There hasn’t been a more careful character on Breaking Bad than Gus Fring. Every move is calculated to precision. He has a loyal enforcer in Mike who handles all of his dirty work. Walter and Jesse operate the Super Lab in total fear. His hands are clean. The only slip up he’s made is underestimating the genius of Walter White at the end of last season, which resulted in Gale’s death. The Chicken Man has found things aren’t working out so smoothly for him this season.
In ‘Problem Dog’ Gus is presented as the most vulnerable he’s ever been. His plan of turning Jesse against Walt seems to be backfiring. Jesse isn’t being fooled, he realizes all of the terrible things Gus has done to him and the people he cares about, and has come to the same realization that Walt has: Gus needs to die. The meeting with the Cartel didn’t go as planned, seeing as how they turned down a $50 million truce offer. The Cartel representative says that Gus knows what they want, and it’s a simple question of yes or no? What is it that they want? Could it possibly be Walt? Whatever the item, it appears Gus is in a very dangerous position.
Finally, there’s Hank. Walt’s drunken rambling two episodes ago got him re-interested in Gale’s murder and it’s the most energized we’ve seen him in a very long time. The amount of background work he’s done in looking into Gale and Gus is amazing. Far more interesting than his minerals, that’s for sure. He has it figured out and looks to have the DEA on board to investigate. If they do start sniffing around and Gus catches wind I can imagine a scenario where he uses Walt Jr or Marie as leverage. He’s not a dumb man by any means and I have to believe he’ll catch on to one of the three forces looking to take him down.
Jesse has sobered up and looks to have his head on his shoulders again. He knows Walt wants him to kill Gus without him having to ask, and his admission to the therapy group was a huge step for him despite him storming out. This episode should be Aaron Paul’s submission when the Emmy’s roll around again next year. The monologue to the therapy group was one of his strongest singular performances of the entire series, and his face when Walt was describing all of the terrible things Gus had done was beautifully pained.
Like much of this season, Walt didn’t play a huge role in this episode. He showed Skyler another side of this whole situation that she hadn’t seen before, dropping off his first payment for her to launder, which was far more than she ever expected. As Jesse’s involvement with Gus continues, and the DEA starts their investigation, I imagine Walt will be playing a much larger role. He’s not going to want Hank and the DEA looking into Gus. That means they’re one step closer to him, and as he’s stated before that can’t happen. How he’s going make sure of that is the fun part.