BREAKING BAD 5.10: “Buried”

bbwalt2As we count down BREAKING BAD’s final few episodes, I’m not the only one who wants Walter White to get away with all this, am I? After all, this whole crystal meth empire thing was never his idea.

Walt’s first (and perhaps biggest) mistake was surviving the cancer; he was just supposed to cook up one batch of meth, secure a nest egg for his family and then die. But his cancer went into remission and his meth lab went into overdrive. And now Walt is right back he where he started — trying cut a deal so he can die and leave his family a big ol’ pile of drug money.

And I want him to get away with it. I’m rooting for Mr. White.

After their confrontation, Hank (Dean Norris) was quicker on the draw and got Skyler (Anna Gunn) on the phone before Walt (Bryan Cranston) could. But during the ensuing meet-up at a restaurant, Sky realized that Hank cannot prove anything and needs her to go on the record. Walt couldn’t get hold of Jesse, either, and fearing that Skyler was giving him up, Walt went to Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and arranged to have the money removed from the storage locker — since the cash was the only concrete evidence Skyler could offer the authorities. Walt buried it all in barrels in the desert. Meanwhile, Jesse (Aaron Paul) was in police custody, but decidedly not talking about the cash he was distributing across the greater metropolitan area.

bbvansesertMarie (Betsy Brandt) wanted to talk to her sister, and when she realized that Sky knew about Walt even before Hank was shot she lost it — and tried to walk out with the baby before Hank stopped her. Later, Walt returned from burying the cash and promptly collapsed. Sky revealed that Hank told her the cancer was back, and Walt said he would surrender if Sky kept the dough and passed it on to the kids. But she told him Hank has nothing, so they should probably just sit tight for now.

However, Lydia (Laura Fraser) had no intention of sitting around while the quality of her Blue Sky meth deteriorated. She confronted Declan (Louis Ferreira) and ultimately had him and his crew murdered so she could take direct control of the operation and put Todd (Jesse Plemmons) back in charge of cooking a quality product.

And what more can be said about BB than calling it a quality product? This was an excellent episode for Anna Gunn, starting with Skyler sniffing out Hank’s somewhat impure motives for wanting to get her on tape ASAP. He doesn’t have her best interests at heart because his only interest is in nailing Heisenberg. When she stood up in the restaurant, wailing, “Am I under arrest?” it was a truly chilling scene. Which contrasted with Skyler’s high-tension confrontation with Marie later, when the sisters clashed over baby Holly. The two women screaming at each other and crying with the baby bawling was almost too much to take! Then, still later, when she suggested to Walt that they not make any brash decisions — well, has Skyler been corrupted at last? But still, Hank should have shown a little more restraint.

bbjesse2Y’know, like Walt shows when Saul suggests the inevitable: that Walt could send Hank on “a trip to Belize,” i.e. kill him, like Mike. But Walt’s instant gut reaction is revulsion. “Hank is family!” In a nutshell, that’s why Walt is such a complex antihero. He has may be a meth dealer, but he has ethics, and he sticks to them. Family is off-limits. “I oughta send you on a trip to Belize,” Walt grumbled.

Later, when Walt was recovering from passing out on the bathroom floor, he asked Skyler if she was glad his cancer is back. She didn’t answer him. Lying there in his tighty-whiteys, Walt was right back to where he was in the pilot episode, just trying o provide for his family by any means necessary. And Sky didn’t reject his offer to take the money for the family, so that’s something.

And while I still want Walt to get away, I’m not so sure this program will have a happy ending. I keep having this recurring image of Walt getting away with it all — Skyler, his kids and his money — and then dropping dead from the cancer.

Quick Hits:

  • Now Walt’s fortune is buried in the dirt; kind of the opposite of being laundered at the car wash (which I always loved, because it was so whimsical yet on the nose).
  • I really enjoyed seeing Louis Ferreira of STARGATE UNIVERSE again, and I’m glad his character got some closure — even if he did go out like a punk, crawling on his belly.
  • Huell stretching out on that big pile of money was full-on wish-fulfillment for a lot of viewers. Extra credit for the Scrooge McDuck shout-out from Kuby.
  • Walt converting the GPS coordinates to a lottery ticket was a cute move. But could it ultimately be more than that? Imagine the show ends with Walt losing everything — his wife, his family, his meth empire… even the barrels of money in the desert. Everything but a silly lottery ticket. And then it hits!
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Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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