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Logo - Breaking Bad


Air dateMay 17, 2009

Running time47 minutes [?]

Written byGeorge Mastras

Directed byAdam Bernstein


Images (29)

Episode subtitles

"Mandala" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the eighteenth episode altogether.


Combo, casually sipping a fountain drink, is standing on a street corner. It becomes clear that he is selling, presumably on new territory. Near by, a young kid is riding his bike. A car pulls up and Combo crosses the street to meet the two men inside.

"Whatchu need?" Combo asks. The two men don't respond. Concerned, Combo raises his shirt and shows them the silver pistol in his waistband. The two men pull off. Combo returns back to the corner as the two men in the car then circled the block. They begin watching him as they sit at the intersection. Nervous, Combo calls Skinny Pete, telling him that he's "gettin' eyeballed hard" and may need backup. While he talks, the young kid on a bicycle circles him. Moments later, after the driver honks the horn to his car, a gunshot is heard. Combo realizes that he's been shot. He turns around to see the kid holding a smoking gun. The two of them both share terrified expressions. The boy hesitates for a second, but then fires again. Combo drops his drink and tries to make a run for it, yet he only makes it to the middle of the street before the boy shoots him dead. Combo's body lay still, face down in the street, a pool of blood forming around his head.


Walter White and Skyler White meet with Dr. Delcavoli and Dr. Victor Bravenec, a thoracic surgeon. Dr. Bravenec tells Walt he is a candidate for an aggressive, somewhat risky surgery to remove his lung tumor. Learning that he's "just waiting for the cancer to spread" if he passes, Walt agrees to have the surgery even though the bill could run as high as $200,000.

Over at Jesse Pinkman's apartment, Skinny Pete bemoans Jesse's mandate to expand their territory. "What'd you expect?" he asks, referring to Combo's murder. Jesse insists they're "on the verge of making some serious coin," but Pete wants out. "I'm on probation, man," he explains. Adding insult to injury, they've lost their street cred now that the "whole town" knows Jesse didn't actually kill Spooge.

In Saul Goodman's office, Jesse and Walt bicker over who's to blame for their setbacks. "Who do I look like, Maury Povich?" Saul interrupts. Delighted to learn they have thirty-eight pounds of meth, Saul says, "You're sitting on a gold mine." Walt and Jesse "suck at peddling meth," he concludes, but he offers to put them in touch with a cautious, low profile businessman who'll buy their product in bulk.

Later that day, Jesse asks Jane Margolis to leave his apartment. He feels responsible for Combo's death and needs to smoke some crystal, but doesn't want her to risk a relapse. A support meeting might help, Jane suggests, but Jesse rejects the idea. Jane starts to leave, but stops and follows Jesse into his bedroom.

Walt scans the faces of the diners at Los Pollos Hermanos, a fast food restaurant where he and Jesse are scheduled to meet Saul's businessman. Jesse arrives late, high, and agitated. "This is bullshit," Jesse tells Walt, annoyed that they don't even know their contact's name. "I'm outta here." Walt stays, hoping the businessman will show.

Skyler watches her unborn baby on an ultrasound monitor at the OB/GYN's office. Walt is late, but he arrives before Skyler decides to schedule a C-section rather than going through a potentially difficult labor.

Jesse returns to his messy apartment. Rousing Jane, he says that they should drive to Santa Fe. "Sure," she groggily replies before loading more crystal into her pipe.

Skyler attends an office birthday party for Ted. Although she's reluctant at first, she grants Ted's birthday wish for a sultry rendition of Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Ted kisses her on the cheek.

Walt calls Saul, complaining that the businessman never showed up for their meeting. Saul informs Walt that he was in fact there, but for some reason he isn't interested in working with them. Walt demands a second chance, but according to Saul, "with this particular individual, all you get is the one shot."

Walt heads back to Los Pollos Hermanos. He sits in the restaurant, eating and thinking, until it dawns on him that the restaurant's amiable manager is Saul's businessman. The owner feigns ignorance when Walt reveals his suspicions, but Walt persists. Walt says that he understands — he's cautious too — and that he deserves a second chance.

"You are not a cautious man at all," the manager replies. "Your partner was late. And he was high." Walt touts his impeccable product and maintains that he can trust Jesse. "Thirty-eight pounds. Ready to go at a moment's notice," Walt adds. The manager walks away, warning Walt, "You can never trust a drug addict."

Skyler shows Ted some irregularities she discovered on the company's books. He tries to convince Skyler it's nothing, but eventually admits he's committing major fraud to keep the company alive and save everyone's job. "I'm not going to turn you in, Ted," Skyler says. "But I can't be a part of it."

Jesse sits in his recliner listening as Skinny Pete leaves a voicemail recap of Combo's funeral. "Man, it was, like… emotional," Pete says. Jane arrives with heroin and two hypodermic needles. With swift precision, she mixes up a meth and heroin speedball. "What's it feel like?" Jesse asks. "There's a chill," she answers. "And then… you'll see." Kissing him she adds, "I'll meet you there."

Walt's cell phone, hidden in his classroom's ceiling, vibrates while his students take an exam. Retrieving it after class he reads the text message, "POLLOS." Walt rushes to the Los Pollos Hermanos, and is surprised to discover a different person running the restaurant. The manager on duty tells Walt that the man is actually the owner, Gustavo. As Walt leaves, a man stops him and whispers instructions for the meth deal. "One hour," the guy says. "If you miss it, don't ever show your face in here again."

Racing away in his car, Walt leaves a phone message for Jesse: "I need the product now!"

Skyler, meanwhile, has decided to return to Beneke despite Ted's fraud. Sitting at her desk lamenting her decision, she goes into labor.

Walt bangs on Jesse's front door. No one answers. Skyler calls as Walt stands on Jesse's front porch, but Walt doesn't answer his phone. Walt rushes to Jesse's backyard and breaks down the door. Walt slaps and splashes water on a zonked out Jesse, frantically trying to find out where he stashed the meth. "In the kitchen. Under the sink," Jesse mumbles before passing out again.

While stuffing the bundles of meth into a garbage bag, Walt ignores another call from Skyler. When his phone chirps, Walt stops to read a text message: "BABY COMING!!!" He starts to smile, but quickly reconsiders, "Not now. Not now!"

Back to business, Walt hoists the garbage bag over his shoulder and rushes out the door.


Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • This episode marks the first appearance of drug kingpin Gustavo Fring, and first absence of Walter White Jr..
  • "Mandala" means "Circle" in Sanskrit, which is a reference to the Buddhist teaching of "wheel of life", as the episode starts with the death of Combo and ends with Skyler going into labor.

Featured Music

  • "Electricity in my Bones" by The High Plane Drifters (playing in the car of someone Combo serves)
  • "Happy Birthday To You" by Patty & Mildred J. Hill, performed by Anna Gunn (as Skyler) in the style of Marilyn Monroe (at Ted's birthday party)
  • "Enchanted" by The Platters (as Jesse shoots heroin for the first time)
  • "Baby's Coming" by Dave Porter (as Walt retrieves the meth)
Breaking Bad -- Season 2
#01 "Seven Thirty-Seven"#06 "Peekaboo"#11 "Mandala"
#02 "Grilled"#07 "Negro y Azul"#12 "Phoenix"
#03 "Bit by a Dead Bee"#08 "Better Call Saul"#13 "ABQ"
#04 "Down"#09 "4 Days Out"
#05 "Breakage"#10 "Over"<< Season 1 | Season 3 >>

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