TV Recap: Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 10: “Buried”

The Overthinkers recap Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10, “Buried.”

Huell and Kuby Swim in MoneysPeter Fenzel, Shana Mlawski, and John Perich recap Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10, “Buried.”

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8 Comments on “TV Recap: Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 10: “Buried””

  1. JARS #

    About the bathroom scene. Walter says “please don’t let me have done this for nothing” not be happy or keep the family happy. One could argue that what Walter is really saying is this is my legacy, this is what’s important, I’m going to die anyway but if they can’t take away my money, then I win. Maybe he is not regressed to tinking that family is the most important thing or even lying to himself about his feelings but really just selfishly fighting to win even with his last breath, only maybe wording it in a way that doesn’t sound too much as an a-hole.
    Or we could just compare “family is what’s important” coming out the lips of Walter in a way similar to the way Tywin Lannister says it, wich has came up a few times in the GoT recaps.


    • mezdef #

      I’m inclined to agree with this interpretation, although there are certainly many more. It ties in nicely with an excellent add for the second-half of this season that was recently released:

      In the add, Walt recites the famous poem Ozymandias by Shelley, which perfectly encapsulates Walt, his inevitable fate (although we know, as discussed in this episode, how the show and it’s creators love to confound expectations), and his presumed folly in attempting to ensure his legacy.

      While it would be statistically inadvisable to attempt to divine artistic and narrative intent of the work with the contents of a trailer (I feel like this is a Mark Lee post waiting to happen), it certainly seems to fit.

      I’d also like to float another interpretation – how I read it while watching (my lizard brain) – that his confrontation with Hank really had shaken him to his core, and hence was not in possession of all his wits. This is, after all, the last person he wants finding out; This situation really does not end well for one or more parties whichever way he looks at it. As evidence for this, I submit the phone-call scene at the beginning of the episode where he is desperately trying to call Skyler – complete with shaking hand – to do some damage control. He evidently masters his wits later (by the time he visits Saul), but perhaps his waking from such a physically draining exercise means he does not have those walls up at that point.


    • John Perich OTI Staff #

      Ooh, I like this interpretation. Walt’s been doing this [for himself / to get back at Gus Fring / to show those jerks at Gray Matter who’s boss / to outsmart Hank / for his family], in a descending order of priority. So while he wouldn’t normally say he’s doing this for his family, he absolutely prefers that to “doing it for nothing.”


    • Ben Adams OTI Staff #

      Yeah I think the whole “family is important” comes from a much more general idea of “Legacy” that’s so important to Walt.

      More than anything, he wants to be REMEMBERED. When he was dying of cancer, he just wanted his wife and kids to remember that he took care of them – that he made $737,000 just for them. Then when the cancer starts to go away, his time horizon shifts – no he can be remembered by a whole CITY (of meth heads) for his EMPIRE BUSINESS.

      Now, the cancer’s back and he’s built his empire – he’s back to just not wanting to be remembered as a schlub.

      That also explains why he doesn’t really bother to count the money in the barrels in the truck. When he needed actual currency to pay his bills and buy cool stuff, the numbers mattered – every last nickel and dime(bag) had to be accounted for.

      Now, it’s just The Money. The amount doesn’t really matter – as Skylar said, it’s more than they could spend in a lifetime. What matters is that he and his family still have The Money in an abstract sense. So if Huell did take some (and I hope he did), who really cares?


      • Redem #

        Personally I thought Walter was being conciliant toward Skyler as a way to keep from barking to the police. In time for him to get things n order


  2. Brofather #

    To me, a hallmark of Breaking Bad is the conversation in which one side tries to dictate terms to the other, leading to wildly different conclusions on each side. This can be seen in past confrontations between Gus and Walt, Walt and Skyler, in which the person who thinks they’re in control of a situation is promtly bitten in the ass by the concequences of their asserton.
    In this episode in particular the scene between Hank and Skyler at the diner; Hank is trying to dictate ‘their’ next moves based on the assumption that Skyler will be grateful to help convict Walt, wheras Skyler is thinking about Hank’s legal authority and gauging the strength of his case against them.
    I’m inclined to see this as an indictment of the moral arrogance both of the characters in the show and the ur-American Mentality that runs through the whole series. To zoom way out and try to apply this on the global scale, Gus Fring’s ruthless capitalism could be seen as (an allegorical) concequence of Chile’s US-backed anti-Communist regimes. That the Nazis explicitly come out of the woodwork as instrumental to Walt’s final securing of his gains from the Empire business seems to send a message about the high high moral price of getting everything just how you want it.
    Is Breaking Bad to US Foreign Policy as The Wire is to the criminal justice system?


