Breaking Bad: Buyout   Rewatch 
January 15, 2015 9:14 AM - Season 5, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Walt, Jesse, and Mike struggle over the future of their business, as occupational hazards weigh on Jesse.

"Is a meth empire really something to be that proud of?"

Alan Sepinwall, HitFix, expressing concerns about the season's pacing:
"Buyout" is the first one that really feels like it's fallen victim to this 8-episode structure. The separate pieces were all excellent, but arguably shouldn't have all been part of the same episode, and likely wouldn't have been in a 13-episode batch.

Specifically, it felt like we moved much too quickly from the utter despair of the corpse disposal sequence to Mike and Jesse's decision to cash out and retire, and then from there to the comedy of discomfort as Jesse tried to make small talk in the middle of the cold war between Walt and Skyler. The stories flowed from each other, but everything happened in such rapid order that none of the emotions really had time to breathe after that incredible opening scene.
The awkward dinner is one of Aaron Paul's five favorite Breaking Bad scenes [AMC content, spoilers for S5E12 Felina]: "I just love how uncomfortable Jesse is the entire time and how he uses his glass of water as his security blanket."

James Poniewozik, TIME:
Jesse is unnerved by the Edward Albee play that, had he ever paid attention in English class, he would have known he had walked into. And his nervous efforts to make conversation—which turn hilarious into a rant about “scabby” frozen lasagna cheese—are the only relief from the oppressive gloom that is Walt’s home life now: hatred, spite and unveiled contempt, with a side of green beans.
Andy Greenwald, Grantland:
Over increasingly menacing silences, Skyler keeps refilling her wine goblet, and Jesse keeps yammering about scabby microwave lasagna, the domestic nightmare in front of him nearly as horrifying as what happened out by the train tracks. After Skyler excuses herself to finish drinking her dinner, Walt drops the hammer: “My wife is waiting for me to die. This business is all I have left now … And you want to take it away from me.” Poor Jesse. He wants out because he can’t stand any more death. But he’s not nearly fast enough: Everything is dying right in front of his eyes. Vince Gilligan has made good on his threat. His hero is an irredeemable villain.
Aaron Paul received a nomination for the 2013 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy for this episode, losing to Bobby Canavale for Boardwalk Empire.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (4 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I really hope Aaron Paul finds other roles as good as this one; didn't he do one of those 'need for speed' knockoff movies after BB? What I'm saying is, hope he doesn't get typecast because he's capable of so much more. (Unless of course I'm grossly underestimating the car movie he was in, I haven't seen it).

Holding your own with Bryan Cranston cannot be easy - he pulls it off.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:23 PM on January 15, 2015

Specifically, it felt like we moved much too quickly from the utter despair of the corpse disposal sequence to Mike and Jesse's decision to cash out and retire

Thoroughly disagree. Both of them were reluctant to enter the new agreement (Mike more volubly, but Jesse had been making second-thought noises for a while) and I can totally see dead-kid + loose-cannon-employee being a bright-line signal for both of them to look for the exit.
posted by psoas at 2:09 PM on January 15, 2015

Looove that dinner scene, Jesse is so lovely in it, and sort of underlines that while he's made some stupid choices, he's a good kid at heart. Walt at this point, has very little good left in him, and he's going to do his best to scrape the rest out.

Walt talking about Grey Matter is probably the closest we come to unveiling Walt's true ambitions, the sick hatred and pride that has burned him throughout this show. He could have been someone... he was someone, and it was taken away (of course, he took himself away from it, but he's never going to admit that).
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:49 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

Paul did that racing knockoff that wasn't originally going to be released in theaters, yes, and some people liked it well enough. Since then he's done a Ridley Scott flick with cast members including Christian Bale, Helen Mirren, and Ben Kingsley (and Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelsohn who were in the terrific Aussie film Animal Kingdom); a play adaption with Amanda Seyfried, Quvenzhané Wallis, Russell Crowe, Diane Kruger, Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, and Bruce Greenwood; an action thriller (drone drama) with Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren; has a heist flick in post-production with Winslet, Harrelson, Affleck (C.), and Ejiofor; and is now filming a psychological fantasy thriller with Jamie Dornan (The Fall), Molly Parker (Deadwood, HoC), Barbara Hershey, and Oliver Platt -- and that last looks like the weakest cast of all these projects. If he turns out to be the weakest link in all of these, his career may have already peaked, but we'll see how he adapts to these hopefully wide-ranging roles pretty quickly.
posted by dhartung at 11:45 PM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

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