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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.10: Buried
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Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10 Buried Review

Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 10 – “Buried”
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Written by Thomas Schnauz
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air Date: August 18, 2013

What would you do if you were Skyler White?

Considering the fact that she acted for so long as a barrier for Heisenberg’s natural progression and evolution, I can understand much of the audience not being a Skyler White fan. It’s almost by design in that aspect, as we’re conditioned to not liking her character because she’s against our “hero.” At that early stage, it was mostly because she’s the one stopping Walter (Bryan Cranston) from becoming more a badass.

But there are so many moments in Breaking Bad episode “Buried” that remind me that Skyler White (Anna Gunn) is doing the best job that she possibly can. Like Skyler, Hank (Dean Norris) and Marie (Betsy Brandt) have been affected by Walt’s cancerous decisions, but they could claim ignorance and continue. Skyler isn’t as lucky, having taken a pledge to protect this family from the man who protects this family. She’s just as buried in the business as Walt is, a fact that Marie hauntingly came to realize in an incredible standout moment for these two sisters.

(While I have a feeling that Walt and Hank’s confrontation in the garage last week will be rightfully remembered as a watershed moment for the series, I believe that Marie and Skyler’s discussion should be held to an equal standard. It’s a chilling moment.)

Skyler got a bad reputation for acting like a normal human being throughout this series. Every single one of her reactions comes from a place of reality. I have a feeling you’d want to turn in your significant other if you found out they were cooking crystal meth and were responsible for a terrible amount of chaos and carnage.

So when it comes to Hank’s brash and quick decision to throttle Skyler for details on Walt, she decides to go along for a bit, at least until she’s pushed to far. And then she’s fully on Walt’s side. And even more so than last week, we’re really given a really good layout of the show’s end game.

But it’s the moment with Walt at home that really pushes her out of the fire and into the furnace. She’s taken a full measure and there’s no coming back from that.

As with most moments in Breaking Bad, silence is golden (and terrifying). It’s even more terrifying that the only scenes in which we see Jesse (Aaron Paul) this week have him in complete silence, as the toll of everything has come crashing down on him more violently than a season ending 737 crash. Fitting then, that the show’s end game will be entirely driven by Jesse Pinkman, considering that so much of the show has been about an the attempt to redeem or further damn his soul.

“Buried” makes the lines between House Schrader and House White have been drawn and they’re as clear as the crystal Walter used to make: You’re either with us, or against us. You win or you die.

All that’s left is for Jesse to pick a side.

Quick Thoughts:

– Frustrated by the total lack of context in those promos (which are annoyingly gate kept by having to stick through AMC’s next show, Low Winter Sun) for next week’s episode of the show? Welcome to being a Mad Man fan, whose promos are always the most vague things in the entire world. I don’t know if this is the case, but I’d like to think AMC just let the Mad Men promos team run wild to drive the Breaking Bad fans as nuts as they do with Mad Men fans.

– Sending someone to Belize will be the response I provide to my children when the family goldfish dies. But I hear sending someone to Belize, is, in fact, unbelizeable.

– In an episode filled with incredible moments of tension, the Scrooge McDuck reference was 1) incredibly hilarious and 2) a much-needed moment of levity before things got very, very real.

GQ (of all places!) actually did the math on those barrels, and Huell and Kuby took more than their fair share.

– It’s fitting that an episode so devoted to the women of Breaking Bad is directed by Michelle MacLaren, who is easily one of the show’s greatest MVPs. I sang her praises when she directed a Game of Thrones episode earlier this year.

– It’s been incredible to watch Dean Norris turn Hank into a downright crusader after coming across as a glorified frat boy in the first couple of episodes of the series. I hope he’s rewarded for his efforts.

– There’s no way that Lydia (Laura Fraser) working with Todd aka Meth Damon’s (Jesse Plemons) crazy uncle is gonna end up coming back to bite everyone. Nope. Never.

– This week’s “Hey I’m Probably Wrong About What’s Going to Happen Next But I’m Totally Gonna Guess Anyway” Theory: I’m with Comedian Paul Scheer in thinking that something happens to Walt and his family, leaving Walt presumed dead. This would allow Hank to go public. But for some reason or another, Walt has to return. Whether it’s revenge as Scheer suggests or something different, we’ll know soon enough.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

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