"Green Light" is the fourth episode of the third season of Breaking Bad and the twenty-fourth episode altogether.

Summary

Teaser

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At a desert gas station, Jesse fills up the RV. Realizing that he's short on cash, he tries to charm the cashier girl into taking blue meth as payment instead. Just then, a police officer enters the store, after which Jesse plies on the pressure for her to take the deal. As the officer gets to the counter behind Jesse, she finally relents and takes the meth.

Act I

Walt tries to break Ted's office window.

Mike visits Saul and plays an audio recording of Walt and Skyler's bitter argument over her affair with Ted. Later, Walt heads to Beneke Fabricators to confront Ted, who refuses to see him. As a mortified Skyler and her co-workers watch, Walt tries and fails to throw a huge potted plant through a window into Ted's office. Three men arrive and toss Walt out the front door. Seconds later, Mike drives up in his car and whisks Walt away.

At his office, Saul stages what he calls an "intervention" for Walt. Wondering how Saul knew where to find him, Walt realizes that Saul had his house bugged. When Saul admits he did and provocatively gives a crude description of Skyler's affair, Walt tackles him to the ground. Walt angrily tells Saul he is fired while Saul tells Walt that he will no longer launder Walt's drug money through his son's website.

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At Walt's insistence, Mike removes the bugs from his house. Before he leaves, Mike notices a drawing of a scythe drawn on the street outside of the house, presumably left by the Cousins.

Act II

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At Walt's high school, Carmen calls Walt into her office to discuss his absenteeism and his erratic behavior in class. Walt awkwardly tries to make a pass at Carmen, causing her to be further alarmed at his strange behavior. As a result, Carmen places Walt on indefinite leave. Meanwhile, a somber Marie drops an apprehensive Hank off at the airport for his flight to El Paso. After Marie drives off, Hank receives a call from the Albuquerque sheriff: the blue meth has reappeared. Hank excitedly hails a taxicab back to town, abandoning his El Paso assignment.

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In the high school parking lot, is about to pack a box of his work items into his Aztek, drive up to him and shows off the blue meth he has cooked. Walt angrily takes umbrage at Jesse cooking Walt's formula without him, nitpicking supposed flaws in Jesse's process. Walt further refuses Jesse's request to set up a meeting with Gus. Jesse drives off in a huff, with Walt's box forgotten atop his car, which crashes onto the pavement as he speeds away.

Act III

Skyler and Ted continue their affair.

At Beneke Fabricators, a co-worker ignores Skyler's efforts at small talk and glares at her as she walks out the copy room. Later that day, Skyler and Ted have sex at his house. Afterward, Ted asks Skyler what went wrong with her marriage, as he doesn't want to make the same mistake with her. Skyler replies that she doesn't feel comfortable talking about.

In an interrogation room, Hank and Gomez attempt to coax information out of a tweaker about the source of the blue meth. The tweaker recalls that the man's name began with "M". Hank wants to pursue this as a possible Heisenberg lead, but Gomez thinks it's inconsequential and that Hank should report to El Paso. "I'm gettin' tired of all the second guessing," Hank replies tersely. Meanwhile, Jesse presents Saul with his bag of meth, revealing that he cooked it himself when Walt refused to return to cooking. Jesse begs Saul to hook him a deal with Gus.

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Mike meets Gus in a parking lot and reports that Walt is physically fine but mentally "a disaster," and unlikely to return to cooking voluntarily. Describing the scythe drawing outside his house, Mike asks why Gus doesn't tell Walt that he will die without Gus's protection. Gus responds that he doesn't believe fear to be an effective motivator. Mike relays Saul's request for a meeting with Jesse. Gus reiterates his policy against dealing with junkies, but changes his mind upon learning that Walt and Jesse aren't getting along.

Act IV

Hank notices the ATM camera.

While following up on the tweaker's tip, Hank listens to an urgent voicemail message from ASAC Merkert about his refusal to report to El Paso. At the gas station, Hank catches the cashier girl in a lie. Sobbing, she admits that a guy with blue eyes and an RV paid her with meth, which she passed along to a friend. The gas station's security camera doesn't work, but Hank notices an ATM whose camera points at the gas pumps.

