The Orange Couch: Breaking Bad, Episode 6: “Buyout”
Sorry that the most recent Orange Couch episodes have been a little later; travel plus illness have made getting them out by Monday morning a bad idea. As you’ll see from the video, this latest episode of Breaking Bad is all about exploring character motivations, presumably so we’re all situated before the plot gains momentum. Having characters sit around and discuss why they do the things they do can be fatally boring—thus the rule “show and don’t tell”—but I think the writers did a great job of finding ways to get the characters to lay their cards on the table (mostly) without it being a boring “share your feelings” roundtable. The $5 million gambit created a crisis situation where someone like Walt is forced to say what he means, when he usually prefers more deceitful manipulations. But instead of just being exposition, Walt’s honest (finally) explanation of his motivations ends up being yet another manipulation. It was a marvelous way of bundling telling into showing.
So it looks like we’re closing in on the likeliest candidate for Walt to be running from: the other meth dealers. Is there any chance that his “brilliant” plan doesn’t involve taking those guys’ money and then screwing them out of the product they just bought? If so, I’m struggling to understand why Mike would go along with such a plan. Mike is in a hard position, for sure, but he’s also a believer in honor amongst thieves. If Walt puts him in a position to either screw Walt or screw this new character, Declan, I don’t see why Mike would pick “screw Declan”. Declan has power over him, right? Walt doesn’t. Why you wouldn’t just shoot Walt and take his share in order to put all this behind you, I don’t know. And really, what could be better poetic justice than having Walt’s body chopped up and put in a plastic tub filled with hydroflouric acid?