In this week’s Breaking Bad, Skylar’s meeting with Hank at the diner and subsequent confrontation with her sister Marie were definitely the most intense moments of the episode, which aired on Sunday night (see our review). The next day, AMC uploaded Skylar and Marie’s moment to YouTube as a “Talked About Scene” (which you can watch here below), but it seems like the true “talked about” scene is actually the one with Walt out in the desert and those all-important GPS coordinates: +34° 59′ 20.00″, -106° 36′ 52″.
Here come spoilers for Season 5b of Breaking Bad…
As we learned in the previous episode, Walt has made so much cash selling large quantities of crystal meth, that his wife Skylar could no longer launder it through their car wash business, so she instead has just been piling it up at a storage facility. But now that DEA Agent (and brother-in-law) Hank is on to Walt, it’s time to move the money. So, off Walt goes to bury the money in a far off spot in the desert in his home state of New Mexico. After a laborious interring of the ridiculous amounts of cash, stored in barrels, Walt gets the GPS coordinates of the location, memorizes it, then smashes the device, and before passing out from the exertion, apparently stops somewhere to purchase a lottery ticket with those exact numbers.
But where do the coordinates really lead?
A search in Google Maps for +34° 59′ 20.00″, -106° 36′ 52″ reveals that it’s actually not out in the middle of nowhere, but rather at ABQ Studios in Albuquerque, NM, where Breaking Bad is filmed (it’s also where some of The Avengers and The Lone Ranger were shot).
Right away, people began to wonder if Breaking Bad‘s numbers were significant in the way those famous Lost numbers were. Wired did some checking and the verdict was, nope, they aren’t. According to producers, it just had to be a place where people wouldn’t actually go digging thinking there was buried treasure (the same thing for the coordinates on Lydia’s cell phone, which really lead to the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport).
After the episode, Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman posted to Twitter, “Part of me wishes I could see the smile on the face of @DamonLindelof after tonight’s #BreakingBad episode. The lure & lore of numbers,” referring to Damon Lindelof, who was the co-creator and showrunner of Lost. Here’s how Lindelof, an obvious fan of Breaking Bad, responded:
@BastardMachine My smile has nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with the brilliance of Breaking Bad.