"One Minute" is the seventh episode of the third season of Breaking Bad and the twenty-seventh episode altogether.

Summary

Teaser

In a flashback to 1980's Mexico, two young boys fight over a toy while their uncle, Hector Salamanca, disparages the "chicken man" during a phone call. When Hector finishes the call, one of the boys, Leonel, complains that his brother Marco broke the toy. When Leonel says that he wishes his brother dead, Hector dunks Marco's head in a tub of icy water. When Leonel hits Hector in the face, he finally releases Marco, having caught his lesson that "family is all". In the present, the now-grown Cousins light candles at a makeshift Santa Muerte shrine. In the center, they place a photo of Hank.

Act I

Furious that he was tricked into believing that his wife was in hospital, Hank violently attacks Jesse at his house, wrestling him to the floor and punching him in the face until he's unconscious and bleeding. Realizing he's gone too far, Hank stops himself and calls for an ambulance. As Jesse is being taken away by paramedics, ASAC Merkert approaches Hank and advises that he talk to a lawyer.

Walt, Saul, and Jesse at the hospital.

At the hospital, Walt comes to Jesse's hospital room to find Saul, eager to get Jesse off on grounds of police brutality. When Walt asks what Jesse plans to do next, Jesse says he will set about to destroy Hank's life. Further, Jesse plans to start cooking on his own again and will give up Walt if he gets caught. Outside the room, Walt tells Saul that Jesse will eventually "come around", but Saul warns that they will have to discuss "options" for dealing with Jesse if he doesn't.

Act II

At the DEA field office, Hank makes a statement about what happened at the junkyard, but invokes the Fifth Amendment when it comes to his actions at Jesse's house. With Jesse is filing charges, the detectives interviewing Hank ask to photograph his bruised knuckles for the record. After he leaves the office, Hank meets Marie at the elevator. She holds Hank as he sobs on the ride down, but they compose themselves before they reach the lobby.

Skyler visits Walt at his new condo to asks if the situation between Hank and Jesse will blow back on him, then pleads with Walt to convince Jesse not to press charges. Later, at the superlab, Walt arrives at work to discover that Gale has already performed several preliminary tasks for the day's cook. "This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship," Gale jokes. Walt is surprised, but not convinced.

In the desert, the Cousins meet with a talkative arms dealer who is selling a wide array of weapons from the back of a trailer truck. He gives them a free hollow point bullet — nicknamed "Black Death" — and shows off his bulletproof vest, which the Cousins test by shooting him point blank. When the arms dealer survives, they purchase two vests and leave him on the floor complaining about possible broken ribs.

Act III

In the superlab, Walt angrily chastises Gale of making an error. While Gale insists that he followed Walt's instructions, Walt says that he entered the incorrect temperature and that the batch needs to be dumped. Later, Walt calls Gus and tells him that Gale isn't working out, requesting that he be replaced with Jesse. When Walt reminds Gus that he promised to give him the full run of the lab, Gus begrudgingly allows for Jesse to return.

At the Schrader residence, Hank rejects Marie's suggestion to lie about his confrontation with Jesse. When she asserts that Jesse is just a lowlife and Hank's more deserving, he replies that he is supposed to be "better than that". Hank admits that he has been unravelling since he shot Tuco, and intimates that he thinks he is "done as a cop".

Walt visits Jesse in the hospital and pitches the job in the superlab, but Jesse initially rejects the proposal as a ploy to save Hank. Walt says he just wants to be equal partners again, reminding Jesse that he will be earning $1.5 million. Jesse states that it isn't the money he is rejecting, but Walt himself, stating that his life has been ruined ever since the two of them started cooking together. In a last attempt to mollify Jesse, Walt admits that the meth Jesse cooked alone is as good as his own. When he drives back to his condo, Walt receives a phone call from Jesse finally agreeing to reestablish their partnership.

Act IV

At the DEA office, Hank admits to assaulting Jesse. When he refuses to amend his statement fraudulently to place him (and by extension the agency) in a better light, Merkert has no other choice but suspend him without pay, forcing him to surrender his gun and badge. As Hank leaves, he learns from Merkert that Jesse is not pressing charges after all. When a surprised Hank asks why, Merkert muses that he might have a guardian angel.

Later, Hank visits a mall purchasing gifts for Marie. As he's about to leave in his SUV, Hank receives a phone call in which an electronically disguised voice warns that he has one minute before two men show up to kill him. Hank, defenseless without his gun, scans the parking lot. After one minute passes, Leonel appears and shoots out the rear window, hitting Hank in the arm. Hank throws his SUV into reverse and pins Leonel against the car behind him. Marco, striding toward Hank's driver's-side window, fires multiple shots and hits Hank in the side as Hank grabs Leonel's gun and dives out of the car. Marco shifts Hank's car into drive, releasing Leonel. A badly wounded Leonel tells his brother to "finish him".

Hank manages to shoot before Marco kills him.

