SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "Buried" episode of "Breaking Bad" contains storyline and character spoilers.
Say her name: It's Mrs. Heisenberg. Because after five seasons of letting husband Walter White run the show, Skyler White took a stand.
Skyler had her chance to turn Walt in. Picking up from last week's explosive clash between Walt and Hank, in which the DEA agent told his brother-in-law he knew all about (well, mostly about) his meth-cooking operation, Walt and Hank both rushed to their phones to call Skyler. Hank got to her first and set up a meeting at a diner.
A shaken Skyler listened to him call Walt a monster and an animal, tell her to bring Walt Jr. and Holly to his house for safety, and then ask her to tell him the whole crazy Heisenberg tale while he ran a digital recorder.
But Skyler wasn't talking. She asked if she should get an attorney. But aside from that, as the wheels in her head were turning, she talked little, and listened to Hank. Hank was concerned for her and her kids, but it was just as evident that he desperately wants to get that monster. And, Skyler determined, it was just as evident that he had little evidence. So she admitted nothing, created a scene, and got out of the diner as fast and as admission-free as she could.
Later, after an exhausted and weakened Walt returned home and passed out in the White bathroom (the very bathroom where this portion of the "BB" saga began, with Hank's Walt Whitman discovery), Skyler assured her husband she had told Hank nothing. Walt said he would turn himself in if Skyler would only promise to keep all the money he's earned. But as much as she had, at various times, just wanted Walt out of her life, in whatever way that would be possible (once telling him she was waiting for his cancer to kick back up and kill him), she now decided this: "You can't give yourself up without giving up the money. That's the way this works, Walt. So maybe our best move here is to stay quiet."
The Whites vs. The Schraders
And in the other corner: Skyler's sister and Hank's wife, Marie, who also now fully (or mostly) knows what Walt and Skyler have been up to lo these many seasons. Marie knows what Hank knows about Walt, but more crushing to her is that she now knows Skyler knew about Walt's activities for quite a while, specifically before Hank got shot as a direct result of Heisenberg's dealings.
Marie answered Skyler's apology — the furthest she went to admitting anything in "Buried" — with a hard slap across her sister's face, and a brutal scene in which she tried to take baby Holly from the White house. And after Hank made her leave the baby behind as they got in their car and left, Marie made it clear where her loyalties lie, telling Hank, "You have to get him."
The revelations about Walt, and Walt and Skyler, not only pitted the sisters against each other, but showed the key aspects of their husbands' personalities that are likely to ultimately determine how "Breaking Bad" wraps up.
Walt's first instinct, upon finding out that Skyler met with Hank, was to assume that she spilled everything to her brother-in-law. He then went to Saul and arranged for his huge stash of money to be brought to him so he could bury it in the desert (hiding it from Skyler).
Hank's first reaction after his fruitless meeting with Skyler was to tell Marie what had happened, even though he knew it would break her heart and likely irreparably damage her relationship with her sister.
And though Hank also had Walt's lone-wolf instinct to deal with the situation, in terms of Hank wanting to be the one who brought Walt down (especially before taking his newly-discovered, career-ending info to his fellow DEA agents), he listened to Marie's warning that he had to share his discoveries about Walt with his co-workers, lest he and Marie be held accountable for knowing about Walt's activities.
"Breaking Bad" Bits:
- Jesse. After his drive-by cash-tossing in last week's episode, "Buried" opens with a man finding several money bundles, which leads him to an abandoned car with a bag of cash in the park across the street. A few feet away, lying on his back and aimlessly spinning himself on a merry-go-round: Jesse. He's broken, and by the end of the episode, has been arrested.
- Huell and Kuby. Best scene of the episode was their Scrooge McDuck-inspired flop onto Walt's money pile. Huell: "Mexico… all's I'm sayin'." Kuby: "That guy hit ten men in jail within a two-minute window. All's I'm sayin'."
- Saul. His panicky meeting with Walt, post-Walt/Hank showdown, provided an instant-classic new euphemism for having someone whacked. Saul suggested that Walt could deal with Hank the same way he dealt with Mike, by "sending him on a trip to Belize." Walt objected, but as Saul pointed out, "It's an option that has worked well for you in the recent past."
- Walt. He now has the most famous TV lottery numbers since Hurley's 4-8-15-16-23-42. For the record, Walt's numbers (which represent the GPS coordinates of the location where he buried his barrels full of cash): 034-059-020-106-036-052.
- Lydia. Who wears Louboutins to walk in the desert? Though, props to her for climbing up and down that meth lab ladder in them.
- Todd. He's back, still baby-faced and still ruthless. He and his killer crew wiped out Declan and his men on Lydia's behalf. Todd didn't break bad; he was clearly born that way. Todd is so scary, it makes us temporarily forget how sweet our Landry Clarke was.
Coming Attractions (i.e. what we know about next week's episode):
- Next week's episode is called "Confessions," and according to a cryptic teaser on AMC's "BB" aftershow "Talking Bad," it will feature a meeting between Walt and Skyler and another couple, who we assume is Hank and Marie.
- "Buried" ended with Hank talking his way into a face-off with Jesse in jail. Will the completely crushed Mr. Pinkman spill anything, or everything, he knows about Walt and their meth machinations?
- "Confessions" is the third of the final eight episodes, meaning there are just six episodes left, ever. Which is a fact that has us feeling like we need a Schraderbrau or three.
- Next week's guests on "Talking Bad": "BB" fan Samuel L. Jackson and Saul Goodman himself, Bob Odenkirk. (Perhaps with a status update on the Saul spinoff?)
Get a sneak peek at next week's "Breaking Bad" right here:
"Breaking Bad" airs Sundays at 9 PM on AMC.