Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 6 Recap – ‘Buyout’
What an episode. Breaking Bad did it again and Buyouthad everything, action, drama, twists and whatnot, including a bit of Walter’s back mind. It was also the episode that brought Walter White down – just to let him rise again at the end of it. My episode review follows…
What just happened (episode summary): With the DEA on his back, Mike decides to sell his part of the methylamine and quit; Jesse, still dealing with the aftermath of the boy’s murder during the robbery, is joining Mike; Skyler finds out Walt told Marie about her affair with Ted; Walter finds a way to steal back all the methylamine and make a new plan.
How it happened (the chatty TV critic): We are three episodes from the end of Breaking Bad‘s season five (part one; still not sure how they will name the last eight episodes that come next summer – probably the count will continue, so we’ll get season 5 episode 9 and so on. But it won’t surprise me much if they’ll decide to call it season 6). Things are moving quickly, and even when the show’s creators take their time for episodes like the last two – which focused on how Heisenberg affects his surroundings – Jesse and Skyler mainly – it’s all working towards a big BANG effect at the end, that we will feel so good just because of those slower moments.
And things ARE moving quickly. Buyout took us a full circle, with Mike and Jesse deciding to leave the business (each from his own reasons), and with Walter losing his place at the top – for a short while – just to show us this man is determined, and full of ideas.
It was clear Jesse is not going to handle the murder of the kid by Todd, at the end of last week’s episode (Dead Freight, season 5 episode 5), too well. The pre-title sequence this week was beautiful, showing us Walter, Mike and Todd getting rid of the dead kid’s bike, as well as his body, the old fashioned way (the acid, the same stuff Jesse and Walter did since season 1 of the series). But unlike that famous “melting bathroom” scene from season 1, it’s all very clean now. Clean and quiet, and all emotions are repressed (also cinematography-wise, you only see the kid’s hand, and it’s all yellow-monochrome). Until Todd goes for a smoke outside, and meets outside Jesse (that cigarette sound…Breaking Bad is probably the best series on TV to listen to using headphones), and Jesse only waits a couple of sentences into Todd’s smalltalk (“you guys didn’t tell me this stuff smells like cat piss”, and “shit happens”) before he punches the new guy.
But that’s all the revenge he gets right now, because on the vote the three partners make right after that scene, they decide to keep Todd. And although Jesse is not happy with that, he also wasn’t happy with the other option, of killing Todd, and as angry as he was at the guy, I’m sure the third option – fire him and pay him to shut up – did not appeal to him either.
So Todd stays, and one interesting detail is that he kept the spider in the jar from the dead kid (who now, after the news report him missing, also has a name – Drew Sharp. But probably no one besides Jesse will ever remember that). It’s only interesting on the symbolic layer, of course. As a hint to the future of to Todd’s character. We don’t know much about him, but now we hear that Mike found out during the background check that Todd has an uncle in prison with some connections. This is still not something we can use for speculations and so forth, but it is going to be used. Slowly Todd is becoming a real part in the business, and in Buyout he even made sure the guys will understand how much he wants to be involved.
That works well for Walter, who finds himself alone in his own meth empire. Mike and Jesse wanted out (was Walt’s good mood, right after he told Jesse he didn’tsleep for days because of the dead boy, the moment Jesse has realised he’s in the wrong place? Can he remember that until the next episode?) and Mike even chained Walt to prevent him from stealing the meth and kill their plan – but Walt broke free again, and convinced Jesse to support his new plan.
We don’t know Walt’s new plan yet, but it’s not including selling his blue meth empire to the other group. And I doubt that he will let Jesse and Mike out so easily. The man is a dragon.
And by the way, I was very happy to hear from Walt that he checks the worth of his old company – “grey matter” – every day. We first heard about the last time his pride was crashed during season 1, when he needed money for his cancer treatments and Skyler turned to his former partners for money. I needed a reason for Walt’s obsession with pride, for his inability to trust, and that was it. Good job, writer Gennifer Hutchison.
Some other thoughts. Loved the dinner scene with Walt, Skyler and Jesse. Jesse was trying to make a conversation but no one went with him, and the whole thing was so funny. Just what I needed during all the tension around. Aaron Paul has so many faces, watching Jesse struggle in putting a mask on is pure pleasure. Maybe that was Walt’s thought too, after all, it was almost a sadistic act to have this dinner. For Jesse, because Skyler doesn’t care anymore.
Mike is still listening to Hank’s office, which helps him to deal with the DEA but clearly it’s not the answer. Now that Saul Goodman put the DEA back for 24 hours (enough for Mike to finish his sellout plan, which is not going to happen after all) I wonder how will Hank act when he releases his guard dogs (his ex partner and his partner) the next time. Mike must be careful, and he knows that. When he heard Hank talks about how “even pros make mistakes” you saw the look on his face – he know it’s true.
What are we left with: Walt’s new plan should be the big twist that will give the direction for the next couple of episodes. I’m pretty sure the final episode of this 8-episodes-batch will end with a cliffhanger, and it’s going to be bloody. Perhaps none of our beloved characters are going to die just yet, but based on the size of the deal Mike was going to make – Walt should have an even bigger plan in mind. Not to mention Vince Gilligan.
Will Jesse stay on Mike’s side, once things will get out of hands? Considering of course there will still be “Mike’s side” when Walt will go on with his plan.
Hank’s next move is also interesting. He might even leave the office, trying to take control on the action again. Oh my, can’t wait to see that.
Episode info: Buyout premiered Auguast 19 2012 on AMC. It was written by Gennifer Hutchison and directed by Colin Bucksey.