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"Salud" is the tenth episode of the fourth season of Breaking Bad and the forty-third episode altogether.

Summary

Teaser

Jesse, Mike, and Gus stand together out in the desert. After a long period of silence, the sound of a single-engine plane can be heard. It lands nearby and they board the plane. Jesse's anxiety is palpable as the plane takes off.

Act I

At the White residence, it's Walt Jr.'s sixteenth birthday. Unable to reach Walt, Skyler surprises Junior with Chrysler PT Cruiser parked in the driveway. Though underwhelmed, Junior politely thanks his mother, which quietly disappoints Skyler. Meanwhile, Ted visits Saul's office and is informed by Saul that his long-lost "Great-Aunt Birgit" from Luxembourg has left him $621,552.33—almost precisely the amount of his debt to the IRS. Ted insists he knows nothing about a great-aunt, but on hearing the amount of inheritance is all too happy to ignore the details and keep mum.

Gus, Mike, and Jesse are taken to the superlab

In Mexico, Jesse, Mike, and Gus sit blindfolded as they are driven to the Cartel's superlab. The lab's chief chemist, Benicio, takes an instant dislike to Jesse, and maligns him when it becomes apparent that he doesn't know how to synthesize phenylacetic acid, a basic ingredient. Jesse takes charge, telling Benicio that if he wants to make a superior product, he has to do it Jesse's way. He also criticizes the lab's dingy conditions and, channeling Walt, announces that no cooking will take place until all contaminants have been eliminated. As the lab's staff begin cleaning the place, Gus and Mike are quietly impressed with how Jesse is handling himself.

Act II

Walter Jr. meets with his dad

Junior drives to Walt's apartment and rings the doorbell. Walt initially doesn't respond until his son leaves a voicemail message threatening to call 9-1-1. His face still battered from his fight with Jesse, Walt opens the door in his underwear and lets Junior in. After lying to his son that his injuries were the result of a fight that came out of his "gambling addiction", Walt breaks down in tears. Junior comforts Walt and takes him to bed. As he drifts back to sleep, he mistakenly calls his son "Jesse."

At the Cartel superlab, workers observe and videotape Jesse as he begins the cook alone, lasting all night. The following morning, Benicio analyzes the finished product in the gas chromatograph. After a tense few moments, the batch tests 96.2 percent pure. Jesse is ecstatic with relief; while his product is not as pure as Walt's (99%), it is still superior to the Cartel's. To Jesse's alarm, however, he is told that he will now be effectively sold into servitude for the Cartel and abandoned in Mexico.

Act III

Saul visits the car wash and shows Skyler a credit report indicating that Ted leased a new Mercedes-Benz three hours after receiving Walt's money. He won't be able to pay the income tax bill in full—and clearly wasn't going to do so anyway.

Walt shares the story of his father

Meanwhile, Walt wakes up and sees that Junior spent the night on the sofa. Apologizing for his behavior, Walt details how he witnessed his own father wasting away from Huntington's disease; he states that he doesn't want his son to remember him in a similar manner. Junior disagrees, saying that that "bad way" to remember him would be "the way you've been this whole last year." Once Junior leaves, Tyrus, who was parked nearby, pulls into Walt's driveway and asks him if there's somewhere he should be.

Skyler goes to Beneke Fabricators and demands that Ted explain his lavish spending. Skyler argues that he should use the money given to him to pay his tax bill. When Ted stubbornly responds that his inheritance is his to spend as he pleases, Skyler blurts out that she was the one who gave him the money.

Act IV

¡Salud!

Back in Mexico, Mike, Jesse and Gus visit Don Eladio's hacienda; Gus stands next to the pool where his partner Max was murdered years earlier. Gus opens a vial and swallows a pill, which seems to have no immediate effect. Jesse complains to about being left in Mexico, but Mike promises that either they are all going home or none of them are. After being introduced to Jesse, Eladio spots a gift box Gus brought along which contains a bottle of Zafiro Añejo tequila. He has a waiter pour shots for everyone except Mike, Gaff, and (after prompting from Gus) Jesse. Poised for a toast, Eladio warily waits for Gus to drink first; Gus does so as a show of good faith. Eladio and his capos follow suit.

The entire Cartel is poisoned

Some time later, Gus asks to use the bathroom. Once inside, Gus lays a towel in front of the toilet, kneels, and very calmly forces himself to vomit. Meanwhile, Eladio becomes physically unsteady while each of his capos begin to drop dead. Gaff moves to assist Eladio, but Mike slips in from behind and garrotes Gaff. Gus tidies up and leaves the bathroom, stepping out to confront Eladio next to the pool. Realizing that Gus has poisoned him, Eladio lunges at him but collapses into the pool, dead. Jesse pulls a gun from one of the deceased capos while Mike removes Eladio's necklace from his corpse.

Gus begins to falter, the antidote pill he took earlier not counteracting all of the poison. As Mike and Jesse draw their weapons, Gus musters the strength to shout that Eladio and his capos are all dead. Unsure that this will prevent a shootout, Mike and Jesse prop up Gus and proceed through the house as the staff flee with piles of cash in hand. In the driveway, Jesse finds a car with keys in it, and Mike eases Gus inside. Seconds later, Mike is shot in the stomach. Jesse wheels around and fires multiple rounds at the gunman, killing him. With Gus and an injured Mike in the car, Jesse jumps into the driver's seat and floors it out of the compound.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • The title "Salud" (pronounced [ saˈluð ]) is Spanish for "health" and is used as a toast ("¡Salud!").

