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Season 5, Episode 10: “Buried”

It’s official: Breaking Bad isn’t wasting any time.

Vince Gilligan has stomped on the gas in this half-season already, and with so many things left to happen, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to let up any time soon.  The pace is exhilarating and each twist and turn redefines just how good this show can be.

The show consistently leaves you with a phenomenal cliffhanger, and last week left us with the ultimate stare-down between Walt and Hank.  Both of them put their cards on the table and the next moves are vital.  The beginning of this episode essentially became a race between the two: Hank trying to uncover as much as he can while Walt tries to keep as much as he can (literally).

Hank’s first move is to get Skyler on his side, as he’s still naïve enough to think that she’s a victim in this whole situation.  It becomes a great scene, as Hank tries to play the good cop and get her on his side, but Skyler, being completely complicit in everything that her husband has done, has a lot to lose in giving up any information.  It’s a great scene and both actors play it wonderfully.

Meanwhile, Walt is off in the New Mexico desert, burying all that money that they’ve been keeping in the storage locker.  I liked the circular nature of Walt having to return to the desert where it all started.  It’s almost as if they brought back a character that we haven’t seen in a while for a guest appearance.  You forget, after all this time and all that has happened how important the desert is to the show.

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The title of the episode is “Buried”, which seems fairly appropriate, even when looking past the literal interpretation.  The episode is primarily about Hank’s quest to bring all the details out while Team Walt and Skyler would love nothing more than to keep everything… buried.  Get it?  What about Jesse, though?  Tossing $10,000 stacks of blood money out the window isn’t exactly keeping things buried.  Now that he’s in the interrogation room, his former loyalty looks like it’s about to be tested.  Does Jesse have any reason to protect Walt anymore?  This is going to be a big question these next few episodes.

Going back to Skyler, this was a very strong episode for Anna Gunn and unless she has some amazing episodes coming to her, I’d imagine that this would be the episode the producers submit come the Emmy submissions.  A lot can be said about “The Skyler White” effect, but she’s actually having some great moments so far.  In the first episode, her scene with Lydia showed Skyler to be more likable than she has ever been.  She continues this turn in this episode, going toe-to-toe with Hank and with Marie, even at the risk of driving a wedge between her and her sister.

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It’s interesting that while seemingly everyone else around he and Skyler have died, for the most part, the meth business have left both of them primarily unscathed and now that everything has come to light, at least in the circle of their own family, they are starting to feel the ramifications of their decisions.  Walt’s life as Heisenberg has officially left he and Skyler on an island by themselves, the final relationship of family cut.

Rating: A+

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