Jesse Pinkman, still weak and bruised, is wheeled out of the hospital by an orderly. As he waits outside for his ride, avidly lighting up a cigarette, an ambulance arrives from the scene of the parking lot shooting carrying a critically wounded Hank Schrader and comes to a stop outside the loading dock. Two emergency room doctors come out and work with paramedics to unload Hank. Intrigued, Jesse wheels himself over to see what's going on. He is shocked when he recognizes Hank as the patient on the stretcher. Jesse can hardly believe his eyes, and follows the doctors as they wheel Hank to the operating room for immediate surgery. Jesse then returns outside and waits, and is eventually picked up by Skinny Pete. When Jesse enters the car, Pete is shocked at Jesse's injuries and asks if he's okay with Jesse replying with a satisfied smile, "Actually, I'm great."
At the lab, Walter White tries to fire Gale Boetticher without hurting his feelings, but Gale argues the two were a great team, pushing for an explanation. "It's as if I'm classical," Walt explains, "but you are more... jazz." Jesse arrives and declares the high-tech setup "the bomb." Seeing what he immediately presumes is his replacement, "This makes no sense," says Gale flabbergasted. He trudges up the stairs flashing all a dirty look, as Walt insists to Victor that this is "for the best." When Walt wants to get right to work, Jesse realizes that Walt is unaware that Hank has been shot.
Walt rushes into a waiting room where Skyler, Marie, ASAC George Merkert and Steven Gomez are assembled. When pressed for details, Merkert explains that all they know is that Hank was attacked by two cartel hitmen, and despite getting shot four times, he killed one of the assassins and critically wounded the other one.
Marie is furious when Gomez and Merkert mention that Hank wasn't armed because of his temporary suspension pending the inquiry into his assaulting Jesse. "The DEA is not welcome here," she hisses at Merkert and Gomez, then starts throwing blame around. Marie then turns on Walt, asking if he realizes that Hank would never even have heard of Jesse if Walt hadn't bought pot from him. Skyler comes to Walt's defense, insisting it wasn't his fault, she's just looking for someone to blame. Crying, Marie apologizes. Several cops and DEA agents offer to donate blood in support of Hank.
The next day, an impatient Jesse pages Walt, who tells him to sit tight. "I'll just cook on my own," Jesse responds defiantly, but Walt insists he touch nothing. As Walt hangs up, Skyler White approaches him and suggests they all get breakfast. Walt asks if she knows who was on the phone. Skyler smiles sadly and walks away.
In the cafeteria, Marie complains about the dirty silverware and declares the hospital a deathtrap. Sensing Marie is about to spiral out of control, Walt intervenes. After relating his own anxieties before his operation in the same hospital, Walt tells Marie, "I survived this place. And I'm not half the man your husband is."
Over at Los Pollos Hermanos, Gustavo Fring is at work when he gets a pretty heated phone call from Juan Bolsa, who contends that the Cousins would never have shot Hank without approval. "Are you accusing me?" Gus asks, adding that he assumes the next meth shipment will be delayed. Bolsa concedes that it will be delayed indefinitely, then vows that he'll learn the truth about the attack from the surviving Cousin, Leonel. Gus, learning that Leonel has survived, starts worrying and plotting lest it blows back on him.
A doctor announces that Hank is out of surgery. Though her husband can't receive visitors, Marie insists on remaining at the hospital. Walt offers to run errands for everyone. In the lobby, he runs into Gomez and other officers holding vigil. Gomez invites Walt to see the injuries Hank inflicted on Leonel.
Walt, Gomez and several agents arrive outside Leonel's ICU room. As a result of the injuries sustained when Hank used his car to pin him against another vehicle, Leonel has had both of his legs amputated. Sensing their presence, Leonel turns to look at them, and recognizes Walt. He sits up and his heart rate spikes as he tears at the tubes attached to his body and pushes himself onto the floor, all the while staring intently at Walt. Utterly seething, he drags himself toward him, trailing blood from his stumps, before doctors subdue and drag him back onto the bed.
At the lab, boredom overwhelms Jesse, who amuses himself messing about with the equipment - (montage of him office-chair race rolling, extractor tube attempted mounting & hazmat suit inflating) - until Victor walks in and catches him at it, looking like a yellow blow-up 'Michelin Man' ... "Why isn't there anything cooking?" asks Victor, unimpressed.
Jesse calls to give Walt a heads-up about Victor's checking up, but a distracted Walt shifts the conversation to their time as Tuco's hostages. Walt asks if Jesse remembers Tuco referring to his cousins coming up from Mexico. Jesse says he thinks he does, then presses him of their approaching deadline.
Walt returns to the waiting room with toiletries and blankets, and hands his son a book. Walter White Jr. explains that Hank gave him the book. It's about the agents who pursued Pablo Escobar. "Good guys never get ink like the bad guys do," says Walter Jr., quoting Hank.
A call from Gus interrupts the conversation. Walt excuses himself. He lies about being "hard at work" and blames his inability to meet the week's meth quota on Gale's mistakes (Gus seems unimpressed he's being lied to, and knows that Walt is actually at the hospital). He promises to deliver 400 pounds by next week.
That night, Walt asks Gomez if the DEA knows who was behind the assassination and what they want. "Nah, but we'll get him." Walt then asks if other assassins could be on the way. Gomez assures Walt that the attack on Hank was their one attempt and they failed. The men commiserate a few moments, then Gomez's cell rings. He answers and spreads the word that food is on it's way: Gus is personally bringing over fried chicken for every cop in the building. Walt turns pale at the turn of events.
