Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki
This article is about the Breaking Bad episode. For the German company, see Madrigal Electromotive GmbH.

"Madrigal" is the second episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad and the forty-eighth episode altogether.



At a test kitchen in Hannover, Germany, Peter Schuler, an executive for Madrigal Electromotive, glumly tastes a variety of dipping sauces. His secretary informs him that policemen have arrived asking to speak with him. On his way to his office, Peter walks through the building's lobby while a large sign for Los Pollos Hermanos is removed by a work crew. With a blank expression on his face, he grabs a nearby automatic defibrillator and locks himself in a bathroom. As police pound on the door, Peter undresses, then places one of the defibrillator's contacts on his chest and the other in his mouth after stripping the wire. He fatally electrocutes himself on the toilet.

Act I[]

5x2 Jesse finds ricin

Jesse finds the fake ricin cigarette

Jesse phones Walt in a panic and tells him that the ricin cigarette is still missing, fearing an innocent bystander might find it. After promising to help Jesse look for it, Walt fills a similar vial with salt and creates a duplicate cigarette. He stashes the real ricin — which he retrieved from Saul — behind a wall outlet cover in his bedroom. Walt then "helps" Jesse toss his house in search of the cigarette, planting the fake cigarette in Jesse's Roomba for him to find. Devastated, Jesse apologizes for accusing Walt of poisoning Brock and nearly shooting him because of it. The duo visit Mike and tell him they plan to start cooking again, proposing a three-way even split of the profits. Mike declines, assessing that Walt is a "time bomb" waiting to go off.

Hank, Gomez, and ASAC George Merkert meet with several Madrigal executives, some having flown in from overseas. Among them is Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, an executive from the company's Houston office. The head of Madrigal pledges his company's full cooperation with the DEA. Afterward, Hank and Gomez share a drink with Merkert, who is being quietly pushed out of the agency for his personal relationship with Gus and for failing to heed Hank's warnings about him. Hank tells Merkert that Gus' laptop was encrypted and thus unlikely to yield much evidence, despite the evidence room debacle. Gomez mentions the Albuquerque Police's discovery of Gus's offshore bank accounts as a possible lead. Merkert contemplates how Gus was close to him yet hid his true nature.

Act II[]

5x2 Lydia

Lydia meets with Mike

Lydia meets with Mike at a diner, handing him a list of eleven men who were on Gus' payroll; she surreptitiously suggests that they be killed before they can implicate Mike or herself. Mike shoots down the idea, vouching for the integrity of his men — they are paid to stand up to the heat, and they will. Meanwhile, a depressed Skyler refuses to get out of bed. Walt suggests she take a shower to feel better, and she wordlessly obliges; after this eerie absolution, she seems like a shadow of herself.

As he walks into the DEA office downtown, Mike sees Duane Chow, Gus' chemical supplier, exiting from his own interview. Under questioning from Hank and Gomez, Mike states that he worked for Los Pollos Hermanos as head of corporate security. Hank doesn't buy his story but admits he doesn't have enough evidence to arrest him. Mike gets up to leave, only to stop in his tracks when Hank mentions the money held in the name of Mike's granddaughter Kaylee, the only non-Pollos employee listed in Gus' offshore accounts. Mike denies any knowledge of the accounts, apparently resistant to the agents' pressure even with the knowledge that the DEA has seized his money.

Act III[]

Walt and Jesse visit Saul to discuss finding a new venue for a meth lab, preferably nearby and not in an RV. Saul says an in-town venue will be difficult, but Walt insists that if Gus could do it, they can as well. Jesse reports that he was able to find all of the precursor chemicals except for methylamine. Walt tells Jesse to keep looking, but doubts he'll be able to scare any up. When Saul advises they pull out of the meth business, Walt shoots him down and claims that he's broke.

