Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Hermanos" is the eighth episode of the fourth season of Breaking Bad and the forty-first episode altogether.



In a flashback to the period following Hank's shooting, Walt confronts Gus at the hospital while Mike slips away, unnoticed, after murdering Leonel Salamanca. Later, at the nursing home, a seething Hector is watching news coverage of the shooting when Gus pays a visit. Gus props himself on a chair opposite Hector and details the Cousins' deaths, as well as that of Juan Bolsa, with sadistic glee. Gus leaves a silently raging Hector behind with a patronizing pat on the knee.

Act I[]

In the present, Walt visits an oncology clinic and sits in a waiting room with another patient, who tries to commiserate with him. Walt dismisses the young man's suggestion that cancer has put the man's life on hold, insisting that he should live life on his own terms.

4x08 - Hermanos 3

The DEA questions Gus

The Albuquerque Police and the DEA request Gus' presence at a meeting at police headquarters, where he notices an identikit sketch of Victor on a bulletin board. Hank, Gomez, ASAC Merkert and Sgt. Tim Roberts of the APD present Gus with the fingerprint evidence putting him in Gale's apartment. Gus tells them that Gale was previously given a chemistry scholarship, and claims that Gale recently invited him to the apartment to propose a vague investment opportunity that Gus declined. Hank presses further, asking why no record of Gus exists in his purported home country of Chile. Gus is caught by surprise, but tells him that the Pinochet regime were terrible at recordkeeping; he assures Hank that if he keeps looking, he will locate the documentation.

Act II[]

After Gus departs, Hank's colleagues tell him that they feel inclined to believes Gus' story. Hank concedes that Gus put on a good performance, but wonders why a supposed law-enforcement booster didn't come forward sooner with information about a murder case he's been clearly aware of; he is clearly not satisfied.

Saul visits Andrea and delivers cash from Jesse. Afterward, in Saul's car, Jesse asks after her son, Brock. Saul encourages Jesse to check on them himself. Meanwhile, at the White residence, Skyler conceals cash in vacuum-sealed bags of clothes and hangs them in her closet. The weight of the bags quickly sags, then snaps, the support rod. Desperate for a solution, she stashes the bags in the house's crawl space.

Over dinner with the Schraders, Walt informs his family that he is still in remission. Marie mentions that Hank met with top DEA people about something. Hank changes the subject and asks Walt to drive him to a mineral show the next day. Walt, piqued by Marie's disclosure, agrees.

4x08 - Hermanos 7

Hank and Walter at Los Pollos Hermanos

The next day, Hank admits there's no mineral show and instead directs Walt to the Los Pollos Hermanos parking lot. He tells Walt that he suspects that Gus is a major drug distributor, and to prove it, he wants Walt to plant a GPS tracker on Gus' car. While Hank gives instructions to an apprehensive Walt, Mike pulls up beside Walt's Aztek and stares him down. After failing to dissuade Hank, Walt reluctantly exits his car. He approaches Gus' vehicle and drops to his knee, but doesn't plant the device. He then walks into Pollos, where Gus greets him at the counter. Walt clumsily informs Gus of what's happening and says he didn't plant the tracker, but Gus tersely tells Walt to do it, then resumes his friendly veneer. He returns to the parking lot, drink order in hand, and plants the tracker. Hank is puzzled by Walt's inept bungling.

Act III[]

Walt returns to the superlab and addresses Gus through the surveillance camera, insisting that Hank has no hard evidence and that no harm should come to him. Later, Walt visits Jesse's house and tells him that Gus must be killed this week, preferably tonight. Jesse tells him that no meetings with Gus have been scheduled. When he leaves to use the bathroom, Walt surreptitiously reads an incoming text message on Jesse's cell phone about a canceled meeting with "The Boss." When Jesse returns, Walt informs him that he missed a call while out of the room. After Jesse checks the message, he says that it was nothing important; Walt is silently displeased with the deception.

Act IV[]

The next day, Mike calls Gus and reports to him that neither the DEA or the APD consider him a suspect in Gale's murder; Hank is operating completely on his own. Mike also says that he can't find anything about Gus prior to 1989, which means that it is unlikely Hank can either. There is a danger, however, that Hank might be watching when the Cartel makes a move against Gus, which could result in a "perfect storm." Gus thanks him and says he will be in touch. Gus later removes the tracker from his car and sticks it on the side of a newspaper dispenser in front of the restaurant. He then drives to the nursing home, where he informs Hector that he has defied the Cartel's ultimatum and that Hank is looking into his past.

