Monday, August 20, 2012

Breaking Down: Breaking Bad, Season Five, Episode Six

This week's episode of Breaking Bad, "Buyout", winds and grinds the springs before they will eventually uncoil. Motor bike boy meets a highly unfortunate chemical barrel. Mike avoids heat from the DEA. Jesse wines and dines in the White household. And Walt plans to build an empire as Mike and Jesse seek a way out by planning to unload the freshly stolen methylamine. Heisenberg does not like their plans.

"These green beans are ricin free, right?"
Shane Earnest: Did you hear that? I just high-fived myself. This episode brings the heat, high and inside. Sure, it's a setup episode, but so much to love here: tragedy, dark comedy, and badassery.

Craig Scholes: Not to mention some epic surreality? Surrealness? Surrealitude? I have no idea what the past tense of surreal is

SE: Surrealing Bad, starring dirt bike kid, poor dirt bike kid and his parents.

CS: Breaking Bad makes it seem like hydrofluoric acid is available for purchase at Walgreens.

SE: My suspension of disbelief is easy to come by in that department. I have no clue how easy it is to come by. Can Walt make it? I always got hydrofluoric acid mixed up with hydrochloric acid, which is commonly used in high school chemistry classes. All I know is that if methylamine is that easy to get rid of and it is $15 million for every 1,000 gallons, I would think there would be a bit more security surrounding tank cars full of it.

CS: I don't think methylamine is that easy to get rid of; I just think Mike has a network of connections. Once, as a freshman in high school, a couple of seniors basically forced me to smell hydrochloric acid…BURNED! Horrible experience.

SE: The opening sequence needed to be brutal. That is how the sausage is made in the meth business. It makes it so much more brutal when Walt decides that all he wants is a meth empire.

CS: Will we get the final scene of Walt sitting on a throne of blue meth?

SE: That is one scenario that is interesting. I like how this episode is what Breaking Bad is all about. Sure, the last episode was great for what it was, but “Buyout” is the real deal. I never really got an idea of what was about to happen, and there were snakes in the grass at every turn. We even got a Breaking Bad specialty with all the dark humor--the coffee pot and the dinner with Skyler.

CS: Man, that was the most awkward dinner party ever.

SE: Agreed, I've never seen anything that awkward. I could never put myself in Jesse's shoes, but I would have dashed first chance, made something up, anything. I think Walt and Jesse are so sickly intertwined with each other now, but it was a nice touch to show how creepy Walt is now with his whistling. Not many shows realize how simply things can be done sometimes without ten pages of dialogue.

CS: Oh man, that whistling scene really threw me off.

SE: Walt is completely insane at this point. He knows he can MacGyver is way through anything, from fabricating a RV battery to slipping Mike's zip tie. He has been through so much that he is not only numb, but has the deadly combination of being immune to tragedy but addicted to the danger of it. Ever see a guy after a serious car wreck with no injuries? That is Walt. The vehicle is trashed, and he is still standing. Only that has happened about ten times. The Aztek dies, but Walter White is unscathed. After a certain point, that has to get into his head. "Hey, Jesse, come on over! Hank could walk through the front door at anytime, no big deal."

CS: Yeah, but there are much easier ways to get out of a zip tie than using electric current to solder your arm to plastic.

The bond that holds Walt and Skyler together
SE: So what other method do you recommend? I am proud to admit never having the chance to finagle my way out of one.

CS: Well the way a zip tie works is there is just a little plastic tab that kind of springs down into these little notches. You can very easily take something thin and press it up and slide the zip tie out, like say his watch band tab.

And we finally found out, at least partially, why Walt is the way he is... Because he is pissed at himself for being a dipshit and selling off his company shares.

SE: The pure genius of the whole matter was saving that info for the right time. It may have been luck on the writers part, but Walt is now Gus. Elliot and Gretchen are the Salamancas. He blames himself for what happened, much like Gus probably blamed himself for what happened to Max. And the story of Walter White now makes complete, utter sense.

CS: Which is why Walt is now in the empire business. Of course, he thinks he should already be worth damn near a billion dollars.

SE: And that is one of Breaking Bad's greatest strengths, giving a reason for why a character is acting a certain way. If it seems like I am gushing about this episode, I am and I don't care. I fully expected this episode to be all setup. I never thought we would get a scene where I was trying to figure out how Walt would kill Mike, and then realizing they have a better relationship than that as Mike was nice enough to say that he was sorry while zipping Walt up.

