Monday, August 19, 2013

(TV) Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10 “Buried” Review

For a program that has been criticized for its lack of real and rounded female characters, in Breaking Bad episode 10, Skyler and Maria clearly took center stage. In episode 9, we saw Hank confront Walt about his lies and this episode clearly made Skyler confront her complicity with regard to Walt crimes and this episode confronted Skyler with a clear choice between right (Hank and Maria) and wrong (Walt) and made a solid choice in favor of the latter.

The nature of morality, human choice and its consequences has been at the heart of this show and was for all to see this episode both Skyler and Hank were faced with choices which ended the former siding with the devil and the latter choosing one last shot at redemption risking his career and even his freedom in the process. The motivations for Skyler’s choice are less than clear as she meets up with Hank in a coffee shop after Hank and Walt battle to see whose speed dial is quicker but, just like Walt in his epic confrontation with Hank, doesn’t really say anything that would incriminate her in a court of law despite Hank’s less than subtle prodding.

She could have easily given Hank the opportunity to hang Walt out to dry and still maintain an undeserved veil of innocence but twice she sided with Walt even when Walt, drained by the exhaustion of shifting then burying his meth cash, offered to turn his self in and in that exchange she informed Walt of his ‘best course’ as Walt did so chillingly in episode 9 to Hank which reveals why Skyler and Walt are such a perfect match, they both like control and can’t stand being out of it.

One of the highlights of the episode was the confrontation between Maria and Skyler where Skyler is forced to face her complicity in Walt’s numerous crimes with Maria asking if Hank’s suspicions about Walt are true and Skyler, though showing guilt through her emotion, said little to nothing accept offering a very guilty apology which Maria reacted with a right hand slap across her face as her tears were a by-product of her shame and the consequences of the truth getting out rather than heartfelt guilt or contrition.

We see the extent to how much the White-Schrader clan has split into two camps as Maria, in a full blown state of rage, attempts to take Holly and Skyler demanding that her sister handed over her daughter with both at the top of their lungs until Hank intervenes and encourages Maria to stand down leaving only a look of disdain for Skyler as she clutches her baby tight on his way out.
In-between the White-Schrader family turmoil, Lydia sought to ’deal’ with the purity problem that was only getting worse with a meeting in desert land Albuquerque, New Mexico with the meth cookers who replaced Walt and telling from their boss combative attitude towards Lydia and the state of the underground lab, the drop in quality was no shock given to the conditions we got used to in seasons 3 and 4.

What was to happen next was quite predictable as very few problems within drug operations are rarely solved by rational debate but the scene was still excellent as while we didn’t bear witness to the massacre the meth cookers, the soundscape was enough to tell the story as we stayed with Lydia in the underground meth lab, sending the signal for the hit, crouching with her hands over her ears.

In this episode we also had the reintroduction of Todd, the calm, pleasant yet clearly sociopathic young man is everything Jesse is not and what Walt quietly wishes he was. Last season we saw how cold he could be with his split second decision to murder Drew Sharp in cold blood and in this episode we are reminded that cold blooded murder is the family business.

Episode 10 is another episode we find Jesse still ridden with guilt as he is tracked by one of his random recipients of his unwanted meth cash after literally following the money to Jesse on a merry go round swinging himself and staring into space. Jesse doesn’t really figure much in this episode as most of the episode was lent on the dramatic dissolution of the White-Schrader family.

However at the end of the hour, we find that Jesse may just be given a golden opportunity to redeem himself as well as Hank as he ends up being picked up by the cops and questioned by detectives with Hank talking his way into the interview room.

In sum, Episode was just as drama filled as the first installment of   the second half of the final season of Breaking Bad. While tension were high we were treated by a small but telling scene where Saul’s Henchmen Huell and Kuby pick up Walt’s meth cash as both take a load off on the bed of cash with Huell pondering running away with Walt’s money and Kuby reminding his partner of Walt’s hit on mike’s guys in the can, arguably his most villainous and unforgivable act yet. Finally, episode 11 looks to be a barn-burner with scenes between Jesse and Hank set to impress. Till next Week!!!   

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