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'Breaking Bad' recap: Pay What You Owe

That's the question that the Mexican cartel's chemist asks Jesse in this week's episode, "Salud." It's easy to see what he's thinking:This guy? With the black eye and the freshman-level chemistry? He's the genius who's going to tell me how to cook? But his question isn't just a rhetorical one. This is a show about secret identities, alter egos, and paper trails that get "disappeared" everywhere from Albuquerque to Chile. It's not who you are that matters. It's who you think you are that determines what you become. (And if what you think you are is invincible, you may find yourself floating facedown in your own swimming pool. But more on that later.)

Take Jesse, who's able to convince himself that he's Walt, and puts on a good impression of his teacher for the cartel. At first, on the flight down to Mexico, he's so chicken, Gus could deep-fry him and serve him with that zesty, piquantsauce that Don Eladio loves so much. But after Gus assures him "You can do this," he gets all Heisenberg Jr. on the cartel, using his Spanish-to-Supervillain translation dictionary with aplomb. "I speak English," says the cartel's chemist. "So you understand what a--hole means?" Jesse replies. Read More...


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