CS: Do you think the writers will fill us in with the personal details about why Walt let himself get bought out?

SE: I think they already have in that a flashback from Season One, maybe Season Two, where Walt is romantically discussing chemistry with Gretchen. I am assuming Elliot stole Gretchen from Walt, so Walt took his pride and promptly departed. I would love for Gretchen and Elliot to see Heisenberg.

CS: Also, I don't like green beans, but if there was an Albertson's nearby, I would try their deli green beans.

SE: So, you were raised on frozen food too, just like every other kid in the 80s? There was a point in there, like early 90s or something where frozen food just suddenly got better. I remember a lot of those Lean Cuisines and Schwan’s, the Heisenberg of frozen food.
Elliot's ricin noodles

CS: No, I don't think I ever had a frozen meal until I was in my 20s and in college. Lots and lots of Hamburger Helper though. I guess I used to eat a lot of those Banquet pot pies

SE: Yeah, it isn't exactly health food any way you slice it. I worked in a cold storage facility once. Chicken would come to the facility hot and then blast frozen and stored for six months. The client would then come get it, transport it to another facility, dice it, and send it back for another six months of storage. Then they would send it to another facility, turn it into a pot pie, ship it back for another term in storage, likely one full year the last time. Finally, it would be shipped out as a mixed load to a grocery store. Two-year-old cooked chicken, bro.

CS: Nummers.

SE: So what were your thoughts when Mike first stopped Walt from stealing the methylamine.

CS: At this point, it doesn't matter how much Mike would have offered Walt for that methylamine, Walt is going to fight Mike every step of the way.

SE: My first thought was, "Oh no, Walt is going to sneak his way into offing Mike with some hidden weapon." Then I thought he was going to electrocute him, and then I realized that wasn't the plot line. It's nice when I can't predict what is going to happen.

CS: I don't think there is any conceivable way Walt could kill Mike. Mike is too good at what he does to be hoodwinked by Walt.  

SE: Breaking Bad uses objects to build a story and then flips the meaning of them along the line. We all do this in real life, whether it be an ornate wooden box evoking memories of a grandfather or the evil beeping of a fax machine at work. The box cutter was a fine example. The ticking watch gift in comparison to the calculator watch was another. And of course, the whopper of them all was the Aztek. But I think we have a fine call back in this episode when Walt tries to retrieve the coffee pot to cut his way out of the zip tie. I think it was Gale's ghost that chucked that thing across the room.

Gale drinks Walt's coffee from the grave
CS: Gale used the power of karaoke from the grave to release zombie sound waves that pushed the coffee pot away from Walt.

SE: And now this brings us to the crowning moment of the show. Heisenberg is coming out in all of his glory next episode. I’ve been waiting for this moment for five seasons.

CS: Oh yeah. Walt is in full blown couldn't-give-two-shits mode. The dude has fully blown past the point of no return.

SE: So Jesse is going to get kidnapped? Or will Walt make a deal to sell him to the other guys, then use the Rambo gun to un-kidnap Jesse? I wouldn't doubt it for one second if Walt sells them both out and goes all-in with the other guy before blowing them all up.

CS: I think the M60 is to protect him from these new methylamine buyers. I have a feeling he screws them over.

SE: So the "52" is a ruse and his hair is a wig? I don't see Heisenberg wearing a wig.

CS: I think he goes into hiding and bides his time. A lot can happen in eleven months.

SE: The writers really have us in a conundrum here. Is the Season Five opening scene in the Denny's a ploy to get us intrigued for what I am going to just go ahead and call Season Six? Or does it go down in Episode Eight in two weeks? I WANT RAMBO HEISENBERG NOW!

CS: I have a feeling we don't see Rambo Heisenburg till Episode Seven of next year.

SE: Fun fact: next week's episode was previously named "Everybody Wins", but was changed to "Say My Name", which I am sure is a Heisenberg reference. Hopefully we don't get rape-y Walt back, forcing Skyler to call him Heisenberg. And how crazy is it that Todd of all people, knows Heisenberg's real name? Walt don't give a what-what.

CS: I’m sure it’s just an episode about Destiny's Child.

Whatcha gonna do when Heisenberg runs over you brother?!?! OOOOOooooooh YEEEeeeeaaaaahh

1 comment:

Shane England said...

Is Heisenberg going to put the ricin in the batch of test meth that he hands off to the new dealers? Thoughts?

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