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Monday, August 20, 2012

Breaking Bad- Buyout

The episode starts with Todd, Mike, Walt, and Jesse destroying the dirt bike and disposing of the kid’s body. Fortunately, we only see the kid’s hand and almost none of the dirty work. Jesse goes outside to smoke, morosely, and Todd has the stupidity to come up and say, “Shit happens.” Jesse punches him in the face. If I haven’t already made this clear: I. Love. Jesse. Todd tells Walt and Mike that he did the only thing he could and that he has prison connections. Todd’s prison connections will probably come up again, methinks. Jesse doesn’t want to work with a guy who killed a kid when there might have been another option, but he’s outvoted by Walt and Mike.

Jesse watches the news and sees a story about the missing boy. He rubs his head and tears up. God, Aaron Paul plays emotionally disturbed so well. Walt sits down to manipulate Jesse into staying the course, but I think Jesse knows Walt’s true feelings because he saw Walt whistling, in a carefree way, soon after the talk. Jesse must realize, on some level, that the kid’s death isn’t hurting Walt like it’s hurting Jesse. Meanwhile, the DEA is tailing Mike, so Mike decides he’s out of the meth-cooking business. Walt tells Mike that he needs to train Jesse on his part of the business so that Jesse can replace Mike, but that he understands. The trouble is, Jesse wants out too. Because he’s the best freaking person.

Walt will not let this happen. We know from past episodes that if there’s anything Walter White is good at, it’s a) science, b) being a dick, and c) manipulating Jesse. Mike wants to sell the methylamine for millions of dollars to a competitor, and Jesse doesn’t think that money is anything to sneeze at. Walt is STILL sore about missing out on the Grey Matter fortune. He checks the company’s worth weekly, and the science corporation is valued at more than $2 billion. Walt sold out for $5,000. Yikes, that was a mistake. Jesse argues that quitting the meth business and quitting a science partnership are two very different things. Our thoughts exactly, Jesse. Jesse just doesn’t want anyone to have to die anymore.

Jesse and Walt discuss this at Walt’s house, which is no longer off limits for Jesse. Skyler walks in and Walt suggests Jesse stay for dinner. Jesse sits in Flynn’s place at the table, in every way Walt’s new son, and tries to make polite chit chat in the most awkward situation of all time. He compliments Skyler’s shopping and “joyous” food, comparing it to his usual microwave dinners. "You know it's like hell yeah I'm stoked for this lasagna. Then you nuke it and the cheese on top gets all scabby. It's like you're eating a scab. It's like what ever happened to truth in advertising, you know? Yeah . . . it's bad." Skyler is giving Walt a death look. Walt is silent. Skyler is pretty upset after finding out that Walt told Marie about the Ted Beneke banging. Marie thinks Ted is hot. Gross.

Mike and Jesse out that the competitor won’t buy the methylamine (a word I can now spell without looking) unless Mike sells ALL the methylamine and gets Fring’s blue stuff off the market. That’s going to conflict with Walt’s plan to keep a third of the methylamine and keep cooking. Mike physically restrains Walt while he goes with Saul to get the DEA off his back. Walt escapes, chewing through electrical wire and burning his wrist pretty badly. Wow. But, come on Mike, you should know that Walt is good at this sort of thing. Never leave Walt alone. That was a job for Todd. Walt steals all the methylamine and hides it while Mike is gone. When Mike gets back, he pulls a gun on Walt, but Jesse is there to stop Mike and beg him to hear Walt out…again. Walt tells Mike that he has a plan to sell the methylamine and still keep some so that he can keep cooking. The episode ends.

This one felt short and quiet after last week's excellent nail biter. The best thing was Jesse's conscience pushing him further toward the redemption we wish for him. But will he get it? Or will he die? We can't believe Walt's pride and devastation over missing out on success is still the driving force behind his determination to continue being a criminal. This episode proved that it's 100% not about his family anymore. He could take millions and walk away from his life, make up with Skyler, and provide for his kids. But, like I've said before, Walt's sickness isn't cancer. It's moral decay, and it's spread beyond even his rationalizations that it's to provide for his clan. Next week's episode looks crazy good. 

Episode grade: B 

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