'Breaking Bad' recap: Gliding Over All

bryan-cranston-breaking-bad.jpgLots of ground covered in this midseason finale: Walt (with Landry's help) disposes of Mike's body and then gives Jesse the brush-off so he can do what he needs to do about Mike's nine guys, all of whom are most definitely going to testify. Walt meets Lydia to get the names, and she smartly makes a counter-offer: work with her and Madrigal to begin exporting meth to the Czech Republic (where, seriously, EVERYBODY is doing meth). Walt agrees, and so begins The Great Meth-Producing Montage of 2012. Which is, of course, preceded by the Great Snitch-Killing Montage of 2012 (Walt uses Landry's uncle's prison connections to take out all nine within two minutes, Godfather-style).

So business is booming. Enter Skyler, who is seriously feeling the pangs of the weeks and weeks away from her children. She invites Walt to the storage locker where she reveals a pile of bundled cash the side of a washer-dryer set (an industrial washer-dryer set). It's too much for her to even count -- it's more money than they'll be able to spend in ten lifetimes. She asks him when is enough; when does she get her family back? The next thing we see, Walt is delivering Jesse the money he's owed, and he's telling Skyler that he's out of the business. How does he manage to extricate himself now that he's in so deep with Madrigal? Who knows?! Who cares?! This episode has a place it needs to be before we hit the hour mark!

At the end of the episode, the newly reunited Whites and the Schraders are enjoying themselves lawfully in the Whites' backyard. No one but the audience can sense the dread. So we can't be all that surprised when Hank excuses himself to take a #2 and while on the toilet, picks up Walt's copy of Leaves of Grass. The inscription "to W.W." jogs Hank's memory of going through Gale's things with Walt last year. Wasn't there a mysterious "W.W." there too? And so, with a blue flash of stone-cold realization, Hank finally figures it out: Walt's the guy he's been looking for. Now get off that crapper and do something about it!