WARNING – If you have not yet watched Sunday’s new episode of Breaking Bad, 5×10 ”Buried”, DO NOT READ THIS POST. This article contains SPOILERS!
Sunday night’s episode of Breaking Bad continued this series’ pattern of delivering intense and emotional drama. And I can’t even begin to give the actors on this show enough praise. Anna Gunn was on point this episode, Dean Norris was riveting. It’s almost ashame that this show is coming to an end, as the actors reach the pinnacles of their characters’ storylines. But all things must end, whether they be good or very, very bad. So our recap begins:
We open up with a lucky old man stumbling upon wads of cash courtesy our friend Jesse, who tossed his money all over Albuquerque last episode. The man first spotted his own wad and then followed the money trail. The trail ended with Jesse, who is really not doing very well so far this season, playing on a jungle gym with his car left abandoned a few feet away.
Cue loud harsh music and flashes of the periodic table.
In the habit of picking up exactly where we left off, we catch back up with Walt and Hank concluding their extremely heated and threat-ladened conversation. Walt races out of Hank’s house to call the one woman who can crush him – Skyler. However, Skyler is already on the phone and won’t take his call. In yet another magical moment with a garage door, Hank opens it to reveal to a stunned Walt that he is also on the phone…with Skyler. Hank got to her first. Walt heads to the car wash but, of course, Skyler already left without saying where she was going.
Skyler left the carwash and went directly to a small diner to meet with Hank. He meets her with an embrace, but his look is hard to read. How much does he know about Skyler’s involvement? It becomes clear that Hank thinks Skyler is the victim of a “monster.” Hank thinks she found out the truth around the same time she jumped into the pool earlier in the season. Hank isn’t sure what Walt did to force Skyler to keep his secrets, but he’s ready and willing to help protect her and the children. In return for his protection, he just wants her to tell him everything she knows. Skyler asks about Marie, but is careful not to reveal anything or admit to anything.
Hank takes out a tape recorder and asks Skyler to start from the beginning. Skyler seems horrified about the location of the interview and Hank’s urgency to get her statement. Hank persists but she continues to avoid saying anything. Hank tells Skyler he needs something solid on Walt, whatever she knows, and mentions that they are running against the clock. Not one to miss something, Skylar asks him to explain what that means. Hank tells her that Walt’s cancer is back. (Inner dialogue: Is she happy about that?) He tells her that Walt said there wouldn’t be any time to even convict him, if what Hank thought was even true, because his cancer was back.
Hank essentially tells Skyler he has no case so far. He has a lot of little pieces, but they don’t fit together, and he needs her help to figure it out. She responds by telling Hank that she thinks she needs a lawyer. Dismayed, Hank says that isn’t necessary and tries to argue his case. But Skyler doesn’t believe him. She thinks Hank wants to get Walt “at all costs” and wants someone there on her behalf. Hank agrees but still tries to make Skyler leave with him therefore preventing her from speaking with Walt. Skyler finally asks Hank out right, “am I under arrest?” in the “Shutup! Shutup!” style to which he responds by grabbing her arm. She continues to throw a tantrum to cause a scene and finally gets the hell out of there.
Walt, who is now doing everything he can to cover his tracks, has Saul’s men move the gigantic stack of cash. After using the cashstack as a bed, Huell suggests that they take the money and run to Mexico. “Guy hit 10 guys in jail within a two minute window, all’s I’m saying.” That response sent chills up my spine; it’s clear that Walt is now feared by everyone.
While Walt is waiting for the money, Skyler tries to get in contact with him. Saul convinces Walt to avoid the call and he listens because Walt thinks that Skyler told Hank everything. Saul tries to convince him that that’s probably not the case, but Walt doesn’t listen. Then, Saul suggests that Walt send Hank on a “trip to Belize” or wherever it was that he sent Mike AKA Walt should kill Hank. Walt adamantly refuses and reminds Saul that Hank is family. Walt’s pure shock and clear disdain of the idea was very surprising to me. It was the first of two times that Walt really surprised me this episode.
