'Breaking Bad' Season 5, Episode 6 Recap - 'Buyout' and Selling Out
There was a point, earlier on in this series, when Walt's ingenious method of freeing himself from the radiator would have elicited responses of "Yeah Mr. White! Yeah science!" Now, only a few seasons later, I found myself yelling "No!" at my television.
It's a testament to the writers of this show that they could not only turn Walt from such a likable character to such a despicable one so fully, completely, and gradually, but that they can also still manage to put Walt in these scenarios that require some science magic. He's in charge, but he's never safe.
The Todd Problem
The episode begins not with the brutal dismemberment and dissolving of the child's body, but rather the brutal dismemberment and dissolving of his bike. It's a really terrific visual metaphor that allows "Breaking Bad" to show the ugly process without upsetting censors or being gratuitous: we're not seeing the kid get chopped up, sawed through and dumped in a bucket, but we can imagine it.
That just leaves the question of what to do with Todd. As infuriated as Jesse is (he clocks Todd in the face at his nonchalant "hey, shit happens"), he still doesn't want to kill the guy, so he votes to keep him on. Jesse's moral code is getting closer and closer to Batman here. For that matter, so are Mike's intimidation techniques.
I said last week that I didn't expect the spider to come back, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. Sure enough, it looks like Todd has kept the bottle and the tarantula for himself. For what? A memento? Is Todd like Dexter? Is he keeping it for the same reason that Walt kept the eye from the teddy bear?
The biggest chilling moment belonged not to Todd, though, but to Walt: just after comforting Jesse over the death of the kid when they see a news report about him, Walt goes back to work and actually WHISTLES. Cruel? Yes. Careless? Yes. And the look from Jesse says that he might just piece things together about Brock down the line.
The Mike Problem
The DEA surveillance on Mike is being stepped up, to the point where he's being watched at almost all times. Since he's Mike, he has his methods of getting away, including faking a dead drop that is in fact just a note that says "f*ck you" to Gomez. Y'all just got Mike'd!
But Mike knows, just as Hank says, that it's only a matter of time before he slips up. So Mike decides he's out. He tells Walt all about it: how he has a connection who wants to buy the methylamine from him, how he and Jesse will sell their shares of it for a cool $5 million apiece, and how Walt can either join them or keep his share.
Of course Walt decides to keep his, because he's Walt. That's an unforeseen issue for Mike, as his deal falls through when the buyer (I'm going to go with Deckland for the spelling of his name) really only wants to buy the stuff to get Walt's blue meth off the streets.
The Walt Problem
With that determined, Jesse attempts to convince Walt to join him in selling the methylamine and getting out. Here, we get a bit of insight into the Gray Matter backstory, this time straight from Walt's mouth: he co-founded the company back in college, but because of "personal issues" (we can infer that that's the love triangle), Walt left the company and sold his share for $5,000. The company is now worth billions.
Walt is understandably upset.
So to Jesse, he says no, thank you, I will not "sell out." Interesting choice of words, as if Walt was in some kind of punk band that was offered a record deal. It's clear that this is not entirely about the money anymore for Walt, but it's not all ego, either. As he puts it to Jesse: "I'm in the empire business." Not only does Walt want to be disgustingly rich, he wants it to be through something that he built on his own, even if it's through meth.
So, after the most awkward dinner ever with Jesse and Skylar (fantastic), Walt sets off to steal the remaining methylamine. Of course Mike anticipated this, so he stops Walt and restrains him in the office while he gets a restraining order against the DEA. Y'ALL GOT SAUL'D!
But of course, Walt makes his way out with science, and also manages to do the other thing he does best: come up with a plan. What is it? We'll have to find out next week, but my guess is attempting to take his competitors in Phoenix into his network.
The Lighter Side:
- "Exactly, we can't know because Ricky Hitler there shot him"
- "I have never seen anyone work so hard to not get five million dollars"
- Saul's license plate is LWYRUP. Of course.
- "Schraeder's hard-on for you just reached Uncle Milton proportions"