‘Breaking Bad’ Review: “Buyout”
‘Breaking Bad’ season 5 cooks up its sixth episode of the year, as Jesse and Mike decide to sell themselves out of their business following the police interest and tension of last week's events, while Walter refuses to dismantle the empire they've slowly built for themselves
Last week’s ‘Breaking Bad’ episode “Dead Freight” saw Walter, Jesse and Mike coming up with a daring new plan to steal methylamine from a freight train after Lydia’s barrel tags, while Walter Jr. reacted poorly to his new living situation with Hank and Marie, so how does “Buyout” keep things moving? What will season 5 of ‘Breaking Bad’ cook up next?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Breaking Bad’ season 5 episode 6, “Buyout!”
It’s a somber scene as Jesse, Mike, Todd and Walter return from the train heist in their rented dump truck, slowly emptying the contents into the Vamonos Pest garage. First, they liberate a familiar-looking dirtbike, and strip it down bit by bit, sawing and breaking up the pieces to fit inside a barrel, suiting up and filling the space with hydrofluoric acid. Then, Walter opens up a second barrel, as Todd slowly retrieves the young boy from last week out of the dirt.
After disposing of the remains, Todd follows Jesse outside for a cigarette, awkwardly trying to make conversation. When he dismisses the day’s events as “shit happens” to a visibly distraught Jesse, Jesse responds by punching him in the face.
Later, Todd pleads with his employers that shooting the boy was justified given the threat he posed to their operation, though Jesse circles angrily and dismisses what “Ricky Hitler” has to say. Todd claims that he could be of value to them, especially with his uncle’s contacts in prison, but the trio sent him out to discuss what happened.
While Jesse insists that Todd is out of his mind and his quick actions shouldn’t be how business is run, Walter counters that they can’t know whether or not the young boy would have proved a threat. Basically, Todd has left them with three options: fire him and buy his silence, kill him, or keep him on, but remove him from the inner circle. Walter chooses the third option, and Mike agrees. That said, Mike threatens to kill Todd if he ever brings a gun to an operation without his permission again. Todd leaves, examining the young boy’s captive tarantula in his car.
The next day, Gomez and the police watch Mike playing with his granddaughter from a distance, frustrated by the lack of anything useful they’ve learned in tailing him. Before departing, Mike visibly leaves something under a trash can, and with no other option Gomez swiftly moves in to check out the apparent dead drop. All he finds however, is the note Mike left saying…well, let’s just say Cee-Lo would have said “Forget You.” Later that night, Mike listens to recordings of Hank in his office, where they cow to keep investigating him until he slips up.
Over at Marie’s, Skyler plays with Holly before breaking down in front of her sister, reiterating that the children need to be kept safe from their bad parents. When Marie presses her to explain more about why she feels the children aren’t safe, Skyler hints that there are things about them Hank and Marie don’t know, to which Marie responds that she needs to stop beating herself up about her affair with Ted. Shocked that her sister knows about it, Skyler goes along with the ruse Walter laid down without her knowledge.
In the middle of another successful cook, Walter and Jesse watch TV, before Jesse finds a local news report about their missing boy. Overcome with grief, Jesse breaks down, before Walt intervenes to remind him it will never happen again, and rather than grieve or soul-search they should focus on cooking through their stolen haul of methylamine, taking comfort in the fact that they run their own business their own way. Walt offers to finish the cook in place of Jesse, but as Jesse leaves, he becomes perturbed at how chipperly Walt whistles, given all they’ve just been through.
Later that night, Walter arrives to drop off the batch at Vamonos Pest, and finds Mike and Jesse already in the middle of a meeting. Mike reveals all the police attention he’s received of late, angering Walt for keeping it from the partners, but Mike explains further that he plans to exit their business. Resigned, Walter puts forth that Jesse will have to take over distribution, before his younger partner explains that he too is out of the business. Mike lined up a buyer for their shares of the stolen methylamine at about $5 million apiece, which Walter is welcome to join them on or keep cooking on his own. Walter protests that their stolen haul would be worth at least $300 million if cooked, rather than selling out to their competitors, but Jesse asks him if they’re in the business of making meth, or making money.
