Breaking Bad: Ozymandias (S5E14)

“You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see. He made up his mind 10 minutes ago.”

Gut-wrenching, shocking, touching, brutal and the beginning (continuation?) of the body count. Also probably one of the series’ best episodes. Everyone come closer for a group hug because Ozymandias has no mercy on the audience.

The episode begins with a (fake) flashback to Jesse and Walt’s first cook in their RV during their innocent times when Walt was still a nerdy high school chemistry teacher and Jesse was a druggie burnout practicing his Jedi moves in the middle of the New Mexico desert. Walt cooks up a lie (pun intended) to tell Skyler about Bogdan (and his eyebrows!) keeping him at work late – the first of many lies to Skyler. But wait, is this actually the first lie Walt spins before starting his journey towards his meth empire? I think it is! Skyler also asks Walt if he can “pick up a pizza” later. (Oh be careful what you wish for, Skyler). Skyler brings up the name “Holly” for their baby and there is a cute family moment over how the name just sounds right and how they should all take a family trip. The show seems to be saying, “Remember how much of a family man Walt was in the first episode?” Keep this in mind for the rest of the episode as we flash to the present – same area, very different circumstances.

No, Gomie! The good guys always go down first! I thought it was cheap that we had such a long shootout last episode that resulted in nothing, but holy hell they pulled no punches this time. Hank has a bullet wound in the leg and tries to crawl towards Gomie’s shotgun. But unlike with the twins, Hank’s luck has run out. Jack and Co. come out to finish the job but Walt makes one last desperate attempt to save Hank’s life by bribing the gang with $80 million. Hank doesn’t play along though and drops one of the show’s rare F-bombs, and it’s because he knows there is only one possible outcome. He won’t beg for his life. Jack shoots Hank point blank. You see Jack knew that coordinates, not driving directions, equals money, so Hank was doomed from the start. Jack even brought a shovel with him. Walt breaks down after Hank goes down, while the rest of the guys start digging up the money. After all his attempts to save Hank throughout all the previous seasons, it all ends in a split second.

But Jack’s not a complete evil villain, he will leave Walt with one barrel of $11 million. “No hard feelings. We square?” he asks Walt. ‘Cause a handshake is as good as a contract, but I get the feeling Jack has no idea what Heisenberg is capable of. Jack still owes Walt though – the assassination of Jesse Pinkman, who has been hiding beneath the car the whole time. That was his plan? I guess if it was enough to fool the rest of them but Walt sees him and wants revenge for Hank’s death. No mercy now. Walt wants Jesse dead in front of him. Jack pulls a gun on his head and we cut to a scene of hawks circling overhead. Here were my thoughts in real time during that scene, “Oh my god, no, they can’t! There’s still 2 episodes left! They can’t get rid of both Hank and Jesse in the span of 5 minutes… can they?”

No they can’t. Todd comes to Jesse’s rescue. He also looked, dare I say it, sympathetic when Walt collapsed after Hank’s death. He convinces Jack and Walt that Jesse might have told the Feds information, and they need to know what it is. He also mentions that Jesse was Walt’s partner. And keep that in mind because that will come up later.

But Walt gets his ultimate revenge on Jesse in the worst way possible. He clears his conscience and tells Jesse the truth of what he was so close to revealing a few seasons earlier. You think Walt was evil before, Jesse? Well guess what, he could have saved your girlfriend but instead just watched her die. And you worked with him willingly after that. I sense no reconciliation between these two now. Kudos to the show, because I thought there was no plausible way that Jesse would ever find out what happened during Jane’s death but then the writers found a way.

Cut to the car wash where Marie tells Skyler that Hank has arrested Walt and that it’s over. She tells Skyler, “And I for one could not be happier.” No Marie, I think you could. She still wants to make up with Skyler because they are sisters after all. However she has one condition: Flynn needs to find out the truth. Yes, it’s taken this long for Flynn to finally find out his dad is a drug lord – and has been one this whole time. Flynn is understandably a little shocked.

Jesse is recovering from being beat up for the millionth time and is left in some sort of Gitmo cell in the dessert when Todd pays him a visit. I thought for a second that maybe Todd was going to set Jesse free, but instead we know see why Todd was so keen on saving him. Jesse was Walt’s partner, Todd needs to cook better, and so Jesse is going to cook with him, while tied to an on-rails chain. They’ve already got 70 million so why does he even need to cook anymore? Maybe so he can creepy hit on Lydia some more. Oh and just in case Jesse needs extra incentive, there’s a picture of Andrew and Brock pinned to the wall. Todd, you creepy Machiavellian neo-Nazi. I get the feeling if he was Walt’s original partner, things would have played out a lot differently.

Meanwhile at home Walt is frantically packing. It seems he’s finally gone through with Saul’s disappearing guy and is ready to leave his life behind. Skyler and Flynn show up and Walt tells them to pack quickly. Flynn is just plain confused (as usual) and Skyler wants to know what happened with Hank, because he wouldn’t have just let Walt go. Walt tells them he’ll explain everything later but Skyler draws the line and figures that Hank is dead and Walt is the one who killed him. Then she takes out a knife, and this is where things start to go really bad for Walt. They wrestle and Flynn has to break them up before something really really bad happens. But Flynn has at last seen enough from his father and calls the police.

“What’s wrong with you? We’re a family. We’re a family.” – Walter

Everything that Walt has worked for has come crumbling down. Most of his money is gone. His brother-in-law is dead. His partner is against him. His family wants nothing to do with him. So he leaves and takes Holly with him to Skyler’s horror. And doesn’t even use a child seat! No Skyler, Walt is not going to stop after the knife fight.

With the police at her home, Walt calls Skyler and when Skyler picks up begins a threatening conversation about how he warned her not to cross him. Oh you had me, Walt. I thought you were indeed so angry that Skyler and Flynn turned on you that you decided to finally give up on them. But what did we see at the beginning of the episode? A reminder that above all else, Walt is a family man to the bitter end. He uses his Heisenberg skills for good and knowing that the police would stay at his house because he kidnapped Holly, basically incriminated himself and exonerated Skyler from the whole drug mess by telling her he’d warned her about talking to anyone and how she’d wind up like Hank if she crossed him again. This was all his hard work. This was one of the most touching scenes between Walt and Skyler, as Walt makes sure to be menacing and take all the blame while secretly breaking down on the other end, and Skyler keeps her composure after realizing what Walt is doing. So we bookend the episode with Walt’s lies, and he leaves Holly at the fire department before taking the van ride to a new life.

With two episodes left though, things aren’t going to be wrapped up for Walt so easily. And I’m betting Jesse isn’t going to stay hostage forever. And with the state of the house I’m thinking Walt’s family isn’t safe either, and that’s probably why Walt comes back in the flash-forwards. Let’s watch how the writers prove me wrong next week.

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