Best weekly reviews of Breaking Bad, Ep. 5.06: “Buyout” stalls for time
Breaking Bad, Season 5, Episode 6: “Buyout”
Written by Gennifer Hutchison
Directed by Colin Bucksey
Airs Sundays at 10pm ET on AMC
Due to life constraints, the recap’s a little late and a little brief. Apologies; expect a beefier take next week for the penultimate episode.
Season Five hits a bit of a pacing snag with “Buyout,” which takes a long time to reach a crisis point that felt like it could have come a lot sooner.
The episode, directed by 35-year TV veterean Colin Bucksey, opens with its best sequence: Mike, Walk, Jesse and Todd silently disposing of the poor kid shot in last week’s incredible finqal sequence. They dig up the surrounding area, dismantle his dirtbike piece by piece, and, of course, must make the body itself vanish without a trace. It’s presented as methodically as any other chemical process on the show, but communicated with the weight it deserves, even if we get the clear sense that Jesse is the only one who’s exactly as troubled by this as a human being should be. “How about the face that he shot a kid?” He can’t abide “Ricky Hitler” still being part of the team, but he gets soundly outvoted.
The rest of “Buyout,” like this opening section, consists of Breaking Bad in literal “cleanup” mode, setting the stage for the next set of tense setpieces and standoffs. Most serialized TV shows rely on that balance of “downtime” and high-octane content, but this season is beginning to feel a little schematic in just how neatly its episodes can be divided into the eventful and the setup-heavy. “Buyout,” to its credit, seems to try to correct this storytelling impulse, but it actually winds up making the episode feel even more like it’s running in place.
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