The Ninjabot

Categorized | Featured, Reviews, TV Reviews

Walter White’s Colossal Wreck – Breaking Bad, “Ozymandias” Review [SPOILERS]

Posted on September 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm by Amanda Andonian


Only two more episodes left before the end! Once again, the following review is chock-full of spoilers. My non-spoilery review is as follows: tonight’s episode was an incredible feat of writing and acting on everyone’s part. Every single character arc came into play, and the full ramifications of Walt’s double-life begin to reveal themselves. This was the best 45 minutes of television that I’ve ever seen, and it’s not even the end of Walter White’s story.

Final Spoiler Warning

We start off with a flashback to Walt and Jesse’s first cook, seeing them in better days, before Walt was the manipulative drug kingpin he is today. The juxtaposition of Walt’s first lies to Skyler with who he is now shows us how far Walt has fallen, as well as just how much further he has to go. And boy does he have an incredibly long fall ahead of him.

breaking-bad-ozymandiasAs the past fades into the present, we see that for once, Walt’s golden tongue cannot get him out of a bad situation. Last week in “To’hajiilee,” Hank and Gomez got into shootout with Jack and Todd’s gang, and our favorite DEA agents were horribly outgunned. Naively, Walt believes that he can save Hank, but as his brother-in-law says, “You’re the smartest guy I’ve ever met, but you’re too stupid to see that [Jack] made up his mind ten minutes ago.” Hank’s death starts off a chain reaction that sends Walt over the deep end. Before that moment, Walt believed that he could  make the best of whatever situation he found himself in. Once Hank is murdered, there’s no turning back for Walt, and this truth finally sinks in for him.

What follows is a series of increasingly insane actions on Walt’s part. Rather than take responsibility for what he’s done, Walt first blames Jesse, who he turns over to Todd and Jack to torture and then kill. His fury with Jesse is such that, in order to hurt him as much as possible, he tells Jesse that he allowed Jane to choke and die. Perhaps unfortunately, Todd has other plans for Jesse beyond torturing him for information. Clearly a psychopath, Todd has been following Angela and Brock, using the tacit threat of harming them to convince Jesse to help him get better at cooking.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. The real insanity happens once Walt gets home and is forced to confront Skyler and Junior, shifting the blame to them for not obeying him completely. Without the smokescreen of trying to provide for his family, Walt’s  unable to justify his decisions or manipulate Skyler and Junior into following him blindly. The scene between the three of them was even more heart-stopping and tense than last week’s shootout, and it was definitely the best performance we’ve seen out of Anna Gunn and RJ Mitte.

breaking-bad-ozymandiasIn turn, Walt’s meltdown on the phone with Skyler was Bryan Cranston’s shining moment this week. Although it’s fueled entirely by Walt’s delusional ego, it was also the most honest and truthful that he’s been with Skyler since he started cooking meth. Her shock and disbelief at the fury of his tirade against her mirrors the shock the audience doubtlessly feels—how can he possibly blame her for his life falling apart when it was his actions, and his alone, that brought him to this place? But they’re no longer dealing with their beloved husband and father. Anything less than absolute obedience is a betrayal in Walt’s eyes, and Heisenberg does not deal well with betrayal. He can’t (or is unwilling to) see that he’s a stranger to them, and a dangerous one at that.

With only two more episodes until the end, I’m curious what exactly it is that Walt needs to do before he’s willing to bring it all to an end. Does he want to avenge Hank’s death? Does he still believe that he can somehow provide for his family one last time before he gives it all up? Or is there something else that he has in mind?

Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 14, “Ozymandias” aired September 8th on AMC.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516.

    • Holy 8lb 7oz baby Jesus this episode hit like a ton of bricks.

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos