REWATCH: Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Buyout
Aug 07 2013 08:36 am CET

On this episode of Breaking Bad, Jesse and Mike are ready to get out of the business. Walt isn't interested in selling out and will do whatever it takes to preserve the methylamine they worked so hard to steal.

Previously on Breaking Bad: Walt bugged Hank's office, allowing the team to learn that it was the Houston DEA office and not Lydia who placed the tracker on the methylamine barrel. Lydia referred the guys to another methylamine source: a train passing through the desert. So yeah, they need to execute the greatest of train robberies. Meanwhile, Skyler has sent the kids away until Walt gets out of the meth biz. Walt would prefer to stay in the meth biz, but get out of having to pay the legacy costs to Mike's former co-workers. However, the train robbery resulted in a new legacy cost: after the team completes the mission, a kid riding by on his dirt bike waved at the crew. Todd, a new henchman on the team, pulled a gun and shot the kid dead. Jesse freaked.

Mike, Walt and Todd are back in the garage emptying the decoy dump truck. Added to the payload is the kid's dirt bike, which the team disassembles. As with every disposal, a giant plastic drum and hydrochloric acid come into play. Don't worry: the child was not disposed of this way, as we see a flashback of Jesse burying him. Later, Todd joins Jesse outside for a cigarette break. It's obvious Jesse doesn't welcome the company, but he doesn't say anything. Todd, on the other hand, can't stop talking. "You didn't tell me the stuff smells like cat piss," Todd says, referring to the methylamine. Jesse doesn't reply, so Todd tries more small talk. "Shit happens, huh?" Jesse punches Todd across the face. Good. Credits.

Later, the foursome are assembled in the garage office. Todd knows the ax is about to drop (figuratively, and perhaps literally – Walt seems like a guy who might have an ax), so he is SUPER-chatty now. He prattles on about how they needed the robbery to go without a hitch and a witness qualifies as a hitch and he had to do it and he had no choice and he really really really wants to be a part of this operation and his uncle is in prison and can provide customer connections. Jesse cuts in when he can: "A threat? The kid was waving at us." Todd apologizes again, but restates his position he was looking out for the team. Walt asks Todd to step outside. Todd leaves, the door closes, and Jesse calls the kid a whack-job. He also calls mentionig his prisoner uncle a power play, but Mike vouches for the possible clientele connection. Walt cuts in to say they have three options for they should proceed:

  1. Fire Todd – he knows too much so he will end up as another legacy payment

  2. Dispose of Todd – no one speaks up in support of this

  3. Keep Todd, but establish some more control over him

Walt says none of the options are ideal, but option three is probably the best of the bunch. Mike votes for option three as well. We don't hear Jesse vote, but it wouldn't matter anyway.

Mike heads out to the hallway to deliver the verdict to Todd. Mike slams the kid into the wall before delivering the news. "The next time you bring a gun to a job without telling me," Mike says, "I will stick it up your ass sideways." Something tells me Mike may have done that once or twice before. Todd leaves the office, gets into his car, and looks at the mason jar with the spider that used to belong to the kid.

The next day, we see the surveillance team tailing Mike. Gomez and associate are hanging out in a car watching Mike and his granddaughter through binoculars at a park. They see Mike scrawl a note on a pad, fold the piece of paper, and place it under a nearby trash can. Gomez thinks this is a dead drop. He waits for Mike and Kaylee to leave the park. Gomez waits a few minutes to see if anyone picks up the note. No one does, so he runs across the street to see what information is in the note. "F[blur]K YOU." Boosh.

Later, Mike sits in his kitchen as he listens to the Hank podcast with special guest Gomez. "This guy is slippery as hell," Gomez reports, "this guy's a pro." Hank assures his partner, "one of these days Enhrmantraut is gonna slip up. We just have to be there when he does." Mike sighs. I do too, because there's almost no chance Mike's going to survive the series…and even this season is a 50-50 proposition.

