BREAKING BAD: 5.10 “Buried”
I never wrote about Breaking Bad on a consistent basis here at Raked, probably because I only started catching up on the series last summer through the magic of Netflix. I shared some of my thoughts on the early seasons last year (almost to the day) and now that I’m caught up with everything so far, my opinion hasn’t much changed. This is a fantastic show that depicts one man’s slow descent into evil. Now that we’re in to the second half of the final season, the consequences of Walt’s actions are beginning to show.
“Buried” picks up immediately after the previous episode, which ended with the tense confrontation between Walt and Hank. Walt leaves Hank’s garage as the cool, calm, terrifying Heisenberg, but once he’s in his car, he melts down in the scared, frantic Walter White, desperately trying to contact Skyler before Hank can reach her first. Hank gets to her first, but botches his attempt to get her to confess by his clumsy eagerness. Skyler clams up, and it becomes clear that she’s casting her lot in with Walt, for better or for worse. Over the last couple of months, I’ve read a number of commentators and fans declare that Skyler is the moral center of the Breaking Bad universe. Obviously, that’s no longer true. As if the money laundering wasn’t enough, the fact that she has decided to stick with Walt in the hopes of keeping the money he buried in the desert proves that she’s nearly as complicit as he is. The confrontation between Skyler and Marie, which ends with Skyler’s full-throated mama bear protectiveness showing through when Marie tries to take the baby away from her, was an excellent, tense, hard-to-watch scene.
Even Marie and Hank are on uncertain ground. Not only has the close family life that they once enjoyed been ripped apart, but they know that Hank doesn’t have enough information to sink Walt just yet, though the longer he waits to reveal what he knows, the more likely it is that he too could be breaking the law by holding back information. Worse yet, even if he uncovers enough proof and brings it to his superiors, his fast-rising career will essentially be over; who would trust the DEA agent who didn’t know that his own brother-in-law was the most notorious meth manufacturer in the Southwest? That said, it doesn’t seem like certain career suicide will stop Hank; he’s always been the persistent type, and as the episode closes with Hank going into the interrogation room to “talk” to his old nemesis, Jessie, I think we can expect him to be as “persuasive” as possible. I don’t know if it will be enough, but the next episode is titled “Confessions.” Make of that what you will.