Breaking Bad: Buried
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
“Am I under arrest?”
Walt and Hank emerge from the garage as changed men, with both aware of the other’s intentions. Sort of. Walt is definitely a wild card and has proven he will go to great lengths to protect himself and his family. Hank is playing all the angles, even one that involves telling Skylar what she (presumably) doesn’t already know. That’s what makes his conversation with her so much more fascinating, considering she knows a lot more than she’s letting on. Again, another example of Hank being a brilliant investigator by not thinking that she’s a part of the crimes as well.
As sisters, it was inevitable that Marie and Skylar would have a conversation about the events of discussion, but man did that train go off the rails in a hurry. Skylar has possibly learned a few things from Walt in that she must’ve considered the fact that Marie was wired (knowing Hank). Still, her silent responses to all of Marie’s accusations were almost as damning as had she actually responded verbally. Granted, non-verbal responses won’t necessarily hold up in court, but the relationship between sisters is definitely fractured after the revelations. She and Hank both want what’s “right” for Walt’s family, but there’s a fine line between right and fear.
Hank is a man afraid of the future more than anything. It’s always been a running joke within the series that Walt has done all of his misdeeds while sharing a beer with Hank. He’s rightfully worried about his career and how the case will be defined by it one way or the other. If (and when) he brings up his case, even with any evidence he can get, he’ll still be cast as something of an idiot. His own brother-in-law became Heisenberg and someone that close to him being such a big deal is egg on the face of anyone. How could a detective let something like that go undetected for so long? What’s more, how could someone like Walt get away with everything he did to that point? A good lawyer is how.
Saul has proven to be something of a legitimate legal counsel when it desperate times call for it. His conversation with Walt about how to deal with some of the loose ends was great, relying on sparse lights spotlighting the two conversationalists. His advice to Walt is put things in motion that will protect and insulate him from Skylar; advice which–when followed–features a cancer stricken man taking on a lot of strenuous activity that he probably shouldn’t have. It does bring to light the fact that Walt likely is being revisited by the cancer, which is enough to make Skylar realize that she wants to stand by her husband till the end…however soon that may be. Walt has yet to confront Jesse about the entirety of the situation (other than telling him to chill out with giving all the money), but Jesse is still feeling some emotional pangs.
The early bird catches the worm is how the saying goes and waking up to a neighborhood full of cash is one way to greet the day. Jesse’s contemplative depression is truly powerful and evidence of a man with shattered morals. He’s a character who went from being a fast-talking, low-level junkie to one of the biggest meth dealers in the American southwest. It’s almost as if Aaron Paul is pouring some of his own sadness at the thought of the series ending into the role. Ever since Todd killed the innocent kid riding the bike, Jesse is broken. He’s been more of a success than even he thought was possible, but that success has most recently left him catatonic.
The balance of power in the meth trade is shifting in the absence of Heisenberg and it’s doing so quite violently. There’s a reason why Walt got out of the business beyond being richer than most everyone else. Watching Lydia make her way through the carnage was pretty powerful in that it showed that some people aren’t cut out for all aspects of the trade. Yes, she can bring a lot to the table in terms of finances and connections, but she’s not the one who’s going to get her hands dirty in the name of drugs. She does know when conditions aren’t quite as excellent as they should be when it comes to drugs though.
There’s a twisted irony in Breaking Bad in that it’s looking like everything Walt has fought for in order to preserve his family may be for nothing. It’s a fear that even he indicates to Skylar after passing out, but it’s always been something of a stretch to imagine that all of his ill-gotten gains would be passed on to his family. Hank fears embarrassment and actualizing the image of him as something of a putz. Skylar fears jail, Marie fears the White children being uncared for. Jesse fears solitude and the reality, while Saul fears his money train is derailed permanently.
The threads are unraveling and the walls around Walt are closing in, painting him into quite the corner. Whether the cancer or Hank catches Walt first remains to be seen, but the fun ride continues. What’s somewhat fantastic is that Walt and Jesse continue their paths towards the opposite ends of the spectrum. When the show started, Walt was a family man with everything to gain; now, he’s got everything to lose. Jesse started as a druggie with the means to gain everything; now that he’s got everything he wants to lose it. The two paths are intriguing and offer both sides of the coin…flipping it will make the rest of the series that much more exciting.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars