Image credit: AMC
METH-OD MAN Walt knows he needs to take care of business by burying his money.
With the return of Kuby and Huell -- please let them be on the potential Saul spinoff -- Walt drives off in a rape-van full of money, to bury his fortune in the desert.
At coordinates 34 59 20 106 36 52, Walt hides the cash. He memorizes the number, smashes his coordinate-figure-outer-thing (the technical term), and heads home. (The coordinates do indicate a mountain range outside of Albuquerque. But perhaps there's a deeper, geekier meaning to them -- maybe the corresponding elements on the periodic table? Or maybe not.) On the refrigerator back at the ranch, he hangs a lottery ticket with those numbers. Maybe someone in the Breaking Bad writers room is a Lost fan. Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
Skyler notices her husband's return, tells him she's been trying to reach him, and says she hasn't told anyone. He's quiet as she states her case, then collapses on the bathroom floor. Cancer's a bitch.
He wakes up hours later, with Skyler playing Florence Nightingale. "It's true. The cancer's back? Is this it?" she says. "Does that make you happy?" Walt asks. "I can't remember the last time I was happy," Skyler admits.
Walt turns softer, almost begging his wife. "Just tell me, I know you talked with Hank. I know you made a deal. Skyler, I'll make this easy. I'll give myself up if you promise me one thing. You keep the money. Never speak of it, never give it up. You pass it on to our children, give them everything. Will you do that? Please? Please don't let me have done all this for nothing." This is a side of Heisenberg we're not used to seeing. He even reveals that no one talked -- that it was his fault Hank found out.
Then Skyler turns Lady Macbeth on us. "The way Hank talks, he's got his suspicions. Not much else. 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." (Tread lightly, even?)
At this moment, Walt gives Skyler what might be the most loving look we've seen on his face in all five seasons. These two are in it for better and for worse.
Between the Hank/Marie/Walter/Skyler dealings, Lydia goes to visit her meth makers -- Declan and his crew. She's not happy with the product. She wants them to use Todd again. They balk at the suggestion. "I really wish you had given him a chance," Lydia says.
Suddenly, there's a problem and they tell Lydia to stay in the lab/bunker. She sends a message from her phone, and crouches down, covering her ears. Shots are fired. The bunker is opened, and Todd sends the all clear to her. Lydia used Todd and his uncle to kill Declan and Co. to take over the business. Does Lydia know what she's gotten herself into? (Side note: There is a lot of focus on Lydia's shoes. Remember when Hank visited her office in "Fifty-One" and she was wearing two different ones? Here, as she steps out of the car, the camera focuses on her black Louboutins. Then again, there's another shot of the red-soled heels as she climbs down into the bunker and once more, when Todd navigates her around the dead bodies. Is this Vince Gilligan's Tarantino-esque foot-fetish rearing its head?)
Of course, we have to talk about Jesse -- whose story bookends "Buried." As the episode begins, an old man discovers Jesse's money on his front porch. He goes around the neighborhood, collecting more bundles of bills. He sees a light on the playground, and finds Jesse lying face up on the merry-go-round. (This is the second time in as many episodes that we've seen Pinkman from this angle -- coffin-like, on his back. Does this mean he's not long for this world? Despite Walt using the "son" endearment when talking to his old partner, Jesse isn't technically family. By that logic, Walt should have no issue dispatching of him, if the need arises.)
As the episode ends, Hank finds out that Jesse is being questioned for the whole "throwing money away" incident. Hank asks for a few minutes alone with his old friend. The credits roll.
Will Jesse turn on Walt, the man he once saw as a father figure?