Breaking Bad: ‘Buried’ Episode Review

Bed Made O’ Money.

(SPOILERS)

Following last week’s closing moments in Hank‘s garage after an insanely intense standoff, I was expecting Breaking Bad to really shift into overdrive in this week’s episode, ‘Buried’, despite being warned to ‘Tread Lightly’.

But we all know Vince Gilligan is better than that, he’s three steps ahead of us and to guess what happens next or who will die is just idiotic on our part. Here, Gilligan tears a family apart, dividing not only brothers and sisters, but his audience too and it’s absolutely riveting to watch these relationships that we’ve watched and cared about for so long disintegrate within the space of 48 minutes.

‘Buried’s opening scenes see Jesse really struggling with the unbearable guilt of his past and the ramifications it has had on so many people. This isn’t the Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) we all know and love, this is an empty shell, a lost soul, a man with nothing to live for.

On the opposite end of the scale, Walt (Bryan Cranston) is instantly fighting to warn Skyler of Hank’s (Dean Norris) suspicions, to secure his incredible haul of cash for his family’s future and find to Jessie before Hank does. Sadly for Walt, Hank beats him to the punch as it’s only a matter of time before he’s meeting a trembling Skyler in a restaurant seeking to put Heisenberg behind bars.

Never known for its inconsistency, Breaking Bad maybe bends to peer pressure with Skyler’s character (Anna Gunn). Perhaps, it’s the sudden revelation that Walt’s cancer is back (?) or maybe her sister Marie slapped her too hard, but now we see her on the defensive when her husband is under threat from Hank and the DEA. If anyone deserves to be emotionally ravaged, it’s Skyler, with Gunn putting in a monumental performance as a conflicted wife, mother, sister and essentially, accomplice to Walt’s deeds.

Subsequently, we see her fiercely protect her child along with Walt, effectively severing all ties with Hank and Marie. In a slight change of heart, she tends to her Husband’s wounds after Walt returns from a long day of burying their money pile (cleverly noting GPS coordinates on a lottery ticket) and then offers an alternative to Walt turning himself in.

This episode also heralds the progression of Lydia (Laura Fraser), who has taken it upon herself to seize the business Heisenberg left behind. Once a neurotic, conniving methylamine supplier, she is now beginning to take the reins, wiping out Declan and his crew because of poor product issues (even if she is opposed to seeing dead bodies). Is this heading for a collision course with the DEA? It’s too early to tell.

We end with Hank returning to work, learning of a certain Jesse Pinkman being detained in cells due to his expensive generosity, opening and closing the door where Jesse’s being held in. What we’re in for next week, will hopefully be a Jesse-laden episode. I felt his presence was somewhat missed in ‘Buried’, but then again he is basically comatose to the world.

Verdict: 

An enthralling, almost tragic beginning of a family being split in two. Destructive relationships and storytelling at its best. Also, Huell and Kuby lying on a ‘bed’ of money, what’s not to love?

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