Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Problem Dog" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of Breaking Bad and the fortieth episode altogether.



At home, on a massive TV screen, playing the first-person shooter video game Rage, Jesse Pinkman fires a gun at the mutants attacking him. Images of Gale Boetticher's dead body/murder blend in with the action as Jesse replays the real-life gunshot and Gale falling dead in his mind's eye. Distracted and disturbed, Jesse dies in the game. He catches his breath. The memory fades, and he restarts.

Act I

Walt looks at the explosion of the Challenger

At the car wash, Walter White grouses about the restocking fee the dealership is charging to take back the Challenger. Skyler White pleads with him to just return the car and not make a scene. She wants them to be done with it. Instead, Walt drives to an empty parking lot and races around recklessly, laying heavy rubber and doing doughnuts until the car runs aground on a parking block. Without a pause, Walt gets out, sets the car on fire and casually calls for a taxi as he sits down on the concrete and watches it burn.

Walt slumps in a chair at Saul Goodman's office while Saul handles the fallout from his client's "little joy ride." Walt admits that the pressure of knowing Gustavo Fring wants to kill him is getting to him, and then inquires about hit men. Saul points out that any for hire assailant would likely know Mike Ehrmantraut, and have to outmaneuver him. Walt tells Saul that he tried to kill Gus himself but couldn't get near him.

That night at Jesse's house, while Jesse repaints his graffitied/damaged walls, Walt interrogates Jesse about how close he's been to Gus lately. Closer than they are right now, Jesse says, adding, "He said he sees something in me." Walt attempts to manipulate Jesse, ironically asking if he's that easily manipulated by Gus. If he's already forgotten what Gus attempted. Walt reminds him Gus tried to kill them both, did kill Victor, and lied about not targeting children the day Andrea's brother Tomás was shot — he's making his case for Jesse to take action. Jesse barks back at Walt. Walt smiles, inwardly triumphant, pleased to get Jesse just where he wants him.

Act II

The next day at the car wash, Marie Schrader tells Skyler how well Hank Schrader's therapy is going and that his spirits have improved. Walt sneaks $274,000 in drug money past them hidden in pallets of soda. After Marie leaves, Skyler and Walt regroup. Skyler is stunned to realize that Walt's yearly income is more than $7 million. Skyler protests that it's too much to launder, and nobody pays for a carwash with $50 notes. She needs to solve that problem, Walt replies coldly - it's what she wanted to do, he reminds her. Skyler reminds him she wanted nothing of this. If she rather wants out, Walt counters, she must just say so. Skyler isn't pleased, but packs the cash into the safe and starts mulling things over.

In the superlab, out of the security camera's view, Walt cooks a batch of ricin. At his house that night, Jesse notes that they had more of the poison when they tried to murder Tuco Salamanca ("Seven Thirty-Seven",  "Grilled"). It's enough, says Walt. Jesse just needs to slip some into Gus's food or drink and Gus will die within 36 hours of seemingly natural causes. Jesse conceals the slim ricin vial inside a cigarette that he returns to the pack upside-down as his "lucky cigarette."

Walter White Jr. drives Hank to Los Pollos Hermanos, where Hank chats briefly with Gus, who recognizes him from his charity work with the DEA. Gus replenishes Hank's soda and offers to pay for any future meals at Los Pollos Hermanos, even offers Walt Jr. a job if ever he wants one. Hank later slips the cup into an evidence bag and stashes it under his seat in the car.


Mike and Jesse at the factory farm

The next day, Mike and Jesse drive to Gus's factory farm. Inside the office trailer, Mike discusses security arrangements with Gus while Jesse makes coffee, his hands shaking as he holds his cigarette pack, trying to decide what to do. Mike startles Jesse by offering him a loaded gun. "Emergency only," Mike says.