Skyler is at Marie's, sitting on the couch and playing with Holly. Marie says Flynn is still in teenager mode. Why has no one told her he doesn't go by that name anymore? It's such a cruel joke. Marie asks Skyler how therapy is going and she responds with a vague progress report. Skyler starts crying and Marie moves to sit next to her sister. Skyler opens up slightly: "I need to make the right decision, I need them to be safe." Marie seems confused by this statement, and asks what the kids need to be kept safe from. "From us," Skyler answers, "from Walt and me." You can see Skyler struggling with telling her sister everything, but Marie puts Skyler at ease by telling her to forgive herself for what happened to Ted. "…what?" Skyler asks. Marie comes clean about forcing Walter to tell her everything about the Ted affair. Marie says she could understand how Skyler might succumb to the temptation – Ted was a handsome fella pre-headbrace. Oh, Marie: never change.

Walt and Jesse wait for the latest batch to finish at this week's fumi-cook. I think they're watching a Good Eats episode about caviar? Hehe. Walt gets up to check the cook and Jesse channel surfs to a local news station. The top story: an expansion of the search for the boy Todd killed. You can see the remaining bits of Jesse's psyche disintegrating as the images of the TV screen reflect in his eyes. Walt grabs the remote and turns off the television as Jesse holds his head in his hands. "Jesse," Walt says, "nothing can change this." Walt turns this into a perverse pep talk about self-sufficiency, soul-searching, and learning from your mistakes. I guess he agrees with Todd's "shit happens, huh?" argument. Jesse doesn't say anything, so Wa;t offers to finish up so Jesse can go home. Pinkman heads upstairs to grab his things as Walt heads back into the tent, whistling aimlessly. Jesse returns to the living room and can hear Walt's happy tune. Jesse's phone buzzes and agrees to meet with whomever is on the other end.

Later, Walt returns the truck to the garage and sees Mike is there. They have a meeting in the office, where Jesse also happens to be waiting. Mike reports his day has been spent shaking the DEA off his tail. Panic crosses Walt's face, but Mike assures the boss he has things under control. However, the inconvenience has reached the point where Mike wants out. "Sorry to see you go," Walt tells his soon-to-be former associate. Walt says Jesse will have to take over distribution, but hopefully Mike can show him the ropes. Jesse says he wants out, too. Walt says the methylamine they just stole could be converted into $300 million in meth – why would they want to walk away? Mike says he and Jesse will each take their share of the fluid to sell, but Walt is welcome to join in the sale. Walt is offended by the proposition, particularly since the buyers would be his direct competitors. Jesse asks, "are we in the meth business or the money business?" Walt does not have an immediate answer.

Mike and Jesse are out in the desert. Mike places a gallon milk jug of a clear liquid, probably not water. A truck approaches, parks, and two men disembark. The buyer, whose name is Declan, is happy to deal with Mike on this particular transaction. Mike says the gallon on top of the car is a freebie Declan and his crew can test for authenticity. If they want to buy, the 665 gallons Mike and Jesse have for sale goes for $10 million. "This is worth it," Declan says, "just to get that blue stuff of yours off the market." Mike and Jesse don't say anything. Declan notices the missed beat. Mike assures Declan that Blue Sky should not interfere or overlap with his market, but the buyer isn't interested. He wants the supply AND the demand and will either buy the full barrel or there's no deal. Mike says no deal.

Walt is napping when he gets a phone call. He gets up, heads to the door and finds Jesse as a visitor. Jesse explains the details of the failed transaction and re-invites Walt to the deal. "Absolutely not," he responds. Jesse says the deal makes sense and goes well beyond what they had originally planned when they started cooking. Jesse reminds Walt he only needed $737,000 to be set way back when. Walt explains he doesn't want to sell out adding, "I will not throw it away for nothing." Jesse rolls his eyes, saying $5 million isn't nothing. Walt sits down to tell Jesse the story of Gray Matter, the firm he and a couple buddies developed post-college. During the firm's infancy, Walt decided to sell his share of the business for $5,000 – which was a lot of money for a kid his age at that time. Now, the company's net worth is about $2.16 billion ("with a b"). "I sold my kid's birthright for a few month's rent," Walt seethes. Jesse raises his question on if they are in the money or meth business. "I'm in the empire business," Walt says, smugly. "Is a meth empire really something to be that proud of?" Jesse asks. Before Mr. White can answer, Skyler returns home from grocery shopping at Albertson's. Skyler wasn't expecting company, specifically the kid that might have been selling pot to her husband during his cancer treatment. Walt re-introduces Jesse to Skyler before inviting Mr. Pinkman to dinner. Jesse tries to politely decline, but Walt is all "come on, it'll be fun." Skyler is checked out at this point.

