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Breaking Bad Recap: S5E10, “Buried”

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, August 19, 2013 9:47 EDT
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Lots of staring into space this episode! While my sympathies are largely in favor of Hank, I can’t help but think that he dropped the ball with Skylar, and I still can’t figure out why. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to get Skylar in touch with a lawyer and, collectively, banged out a plea agreement that keeps her out of jail while putting Walt behind bars. Skylar absolutely did the smart thing by bouncing from that cafe; telling Hank everything she knows removes any leverage she has to keep herself out of jail and will almost certainly be used as evidence not just against Walt, but against her. I mean, it would have amounted to a confession. So why did Hank do that?

The possibilities that come to mind are:

  1. Hank is so befuddled by this that he hasn’t thought everything through, and really did not realize that asking Skylar to do this amounts to asking Skylar to turn herself over for the worst possible punishment because she has given away all her leverage.
  2. Hank is only playing at being helpful, but actually was hoping to trick Skylar into confessing because he doesn’t care if she goes to prison.
  3. Hank, being a law enforcement officer, just has a prejudice against lawyers and sees them as people who just slow down the process and create obstacles. This prejudice is blinding him against the fact that Skylar really should not be talking until the plea agreement is put into place.

What do you guys think?

Obviously, we’re meant to believe that Hank is going to get the full story out of Jesse, whose despair has led him to act like a man who has nothing to lose. Plus, Jesse can tie Walt to a lot more crimes than Skylar can, especially in terms of the various murders.

The episode had a very quiet feel, despite everything that was going on, including the massacre. (How great was Lydia’s unwillingness to look at what she’d done?) It’s hard to tell where all this is going, but I suspect that as much as we’ve been led to believe Walt is on the run from the law in the flash-forwards, it’s also entirely possible that he’s on the run from Lydia and her new neo-Nazi gangland friends. Or, possibly, both.

By the way, Walt’s stupid plan to turn himself in and have Skylar take all the money wouldn’t work. I know that she’s supposed to be against it because of love and all that, but the fact of the matter is that if Walt turned himself in, the law would be watching his family like hawks, waiting for them to start showing more wealth than they really should have. And then Skylar would go to jail, too. One of my favorite ongoing things about this show is how much the writers understand what a massive hassle millions of dollars from illegal activity really is, since it’s hard to spend that kind of money without having all sorts of paperwork filed that could send up red flags for the feds. Even if you buy a car with over $10,000 in cash, you have to file a report with the federal government. It’s really, really hard to deal with large amounts of cash quietly; as Skylar understands, you have to launder it through a cash-intensive business, and even then, you can’t suddenly start declaring so much income on your tax returns that eyebrows could go up. What good is money, buried in a big hole in the ground? It’s been the existential crisis that drives this show.

Thoughts? Predictions?

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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