    Other than Gaff, the 11 men standing directly behind Eladio cannot be identified through dialogue or the screenplay

  • Most of the unidentified cartel gangsters killed in this episode are named in the next one, "Crawl Space". Of the 9 "Dons" seen to have been poisoned by the poolside alongside Don Eladio Vuente himself and the cartel chemist Benicio Fuentes, 7 are named: Don Paco, Don Cesar, Don Renaldo, Don Artuno, Don Cisco, Don Luis, and Don Escalada. The lone thug gunned down by Jesse turned out to be Joaquin Salamanca, the grandson of Hector Salamanca.
    • There are at least twelve bodies seen in an aerial shot towards the end of the scene.
    • Its stated in "Crawl Space" that aside from Hector Salamanca, Joaquin was the last of the Salamanca family.
  • The numeral "8" seems to appear conspicuously throughout this episode:
    • The bruise on Jesse's face
    • The airplane's tail number
    • The clouds
    • The Whites' house number
    • This may be a reference to episode 8 of this season; "Hermanos", where there is a flashback of Gus' partner getting murdered directly in front of him. "Salud" ends with vengeance for this death being served.
  • The license plates of the cars at the end of the episode are from the state of Michoacán in México.
  • In the pool scene where Gus poisons Don Eladio, Jesse is wearing a very similar leather jacket to Gus's former cook Maximino in the episode "Hermanos" when he is murdered.
  • This is the last episode that Mike sees Gus.
  • Jesse's proficiency in cooking meth is seen in the fact that his cook at the cartel superlab is 96.2% pure which, while not as good as Walt's, is greater than both Gale Boetticher and the cartel chemist who both have college degrees.
    • However, at the same time, some of his lack of education in chemistry can also be seen in Jesse's inability to synthesize one of the chemicals which the cartel chemist states a sophomore chemistry student could do.
  • Hank and Marie don’t appear in this episode, however they do appear in a deleted scene.
  • As shown through the camera used to record Jesse's cook, it takes about seven and a half hours to make a batch of blue meth.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Ray Campbell as Tyrus
  • Tina Parker as Francesca (voice only)
  • Rick Ortega as Waiter
  • Stephen A. Eiland as Miguel
  • Amanda Fresquez as Sexy Cartel Girl

  • Uncredited

    Filming Locations

    • The Mexican drug manufacturing lab that Jesse visits with Fring according to other Breaking Bad fans was filmed at the Delta Power Co - 701 Electric Ave SE. The building is gone. All that remains is a concrete slab that can be seen from Google Satellite 2017.
    • The Don Eladio pool scenes were filmed at a residence in nearby Placitas NM. The home is located at 491 State Hwy 165 Placitas NM. Google Satellite view shows the pool. In the final scene of the episode Jesse drives a wounded Mike & sick Fring out thru some tall triangular stone gates. This is the main entrance visible from the road.

    Featured Music

    • "Jesse in Mexico" by Dave Porter (as Jesse is taken to the cartel lab)
    • "Bang Data" by Bang Data (during the party with the cartel)
    • "Tidal Wave" by Thee Oh Sees (during the party with the cartel as the guests begin to pass out)
    • "Salud" by Dave Porter (as Gus returns outside and they leave the hacienda)

    Errors

    • The lab instrument prop that supposedly displays the purity of Jesse's cook is actually a Gow-Mac gas chromatograph (the type of instrument referred to by Gale Boetticher in "Box Cutter"), but the readout shown is just a temperature display.
      • This discrepancy is presumably down to the prop used to play the chromatograph.
    • When Walt talks with Walt Jr. about his father, he mentions that he was tested for Huntington' s disease when he was a kid and resulted negative. This is not possible, as the disease was mapped in 1983 and the gene identified in 1993.

    Memorable Quotes

    "He had Huntington's disease. It destroys portions of the brain, effects muscle control, and leads to dementia. It's just a nasty disease. It's genetic. Terrified my mother that I might have it, so they ran tests on me when I was a kid, but I came up clean. My father fell very ill when I was four, five. Spent a lot of time in the hospital. My, heh, my mother would tell me so many stories about my father. I mean, she would talk about him all the time. I knew about his personality, how he treated people, I even knew how he liked his steaks cooked; medium rare, just like you. I knew things about my father, I had a lot of information. It was because people would tell me these things. They would paint this picture of my father for me and I always pretended that was who I saw too, that I remembered. But it was all a lie. In truth, I only have one real actual memory of my father. It must have been right before he died. My mother would take me to the hospital to visit him. And I remember the smell in there. The chemicals. It was as if they used every single cleaning product they could find in a fifty mile radius, like they didn't want you smelling the sick people. There was this stench of Lysol and bleach, you could just feel it coating your lungs. Anyway, there lying on the bed is my father. And he's all... he's all twisted up. My mom, she puts me on her lap, she's sitting on the bed next to him so I can get a good look at him, but really he just scares me. And he's looking right at me, but I can't even be sure he knows who I am. And your grandmother is talking, trying to be cheerful as she does, but the only thing I could remember is him breathing. There was this...this rattling sound, like if you were shaking an empty spray paint can. Like there was nothing in him. Anyway, that is the only real memory that I have of my father. I don't want you to think of me the way I was last night. I don't want that to be the memory you have of me when I'm gone."
    Walt speaking to his son about his father.


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