Breaking Bad S05
Breaking Bad S05E14: “Ozymandias”

The best episode of what is possibly the best television series ever. It was exhausting for all the right reasons, and for once we're left wondering if perhaps too much has happened in the space of one hour. "Ozymandias" was the climax of Breaking Bad, and what a heartbreaking explosion it was.

Rating  

This week on Breaking Bad: HOLY SHIT, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?

[do action=”play-by-play-spoilers”/]

[do action=”moment” emo=”Clever” title=”Ghosts of the past”/]

Ah, the good old days when Walt only had to lie about cooking meth in the desert. Makes us nostalgic for Walt’s mustache, and the lighthearted chemistry between the characters. It’s also an ingenious way to remind us of the road all characters have traveled to reach the dramatic events that are coming.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Disappointing” title=”A casualty of good writing”/]

Well, damn. Gomez is on the ground, and he looks dead as a doorknob. He may not have been a main character, but we still feel cheated a bit that he had to die off-screen. I’m not sure any other show in television history ever had so much stuff going on that they couldn’t show us a character’s death; and yet here we are.

[do action=”moment” emo=”HolyShit” title=”‘My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself.'”/]

We can’t believe they just killed Hank and went on with their business. Dammit, that hurt. At least he went out with his integrity intact, but we really expected him to be the season’s main antagonist right up to the point he told uncle Jack to stuff it. By the way, nice symbolism of having Gomez and Hank buried right into Walt’s money cache, and on the spot of his first cook.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Intense” title=”‘I watched Jane die.'”/]

So many shades of gray… Walt hits Jesse where he can hurt him the most, in full-on vengeful mode. And then there’s Todd, being all sociopath-nice (“I’m sorry for your loss,” hah!), and Uncle Jack trying to be fair with Walt as he robs him blind. The lesson in storytelling here is very simple: no villain, no matter how evil, sees himself as a villain in his own mind.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Funny” title=”They see me rollin'”/]

Another master lesson in storytelling: knowing how to cool down between emotionally intense scenes. In this case, we get Walt rolling his money to the tune of ‘Take My True Love By the Hand.’ Breaking Bad writers, our sanity thanks you. Oh, and nice cameo by Walt’s pants.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Shocking” title=”Beaten inside and out”/]

Jesse’s fate is just painful to watch. His face is a mess, he’s learned what happened to Jane, and now he’s Todd’s meth bitch. He’s in such a bad place right now it’s insane.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Shocking” title=”Walt Jr. is not having an A1 day”/]

Here’s something we weren’t sure would ever happen on this show: Junior finally learning the truth about his dad. Great performance, and pretty heartbreaking to watch, too. This is an example of how this episode is so chock-full of action, we wouldn’t have minded a bit more breathing space. We would have been happy if Junior learning the truth had had a full episode devoted to it.

[do action=”moment” emo=”HolyShit” title=”WE’RE A FAMILY!”/]

So many things happened at once that it’s hard to sum them all up. But man, this whole sequence has shattered our hearts into a million pieces. The moment where Walt finally realizes his family is broken beyond repair was the emotional peak of an entire series. Very, very hard to take in, but the performances were incredible.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Heartbreaking” title=”Give everyone Emmys. The baby too.”/]

That moment in the public restrooms when Walt realizes what he’s done gave us shivers. Fun fact: the part where Baby Holly called out for her mom wasn’t scripted at all. Walt was supposed to just look at her and realize on his own what he’s just done. But during filming, Baby Holly saw her mom outside the shot and called for her quietly, and Bryan Cranston just rolled with it.

And what can we say about the phone call? Watching Walt save Skyler by taking on the bad guy role, before breaking up at the end of the call… Dammit, we’re bummed again just thinking about it.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Theory” title=”What next?”/]

And so, Walt, his empire in dust, rides off into the sunset. What happens next? What makes him come back from hiding? Is it to save Jesse from slavery? Does he have a death wish? Will Walt try and redeem himself in a single act of heroism, and if so, will it be enough to redeem him in the eyes of everyone?


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