Men and women crawl on their bellies up a dusty, adobe-lined desert road. A Mercedes stops alongside the crawling sacrificial procession. Two men exit the car; both wear well-cut suits and cowboy boots tipped with silver skulls. They look so alike, they might be brothers, even twins, but we will come to know them as "the Cousins." They too begin to crawl with the others. The procession winds to a candlelit shrine to Santa Muerte, a skulled Mexican deity representing death. The two men rise to their feet. One makes an offering; the other pins something to the shrine: a crude sketch of Heisenberg.
Back in Albuquerque, coverage of Wayfarer Flight 515's collision with a chartered plane dominates the television news. In the week since the collision, Donald Margolis has been identified as the air traffic controller who, distracted by grief over his daughter's recent drug overdose, misdirected the two aircrafts ("ABQ").
Behind the White family home, a contrite Walter White dumps his ill-gotten gains onto the grill and sets it ablaze. Seconds later, he doubts his decision and hurls the flaming grill into the pool. His robe sleeve having caught fire, he too jumps in after.
Skyler White, meanwhile, meets with a divorce attorney who advises her that maintaining residence in the family home will strengthen her custody position. Skyler explains that Walt is moving out that day. Questioned about the family's finances, Skyler momentarily freezes. "You'd be amazed what I've seen partners hide from one another," the lawyer says.
Hank Schrader arrives to help with the move just as Walt fishes the last of the cash — and the eyeball belonging to the pink teddy bear from the crash — out of his pool. Wrestling a duffel bag full of drug money away from his brother-in-law, Hank asks, "What have you got in there? Cinder blocks?" After a thought, "Half a million in cash," Walt replies. Hank laughs, and congratulates his keeping a sense of humour.
Jesse Pinkman, still at the rehab facility, and after a touch of gardening, listens silently as the group leader describes self-acceptance and a desire for self-improvement as essential to transformation.
The next day, Walt calls home from his new apartment. Walter White Jr. picks up the phone. "Nobody's telling me jackshit around here," he complains. Over Skyler's objections, Walter Jr. arranges for Walt to drive him to school.
Later at his apartment, Walt receives a one-word text: "POLLOS."
At a school assembly, due to the recent disaster, Walt fidgets while students and faculty talk about the crash. "Jesus H. Christ," he grumbles, when a student describes, finding on his lawn, a lone plane seat with a pair of severed legs still buckled in. Hearing this, Carmen encourages Walt to express himself. "Look on the bright side," he tells the incredulous audience. The death toll, he rationalizes, could have been much higher than it was, describing various worse disasters through history. "People move on and survive," he suggests. Carmen, finding his words inappropriate, takes back the mic and cuts him short.
Outside a dilapidated desert farmhouse, the Cousins approach a clothesline. A young girl and her parents watch as the men exchange their well-cut suits for worn work clothes, keeping only their guns and their distinctive boots. They deposit the keys to their Mercedes on a goat's horn and walk away.
"Why don't you just come inside?" asks Walter Jr. when Walt drives him home. "It's your house." Walt declines.
Inside, Walter Jr. screams at Skyler, "Why do you gotta treat him like this?" Marie Schrader says Walter Jr. is probably "dying of curiosity" about the cause of his parents' separation. "I can't help you get through this," she adds, "if you won't tell me what it is that Walt did." Skyler tells her sister that she needs to be supportive without prying.
During a campfire rehab session, Jesse, despondent with the 'pep talks', asks the group leader, "Have you ever really hurt anybody?" He's shocked to hear the leader reveal, "I killed my daughter!" He explains that when high on coke and booze, he accidentally struck his daughter with his car. "How do you not hate yourself?" asks Jesse. "I did, for many years," admits the group leader. But guilt and self-hate, he explains, stand in the way of true change.
Skyler visits Walt's apartment and surprises Walt with divorce papers. "We are happily married — I am happily married," contends Walt. "You're a drug dealer," Skyler accuses. Walter is taken aback, then unthinkingly starts with "How...", but corrects himself and asks "What?". Drawing a connection with "that Pinkman kid," Skyler accuses Walt of dealing marijuana. From his stumped silence she reads it's even worse than she feared. "Cocaine?", she questions, appalled.
"Methamphetamine. I'm a manufacturer. I'm not a dealer, per se," Walt finally admits. "There are a lot of angles to this," he says, but Skyler refuses to hear his rationalizations. She promises not to tell Hank or anyone else what Walt is doing — but only if he grants the divorce and stays away from the kids. "Let me the hell out of here before I throw up," she says as she runs out the door.
Walt picks up Jesse from rehab. "I'm done using," Jesse says. He intimates that the plane crash was his fault because grief distracted Jane's dad.
"You are not responsible for this," Walt insists. Radar malfunction was reported, he explains, and air-traffic control technology is antiquated. "You either run from things, or you face them," Jesse replies. He's learned to accept about himself what Walt cannot: "I'm the bad guy."
