Are any other Breaking Bad fans as shocked as I am by how quickly an hour passes when watching these final episodes? Although last night’s episode, “Buried,” involved lengthier and more intimate conversational scenes, the show is screaming toward an inevitable finish.
What that end looks like from here, I have but an inkling of an idea. Then again, myself and likely millions of others didn’t expect Hank to discover Walter White’s alter ego Heisenberg until the last episode or two. That said, watching Season 5B is bittersweet. I know the show needs to end (here’s why), but Boyz II Men sang it best: “It’s so hard to say goodbye.”
Note: Through midnight CST August 28th, I’m running a contest to give away one Kindle ebook copy and one physical copy (upon release) of my book, The Gospel According to Breaking Bad. Enter here.
And now, without further shouting in quiet diners, here are 10 moments you might have missed in Season 5, Episode 10 of Breaking Bad, “Buried.”
- In the cold open, which Breaking Bad does better than any other show, the last shot shows a spinning Jesse face-up on a green merry-go-round. His mind is on his money and his money’s on his mind.
- The only thing missing from the scene in which Walter wordlessly walks away from Hank’s garage was a well-timed tumbleweed. The background wind noise was amplified, echoing every high-noon standoff we’ve ever witnessed on TV or in the movies. Allusions to westerns litter Breaking Bad like, well, so many tumbleweeds. In fact, when asked what he’d like to do post-Breaking Bad, show creator Vince Gilligan said, “I’d really like to do a western, something really hard-edged … but the truth is I guess we kind of do a western now.”
- Saul, in a way that only Saul can, suggests that Walter send his brother-in-law Hank “to Belize. You know, where Mike went to.” In what almost sounds like an improvised line, Walt jokingly yet menacingly tells Saul, “I’ll send you to Belize.” 1
- When Walt drives his white van to the desert, the rock formations look very much like the same ones in the pilot episode. In other words, it appears he’s burying his money on his old RV stomping grounds. This is also the moment we understand the literal interpretation of the episode’s title. Walter’s burying his money.
- When you lie to the Schraders, you’re going to get punched and/or slapped.
- The background song that plays while Walt digs a money pit is “Quimay Neuquen (Chancha Via Circuito Remix)” by Jose Larralde. A few notable words and phrases from the song, per Google Translate: “Water that van.” “Blood irrigated.” “Returning flood a green dream.” The song also mentions “Tucos.”
- When Skyler asks Walter if his cancer is back, he replies, “Does it make you happy?” If this question seemed a bit out of place considering that Skyler is currently supporting her husband, 2 this echoes back to a seminal moment between them in Season 5, Episode 4′s “Fifty-One,” the same episode that Skyler attempted to drown herself in their own pool. After Skyler threatens to take her kids away from Walt, she says, “All I can do is wait. That’s it, that’s the only good option. Hold on, bide my time, and wait.” Walt asks, “Wait for what, what are you waiting for?” Skyler coolly responds, “For the cancer to come back.” This is why, in last night’s episode, Walter asks her if she’s happy to hear about his cancer’s return. Tellingly, her reply is honest, yet not an answer: “I can’t remember the last time I was happy.”
- Again with the western motif, there’s a shootout at the OK Corral, except we get to witness none of the fight. The scene centers on the cowering Lydia as other people take care of her dirty work. She seems to be filling Heisenberg’s manipulative, clean-hands role quite well.
- Also, this:
— Blake Atwood (@batwood) August 19, 2013
Todd comes to the rescue, again, and people die, again. At first I thought Todd took care of all of Declan’s crew by himself 3, but then we see his Uncle Jack and his killing posse. For a brief second, I thought I was watching Friday Night Lights again, not only because Jesse Plemons (Todd/Landry) was involved in a killing, but also because Uncle Jack’s right-hand man in this scene was Kevin Rankin, a.k.a. Herc in Friday Night Lights. What the heck happened to these kids after they left Dillon? Where’s coach when you need him? 4
- I failed to mention last week that “Blood Money” was dedicated to the memory of Kevin Cordasco, a 16-year-old who died of cancer earlier this year. As an ardent fan of the show, Gilligan offered to tell him how it ends. He refused, fearing that he wouldn’t “be able to keep it to himself.” This week’s episode was dedicated to Thomas Schnauz Sr., father of this episode’s writer, Thomas Schnauz. According to HitFlix, this episode was the junior Schnauz’s last writing credit for the series.
A few questions to consider:
- Will we see
Jesse LandryTodd and his posse come riding into town at high noon, ready to dispatch Walter and/or Jesse if they don’t start cooking for Lydia again?
- Will Walter Jr. get the breakfast he deserves if he finally winds up at the Schraders?
- Will Jesse ever say another word or be able to look anyone in the eye again?
- Will Saul make a real and pre-emptive move to Belize? Or maybe he’ll hightail it to Mexico with Huell?
- Will the old man from the cold open use his money for good or evil?
Lastly, I can’t wait to be a fly on the wall of Hank’s interrogation of Jesse.
Then again, Walter hates flies, and I wouldn’t want him hating me.