‘Breaking Bad’ Season 5, Episode 10 Review – Close Enough

Published 2 years ago by

Dean Norris in Breaking Bad Buried Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 10 Review – Close Enough

There’s a great deal of palpable desperation across the board in ‘Buried’; it’s the kind of desperation that is heightened by the knowledge that these are the final episodes of Breaking Bad, so whatever transpires or springs from any fraught situation or act cannot and will not be undone. Moreover, this sense of extreme anxiety (which is worn brilliantly on Anna Gunn‘s face in nearly every scene, by the way) is only magnified by the decision to afford the audience a glimpse of where this will all end up. That lonely, desolate house which will soon play host to a gaggle of skateboarders and be visited by its former resident with a machine gun in the trunk of his car is a surefire sign that things from this point on will refuse to go smoothly.

But while last week’s premiere, ‘Blood Money,’ was tasked with establishing the frantic mood of these final eight episodes, ‘Buried’ is on hand to extend the situation without resorting to any sort of hasty or misguided one-upmanship. Instead, the show brings in virtuoso Breaking Bad director Michelle MacLaren (‘Gliding Over All,’ among others) to take the elements that the midseason premiere brought to a heady boil and settle them into to a steady simmering stew of character desperation.

Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad Buried Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 10 Review – Close Enough

This is a familiar place; it’s a place where the series (as well as MacLaren) excels in terms of storytelling – which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the entire conceit of the program was born of one man’s despair in the face of death – and ‘Buried’ showcases desperation by bringing nearly all the key players into the fold, just to ask the question: How does a family deal with this kind of overwhelming implosion? And the reactions appear in many forms; namely, Walt’s sudden and inevitable preservation instinct, Marie’s disbelief and even Hank’s eagerness to shore things up and avoid the indignity of bringing a mere theory to the DEA over hard, incontrovertible evidence that would debilitate his career far greater than any assassin’s bullet.

It’s also more than that; it’s something that Hank and Skyler share in the understanding that if Walt is held responsible for his crimes as Heisenberg, the ensuing maelstrom of criminal charges will effectively be the end of the White family (something we know to be true inasmuch as Walt’s taken Skyler’s maiden name in the future sequences). And although he doesn’t say it outright, Hank’s insistence that Walt Jr. and Holly be brought back to stately Schrader Manor, while he pursues a devastating course of action, suggests that, even in this position of heightened apprehension and life-altering consequences, ultimately, it is the safety of the family that’s of utmost concern – a sentiment reiterated by Walt when Saul suggests Hank be sent to Belize to visit the permanently vacationing Mike Ehrmantraut.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Buried Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 10 Review – Close Enough

And while one side of Hank is troubled with limiting the extent of the damage to the White children and, to a certain degree, his sister-in-law, there’s another side to the lawman that has far more in common with Walter than either of them would like to admit. There’s an excitement in what’s happening that goes beyond what the audience is experiencing and it shows on Hank’s face and in the way he embraces Skyler when she meets him at the diner. Similarly, despite the ramifications, the inevitable events that have yet to unfold, is there a small part of Walt that relishes this release from his pine-scented prison of days spent dressed in beige behind a cash register, hoping to break the monotony by suggesting he and Skyler launder the dirty money faster by building a car wash empire? There sure seems to be a glint of that in Hank’s eye, especially when he learns of Jesse’s failed attempt to redistribute his ill-gotten gains.

All of this points to Vince Gilligan’s understanding of just how much more interesting it is to watch a character gain or lose an empire than it is to watch him try and maintain one. Sure, there’s still plenty of excitement to be had in preserving territory, but as far as Breaking Bad is concerned, that’s the sort of thing best left to characters like Lydia and Todd, people tied only tangentially to the real drama at hand. That narrative decision is also a sign that Vince Gilligan has standards of quality at least as high, if not higher, than Heisenberg’s.


Breaking Bad continues next Sunday with ‘Confessions’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:

Photos: Ursula Coyote/AMC

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  1. FIRST!!

  2. wow breaking bad is just getting better and better per episode.. without doubt one of the best episodes out their cant wait for the last 6

  3. Man I am going to really miss this show! Do you think Skyler will give Walt up or stand by him? I loved how she caused a scene at the Diner to get loose of Hank. But I don’t know how that will end up, does not look good for anyone in the end. Can’t wait but will hate when it comes.

  4. I literally can’t contain my excitement for this show! Been watching it since it was first released and feel as such a fan, like I’m part of the story to in some weird way, can’t wait to see what happens, I watch every new episode on the edge of my seat!

    Perfect story telling and television at it’s best!

  5. So far so good

  6. The intensity of both actresses in the scene with Holly was one of the best scenes of the show. While they were obstensily both fighting for Holly and Marie trying to keep her “safe,” Marie at least was using an infant to try to win an argument and as revenge against Skyler. There was no inidication that Holly was in fact in any danger at the moment and Marie knew that. The words being spoken in that scene were intentionally muted by Holly’s crying and it was executed flawlessly to portray the moment when the wheels were really coming off all of these people at the same time. It also revealed that somewhat shockingly, Marrie has become the actual moral center of the show and it was quite jarring to watch her act in such an impulsive manner. Nobody is seeking “good” in the show anymore, except perhaps Jesse, they are concerned only with protecting personal interests, pride and family status included. This show is fascinating.

  7. I agree the Marie-Skylar scene was one of the best so far.

    But I so wanted Hank to come into the interrogating room before the epsiode ends. Just for “Hi”. Would have been epic in my opinion.

    I’m not sure Skylar could get away with all this since she admitted she knew about Walt’s buisness. I’m really interested in how the show ends. Maybe Walt does get better agian and fakes his death.(Seeing his neighbour’s reaction, as she saw a ghost.)

