Spoiler Alert!- Read if you want, but there are many spoilers if you haven't seen the episode yet.
Money, so they say/Is the root of all evil/Today –Pink Floyd’s "Money"
Finally things are starting to make more sense. It’s not simply power for Walt, but money. This is his one opportunity for some type of perverted redemption after losing a slice of Grey Matter’s billion dollar worth. We learned fairly early on, Season 1 or 2, that Walt’s falling out with his former company and partners was definitely a contributing factor in his relentless pursuit of financial success, but it wasn’t until last night that we finally learned how obsessed he is with his past failure. There’s certainly still more to the story between Walt and his former friends and partners, Gretchen and Elliot, which we may never completely learn, but it is interesting to reflect back to Season 1 when Walt ruthlessly chastised Gretchen, which was one of the very first scenes revealing Walt’s darker side. Could it be that Pink Floyd’s famous song was right and that the root of Walt’s rapid moral decline is merely a lustful pursuit of the green? It would seem almost anticlimactic after years of developing this incredibly dynamic, complex character, but sometimes the simplest truths are the hardest to make sense of. Either way, regardless of the other aspects of Walt’s increasingly demented nature, last night’s episode made perfectly clear that there is no turning back or getting out at this point.
Title- “Buy Out”
Referring to the opportunity to be bought out by a competitor in Phoenix, the deal Mike has worked out is too good to be true, even though it is true. It would solve all of the problems by allowing all of the partners to walk away with $5 million each, eliminate any potential for more violence and danger in their lives, and end all of the senseless lying, sneaking around, and evading the DEA. However, Walt’s pride and his past get in the way, even against Jesse’s very logical reasoning that this is $5 million and not $5 thousand that they would be bought out for. Unfortunately for Jesse and Mike, they don’t realize there is no getting OUT at this point, because Walt is smarter than the both of them and he knows he needs them to continue succeed, especially Jesse, so he will do whatever it takes to keep them IN, even though it will probably mean their lives.
Scene 1- Whackjob
What would happen to Todd was the question of the week after last week’s episode’s shocking ending. It didn’t take long to figure out fortunately. After an especially disturbing opening sequence of Todd, Mike, and Walt breaking down the young boy’s dirt bike (Jesse’s absence was very noticeable), and eventually providing a close up of an empty barrel presumably for the kid’s body to decompose in, Walt, Mike, and Jesse take a vote after listening to Todd’s reasoning for shooting the kid. Scenes like this are often the most chilling to me. The moral equivocation expressed throughout forces the viewer into the shoes of the criminals, and although the actions are reprehensible, there is a very legitimate logic to their motivations. Jesse’s simplistic black and white perspective of right and wrong is refreshing, but it is not suited for this business. Either way, Todd’s effect on the show is yet to be determined. I believe Walt recognizes his cold-bloodedness and sees it as advantageous, which may lead to a potential alliance with Todd now that he is on the outs with Mike and Jesse, businesswise at least (To be honest, I was waiting for him to come in the office and kill Mike last night). I look forward to seeing this storyline played out because I believe Todd could eventually serve as a linchpin in the unraveling of Walt’s pursuits at an empire.
Scene 2- “Keep her forever”
A small scene last evening with Skylar and Marie potentially reiterated some foreshadowing from the last week’s episode, “Dead Freight”. As Skylar and Marie talk about how things are going taking care of Walter Jr. and Holly, Marie comments that she could keep Holly forever. Last week, while Hank is holding Holly, he refers to her as “my little girl” numerous times and also says “I’m not giving her back”. The obvious foreshadowing occurring here is that assuming Hank eventually learns of Walt’s real identity as Heisenberg, and Skylar’s culpability in her husband’s criminal activities, he and Marie will more than likely keep the children for safety’s sake. I see this as a much more explosive conflict, specifically between Walt and Hank, knowing that Walt’s real anger towards Skylar right now is the fact that she sent the children away. Walt definitely loves his children, and he will do anything to eventually get them back.
Scene 3- Whistle Why You Work
In a look similar to the one he gave at the end of “Hazard Pay”, Jesse is incredulous to Walt’s seemingly jovial nature after just discussing the death of the young boy and playing the role of consoler to Jesse. It’s further development of Jesse’s realization that Walt has turned to a very dark side, and it will certainly add to his necessary epiphany that Walt has been manipulating him all this time and is actually the real danger in his life. It is also further evidence that Walt’s arrogance is starting to make him sloppy, and that he is his own worst enemy.
Scene 4- It’s Dinner Time
In what was one of the funnier episodes of this season, if not the whole series, Jesse Pinkman, Walt’s partner in crime, closest ally, and the person whom Walter has spent more time with than his wife and kids, has finally been invited to the White’s house for dinner. Well, not technically, but he did end up eating there nonetheless. The scene was great for a few reasons, mainly on account of Jesse’s return to his old, juvenile self. This is the Jesse that provided so much comedic relief in previous seasons, with his ridiculous slang and all around quirky personality that made his character so original. It makes me wonder if Jesse can ever reclaim any of that old self after all that he’s seen. This leads me to the next aspect that was so well done, which was the lighting. The mis en scene utilization of lighting, casting Jesse in the center shrouded in light and thus exemplifying his potential for redemption, and having Walt and Skylar on the ends, more in the dark, Walt especially, seeming to indicate their darker culpability, was extremely well done. Lighting has been utilized quite frequently throughout Breaking Bad, and this scene was no exception, contrasting Walt’s continued descent into the abyss with Jesse’s hope for salvation hanging ever so precariously.
Scene 5- Suspenseful Ending…Again
Breaking Bad’s writers have managed to incorporate suspense into basically every episode they have ever written, with each week’s stakes getting higher and higher. Again, this week’s episode was no exception, leaving the viewers with a growing list of questions. The main ones from this week’s episode are as follows: Has Walt really devised a plan to get Mike and Jesse their money while keeping his methylene? Or, will Walt sell them out, at least Mike, to protect himself and his ability to continue making serious money? There’s definitely going to be a standoff coming soon, but it’s still too early to tell who’s going to be on which side. Either way, although Mike and Jesse are trying to get bought OUT completely, with each week’s suspenseful ending, we the viewers just keep on buying IN.
Patrick Edmonds is a co-founder, editor, and writer for/of The Lunch Break. His passions include Food, Arts & Entertainment, and Education. You can follow Patrick Edmonds on facebook and on Twitter @patrickedmonds1.