August 18, 2013

TPG's Chemistry Class: Season 5, Episode 10 - "Buried" (Breaking Bad Recap)

Now that Old Man Withers aka the Santa Claus of Albuquerque has found his money, I think it's time for us to talk about the latest episode of "Breaking Bad." Titled "Buried" I found the episode to be one of the weaker episodes of not just the season, but of the entire show, but more on that in a little bit. So let's strip down to our dungaroos and get this thing going.

1. After opening with the ferocity of a meth overdose, the show was bound to come down a little bit on the intensity scale in this episode, but this episode felt slower than usual. I found some of the family scenes to be overtly soapy. In fact, the baby tug-of-war moment felt very out of place on the show. I understand that the relationship between Skyler and Marie is crucial to the show's endgame but that scene just felt forced. So did the slap. Am I alone on this? Sound off in the comments.

2. Dean Norris (Hank) was killing it in this episode acting wise. When people praise the acting on Breaking Bad it's always about Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston, or Giancarlo Esposito (when he was around), but I rarely hear Norris get mentioned. Hopefully that will change after this episode because boy was Norris on point. Can't wait to see his interrogation of Jesse next week. Why do I think it may take a very "Dark Knight" like turn?

3. MILD MELT WITH CHEEZE WIZ - How many times have we seen important meetings between important figures at diners on this show? Walt, Jesse, and Gus and others are/were all frequent diner goers for important conversations, so it's refreshing to see Skyler get her on diner showdown. Worth noting that Skyler's food scenes usually take place within the home, but now she's operating beyond her domestic circle. Is this an indication that she is getting deeper into the criminal empire. I think so.

4. This episode more than any previous one was about the role that family plays in our lives. Walter reveals that he just wants his family to have the money. That's all that matters to him. Marie and Hank's  aggression toward Skyler (baby-stealing included) was based in protecting their extended family. Jesse is lost because he doesn't have any family, not enough his surrogate father in Walter. Now who has a family to rely on? That would be Todd his Neo Nazi Uncle. Lydia with her Czech buyers and friends in Todd. Shit, maybe even Hank in the DEA? But can that much family be a weakness? After all it has been used by Heisenberg before to manipulate people to act a certain way.

5. Let's give it up for Kurt Nicholas Forshager. Who? That would be the sound designer for the show (which is consistently amazing). I'm not talking about the score. I'm talking about the way that the car engine lingered in the first scene, just lingering in the background of the scene. There are other examples of brilliant design throughout the show. What's your favorite?

6. MIND MELT WITH CHEDDAR INFUSED BACON - Whenever I see a barrel on the show I think of either meth or dead bodies. Throughout the show that has been the through-line for barrels. But now we see barrels full of money and I'm wondering just how much, in the eyes of a show is a human life worth? The episode already showed the brilliant body-money size comparison with Huell & Kuby so it wants us to think about that. To Jesse the money is worth nothing. To Walt, it's worth everything. But would the value change if the money was stacked up with the worth of a life? Would Walt give up the money if the Neo-Nazi-Czech-Madrigal consortium threatened his family?

7. 34, 59, 20, 106, 36, 52. I guess TV has a new set of numbers now

8. Last week Hank said "screw family" this week he wants to protect Skylar and their family. Which Hank will rise to the occasion when they release that his rehab treatment was paid with drug money?

9. So Todd makes his first appearance and he brought his terrifying neo-nazi uncle Jack with him. This scene out in the desert showed that while Hank and Walt are playing cat and mouse, outside a bigger much more sinister predator is lurking.

10. How many people has Saul sent to Belize?

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