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TV Monolith

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10 "Buried"

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Buried Buried Bo Buried Banana Fanna Fo Furied Fee Fi Mo Merried.... Buried!

Right, now that I got your attention, lets dig into the tenth episode of the final season which is not as much a barrel of laughs as that opening sentence. Heh, am I right? Eek I should stop the review right here.

We open with Old Man Albuquerque stumbling upon some fat stacks littered all over his city. Jesse's car has rolled into the nearby park and Jesse himself is trapped in an orbit of pain and guilt. This scene was effective but I kind of wish we saw the magnitude of everyone waking up and finding the little extra extra they had on their lawns. Nonetheless it is an appropriate bookend to how the episode ends, even if the ending leaves a bit of the same to be desired.

The episode starts off with a standoff of sorts. If you remember back to the end of "Hazard Pay", Walt talks of flying too close to the sun and then the garage door closes bringing the black from the top of the screen down, symbolizing that there is little room left to ascend at this point of the series. We get the same type of scene here, but instead of it referring to Victor or Mike, it is Walt who has had his head too far up in the clouds which is what got him caught in the first place. I love how as he pulls back from the driveway, both his car and the toy car stop short with each other, in reference to what happened in season 2 with Marie.

Practically every episode gets an intense score from Dave Porter and the best use of it was right here as Walt panics in his efforts to get through to Skyler. Just like that, Skyler's brief bubble of calm from last episode has been popped by one of the last phone calls she would ever want to receive, possibly until "Ozymandias". Hank sits her down and you can tell he is approaching this as diplomatically as possible. He wants Skyler safe but he also wants to get to the finish line at any cost, which Skyler fairly points out.

Upon second try, Marie comes over and we get another attempt at diplomacy but the situation reeks of personal betrayals. We then get a rather disturbing scene between the two as Marie smacks Skyler across the face and then attempts to take Holly away. Season 1's 7th episode involved Marie stealing a baby tiara for Holly and now look where we are 7 episodes from the end... The closing shot of this scene shows Marie walking down the driveway, completely distraught by the reality of this discovery. Just like that, the universe of this show has become a lot more strained, and as Marie checks out her window for reassurance, she turns back to facing forward and tells Hank the only thing left that makes sense: "You have to get him."

Huell and Kuby go down to storage to get Walt's money while Walt and Saul mull over their options.

I love these characters ^. I'm so glad they became more prominent in the final 8.

Saul initiates the idea of sending Hank to Belize, similar to Mike, and it is shut down immediately. Walt still has a line he won't cross if you can believe it. He drives in a white van out to To'hajiilee which is essentially the birthplace to the show's story and begins to bury his barrels of money. The coordinates are set, and he returns home only to collapse on the bathroom floor. This is when the character of Skyler goes for another reversal. Not only has she rejected Hank's help (although his racing tunnel-vision is understandably not too appealing), but she realizes now that Walt has cancer (a happy birthday death wish she gave to him in 5A), and that she still cares for him. She agrees that the best course of action is to run out the clock and avoid coming clean. A choice of hers I personally think was a mistake, but I understand it.

Talk about your clash of all the supporting characters that were introduced in 5A. The unambitious Declan with his sub-par crew get completely wiped out in one foul swoop, courtesy of Lydia, Todd, Uncle Jack and the rest of the white supremacists. This is like a more vague, distant subplot, much like how Tuco's cousins started off, where you know something is developing, but you're kind of in a fog about where it's heading. I mean with the cousins, it was easier to put together what was going on, but I remember when this first aired, I thought it was an interesting scene but had no idea what else to think.

Now that we can go into this with the knowledge of what happens, this scene has become a bit better. It feels like a bad omen of what's to come. We hear an intense hail of gunfire off-screen, followed by Uncle Jack and gang hijacking the booty. Now that I think of it, I'm surprised I missed the parallel of Walt burying his money in the same episode where other people were rounding up whatever they could find underground some place else. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see Uncle Jack in a more hands-on role when compared to his first appearance in "Gliding Over All". Also, the only way you can come up with supporting characters just as interesting as Gus or Mike in the final season is by not trying to outdo those characters. It was a better choice to make a whole band of unpredictable characters in order to get something unique. Sociopathic Todd who has the muscle to back him up and Lydia who trots in high heels blindly across the desert of her dead associates, makes for some exciting television.

Eventually we're left with Hank again and it is established that he won't let the DEA in on his discovery until he has solid proof. It is quite understandable. Plus it gives Hank from a creative standpoint the excuse to play cowboy, which is a lot more fun. Later as he goes to work, Gomez fills Hank in on Jesse's misadventure and finally a wild card presents itself. We get to see those two FBI guys again who interrogated Jesse back in "Face Off", and once again Jesse doesn't give them anything. In fact, not a word this time. He has completely drowned them out.

"Buried" ends with Hank convincing the FBI duo to give him some one on one with Jesse. They agree to step out for a bit, Hank walks into the interrogation room and the door closes. End of episode. Now in my opinion, I kind of wish we got a more compelling ending for that. I'm not saying more of a cliffhanger, because the reunion of Jesse and Hank is definitely big, but it feels like that is all the ending was relying on. Not to say "a door shutting followed by a roll of credits" is cliche' but I wish we got more subtext to it. A little symbolism? Something... I mean the story is moving forward superbly, but out of the 8 episodes that were left, this ending was the most bare-boned and therefore the weakest. Still, we got a lot of great stuff in the meat of the episode, although a lot of it is just setting up the pins for what's to come. Overall, a good episode though.

BLOG QUESTION: Looking back, do you think Lydia, Todd, and Uncle Jack earned their keep as characters in this final season?


  1. Walid's Avatar
    I didn't like this episode the night it premiered, but upon rewatching it's pretty great. Oh my god, the Marie/Skyler scene was so hard to watch.

    Todd and Uncle Jack I'd say earned their keep. They became two of the most dangerous{IMO} villains the show had. Lydia was an OK character but I could've done without her.
  2. lionelhutz123's Avatar
    I like to think of lydia as a fair representation of madrigal. the whole idea of expanding internationally was essential and felt like an appropiate successor to what los pollos hermanos brought to the show. Lydia was not Gus, but she did offer something... new. I think the writers got a lot of mileage out of her for what they were trying to achieve, but yeah, todd and uncle jack were the more exciting new additions to close the show out on.