The next day, Mike and Jesse meet with the new buyer on an abandoned road, but the man reasons that their 666 gallons of methylamine would logically be 2/3 of their real haul. The buyer would prefer the blue meth to be off the streets entirely, replaced by his own product, but Mike insists the third party isn’t his to sell. Further complicating everything, the buyer refuses to make the deal unless he has all 1000 gallons.
Later that night, Walter fields a call from Jesse, inviting him over to his house to explain the situation. Jesse nervously enters, the White household having previously been off limits, and makes his plea for Walter to sell his third of the business. $5 million would be more than the $737,000 he initially started cooking for, removing the danger from their lives as well, but Walter believes they’ve suffered too much to simply sell out. Walter once sold out in grad school, forfeiting his share of Gray Matter for a measly $5000, before the company took off to be worth billions of dollars, a number he checks every week. You ask what business is Walter White in, then ? Why, the empire business, of course! Just then, Skyler answers, stunned to find Jesse in her home, and Walt entreats him to stay for dinner with them.
During the dinner, Walt and Skyler sit largely in silence, as Jesse fumbles to make enough conversation to alleviate the horrible awkwardness, rambling on about the frozen dinners he’s used to eating. Jesse mentions Skyler’s management of the car wash, before she slips in a jab at Walt by asking if he told Jesse of her affair with Ted as well. Skyler excuses herself with a bottle of wine, as Walter explains to Jesse that his own wife told him she's simply waiting until his cancer returns. The meth business is the only thing he has left, and no one is going to take it from him.
Later that night, Walt heads to Vamonos Pest looking to steal the tanker of methylamine, but Mike has beaten him to it by presuming the chemist might have done something that stupid. Mike assures him that the full deal is going down, and that they are to sit in the Vamonos office all night to be sure Walter doesn’t tamper with that.
The following morning, Mike restrains Walter by binding him to the radiator, having to leave to attend to other matters. Once he’s gone, Walter searches desperately for anything to cut through his zip tie, failing to secure a coffee pot before coming up with a desperate gambit. Using the cord from the coffee machine, Walter chews through the wiring and attaches one end under the tie, before turning on the current, and using the electricity to burn through the plastic, searing his own hand in the process, but freeing him nonetheless.
Over at the DEA offices, Mike has Saul demand Hank and Gomez stop following Mike absent any legal cause to do so. Entering their actions as “stalking,” Saul reveals that he’s filed a restraining order against the DEA, one which a judge he favors is likely to uphold. Afterward, Mike and Saul listen in from the parking lot, as Hank vows that they keep following Mike until he slips up. Still, even the 24 hours they lay off is enough for Mike to make his deal.
Once he returns to Vamonos Pest however, he sees the methylamine tanker missing, and immediately draws his gun to kill Walter in the office. Jesse protests, as Walt has apparently managed to figure out how they can still receive their $5 million, while Walter keeps his methylamine. Intrigued, Mike asks at gunpoint it it’s true, and Walter casually replies “everybody wins.”
While perhaps not as devastating as last week's train heist, "Buyout" presents yet another thrillingly tense and darkly funny episode of 'Breaking Bad,' though we can't help wondering how the remaining two episodes of the half-season will play out. It sure seemed like the s&%t would hit the fan this time around, but does Walter really have another daring ploy that will keep both the money, and the meth? Is it us, or are scenes starting to repeat themselves between how many times Jesse has pleaded with Mike not to kill Walt, Walter has comforted Jesse, or a new plan has been kept until the next episode?
Did you get your fix of ‘Breaking Bad’ bad-assery? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for another all-new ‘Breaking Bad’ episode recap of “Say My Name” on AMC!