The latest episode in AMC’s Breaking Bad drama series is called “Buried”, and the title couldn’t have been more aptly chosen.
(Plot synopsis and potential SPOILERS below)
“Buried” picks up immediately after the conclusion of last week’s episode titled “Blood Money”, and puts the focus back onto the emotionally destroyed Jesse Pinkman. Aaron Paul perfectly portrays this now extremely distraught character who only conveys his troubled thoughts through brooding expressions and blank stares. Paul didn’t have to speak a single line in “Buried” to get the point across to the audience that Pinkman is at his wit’s end, and at any minute he could do something drastic. This is expertly foreshadowed during the final 5 minutes of the episode when one of Jesse’s former adversaries gets a chance to pick his brain, which if successful, will undoubtedly lead to Walt’s demise.
Jesse has turned into robot who doesn’t seem to want to live anymore, but the Whites on the other hand are now in a desperate race to keep their illusion going. Now that Hank knows that Walt is indeed Heisenberg he turns to Skyler to comfort her, but he isn’t prepared for the way she reacts. Basically, she’s not willing to throw Walt under the bus because she knows that she too has been hiding his secret from her family and friends. The diner scene between Skyler and Hank is very tense, and both Gunn (Skyler) and Norris (Hank) give a stellar performance to sell the drama. Watching Hank plead with Skyler to help him so he can help her is very sad, but it showcases the fact that Skyler is seemingly in her husband’s corner now, which may have not been the case a few months prior.
Their conversation carries over into another emotional scene involving Skyler, in which her sister Marie tries to console her and get the truth out of her since Hank failed. Once again Skyler holds true in what is easily the most talked about scene from “Buried”, and another that proves Skyler is going to side with Walt regardless of their rocky past. Watching these two sisters interact in this uncomfortable situation was saddening, yet vintage Breaking Bad, and it contains one of the nastiest bitch slaps to ever air on TV.
While Skyler is getting grilled by Hank and Marie Walt is left to dispose of their cash surplus, as he maintains his Heisenberg cool to help remedy the situation. Once again Cranston brilliantly portrays the calm demeanor that Walt has taken on this past season after becoming a kingpin of sorts by cleaning up all of his “messes.” He slaves away digging a massive hole in what seems to be the very same desert where his meth career began to bury his cash flow in an attempt to remove any evidence that Hank could use to nail him. Walt isn’t featured too often in this episode in an attempt to heighten the drama with Skyler, Hank, and Marie, but when he is, Cranston still manages to command the screen, and his portrayal of Walt moves ever close to the Dark Side.
“Buried” didn’t do too much to move the overall Breaking Bad story arc along, but its intense dialogue scenes between Hank, Skyler, and Marie all helped to heighten the tension that the writers obviously want fans to experience. Skyler’s reaction to her sister and Hank is priceless, and one that this fan didn’t fully expect. Jesse’s waking catatonic state is also an interesting thread to watch play out, and it looks like he may be the mentally exhausted acquaintance of Walt’s that Hank needs to build a case. It’ll be interesting to see how Hank and Jesse’s inevitable conversation plays out in next week’s episode, which is titled “Confessions”, because in his fragile state there’s no saying what Jesse will do when put to Hank’s grilling.
Head on down past the break for a preview of next week’s episode, as well as two behind the scenes looks at “Buried.” Breaking Bad airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9 pm EST.
All photos are by Ursula Coyote/AMC