|Breaking Bad episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Peter Gould|
|Written by||Peter Gould|
|Original air date||August 28, 2011|
|Running time||47 minutes|
"Problem Dog" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 40th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on August 28, 2011.
After Skyler (Anna Gunn) tells Walter (Bryan Cranston) that she's negotiated the return of Walter, Jr. (RJ Mitte)'s Dodge Challenger to the dealership, Walter angrily drives the Challenger to a parking lot, burns donuts, and strands the car on a cement parking divider, then stuffs the ownership papers in the gas tank, lights them afire, and blows up the car. Saul (Bob Odenkirk) covers up the outburst, which costs Walter $52,000.
When Walter later drops off approximately $274,000 — his biweekly profits — to Skyler, she is stunned by the amount, unsure how she'll launder his annual meth-lab earnings of over $7 million, in mostly $50 bills no less, through their car wash. Meanwhile, Hank (Dean Norris) visits Los Pollos Hermanos with Walter, Jr. and manages to get Gus (Giancarlo Esposito)'s fingerprints on a cup.
Walter convinces Jesse (Aaron Paul) to use his new position as a henchman in the organization to kill Gus, and concocts a ricin poison in the lab that Jesse hides in one of his cigarettes. Mike brings Jesse along to a sitdown between Gus and the cartel. Jesse is told to make coffee for the meeting and contemplates poisoning the coffee, but he is interrupted before he can act. Mike (Jonathan Banks) is surprised when the cartel only sends one man to the meeting, who delivers to Gus an ultimatum. Gus, who had been prepared for a negotiation, rejects the ultimatum. Jesse contemplates shooting Gus as the cartel representative leaves, but decides not to. Mike later tells Jesse that Gus is impressed by Jesse's loyalty, but that he thinks it's "for the wrong guy."
Jesse returns to his twelve-step group. During his turn, he shares his feelings about killing Gale (David Costabile), saying he shot a "problem dog" that otherwise did nothing wrong. Jesse angrily disagrees when the group leader tells him not to judge himself, and reveals to everyone that he had used the group as a market to peddle meth. The group leader finally expresses disapproval of Jesse. Hank meets with Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) and Merkert (Michael Shamus Wiles) and explains his theory that Gus leads a large meth operation. Although Hank's investigation into Madrigal Electromotive GmbH — the German parent company of Los Pollos Hermanos — was stopped by its attorney, Hank reveals that Gus's fingerprints on the cup Hank had earlier obtained from Los Pollos Hermanos match fingerprints found in Gale's apartment.
The episode was critically acclaimed. For example, Matt Richenthal of TV Fanatic awarded the episode a 4.5 out of 5, Seth Amitin of IGN rated it 9.5 out of 10, praising both the episode and calling Aaron Paul's acting in this episode "the performance of the series". Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an "A-".
- Richenthal, Matt (August 28, 2011). "Breaking Bad Review: Is Gus a Goner?". TV Fanatic. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Amitin, Seth (August 29, 2011). "Breaking Bad: "Problem Dog" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Bowman, Donna (August 28, 2011). "Problem Dog". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
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