Sorry this blog is a day later than I wanted it posted, but I could not wait to dive into the next Low Winter Sun episode (blog on that coming tomorrow). So without further delay, let’s dive straight in!
Breaking Bad S5e9 “Buried”
So, we open with an old man leaving his home, while it’s still dark and as he gets into his truck and turns on the lights, he sees in his driveway, one of the 10,000.00 dollar straps of cash that Jesse had tossed. He sees another, and like a kid following candy, he starts picking up the straps of cash. He finds Jesse’s car in a park, just across the street from his house. It’s lights are blinking, the door is open with the bag of cash, and not more than maybe 20 feet from the open car, on the merry-go-round is a not so merry Jesse, just slowing rotating, and then we cut to commercial.
When we come back, we start things off where we had left off right after Walt’s intense “tread lightly” line, as Hank’s garage door is opening, with Walt walking out, to his car. He pauses by it turning to face Hank who closes the garage door. Walt initially does what viewers expect, high-tailing it out of there. However, he employs some safe driving, and only goes as far as the edge of Hank’s cul de sac, where he stops to call Skyler, at the car wash. Unfortunately the employee he’s yelling at for Skyler can’t get her on the phone, because apparently she’s already on the phone. We find out who she’s on the phone with a second later, as we see Hank’s garage door open again, with Hank walking to his car, with his cell phone to his ear. In case the audience needed clarification we cut to a VERY shaken Skyler, speaking on the phone to Hank in the office at A1. Walt spends about that much time putting two and two together, and then speeds off the carwash, only to find that Skyler isn’t there.
The next scene we get has Skyler meeting Hank at a diner. The biggest question in my mind was if my theory last week, that I explained on podcast that I recently started listening to again (it’s the Jay and Jack podcast if you’re curious click the link, they’re great), was going to turn out wrong. I had theorized that Hank wouldn’t be able to break Skyler, or get her to give anything up. He let her know very calmly that he was there as her advocate, and that whatever Walt had said or done to keep her quiet, that Hank would keep her and the kids safe. He asked to record her statement in the diner, saying that he needed her information to make things solid against Walt. Calling him a “monster” and mentioning how low it was for Walt to try and be manipulative by saying the cancer was back (something that Hank didn’t know for sure, and something Skyler had no clue of… we’ve already seen Walt getting chemo again, so at least the audience knows that it’s true) Skyler hesitates and pushed back, saying that for her own protection that she might need a lawyer, Hank countered saying it would only slow things up, and that her best chances were in working to “Get out ahead of this thing”. Skyler begins to get up asking if she’s under arrest, Hank tries to sit her back down, holding her wrist and she starts to repeat “Am I under arrest” her volume and pitch rising until Hank lets her go.
Now some are speculating (and at the beginning of Talking Bad – only saw the first couple of minutes) Anna Gunn goes as far as to say that Skyler’s move was strategic to get herself out of the diner, I might agree with that, however I don’t agree with some who say that her ENTIRE motivation in showing up at the diner shaken and scared was a ploy to see what Hank knew. My opinion is that she was truly afraid until she learned that Hank didn’t really have enough.
That being said I can guarantee one member of the White family is quickly acting strategically. We cut to Saul’s guys showing up at Walt’s storage locker of cash, presumably to take it somewhere for Walt, but before completing their task, they just can’t help seeing what it feels like to lay down on a giant stack of cash, that’s too large to count at this point.
Walt is at Saul’s, who can’t see Hank turning the other cheek. What’s notable about this scene is Saul’s suggestion that Walt may want to consider sending Hank to “Belize” “Where Mike went to”, which shows two things that I liked. The first is that Walt won’t hear of it, and I legitimately think that out of the two of them Saul was the first one to consider offing Hank an option… so Walt hasn’t broken THAT bad… yet. Also, it shows that no one thinks that Mike is just fine… even Saul assumes that Walt killed him. During this scene we also see that Skyler tries to call Walt, but Saul advises him not to answer, and Walt laments that she went to Hank, and he and Saul are obviously assuming the worst. The conversation ends, as Saul’s guys show up, with a van of the cash, loaded into barrels. Walt grabs a duffel bag, and throws some in for Saul, and then leaves.
The name of the episode becomes clear as we see Walt takes the van to the middle of the desert, and with a pick and shovel begins to dig, with burying the cash in mind…. looks like he’s going to be digging quite a while, considering that the entire back of that van is full of barrels full of the cash.
We cut back to Skyler trying to reach Saul, who is refusing to speak to her, and Saul’s secretary is refusing to tell Skyler if Walt’s been there. She hangs up when there’s a knock on the door, and Marie is waiting outside the front door, with Hank waiting at the end of the driveway.
After Marie pleads for a bit, Skyler lets her in. They sit and talk, as Marie begins to ask about all the past events, and when Skyler knew, like Walt’s gambling story for example (it’s interesting by the way the events that Marie lists, as opposed to the ones Hank listed in the previous episode). Skyler’s non-answers, (she’s just sitting there) are answers enough. When Marie asks if Skyler knew as for back as Hank getting shot, Skyler tries to tell Marie that she’s sorry. Marie reacts by getting up and slapping Skyler, who sits there stunned. She doesn’t sit there long though, we hear sounds from the living room, mainly Holly making sounds, we follow Skyler to see Marie with Holly, about to go out the front door. Skyler blocks her way and they start shouting, while Marie motions from the window for Hank to get in there.