The men finally show up with the money and Walt decides to deal with it himself. Walt instructs Saul to find Jesse before he heads into the desert. Walt deals with the money by digging a gigantic hole and burying all six barrels in it, chemo-treatment and all. He memorizes the coordinates and then breaks the GPS on a rock, leaving no evidence behind about his hidden fortune.
Hank enlists Marie to plead at Skyler’s sisterly heartstrings to break her of the truth. Marie eventually convinces Skyler to open the door and the two of them head to the bedroom to chat. In a carefully constructed conversation (and some MAGNIFICENT acting), Skyler manages to let Marie know that she has in fact known about Walt’s secret for much longer than Hank thinks while still admitting absolutely nothing to her. It is right here that Marie realizes that Hank not only was shot because of Walt, but also received treatment with Walt’s drug money. Marie and Skyler’s bond is broken with a harsh (and sort of deserved) slap in the face from Marie.
Marie then leaves and tries to take Holly with her. In one of the most emotional and intense scenes of the entire series, Marie and Skyler fight (with the baby screaming in between them) until Hank convinces Marie to return the baby. Marie leaves, her world shattered. Hank joins her in the car and Marie ominously tells him that he has “to get him.” The family is now broken.
Walt finally returns home with the coordinates a la lottery ticket (nicely done, Mr. Gilligan) and we have The Confrontation. Neither Walt nor Skyler have any idea what has happened to the other. Skyler begins asking Walt a series of question but he literally collapses from exhaustion. Physical activity has that effect on cancer patients.
Walt finally comes to and they talk about the cancer. Walt asks her if she’s happy but Skyler admits she isn’t and hasn’t been in a long time. Walt believes that she already told Hank everything. He tells Skyler that it’s his fault that Hank knows, that he slipped up and it cost them. He offers to turn himself in on one condition – she must keep the money and give his legacy to his children. After all, that is the reason he did all of this. This is the second time that Walt surprised me. For two instances, we saw a flicker of the old Walt, the Walt we came to love and root for in Season 1. It seemed like that person was gone, especially after the heinous crimes he committed earlier this season. Is it possible that the old Walt is still in there somewhere?
Skyler then tells Walt again that she did not tell Hank anything. In fact, she believes that Hank doesn’t even have anything to work with besides his suspicions. In a moment that proves that Walt isn’t the only one on this show who has transformed, Skyler suggests to Walt that their best move is to stay quiet. Hello, Mrs. Heisenberg.
We then catch up with Lydia and get a glimpse into the world that was set in motion by Heisenberg. Lydia, who looks utterly ridiculous strolling through the desert in heels, goes to visit the men that Walt left in charge. She asks them to take Todd (Walt’s former mentee from earlier this season) back and allow him to cook a more superior product. The men deny her but that doesn’t matter. Soon after, Todd and his deranged family show up and kill all of the men in a firefight. Lydia, the orchestrator of this whole thing, leaves the scene with her eyes closed to ensure she doesn’t have to live with the reliving the crimes she committed. This story isn’t over yet.
We stop by the Schrader house one more time to find Marie and Hank now both playing hookie from work. Marie tells Hank it’s time for him to go to the DEA with this case. In a gut-wrenching scene, Hank finally admits a hard truth to Marie. Once Hank tells the DEA that Heisenberg, the man he’s been chasing after and the man that destroyed his life, was in fact Hank’s very own brother-in-law, Hank’s career is over. The least Hank can do for himself is to bring in solid evidence, so he is the man who takes Heisenberg down. However, Marie tells him that if Hank hides the truth and the DEA figures it out without him, and realizes Hank’s role, he will go down with Walt. That seems to change Hank’s mind.
He heads back into work and makes arrangements for a conference call. It seems like Hank is about to open the can of worms. However, in a brilliant twist of fate, Hank learns that Jesse Pinkman has been arrested and found with millions of dollars in unreported cash. Booyah baby (at least for Hank). As Hank convinces the cops to give him some time with the prisoner and heads into the interrogation room with a very much alone Jesse, the dorm slams shut and we cue the credits.
So there we have it. We are now six episodes away from the series finale and we have no idea where we are headed. The only thing we know is to expect one crazy ride with twists and turns to the very end. Catch all new episodes of Breaking Bad Sundays at 9pm on AMC.