Episode: ”Buried” (5.10)
Original Air Date: 8/11/13
Written by: Thomas Schnauz
Directed by: Michelle MacLaren
Line Synopsis: Hank tries to get definitive proof about Walt. Walt tries to get his situation in order before it’s too late. Skyler panics about Hank’s new-found knowledge. Lydia attempts to keep her business afloat.
Walt had been in control for so long, he’s starting to lose it now that things are becoming more chaotic. With Hank now knowing, Walt’s paranoia skyrockets, especially after Hank contacts Skyler. Walt automatically assumes the worst and that Skyler made a deal with Hank to turn him in. He does, however, give one of his most human moments since very early on in the show when he pleads to Skyler from the bathroom floor that she keeps the money and uses it for the kids so that none of this was for nothing. And to prove her loyalty to Walt, she helps him understand Hank doesn’t have anything definitive on him, so they should keep quiet. Otherwise, the money will be taken by the DEA automatically.
Jesse only had a short appearance in this episode–once at the beginning and once at the end. He’s entered what is basically a catatonic state. He reacts to nothing and no one. This has taken him beyond a depressive state and into something else entirely. The guilt has become too much for him to handle. So there is no telling how he’s going to react to Hank’s interrogation next week.
Hank continues his Sherlockian nature and easily deduces that Skyler knows about Walt and played along with it for one reason or another (which is something I appreciate, by the way. I’m glad they didn’t drag that out. He doesn’t seem to know everything, but he at least knows she’s not entirely innocent in the matter). But he also shows he’s willing to risk anything and everything to get to Walt, as he refuses to let Skyler speak to a lawyer before he questions her to get the proof he needs. He also understands what is at stake if he goes to the DEA without definitive proof. No matter what, his career is over. But it’s all on whether or not he can finally take down Heisenberg with him.
Skyler has returned to her “God do you need to be smacked” ways (Aaaand… I might have been a little too happy when Marie did just that. Seriously. Highlight of the episode–Hell, highlight of both Marie and Skyler’s character arches throughout the entire show–for me.) Her selfishness and paranoia has skyrocketed as well, and she gets defensive during Hank’s questioning. Her ravings about whether or not she was under arrest, while I suppose understandable, didn’t make it any less aggravating.
Lydia is a character I feel I should be able to easily read or predict, yet I’m having trouble figuring out what the end game of her story arch will be and how it ties in to everything else. She’s at the point now where the product is way below Heisenberg standards, and without Walt’s help, she’s left to take care of matters herself. So she hires Todd’s family to take care of the current cooks in order to let Todd–who learned under Walt himself–take over. The most notable thing about Lydia this episode is how she put herself in the middle of the danger to help this business, yet leaves the scene with her eyes closed, too scared to look at her dirty work. It’s hard to tell if it’s because she’s just squeamish or because she doesn’t want to see the results of her actions and, thus, feel how real it is and gain the guilt for it. While the latter would be deeper for her character, something tells me it’s not that complex and it’s more along the lines of being squeamish.
The episode bookends with Jesse’s breakdown. At first I was conflicted about the old man snatching up all the tossed money, because that negated Jesse’s whole Robin Hood thing he had going. But then you see where it leads, and it’s fine again. I understand why Jesse is at this dark place right now, though I’m not sure how well it’s going to work out for this final chunk of the series. His near-catatonic silence is beyond any depression, so–again–I’m incredibly curious how Hank’s interrogation is going to go next week. If anyone could bring some emotion or words out of Jesse, it’d be Hank. And I also wonder if he will rat out Walt, as well.
I also am continually impressed with how they’re handling Hank’s storyline here. Again, I appreciate that he wasn’t played up as ignorant to Skyler’s involvement–even if he doesn’t know the extent of it, he at least realizes she knows. Though I’m really wondering how it’s going to go down with Walt Jr. He’s the only family member left who doesn’t know, and he could react numerous ways. He could take his father’s side and react hatefully towards Hank. I can’t see him being full-on “Yeah, Uncle Hank! Let’s get the bastard!” I can see him being hurt at his father’s actions and lies with confusion and attempting to understand how he could do something like this. But either way, there’s going to be at least one pretty dramatic scene between Walt Jr. and Hank that I can’t wait to see.
We also continue to have another comic relief duo moment. Last week we had Skinny Pete and Badger. This week it’s Huell and Kuby, Saul’s lackeys. There’s a great moment when they have to retrieve all of Walt’s money to put in barrels so he can bury them, but when they see the huge stack, big ol’ Huell just lays down right on top. And after Kuby argues a bit, he gives in and lays down, too. What I love best is that they bring attention to the exact thing it made me think of: Scrooge McDuck. I absolutely loved that joke. And while it wasn’t as good as the Star Trek bit from the last episode (though honestly, will anything be?), it was a fun little scene.
To be completely honest, though, this episode–to me–was only… alright. Nothing about it came off as incredibly exciting or thrilling to me. At best, this episode is just a bunch of setups for the next episode. And of course all episodes need to continue the story for the following episode, but here there didn’t seem to be any overarching theme, problem, or storyline that needed to be covered or accomplished within the timeframe of the episode. Nothing was really resolved in this episode, not even in a way that caused a new problem (for example, the train robbery episode had a beginning, middle, and end, yet still set up a new problem at the end to carry over); here, there was no payoff to anything. And because it was all setup with no payoff, it feels like I can’t really comment on much because it’s almost like half an episode. So it’s not the absolute best of this season thus far, but I do understand its place, and it was still done really well. I just can’t wait to see where it all goes from here.