Cornered (Breaking Bad)

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Breaking Bad episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 6
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Gennifer Hutchison
Original air date August 21, 2011 (2011-08-21)
Running time 47 minutes
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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Breaking Bad (season 4)
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"Cornered" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 39th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on August 21, 2011.


Members of the Mexican cartel successfully ambush a Los Pollos Hermanos meth smuggling truck, taking the one specially marked container that contains the meth for distribution after killing the driver and guards. Skyler (Anna Gunn) realizes that Walter's (Bryan Cranston) voicemail he left earlier declaring his love for her and the family was actually meant to be a last message to them. She realizes Gale's death is related to the meth operation, which leads her to pressure Walt to call the police due to the danger it presents their family. Walter becomes angry and declares himself the most important person in the meth operation; that he is "the danger" and the "one who knocks" when someone opens their door and gets shot. The level of apparent danger causes Skyler to flee the house, taking Holly with her. She considers escaping to Colorado, going so far as to drive to the Four Corners Monument, but ultimately reconsiders.

Walter receives the keys to the car wash from Bogdan, and avenges his past insults by making Bogdan leave behind his framed first earned dollar, which Walter uses to buy a soda. Walter tells Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) he is not moving back home and buys a new Dodge Challenger to cheer him up. Jesse (Aaron Paul) returns to the lab and Walter expresses doubt that Jesse was hired to help Mike (Jonathan Banks) due to stopping an earlier robbery, considering the whole thing a ruse by Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) to create a wedge between Walter and Jesse. Jesse is later called away by Mike before he can help clean the lab. Infuriated, Walter pays off three women at the laundry to do it, but feels guilty as Gus sends Tyrus to deport them back to Honduras.

Jesse and Mike scout a house selling the blue meth from the hijacked truck, but Jesse grows impatient and tricks one of the meth users into letting him into the house, where he knocks out the other. Mike notices the message "Ready to talk?" written on the stolen container in Spanish. Gus meets with Mike at a diner that night and decides to try and negotiate with the cartel; incidentally, Gus seems impressed with Jesse's actions at the house and tells Jesse why he gave him another chance, saying "I like to think I see things in people". Skyler arrives home and demands that Walter return Junior's car, as buying lavish things threatens their cover story, saying her role is to protect the family from Walter.


Due to her nomination, Anna Gunn submitted this episode for consideration for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.[1]

Although credited, Bob Odenkirk, Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt do not appear.


The episode received very positive reviews from critics. Seth Amitin reviewing for IGN awarded the episode 9.5 out of 10 calling it an "extraordinary episode from top to bottom".[2] Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said the episode was his "favorite episode of season 4 to date".[3] Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode a "B+".[4]


  1. ^ Riley, Jenelle (August 16, 2012). "Episodes Submitted by Drama Emmy Nominees Revealed". Backstage. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ Amitin, Seth (August 22, 2011). "Breaking Bad: "Cornered" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (August 21, 2011). "Review: 'Breaking Bad' - 'Cornered': I am the one who knocks!". HitFix. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ Bowman, Donna (August 21, 2011). "Cornered". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 

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