Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 10 – “Buried”

Dem Tempurpedic stacks

As if you couldn’t guess already, Hank’s realization that Walt is Heisenberg isn’t going to end well for anyone. The battle lines have been drawn, and victory has to be on each man’s terms. That’s why Hank doesn’t want Skylar to hire a lawyer, and why he hesitates before going to the DEA unless he has an “airtight case.”

But that stubbornness and pride will come back to bite him in ways he (and we) can’t even imagine. All we know is that it ain’t gonna be pretty. So who knows if he can get Jesse to talk. Aaron Paul didn’t say a word the whole episode, yet he was magnificent. Even if he can, would Jesse rat out his father figure? I don’t think so, even if Mr. White has ruined his life several times over.

Walt is no less stubborn. He alone buries the Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of money out in the desert, cleverly disguising the GPS coordinates in a lottery ticket (though I think this will fall into the wrong hands later in the season). It exhausted him, just as every aspect of this empire of lies has done. He pathetically cries out to Skylar, “Don’t let this be for nothing.”

It may not be for nothing, but there’s absolutely no way for Walt or Hank to win on his own terms. There’s always going to be collateral damage, and probably a lot more than even they can foresee. That’s what this show’s always been about. Winners, losers and the damage they both leave in their wake.

Even Lydia, a facilitator who wants to be sterner then she has the faculties to be, has to hide and cover her eyes while the carnage she orders is carried out by Todd and his violent family. It’s another example of another recurring theme of Breaking Bad: solving a problem in the most extreme way possible, then having to figure out how to clean up the mess and find a way to replace what was lost with a superior substitute.

Both of these make cracks in the dam that holds back the floodwaters of devastation that would rain upon everyone. Just a few more and it will end badly for everyone, especially little Holly.

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