Breaking Bad: “Ozymandias” Season 5 Episode 14 Review

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So, how’s everyone doing?

This review is probably going to be more like a grief counseling session. I need it. You probably need it.

I’m just done at this point. I have no hope left for a single character on this series. This is the episode that did it.

Named after the classic poem the chronicles the fall of an empire, Ozymandias was the most difficult hour of Breaking Bad.

Of course it started with Walt and Jesse’s first cook.

Of course those images faded away into the opening titles and the sounds of gunfire quickly filled the room.

Of course not everyone made it out.


Hank had done it. He won. He got to call his wife and tell her the truth. Hank’s arc on this series ended last week. He proved he could take down Heisenberg. This phenomenal five season barrage of tension and terror ended with one beautiful moment where he got to tell Marie he had done it. Had Heisenberg not overreached, Hank would have had his way. That’s not Hank’s mistake, that’s Walt’s. So Hank, one of the foundation characters of the series, ended his part of the story as perfectly as possible. Even in his last moments he was still one step ahead of Heisenberg, and that is the only way Hank F*cking Schrader should ever go out. I appreciate the decision to only start the credits after this scene was done.

In some ways this is proof that Vince Gilligan is going to end this series perfectly.

So then Walt found Jesse in the sand. And gave him up. And told him about watching Jane die. So who wants to kill Walt? Any takers?

Especially because Jesse’s captivity conditions were hardly the Four Seasons. Walt needs to pay for this.

The rest of the episode had to do with White family drama. First, Marie, unbeknownst to her that Hank had fallen, confronted her sister one and for all and made her tell Walt Jr. The bond between them, after the stealing, the gambling lie, and every other problem they’ve dealt with, is still so strong.

Walt Jr.’s reaction was just about everything you’d expect from it. Plus, we got proof that Breaking Bad can still hold onto its sense of humor as Skyler told Walt Jr. to put on his seatbelt.

They come home to Walt packing up all their stuff. But Skyler brilliantly figured out what happened to Hank. At this point she knows its over. The shot of the phone and knives perfectly kept us guessing at what route the show would take. Breaking Bad has done stuff like this before, but no one has chosen the knife when it came to family matters.

It was shocking as Walt and Skyler fought with the knife. My heart was pounding thinking that Hank and Skyler might die in the same episode. Luckily it didn’t go that way. Walt Jr. heroically saved his mother. In that moment, Walt realized that his family was over. In the span of two episodes Walter White has lost both of his identities. That’s what it meant when he got in the van, something Jesse refused to do a few episodes back.

There was one redeeming moment though. Walt calls Skyler as the police are in the home. He clearly knows what is going on and makes sure to put the blame on himself, leaving Skyler out of any legal trouble. Then he drops Holly off at the fire department and runs off to get a full head of hair and turn 52.

With two episodes left, the stage is set for the two flash forwards we saw earlier this season. Hank is dead. Marie, Skyler, and Walt Jr. appear to be sticking close. Walt is off on his own and Jesse is a prisoner to Todd and his uncle’s gang.

This was an emotional episode, to say the least. It was a rollercoaster of emotions that just kept bringing things further down into a pit of despair. Is there any way that these characters will come out ok? Is there any foreseeable outcome that Walt and Jesse shake hands and part ways forever? In what I’m sure will be two very long weeks we’ll know for sure. Try to have a good week Breaking Bad fans. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty

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