Just when they thought they were out, Heisenberg pulls them back in
Let’s cut to the chase: “Buyout” was not as great an episode as “Dead Freight”, but quite honestly that is a tough act to follow. While this episode does not surmount to the sheer tension that arose in the previous episode, it shows what Walt and the gang do best: how to clean up after their (bloody) messes. And what a mess it was.
The sheer sombreness that began this episode set the pace for what was to come. Not once did Walt, Jesse, Mike or henchman Todd speak to one another. The looks on their faces said it all, especially Jesse’s who has seen this one too many times. Only once there mess was cleaned up and placed in neat and tidy containers of hydrofluoric acid, did anyone dare to speak- and I am so thrilled that it was Todd. The way he walked up to Jesse with a cigarette at the corner of his lip and said “Shit happens huh”, would make one think that this was the beginning to some really bad, laugh track fueled comedy.
Thank goodness this is not the case, for instead of a studio audience chuckle, Todd received a well earned punch to the face. After last week I have grown to hate henchman Todd (as he shall now be known). But what really did it for me was once he had the meeting with Mike and Walt and was reprimanded for his actions, he humbly apologises only to go to his car and play with the kids spider that he stole. That is not what a stone cold killer like Mike would do. I mean you don’t see Mike keep one of the balloons he used to cut the power like some sort of heirloom. That is what a serial killer does, and that is messed up.
While this was one of the more worrisome problems Jesse, Mike and Walt had to deal with; it was not the most significant. As Mike was dealing with the D.E.A following him, nice note for them by the way, and Walt had family problems to deal with; it all came down to one problem being that Jesse and Mike now want out. As they plan to sell their methylamine, to a competitor no less, Walt pleads with the both of them and succeeds.
I am tired of Walt continuously getting his way, and so when he told Jesse his little sob story about the company he created, Grey Matter, and how he sold his shares for next to nothing, I felt no pity on him. Sure he may have convinced Jesse that he is a better man, but then the way he responds to Jesses question about whether or not he is in the money or meth business just pushed me over the edge: “Neither. I’m in the empire business”. The empire business! Walt has continually told others, and even himself, that they are better than the scum who dishes out meth on the streets, but really he is no different at all. It is true he does not see it as a profit business or a drug business. He sees it as a way to rise above his past failings and to claim that his failed operations in the past have surmounted to something greater. This was a great moment of insight into Walt’s character, for now viewers finally see his true motivations.
So after all this huffing and puffing, Walt is once again able to manipulate Jesse, but I am happy that Mike is not so easily moved from his position. The man goes out of his way to make a deal and to get out, yet Walt in all his arrogance just takes the methylamine for himself. I loved the sheer anger that was in Mike’s face as he pointed a gun at Walter. Mike is often a very collected individual, but this was his tipping point. Both Walter and Mike have often gone head to head, but I think this is the final push that causes their relationship to crumble. Whether or not Mike becomes an enemy to Walt (is that why he purchases the gun in the flashforward in the first episode), or remains a bitter ally remains to be seen, but something tells me dear old Mike is not going to be in the meth business for very longer- or any business for that matter.