Over an awkward breakfast with his parents, Junior reports that donations to SaveWalterWhite.com have ceased. He suggests that since Walt is on leave, his dad can watch Holly so that Skyler doesn't have to bring the baby to work. "We'll see," Skyler says.

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At an isolated underpass, Jesse delivers the meth to Victor, but complains when he only receives half the payment. Victor replies that it's "your half" before he drives off. Meanwhile, Hank meets with Merkert at the DEA field office and tells him that will not report to El Paso because he is "close to something big here." Quietly understanding, Merkert tells him to "get to it then".

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As he is driving, Walt learns through a radio report that Donald Margolis, Jane's father, has attempted suicide by gunshot. As Walt grimaces with further guilt at the news, a car pulls alongside him at a red light. Victor tosses a paper bag stuffed with money -- "your half" -- into Walt's car before speeding away. Walt ponders the cash until the light turns green.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • The episode's name is a double-entendre referencing the fact that Walt is (unknowingly) dealing with Gus again, having been given the "green light", or go-ahead, to make meth. To this end, the episode comically and symbolically ends with the final shot being that of a green traffic signal.
  • The episode's title could also be a reference to the story Walt tells Marie in the cafeteria, where he says on the way to the hospital for his surgery, every single light they hit was green. ("I See You")
  • The radio news reporting Donald Margolis' suicide attempt also reveals there were 167 fatalities in the Boeing crash ("ABQ") he was/felt responsible for.
  • Gus expresses to Mike that he doesn't believe fear to be an effective motivator, but later episodes show he's not afraid to resort to it as the situation requires. Examples include his actions against Victor ("Box Cutter") and Walter ("Crawl Space").
  • When Jesse shows Walt the meth that he personally cooked, Walt becomes angered as he claims it is inferior and contains flaws, though in reality he is angered that Jesse is able to produce by himself a product that is as good as his.
  • At the very start of this episode, the ATM in front of the gas station looked like blood splattered up on it from the bottom, like when Spooge's head was smashed under an ATM by his wife in a fit of rage ("Peekaboo").
  • The gas station used has been closed for a long time, only used for filming, in the opening scene you can see cones that have been placed at the driveway to prevent passers by from pulling into the fake gas station.
  • The way Walt attempts to enter Ted's office without waiting behind the reception desk is reminiscent of Skyler's first meeting with Ted after her last employment with his business. ("Negro y Azul")
  • Walt's job as a chemistry teacher ends in this episode, and J. P. Wynne High does not make an appearance again until the second-to-last episode in the series.
  • The line where Gus tells Mike that "fear is not an effective motivator" later appears chronically earlier In Better Call Saul's "Bad Choice Road" when Mike tells Gus that fear isn't a good motivator referring to Gus having his men threaten Nacho's father in front of him.

Production

Credits

Filming Locations

  • The Big Chief gas station is located on Hwy 550, Jesse trades meth for gas, then Hank uses the ATM camera to get a photo of the RV.
  • Jesse only gets half the money from Victor, at an underpass towards the end of the episode.
  • Victor drives up behind Walt, honks and throws a bag of money into his car while he sits at a red light. You can see the street sign for Unser (but not for Sage Rd), and the white traffic boxes on the shoulder of the road. (Insersection has been rebuilt sometime around 2013)
  • Mike & Gus meet on the 4th floor of the Sunport Airport Parking garage, facing Northeast. Where they speak about Walt and Jesse's falling out.

Featured Music

  • "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Pat Boone (in the reception of Saul's office)
  • "America the Beautiful" by U.S. Marine Band (in the reception of Saul's office)
  • "Hank in Pursuit" by Dave Porter (as Hank leaves the gas station and looks at the ATM)
  • "In the Valley of the Sun" by Buddy Stuart (in Walt's car near the end of the episode)

Memorable Quotes

"You know, Walter, sometimes it doesn't hurt to have someone watching your back."
―Mike taking to Walter after removing the bugs from Walter's house.


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