Imagine you are driving around your neighborhood and you pull over because you see something strange. What is it? Is it a stack of cash? Yes. But then it's not just one; to your far left you see another and another and another. You follow a trail of money to a red station wagon filled with cash. Holy lord, this is every person in the entire world's secret dream, to stumble upon free money. But nothing is so simple.
A body lies on a playground merry-go-round, dejected. The camera pulls up (in that beautiful Breaking Bad manner that no other show on television manages to emulate), and it's Jesse Pinkman. This is how this week's episode of Breaking Bad, "Buried," opened up. And the episode just got better and better as it went along.
When we left off last week Walt was confronted by Hank, who is now on to his every illegal move. This week picked up in the exact spot. Walt storms out of Hank's garage, headstrong but shaking inside. He immediately moves to call Skyler, but he's not fast enough. She's already on the phone with her brother-in-law. Uh oh.
Hank takes Skyler to a public space, which is odd to begin with, and proceeds to attempt to get her to rat Walt out. Of course, Hank doesn't know the level of Skyler's involvement or that she's been very consciously helping him funnel his money; their money. But he must have some idea; why else would she have sent the kids to live with Marie and him? Walt is a monster. Skyler is scared out of her mind, but she's also no dummy. She insists that contacting a lawyer should be her next move (Better call Saul), which Hank tries to dissuade her of. Once lawyers get involved, it becomes a huge legal mess and besides, then Hank cannot help her in the manner that he is willing to. Basically, Hank is saying, give up your husband and you'll be off scott free. But that's not what Skyler is planning to do. Immediately, we understand that she is going to stand by her man. Cue Tammy Wynette.
Walt goes to Saul and has his men grab the boatload of money that he's been hiding in the storage facility and move it out. (Insert amazing Ducktails reference.) Walt's next move is to dig a massive hole in the dessert in which to bury the money. I personally thought that this was a really bad idea. How in the world will the family ever be able to go dig it up. Skyler is going to do this by herself? Seems like he didn't really think this one out. Then again, what the hell do you do with millions and millions of dollars in cash? You can't just leave it lying around your house.
While Walt is off in the middle of nowhere burying his booty, Skyler is confronted by sister Marie who demands the truth. Skyler's distress is enough of a confession for Marie, who smacks the crap out of her. I have never been the biggest Marie fan but her anger was so clear and the performance of actress Betsy Brandt was heartbreaking. This character has been dealt a crappy hand for much of this show; she's somewhat annoying and her development has come and gone, but her reaction now is perfect. She storms out of the house, first grabbing baby Holly on the way out insisting that Skyler give up her daughter for safety. It ain't happening.
Walt returns home, exhausted and broken. He can't speak to Skyler because he falls face down on the floor. That's what happens when you dig a hole large enough to bury 10 barrels full of money.
Walt and Skyler try and determine the next best course of action. What the hell is there to do now? Walt is going to die soon enough; Skyler now knows that his cancer has returned, and if he gets caught and loses the money, all of it was for naught. Everything that he has done, the murders, the lies, the disaster he's made of his marriage, it will all be worthless if Skyler and the kids don't make use of the money. Even if Walt gives himself in, the cops are going to wonder about the cash. What else can they do but wait it out and see if Hank really has anything on them. He doesn't yet, a fact the White's are banking on (zing!).
However, he may have something very soon. Jesse is taken into custody by the police for tossing cash all over Albuquerque (why is this a crime?) and Hank may just be able to pull something out of him. And that's where we are left, hanging on by a thread, begging for more.
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This show is so good.
Everything up until this point has been perfection. I cannot gush over this show anymore than I already do, save the point when I start writing fan fiction and drawing hearts around Aaron Paul's name on my notebooks. But I feel like, with just six episodes left, we are now getting smacked (literally) with the reality of the situation. It has all been fun and games, dangerous, deadly, criminal games, and there have been hardships for sure. But it all worked out somehow. Even the period of distress between Skyer and Walt, the way to solving it was clear cut; he needed to get out of the business and so he did and reparations were made. But now, the cat is out of the bag. The truth is so much scarier than any Gus Fring, Tuco Salamanca or "the Cousins." The truth is what Walt has been really fighting and now the battle is at his front door.
This is a fantastical show; how any of this could logically happen, I don't know. But facing the truth is a very real concept that we have all contended with, and when we've been evading it, truth and consequences for our action is frightening as all hell. This show just keeps getting better and better.
My Breaking Bad fan fiction coming to a blog near you.