Breaking Bad: Buried
Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the episode of Breaking Bad that aired Sunday, August 19, 2013. If you haven’t viewed this episode yet and do not wish to know what happened, stop now or forever hold your peace. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. As ususal, I’m writing this in a hurry so there will be typos. Oh so many typos. Apologies ahead of time for that.
I thought of analogy last night while watching this episode that seemed a bit dumb at first, but the more I thought about the more apt is seems, though it’s still probably pretty dumb. Mere stupidity has never stopped me from charging headlong into the breach before though, so here goes: Last night was the Breaking Bad equivalent of the Hogwarts sorting ceremony. Everyone of importance, save for one crucial wild card has been sorted out and has chosen a side: Walt and Skylar (with Saul and partners there to lend a hand, but not fully allowed into House Heisenberg), Hank and Marie (House Scorned and Righteous), and Lydia, Todd, and the Neo-nazis (House We Don’t Settle for Filthy Meth Labs) hanging out on the periphery but posing an ever more dangerous threat. (Seriously, Todd is now far and away the scariest dude on the show, isn’t he?) The Wild Card, of course, is Jesse, mute, unhinged, and now deep in the bowels of the Albuquerque PD.
Here’s what stood out for me last night:
- Hank had a chance to flip Skylar and flat out lost it. He pushed her too quickly and in his eagerness to get a statement from her on the record, laid all of his cards on the table and revealed that, without her, he really didn’t have much of anything other than a suspicion. Once Skylar realized this, she rather shrewdly deduced that the best thing she could do was to walk out the door and say nothing (and in the process give anyone who wants to skip out on a check in a restaurant a great exit. “A I being arrested?”)
- Marie also went too far with Skylar by trying to walk out the door with baby Holly, and, most likely, put Skylar more firmly in the House Heisenberg camp than ever.
- The Scrooge McDuck line was one of the funniest scenes ever in Breaking Bad history, until Declan one upped them later on with his out of nowhere hilarious “it’s not filthy, it’s just dimly lit” line to Lydia. Loved the way that the show’s humor continues to break in despite the gathering storm.
- Also hilarious, Walt’s “I’ll send you to Belize” response to Saul after everyone’s favorite lawyer suggested that Walt make Hank take the same trip as Mike did. “It’s an option that’s worked very well for you in the recent past.” What I thought stood out on this exchange though was Walt apparently ruling out the lethality option with Hank or any member of his family. That seems to put a dent in some of the theories out there that have Walt killing Skylar, at least for the time being.
- Walt was very much Walter White of old and not so much Heisenberg this episode. He’s a step behind Hank in getting to both Skylar and Jesse, though the latter was pretty much good fortune on Hank’s part. And stripping down to his tighty whities and collapsing on the bathroom floor in a heap was very much a Walter move. Heisenberg would have planned better and brought some re-hydrating fluids with him out to the desert if he was going to bury millions of dollars in cash (as well as brought more efficient tools than a single shovel and pick axe. Or maybe it was Mike who had the backhoe connection in “Dead Freight.”)
- Thought it was an interesting switch in that the three major decisions that shaped the direction of the episode were all made by women: Skylar telling Walt that their best course of action was to lay low and keep quiet since Hank basically told her that he had no real evidence on Walt, Lydia bringing the hammer down on Declan for his substandard quality meth (even if she didn’t want to look at the results), and Marie convincing Hank to go back into work and not try to crack Walt on his own (though did Hank’s discovery that Jesse was in custody of the APD derail that plan?)
- Also telling was Walt’s offer to turn himself in and confess, if Skylar promised to never tell where the money is, so that he won’t have done all of these horrible things in vain. Skylar tells him how incredibly naive that notion is of course, but that and learning that his cancer had returned seemed to strike a chord with her that pulled her back into Walt’s corner more and reminded her of the man she knew before Heisenberg came along.
So, when the dust settled last night we had a pretty good idea where all of the major players stand except for Jesse. Will his extreme hatred for Hank keep him from turning against Walt confirming his identity as Heisenberg and providing the crucial link that Hank needs to tie all of his suspicions together? Or will Jesse see this as his chance to extract some revenge on “Mr. White” for all of the lives that he has destroyed?
So which side will Jesse choose? I’m betting that he initially sides with Walt but will learn some piece of information that turns him against Walt completely (either that Mike is dead, Walt was the one who poisoned Brock, or Walt could have saved Jane and just watched her die instead.) And now that Lydia is on the march for quality control, does she try to recruit/force Jesse and/or Walt to come back and cook again and make sure Todd is producing product of sufficient quality to satisfy her Czech buyers? Another thought that has been kicking around in my head and that I’ve also read elsewhere – does Jane’s dad come back into play at all? Given the amount of time the show spent with the plane crash and how kind of quickly the entire situation was seemingly resolved, I’ve wondered if her dad might not come back into the picture as a way for Walt to have Jesse killed without dirtying his own hands (and he would definitely have a motive, given Jesse’s involvement in her death.) should be prove troublesome. That’s another dark horse theory that’s gaining traction in my head. I think I’ve fully convinced myself that the racin Walt retrieved last week is meant for himself too.
What say you? Let’s hear your best theories/predictions.