4x08 Hermanos

Gus and Max in 1989

The narrative becomes a flashback to 1989, when Gus and his partner, Max Arciniega, sit next to a pool at a lavish hacienda in Mexico. Hector walks out, urinates in the pool next to them, and otherwise disrespects Gus and Max in front of Bolsa. Don Eladio Vuente—the Cartel boss—strides out and compliments Gus and Max on their delicious chicken. Seeming warm, boisterous and welcoming, he invites the pair to discuss their blooming idea for a meth business. His demeanor changes, however, when he confronts the men for apparently selling drugs in his territory. Speaking on Gus' behalf, Max tells them that Gus has used his knowledge of chemistry to make a much superior methamphetamine product to what Eladio is used to seeing, and offers him the opportunity to distribute their product. Despite seemingly liking the idea, Eladio is angered by Gus' perceived disrespect. As Max speaks in his defense, Hector suddenly shoots him through the head. Hector and Bolsa push Gus to the ground, forcing him to look into Max's dead eyes. Eladio tells Gus that he is alive only because he knows who Gus really is - but warns that he is "not in Chile anymore".

Back in the present, Gus leans in close to Hector, who refuses to look at Gus. Gus leaves the nursing home as Hector silently fumes in his chair, drooling.

Official Photos[]


  • The title of this episode refers to Gustavo Fring's chain of restaurants, Los Pollos Hermanos, and his relationship with Max Arciniega, who is the second "hermano" in the restaurant's name.
    • The title can also refer to Hank and Walter's relationship, with two of them being brothers-in-law and spending some time together as Hank tries to search for Gustavo's connections in drug trade.
    • Additionally, the title may be a reference to The Cousins, whose deaths were mentioned by Gus to their uncle in the cold open, to a person who was responsible for Max's murder.
  • Although Gus and Max's deep relationship was never outright confirmed by the show as being a homosexual one, astute viewers could interpret it as such. The flashback to the Cartel meeting in Mexico is a telling example. When Hector disrespects Gus and Max by urinating in Eladio's pool, Bolsa begins to chastise him, telling him the Don would be upset at this behavior. Hector is dismissive by implying that Bolsa would never tell Eladio. Hector then makes a point of turning towards Gus and Max (ostensibly with his genitals exposed as he finishes urinating) and implies they wouldn't tell either, because "They like what they see." Shortly after, Gus is visibly overwhelmed with emotion when Max is delivering an impassioned monologue to Eladio about how much Gus means to him. Series creator Vince Gilligan has stated that he decided against the show officially confirming or denying whether or not Max and Gus were, in fact, a couple; however, he's also said that they "probably were lovers." Even Esposito himself (i.e. Giancarlo Esposito — the actor who portrayed Gus) interpreted the character as probably being gay.
    • Gus' homosexuality and his relationship with Max were latter made more solidly clear in Better Call Saul.
  • Vince Gilligan has said Gus Fring was likely involved with former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's government somewhere. However, the writers had deliberately not determined his entire back story in order to keep the character not only more interesting/mysterious but also allow them some greater flexibility for future episodes' story/character development. The two instances that demonstrate this likely involvement in said government, is 1) the fact that Gus apparently left Chile in 1986 - the very year of Pinochet's attempted assassination (by the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front) and 2) The fact that Hector Salamanca has referred to Gus as "Grand Generalissimo". The added tidbit that Don Eladio tells Gus that he knew who Gus was but he's "not in Chile anymore," hints at the probability that Gus held some sort of clout back home that he no longer holds.
  • The first article of clothing that Skyler places along with the money in the vacuum bags is the pink sweater that Walt wore in the episode "ABQ". The sweater is the same shade of pink as the pink teddy bear from the Wayfarer 515 crash.
  • Max Arciniega is named after the same actor who played Krazy-8.
  • Eladio Vuente and Hector Salamanca's actors, Steven Bauer and Mark Margolis, appear together in this episode after playing Tony Montana's friend Manny Ribera and Alberto "The Shadow", one of Sosa's henchmen, in the 1983 film Scarface.
    • Additionally, both Breaking Bad and Scarface feature a similar topic: a person who turns into a ruthless drug kingpin; however, while Scarface is based around cocaine, Breaking Bad's characters manufacture and sold methamphetamine.
    • Ironically, both Gus and Max present methamphetamine to Don Eladio, but the latter turns down the idea, calling it "poor man's cocaine."



Featured Music[]

  • '"Concerto for Flute, Harp & Orchestra in C major, K.299, Second movement, Andant'ino by W.A. Mozart" by Richard Edlinger and the Capella Istroplitana Ensemble with Hana Mullerova (Harp) and Jiri Valek (Flute) (in the waiting room before Walt's scan)
  • "Crickets Sing for Anamaria (Os Grilos)" by Walter Wanderley (while Skyler hides the money around the house)
  • "Grandparent's Polka [From "The Big Joe Polka Show"]" by Fritz's Polka Band (at Casa Tranquila when Gus visits Hector)

Filming Locations[]

Memorable Quotes[]

"Oh, to hell with your cancer. I’ve been living with cancer for the better part of a year. Right from the start, it’s a death sentence. It’s what they keep telling me. Well, guess what? Every life comes with a death sentence. So every few months, I come in here for my regular scan, knowing full well that one of these times– hell, maybe even today–I’m going to hear some bad news. But until then, who’s in charge? Me. That’s how I live my life."
―Walter to a patient whose cancer has just been diagnosed.