Breaking Bad Episode (5×14) Review – “Ozymandias”



Last week’s episode of Breaking Bad left viewers with a Mexican Stand-off between Hank and Gomez and Neo Nazi killers. The cliffhanger made it clear that people were going to die, but the question of who loomed over the week leading up to episode 5×14, “Ozymandias.” The title refers to the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the inevitable decline of empires and is thought to be based on the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses. All season long we’ve watched as Walter’s empire began to crumble around him. Based on the flashforwards we have seen, no empire lasts forever. Not even Heisenberg’s.

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Breaking Bad 5x14 - OzymandiasRemember the Time… We flashback to season 1 when Walter and Jesse first cooked Meth in their RV out in To’hajiilee. Jesse was the green kid who didn’t know a thing about cooking drugs, but as a user had connections in the drug world. Walt was his high school chemistry teacher who knew the science. The good old days before things went bad. We even get a reminder of what the White family was like before Walter turned into Heisenberg. Seeing how things used to be juxtaposed with how things turned out is a reminder at how drugs ruins lives. Too bad Walter didn’t realize this before Gomez and Hank were gunned down and he offered Jack his hard earned $80 million dollars. As foolish as Walter was for believing he could barter for Hank’s life, it was touching to see him do so. Even more touching was how Hank didn’t blame Walter for his impending death, but pointed out how surprisingly naive Walter still is after everything he’s done. At least Jesse got away… And then Walter saw him hiding underneath his car. At least Jesse will die with the knowledge that Walter watched Jane choke to death and didn’t life a finger to save her.

“My name is ASAC Shrader and you can go f*ck yourself.”

I Walked All The Way Home… Watching Walter roll his lone barrel of money through the desert after Jack took the rest of the loot and Walter’s car broke down seemed like just deserts. Especially after Walter’s confession to Jesse. Even funnier was watching Walter try to buy an old man’s truck with a wad of cash so he could get home. What wasn’t funny was Marie storming the car wash to inform Skylar that Hank had arrested Walter not knowing her husband has been killed by a gang of thugs. Despite Marie being clueless, I have to say it was amazing how strong she sounded when she ordered Sky to give her every copy of Walt’s “confession” if Skylar wants Marie and Hank’s help with the feds. Meanwhile, Todd’s method of dealing with Jesse is short of genius. Instead of killing Jesse, Todd handcuffs him to a chain and forces him to help him cook meth the Heisenberg way. Now Lydia will get the blue color she wants, and maybe Todd will get her.

Breaking Bad 5x14 - Ozymandias 2Truth And Consequences… Skylar takes Marie’s advice and tells Walter Jr the truth about his father with disastrous consequences. As the White family begins to fall apart, Walter is at home trying to hold them together by attempting to provide them with a clean getaway. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned. When Skylar sees Walter is free it can only mean one thing: Hank is dead. After everything Walter has done it isn’t that far a leap that Sky would believe him capable of killing Hank, but it was still a surprise when she pulled a knife on him and tried to kill him. Even more surprising that Walt Jr turned his father in to the police claiming he was the one who pulled a weapon. Walter grabbing the baby and fleeing was just icing on the cake.

“If what you said is true, then you are as bad as him.”

Have You Seen This Child? I can’t tell is Walter has completely lost it, or if he’s saving Skylar by making it appear he’s abusive and forced her to go along with his crimes. Either wouldn’t surprise me, but I want to believe this is Walter’s last effort to do something good for his family. After rooting for Walter for the past five seasons, I’ve been looking for a way to keep doing so in the face of some of his recent decisions. Namely those that have hurt Jesse. The idea that Walter would try and protect his family as a mea culpa for all the dirt he’s done hopefully puts him on a redemption arc. We may not ever get to see it, but at least we’ll part knowing Walter is headed in the right direction. 

Breaking Bad Episode 5×15, “Granite State,” Airs Sunday, September 22nd at 9PM on AMC