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Recap / Breaking Bad S5 E10: "Buried"

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Season 5, Episode 10:

"You moved the money, didn't you? You buried it somewhere."
Written by Thomas Schnauz
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Air date: August 18, 2013

"The way Hank talks, he's got his suspicions. Not much else. You can't give yourself up without giving up the money. That's the way this works, Walt. So maybe our best move here is to stay quiet."
Skyler White

In the still-dark early morning, an elderly man prepares to leave his house, but upon starting his truck, pauses and gets out to find a bundle of cash laying in his driveway. He then notices a small trail of money leading to Jesse's car crashed in a playground, which contains Jesse's bag of $5 million. Nearby, Jesse himself is seen lying down on a merry-go-round, completely unresponsive to his surroundings.

After having been forced to face the reality that Hank knows he is Heisenberg, Walt rushes back to his car and calls the car wash, asking for Skyler. She cannot be reached, because she is already on the phone with with somebody else. Looking out his window at Hank, Walt realizes just who she is talking to...

Skyler meets with Hank at a diner. Hank wants Skyler to tell him everything she knows about Walt's criminal enterprise, assuming that she was an innocent victim who only recently found out about Walt's double life, but Skyler is very uncomfortable with Hank's aggressive desire to arrest Walt and asks if she should contact a lawyer. Hank tries to assure her that he's only interested in her safety, as well as her family's—he tells her to bring Jr and Holly back to his house. Skyler won't help him, however, and tries to leave. When he continues to try to ask her questions, she demands that Hank tell her if she's under arrest before leaving in tears.

As Kuby and Huell are sent to collect Walt's stack of money from storage, Walt vents to Saul about how Skyler could think to go to Hank before him. The two decide to go over their options, with Saul suggesting that Walt "send [Hank] on a trip to Belize"—where Mike had gone. Walt angrily shoots down the idea; he refuses to have family killed, and threatens to send Saul to "Belize" for the suggestion.

Huell and Kuby return to Saul's office, reporting that they had taken all of Walt's money and loaded it in seven barrels in a rental van. After compensating the two, Walt sets off for the desert of To'hajiilee. Throughout the day and into the night, Walt single-handedly digs a pit to bury his money for safekeeping. Afterwards, he takes note of the money's coordinates: +34° 59'20", -106° 36'52". After committing the coordinates to memory, he has a lottery ticket printed out with the same numbers as the coordinates and pins it to his fridge.

Marie visits Skyler and tries to talk to her about Walt. She asks Skyler how long she had known about Walt's criminal activities, to which Skyler can do naught but cry and apologize. Realizing Skyler knew what Walt was doing even before Hank was shot by the Cousins, Marie smacks her across the face, accuses her of not cooperating with Hank because she thinks Walt can get away with it, and storms out of the room. She tries to take Holly with her, but Skyler stops her. Hank enters the house as the two sisters scream at each other as Holly cries in Marie's arms. Hank instructs Marie to give Holly back to Skyler before they leave. Appalled that her sister is a willing accomplice to a meth kingpin, Marie quietly tells Hank: "You have to get him."

Walt returns home early in the morning, covered in sweat and dirt. Skyler follows him into the bathroom as an exhausted Walt prepares to take a shower. Skyler explains that she said nothing to Hank and pleads with Walt to talk to her, only for Walt to collapse and lose consciousness. Skyler tends to Walt until he comes to. He tells her that he will turn himself in on the condition that she not return the money he made, so that everything he had done for the family would mean something. Skyler, however, tells Walt that he can't turn himself in without giving up the money. She says that Hank doesn't know anything for certain, so the best thing they can do is keep silent.

Meanwhile, out in Arizona, Lydia meets with Declan and his crew; after taking over Heisenberg's operation, the quality of the blue meth had declined sharply. She is displeased with the unkempt, filthy state of their lab and suggests Declan hire Todd, who worked under Heisenberg and would know how to make quality meth. Declan adamantly refuses, however. With Declan no longer proving to be of any use, Lydia signals for Todd, Jack, and his neo-Nazi gang to come and deal with them. As Declan and his cook leave the lab to investigate, gunfire rings out. Todd eventually comes to retrieve Lydia, guiding her out of the lab as she closes her eyes so as to not see the death and carnage wrought upon Declan's crew. Jack personally executes Declan as Todd escorts Lydia away.