Walt's definition of fun may be different from yours and mine. He seems to relish in the awkwardness of pitting the people he has full control over against one another. Jesse tries to be a polite dinner guest, complimenting Skyler's wonderful string beans with slivered almonds. He asks Skyler about her technique. She takes a sip of wine and tells Jesse she went to the deli counter at Albertson's. Jesse somehow segues to his experiences with microwave lasagna, with its scabby cheese that doesn't stay on the pasta and tastes just like eating scab. "Whatever happened to truth in advertising?" concludes Jesse as Skyler pours herself a full glass of white wine. Jesse cannot handle the silence, so he asks Skyler how things are going at the car wash, since Mr. White has said she's been a great manager. Skyler, still considering her wine, responds by asking Jesse what else Walt has told him. "Did you also tell him about my affair?" she asks her husband. Skyler excuses herself from the table. Walt tells Jesse his kids are gone and Skyler is now counting the days until his cancer comes back. "My wife is waiting for me to die," Walt says. "This business is all I have left now. And you want to take it away from me."

Walt heads to the garage to retrieve the trailer with the methylamine tankard. Mike comes out of the office. "I though you might try something stupid," he says to Walt before showing the gun in his belt. "Come join me in the office," Mike says. They head to the office where Mike explains the barrel sale is going to go down tomorrow whether Walt likes it or not. Walt doesn't like it and says they can make $300,000,000 with the amount of meth he can cook. Mike tells Walt to sit down so they can wait for the sunrise.

After a time-lapsed night-to-day passage, we rejoin the two in the office. Mike says he has something to attend to before the meeting with Declan. Mike can't take along, so Walt will need to be restrained until he comes back. Mike frisks Walt and removes his wallet and keys, throwing them onto the desk. Mike walks Walt to a radiator on the other side of the room and zipties his wrist to the register. Mike leaves and Walt gets to work immediately to get himself free. Walt scans the room and spots a coffee maker on top of the nearby filing cabinets. He is able to maneuver himself to kick the side of one of the cabinets, but the coffee maker doesn't budge. The cord is in reach, so Walt gives it a yank and the maker comes down…with the coffee pot rolling to the other end of the room. So much for using a glass shard. Walt spots the power strip the coffeemaker is plugged into and comes up with Plan B. He turns off the strip and splits the wires from the plug with his teeth (jewels, not tools, Walt). He places the newly created circuit near his wrist and turns the power strip back on. Walt melts through the ziptie and sets himself free. He runs to the watercooler to address his burn, then sets to work on the rest of his escape.

Mike's prior engagement is a meeting with Saul and the DEA. Saul accuses the agents of an elaborate persecution plot, equating the warrantless tracking of his client with stalking. I'm guessing Saul watched a Law & Order marathon before taking this meeting. Saul has filed a temporary restraining order to show he is super-serious, you guys. "Where did you get that law degree?" Hank asks. "The same clown college you got that suit?" Hehe. Saul says he got his TRO from a judge who happens to think he's a snappy dresser – proof that justice is blind. Saul and Mike leave and eavesdrop on Hank and Gomez in the car. The agents know the restraining order will likely be rescinded in a matter of hours. Saul knows this too, but he figures Mike has about 24 hours to take care of business before the DEA is back on his tail.

Mike returns to the garage. The tanakard is gone. Mike is not in the mood, goes into the office, spots Walt and holds a gun to his head. He is milliseconds from pulling the trigger, but Jesse intervenes yet again. Jesse says Walt has figured out a deal. "Is that true Walter?" Mike threatens. Walt says it is. "Everybody wins." Hmm.

Next week on Breaking Bad: The DEA is ready to do a sweep of the Ehrmantraut residence. Jesse wants out of the business, but if he leaves he gets nothing. Declan isn't sure if he is dealing with the real Heisenberg. Walt taps into his inner Shaft.

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