Who’s the guy? Mike and Jesse can argue about that question all they want. But this week, everyone wants to be The Guy who controls The Other Guys.
Jesse thinks Mike’s training him to be The Guy, though we believe Mike’s preparing to turn him against Walt. (Mike’s “You’re not the guy! You’re not capable of being the guy!” speech reminds us of A Few Good Men‘s “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”, as does Walt’s arrogant, Jack Nicholson-esque suggestion that Gale couldn’t possibly have masterminded the whole system on his own, but more on that later.) Walt’s hinting that Gale wasn’t The Guy. Even Skyler’s trying to be The Guy, forcing Walt to move back in before he can say no. The fact that Walt Jr. broke this news to his dad while holding a Beneke coffee mug—Ted Beneke was the boss that Skyler cheated on Walt with—probably made that Maxwell House all the more bitter.
Funny that this episode’s called “Shotgun.” Everyone wants to be the one steering things. No one wants to be stuck in the bitch seat.
Still, when it comes to running the game, no one’s a match for Gus. While Walt scrambles for control, Gus is calmer than ever, watching him from somewhere unseen, like God, judging his actions. Surveillance has been a major theme this season, from the references to The French Connection, to the cameras in the meth lab, to the constant focus on eyes (Gale was shot through his eye, and that plastic eyeball’s still rolling around Walt’s drawer). So Walt’s not just paranoid when he believes he’s being watched, by his boss, and by the clerks and customers of Los Pollos Hermanos. He’s calling attention to himself in a place where he could be spotted by just anyone. And considering that Victor was killed just for the possibility of being seen, we think Walt had better start watching himself. This is not the way The Guy should be acting.
As for Mike, he’s both the eyes and ears of the organization—or should we say ear. For a guy who’s only got one fully-formed one left, he sure does way more listening than talking. He doesn’t ask questions when Gus sends him on a mission, though he knows Gus wants him to make Jesse to feel like “a hero.” Does that mean Gus and Mike set up a fake heist to kickstart Jesse’s will to live? (The other guy sure gives up easily.) Or was it just a lucky coincidence? Either way, it certainly gives them a chance to see if Walt can still be The Guy by himself, when The Other Guy’s gone. Bonus points for driving Walt away from his little buddy: for every day they’re apart from each other, it will be easier for Gus and Mike to convince Jesse not to help protect Walt.
NEXT: How is Hank like Encyclopedia Brown?