Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 6: Buyout; and the semi-return of MFotD
marplot, noun (MAHR-plaht)
1. one who frustrates or ruins a plan or undertaking by meddling
Gut: “Hell yeah, I’m stoked for this lasagna” is my new tension-breaker; I wonder if we will ever find out exactly what happened with Gray Matter. Ah, the specifics don’t really matter I guess; Walter’s declaration that in a year “there will be plenty of time for soul-searching” is prophetic and a textbook case of dramatic irony; The second funniest part of the episode (after Jesse’s dinner antics) was Walt whistling in the tent. What a fucking doofus; The internet is having fun with this picture. Any photoshop artists or slash fanfic writers wanna take a crack at it?
This episode had a lot of verbal callbacks. For example, we learned that, in essence, Jesse shares Skyler’s philosophy: shrugging off murder as “shit happens” isn’t cool. If only Skyler had known of their commonality at dinnertime, she could have been less frosty.
Then again, Walt was being a sadist when he imposed Jesse’s presence upon her. Now they are both in on the tango, willfully and slowly destroying each other. Skyler, as we have known since “Fifty-One,” is attacking the lungs, while Walt, it seems, just wants to see her squirm in his grasp. At the beginning of the episode, Skyler’s guilt almost led her to confess, but she grew resolute in her original plan—trying to bring the cancer back—when she heard that Walter told Marie about Ted. A confession would have meant jail, and for Skyler that falls short of justice. Despite her newly hardened heart, she is no match for Walt in this field. If you have qualms about dissolving a little boy in acid, then I would strongly advise that you not step to him.
As I watched the show a second time last night I wondered why they focused on the dismantling and dissolution of the motorbike. My first thought was that you probably can’t show a little boy being turned to goo on television, even basic cable. I still think that’s correct, but the drawn-out motorbike sequence also serves as a good proxy. Seeing the step-by-step destruction of a hunk of metal forced me to imagine the same for the boy. Then I thought, They probably don’t need to separate him into pieces, he’s small enough to fit in the barrel as he is. Was your experience during that scene the same as mine?
I think Jesse was right about Todd: nutcase. When he said he was “really sorry about what happened,” he touched his mouth pretty conspicuously. That’s the second item on WikiHow’s list of 25 lie-detection methods, for those of you who didn’t already know. And the fact that he kept the tarantula is creepy. I don’t think he did that out of remorse or guilt. Maybe it’s a trophy? Todd’s uncle shouldn’t be forgotten, either. Our favorite trio dwelled upon that detail for long enough that we should be confident it will come up again.
Saul’s creative lawyering makes a welcome return, but for naught. Walter surprised me with how feebly he gave into Mike—I mean, if Mike really is a senior citizen, Walter’s gotta be at least 14 years his junior. But he’s at his most dangerous when backed into a corner. In his mind, he is marplot to a world that schemes to make him impotent. But he’s steps ahead, and so a gun at his temple doesn’t faze him in the least. Hell, that’s right where he wants it, because that’ll make his eventual victory all the sweeter.
One last thought: This is the second time Mike has wanted to kill Walter this season, and he’s opted against that for half-measures each time. He’s a calculating criminal, but we’re not dealing with integers here: two half-measures don’t equal a full measure. If you assume as I do that someone has to get got by the end of episode 8, put your money on Mike on the basis of those mistakes.