Breaking Bad Episode (5×14) “Ozymandias” – MVA Revealed
Walter White’s Decline as Leader Continues With Devastating Consequences in This Week’s Episode of Breaking Bad
On episode 5×14 of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Walter White lost the remainder of the few things he had left. Not only did Walter watch as Jack killed an unarmed Hank, but he also lost $70 million in the bargain. Walter also lost the family he’s worked so hard to keep when Walter Jr. learned of his father’s real source of income, and Skylar called the police following Walter’s kidnapping of Holly. Bryan Cranston has always turned out great performances, but it was his fervent plea to save Hank’s life that has earned him this week’s Most Valuable Actor Award for “Ozymandias.”
“Hank, nothing can change what just happened, but you can walk out of here alive if you just promise us you’ll let us go.” Last week Walter found himself in the middle of a shootout between his brother-in-law Hank, Hank’s partner Gomez, and Todd’s family of hit men. Gomez lay dead having been felled by a hail of bullets, Jesse was in hiding, and Hank was wounded in the leg and unarmed. Having won the upper hand, Jack was prepared to kill Hank as a witness when he discovered Hank was also DEA. Seeing what Jack was about to do, Walter came to Hank’s defense as his family and tried to barter for his brother-in-law’s life. In Walter’s world, if he gave Jack and his gang his drug money, their greed would keep them from killing a federal agent who had just been fired upon and whose partner had been killed.
“It’s Hank. His name is Hank.” After telling Jack where he’d buried his loot, Walter believed he would get his way. Over the course of the past five seasons we have seen Walter argue or out think his opponent and gain control of the situation. This was not one of those times. Once Jack’s guys dug up the barrels of money and loaded them up, Walter thought their acceptance of the cash was their willingness to let Hank go free. He was wrong. Unlike Walter, Hank realized Jack never intended to let him go, but had every intention of killing him as planned. Seeing Walter’s belief that he could still somehow manage to save Hank right up to the very minute Jack killed him was incredibly sad. It was Walter’s actions that brought about this situation and it was his fault that his family will be destroyed because of it. In the past, the majority of Walter’s actions have hurt the other people around him. For the first time Walter understands what destruction his lifestyle has brought to those he cares about.
Despite everything Walter has been through there’s a part of him that is still naive. As we’ve watched Walter go further and further towards the dark side, Bryan Cranston has always somehow managed to make a small part of Walter remain somewhat seemingly innocent. Usually, this innocence pops up whenever it’s in Walt’s best interests, so most likely the innocent act is just that – an act. However, I believe Walter’s massive ego allows him to actually believe he is innocent in most of his wrongdoings, and that he’s just reacting to the circumstances he finds himself in. We only have two more episode left, so I’ll be interested to see if Walter ever comes to terms with what he has done.
Breaking Bad Episode 5×15, “Granite State,” Airs September 22nd at 9PM on AMC
What is The Most Valuable Actor (MVA)
For most of the shows we cover, we find each episode has an actor that stands out more than the others – one who absolutely owned the episode. This vote isn’t about the other actors not delivering or being any less valuable, but as we mentioned, it’s about who stands out in the episode. It could be a combination of great writing, delivered lines, emotional execution; basically, if it gives us goosebumps or moves us in any way it’s getting a vote. We’ve found that, depending on the show, it’s a lot tougher to see who got our vote. This means that for every episode we, at TVAfterDark, will decide who gets our MVA vote. An actor can be voted several times within a season, but only ONE can be chosen in each episode. You can see our MVA’s here.