Three Cartel members arrive at the farm, fewer than Mike expected. Only one, Gaff (the lead assassin who hijacked the Los Pollos Hermanos truck in the previous episode), meets with Gus, who is visibly slighted of dealing with a henchman but forces a smile and offers him a seat. Speaking in Spanish, Gus offers the Cartel $50 million. "In return, our business is over," he says. Gaff replies that Gus knows what the Cartel wants and asks if his answer yes or no, in reference to the last episode where the bucket read "ready to talk"? Is Gus ready to talk to the cartel, yes or no? Gus seems to have made an error in judgement: "This is not a negotiation," Gaff says, bluntly. Outside moments later, Gaff and Gus stare each other down as the Cartel members depart.

Jesse considers shooting Gus in the back with the gun Mike gave him, right there and then, but ultimately decides against it. On the drive back to town, Jesse asks Mike what it is Gus sees in him.

Act IV

That evening, Jesse attends the N.A. support group meeting and indirectly bares his soul about killing Gale, telling a story about a fictitious "problem dog" he put down. Another addict criticizes Jesse for animal cruelty, but the group leader cautions the group not to judge. Jesse asks why not. Breaking down under the weight of the guilt, Jesse lashes out, saying he's really at the meetings only to sell meth to them all. Later at the superlab, Walt asks Jesse about the progress of the assassination attempt. Jesse lies and says he hasn't seen Gus.

Gus Fring's fingerprints are found at Gale's apartment

Hank meets with Steven Gomez and ASAC George Merkert at the DEA. He describes Gale and his murder, and hypothesizes that Gale is Heisenberg's former cook. The letters and numbers scribbled on the Los Pollos Hermanos napkin found in Gale's apartment, Hank explains, were the parts number for an industrial air-filtration system that Gale took delivery on. A system, Hank notes, perfect for the biggest meth lab north of the border. By coincidence, its manufacturer is owned by a German-based conglomerate called Madrigal Electromotive that also has a stake in Los Pollos Hermanos. Hank theorizes that a vegan like Gale wouldn't eat at a chicken restaurant, and further that he'd only go to Los Pollos Hermanos for a meeting, perhaps with Gus.

Hank questions Gus's supposed affinity for law enforcement. Hank concedes that he thought that he was reaching too at first. But one thing troubles him, says Hank, pausing for effect as he reveals photographs of a fingerprint on a Los Pollos soda cup and prints from the crime scene. Hank asks what Gus' fingerprints were doing at Gale's apartment.

Official Photos


  • In the teaser, Jesse is playing the video game, RAGE. In the game, Gale's name can be seen on a wall in reverse.
  • RAGE was released two months after the episode aired (October 20), and certainly after it was finished filming. The version of RAGE shown in the episode is a special version created to the specification of the Breaking Bad production staff.[1]
  • The character Ben that was a student in Walt's class way back in Season 1 appears again in this episode at the support meeting.
  • Steve Aoki features as an extra in this episode and Jesse Pinkman wears a shirt of his design[2].



Filming Locations

  • Walt takes Walt Jr's car out for a joyride. In a large parking lot he does some doughnuts and burnouts. The lot is the Isleta Amphitheatre Parking Lot located at 5601 University Blvd, and is immediately south of the Albuquerque Airport (ABQ), just as Walt describes. Ironically, this parking lot is less than 500 yards from the actual DEA offices. (the in-universe DEA office is implied to be somewhere in Downtown Albuquerque)

Featured Music

  • "Catch Me (I'm Falling)" by Pretty Poison (at the carwash)
  • "Boots of Chinese Plastic" by The Pretenders (while Walt goofs around in the Challenger)
  • "Saved by Zero" by The Fixx (at the carwash while Marie & Skyler talk)

Memorable Quotes

Jesse: "So no matter what I do, hooray for me because I’m a great guy? It’s all good? No matter how many dogs I kill, I just what?–do an inventory and accept? I mean, you back your truck over your own kid and you, like, accept? What a load of crap!"
Group Leader: "Hey, Jesse, I know you’re in pain."
Jesse: "No, no. You know what–why I’m here in the first place? Is to sell you meth! You’re nothing to me but customers! I made you my bitch! You okay with that? Huh? You accept?"
Group Leader: "No."
Jesse: "About time."
―Jesse at his NA group meeting.


  1. Problem Dog commentary track
  2. Aaron Paul AMA, 13th August, 2013