51," in keeping with their family tradition. When Junior pressures her into doing so, she reluctantly obliges after taking some bacon from Junior's own plate.

Meanwhile, at the DEA office, Hank and Gomez are concerned that none of Gus' jailed subordinates have flipped and that Blue Sky has reappeared on the streets. Figuring someone is keeping them in line, they decide that Mike is their best lead and agree to follow him. SAC Ramey, visiting from El Paso, enters the room and asks to talk privately to Hank. He offers to promote Hank to the position of ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) for Albuquerque but tells him that accepting the promotion will require taking him off the Gus Fring investigation. Citing Marie's probable fury if he declined, Hank accepts the promotion.

At a house being fumigated by Vamonos Pest, Walt and Jesse break down their mobile lab. Walt leaves early for his birthday party. When he arrives home, he is disappointed to see Skyler preparing a store-bought meal, saying that only Hank and Marie are coming over for dinner. Meanwhile, while driving to the White residence, Hank pesters Marie until she reveals that Walt told her about Skyler's affair. As the four sit down for dinner, Skyler continues to be silent and sullen. Walt makes a speech about how grateful he is for the family's support during the past year. As he's talking, Skyler slowly walks into the pool and sinks to the bottom, apparently attempting suicide. Walt dives in after her.

Act III[]

Jesse arrives at the Madrigal warehouse in Houston, sent to retrieve a barrel of methylamine from a hesitant Lydia. While Jesse is lowering the barrel with a forklift, Lydia spots a presumed GPS device affixed to the bottom. Meanwhile, at the White residence, Walt, Hank and Marie sit down to talk after Skyler is taken to bed. Marie and Hank offer to take in Junior and Holly for a short time, divulging that this is Skyler's idea; Walt reluctantly agrees. After the Schraders leave, Walt confronts Skyler in their bedroom. Skyler demands that the kids stay away from the house as long as Walt continues engaging in his criminal activity. Walt challenges her to explain her plan to keep them away from home, shooting down each of her ideas. Skyler admits while she isn't as good at coming up with schemes as Walt is, she does have one option left: to bide her time and wait for Walt's cancer to return.

Act IV[]

The next morning, Jesse informs Walt and Mike about the GPS tracker. Mike, thinking that the DEA would be too sloppy by leaving the tracker in an easy place to find, assumes Lydia put it there herself in a bid to get out of their business. Mike prepares to leave, intending to kill her, but Jesse insists they vote on it. Asked for his opinion, Walt tells them that the cooks must not stop under any circumstances. Shortly afterward, in the parking lot, Jesse gives Walt a new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph watch for his birthday. Returning home, Walt presents the watch to Skyler and tells her how Jesse wanted to kill him a few weeks prior but came around; he says she will come around too. That night, Walt falls asleep to the watch's ticking.

Official Photos[]


  • With a rating of 8.8/10, this is the last Breaking Bad episode with lower than a 9/10 on IMDb.
  • The episode title appears to be a reference to the age of Walter White, 51. It could also refer to the fact that the balance of Heisenberg/Walter White is teetering.
    • Skyler also uses an "Area 51" mug as an ashtray late in the episode.
    • The time of Walt's watch is exactly 11:51 PM at the end of this episode.
  • The watch that Jesse gives Walt is the Tag Heuer Monaco, a watch forever linked to and made famous by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans (1971). Steve McQueen died of a rare, inoperable lung cancer.
  • The ending scene of the episode with Walt's watch ticking is almost a metaphorical meaning that his time is running out.
    • Walter puts the watch on Whitman's Leaves of Grass book.
  • Saul Goodman does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the fiftieth episode altogether, and Walt turns fifty-one.
  • Jr. gets the same type of car (Challenger) as he did in "Cornered". 
  • Walt says that Marie and Hank are watching Ratatouille. Somewhat humorously, the film is based on the irony of a rat becoming a chef. This, along with the character Gusteau's famous motto in the film "Anyone can cook!" could be seen as poking fun at Walt's uncharacteristic decision to cook meth in "Pilot".
    • Also there's the Gusteau, Gus element to the reference.
  • During this episode, Walter says: "The methylamine keeps flowing, no matter what... Nothing stops this train," which foreshadows the next episode's train heist.
  • As Walter returns home and finds Skyler smoking on the couch, the smoke from the tip of her cigarette drifts upwards from the bottom left to the top right of the frame, while the smoke she exhales blows from the bottom right to the top left, creating a giant X over Walter's place in the shot.



Featured Music[]

  • "Good and Lonely" by Easterling & Gildersleeve (in the background at Benny's garage)
  • "My Good Thing's Gone" by Mark Denny Preston (aka Mark D. Preston) (in the background at Benny's garage)
  • "Bonfire" by Knife Party (as Walt and Walt Jr. arrive home with their new cars)

Memorable Quotes[]

Hank: "What about that Lydia what's-her-name? Lady Banjo-Eyes at the warehouse?"
Gomez: "In this world? No way. Too uptight. Too together."
Hank: "Maybe. She was wearing mismatched shoes. How together can she be?"
―Hank and Gomez discussing Lydia's involvement.

"Sorry, but I'm not gonna apologize for being careful - with all that's been happening, for all I knew you were one of those undercover people they send into high schools, so, yeah, I'll take paranoid any day over getting gang-raped by prison guards."
―Lydia talking to Jesse.

Walter: "You didn't set out to hurt anybody. You made a mistake, things got out of control, but you did what you had to do to protect your family and I’m sorry, that doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a human being."
Skyler: "I don’t need to hear any of your bullshit rationales. I’m in it now, I’m compromised, but I will not have my children living in a house where dealing drugs and hurting people and killing people is shrugged off as ‘shit happens!’"
―Walter and Skyler arguing.

Walter: "Oh. Now here's the conversation: "So honey, I know you've only got one year left in high school, but I would love it so much if you would drop everything, leave all your friends behind, and go to boarding school in Arizona." Do you have any other ideas? Because I'm not hearing a solution to your problem. How are you going to save our kids from this "terrible" environment?"
Skyler: "I..."
Walter: "What are you going to do? What, are you going to run off to France? Are you going to close the curtains, change the locks? This is a joke. Come on, Skyler! You want to take me on? You want to take away my children? What’s the plan?"
Skyler: "I don’t know! This is the best I could come up with, okay? I—I will count every minute that the kids are away from here—away from you—as a victory. But you're right. It's a bad plan. I don't have any of your magic, Walt. I don't know what to do. I'm a coward. I—I can't go to the police, I can't stop laundering your money, I can't keep you out of this house, I can’t even keep you out of my bed. All I can do is wait. That's it, that's the only good option. Hold on. Bide my time. And wait."
Walter: "Wait for what? What are you waiting for?"
Skyler: "For the cancer to come back."
―Walter and Skyler arguing.

Mike: "You don't know this woman like I do. I had a chance to deal with this before, and I gave her a pass. That's what I get for being sexist. Now if you'll excuse me..."
Jesse: "Mike, you can't, just—Look, that's our precursor. We need her."
Mike: "Kid, if we have to ramp down for a while, so be it. It beats working with a lunatic who's gonna get us arrested or killed."
Jesse: "Look, she didn't seem crazy to me, you know? She just seemed, like, uptight."
Mike: "And now you're being sexist. Trust me, this woman deserves to die as much as any man I've ever met."
―Jesse and Mike discussing Mike's plan to kill Lydia.