Walter White’s stranded in the desert wearing nothing but his shirt and underwear. His pants have flown away, becoming part of the desert landscape. He’s crashed the RV and is now listening to the sound of sirens getting closer and closer. Assuming it’s the cops coming to get him, he grabs Jesse’s video camera and films a teary goodbye to Skyler and Walt Jr. Then he steps out onto the road with arm outstretched, pointing his gun toward the fate that awaits him.
Opening credits roll and then…
Surprise! We’ve gone back in time to Walt’s fiftieth-birthday party. The whole family’s there: Hank, Walt Jr., Skyler and Marie. Look how shocked Walt is to see them. He’s had the worst day, after a couple of his chemistry students saw him on his hands and knees scrubbing tires at the car wash.
At the party, Hank turns on the news in order to show everyone a report on a big meth bust he just made. Walt can’t believe how much money drug dealers make. Hank calls it a “pretty good haul”: $700,000.
Walt’s at the car wash, feeling emasculated and weak. Literally. He passes out. He’s rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
At the doctor’s office, he’s told he has cancer and only a short amount of time to live. All Walt talks about, though, is the mustard stain on the doctor’s tie. He’s fixated by it. In his head, he’s calculating how much all of this will cost.
Walt goes on a ride-along with Hank. Hank makes another meth bust while Walt spies his former student, Jesse Pinkman, climbing down from the second-story window of the house next door. He’s been getting it on with the neighbor lady. Walt gets an idea…
Walt wants Jesse to help him become a drug manufacturer. He gives him his life’s savings to buy an RV. Jesse’s all, “You are not how I remember you from class. Like not at all.”
And we’re back in the desert, but now we see the whole picture. Walt’s science explosion has killed Emilio and knocked out Krazy-8. Jesse’s unconscious too, after tripping himself up and busting his eye on a rock. It’s the first of the show’s recurring one-eye motif. The sirens Walt heard turn out to be fire trucks. Now the tears have become ones of relief.
Walt goes home and gets into bed with Skyler and now it’s his turn to surprise her. They have sex. Walt’s suddenly all manly. The meth leads to the money and the money leads to the power, which means the birth of Heisenberg.