Breaking Bad: S5E10 “Buried”

8 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting : 9/10
Cinematography: 7/10

 

Let’s take a minute to talk about Skyler White.

Somewhere along “Breaking Bad” (the “when” is different for everyone) she became on object of hate for fans. She was the “bitchy” wife archetype, always nagging and considerably lame next to a man who broke bad (Doesn’t that just sound cool?). Her sensible thought-pattern became ridiculed by fans who chose to side with the cool parent who bought us Mustangs instead of PT Cruisers (In essence, we are all Walt. Jr.).

It’s a huge understatement to say Skyler White was misunderstood. To anyone who jumped on the “I Hate Skyler White” bandwagon, this episode is here to say, “Suck it, losers.”

After receiving a phone call from Hank before Walt could get to her, she has no other choice but to go meet Hank in a diner, where he pretend-sympathizes but really just wants a confession from Skyler, right then and there – preferably without a lawyer.

Skyler debates that if her well-being was in his best interest he would let her speak to a lawyer. Hank circles around the subject and tries to get something – anything – that could serve as viable evidence to send the whole DEA after Walter. Hank and Skyler never really got much screen time together, but this scene made up for all that missed time. Anna Gunn’s acting game was spot-on in this episode with her silent, nervous stares and perfectly placed hands. Skyler thinks very carefully before speaking, and all while staying calm and saying just a few words, the situation escalates at a rapid rate. Writers on this show have really paid attention to the personal details of the characters they’ve crafted. They know what makes them tick and how they would react. Think back to the last time Skyler had such anxiety about her family secret. She yelled at Marie, like a child, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” This time, when the water became too hot, fearing and implied arrest, she could only shout and repeat “Am I under arrest?!”

The real family moment came when Marie showed up at the house. Of course she will say something like “I’m just going to wait here until you open the door, so you could open now or three hours from now.” When Skyler had her kids at Marie’s house and was keeping quiet about why they were there, Marie sat next to her and said she wouldn’t leave until she told her what was going on. She knows what works for her, and no one wants to have Marie on their ass, so if you’ve already exhausted your “shut ups” your best bet is to just tell her, or say nothing until she can assume your silence is because of humiliation, and it’s true.

Without pitying her on the other extreme, frankly, Skyler is probably the second-most complex character on the show. She witnessed her husband inch further and further away from her, from a point when she thought he was just “taking walks,” to the idea of him cheating, smoking pot and finally, when she found out that he was the one who knocks.

She’s been manipulated by her husband and cornered into doing ridiculous things for her family’s safety. Often times, she’s had nobody to talk to. Even Saul reported back to Walter. She felt powerless, but now her life was back on track. She was regaining a stand in her marriage, and there was even some reparation with Walter. When Hank found out, it’s obvious she admitted, although intelligently, she never verbalized it in the way Hank needed it on tape. Technically there was no evidence, just speculation, and instead of viewing her husband as a monster who needs to be locked away, she realizes that the real threat is Hank, who wants to ruin her family, essentially by telling her to pick one family over the other.

Skyler’s family is all she has, so it makes it extra difficult for her when she loses Marie, despite their awkward relationship. However, if losing Marie is an inevitable effect of taking claim of what is hers, then she’ll do it.

This is the same woman who shut her sister out after realizing she was a kleptomaniac in denial.

She definitely shut her out after Marie tried to kidnap her daughter, but she will always feel horrible about losing her family.

Skyler and Marie’s relationship has been detailed for all it’s worth to lead right up to this point.

The only family that remains is Walter, who fell on the floor of his bathroom once again after burying millions (billions?) of dollars in cash in the middle of the desert.

This is a Walter of pure desperation, but instead of pulling an amazing stunt last minute, he exhausted himself. This is the episode where he realizes that his pride got him in trouble.

Remember what I said about cancer being a metaphor in my last review? It’s not the cancer that’s eating him up; it’s his pride that destroys him. In a surprisingly touching scene between him and his wife, Skyler proves she’s on his side for better or for worse.

Feel free to make Bonnie and Clyde references; I already am planning their getaway. It’ll look something like this.

Who’s on the next train to Belize? Is Denny’s getting a huge cut on product placement? Will Jesse talk? And OMG IS WALT JR. DOING DRUGS?!

Tweet me @claudiacmarina all things “Breaking Bad,” which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC. 

 

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Author: Claudia Marina View all posts by
Journalism student at the University of Florida. Sally Draper is my spirit animal. I love writing about TV and how it affects culture. Occasionally I watch bad TV, but reviews make it better.

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