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[S4E9] The Con Man In The Meth Lab

During a police training exercise, a state police instructor holds a tear-gas launcher and indicates a nearby trailer. This trailer was a mobile meth lab until it was reclaimed three days ago. Cadet Williams surmises that the police used tear-gas. The State Police Instructor fires a tear-gas grenade into the meth lab. There is a huge explosion, just as he expected. Unexpectedly, a corpse sails through the air and crash-lands on a nearby car windshield. The cadets stare as the corpse burns.

[S4E9] The Con Man in the Meth Lab

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Booth meets Brennan in the observation room. He tells her that he doesn't think Jackson committed the murders. He is about to leave but Brennan brings up the Rico case. She wants an explanation. "Did you do something wrong?" Booth is offended by her question. Of course, he didn't do anything wrong. She should drop it. He walks away but Brennan isn't done yet. "Jared warned me that you tend to sabotage yourself." Booth gets heated at the mention of Jared. Is she calling him a loser? Brennan deflects but he wants her to answer the question. Booth's phone begins to ring. It's Cam. They found Lily Stegman's fingerprints on the money. Brennan wants to finish their conversation but Booth wants to get back to the job.

When an enraged Jimmy recounts the hearing to Kim, she points out that Jimmy never mentioned Chuck McGill; since their dispute was why Jimmy was suspended, the panel members considered his answers to be disingenuous. Jimmy complains that Kim only "slums" with him when she wants something, but Kim angrily points out that she has been Jimmy's biggest supporter since they first met. That night, Jimmy returns to Kim's apartment and wordlessly starts packing his belongings. Kim asks if he still wants to be a lawyer. He says yes and Kim says she will help.

Werner Ziegler's crew blasts the rock preventing construction of the meth lab's elevator, then celebrate because the end of their job is in sight. Werner asks if he can fly to Germany for a weekend with his wife, then come back to finish the work. Instead, Mike Ehrmantraut offers Werner an extra phone call with his wife, which Werner accepts. When Mike receives his morning report from the on-duty security team the next day, he notices dead pixels in some monitor displays. He finds that Werner temporarily disabled the cameras, which permitted him to move through the warehouse undetected. He then cut the padlocks for the doors leading to the roof and escaped by climbing down the building's maintenance ladder.

In German, "Wiedersehen" is literally translated as "seeing again", and the expression "auf Wiedersehen" is used to indicate "goodbye" or "farewell". In this episode, Werner's crew have spray painted the word "Wiedersehen" on the rock they need to blast to make room for the elevator in the underground meth lab, in effect saying "goodbye" to the obstacle that has put them behind schedule. "Wiedersehen" can also be understood as a reference to Werner's escape, since he is effectively saying goodbye to his crew, to Mike, and to the job of supervising the meth lab's construction.[2]

The concept of Gus installing a surveillance camera into the meth lab stemmed from the idea of Walter and Gus employing what Gilligan called "brinkmanship and gamesmanship" against each other after their falling out at the end of the third season. Gilligan commented: "What's one way Gus can amp up the story there? How can he mess with Walt's head a little bit?"[8] The footage shown from the first-person perspective of the camera is actual footage from the real camera, including the numbers shown at the top and bottom of the screen. This is why that shot is shown in pillarbox and in lower quality than the rest of the episode, which was shot on 35 mm film.[9] The episode features a subplot with Marie engaging in acts of kleptomania, which had been a major part of her character during the first season. Catlin said it was conceived early on that Marie would act this way while brainstorming the ideas for Marie coping with Hank's difficult recovery.[10] Gilligan described Marie's acts of stealing as a respite for her: "She's looking for another life, but she's not actively ready to leave her husband or anything like that. ... We liked the quirkiness of it."[11] Betsy Brandt said "Open House" was her favorite episode of the season to shoot.[2]

The party scenes sought to illustrate Jesse's internal guilt and self-hatred for having murdered Gale Boetticher in the third season finale, "Full Measure". Bryan Cranston praised these scenes, saying, "I thought it was a great way to show a person going through a private hell. That everybody suffers, deals with their own personal loss in many different ways."[16] Although the previous episode, "Thirty-Eight Snub", also featured similar party scenes, the party was much darker and more decrepit in "Open House", and Breaking Bad music supervisor Thomas Golubić tried to select music appropriate for that darker tone. Originally he tried using variations of punk rock, hip hop and dubstep, but felt it was inappropriate and wanted something that delved "deeper into Jesse's headspace".[17] He chose the song "If I Had a Heart" by Swedish musician Fever Ray which was used during a sequence of scenes before and during Jesse's party. Golubić said he liked the "muted loud sort of feel" of the song, which he felt matched Jesse's frame of mind and the "full, heavy darkness" of the party.[18] It was chosen by a vote among the writers among four possible songs.[19]

Krazy-8 (Maximino Arciniega) was Jesse Pinkman's original business partner before Walter White made the fateful decision to join the meth business. In Better Call Saul, it was revealed that prior to breaking out on his own with Jesse, Krazy-8 was a close friend of Nacho Varga and one of the dealers in the Salamanca drug empire. After the beating doled out to him by Nacho on the orders of Hector Salamanca, it was hardly surprising that he decided to go independent.

