Breaking Bad, Episode 510: "Buried"
Original airdate: August 18, 2013 on AMC
| 509. Blood Money
> 510. Buried
511. Confessions airs August 25
512. Rabid Dog airs September 1
513. To'hajiilee airs September 8
514. Ozymandias airs September 15
515. Granite State airs September 22
516. Felina airs September 29
Spoiler warning: Quotes below may contain spoilers about this episode (though not future episodes).
This week's episode was written by Thomas Schnauz and directed by Michelle MacLaren, both veterans of the series (who previously overlapped on the classic "One Minute"). Picking up just moments after last week's premiere, the Hank- and Skyler-centric "Buried" features a relatively small dose of Walter White and not a single line from Jesse (played by former Price Is Right contestant Aaron Paul), but that doesn't mean the stakes don't keep getting raised. Plus, there's Walt's newly buried stash and newly unburied past, a buried meth lab, and a discussion about Walt burying another foe. Oh, and a money bed.
Below are quotes from reviews and recaps of this week's episode. Note that if a publication provides a grade or score for the individual episode, it is included below (converted to our 0-100 scale).
Extremely positive reviews
91 "While on the surface this episode is just moving the pieces into place, its singleminded attention to motivation provides just the kind of revelations that prime the engines for the stretch run."
— Donna Bowman / A.V. Club
"A step up from the season opener."
— Zac Oldenburg / Cinema Blend
100 "Has an hour ever flown by so quickly?"
— Allison Keene / Collider
"'Buried' is a tour de force for Emmy nominee Anna Gunn."
— Chuck Barney / Contra Costa Times
90 "Breaking Bad has me completely glued to my television."
— Nick Harley / Den of Geek
"I'm honestly not sure if this most unstable of shows has ever unsettled me more."
— Andy Greenwald / Grantland
"It's an incredible episode: gorgeous to look at, but taut and heartbreaking."
— Alan Sepinwall / HitFix
"Maybe it's time to re-label 'Breaking Bad.' It certainly has been a rigorous and compelling examination of what an anti-hero is capable of. But as the end nears, it looks to me like it could be a heroine's journey -- or, at the very least, an anti-anti-hero drama."
— Maureen Ryan / Huffington Post
97 "'Buried' was a great episode from start to end. It didn't lull, but it didn't get too explosive (err, aside from Lydia's hiding during the gunfighting). It had just the right amount of heat to bake the rising tension."
— Seth Amitin / IGN
"Racing down to the final episode, once again "Breaking Bad" is firing on all cylinders and while we wait to see the fate of Walter White, it seems the cards are being dealt for Skyler as she emerges as the Lady Macbeth of the show. It's [an] astonishing reveal, one that once again reorients everything in the world of the program, making for yet another compelling piece of television."
— Kevin Jagernauth / The Playlist
"'Buried' doesn't so much run as cascade – an episode-length highlight reel of memorable imagery, intriguing details, laugh lines, major plot advancement, and years-in-the-making interpersonal conflicts. ... This one never lets up, but its variety prevents it from ever becoming exhausting."
— Sean T. Collins / Rolling Stone
"Not to jinx anything, but I get a vibe from 'Buried' of the last, outstanding season of The Shield."
— James Poniewozik / Time
"'Buried' spread the tension created by 'Blood Money' out to the rest of the characters, effectively bringing everyone into this big mess between Hank and Walter. We're not just waiting for one man to go down. Breaking Bad has always made a point to show how Walter's decisions affect everything around him, but now it seems that everything around Walter may affect him. This is a fantastic start to Breaking Bad's final season."
— Tim Surette / TV.com
92 "Nearly every scene of Breaking Bad is so mesmerizing that I don't find myself thinking about the future as I watch. I'm simply taken in by everything we're witnessing, from the performances to the tension to the cinematography."
— Matt Richenthal / TV Fanatic
"The writing in the Hank-Skyler coffee shop scene belongs on anyone's list of great Breaking Bad moments."
— Matt Zoller Seitz / Vulture
"'Buried' lets Skyler and her fascinating dilemma take center stage, giving the character a potential way out from what her life has become while giving two-time Emmy nominee Anna Gunn a chance to shine."
— Mark Berman / Washington Post
"Seriously, when was the last time an episode of TV that was largely made up of two-person dialogue scenes felt as suspenseful as this?"
— Rick Porter / Zap2it
"Not a great episode, but a typically smart set up for what's coming next."
— Joanne Ostrow / Denver Post
"'Buried' was a very necessary -- though possibly less thrilling on the adrenaline meter – episode. For me, the beauty of the episode... is how we as human beings make sometimes flawed, sometimes empowering decisions based on our connections to and our love of the people around us."
— Tim Goodman / The Hollywood Reporter
"The rest of the episode is solid stuff, the show putting various pieces in place and setting plans in motion for the big endgame, but it's unquestionably enhanced by the question of just what might happen to Jesse. Every time his name is mentioned, it's a reminder that he's out there, the one loose end that Walt has yet to bother tying up, the one fray in the tapestry that might allow everything to unravel (as we know it will). Leaving that question hanging doesn't directly motivate Walt or Skyler or anyone, really, but it does contribute to the audience's growing sense of unease."
— Todd VanDerWerff / Los Angeles Times
"While this episode may not have been as exciting as last week's installment, and we didn't get any big revelations or 'holy crap!' moments, it was still very satisfying."
— Luke Gelineau / TV Equals
What do you think?
What did you think of last night's episode of Breaking Bad? Let us know in the comments section below, and don't forget to return here next Monday for reviews of the next episode.