Breaking Bad – “Buyout” – review

After last week’s shocker ending we get a great, atmospheric and creepy cold open in “Buyout,” watching as Todd, Mike and Walt do their dissolving trick on the kid from last week’s bike in the pest control shop before moving onto, you know, the kid himself.  Jesse is absent, apparently hanging back and having a smoke.  When Todd comes up to Jesse acting like his murdering of a child is no big thing, Jesse decks him – cue opening title sequence.

Jesse wants Todd to outta the gang but Mike and Walt set him straight, say that unless Jesse feels like putting one in the back of Todd’s head they need to keep him for the time being – he knows too much, has connections and could bust them too easily.  (Plus, you know, he’s clearly kinda crazy.)  Then we watch Mike listen in on Hank’s business and shirk tails from the DEA, his expression telling us yes, he’s getting too old for this shit.  Later we see Jesse obsessing over the search for the dead kid on TV while he and Walt are on lunchbreak in a house, Walt trying to give him a pep talk about how much they stand to make over the next year, year and a half.  Before he’s able to leave he gets a phone call and stops, Walt whistling a happy tune while he works, the comparisons between his attitude and Todd’s inescapable.

Turns out the call was from Mike who has a plan.  They pitch it to Walt when he comes by the pest control digs to drop off a batch.  Mike has found a Phoenix gangster who will pay fifteen grand a gallon for the methylamine.  Both Jesse and Mike want out and their shares of the thousand gallon tank would net them just shy of a five million a piece.  They offer to let Walt in on the same deal but he naturally refuses.  When Mike and Jesse go to meet the Phoenix guy it turns out the dude has figured out their scheme, says he’ll give them fifteen million if he gets all of it and promises there’ll be no more blue on the streets from here on out.

Jesse goes to Walt’s house (love his cautiousness about being allowed around Walt’s family after a year of it being a no-go zone) and gives him the soft sell, tries to convince Walt that he should take the money and run.  Then Walt gives a great speech about why he wants to be top dog, that he’s not in the meth business or the money business but the empire business.  He clears up some things about what went down with Gray Matter, talks about how he doesn’t want to regret being bought out of a chance to do something that huge and great for a second time in his life.  Then Skyler comes home and the three of them have a wonderfully awkward dinner together where Skyler purposefully lets slip that she knows Walt told Marie about her affair with Ted.  After she leaves the table Walt assures Jesse that yes, his family life is ruined and the business is all he has – no way is he going to give up his share of the methylamine.

Mike later catches Walt trying to jack the methylamine and holds him hostage in the pest control place until the deal with Phoenix boys goes through.  The next morning Mike has to leave for a bit so he zipties Walt to the radiator, a situation Walt frees himself from with the help of his ol’ buddy science.  (Though come on: why not fry the tie on the outside of your wrist instead of right over the crucial veins on the inside?)  We cut to Mike to find out that he and Saul are filing a flimsy restraining order against the DEA, something that won’t hold up long term but long enough to keep them off Mike while the big deal goes down.  Then Mike goes back to base to find the methylamine missing and Jesse and Walt sitting in the office.  Mike goes to put one in Walt’s head but Jesse assures him that Walt has a plan so that Walt can keep his methylamine and they can get their five mil as well – cut to black.

Not a lot to analyze in this episode (or really in this whole season, it seems so far) as motives and goals brought up are fairly straight forward.  I guess we just wait till next week to find out what Walt’s big plan is and whether, if he pulls it off, he can go forward from there with just Todd and the pest boys or if he’ll get Jesse and Mike back on board sooner rather than later.  Very surprising episode, though, didn’t think so much shit would go down after an episode as plot-heavy as last week’s.  Still got plenty of great character moments in there all the same, especially Jesse and Walt at Walt’s house and Skyler seeming to nearly spill the beans to big-mouth Marie before hearing how Walt covered for their major marital problems of the moment.

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Jack Getze

Spinetingler's Fiction Editor is a former newspaper reporter and author of five crime novels from Down and Out Books. His short fiction has been published on the web at BEAT TO A PULP, A TWIST OF NOIR and THE BIG ADIOS.

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About Jack Getze

Spinetingler's Fiction Editor is a former newspaper reporter and author of five crime novels from Down and Out Books. His short fiction has been published on the web at BEAT TO A PULP, A TWIST OF NOIR and THE BIG ADIOS.

2 Replies to “Breaking Bad – “Buyout” – review”

  1. I’m with Brian. Starting there made Walt look more evil than ever when he makes his empire speech. I thought it was a great episode. Full of surprises with Mike’s abrupt announcement after they’d just decided to hold onto the kid, the dinner table scene, and, of course, the ending. You can almost understand why the five million isn’t enough with what Walt has gone through. He may need every penny to pay for his medical care after Romney gets his hands on Obamacare.
    Almost but not quite. I have no complaints with this season, which has been the easiest to follow for me. Not that that’s a good thing for others perhaps.