*Warning: If you didn't already finish it, there will be Season 4 spoilers in here.* A couple of weeks ago we got a chance to watch the first two episodes of the upcoming Season 5 of Breaking Bad (which premieres this Sunday on AMC)—and suffice to say, they are TENSE-RIFFIC. But even watching the last two episodes of Season 4 didn't help with all we needed a refresher on. Here are some key points and people you'll want to remember as the penultimate season begins:
• Remember Ted Beneke? The last time we saw him the IRS was catching up with his cooked books; Skylar tried to get him to pay his back taxes with some meth money, but all he bought was a new car; he may have tried to blackmail her for more money; Saul Goodman sent "his A-Team" over to his house to take care of business, at which point Ted tripped on an area rug. He crashed into a piece of furniture and it appeared that he may have broken his neck. The last we heard of him is through Saul, who implied he may be dead or severely injured.
• Remember the gun dealer who sold Walt his .38 snub-nose revolver? After the events of "Box Cutter"—when Gus took his sweet time punishing henchman Victor for poor Gale's death-by-Pinkman—Walt was convinced he could (and would) be killed at any moment by his terrifying boss. So he decided to buy a gun, and tried to enlist Mike in a coup...which Mike was definitely not interested in. Walter later hilariously referred to it as 'a minor disagreement with a colleague over a business strategy.'
• Remember Old Joe, the junkyard owner who helped Walt and Jesse destroy their RV? He was incredibly well-versed in the rule of law—while Walt and Jesse cowered inside the soon-to-be-demolished RV as Hank caught up to them, Joe argued that the vehicle was a domicile, and Hank needed a warrant to search it.
• Remember who poisoned Brock? This one is pretty simple (but obviously a HUGE season 4 spoiler): Walt has been waving around the magical ricin since the second season. He and Jesse tried and failed to poison Tuco and Gus with it at various times. Walt came to a point in "Crawl Space" where he became convinced Gus was going to kill his family, and he then found out he didn't have enough cash to pay someone to make them disappear... because Skyler gave most of the money to her former lover, Ted.
After having a satisfying chuckle over that, Walt sat in his home considering his options and gazed intently at a Lily of the Valley tree. Suddenly, Brock gets mysteriously sick, and all evidence points to Jesse's missing ricin cigarette, aka Chekov's Ricin Cigarette which had hung over the entire season 4. Walt is able to convince Jesse that only Gus would—and previously had—put a child in harm's way. It's the thing that finally brings Jesse back to his side, and the two are then able to vanquish Gus. Only it's revealed in the last scene of the season that it was Walt who facilitated Brock's poisoning all along.
• Remember how old Walt is? In the pilot of the show, Skyler wishes Walt a happy 50th birthday by giving him a plate of eggs topped by veggie bacon spelling "50." The fourth episode of season 5 is titled "Fifty-One," which we're pretty sure indicates he'll be turning 51 then. So the entire show up to now has only taken up a year in Walt's life. Wonder how the next year might go...