5x2 Chris shot

Mike kills Chris

Meanwhile, Mike is playing with Kaylee when Chow calls, saying that the DEA has threatened to take his money and that he needs Mike to visit him at home; Mike agrees. Chow hangs up and looks at Chris, one of Mike's former henchmen. When Mike approaches the front door, Chris puts the muzzle of his gun to the peephole. He hears a strange sound and looks through the peephole, where he sees a motorized toy hanging from the door frame, bumping against the door. Suddenly, Mike appears behind Chris and orders him to drop his gun. Chris admits that Lydia was going to pay him $30,000 to kill Mike and $10,000 for each man on her list, starting with Chow, who sits dead on the couch. A disappointed Mike shoots and kills Chris.

Act IV[]

That night, Mike travels to Houston, sneaks into Lydia's lavish house and pulls her into a bedroom at gunpoint. Lydia begs him to leave her body in the house so that her daughter won't think she was abandoned. On the verge of shooting her, something stops him. Hesitantly, he asks if Lydia can still get her hands on methylamine. Clearly in a corner, and not happy about the decision he's about to make, Mike calls Walt and agrees to the proposed three-way partnership. Walt, satisfied with how things are turning out, washes dishes. Later, he climbs into bed with Skyler, trying to touch her lovingly. He tells her that the guilt he presumes she's feeling over Ted Beneke will pass. She refuses to face him.

Official Photos[]


  • Marie Schrader does not appear in this episode.
  • This is the last episode George Merkert appeared in.
  • First appearance of Madrigal Electromotive GmbH (besides only being mentioned).
    • Madrigal has been mentioned before in Seasons 3 and 4.
  • This is the first episode to depict a location outside of the United States or Mexico. It is also the first episode to feature characters speaking German. Most of the German-speaking actors have an English accent and are clearly not native speakers of German, except for Peter Schuler, played by Norbert Weisser, and Mr. Herzog, played by Wolf Muser; both are actors of German origin.
  • When Walt and Jesse sit down with Mike in his kitchen, a drawing made by Kaylee, which says "Blue is Good," is seen over Walt's shoulder.
  • Vince Gilligan came up with the concept for an older comedy script he wrote where a character achieves great fame through the invention of Franch. Vince Gilligan eventually concluded that the script would never really go any further from there, so he saw fit to cannibalize the idea for Breaking Bad.
  • Multiple references to other works are visible in this episode:
    • After Walt hides the ricin vial inside an electrical outlet and replaces the table in front of it, the novel The Bastard (1974) is prominently visible on the table.
    • The film Mike is watching on TV is The Caine Mutiny (1954).
    • One of the fast food restaurants seen at the Madrigal offices is called "Burger-Matic", which is a reference to the film Home Fries (1998), written by Vince Gilligan, which also featured the burger chain.
    • A copy of the game LittleBigPlanet 2 can be seen while the characters are looking for the ricin in Jesse's House. In real-world production history, LittleBigPlanet 2 was released in 2011; the episode takes place in 2009. Also, in the same scene, seconds before, another copy of the game is visible next to it.
      • Furthermore, Jesse is known to own a Xbox 360. This makes this odd, as LittleBigPlanet 2 was only on Playstation 3.
    • In the same scene, a DVD copy of Open Season 2 can be seen as well.
  • Technical error: Peter Schuler's method of suicide, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) would not function as shown. The "automated" aspect requires the detection of a condition of ventricular fibrillation (V-Fib) or ventricular tachycardia (V-Tach) in order to issue a shock. This is what makes them safe for untrained usage. A manual defibrillator could function as shown, however, but use of those is restricted to advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) -trained personnel, such as doctors, nurses, or paramedics.



Featured Music[]

  • "Stay On The Outside" by Whitey (as Walt & Jesse search for the cigarette)
  • "I Can't Hide It" by The Coachmen (in the diner where Lydia meets Mike)
  • "Somebody Just Like You" by Mack Owen (in the diner where Lydia meets Mike)

Memorable Quotes[]

Walter: "Mike, I know you don’t care for me. We’ve had our issues, you and I. But I would suggest that you leave emotion out of this decision."
Mike: "I am. You are trouble. I’m sorry the kid here doesn’t see it, but I sure as hell do. You are a time bomb tick, tick, ticking, and I have no intention of being around for the boom."
―Walter and Mike on a three-way partnership with Jesse.