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Hank does not tread lightly on 'Breaking Bad'

Aug. 18, 2013 at 10:21 PM ET

"Breaking Bad" fans have to tip their Heisenberg hats to Hank. Instead of being cowed by Walt's menacing threat, the DEA boss made a speed-dial call to Skyler seconds after her husband peeled away from his driveway.

Still, the neighbor kid's remote-control car wasn't smashed. The Whites' pretense of respectability? Not so much.

Image: Hank
Ursula Coyote/AMC
Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when Hank comes for you?

Skyler chooses sides
Hank received his second shock of the day when Skyler refused to go on record about Walt's criminal activity — and then uttered the dirtiest word in law enforcement: "lawyer." Poor Hank had no idea just how much bad Skyler herself had broken — and just how far the grizzly mama would go to protect her family.

Marie, however, got a heavy dose of the truth and smacked her sister upside the head when she admitted her complicity predated Hank's shooting. (Purple power FTW!) When Marie tried to abscond with baby Holly, Hank interceded, but his wife shared none of his sympathy. "You have to get him," the radiology tech said fiercely, and urged her husband to spill to the DEA — proof be damned. "The day I go in with this is the last day of my career," Hank said sadly. (Dude, look on the bright side: You can devote more time to your crystal collection and Schraderbrau!)  

Later, after Walt collapsed in the bathroom (Has any other TV show spent so much time in the bathroom? Or its lead character stripped down to his tighty-whities?), his resolute wife echoed his own warning to Hank: "Maybe your best move here is to stay quiet."

Jesse is arrested
Hank may not believe he has enough evidence to arrest Walt, but Jesse's Santa Claus stunt sent him to the slammer. (Those Albuquerque folks sure have a funny way of saying thank you. That cash could've meant free Hatch green chiles for life!) 

At least his spiral of self-destruction didn't end in suicide? Really, Jesse's new accommodations might even be more comfortable than his "inertia" futon. He obviously doesn't value his freedom, so it's unclear how Hank could persuade him to rat on Mr. White. 

But could his own guilt and despair about Gale, Mike and 14-year-old Drew Sharp drive him to confess his own crimes? Imagine if he knew that Walt, not Gus, poisoned Brock and watched Jane choke to death on her own vomit.  

Underground activity
This episode's title, "Buried," is more than a metaphor for the deep trouble the Whites (and Jesse) are in. After Saul's lackeys, Kuby and Huell, retrieved Walt's mountain of cash from the storage unit, he exhausted himself digging a hideaway in the desert. (And brilliantly hid its GPS coordinates in plain sight — a lottery ticket posted on his fridge.)

Image: Skyler and Walt
Frank Ockenfels / AMC
Family? So what? Hank's out to bury Skyler and Walt.

Meanwhile, Lydia took her own trip underground — to Declan's filthy meth lab — to confirm why its quality has dropped to unmarketable levels. When he refused to rehire Todd or make any other upgrades, she signaled Walt's former partner and his Vamonos Pest Control cohorts. While Lydia cowered below, they shot down Declan and his whole crew. Even when the jittery businesswoman emerged from the bunker, she covered her eyes as Todd led her (stumbling in her Louboutins) through the maze of fallen bodies. This woman's denial is buried deeper than Walt's cash stash!

Potent quotables:
"Fire in the hole!" — Todd's uncle Jack before finishing off Declan.

"Mario, who is Skyler on the phone with?" — A panicked Walt realizing Hank called his wife.

"We gotta do a job, not channel Scrooge McDuck." — Kuby to Huell, before lying down beside him atop the Whites' greenbacks.

"What are you, Lone Wolf McQuaid?" — Marie, urging Hank to tell his colleagues about Walt.

"On his third cook he started a fire." — Declan to Lydia, who praised Todd's first two high-quality cooks.

"Monkey's in the banana patch, capisce?" — Saul's frantic voicemail to Jesse.

"It's an option that has worked very well for you in the recent past." — Saul's suggestion to Walt that Hank follow Mike to "Belize."

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