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Shotgun (Breaking Bad)

"Shotgun" is the fifth episode of the fourth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 38th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on August 14, 2011.

Breaking Bad episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 5
Directed byMichelle MacLaren
Written byThomas Schnauz
Original air dateAugust 14, 2011 (2011-08-14)
Running time47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Bullet Points"
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Breaking Bad (season 4)
List of Breaking Bad episodes


Walter (Bryan Cranston) is racing to Los Pollos Hermanos to confront Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) about Jesse (Aaron Paul)'s disappearance. Worried about what will happen, Walter leaves a voicemail for Skyler (Anna Gunn) and his children, saying only that he loves them. Walter learns that Gus is not in, and Mike (Jonathan Banks) eventually calls, explaining that Jesse is with him and will not be harmed, and tells Walter to go back to work.

Over the course of the day, Mike drives Jesse to numerous isolated drop-off spots all over New Mexico, where Gus's dealers leave the money from meth sales for pickup. Jesse assumes he was brought along to watch Mike's back, but Mike denies this and says he doesn't know why he was asked to take Jesse. While waiting in the car alone at the last drop-off spot, Jesse notices two robbers approach, one armed with a shotgun. He slams the car in reverse, rams into their car, and drives off. When Jesse returns, Mike hints that he is impressed. It is later revealed that Gus set up the entire scene so that Jesse would consider himself a "hero."

Meanwhile, Walter and Skyler officially buy the car wash. After Skyler hears the voicemail Walter left earlier, the two passionately make love and she offers to let Walter move back in, but Walter leaves for the lab without giving an answer. Jesse has returned to the lab and explains to Walt that he will be working in the lab and also helping Mike with pickups from now on. Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) excitedly reveals to his father that Skyler already set the date for Walt to move back in, which seems to unnerve him. Seeing Walter Jr. drink from a Beneke Fabricators mug—whose boss, Ted Beneke, had an affair with Skyler—upsets him further.

During dinner at Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie's (Betsy Brandt), a brooding Walter gets increasingly tipsy on wine. Hank explains that he gave up investigating Gale further, having found a sense of closure in the death of the man he believed to be "Heisenberg," but lauds Gale's genius. A prideful Walter then insists that Gale was not a genius, and suggests that he was copying someone else's work. This convinces Hank to take another look at the case files, and he notices that the strictly vegan Gale had notes scribbled on a napkin from Los Pollos Hermanos.


The episode received positive reviews. Matt Richenthal of TV Fanatic awarded the episode 4.5 out of 5.[1] Donna Bowman reviewing for The A.V. Club gave the episode a "B+".[2] Seth Amitin reviewing for IGN awarded the episode 7.5 out of 10, the lowest score for any episode in the series and the only episode with a score of less than 8.[3]

In 2019 The Ringer ranked "Shotgun" 60th out of 62 total Breaking Bad episodes.[4]


  1. ^ Richenthal, Matt (August 14, 2011). "Breaking Bad Review: "Shotgun"". TV Fanatic. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  2. ^ Bowman, Donna (August 14, 2011). "Shotgun". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  3. ^ Amitin, Seth (August 14, 2011). "Breaking Bad: "Shotgun" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
  4. ^

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