After a major mishap last week, Jesse and Walt are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the fallout from Todd’s fatal snap decision. But even when a decision is made, the tension hits the crew hard and business will never be the same in ‘Buyout’.
The cleanup crew
This week’s cold open consisted of Walt, Todd, and Mike dealing with the aftermath of last week’s fatal shooting of a curious young kid that happened upon their train heist. With no way of knowing how much he actually saw, Todd acted and shot him in the face. Breaking Bad has a fascination with immediate after-mathÂ that not many other shows share and we were shown the disassembling of the dirt-bike until it’s nothing but useless spare parts and then pure melted refuse. We weren’t shown the actual disposal of the body but as Walt hauled out another barrel and Todd sifted the boy’s hand from the dirt we could be sure of what happened next. Jesse stayed away from the cleanup procedure and Todd went over to try to commiserate with him. “S*** happens” wasn’t acceptable to Jesse for the death of a child so he decked Todd in the face before the credits rolled. This is clearly a tension that’s going to be around for the rest of the season. Credit is due to the choice of music for the scene as it made the destruction of the bike as grisly and unsettling an act as the next thing they would be obliterating.
Shall we take a vote?
Todd pleads his case to Mike, Jesse, and Walt as they decide his future with their operation. If you look at purely logically Todd is making all the claims that should be made. You don’t know how much the kid saw, if he was going to rat them out, and it was Walter who constantly reiterated that absolutely no one should know the heist ever went down. He claims he made a decision and he’d do it again in the same situation. He even spouts off with why he’s so useful including prison connections involving his uncle. They excuse Todd and have a vote after Walt lays out the options: they fire him, they dispose of him (said so matter-of-fact since they probably even have extra barrels around), or they keep him on payroll. Option three wins out but there’s no denying that Jesse for one is extremely unhappy with the choice. It’s clever to make killing Todd an option since Walt knows Jesse would never vote for that–not yet at least.
Mike meets up with Todd after to tell him he’s still in. When he profusely thanks Mike for letting him stay around he gets a nice little threat moment from Mike. He expresses to Todd exactly what many of you were all thinking about him even having that gun in the first place. He also threatens if Todd does it again to stick it someplace uncomfortable before he walks away and leaves Todd to head back to his car. After he gets inside we see that he’s kept the jar with the tarantula inside of it that the kid was carrying out in the desert. There’s guilt there but not much, he’s probably closer to Walt on the moral spectrum than Jesse.
Even pros make mistakes
Gomez and another D.E.A. agent are running surveillance on Mike while he’s out playing in the park with his granddaughter. He trips them up with a fake dead drop by leaving an obscene note behind for them to find when he leaves. Mike may be messing with them a little, but it’s clear later on that he’s worried about all this heat. Frankly, he’s not much of a fan of working with Walt anyway especially after the train heist and the kid getting shot so he decides to use this as leverage to leave the group. Mike explains to Walt that he’s taking his part of the methylamine and selling it before he retires. He’s got a guy lined up who’ll pay a pretty penny for the methylamine and so he’s taking the deal while he can.
Jesse wants out too
Not only does Mike want to take his share of methylamine and go, but Jesse also wants to do the same. He’s in with Mike for selling his share of the chemical to this mystery buyer. Walt is aghast that Jesse would do this as he tries to explain what a stupid idea it is to sell it for pennies on the dollar on its own when the entire stash is worth about 300 million when cooked. It’s clear though that Jesse just can’t be part of any of this anymore which is especially so after he went home from a cook early. Before he left, he stopped to listen to Walt’s cheery whistling while he continued to work. They saw the missing boy on the news during a lunch break in the tented house, and despite Walt claiming he was all torn up about it…the proof of his emotional state was in his jaunty tune. Being the kind of guy he is, Jesse tries to convince Walt to sell his share too and they can be done finally with all of this.
Unable to convince Walt to sell his share, Jesse and Mike go it alone to a meet in the middle of nowhere armed only with a gallon jug sample of their methylamine. The buyer shows up and tells them he’s only truly interested in paying top dollar if all of their methylamine is up for grabs–he wants Fring’s blue off of the streets entirely. It’s in essence a buyout of what was formerly Fring’s product line, and now it’s less acceptable to have Walt be opposed to selling.
Billions with a ‘B’
Jesse shows up at Walt’s house to try one last time to get him on-board with the buyout deal, and there’s a lot of things to like about this scene. From the way Walt told the story about why he wasn’t interested in selling out you just knew that his matter of principle was going to lead to everyone being in serious danger once again. Surprisingly, is somehow still possible after all the harm Walt’s been responsible for to see his side of things though, and as he relays the story of Gray Matter (the company he was bought out of way back before his teaching days that would go on to become a massive success) it’s the closest Walt’s been to being theÂ relatableÂ guy who never could win back from earlier seasons. Of course, when he starts going on about being in the ’empire business’ he’s right back to the grand-standing delusional Heisenberg persona everyone’s currently dealing with from Walt. He explains to Jesse that he’ll never sell his potential ever again.
Dinner with the Whites, yo
Ever since the promotional photos came out for this episode and they showed Jesse sitting down at the dinner table eating right next to Skyler there was no way this moment wouldn’t be epic. This is easily one of the best things to come out of Walt’s new IDGAF attitude toward bringing work home, and Jesse’s obvious discomfort was played to perfection by Aaron Paul who sadly hasn’t gotten to be very funny this season. From Skyler guzzling wine to Jesse’s painfully awkward attempts at trying to hold a polite conversation with her (‘Hell yeah I’m stoked for this lasagna!’) it should go down as one of the show’s most memorable moments. Walter knew exactly how to use Skyler’s hostile indifference toward him to help keep Jesse in a nice useful state of guilt he could exploit to possibly find a way to keep his business going at least.
I’m going to have to restrain you
Later that night, Walt arrives at their HQ seemingly with plans of taking the methylamine. He’s busted by Mike andÂ coerced Walt to stay with him all night long–gun at the ready–so that he doesn’t try anything to ruin tomorrow’s deal. When Mike leaves to meet up with Saul (who has not been in this season nearly enough) to work out a temporary solution to their D.E.A problem, he makes the incredibly bad decision to restrain Walter by his wrist to the radiator with a plastic zip tie. Walter was figuratively a cornered animal when he arrived to take the chemical, and now he’s a literal one as he tries to get out of the zip-tie with extreme disregard for his well-being. After a failed attempt to perhaps shatter the coffee pot and use a shard he decides to strip a power cord and use the copper linings to spark a fire and melt the plastic–all while giving himself a nasty burn.
Mike rushes back to the office once he’s met with Saul to announce to Hank and Gomez the restraining order that a judge approved to keep the D.E.A. off Mike’s back. When he arrives he finds that the room that stored the methylamine is empty. Furious, he storms back to the office and puts a gun to Walt’s smug face demanding the whereabouts of the chemical. As usual Jesse is able to stop him from putting a bullet in Walter’s head as well as Walt has another too-clever plan where he believes if they go along with it ‘everybody wins’. Will Walter be able to keep hold of his meth empire, or is this truly the part of the story that seems to lead to Walt on the run with a new name as hinted in the premiere? There’s only two episodes left and hopefully some of these answer will be found in them.