At an auto shop, a mechanic goes over some recent fixes to Walter White's Aztek, including cleaning some residue blood off the grill ("Half Measures"). He jokes that at least the windshield didn't need to be replaced again. Walt looks inside and finds his pork pie hat in the back seat. He offers to trade his Aztek to the mechanic for $100 and immediately lowers it to $50. Walter White Jr. asks his dad to slow down but Walt shrugs it off.
Back at the White Residence, Walt drives home in a brand new Chrysler 300. Walt Jr., in front of his Chrysler 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser gives him a uncertain look, so Walt trades the PT Cruiser in for a new 2012 Dodge Challenger.
At the Houston office of Madrigal Electromotive, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle nervously sits at her desk on a conference call with Germany. She realizes she is wearing mismatching shoes. She receives a tip-off call from Mike Ehrmantraut and seconds later the DEA arrive to question her. She leads them to Ron Forenall who is promptly arrested. Lydia calls Mike to tell him that the methylamine transport will be cut off due to Ron's arrest. Mike informs he'll send someone else.
At the White residence, Walt and Jr. brag about who would win in a drag race in their new cars while Skyler White silently eats. In the bedroom, Walt gives Skyler $20,000 to launder and she replies that she wants the kids to leave the house for a period of time. Walt shoots down her idea and tells a silent Skyler that he would like a birthday party and chocolate cake for his fifty-first birthday the following day. During breakfast the next day, Skyler forgets to break Walt's bacon into a "51" and Jr. reminds her. She reluctantly obliges.
At the DEA office, Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez go over their diagram of Gus' Drug Empire. They're concerned that no one in prison is making them talk and that Blue Sky has reappeared on the streets. They believe Mike is their best lead and agree to follow him. The standing ASAC talks privately to Hank and offers him the position of ASAC for Albuquerque. Hank accepts the job.
At a bug bombed house, Jesse Pinkman and Walt break down the mobile lab. Walt asks if he can leave early for his birthday party and Jesse agrees. Walt arrives at home, expecting a party but finds Skyler preparing a store-bought meal.
Hank and Marie arrive at the White house for dinner and chocolate cake. Walt Jr. heads off to drive his new car and Walt gives his sister in law and husband a speech about how grateful he is for their support during the rough past year. During the speech Skyler walks into the pool and sinks to the bottom. Walt dives in after her.
At the Houston Madrigal warehouse, Jesse arrives to retrieve a barrel of methylamine from a hesitant Lydia. While lowering the barrel, Lydia finds a GPS device attached to it.
After getting her out, Marie and Hank offer to take Jr. and Holly White for a short time while Skyler gets some rest. Walt agrees after finding out that it was Skyler's idea. In their bedroom, he insults Skyler for being shortsighted. Skyler insists and demands that Jr. and Holly stay away from them as long as they are meth dealers and money launderers. Walt challenges her to tell him how she will stop their kids from staying at their home. She says she'll hurt herself or she'll say Walt beat her or she'll send Jr. away to school. In desperation, she tells Walt that she isn't as good at coming up with plans as he is, that she's a coward and that all she can do is bide her time and wait until Walt's cancer returns.
The next morning, Walt receives a call. Jesse tells Mike about the GPS device and Mike believes it was Lydia, attempting to get out of their business. Mike prepares to leave to kill her but Jesse stops him and makes a vote of it. Walt tells them that the cooks must not stop under any circumstances.
In the parking lot, Jesse compliments Walt on his good idea, presumably, of how to deal with Lydia. Jesse gives Walt a brand new TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph watch and wishes him a happy birthday. At home, Skyler smokes again, using Walt's birthday mug as an ashtray. Walt tells her the children are staying away another day. He then tells her about the watch and how Jesse wanted to kill him a few weeks prior but came around. He tells her she'll come around too.
Walt falls asleep to the watch's ticking, which escalates to almost the sound of a gun chamber revolving.
- Bryan Cranston as Walter White
- Anna Gunn as Skyler White
- Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
- Dean Norris as Hank Schrader
- Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader
- RJ Mitte as Walter White Jr.
- Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (credit only)
- Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut
- Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle
- Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez
- Todd Terry as SAC Ramey
- Russ Dillen as Ron Forenall
- Melissa McCurley as Secretary
- John Ashton as Benny
- The episode title appears to be a reference to the age of Walter White, 51. It could also refer to the fact that the balance of Heisenberg/Walter White is teetering.
- The number "51" can be seen on the mug Skyler is using as an ashtray late in the episode.
- The watch that Jesse gives Walt is the Tag Heuer Monaco, a watch forever linked to and made famous by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans (1977). Steve McQueen died of a rare, inoperable lung cancer.
- The ending scene of the episode with Walt's watch ticking is almost a metaphorical meaning that his time is running out.
- Walter puts the watch on Whitman's Leaves of Grass book.
- Saul Goodman does not appear in this episode.
- This is the fiftieth episode altogether, and Walt turns fifty-one.
- Jr. gets the same type of car (Challenger) as he did in Season 4, episode 6.
- Walt says that Marie and Hank are watching Ratatouille. Somewhat humorously, the film is based on the irony of a rat becoming a chef. This, along with the character Gusteau's famous motto in the film "Anyone can cook!" could be seen as poking fun at Walt's uncharacteristic decision to cook meth in Pilot.
- "Good and Lonely" by Easterling & Gildersleeve (in the background at Benny's garage)
- "My Good Thing's Gone" by Mark Denny Preston (aka Mark D. Preston) (in the background at Benny's garage)
- "Bonfire" by Knife Party (as Walt and Walt Jr. arrive home with their new cars)
|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|