We are arriving at the end of the first half of Breaking Bad's season 5 (the second part will air in 2013). With just two episodes to go this year, 'Buyout' turned up to be an episode that felt like a transitory one. One that was answering last week's cliffhanger and trying to move the chess pieces for the next two episodes (or maybe the series' final stretch that is still a year away).
First we have the aftermath of Todd shooting that little kid after the train robbery. Walt, Jesse and Mike decide keeping Todd in the the team is the easiest answer, but there is really nothing easy about the situation they're in right now. With Mike being constantly followed by the DEA and all that Jesse has been through, the guys have decided to sell the methylanine, get 5 million each and end with the meth-operation for good. Mike and Jesse want out, but Walt is not having it. The buyer's aren't having it either, if Walt doesn't sell his share, they won't buy from Mike and Jesse.
If we didn't know it yet, it is pretty clear Walt has become a full-on villain. Even if the sanest thing to do is get the money and finally end with this ridiculously dangerous business, he insists on going on. "I'm not in the meth business, I'm in the empire business" he tells Jesse. He also explains how he missed out on becoming a millionaire had he stayed with the Gray Matters, the chemical company he created back in college. It feels like what Walt wants above all is power, which is something he clearly didn't have an inch from when we meet him in the pilot. It seems he feels he's been neglected all of his life and has now found out the way to use his genius to earn what he deserves. Megalomaniac to the core. We also get that awkward dinner scene of Walt, Jesse and Skyler all having dinner together, which was fun, but didn't feel as earned and satisfying as similar moments have been in other episodes.
Anyway, at the end of the episode Walt has apparently come up with a plan that will give Mike and Jesse the 5 million they want without having to sell, which I suppose is really a way for Walt to buy time until he can convince at least Jesse to stay in business.
Meanwhile, Skyler finds out Walt told Marie about her "affair" with Ted Beneke. Judging from the scene in which she had with Marie and later the dinner scene with Walt and Jesse she can't take this anymore and if this isn't the straw that broke the camel's back, the camel's back is sure going to break very soon. Could it be Skyler ends up killing Walt and not the other way around?