Breaking Bad “Ozymandias” Review (5×14)

16 Sep


“You’re the smartest person I know, and you don’t even see…he made up his mind 10 minutes ago.”

In one of Hank Schrader’s final lines, he perfectly sums up the character of Walter White. Walt’s flaw has always been his stubbornness, refusing to let go of his family or his money. All throughout this episode, he’s continuing to use the “family excuse” to the point of desperation, even sacrificing his money to try and save Hank. Alas, his plan fails. Hank goes down with a censored f-word, and Walt drops to his knees and falls over, shocked and dismayed. Cranston does wonderful work here, bringing his character through a full range of emotions that culminate in a seething, terrifying look of hatred toward Jesse.

Of course, Todd “saves” Jesse, deciding to use him as a meth-cooking teacher. He imprisons him, attaching him like a dog to a leash and putting up a photo of Andrea and Brock. Todd’s a psychopath, but he craves approval; he’s sucking up to Walt and trying to impress Lydia, and he’s not motivated by greed like the rest of Uncle Jack’s crew. It’s all a heartbreaking sequence of events, and it reflects how with Jesse, there’s no going back for Walt.

However, that doesn’t stop Walt from trying to bring Skyler and Walt Jr. to his side. It’s a doomed plan, though. Skyler and Marie have already told Flynn about his father’s criminal activities, and he’s at a breaking point. When Walt goes to the house to whisk them away, everything explodes in a wrenching, tragic scene in which Skyler pulls a knife on him and Walt Jr. calls the police. Walt snatches up Holly and leaves Skyler in the dust, but later, as he’s changing Holly, he hears one word that strikes him to his core: “Momma.”

This is what truly beats Heisenberg. Much like Walt only can focus on one thing at a time, he can only give up one at a time. Last week, he realized that Hank and Gomez had him beat. However, this week is when his true family has beaten him. He realizes that he has nowhere to go, but he has to go somewhere. Walt calling Skyler at the end is absolutely wonderful to watch. Gunn and Cranston play that scene beautifully. Walt’s not a stupid guy, even though he’s making stupid decisions, so he definitely knows the police are there. It’s one final, heartbreaking act for Walter White. He’s lost his money, and he didn’t get anything out of it. He’s had both his real family and his imagined family turn on him, and he finally breaks down, sacrificing all he has left for what’s left of it. At heart, he’s always been that kind of guy. Yet, he’s able to throw in a “You stupid bitch” as well, something he also really wants to believe in. It’s both a despicable and decent act, exemplifying why he’s been alone for so long. Now, he finally realizes it.


We’re heading into the next episode with Walt on the run, one barrel of cash left from his now ruined empire. It’s fitting that he ends up this way, and it seems inevitable where his arc will take him. Still, the show can surprised us, and no matter what happens, Walter White will remain alone.

Grade: A

Other thoughts:

-Rian Johnson is amazing. The way he films the opening half hour is better than his “Fly” direction. The fade ins and fade outs are a thing of beauty.

-Hank has joined Mike in the “going out with a censored f-word” club.

-Marie goes from confident to broken in a matter of seconds. What a devastating performance by Betsy Brandt.

-The last shot is fittingly a rabid dog, crossing the street after Walt drives through. Walt’s leaving behind a crazy wave of destruction.

-The tension in this episode is off the charts. It’s like “Crawl Space” stretched out into 45 minutes.

-Walt rolling the barrel through the desert is a great shot.


-Walt twists the knife with his confession to Jesse about Jane. It’s an act of desperation and malice, and it’s hard to root for Walt after that.

-“If you knew about it, then you’re just as bad as him.” Amen, Walt Jr.

-It’s fitting how Hank is buried in a ditch dug for Walt’s money.

-Gomez didn’t even get to die on camera! RIP, buddy.

-I’m so excited for the final two episodes.

Credit to AMC and Breaking Bad for all pictures. I own nothing.


3 Responses to “Breaking Bad “Ozymandias” Review (5×14)”

  1. crowdoffullpockets September 16, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    When he said, “Hank. His name is Hank,” all I could think of was that the promo shot they were using everywhere for this season, which is the picture I click on to go watch the episodes on Amazon, says, “Remember my name.”

    • Jake Lacy September 16, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      Ha! Same here.

  2. Jake Lacy September 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Good analysis. I never even thought of the possibility that Walt was trying to protect Skyler. I think you’re right. I feel like he took a little too much pleasure in insulting her though, so I agree that it was both decent and despicable.

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