Cancer Man (Breaking Bad)

Cancer Man (Breaking Bad)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Cancer Man

Caption =
Series = Breaking Bad
Season = 1
Episode = 4
Airdate = February 17, 2008
Production =
Writer = Vince Gilligan
Director = Jim McKay
Episode list = Episode chronology
Prev = ...and the Bag's in the River
Next = Gray Matter

Cancer Man is the fourth episode of the American dramedy "Breaking Bad".


Hank and his team have a meeting to discuss what they found in the desert. They reveal that Krazy-8 was their snitch, but he has gone missing. The meth they found was 99.1% pure, and although they have no leads, they believe the product is good enough to make someone Albuquerque's new meth kingpin.

Walter tells Hank, Marie and Walter Jr. that he has cancer when Skyler begins to cry during a barbecue. Marie suggests that Walter get a second opinion from a top oncologist. Meanwhile, Jesse has two friends over to his house and reluctantly smokes Walter's meth with them. A paranoid Jesse flees his house the next morning when he hallucinates that two religious evangelists at his door are armed bikers.

Skyler manages to make an appointment with one of the top oncologists in the country, however he is not in the family's HMO and the cost of the appointment is $5,000. Walter says he will take the money out from his pension, but he actually will use the money Krazy-8 offered him in the desert hidden in an air-conditioning duct. Walter Jr. nearly catches his father when the air conditioning turns on and sucks some of the money away. He berates him for acting so weird and nonchalant about his cancer. When Walter goes to the bank to put the cash in a cashier's check, his parking spot is stolen by a rich, obnoxious man named Ken (who has a license plate reading "KEN WINS"). Ken annoys Walter and the rest of the customers with his loud cell phone conversation.

Jesse ends up fleeing to his affluent parents house, where he sleeps for an entire day. He attempts to bond with his overachieving little brother, Jake. That night, Jesse gets a call from one of the friends who smoked Walter's meth. He says that he knows a lot of upper-class people looking to score drugs and are willing to pay top dollar for the quality meth. The next day, Jesse visits Walter to "touch base" since they have no one to talk to about the Emilio and Krazy-8 debacle. He says that people want more of Walter's meth but he kicks Jesse out. Jesse then states why he was really there - to give Walter his half of the meth profit - $4,000.

The oncologist tells Walter that the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes, but there is a chance it is still treatable with chemo therapy. When he lists the numerous negative side effects it will have, Walter seems overwhelmed and zones out. At home, Walter expresses his doubts about the chemo since it will cost $90,000 and if he still dies, he will leave his family with all the debt. A frustrated Walter Jr. admonishes his dad that if he's going to give up so easily (particularly considering Walter Jr's struggles with cerebral palsy) then he should just die.

A housekeeper finds a joint in Jesse's room and his parents kick him out. It turns out the joint belonged to Jake and he thanks Jesse for taking the fall for him then asks for the joint back, however Jesse crumbles it up and throws it into the street saying, "It was bunk weed anyway." (Not "skunk" which is actually a high-quality strain of marijuana). Walter suffers a coughing attack while driving and coughs up blood. As he pulls into a gas station, he notices Ken pull up. When Ken leaves his car unattended, an angry Walter takes a squeegee, pops open Ken's hood, and shorts the car battery with it. The engine overheats and the car explodes as Walter drives away.


•The title "Cancer Man" is a reference to the X-Files character Cigarette Smoking Man, whom Mulder first called Cancer Man. Vince Gilligan had previously co-produced the show.

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