  8. great episode, not as good as last weeks, but still had some intense moments. curious to see where jesse’s story is gonna go now.

  9. It’s all becoming more and more apparent, no one is going to walk away from this.

  10. This was such a heartbreaking episode. Hank acknowledging that no matter what happens his career is over just tore a hole in me and that was after the scene with Marie & Skylar with baby Holly screaming.
    As great as last weeks episode was during every scene I had “how does this factor into the end” playing out in my head but this week I was so invested in what was on screen that I wasn’t able to think of much else.
    I guess you can say that this episode was just mostly table-setting for the next 6 but IMO they brought out the fine china . ;)

  11. It was a brilliant prologue/epilogue framing device. A catching of breath episode focused entirely on the fallout from that 10 minute garage scene (and a metaphor for what was going on away from all concerned in the scene with Lydia), all framed by two scenes that were both question and answer for Hank.

    It is masterful. Every frame last week dripping with symbolism and ambiguity waiting to be framed, every moment this week dripping with narrative purpose.

    Pray for Jesse Pinkman.

  12. brilliant show. I wish it didnt have to end

    • Believe it or not, I think that it is good that it is ending for a couple of reasons. It is a fantastic show, one of the best of all time in my opinion, but it is just beginning to manipulate the audience a little bit and straining to hold a few things in at the seams. It is a virtual impossibility that what has transpired in breaking bad could happen in one year, and the characters are now beginning to noticeably age past that premise. It is also out of material for several characters, Jesse and Walt Jr. most notably. These characters were not created for a very long stay, and that is part of the reason that they have not been able to use time jumps effectively even when the show could have really used them. The characters themselves can only exist inside of the world of “teacher turned meth cook,” they are contrivances to a certain degree, incredibly well acted and well written contrivances, but contrivances nonetheless. The characters are not dynamic enough for the show to continue because the material will not allow it and the characters cannot exist outside of the box in which they were created. The show is ending at just the right time. Watch Dexter for an hour and understand what it means to overstay your welcome.

  13. “am i under arrest??!!!”

    • I f*cked Ted.

  14. Hank got wishy-washy all of sudden. It seems like the writers were sitting around and thought, “oh sh–! Hank knows! What could stop him from arresting Walt and ending the series on a whimper?” The whole “my career is over” thing seems like a cop-out for a guy who is in law enforcement and has risked his life on several occasions. He witnessed Turtle’s fate and the fate of other DEA agents. Why wimp out now?

    • That is a good example of one of the contrivances I was trying to identify above. The show is starting to pull “fast ones” on the audience by changing the colors of characters mid-stream. It is such a compelling show that we are willing to overlook it at times but it is becomming apparent.

    • You pretty much answered you question right there.

      He is in law enforcement, he LOVES his job. It’s all he knows and to think about losing his entire way of life is something that would give any rational person pause. Plus Hank has ALREADY gotten a taste of the civilian life, being a vegetable ordering rocks from E-Bay. You really think he wants to go back to that?

      I agree with the writers it’s a very valid point and poor Hank is screwed coming and going. If he does it right he might be able to figure out how to salvage the situation but it will not be an easy solution.

      • Most are willing to put their life OR career on the line to get justice. What’s the cliche, “A great cop would write his own mother a speeding ticket”? Justice means being %100 committed to his job. Hank can’t turn it off. He’s had blackouts thinking about it.

        • Welcome to RL where it’s seldom as black and white as you would want to be.

          He’s conflicted and with good reason.

          There’s something to be said for the more cautious approach instead of being the Hero that goes in guns blazing and gets swiftly cut down.

          Give him time to figure out a solution. When already know Walt is exposed in the end so enjoy the ride to see how we arrive there.

    • Wimp out? Evidence helps when arresting someone, not guts alone.

      • The book? “w.w.”?

        • It says “w.w.” Not “Walter White”.

          There is no hard evidence there linking Walt to all the horrors he has committed.

          • Hand writing experts may be able to link the two books together (which is what Hank was initially comparing) but that alone ain’t gonna get a conviction.

          • Hank should remember back to when all that chemistry equipment was stolen from Walt’s school. That would be something more than the book at least.

        • That is hardly evidence. W.W. could stand for anything.

        • Circumstantial. All it proves is Walt knew Gale, nothing more. Hank isn’t stupid, he knows right now he has nothing on Walt.

  15. No, they’re minerals. Jesus, Marie!

  16. as I said previously, this is heading for a pretty ugly finish for all involved. Jesse looks to be the factor that will cause the white side, the DEA, and the madrigal end to converge.

    • I disagree. Jesse is not going to talk. He may send himself to “Belize” but he is not going to give up Walter or himself to Hank. The scene where Jesse took the wrap for his little brother with the joint was not just filler, it told us something about how Jesse operates in good times and in bad. It may be possible that his stunt with the “blood money” will lead to hard evidence but he is not going to give Hank anything.

  17. Does anyone know anything about the dedication at the end of the episode?

  18. Great episode. Really fleshed out where everyone stands, the lines have finally been drawn in the sand within the family, and now we come to the showdown. I also found it interesting at how many times Hank refers to Walt as a “Monster” throughout the episode, like he was trying to justify his own actions on not immediately notifying the DEA of his suspicions because it would kill his career. I also like Skylar’s stance at the end of the episode, it really pushed forward the Us versus Them theme.

  19. My guess is that Walt will die(by the DEA,unforseen rivals or maybe even Jesse) and it may have something to do with Lydia and Todd wiping out their supplier. I think Skyler and her kids will go into witness protection, Hanks career will implode and Jesse will go off the grid… and the legend of Heisenberg- a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin- will live on in infamy.

  20. I did a podcast on episode 10 with a friend. Check it out, and let me know what you think! http://bit.ly/12lZXRc