Seriable’s Aria Mohtadi reviews Breaking Bad 5.06 “Buyout”
The burden of imperial compromises finally took its toll as the Three amigos fell apart, Blue Sky Express hit a firewall and the veil of nonconformity shattered as Walt, Mike and Todd dismantled the ‘heart’ of the kid’s adventure…It had to be done, it was them or him. With DEA closing in on Mike and Jesse not being able to withstand this contamination any longer, the two decide to step off the train. But every time they want ‘out’ something just ‘pulls them back in’…
“Buyout” was probably one of the bleakest episodes of the season if not the entire show. After the intensity of last week’s heist we’re settled to witness the final steps in the transformation of Walter White into the villainous Heisenberg. He could have just walked away with money beyond his dreams, as earlier Hank had advised him to do with Elliot’s ‘charity’ work. He could have just stopped being afraid…but does Walt really care about the fear at this point?
Even pros make mistakes
Mike should have just taken off after hearing about Gus’ elimination, right? He took another half-measure instead, for the sake of “the kid”, Jesse. What about Lydia? Her kid came in the way too…then Dirt bike Drew came along, and Mike the professional never saw it coming; he took a half-measure with Todd the desperate new guy. He took a major one with leaving Walt in the office ziptied, but how could he have known the extremes the guy was willing to go to avoid getting his hands on 5 million for “free”?
Is Mike destined to take the fall for his many missteps? Throughout the episode he makes more than a few remarks about his ‘virtuosity’ in handling the business. He bought himself a day to skip town, but as Saul mentioned, he also managed to mark himself as ‘the prime suspect’ on DEA’s board… Uncle Milty proportions, indeed. He did everything he could to bring Jesse along, but Heisenberg has got a tight leash on him it seems. There’s just something bugging his conscience at nights…it’s what made him stay in business for Jesse, Lydia, and even the devious Walt. A man of honor such as Mike finds no ‘leverage’ in the empire of one man’s deeply rooted greed and jealousy.
The empire business
He hasn’t been able to sleep for the past few nights, yet whistling a tune while making the rest of the batch (BTW, does anybody know what was the song called?)…What does that tell Jesse about his ‘consciously spellbound’ partner? Is there more to his prime motivation than providing for his family? This season, Walt’s decided to come clean with his closet. And here he does so by ‘orchestrating’ an unbearable dinner night for his wife and his partner…
In what was probably one this season’s highlights , and a perfect example of Breaking Bad’s art in setting darkly humorous situations, Walt invites Jesse to his place, officially for the first time (well he did step in to wash the ‘blue’ stuff back in season 2) and lets him in on the secret behind his motivations; the blazing force that has driven this unstoppable hubris-ridden Train of consequences for so long…The cheap Buyout he took with Grey Matter. Just imagining how things would have turned out had he stayed in business holding on to his company’s birth right…how he could have put his intelligence to good use…just the thought of it has eaten away at him all these years, like the cancer.
It’s not about family, nor the cancer, or the humiliations, and yet all of these reasons have emerged from the root of it all…the agony of losing a potential Empire so cheaply, just like the man who invented the diamond (see the following section), of not being positioned in the “right” place, of being robbed of all the opportunities, or rather standing aside for life to pass him by. Now he’s on top…he takes pride in his authority, meth is just the positive catalyst in the reaction, making way for the final transformation.
Feeling betrayed by Jesse, Walt once again manipulates him into settling down, and revising his options…does Jesse really want to take the ‘only’ thing left for his partner and father-figure, the business? Now that his children are gone and his wife wants him dead? Jesse should know by now, this man’s got nothing to lose, so he’d better be away when he goes Boom…The awkward dinner time also serves to give a message to Skyler: Sure, she hits him back with the ‘affair’, but Walt no longer cares what comes her way …he no longer tries to keep secrets. It’s all out in the open now.
Smirking at gunpoint, the man won’t let Mike or Jesse sell out the empire he’s literally bled for. Obviously, the rival dealers won’t take kindly to it upon receiving the ‘updates’. Everybody wins, seems to be yet another one of Walt’s brilliant plans to survive the turmoil. Mike has already flown too close to the sun with his ‘sellout’ plan, so is Heisenberg ready to finally clip his wings?