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Breaking Bad
Season 3, Episode 9
Air date May 16, 2010
Written by Peter Gould and George Mastras
Directed by Michael Slovis
Episode Guide
I See You
Images from "Kafkaesque"

"Kafkaesque" is the ninth episode of the third season of Breaking Bad.


A Los Pollos Hermanos commercial extols the chain's history and the secret to its signature chicken. The commercial transitions to Walt and Jesse at the superlab, handing off a shipment of blue sky, which ends up at Gus' chicken farm. Victor supervises workers as they submerge plastic bags of the blue meth into specially-marked tubs of fry batter for shipment across the Southwest. As the trucks are loaded up and begin heading exiting the facility, Gus' sihoulette can be seen as he oversees the entire operation.


Jesse and Walt cook a batch that yields slightly more than required. Jesse wants to save the extra product for the next batch, but Walt insists they send it to Gus. Jesse grumbles that Gus will gross $96 million to their $3 million. "That is messed up, yo," he contends. Jesse should be happy to be a millionaire, Walt responds.

Gomez visits Hank at the hospital and shows his partner a map detailing the blue meth's reappearance. "You're the only one who saw this coming," says Gomez, but Hank doesn't take much comfort from the news; he's in too much pain. Skyler watches Walt absorb this — and Hank's revelation that he received a call warning him of the Cousins' impending attack.

Later in the parking lot, Walt tries to tell Skyler he had nothing to do with Hank's shooting. "Are we safe?" Skyler interrupts. Walt assures her they are.


Jesse at a group therapy session

At a group therapy meeting, Jesse describes his new workplace as a boring corporate laundromat. "My boss is a dick," Jesse complains, adding that he's "not worthy" to meet the owner, "a super dick" whom everyone fears. "Sounds kind of Kafkaesque," responds the group leader. "Totally Kafkaesque," agrees a clueless Jesse.

Back at the hospital, a doctor tests for feeling in Hank's legs, noting that nerve function appears to be returning. "So when do we get him walking again?" asks Marie.

Pulling Marie and Skyler aside, the doctor warns that the odds are against a full recovery for Hank. A hospital staffer refers to insurance delays and alludes to policy limitations, but advises Marie not to go out of plan.

"If Hank had more physical therapy with better therapists, wouldn't it be more likely he would walk?" objects Marie. The plan's coverage is medically justifiable, if not optimal, replies the doctor. "Screw it," says Marie. She'll arrange care herself.


Saul explains money laundering to a skeptical Jesse

Saul shows off a nail salon to Jesse, who is not impressed. "Don't you get it?" Saul asks. "It's the best money laundry a growing boy could ask for." The IRS — not the police — got Capone, Saul points out. Jesse, already reluctant to play by the rules and pay taxes, ends the conversation after Saul declines to extend him Walt's five percent fee structure.


Walt and Gus discuss business in the chicken farm office

Walt drives to Gus's chicken farm to discuss "issues that could cause a misunderstanding between us." Walt speculates that he was the Cousins' primary target. They were steered to Hank to protect Walt. But "this person" protecting him, Walt continues, "was playing a much deeper game." He wanted to put heat on the cartel so that he could corner the entire Southwest meth market, Walt suggests.

"I can't pretend I don't know that person is you," Walt concludes. "I owe you my life. And more than that, I respect the strategy." After expressing other concerns, Walt leaves with a $15 million-a-year deal and Gus's guarantee of the White family's safety.

On the ride home, Walt floors the Aztek's gas pedal and closes his eyes. He opens them only just in time to avoid colliding with a semi-trailer.

At another group meeting, Jesse recounts being inspired by a high school woodworking teacher. At first, Jesse slacked off on the class assignment, but eventually he created an intricate box, which he says he gave to his mom. When the group leader suggests that Jesse take art classes, Jesse interrupts. "I didn't give the box to my mom," he admits. "I traded it for an ounce of weed."

At the White home, Marie and Skyler discuss Hank's medical bills until Ted surprises Skyler with a visit. "I care about you," he tells Skyler, who asks him to leave. "Is there some reason for secrecy I'm not getting?" he asks. "Are you really gonna make me do this right now?" Skyler responds. Ted departs.


Jesse, Badger, and Skinny Pete at the diner

Jesse, at a deli with Badger and Skinny Pete, reminisces about being able to cook "anytime, anywhere" in the RV — and not having people boss him around. "What's the point of being an outlaw when you got responsibilities?" he asks. Jesse proposes they sling again, hinting about a new market to tap. Back at the lab, Jesse underreports a batch's weight.

Badger and Skinny Pete accompany Jesse to his next group meeting. Heads bowed, they confess to relapsing because of the potent "blue stuff." "I hear it's back in town," Skinny Pete adds. Jesse hides a smile.

Marie, at the hospital with Walt and Skyler, threatens to take Hank's story to the TV networks if he doesn't receive top-grade therapy. "He is a hero, and he is not going to be in a wheelchair at forty-three," she says.


Skyler offers financial help to Marie and Hank as a stunned Walt listens in

"Walt, we can always pay their bills," proposes Skyler, who spins a tale about her husband developing a blackjack card counting system and winning big in illegal back room games. "Marie, let us help," Walt confirms.

"How did you come up with that?" Walt later asks Skyler of her surprising and impressive lie. "I learned from the best," she replies. "Something tells me that Hank is here because of you," Skyler continues. "And I'm not forgetting that."


Main Cast

Guest Stars


  • Kaf·ka·esque adj. 1. Of or relating to Franz Kafka or his writings. 2. Having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre or illogical quality 3. Marked by surreal distortion and often a sense of impending danger.
  • During the opening montage sequence featuring Walt and Jesse's meth being smuggled through Pollos Hermanos, the song used is a variation of the "Bolivia Theme" from the Scarface soundtrack. It is featured in the scene when Tony Montana travels to South America to meet the drug kingpin, Sosa.
  • Mark Harelik, who plays a Doctor in this episode, is another Seinfeld alum (like Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, and Bob Odenkirk). In the episode "The Comeback," Harelik plays Milosh, a tennis pro-shop worker.
  • This is not the first Bryan Cranston series to feature the word "Kafkaesque": in Malcolm in the Middle's "Krelboyne Picnic" episode, Reese picks on a young nerd named Eraserhead only to find himself menaced by his target's identically-dressed and much older brother, to which Eraserhead says "Kafkaesque, isn't it?"
  • In reality Gus will gross 104 milliion in three months. Jesse forgot to account that there are 13 weeks in three months and did his calculation for only 12 weeks.


Featured Music

  • "Veneno" by Chuy Flores
  • "Bossa for Laura" by Jimmy Dunn Band
  • "New Song" by Howard Jones
  • "Mr. Money Man" by Rod Taylor

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