As Walt tries to hide the evidence of his meth empire, Hank hopes Skyler will talk, and Jesse gets taken into custody

By Denise Warner
August 19, 2013 at 02:04 AM EDT
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Breaking Bad has, at its core, always been about family. Walt wanted to leave a legacy behind for his; Jesse continues to search for one of his own. And how can we forget all of the Schraders and the Whites’ backyard barbecues? These bonds, forged from blood and circumstance, are strengthened and broken by the end of the latest episode, “Buried,” setting up perhaps the ultimate family feud.

Skyler quickly establishes herself as a surprising ally to her husband, creating a huge rift with her sister and brother-in-law. We first see Walt exiting Hank’s garage, desperately trying to reach his wife on the phone. The garage door opens again, and Hank is clutching his cell. Walter and Hank exchange a look, and it’s clear — Skyler is talking to Hank. Walt thinks he’s screwed.

But when teary-eyed Skyler meets with Hank in a diner, and the DEA agent pleads with his wife’s sister to give up her husband, Skyler refuses. In the process, Hank lets it slip that Walter’s cancer is back, which is news to Skyler — leading Hank to the conclusion Walter is lying about the disease.

Hank then switches tactics, appealing to Skyler’s love for her sister in his attempt to get her to talk. “No one in the world is more important to me than your sister,” he says. “So believe me when I tell you that your best interest and mine are the same.”

Skyler won’t take the bait. “Hank, you telling me not to talk to a lawyer doesn’t sound like that. It sounds like what you want is to get Walt at all costs.”

Later on, Hank brings Marie to the White home. Marie knocks on the door and tells her sister that she won’t leave until Skyler lets her into the house. Skyler grants her entrance, without Hank. Marie does her best to get Skyler to talk, but she just sits there, her stoicism only betrayed by the tears in her eyes.

Marie pieces together the point that Skyler knew about her husband’s actions. “Did you know since before Hank was shot?”

Skyler’s only recourse is to apologize. “Marie, I’m so sorry.” The words are not enough for Marie, who slaps her sister across the face.

“You won’t talk. You won’t talk to Hank because you think Walt is going to get away with this,” Marie screams, storming out of the White master bedroom. Skyler then hears her daughter crying. Marie wants to take the baby with her, calling out to Hank for help. The sisters start fighting and Hank admonishes his wife to put Holly down. Hank hurries after Marie, but not before giving Skyler the deadliest of looks. Outside in the car, Marie tells her husband, “You have to get him.”

So much for sisterly love. Marie has all but declared war on Skyler and Walt. Don’t expect any more White/Schrader bowling nights.

NEXT: Hank as Chuck Norris

In Hank and Marie’s final scene, Marie pushes Hank to go into the office and tell everyone what he knows. She wants the whole DEA on the case.

“What are you, Lone Wolf McQuade?” she asks, when he says he is not telling anyone at work. (Lone Wolf McQuade — starring Chuck Norris – follows a Texas Ranger who goes after a drug kingpin by himself. Basically, yes, this is exactly who Hank is.)

Marie’s McQuade crack recalls Skyler’s insistence that Walt go to the police after Gale’s death, thinking they are all in danger, prompting the “I am the one who knocks” speech. Marie doesn’t know how driven her husband is to catching Walt on his own.

And then we get the reason Hank plans to work alone. “Look, the day I go in with this, it’s the last day of my career, Marie. I’m going to have to walk in there, look those people in the eye and admit that the person I’ve been chasing the past years is my own brother-in-law. It’s over for me. Ten seconds after I tell this story, I’m a civilian. Then how can we help Skyler when she comes to her senses? When I go in there, I’m bringing proof. Not suspicion. I can be the man who caught him, at least.”

In Hank’s eyes, there seems to be some hope for Skyler, but it’s hard to tell whether Marie believes the same thing. (Side note: Are either of them going to address the fact that Walt’s meth money paid for Hank’s rehab?)

Hank returns to work, but says nothing about the Walt situation — yet. Gomez does give him an interesting piece of information, though. More on that later.

Meanwhile, Walt goes to Saul to take care of the only hard evidence that could link the car wash owner to his Heisenberg alter-ego — the money. Saul’s henchmen Huell and Kuby fetch Walt’s millions from their respective storage units, where Huell convinces Kuby to lie down on the pile of cash.

“Mexico, all’s I’m saying,” Huell chuckles to his partner. “The guy hit 10 guys in jail within a two-minute window — all’s I’m saying,” Kuby replies. Walt certainly does have people afraid of him.