In contrast to Huell, Better Call Saul didn't reveal how Gus Fring's loyal Breaking Bad henchmen Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) and Tyrus (Ray Campbell) came to work for the meth kingpin. They may have come into contact with Better Call Saul's Gus Fring when he was in Santiago, but it's unclear exactly how the three men met. They were already in the employ of Los Pollos Hermanos in Better Call Saul season 3, leaving Mike the note that warned him against assassinating Hector Salamanca. Later, Mike followed Victor, only to be outsmarted by Fring's enforcer, leading to the fateful meeting between Mike and Gus that set up their Breaking Bad relationship.

Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), Gus's preferred replacement for Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman, was introduced in Better Call Saul season 4, episode 3, "Something Beautiful." Like Walter White, Gale was teaching chemistry but at a university rather than an elementary school. Gus was initially reluctant to hire Gale to run the superlab but ultimately did so to be the superlab's sole meth cook, sealing his tragic Breaking Bad fate.

Ira (Franc Ross) was the pest controller who provided Walt and Jesse with a front to continue their meth business in Breaking Bad season 5 after the superlab was discovered. He was also a career burglar who helped Jimmy McGill to steal a rare Hummel figurine, first introduced in Better Call Saul season 1, episode 5, "Alpine Shepherd Boy." It turned out to be a lucrative job for both Ira and Jimmy, and Ira inadvertently gave Jimmy the idea to sell burner phones after telling him he had a different cell phone for each job.

Nick (Eric Steinig) was a member of Gus' security team, and was shot dead by Don Eladio's sniper Gaff (Maurice Compte) in Breaking Bad season 4, episode 9, "Bug." He had a more substantial role in Better Call Saul, working as part of the security detail assigned to the construction of Gus' meth superlab. Nick also helped dispose of Howard Hamlin's body in Better Call Saul season 6, episode 8, "Point and Shoot."

Better Call Saul fans appeared to be convinced that Ed Galbraith, the man who disappeared Saul Goodman, Walter White, and Jesse Pinkman, would do the same for Kim Wexler. However, the death of actor Robert Forster made that less likely. The character did appear in Better Call Saul season 4 when he received a call from Jimmy McGill requiring a new identity after he'd been compromised. Ultimately, Jimmy decided to face the problem head-on, something that led to his arrest and imprisonment in the Better Call Saul finale.

As head of Madrigal's fast food division, Peter Schuler (Norbert Weisser) was heavily involved with Gus Fring's Los Pollos Hermanos and the meth empire it was a front for. In Breaking Bad season 5, episode 2, "Madrigal," Schuler took his own life rather than be questioned by the authorities about his connection to Gus Fring. In Better Call Saul season 5, episode 7, "JMM," Gus and Peter met to discuss the delays to the superlab. Understandably nervous about being caught, Peter was asked if he remembered Santiago, which implied that the two men had faced dangerous situations together in their past.

In Breaking Bad, the meth addict and sex worker Wendy (Julia Minesci) was one of Jesse Pinkman's frequent associates and provided him with an alibi when he and Walt were kidnapped by Tuco. Wendy returned to Better Call Saul to help Kim and Jimmy frame Howard Hamlin. Hiring Wendy and driving Howard's car in full costume, Jimmy threw Wendy from the vehicle in front of Kim and Clifford Main (Ed Begley Jr.) to give the impression that Howard Hamlin was in the self-destructive throes of drug addiction.

Emilio Koyama (John Koyama) held the distinction of being the first person to be killed by Walter White. A former school friend of Jesse Pinkman's, he worked with Jesse cooking meth before their lab was raided by Hank and the DEA in Breaking Bad's pilot episode. In Better Call Saul, Kim bumped into Emilio as he entered the office of Saul Goodman & Associates, a callback to how Jesse was inspired to hire the lawyer after he twice successfully defended his old school friend. Intriguingly, the gap between Emilio's first and last appearances also set a new Breaking Bad record. 041b061a72


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