Back in Albuquerque, Marie suggests that Hank get ahead of the situation and reveal to his colleagues that Walt is Heisenberg. Hank, however, is reluctant to do so; he saw first-hand how his old ASAC, Merkert, was sacked after it came to light that his friend and associate, Gustavo Fring, was a meth kingpin. To reveal that his brother-in-law was the infamous Heisenberg would be career suicide. If he is going to reveal Walt's true identity, he wants hard, irrefutable evidence that will ensure his downfall, so he wouldn't have ended his career in vain. Until then, however, he has no choice but to bide his time.

When Hank goes back into work, he learns from Gomez that Jesse Pinkman is in custody yet again, having been brought in by the APD after throwing large quantities of money from his car. Hank sees Jesse sitting in the interrogation room in a state of catatonia, paying no heed to the officers questioning him, and asks to be given a few minutes alone with him...

This episode provides examples of:

  • Book Ends: The episode begins and ends with Jesse nearly comatose and in a state of Heroic BSoD.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Marie and Hank are arguing about whether or not Hank should bring his suspicions about Walt to the DEA. Hank argues that as soon as he walks into the office saying his brother in law was the man he's been chasing for a whole year and a half, he's immediately getting fired, so he needs to bring proof of Walt's guilt, not suspicions. Marie points out that sitting on this evidence and not bringing it in is also going to look suspicious when he eventually reveals it, to which Hank notably doesn't respond.
  • Broken Pedestal: You can see the heartbreak building and building in Marie's eyes as she she begins to realize how complicit Skyler is in Walt's actions. Marie giving her a huge slap on the face just solidifies that the damage is done.
  • Call-Back: When Kuby and Huell go to get Walt's money, Huell suggests that the two of them just take it for themselves and flee to Mexico. Kuby quickly reminds him that Walt had ten men killed in under two minutes.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Jack Welker and his crew wipe out Declan and his men without getting so much as a scratch on themselves.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Saul asks if Walt wants Hank to take a "trip to Belize", like Mike did. Walt is supremely offended by the suggestion and suggests Saul to be the one "sent to Belize".
  • The Dreaded: At least when it comes to Kuby and Huell, Walt is not someone you want to steal from, though it is implied by Walt's "close enough" and their shared side glances that they, in fact, did.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Marie attempts to leave the White household and take Holly with her, Hank steps in and forces her to return Holly to Skyler. While Marie's motivations are understandable, taking Holly would still legally be kidnapping.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Walt refuses to even consider killing Hank. Arguably more of a case of Even Evil Has Loved Ones, as Walt for significant time at this point has consistently shown little to no qualms of any kind about killing anyone not close to him, or any innocent bystanders who may get caught in the crossfire of his actions.
  • Family-Values Villain: Saul suggests killing Hank. Walt is disgusted at the notion of killing a family member.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Walt's little "blood money" speech he gave to Jesse in an attempt to demean him into staying in the meth business comes back to bite him big time when Jesse decides to throw all of his money out his car window, attracting police attention, which comes back to bite him majorly later in the show.
  • Internal Reveal: Skyler learns from Hank that Walt's cancer is back.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: After executing Liam, Jack sticks the pistol he just used in the front of his pants.
  • Pooled Funds: Downplayed. As they retrieve Walt's money, upon seeing the massive pile of cash, Huell decides that he simply has to take the chance to lie down on top of it. Kuby admonishes him for "channel[ing] Scrooge McDuck" before being persuaded to join.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Marie snaps after she finds out Walter is a drug kingpin and Skyler was complicit in his actions and in retaliation and blinded by rage, tries to take Holly away from her.
  • Run for the Border: Parodied. Huell tosses Kuby the idea of stealing Walt's millions of dollars for themselves and heading for Mexico. Kuby advises against this, considering the man that they're working for.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: Declan notably lasts just a bit longer than the rest of his nameless men.
  • Visual Pun: In the midst of his emotional breakdown, Jesse is left on the merry-go-round starring at the sky while it spins round and round. Jesse is literally spiraling.
  • Wham Episode: Marie learns that Walt is Heisenberg, and Skyler learns that Hank and Marie know. Despite Hank's best efforts, Skyler decides to protect Walt rather than cooperate with the DEA, believing that Hank's mission to take down Heisenberg is going too far. Meanwhile, Walt buries his drug profits in the New Mexico desert, which takes up the entire day. Jesse has had a nervous breakdown and is now being questioned by the DEA about his drug money, and Todd and Lydia have taken over Declan's operation with help from Jack Welker and his crew.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When Declan and his men are not capable of cooking meth that is pure enough, Lydia uses Todd's connections to take them out.

"Maybe you could keep an eye on our suspect for us, just for a few minutes."