2) I had a three-way debate with some folks about where all this was headed, and was the most wrong. I believed Gus poisoned Brock, straight up. Lindsay believed that it wasn't ricin. She was more right than I, but we both underestimated Walt. He's now, I believe, the most evil protagonist of a major TV show ever. "Profit" tried to do something similar, but their problem was they started with him being evil. This way—having a character devolve into evil—gets audience buy-in much better.
3) This episode was good at putting you on the "is he or isn't he?" roller coaster. The trick with the old lady, and his willingness to put her in danger, was supposed to initially make you think he's gone all in. But his palpable relief that she was safe makes you think he's still Mr. White, the reasonably decent human being. Twice more in the episode he seems to put innocent people in danger, but then you find out that he didn't really. First was the bomb in the nursing home, where you wonder how on earth he can be so evil as to put innocent nursing home patients in danger, and then you find out he made the bomb just big enough to kill people in the immediate vicinty, but not so big it hurts anyone else. Then they set fire to the lab, and if you're me, at least, you're worried about the laundry employees and their escape. But they made a big to-do about pulling the alarm and making sure no one got hurt. Sure, Walt shot those two thugs in cold blood, but hey, they kidnapped Jesse! So when the big reveal comes, it was genuinely a shock.
4) One thing I struggle with is the notion that Jesse would still have doubts about killing Gus. Gus threatened Walt's family. The "no kids" thing, I would think, is still in play when it comes to, you know, Walt's kids. But it is true that Brock's near-death would make the problem more real for Jesse.
5) I was wondering when Gus would just force them to cook at gunpoint. Glad that was cleared up, because duh.