Back in Saul’s office, the lawyer tries to reach Jesse, and keeps Walt from answering Skyler’s call. Saul then suggests Walt take care of the Hank problem.

“Have you ever considered sending him on a trip to Belize?” Saul asks. “Belize?” Walt says. “Belize, where Mike went to,” Saul answers.

Walt then lays down his law. “Hank is family, do you understand that?” Walt has no problem blowing up nursing homes, poisoning innocent children, mowing down drug dealers in the street. But killing a family member who wants to put him in jail? That’s crazy talk. It’s honestly weird that Walt won’t even consider it, which is why I give little credence to the theory that he’ll eventually kill Skyler. (Unless that’s an accident.) If he won’t off Hank, he certainly will not murder the mother of his offspring.

NEXT: It’s all about the money, money, money

With the return of Kuby and Huell — please let them be on the potential Saul spinoff — Walt drives off in a rape-van full of money, to bury his fortune in the desert.

At coordinates 34 59 20 106 36 52, Walt hides the cash. He memorizes the number, smashes his coordinate-figure-outer-thing (the technical term), and heads home. (The coordinates do indicate a mountain range outside of Albuquerque. But perhaps there’s a deeper, geekier meaning to them — maybe the corresponding elements on the periodic table? Or maybe not.) On the refrigerator back at the ranch, he hangs a lottery ticket with those numbers. Maybe someone in the Breaking Bad writers room is a Lost fan. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

Skyler notices her husband’s return, tells him she’s been trying to reach him, and says she hasn’t told anyone. He’s quiet as she states her case, then collapses on the bathroom floor. Cancer’s a bitch.

He wakes up hours later, with Skyler playing Florence Nightingale. “It’s true. The cancer’s back? Is this it?” she says. “Does that make you happy?” Walt asks. “I can’t remember the last time I was happy,” Skyler admits.

Walt turns softer, almost begging his wife. “Just tell me, I know you talked with Hank. I know you made a deal. Skyler, I’ll make this easy. I’ll give myself up if you promise me one thing. You keep the money. Never speak of it, never give it up. You pass it on to our children, give them everything. Will you do that? Please? Please don’t let me have done all this for nothing.” This is a side of Heisenberg we’re not used to seeing. He even reveals that no one talked — that it was his fault Hank found out.

Then Skyler turns Lady Macbeth on us. “The way Hank talks, he’s got his suspicions. Not much else. You can’t give yourself up without giving up the money. That’s the way this works, Walt. So maybe our best move here is to stay quiet.” (Tread lightly, even?)

At this moment, Walt gives Skyler what might be the most loving look we’ve seen on his face in all five seasons. These two are in it for better and for worse.

Between the Hank/Marie/Walter/Skyler dealings, Lydia goes to visit her meth makers — Declan and his crew. She’s not happy with the product. She wants them to use Todd again. They balk at the suggestion. “I really wish you had given him a chance,” Lydia says.

Suddenly, there’s a problem and they tell Lydia to stay in the lab/bunker. She sends a message from her phone, and crouches down, covering her ears. Shots are fired. The bunker is opened, and Todd sends the all clear to her. Lydia used Todd and his uncle to kill Declan and Co. to take over the business. Does Lydia know what she’s gotten herself into? (Side note: There is a lot of focus on Lydia’s shoes. Remember when Hank visited her office  in “Fifty-One” and she was wearing two different ones? Here, as she steps out of the car, the camera focuses on her black Louboutins. Then again, there’s another shot of the red-soled heels as she climbs down into the bunker and once more, when Todd navigates her around the dead bodies. Is this Vince Gilligan’s Tarantino-esque foot-fetish rearing its head?)

Of course, we have to talk about Jesse — whose story bookends “Buried.” As the episode begins, an old man discovers Jesse’s money on his front porch. He goes around the neighborhood, collecting more bundles of bills. He sees a light on the playground, and finds Jesse lying face up on the merry-go-round. (This is the second time in as many episodes that we’ve seen Pinkman from this angle — coffin-like, on his back. Does this mean he’s not long for this world? Despite Walt using the “son” endearment when talking to his old partner, Jesse isn’t technically family. By that logic, Walt should have no issue dispatching of him, if the need arises.)

As the episode ends, Hank finds out that Jesse is being questioned for the whole “throwing money away” incident. Hank asks for a few minutes alone with his old friend. The credits roll.

Will Jesse turn on Walt, the man he once saw as a father figure?

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Episode Recaps

Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.
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  • 01/20/08-09/29/13
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