- For the shipping conglomerate, see Madrigal Electromotive GmbH.
At a test kitchen in Germany, Madrigal Electromotive executive Peter Schuler glumly tastes a variety of dipping sauces. His secretary interrupts to inform him the police have arrived. On his way to face his fate, Schuler walks through the building's immense lobby and sees the large emblem for Los Pollos Hermanos being taken down by a work crew. Walking with a blank expression on his face, he grabs a nearby automatic defibrillator and locks himself in the bathroom. As the authorities pound on the door, Schuler places one of the AED contacts on his chest and the other in his mouth after stripping the wire and electrocutes himself.
Panicked, Jesse Pinkman tells Walter White over the phone 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 then stashes the real ricin — which he retrieved from Saul Goodman previously — behind a wall outlet cover in his bedroom at the White house.Walt and Jesse toss his house, searching desperately for the cigarette. On the verge of giving up, Jesse heeds Walt's suggestion to check the Roomba — where he finds the fake ricin cigarette. (giving the illusion that Jesse may have dropped it while cleaning his house.) Devastated and broken, Jesse apologizes for accusing Walt of poisoning Brock Cantillo.
Walt and Jesse visit Mike Ehrmantraut and announce plans to start cooking again, but Mike refuses to partner up. "You are a time bomb," he tells Walt, "tick-tick-ticking... and I have no intention of being around for the boom."
Hank Schrader, Steven Gomez, and George Merkert meet with several Madrigal executives, recently flown in from overseas. The head of Madrigal is shocked at Schuler's death, and remorseful. He pledges Madrigal's full cooperation with the DEA investigation, wanting to know if Schuler wasn't a "lone anomaly" in the company.
Hank and Gomez share a drink with Merkert, who has been quietly pushed out of the DEA for his personal relationship with Gustavo Fring and for failing to sniff out Gus' drug empire. Hank says he managed to peek at the laptop before the evidence room debacle, but it was encrypted and he doubts they'd have gotten much off it anyway. "So Hector Salamanca killed Fring, but who gave Salamanca the bomb?" Merkert asks. Gomez mentions APD's discovery of Gus's secret offshore bank accounts as a possible lead. Merket mentions how Gus was close to him, yet somebody else completely (similar to Walt in Hank's situation).
Mike meets with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, one of the Madrigal executives, at a diner. She hands him a list of eleven men who were on Gus's payroll and surreptitiously suggests Mike kill them 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.
At home, Skyler White refuses to get out of bed, insisting Mariano can open the car wash for her. Walt suggests she take a shower to feel better, and she wordlessly obliges; after this eerie absolution, she seems like a shadow of herself.
Mike walks into the DEA offices as Duane Chow, the proprietor of Gus's chemical warehouse, walks out. "You know they talked to me," Chow says nervously. If Mike is unnerved by that news, he doesn't show a hint of it.
In an interrogation room, Mike tells Hank and Gomez 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 Mike. Mike is prepared to leave, only for Hank to stop and ask about the money in Mike's granddaughter's name. Mike pauses, as Hank explains that apparently Gus had about a dozen offshore bank accounts in the names of various employees on his staff, including the manager of his laundry, various employees at the Los Pollos distribution center, the owner of a chemical warehouse, and many others, all of whom Hank believes were getting paid off the books. Because it's a bit hard to believe that a fifth-grade girl could be the muscle of Gus's operation, Hank believes the offshore account in Kaylee's name is actually for Mike. Mike denies having any knowledge of the offshore accounts, apparently resistant to their pressure even with the knowledge that the DEA has seized his money.
Walt and Jesse visit Saul to discuss finding a new venue for the 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 should be able to do it as well. Jesse reports that he was able to find all the precursor chemicals except for methylamine. Walt encourages Jesse to keep looking for it, but Jesse doubts he'll be able to scare any up. When Saul advises they pull out of the meth business, Walt snaps back, explaining that he's broke: "Does that seem like an acceptable stopping point to you?"
Mike is playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with his granddaughter when Chow calls. He says that the DEA threatened to take his money, and insists that Mike come talk with him at his home, to which Mike agrees. Chow hangs up and looks at Chris Mara — one of Mike's former henchmen — who's holding him at gunpoint: someone is setting a trap for Mike.
Just before Mike arrives at Chow's house, Chris kills Chow by shooting him in the head. He then watches Mike walk toward the front door and puts his gun muzzle to the peephole. He hears a strange sound and looks through the peephole, where he sees an animatronic toy pig suspended from the door frame, which Mike borrowed from Kaylee's old toys at his apartment. 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 the list, starting with Chow. Mike shoots Chris dead with a sigh.
Later, Mike travels to Houston, sneaks into Lydia's 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. He hesitates and asks if she can still get her hands on methylamine. "Maybe," she says. "Why?"
Clearly in a corner, and not happy about the decision he's about to make, Mike calls Walt and agrees to a partnership. "Good," Walt says and hangs up. He washes the dishes and then climbs into bed with Skyler, who refuses to face him.
"What you're feeling right now, about Ted, everything. It'll pass," he says, caressing her arm and kissing her. "When we do what we do for good reasons, then we've got nothing to worry about," he continues. "And there's no better reason than family."
Skyler, shellshocked and unable to bring herself to stop him, stares silently ahead, but wears a look on her face as if she wants to say something.
- Marie Schrader does not appear in this episode.
- First appearance of Madrigal Electromotive GmbH (besides only being mentioned).
- This is the first episode to feature 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 Ehrmantraut, which says "Blue is Good," is seen over Walt's shoulder.
- 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 written by Vince Gilligan Home Fries (1998), which also featured the burger chain.
- Madrigal has been mentioned before in Seasons 3 and 4.
- 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.
- Frank Sandoval as DEA Agent
- Ryan Schaefer as Madrigal Suit
- "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)
- 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.