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Dead Freight

5x5 Dead Freight (07)

SeasonEpisode

55

Air dateAugust 12, 2012

Running time48 minutes [?]

Written byGeorge Mastras

Directed byGeorge Mastras

PreviousNext
"Fifty-One""Buyout"

Images (30)


Episode subtitles

"Dead Freight" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad and the fifty-first episode altogether.

Teaser

A young boy, Drew Sharp, rides through the desert on a dirtbike. He stops to play with a tarantula, which he then places into a jar. When he gets back on his bike, he hears a freight train in the distance and drives off to follow it.

Summary

Walter White visits Hank Schrader in his new ASAC office where Hank remarks on Walt's expensive new watch. Walt tells Hank it's a birthday present for himself. During their brief conversation, Walt breaks down in tears, telling his brother-in-law that Skyler White no longer loves him and thinks he is a bad father. Uncomfortable with displays of emotion, Hank quickly excuses himself to get a cup of coffee and to give Walt some space (as Walt anticipated Hank would react). Walt seizes the opportunity to plant a transmitter in Hank's computer and a receiver in a family picture on his desk.

5x5 Dead Freight (04)

Mike giving Lydia instructions.

In the basement of an abandoned building in Houston, Walt and Jesse Pinkman standby as Mike Ehrmantraut threatens Lydia Rodarte-Quayle. He forces her to call the DEA to sort out the GPS's origins, threatening her life if she cries or arouses Hank's suspicions in any way. Listening into Hank's phone communications, the GPS trackers were revealed not to be the work of the Albuquerque DEA field office. Discussion among Mike, Walt, and Jesse leads to Jesse dissenting but Walt agreeing with Mike that Lydia be killed, with Lydia insisting that it wasn't her doing and begging for her life to be spared. Just as Mike approaches her, the bug picks up a call from the Houston field office confirming to Hank that they placed GPS tracking devices on the outside, rather than inside, of all the methylamine barrels. Mike still wants to kill Lydia, but she saves her life by informing the men of an "ocean" of methylamine in a freight train tanker car that passes through New Mexico each Wednesday. Lydia demands a percentage after providing key transport details to boost the methylamine, including the exact position of that tanker car in the freight's lineup, but Mike is skeptical of their ability to complete the heist without killing the engineer and conductor.

At the Schrader house, Hank plays with Holly White as Marie looks on. Hank lovingly tells Holly he's "not going to give her back," and Hank asks Marie how "Emo McGee" is doing. Just as Marie remarks that Walt Jr. is being reclusive and unsocial and Hank replies that his parents treat him like a baby, Walter White Jr., steps out of his temporary bedroom to walk into the kitchen. Marie calls out to him using his current preferred name "Flynn," indicating his defiance once more, again over the temporary relocation and stonewalling by his parents. Hank asks him if he wants to watch the Blu-ray of Heat with him later, and Flynn declines. Marie asks Flynn if he wants some lasagna, and he declines that offer too, angrily telling them he's going back into his room so they can "keep talking about him." Walt, Jr. returns home sometime later that day. Back at the Whites' house, Skyler stands outside his bedroom door as he refuses to come out. Walt, however, uses his parental trump card to order him back to the Schrader house. Skyler then expresses her fear of Walt and his profession, tells him she will never change her mind about him, and negotiates a deal with him: if Walt agrees to keep the children away from the house while he's engaging in the drug business, she'll launder the drug business proceeds. She then refers to herself as Walt's "hostage."

Back at Jesse's House, Mike and Walt argue about how to proceed with production. Jesse once again hangs back on the living room couch, away from the other two as they engage in yet another tense standoff. Mike proposes using pseudoephedrine for the time being, but Walt dissents, suggesting they halt production until they aquire methylamine. Jesse interjects with an idea: what if they can steal it without getting caught (thus negating the need to kill the train engineer and conductor)? This becomes the preferred course of action. 

5x5 Dead Freight (02)

Jesse during the train heist.

At some train tracks in the middle of the desert, Mike, Jesse, and Walt measure off 800 feet, the length to reach the methylamine tanker car in the freight train lineup, and agree it's the perfect spot for their operation. Fernando & Sandor, trusted crew members from Vamanos Pest Control, helps dig a hole for, and bury, two giant plastic tanks near the tracks. Todd Alquist, another Vamonos crew member fills one with water, its weight approximately 9/10ths of the weight of the methylamine they intend to heist, and the other remains empty. They plan to replace the methylamine with water as the tanker drains, giving the appearance that the Chinese supplier watered down the product, and detering any indications of theft. Later, Patrick Kuby blocks the train tracks with a dump truck, and the train screeches to a halt. Mike signals to Walt when the conductor and engineer get out to help Kuby with the truck. Jesse scrambles under the train and begins siphoning methylamine into the empty underground plastic tank. At the same time, Todd climbs atop the train, opening the upper lid with a pneumatic drill and inserting his line of firehose into it for the replacement fluid. When the meter by Walt displays over 300 gallons of methylamine has been siphoned off into the first underground tank, Walt turns on the compressor to evacuate the water from the second underground tank, signaling to Todd that the replacement water is coming.