In the waiting room, Walt watches Gus console Marie, uncomfortable after lying to him earlier in the day and now aware Gus knows it. "Men like your husband are the thin blue line between us and these animals," he says. Merkert and the White-Schrader family thank Gus for offering a $10,000 reward for information about the shooting.
"As it happens, I actually have met Agent Schrader," says Gus. Referring to the donation jar for Walt's surgery he saw at the DEA office, Gus tells Walt, "It was clear to me how deeply he cares for you."
Walt walks Gus out. "You knew my brother-in-law was with the DEA," Walt whispers. Gus can't believe Walt's approaching him like this amongst all the cops in close proximity. "I investigate everyone with whom I do business," Gus whispers back through gritted teeth. Walt asks if Gus's presence is a message to him. "I'm supporting my community," Gus says. "I hide in plain sight, same as you."
Walt tells Gus that he fears for his family. The businessman replies that Leonel is unlikely to survive. "Now, thank me and shake my hand," Gus softly commands.
As it turns out, the entire fried chicken delivery was just a distraction. For in the meantime, while the cops are occupied, Mike Ehrmantraut sneaks into Leonel's room and administers him a lethal injection. Leonel flat-lines, and despite the doctors and cops attempts to revive him, he dies just as Walt, Gomez and a slew of cops show up at his room. Amid the commotion, Mike slips away unnoticed, discarding the syringe he just used to kill Leonel.
Upon returning to Los Pollos Hermanos, Gus receives a call from Juan Bolsa, who complains that pressure from the U.S. government in the wake of the attempt on Hank's life has brought the Mexican Federales to his doorstep. "I think you're behind all this," says Bolsa, threatening to pay Gus a visit when things calm down. A sudden crash interrupts Bolsa. His bodyguards investigate and are brought down by gunfire. As Bolsa attempts to escape, he is met by a machine gun-wielding assassin. Gus listens impassively as Bolsa is gunned down, smiles, then breaks his cell phone in two and throws it in a trash can.
Walt sits with his sleeping family in the waiting room. The doctor enters to inform Marie that she is finally permitted to see Hank. She insists that Walt, Skyler, and Walter Jr. accompany her. "We're all family," she says.
The family solemnly enters Hank's room. As the Whites look on, Marie kisses Hank's forehead and takes his hand.
- This episode title is a play on words, as both Hank and the surviving Cousin are both rushed to the "I.C.U.," (Intensive Care Unit).
- The title also alludes to the scene in which the surviving Cousin stares down, i.e. 'sees', Heisenberg as he drags himself towards him, when Walt accompanies Gomez to his room.
- The "thin blue line" that Gus mentions might be a thin reference to Blue Sky. "The thin blue line" has been a common nickname for law enforcement since the 19th century and is meant to evoke the image that police are on the front lines of a war between civilization and criminals. It's analogous to the "thin red line" originally describing red-coated British soldiers.
- During the musical cue ("Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by Prince Fatty feat. Horseman) Jesse, while bored, mindlessly zips the zipper of his protective suit up and down and sings: "Fallacies, fallacies, one for you, and two for me" a line from Fallacies by TwaüghtHammër. He will later (Shotgun) sing this exact same line in Mike's car, also while bored, while mindlessly tapping on Mike's dashboard, also during a musical cue ("1977" by Ana Tijoux).
- While in the waiting room of the hospital waiting for Hank, Walt is shown fixing an uneven leg of the table in front of him. While it may seem innocuous it actually illustrates a long running thematic thread of Walt's obsessive attention to minor or even non-existent details. The mustard stain on the doctor's shirt in the pilot--the Fly in 3.10, the "rot" in 2.10, and in 3.02 when Walt is at his depressing apartment complex he takes the time to fish some trash out of the pool.
- It's implied in the Better Call Saul episode "Bali Ha'i" that Mike may have taken some small pleasure in finishing off Leonel, given Hector's use of Leonel and Marco to threaten Kaylee in the past.
- Hank gives Walt Jr. a book about the agents who caught Pablo Escobar. Bryan Cranston would play one of those agents in The Infiltrator.
- "Marie, I survived. I had my lobectomy at this hospital. Remember that? Remember how scared we all were? I didn’t want to act like it, but I was terrified. All that week, all I could think of was how they were actually going to cut me open and take out a part of me that was with me my entire life. I couldn’t get that image out of my head. I think the scariest part was when they took me into pre-op–lying there, waiting for them to anesthetize you, knowing that you may never wake up again. Actually, what I really remember about that day is driving to the hospital. Skyler, you remember me wanting to drive that day? Anyway, there we are–driving up Central and we hit every green light. I mean, every single light that we hit–green. It’s just–When does that happen? Just like, bang, bang, green the entire way. And the whole time, all I could think about was–Why today? Why? Why can’t I just spend a few extra minutes in the car with my family? I never wanted to be stuck in traffic so bad in my life. At least I was with my family. I had that. Anyway, I survived this place. And I’m not half the man your husband is."
- ―Walter, reassuring Marie about Hank's chances of survival.
- "Waynedale" by Left Lane Cruiser (playing in Skinny Pete's car as he picks Jesse up in the teaser)
- "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" by Prince Fatty (feat. Horseman) (while Jesse goofs around in the lab)