Breaking Bad Season 5, Episode 6 Deconstructed

by: Michael Shields

It’s dinner at the White’s as the crew begins to dissolve….

This past week I stumbled upon the above picture on the ole World Wide Web. I quickly shared it with those in my world that have the same enthusiasm towards Breaking Bad as I do. We all, for a lack of better words and some laziness in conceiving ones, freaked out. An email thread materialized with “no fucking way’s” and jokes about Skyler looking pleased while hording her own bottle of wine. We were blown away–and what blew us away was simply a picture of three people sitting at a table together eating dinner1. But we all know it is SO much more than that. And that, right there, illustrates just how incredible of a show we have here2.

Before we move forward let’s run some numbers, as we encountered plenty in the episode.  666 gallons of Methylamine on the black market goes for just a hair under 10 million dollars3, first gallon is on the house of course.  Walt doesn’t want in on the deal, avoiding a cool 5 million like the plague, which confuses Jesse as when it all began Walt’s goal, as he ran some numbers himself, was $737,000.  But Walt has sold part of his business before to disastrous results, unloading his share of Gray Matter4 for a measly $5,000.  Today Gray Matter is worth 2.16 billion dollars.  Walt knows this as he checks on it’s value weekly 5.

This weeks episode, ‘Buyout’, saw the beginning of the end of The Big Three. Mike wants out as the heat is all over him, and Jesse is rattled by the murder of a 14 year old kid6.  Not only do they want out but they have a get-rich-quick scheme lined up before they exit stage right swinging the stolen Methlymine to Walt’s “competition”, a man named Declan.  This week’s episode also saw the return of Saul and thank all that is good in the world. If I have one complaint with this current and final season it’s not enough Saul…..but I have an insatiable appetite for his witticisms.  He kills me.

Some of this week’s most memorable lines:

“Shit happens…huh?” – Todd 7

“Did I make a mistake Mr. White?” – Todd

“Cause Ricky Hitler there shot him.” – Jesse

“I would never come to the headquarters of our illegal meth operation dragging a bunch of cops Walter.” – Mike

“You and I are going to spend the rest of the night together in this office – like it’s my birthday.” – Mike

“I don’t know what it is you find so interesting abut my client.  I’m not here to judge….different strokes and all….but sadly he’s just not that into you.” -Saul

“Schrader’s hard on for you just reached Uncle Milty proportions….have fun with that.” -Saul

This week’s opening scene is unquestionable the most haunting introductory scene to date. The humanity of the crew dissolving away in front of our eyes along with the motor bike and a kid who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Things have gone much too far. It even appears Jesse sees this. And he may have also seen, for the first time, that Mr. White has gone to the dark side for good, rubbing his head in disbelief as Walt tells him he isn’t in either the meth or the money business, but into it for a much more self gratifying reason. It seems fitting that we get a look at Walt chained to a radiator like the animal he is…..but, once again, he escapes in true Walt fashion with another one of his surefire plans.

I found the episode to be this seasons best. It doesn’t take a train heist, magnets, or loss of life for Breaking Bad to be great. The greatness in the show has always been that it is a case study in morality. This week we saw Walt at his not broken, but shattered beyond repair, home wallowing in his whiskey drink and holding onto all that he has left……his meth business. A newly mature Jesse puts things in perfect perspective and in the process shows us how far he hast truly come asking Walt: “Is a meth empire really something to be proud of?8”. Rock bottom is usually a lonely place, but Walt is versed at taking those around him along for the party.

So Walt, please tell us as I haven’t seen a smile on anyone’s face in a long time……how is it exactly that “everybody wins” ????.

  1. Walt returning the invitation he received from Jesse earlier in the season []
  2. Jesse’s table banter was, in a word, epic! []
  3. Rounding up makes it an easier cut for Mike and Jesse []
  4. He even came up with the name of the company. []
  5. It appears this is part of his motivation for being in the “Empire business”, or at least his latest rationale []
  6. And Mr. White’s obvious ambivalence to it–whistling away without a care in the world under the tent as Jesse trembles with regret and disgust []
  7. Looking ever bit of the creep that he certainly is while holding the tarantula enclosed jar. []
  8. A younger Jesse would be damn proud of a thriving meth empire []

10 Comments

  • Yes, the study in morality is my favorite part of the show. My favorite episode is season 3’s “fly” because it’s like all the bells and whistles that make up a typical episode were missing. The episode brings us completely up to speed with the relationship between Jesse and Walt. It literally set the stage for everywhere the show has gone since. I don’t know if ep. 506 touches that episode, but it did manage hype what will be, beyond other things, a bloodbath in two weeks.

    next week’s episode is entitled ‘say my name’. Holy shit.

  • Anyone down with “fly” is my type of Breaking Bad fan. It’s the little things. Vince Gilligan is a slave to detail.

    What the f*#k does “Say my name” refer to. That gives me chills. So nervous about that meeting with Declan.

    In two weeks all this setting up that’s been going on gets knocked down…..

  • ahh dude…seems obvious to me that ‘say my name’ is a reference to walt introducing himself to the competition. say my name = heisenberg. obviously a destiny’s child reference. the writers have to be in a pretty bold place if they’re going to, in their height of cool, pull out a fucking modern pop reference.

    Vince is a slave to detail, which is what makes the show enduring. It’s as if Kubrick had a television show.

  • best quotes from every episode thus far…

    501: Jesse: “Yeah bitch! Magnets!”
    502: Research Scientist: “Franch”
    503: Skyler: “Marie, shut up! Will you shut up?! Shut the hell up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
    504: the dubstep music before the titles (no quote)
    505: Walt Jr: “No. You can keep talking about me now”.
    506: Jesse holding a glass of water during dinner (no quote)

  • Walt loves that people know who Heisenberg is. I wonder if he wants to get a working relationship with this Declan character going? And it looks like he is going to try to force Jesse to stay involved. That could get heated.

  • Walt is not in the meth OR making money business. He is in the EMPIRE business. With that in mind I see no way he is going to have a working relationship with Declan. Every person who gets in his way gets destroyed. Declan was forcing Walt to sell his share of methylmanine as a way for Mike and Jessie to get their $5 million which caused a huge rift in the crew. I say Walt kills Declan, takes the $15 million AND still keeps the 1000 gallons of methylmanine.

    Say my name, bitch!!

  • Revthomps,

    I am not so sure however. At the end of this past episode Jesse was touting Walt’s plan to Mike as a good plan. He is behind it. I cannot see Jesse being so easily and enthusiastically supportive of a plan if that plan meant a bunch more dead bodies.

  • It would send Jesse over the edge if Mike died. The DEA would have no more leads on Heisenberg then as well.
    Walt will be drunk and confess he’s Heisenberg to Hank sometime next season.

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