5x5 Dead Freight (08)

Jesse, Todd and Walt moments before Todd shoots an innocent kid.

The plan appears to be working until a Good Samaritan appears and pushes Kuby's truck off the tracks. Mike warns Walt to wrap things up, but he waits until the last moment possible to finish the operation, forcing Todd to jump off the moving train and Jesse to lay still on the tracks, beneath the train. Walt, Jesse, and Todd celebrate their flawless heist, until they see Drew Sharp, who has just caught his tarantula and driven over to witness their brief celebration. He nervously waves at the three, who stand in stunned silence. Todd hesitantly returns the wave and shoots Drew as Jesse yells in protest.

Credits

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Trivia

  • A scene of Walter calculating the gain from the heist (over 200 millions USD) , compared to all historical train robberies is deleted but released on Blu-ray and the Italian version.
  • Bob Odenkirk does not appear in this episode.
  • Jesse James is once again mentioned in this episode, this time by Jesse Pinkman when he says that boosting the methylamine from a train is just like "Jesse James." Jesse James was previously brought up when Mike Ehrmantraut compared Walter White's murder of Gustavo Fring to Robert Ford, Jesse James' assassin, saying "Just because you shot Jesse James, don't make you Jesse James." ("Hazard Pay")
  • The movie Hank says he has on blu ray, Michael Mann's Heat (1995) is a heist film. During the opening heist, one of the thieves kills a civillian unnecessarily, much to the chagrin of the leader of gang. This parallels the ending of this episode when after the train heist, Todd Alquist shoots the boy, much to the dismay of everyone else.
  • The location for the filming of the train heist outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the same location for the filming in 1969 of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid jumped out of a passenger train.
  • The scene where Mike, Jesse, and Walt are interogatting Lydia is very similiar to the scene in the Season 3 episode, Half Measures when Gus has the meeting with Jesse and the two drug dealers that Walt ends up running over. In that scene, Gus tells Jesse that Walt is his only friend in the room, and when Jesse turns to look at Walt Gus tells him: "Look at me, not him." In the scene with Lydia, Mike tells her that Jesse and Walt are being kind to spare her, and when she turns to look at them Mike tells her: "Look at me, not them." 
  • The shot of Jesse underneath the train was achieved by visual effects, with two separate shots combined: the train moving and revealing the tracks, and Jesse on the tracks.
  • Many crew members working on the episode have said it was very tough to film.
  • The episode was originally to be called "Dark Territory", but the name was taken from a movie called Under Seige 2: Dark Territory, which also starred Jonathan Banks in pretty much the same exact role he had in this episode. 
  • During the scene where Walt bugs Hank's office, on Hank's desk sits a black "Function First Collection" gooseneck table lamp. This may be a subtle reference to The Sopranos, in the episode "Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood", where the F.B.I. plants a bug in the exact same type of lamp owned by Tony Soprano.
  • The truck used to haul the empty tanks, the dirt, Drew Sharp and his motorbike and block the tracks is an International 9000 series.
  • The earth-mover used to dig the hole for the tanks is a John Deere 310 G.
  • In the previous episode "Fifty-One", Walter said: "The methylamine keeps flowing, no matter what. We are not ramping down. We're just getting started. Nothing stops this train." This could be a reference to their train robbery in this episode.

Featured Music

  • "Dead Freight" by Dave Porter (as the gang rob the train)
Breaking Bad -- Season 5
#01 "Live Free or Die"#07 "Say My Name"#13 "To'hajiilee"
#02 "Madrigal"#08 "Gliding Over All"#14 "Ozymandias"
#03 "Hazard Pay"#09 "Blood Money"#15 "Granite State"
#04 "Fifty-One"#10 "Buried"#16 "Felina"
#05 "Dead Freight"#11 "Confessions"
#06 "Buyout"#12 "Rabid Dog"<< Season 4

Start a Discussion Discussions about Dead Freight

  • An Easter Egg Maybe? Dead Fright Episode

    2 messages
    • When Walt is in Hank's office, in order to bug his room, he mentions an invented therapist they found for Skyler, which name is Peter, at the s...
    • I also noticed it. It was easy for me to spot as I had subtitles on.
  • Dead Freight

    12 messages
    • There's no way they could have gotten all of the water in, even if they did only replace 1000 gal of methlamine with 900 gal of water. They did...
    • Just because the product is 4% diluted doesn't mean it's ruined.  It simply means they might not produce the greatest batch of Blue Sky e...

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