  3. Tulse #

    Regarding the multiplicity of Nazis: While Gus Fring may have come from a fascist regime, I really don’t think Todd’s neo-Nazi buddies would see a dark-skinned Latino as a fellow traveller.

    I was struck by the observation that this show is often about the visuals, and less about plot theme or political/social commentary. It is certainly one of the most beautifully and thoughtfully shot shows on TV (and gives most films a run for their money), and I do think that Gilligan’s art largely appears through the visuals. I can’t think of a show such as the Sopranos or even Mad Men having such distinctive images. The cold opens often have scenes that border on the surreal (a damaged teddy bear floating in a pool; a line of Mexicans crawling towards an altar; a turtle with a severed head on its back), and I can’t think of any images that sum up the characters of Tony Soprano, Don Draper, or Al Swearingen quite like a) Walt in his tighty-whities in the desert, or b) Walt in his Heisenberg hat and murderous glare.

    I think what is especially interesting is that those visuals are not just superficial or “stylish” — they clearly convey something deeply meaningful about the characters and the themes, but do so in a way that is not didactic or expository or (as the kids say) “anvilicious”. They are stylish, but they also communicate in an implicit and profound way. I hope that this is one of the true legacies of the show, that it elevates the visual aspects of television into something more than just a “style”, but makes them an integral, and perhaps even primary, part of what is being conveyed.


  4. Chris Morgan #

    Well actually, Belize’s Tourism Twitter account sent a tweet to Dean Norris during this episode, because they are on their game. Also, I think Belize was chosen because it is a more obscure, funny sounding reference.

    As for Lydia, I think perhaps the point of her scene was to show that she isn’t really prepared to get her hands dirty in the business. She is, after all, more of a business woman. She shows up to a drug meeting in the desert in fancy attire (although she put her hair up) wearing expensive (presumably) high heels with name recognition. When the bullets start flying, she freaks out and, of course, she doesn’t want to see the dead people because she doesn’t have the stomach for it.

    Gus was a business man, sure, but he was also a guy who could slit somebody’s throat and hold them up as an example. Lydia isn’t prepared for that, and she may be in over her head, and that could end poorly for her and, perhaps, Walt.

    Also, I think the shot of her coming down the stairs may have been a result of there just simply being only so many ways to shoot that shot. Their hands were somewhat tied. And, if it means anything, and it probably means a bit, this episode was directed by Michelle MacLaren, who is much beloved for her prolific work on the show. She is very good.

    It’s funny you mentioned the title of this episode, and titles of TV episodes, because I heard some stuff vis-a-vis the series finale’s title. Feel free to look into that if you want.

    In terms of Walt on the bathroom floor (where he was not caught red handed banging. It wasn’t him.) I just figure, based on past events, when he is feeling weak physically he tends to get a little defeatist. Although, I think the main reason he may have suggested giving up is just so the show could have Skyler go all in with him and tell him no. Sorry to view this more from a sausage getting made perspective as opposed to a critical theories perspective, but that’s the way I tend to look at things firsts. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Since this episode picked up right where the last one ended (after the cold open) I figure that is what will happen in this episode, so we will get to see Jesse and Hank. I sure hope we do. Oh man, I am intrigued at that possibility.

    Lastly, Dean Norris has been excellent so far, and will likely take the now traditional Best Supporting Actor spot that went to Jonathan Banks this year and Giancarlo Esposito the one before that. The question is, will two time winner Aaron Paul be nominated again? He’ll need to start speaking.


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