When Hank bursts in he understands instantly where Marie is coming from, even as a he sees a frantic Skyler screaming to have her baby back. Being rational, and understanding things from both a legal perspective, and with the foreknowledge that pushing too hard with Skyler already caused her to panic which will hurt his investigation in the long run if Skyler doesn’t feel like she can trust him; Hank tells Marie to give Holly back. And they leave.
We cut back to Walt, who as I predicted has been spending quite some time digging the hole to hide his money.
As I wonder how he’ll ever remember exactly where he buried the cash, sometime in the early morning he takes out a GPS locator, sees where he buried the cash, and then memorizes the numbers. From there we see him sticking a lottery ticket to the fridge. From there we see him walking through his bedroom, into the bathroom, taking off his clothes getting ready to take a shower (by the way am I the only one wondering if we’re going to get a Walter White underwear shot every episode in these final 8?) as Skyler tries to get Walt to talk to her, saying (truthfully as the audience knows that she never told Hank anything) before he can get in his much needed shower or respond to Skyler, Walt collapses, in front of a shocked Skyler.
About 4 to 5 hours later, according to Skyler, we see Walt wake up, under a blanket, head on a pillow and his wife by his side. She says she knows that the cancer’s back, and despite all the hurt that Walt’s caused, I hurt for him when he replies, asking “Does that make you happy?”. Skyler tells him that she doesn’t remember the last time she was happy. Walt begins to tell her that he’ll turn himself in, and that the only thing he wants from her is to keep the money, keep it a secret, and secretly use it for taking care of the children, so that all of this won’t “have been for nothing” bringing us full circle to why he started all of this business to begin with. Skyler however begins to behave more like Cersei Lannister, and states to Walt that Hank doesn’t seem to have enough and that their best move is just to “stay quiet”, earning her the nickname “Skysenberg”, which at the beginning of Talking Bad, Anna Gunn said she liked!
At this point I’m wondering if we’re going to catch up to Jesse, Walt’s loosest (most loose?) end, but instead we get to see the one that we’ve (or at least I’ve) forgotten about all episode, Lydia!
She goes out in the desert (getting dust on a pair of very nice pumps, which I feel was to highlight just how out of place a woman like Lydia is to this criminal enterprise) to meet with her new suppliers to discuss the significant drop in quality, and demands to see their “lab”. They move a vehicle, revealing a hatch (which we didn’t have to wait a whole season to get into… though I still say WE HAVE TO GO BACK… sorry for the LOST reference, I couldn’t help it). Lydia climbs down into a buried (there’s the title again) bus. She complains about how dirty it is, and asks why they’re not using Todd, who trained under Walt (and who also killed Drew Sharp, the kid on the bike). The head guy explains that he didn’t like Todd (who has also apparently started a fire), and would rather trust his own guys.
As Lydia gets assertive she seems to be walking a fine line between handling everything, and hysteria. The head guy walks out of the bus, expecting her to follow, and Lydia checks her watch, looks at her phone (possibly texting someone), then hunches down and covers her ears, as we then hear gunfire LOTS of gunfire outside… Lydia was apparently handling everything.
The hatch opens, and someone (who turns out to be our child shooting, fire starting Todd) calls out to her, telling her it’s safe to come out. As she begins to climb the ladder, she hesitates, telling Todd she doesn’t “want to see”, Todd suggests she close her eyes, so she does, and he helps her out of the bus, and guides her past all the dead bodies.
They left the leader for last, they shoot him, and then proceed to get everything from the bus.
Our next scene is Hank, back at home (as I still wonder if we’ll see any more Jesse, as time is going quickly), looking over things at his dining room table. Marie walks in, saying she called out, and begins to ask Hank why he doesn’t get the DEA involved, and helping at this point. Hank explains what at least some viewers have seen for a while, that going to the DEA won’t be as awesome as he’d like it to be, in fact it’ll actually be awful, saying that because Walt’s been under his nose the whole time “the day I go in with this is the last day of my career”. Marie however points out that it won’t look good if he sits on it too long, and they figure it out.
So, Hank goes back to the office, asks Gomez to push back a budget meeting, because he’d like to talk to the big boss, and “get back up to speed” Gomez mentions the “cash” thing, which Hank isn’t aware of, and so Gomez explains that Hank will want to get in on this one, because it involves his “old pal Pinkman”
The last scene of the show we get starts with two detectives with Pinkman in an interrogation room, he just sits there, practically catatonic. And I start to wonder how long he’s been there. When exactly did he start throwing the money? Was it the night before the Walt/Hank “tread lightly”, or during the same night that Walt was hiding his cash?
Either way, Hank comes down the hall, and speaks to the detectives, outside of the room, convincing them, that because Pinkman hates him, and may have info on another case, that they should give Hank some time alone with him. And that’s where it ends! I cannot WAIT for next week!
Also I wasn’t the only one to pick up on LOST references!
Personally I have 2, one is that while I think Jesse will cave, it won’t be right away, we have 6 episodes to go, and second, I half wonder if the last shot we’ll get of the series will be a camera pan over the desert where Walt buried the cash, untouched.