Marco strides back toward Hank, shooting a passerby along the way. As Marco reloads, Hank surprises him from behind and shoots him with Leonel's gun, unaware that he's wearing a bulletproof vest. Marco shoots Hank twice in the chest. After a badly injured Hank drops to the ground, Marco decides to use the axe to kill him. Hank grabs Leonel's gun and notices a "Black Death" bullet that Marco dropped on the ground. He fumbles reloading the gun as Marco returns. At the last possible moment, Hank fires the single round into Marco's head, killing him. The falling axe lodges itself in the pavement a few feet away from a bleeding Hank.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • Walter White Jr., Gustavo Fring, and Mike Ehrmantraut do not appear in this episode.
  • The wooden chair on which Hector Salamanca is sitting strangely looks like a wheelchair, foreshadowing his future handicap.
  • Hector is on the phone with someone in the Cartel, talking about the "Chicken Man" (Gus). During the phone call he expresses a dislike for him.
  • "Sudaca" is a derogatory term used in Spain for all Latin Americans. In México it refers to South Americans.
  • The title refers to Hector Salamanca's question as to how much longer Marco has to live under water. "One minute?" It also refers to how much time Hank has until the Salamanca brothers attack.
  • When Hank receives the call regarding the attempt on his life, the clock reads "3:07." This episode is number 3x07.
  • One minute later at 3:08 - Walt's address (308 Negra Arroyo), the clock reads - a reminder of how Walt is inextricably connected to all events, even Gus' call which ultimately saves Hank as family (knowing Walt would quit cooking), and prevents the heat Gus would experience if Hank was killed, seen in Ep 3.08.
  • Gale's line "This might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" is a reference to the classic movie "Casablanca".
  • The trucker that the cousins purchase the vests from drives a replica of the Kenworth (Kenworth K-100 Aerodyne) that appeared on the show B.J. and the Bear.
  • Walt and Jesse's conversation in the hospital strongly hints at a reference to Quentin Tarantino's 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Walt remarks "so...", pauses, and proceeds to ask "what happens now?" to which Jesse responds "what now? I'll tell you what happens now"
    • The conversation is similar to Butch and Marcellus's conversation in Pulp Fiction: "what now?" "what now? Let me tell you what now. I'm going to call in a couple of cold, pipe-hittin n**** to go to work on Holmes here... with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch"
  • It's not clear who called Hank to tip him off to the hit, since the caller uses an electronic filter to disguise his voice. Thomas Schnauz has revealed in a tweet that the best guess is that it was Mike or one of Gus's henchman.[1]. Schnauz has also suggested that in an early draft of the script, there was a scene showing Gus making the call himself, but it had to be cut because it would put actor Giancarlo Esposito over the limit of episode appearances in his contract. It was also suggested that Gus' voice, even through a filter would be too recognizable.
  • The final scene between Hank and Marco is replicated in the finale cutscene of the Gameloft's third person shooter 9mm.
  • Dean Norris said the scene where Hank is talking to Marie and tells her basically he isn't the man she thinks he is was the most affectionate scene for him, because he almost had his head chopped off by an axe afterwards.
  • Ironically, Marco was killed with the hollow point bullet which the Arms Dealer gave him as a 'freebie courtesy'.
  • This episode may have been a foreshadowing for Hank, for his injuries in this episode are similar to the wounds he receives prior to being executed by Jack Welker in Ozymandias.
  • Filming of the Cousins' ambush of Hank took two days. Some inserts were later added in, like Hank lying on the ground after Marco shoots him in the chest. Dean Norris said in a 2013 interview that filming those inserts entailed lying down on pavement in freezing cold temperatures due to it being shot during the winter time.
  • Error: On the final shot of the episode, at least 10 people can be seen standing in and around the parking lot where Hank and The Cousins are lying injured. This would be an extremely odd scenario considering the intense shootout that would have occurred moments prior.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Mark Sivertsen as ABQ Detective #1
  • Chris Ranney as ABQ Detective #2
  • Steve Cormier as OPR Official #1
  • Wendy Kostora as Screaming Shopper

Featured Music

  • "The Cousins" by Dave Porter (as the cousins place the picture of Hank on the shrine)
  • "Hank in Pursuit" by Dave Porter (as Hank beats up Jesse)
  • "Black Night" by Badar Ali Khan (playing in the lab as Walt arrives)

Memorable Quotes

Marie: "It’s some lowlife degenerate versus you doing the job you’re supposed to. Why should you be the one who pays for doing the right thing?"
Hank: "Oh baby, it wasn’t the right thing. It’s not what the job is. I’m supposed to be better than that."
Marie: "And you made one mistake."
Hank: "No, it wasn’t one mistake. I’ve been–I’ve been–unraveling, you know? I don’t sleep at night anymore. I freeze. I freeze up. My chest gets all tight. I can’t breathe. I panic. Ever since that Salamanca thing. I mean, Tuco Salamanca. If ever a scumbag deserved a bullet between the eyes... It changed me. And I can’t seem to control it. I tried to fight it. But then El Paso. And it’s just gotten worse. What I did to Pinkman–that’s not who I’m supposed to be. That’s not me. All this–everything that’s happened, I swear to God, Marie, I think the universe is trying to tell me something, and I’m finally ready to listen. I’m just not the man I thought I was. I think I’m done as a cop."
―Hank, explaining to Marie that it is time for him to assume the consequences of his actions.

Walter: "Let me understand this. You’re turning down $1.5 million dollars."
Jesse: "I am not turning down the money. I am turning down you! You get it? I want nothing to do with you! Ever since I met you, everything I’ve ever cared about is gone, ruined, turned to s___, dead, ever since I hooked up with the great Heisenberg! I have never been more alone. I have nothing! No one! All right?! It’s all gone! Get it? No, no, no. Why would you get it? What do you even care, as long as you get what you want? Right? You don’t give a s___ about me. You said I was no good. I’m nothing! Why would you want me, huh? You said my meth is inferior, right? Right? Hey, you said my cook was garbage! Hey, screw you, man! Screw you!"
Walter: "Your meth is good, Jesse. As good as mine."
―Jesse and Walt in Jesse’s hospital room.

"La familia es todo."
―Hector Salamanca to the Cousins.


Notes

  1. Tweet by Thomas Schnauz
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