Review: 'Breaking Bad' 5x06 – 'Buyout'
If Walt hadn’t whistled while he was finishing the cook after he told Jesse to go home, it’s quite possible he wouldn’t have had Mike pointing a gun at him at the end of the episode.
Jesse was wrecked with guilt over the killing of the young boy at the end of the last episode. So much so that he tried to avoid in helping to destroy his motorbike and dispose of his body. (Which by the way, made for a very haunting, chilling and effective opening scene as we saw just how good Walter has gotten over the years over using barrels of chemicals to get rid of things that needed getting rid of.)
He found solace in the fact that his mentor, Mr. White, and Mike both felt the same way. While they felt keeping the murderer, Todd, around was the sound strategy, they both knew killing a boy was wrong and they felt awful about it.
But did the both really? Or was one of them just saying that?
Jesse began to doubt Mr. White’s true views when he heard him whistle while he was cooking, not long after telling Jesse he was having trouble sleeping at night because of the guilt. In that moment, Jesse knew he was lying and that for Mr. White, it was already time to get back to usual. This wasn’t a month later—it was, what, a day?
This is Jesse’s first insight into how much of Heisenberg that Mr. White has turned into. How long before he sees how far gone he truly is?
As much as that plotline alone was wracked in tension and let to the insanity of the final few sequences, we actually got a comedy break in the middle when Jesse came to the White house to try and convince Walter to sell his share of the methylamine with Mike and Jesse to a competitor of Gus’ in Phoenix for an easy $5 million apiece. Jesse and Mike wanted out of the business, but Walt didn’t.
Walt told Jesse the story of how he sold his share in Gray Matter, the company he created with Gretchen and Elliott, two of his friends for what amounted to some rent money: $5,000. He checked the paper every week and saw that the stock price was somewhere about $2 billion. Except to Walter, it wasn’t just about the money—it was about the legacy.
“Jesse, you asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business. Neither. I’m in the empire business.”
Of course, Jesse shoots back and asks Walt whether or not he thinks leaving a meth business behind is an empire he really wants for his kids.
Skyler then comes in and seems none too pleased to see Jesse. But since she’s terrified of Walt and told him he basically could do to her whatever he wanted as long as he left the kids out of it, she acquiesces and makes dinner.
None of which she eats of course, because she’s basically having a Big Carl-style glass of wine for dinner while Jesse hysterically awkwardly drinks water and rants about truth in advertising when it comes to a frozen lasagna not tasting as good as it looks on the box.
After this scene, Walt sees the only way of saving his empire, is to steal it. And he tries to steal the methylamine right out from under his partners.
Of course Mike is too smart for that. And he is there waiting for Walt. But not too smart in that he ties Walt up to a radiator with a plastic tie with plenty of weapons he can use to escape scattered around him. (Walt settles for stripping the electrical wire of a coffee pot with his bare teeth and fashioning himself a blow torch out of it.)
Walt eventually does steal the methylamine while Mike is taking care of one last thing – the DEA have been tailing him for weeks, which is why he wanted to quit, so if he’s going to sell off the methylamime, he needs to get rid of them for at least 24 hours, which Saul helps him doing by filing what amounts to a restraining order – and winds up with a gun pointed at him when Mike returns.
Jesse calms Mike down, however, and Walt promises a scenario where “Everybody wins.”
Everybody? Or just Walt?
- Todd has the little boy’s spider in a jar in the last scene we see him in. A trophy of his first – or maybe it isn’t – kill? Or a weapon to use later if he feels threatened by Walt, Jesse or Mike?
- Speaking of which, he seems to allude to the trio that he’s got some powerful family and friends. Mike seems to agree from his background check. Will we eventually meet any of them?
- You almost got the sense Skyler was going to confess everything to Marie, but all she wants her to know is that it’s too dangerous for the kids to be around them. I have to think that that acknowledgement will make its way to Hank as he’s putting the pieces together about Walt before the end of the series.