Most critics would call this type of episode a “filler” episode. With “Breaking Bad” however, there is no such thing as “filler”. This week’s episode can be better described as one that is setting up the stage for the main event. In fact, the entire show as a whole has been setting something up for the audience. Seasons 1-4 built up the events for season 5. Season 5 itself is building itself up for something even more epic and dramatic. “Buried” is slowly opening up that can of worms that we’ve been dreading to see ever since Walt turned 50.
I personally always look forward to the teasers at the beginning of the episodes, before the opening title sequence initiates. This week, we see an older gentleman leaving his house at night and discovering loads of cash out on his driveway. At this point, it should be obvious that Jesse drove by not too long ago. The money eventually leads him to Jesse’s car at a park and then to Jesse himself. Yes, his character has changed for the better but he’s not happy with the person that he is at the moment. His past will forever haunt him and just doesn’t seem to care. Not to mention, the number of words that Aaron Paul spoke in this episode: zero. Yet, he still put on a powerful performance.
One of the things that this show does exceptionally well is picking up the cliffhangers merely seconds later after the last episode. This episode could have just started with Skylar at the car wash getting a call from Hank to meet him at the diner. Instead, we see a final intense staring contest between Walt and Hank on Hank’s driveway. It felt very much like a Western film; the way the camera shot both characters. Also, was anyone else thinking that Walt was going to run over that kid’s remote control car? There were a lot of elements in this episode that reminded the audience of the past.
Although Skyler is nowhere near being a fan favorite and is universally hated, she deserves a lot of credit at this point. She knows her and the kids are in danger but did not give in to Hank’s speech at the diner. Asking for a lawyer was the most genius curve ball on her part. Remember, Hank doesn’t have any concrete evidence on Walt yet. He seems to be acting more and more anxious to put a lid on this case and to see Walt behind bars before his cancer takes over. He’ll do whatever it takes, even if it costs him his career. Season 3 Skyler would have sung a musical to Hank about Walt. Season 5 Skyler? It won’t be so easy.
Walter Jr. was nowhere to be found this week, but Marie let her presence be known and really showed how she felt about the truth. She’s extremely noisy, sheltered, and easily influenced. I still can’t believe she had the nerve to slap her own sister even after they paid for Hank’s treatment. How’s that going to look in court when Hank was using drug money just so he could walk again? Seeing her side with Hank against the White family will change the game. Once Walter Jr. learns the truth, he will side with Hank and Marie as well. He’s fed up with his parents, the lies and half-truths they feed him; Walter Jr. won’t be wearing a “Team Walt” shirt anytime soon.
We then see Walter driving out to the desert to bury his cash. It’s the kind of evidence that Hank needs in order to convict Walt. All of that money that he worked so hard for; the money he bled for is now going six-feet under. What’s interesting is that this is the exact same location where Walt and Jesse very first cooked. Now a year later, he has to dispose of it. It’s his contaminate in his lab.
Meanwhile, Lydia meets up with Declan and his crew to see why their product is yielding only 68% purity as opposed to Heisenberg’s 99% purity. As she inspects their lab, she plans a hit on Declan and his men which is executed by Todd’s uncle and his goons. Todd’s the type of character who is easy to hate but really means well and often “applies himself”. It’s unfortunate for Lydia that her way of solving any problem is putting a hit on someone. I don’t expect her to survive for very much longer. She’s dodged several bullets far too many times.
Hank finally has the answer to his Heisenberg case. It’s a case that he has been extremely passionate about for the past year. Bear in mind that the last ASAC got fired because he had no idea Gus Fring was the king of New Mexico’s meth empire. Hank understands that he will get fired too for not knowing that his own brother-in-law is a meth-cooking god. Seeing Jesse not having a care in the world makes me extremely nervous. Will he flip? Does he still hold a grudge against Hank? Will Jesse pull a “Tio Salamanca” and not rat? Next week’s “Confessions” episode will continue to stir the pot as the fire continually gets hotter.