Cornered (Breaking Bad)

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Breaking Bad episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 6
Directed byMichael Slovis
Written byGennifer Hutchison
Cinematography byNelson Cragg
Editing byKelley Dixon
Original air dateAugust 21, 2011 (2011-08-21)
Running time47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Breaking Bad (season 4)
List of Breaking Bad episodes

"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.


Two guards ride in the back of a Los Pollos Hermanos refrigerator truck which is suddenly forced off the road by cartel hitmen, led by cartel member Gaff. They shoot the driver in the head, lock the truck, and use a hose to redirect the truck's exhaust into the ventilation system. They eat the driver's lunch while the hidden guards die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gaff and his men then open the truck, and find a marked container of fry batter that contains meth for distribution.

Skyler White listens to Walter White's voice message twice after researching Gale Boetticher's death on the internet. She wakes up a hungover Walter the morning after their dinner with Hank and Marie Schrader during which Walter suggested to Hank the genius who created the blue meth might still be out there. Skyler wants to talk to Walter about Gale. She suspects Gale's death is related to the meth operation, which leads her to pressure Walter to call the police due to the danger it presents their family. She suggests a hypothetical situation where one day an in-over-his-head Walter opens his front door and is shot in the face; Walter, furious that she does not understand the scope of his criminal operation, responds that, in that scenario, he would be "the one who knocks." The level of apparent danger causes Skyler to flee the house, taking Holly with her. She ponders 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 Wolynetz, 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 White Jr. he is not moving back home and buys a new Dodge Challenger to cheer him up. Jesse Pinkman returns to the lab and Walter expresses doubt that Jesse was hired to help Mike due to stopping an earlier robbery, considering the whole thing a ruse by Gus Fring to create a wedge between them. 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 afterwards feels guilty as Gus punishes them by sending Tyrus Kitt 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 words "¿Estás listo para platicar?" written on the stolen container which translates to "Are you ready to talk?". Gus meets with Mike at a diner that night and decides to try and negotiate with the cartel. Outside of the diner, Jesse asks Gus, "Why me?" in reference to him being asked to help Mike during the previous several days. Gus responds by saying "I like to think I see things in people." Meanwhile, Skyler arrives home and demands that Walter return Junior's car, as buying lavish things threatens their cover story, saying "someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family."


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 A.V. Club gave the episode a "B+".[4]

In 2019 The Ringer ranked "Cornered" as the 22nd best out of the 62 total Breaking Bad episodes.[5]


  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.
  5. ^

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