Walt visits Los Pollos Hermanos and meets with Gustavo Fring. Despite his great respect for Gus, Walt has decided to stop cooking meth. "I am not a criminal," he explains, "but no offense" he adds. Gus offers Walt $3 million for three months of work. "I have money, more than I can spend" Walt says, declining. "What I don't have is my family."
The Cousins, hidden amid a farm truck's bales of straw, sit with others sneaking across the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas. A young man brags to the Cousins about painting cars for Michoacan gangsters, but quickly clams up when he notices the skulls on their boots.
Shots sound; the driver stops the truck to investigate, then flees. The Cousins emerge from the bales and shoot the driver. The two set the truck and its murdered passengers ablaze. They walk away as the vehicle is engulfed in flames.
- Erik Beacham as Rehab Patient
- Kathryn Dove as Teacher
- Will Ontiveros as High School Student
- This is the second premiere episode to be directed by Bryan Cranston. The first was "Seven Thirty-Seven."
- When Barry is referring to how colleges grant students an automatic A if their roommate commits suicide, he is making a reference to an old but incorrect rumor that has circulated though college campuses for decades that also formed the basis of the film Dead Man on Campus.
- Taylor Cranston, who plays "Sad Faced Girl" in this episode, is Bryan Cranston's daughter.
- Also, the "Emotional Woman," Robin Dearden, is Bryan Cranston's wife.
- "No Más" is Spanish for "no more", Walt's current stance on his meth-cooking.
- In the scene in which Walt decides to burn his money, Bryan Cranston is literally on fire before he jumps in the pool.
- Following the devastating plane crash the city of ABQ is in a state of grief. Seemingly all the characters are depicted in this episode wearing the blue ribbon in support of the victims. All except Walter White and Jr.. Illustrating Jr's desire for closeness with his father after Skyler kicks him out. And illustrating Walt's desire to wash his hands of it as justification.
- A direct flight from Saint George, UT to Amarillo, TX wouldn't take the plane directly over Albuquerque, NM; especially at the altitude at which the two planes collided. There would also be no reason to make a stop there as the flight is only 4 hours.
- In the scene where the cousins blew up the truck, the footage of the explosion was filmed from far away using a long-focus lens. This had the effect of shallowing the perspective, and making the explosion appear much closer to the actors than it really was. They did it all in one take, and literally set the truck ablaze.
- The news footage of a building on fire (ostensibly from being struck by Wayfarer 515 debris) was taken from televised footage of a real life fire that broke out at the Huning Castle Apartments at 15th & Central on August 4, 2009.
- The number of Walt's temporary residence is 221, an homage to Sherlock Holmes' famous apartment number 221b. This homage is quite common, as seen in House M.D. and more.
- "I guess what I would want to say is to look on the bright side. First of all, nobody on the ground was killed. And that–I mean, an incident like this, over a populated urban center…? That right there–that’s just got to be some minor miracle. Plus, neither plane was full. You know, the 737 was–what–maybe two-thirds full, I believe? Right, yes? Or maybe even three-quarters full? Well, at any rate, what you’re left with casualty-wise is just the fiftieth-worst air disaster. Actually, tied for fiftieth. There are, in truth 53 crashes throughout history that are just as bad or worse. Tenerife… Has anybody hear of Tenerife? No? In 1977, two fully loaded 747s crashed into each other on Tenerife. Does anybody know how big a 747 is? I mean–it’s way bigger than a 737, and we’re talking about two of them. Nearly 600 people died on Tenerife. But do any of you even remember it at all? Any of you? I doubt it. You know why? It’s because people move on. They just move on. And we will too. We will move on, and we will get past this. Because that is what human beings do. We survive. We survive and we overcome. Yeah. We survive, we survive. OK? Good."
- ―Walter at the high school assembly about the air crash.
- Skyler: "You’re a drug dealer."
- Walter: "No. What? How? What?"
- Skyler: "Yeah. How else could you possibly make that kind of money? Marijuana. That Pinkman kid. No? Oh, my God, Walt. Cocaine?"
- Walter: "It’s methamphetamine. But I’m a manufacturer. I’m not a dealer per se. It doesn’t mean–no, Skyler! Listen to me. Skyler, listen! No, no! There are a lot of angles to this, okay? It’s complicated, all right? So please, let’s–please, let’s just sit back down and talk it through."
- — Skyler confronting Walter on his inexplicable sudden financial resources.
- Jesse: "You either run from things or you face them, Mr. White."
- Walter: "Now what exactly does that mean?"
- Jesse: "I learned it in rehab. It's all about accepting who you really are. I accept who I am."
- Walter: "And who are you?"
- Jesse: "I'm the bad guy."
- —Walt and Jesse's conversation.
- "The Cousins" by Dave Porter (during the episode teaser and when the cousins change their clothes)