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Recap / Breaking Bad S 5 E 6 Buyout

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"These are very green beans, Mrs. White."
Walt, Mike, and Todd work in silence as they disassemble the motorbike of the boy Todd shot, placing its pieces in a barrel to melt down. Another barrel is also prepared for the boy. After the deed is done, Todd goes out for a smoke. He stands by Jesse and says about the ordeal "Shit happens", enraging Jesse to the point of punching him in the face.

Afterwards, Todd argues his case to Walt, Mike, and Jesse, claiming that he did what he had to to ensure their operation would not be compromised, and that he would do it again if given the chance. Afterwards, Todd is sent out of the office as a discussion is held to determine Todd's fate. Walt proposes three options: fire Todd and pay him off to keep silent, dispose of him, or let him keep working for them. The vote is cast: one vote to fire, and two votes to keep him around. Mike informs Todd that he's still in, but warns him not to bring a gun to another job without letting Mike know.

Afterwards, at a park, Mike is watching over his granddaughter. He writes something on a piece of paper and leaves it under a trash can before leaving with his granddaughter as Gomez is surveilling him. Gomez goes to see what was on the dead drop note Mike left. It is a simple two-word message: "Fuck you". Hank, who is communicating with Gomez, realizes tailing Mike is not the best course of action, at least not until they actually have evidence on him.


As Skyler worries about how to keep her children safe, Walt and Jesse continue to run labs in houses tented off by the exterminators. While taking a break and watching TV, a news bulletin is aired about the ongoing search for Drew Sharp, a 14-year-old boy who went missing after being last seen riding his dirt bike into the desert. It's the same boy that Todd murdered! Jesse is hit with a massive pang of guilt and, even though Walt assures him that something like this will never happen again, asks if he can leave early. Walt grants his request and continues to run the lab, whistling contently to himself to Jesse's unease.

After preparing the batch, Walt returns to the exterminator office, where Jesse and Mike are waiting. Mike informs Walt that the DEA is investigating him, leaving Walt incensed at Mike's supposed carelessness. Mike reassures Walt that the DEA had nothing on him, but nonetheless, he would have to retire from maintaining their distribution network for his own sake. Walt is surprised, but nonetheless accepts Mike's resignation. Afterwards, Jesse tells Walt that he's leaving, too. Both Jesse and Mike would take their share of the methylamine from the train heist and selling it to Mike's contact in Phoenix, AZ, for $5 million each, with Mike paying the legacy costs out of his share so Walt would not have to worry about them ever again. Jesse begs Walt to join them in selling their methylamine, but Walt absolutely refuses: he explains that, once made into crystal meth, the methylamine would be worth over $300 million. Jesse calls Walt out on his arrogance, asking him if he was in the meth business or the money business.


The next day, Mike and Jesse meet with the contact, Declan. Declan refuses to do business with them, however, unless he can get all of the methylamine and stamp out the blue meth

Jesse visits Walt's house that evening, and once again implores him to sell off his methylamine. Walt refuses still. He tells Jesse of Grey Matter, the research company he helped found, and which he, himself, named. Before the company got off the ground, he sold his share of the company, an even fifty percent, for $5000. The company was now worth over $2 billion, and Walt remained incensed over having sold his share, his "children's birthright", for pennies on the dollar. He brings up Jesse's earlier question about what business he was in, and answers that he is in neither the meth business nor the money business; he is in the empire business.

Skyler returns home and is surprised to see Jesse, but nonetheless agrees to have him over for dinner. The dinner conversation is very tense, however, as Skyler had told Marie about her affair with Ted Beneke. Walt tells Jesse that his marriage is falling apart and his family has abandoned him: his meth empire is all he has left in the world, and he would not take Jesse's buyout of his business laying down.

Walt rushes to the the exterminator office to take his methylamine, but Mike is waiting for him. Mike detains Walt overnight, then ties him to a radiator so he can take care of business before selling off the methylamine without worry over it being stolen. After Mike leaves, Walt uses a damaged wire to break his ziptie, burning his wrist in the process, and escapes.

Mike pays a visit to the DEA office with Saul, who informs Hank and Gomez that there is a restraining order against them: they can't approach him. This would buy them about twenty-four hours, enough time for Mike to sell off his methylamine. He soon discovers, however, that the methylamine is gone. He returns to the office and finds a smug Walt with Jesse. He pulls out his gun and prepares to kill Walt, but Jesse urges him to listen to his plan. As Walt describes it, "Everybody wins..."

This episode contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Physics: While the acid would dissolve Drew Sharp's body, realistically, it wouldn't dissolve the parts for his bike.
  • Call-Back:
    • To "Seven Thirty-Seven". Jesse reminds Walt that he once figured out exactly how much money he needed to leave his family financially secure: approximately $737,000.
    • The company "Gray Matter," which Walt co-founded with Gretchen and Elliott, is brought up for the first time since the first season episode of the same name — but not for the last time.
    • One to the previous episode, when Todd says that Walt, himself, said there could be no witnesses, hence why he shot Drew.
    • A very subtle one: after Walt lets Jesse leave a cook early, he whistles to himself "Lily of the Valley". Remember the name of the plant Walt used to poison Brock?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Todd's uncle with connections in prison will most certainly become an important character a few episodes later.
    • Todd's connections with a neo-Nazi gang is subtly hinted when Jesse angrily calls him "Ricky Hitler".
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Todd's reasoning to shoot Drew Sharp. He claims he didn't enjoy doing it, but didn't want to risk the chance of Drew driving off and exposing their operation.
  • Motive Decay: Discussed. Jesse tries to convince Walt to sell off his share of the methylamine by reminding him that he had calculated, a while back, that he would need about $700,000 dollars to leave for his family. A buyout for five million dollars would more than cover that, and let Walt retire from cooking meth; no more worries about his dark secrets being discovered, and no more fear that his family would come to harm. Walt, however, reveals that he's no longer interested in simply making money for his family: he's determined to continue cooking because it's what he wants and is all that he has left in the world.
    Walt: You asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business...neither. I'm in the empire business.
  • Motive Rant: Walt's conversation with Jesse functions as one for him, effectively completing his Motive Decay across the series.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Defied. Walt figures there's three non-ideal options for dealing with Todd: firing him and paying him off, killing him, or keeping him on to keep an eye on him. No one is in favor of outright murdering Todd, not even Jesse.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mike's stone-faced version of this trope comes back when he sees the body of the child from the previous episode. Heck, the score even sours as Walt sadly brings out an acid barrel.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!:
    • Walt refuses to sell his methylamine for 5 million dollars because his "freedom" (re: his meth empire) is all he has left.
    • For Jesse and Mike, the desire to keep making money with Walt is outweighed by their disgust at Todd's actions.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The murder of Drew and the constant DEA surveillance prompt Jesse and Mike, respectively, to quit the meth business and sell their share of the methylamine. Mike even offers to pay his guys entirely of his own share in an attempt to convince Walt to do the same.
  • Villain Has a Point: Todd's murder of Drew was horrific, but he lays out a rational thought process and defends himself pretty effectively when grilled about it; Walt and Mike both vote to keep him on.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The wildly diverging reactions to the killing of Drew Sharp by Todd between Jesse and Walt emphasize how far the latter has fallen: Jesse is completely traumatized while Walt puts a shallow mask of guilt over an obvious reality of indifference.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Walter's reaction when Mike handcuffs him to the radiator.


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