"Peekaboo" is the sixth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the thirteenth episode altogether.

Summary

Teaser

As he waits alone on a sidewalk, Jesse crouches down and cautiously examines a large beetle as it wanders the pavement. Skinny Pete approaches, notices the same beetle and immediately crushes it underfoot. Skinny Pete, oblivious at Jesse's disappointment at killing the beetle, hands him the name and address of the junkies that robbed him -- a man named Spooge and his unnamed female accomplice.

Act I

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Outside Spooge's house, Jesse draws his pistol and tries to psych himself up. When a mailwoman pulls up, Jesse quickly hides his gun and engages in brief yet awkward small talk before she goes on her way. Spooge and his woman are absent from the house, so Jesse breaks in and enters the dank living room littered with garbage, ripped-up furniture and dirty laundry. As he waits on the couch, Jesse finds himself joined by an unkempt, half-dressed five-year-old boy. Turning on a television to a home shopping channel — the only station it gets — the child sits on the other end of the couch and tells Jesse he is hungry.

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Skyler calls Gretchen to offer her a belated thanks for paying Walt's medical bills. A confused Gretchen starts to respond but can't find the words. When Skyler says that they should get together sometime, Gretchen proposes a visit that afternoon. Meanwhile, Walt returns to his teaching job. The school's assistant principal, Carmen Molina, sits in on his lecture, telling him afterwards that he should come to her if he ever has any "issues." At the end of the day, Walt heads to his car with Junior, where he finds one of his "Missing" posters stuck on the windshield. A student has defaced the poster so it now reads, "I'm MISSING My Pants!"

Back at Spooge's house, Jesse scratches up a sandwich and plays peekaboo with the little boy while he eats. The two addicts — grimy, bloodied, and arguing with each other — finally return home. Jesse carries the boy into a bedroom and then attacks the couple, pistol-whipping Spooge.

Act II

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Walt arrives home to find Gretchen's Bentley parked in the driveway. Entering the living room, Walt finds his family thanking Gretchen for her generosity. Walt follows Gretchen to the driveway and asks her not to say or do anything until they have a chance to talk. Gretchen drives away without a word, clearly displeased with Walt's involving her in a lie.

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Jesse gets the junkies to hand over a little of his stolen meth, but no cash. Just as he threatens to shoot them in the kneecaps, the little boy walks into the living room. Spooge's woman embraces her son, using him a shield, making it impossible for Jesse to do anything while he's in the room. Spooge tells him that they have his money, but that it's inside an ATM machine they have stolen from a convenience store. Spooge claims the theft was a "victimless crime" that "went smooth as silk." However, a flashback shows it resulted in the death of the clerk and a bag of Walt and Jesse's meth being left at the scene.

Act III

Spooge tries unsuccessfully to force the ATM open by pounding away at the machine with a sledgehammer, calling his girlfriend a "skank" when she questions his competence. Jesse notices that the little boy is missing, and takes the opportunity to chastise her over how she is raising him. Spooge's girlfriend mouths off, outraged that Jesse dared accuse her of being a bad mother. The boy reappears and encourages Jesse to play peekaboo again. Jesse relents and, while his eyes are covered, Spooge's girlfriend knocks him out from behind with a bottle.

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Walt meets Gretchen at a fancy restaurant and pleads for time to "clear this up." When Gretchen asks why he lied to Skyler and questions how he is paying for his cancer treatment, Walt defiantly says that he owes her an apology but not an explanation. Walt then angrily accuses her and Elliott of making millions off his research, causing her to remind him that he was the one who left her without explanation. When Gretchen tells Walt that she feels sorry for him, Walt gives her a short response: "Fuck you." Gretchen gets up and leaves the restaurant.

Act IV

When Walt returns home, a distraught Skyler tells him that Gretchen has called to say she and Elliott can't pay his medical bills anymore. Walt admits he drove to meet Gretchen and lies that he deduced from their chat that she and Elliott are broke. Skyler finds it odd that they're still driving fancy cars if that's indeed the case. Walter states it's just for show, to keep up appearances.

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At Spooge's house, Jesse comes to and finds Spooge's girlfriend aiming his own gun at him while Spooge rifles through Jesse's pockets. Later, Spooge leans the ATM against a chair and positioned himself underneath to drill into its base. Spooge once again argues with his woman and calls her a skank. "I In response, she pushes the ATM upright, crushing Spooge's head. Nonplussed, Spooge's girlfriend grabs some dope off his body, crosses the room, and passes out on the couch. A shocked and panicked Jesse retrieves his gun from the body and begins wiping his fingerprints from around the house and off the ATM. As he does so, its door suddenly swings open and cash spills out.

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Jesse grabs a wad of cash and calls 911. Telling the boy to close his eyes like they're playing peekaboo, Jesse carries him outside past Spooge's body. He sits him on the front steps, wraps a blanket around him, and tells him, "Just don’t go back inside, ok?" He assures him someone's coming for him soon. "You have a good rest of your life, kid," Jesse adds, slipping away while the sound of approaching sirens grows louder.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • On the uncensored home video version, Walt says to Gretchen, "Fuck you." while they're having lunch in the restaurant, prompting her to get up and leave.
  • The title is referenced by Jesse playing with the kid while he's waiting, as well as the ending sequence where he tells the kid to close his eyes until he's in safe hands.
  • Aaron Paul was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for this episode on 2009 Emmys.
  • Spooge's woman still has not been named, and neither she nor her son has been seen since this episode, only mentioned.
  • Jesse tells Spooge and his wife to empty their pockets, the same way Tuco did to himself in "Grilled".
  • Skinny Pete's qualmless crushing of the beetle (from the opening scenes of the episode) nicely foreshadows Spooge's own head crushing at the end, which his wife did equally without any scruples. She crushed/killed him with much the same unfeeling ease as one might step on a bug.
    • This may further reference Hank's comparison from the previous episode, of killing a man versus killing a cockroach.
  • Walt and Carmen's interaction in the driveway mirrors Jesse and Jane's interaction in the next episode when he greets her on the front porch. The women respond with "Hey yourself" to "hey." ("Negro y Azul")

Production

Credits

Featured Music

  • "By the Numbers" by John Coltrane (in the restaurant when Gretchen and Walt talk)

Memorable Quotes

Gretchen: "I don’t even know what to say to you. I don’t even know where to begin. I feel so sorry for you, Walt."
Walter: "Fuck you."
―Walter releasing years of frustration with Gretchen.
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