Ozymandias (Breaking Bad) - Wikipedia
Ozymandias. EPISODE: Episode Episode 4 Drama. Network: AMC. Air Date: Oct 14, Directed By: Rian Johnson. Written By: Moira Walley-Beckett . Season 5, Episode 14 - Everyone copes with radically changed circumstances. "Ozymandias" is the fourteenth episode of the fifth season of the American television drama . Drusilla Moorhouse, an online contributor to The Today Show's website, . CS1 maint: Date format (link); ^ Bibel, Sara (September 17, ).
Marie lays out the story as she knows it from the other side of the desk - two more people, like Walt and the Native American, divided by experience.
Marie tells her sister that Hank has Walt, that Walt is "dead to rights"; she coolly demands that Skyler sit and listen as she lays out her version.
We stay on Skyler's head, slowly bowing; her hands come together as if in prayer. This is what she's been waiting for, what she might have hoped to avoid with Jesse Pinkman's death: Again, unaware that the truth has been buried along with her husband, Marie continues to lay it out.
Her self-righteousness, almost vindictive - "I for one could not be happier" - would be nauseating were it not so plaintive: Marie has never been developed as a character in the same way Walt has - she's been a kleptomaniac, a caring wife - which, despite all Walt's done, can make her difficult to like when she's put in an adversarial position, especially that of the disappointed school ma'am.
For all her "Answer me, do you understand me"'s, her "what he's done to you"'s, and demands that Skyler hand over every single copy of "that obscenity", Marie is, after all, in the right. When she says that it's time to tell Walt Jr.
Junior has been kept in the dark so long, he's so naive and klutzy, it's impossible to gauge what his reaction will be. Out of the characters in Breaking Bad, it's Junior that's changed the least: On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jesse, now lying beaten and abused in the darkness beneath a heavy grate. When a sheet is swept away and sunlight floods through, he cringes away from it; less a rabid dog than one who's been profoundly abused. We can't know how much later this is - long enough for Jesse to take a beating, to give the Nazis everything they want - but it can't be more than a few hours.
Whether as a junkie or a vigilante, the show has taken delight in punishing Jesse since day one. Hooked up to a rail, forced to shamble around the lab like Quasimodo, dragging it behind him, Jesse is to be Todd's tame meth cook, his Igor or perhaps his Frankenstein Monster or otherwise.
However, more than any chains or guns, it's the photo of Andrea and Brock clipped to the wall - presumably taken during the stakeout at their house - that makes him a prisoner. Even if he can't be part of their happy family, Jesse could never let anything happen to them.
The threat is clear, if implicit: Returning to the car wash office, the first thing we see is Walt Jr. Once more, as with Gomie's discovery of the truth, the show has avoided showing us the moment of revelation. While it's not as clean a reveal as Hank's discovery of Leaves of Grass while sitting on the toilet, Skyler struggling to find the words, to find a way to tell her son that his father, a man he adores, is a criminal.
Then again, Breaking Bad has always favored the emotional aftermath over awkward exposition. It's now the difficult questions come: Why, why would you go along?!
Over the course of the show's run, Skyler and Walt Jr. Skyler - who long ago acted out, had an affair, debated leaving him - has become Walt's cover, his loving wife. Aside from the scene in "Buried" where she tended for him as he lay passed out on the bathroom floor, Walt and Skyler's marriage has become one of convenience.
Junior, meanwhile, has been lied to so long, it's no wonder his head's spinning: Even now Marie is patronizing "Flynn" telling him to breathe. Breaking Bad - like The Sopranos, Mad Men, and so many others - is defined by its strong male characters. Without Walt and Hank to take control, it's up to Marie to give the orders.
Even as she commands the shattered Skyler and shaken Junior to go home, Walt is already back at the house packing. Given he's supposed to be in Hank's custody, what is Skyler to think? Once again, Walt becomes a victim of his own success, of the legacy of ruthlessness he's built. It's that legacy, we know, that'll convince Skyler he's capable of having killed Hank, that legacy that Junior is now having to come to terms with.
The car beeping to signify Walt Jr. The shot of Holly in her child seat in the back - Holly, the only White as yet unscarred by Walt's misdeeds - suggests that her time may come. In the meantime, Junior may believably be screwed up for life; perhaps this is a fate worse than the death I came to expect for them both. In any case, they arrive home to find Walt throwing bags in the back of the Native American's pickup.
As Junior and Skyler furiously try to question him, Walt hurries them into the house, hurries them along: Walt is at his most driven, his most frustrating, curtailing the questions they desperately need in order to get out of the house, what, five minutes earlier?
Who is he running from? What do they have left to fear? Or is that Walt can no longer bear the site of his family home, the lies that inhabit it, the table where he and Hank once shared a drink? Skyler is a fixed point, immoveable on this.
Walt is evasive - "I negotiated. Walt's mistrust, his paranoia, are hardlined into him at this point, or perhaps, for all his promises that, "We're gonna be fine", he can't bear to stop and look at the situation. And then the question comes: He promises to explain everything later, but Skyler advances, shaking, "Where is Hank?
Walt's family is slipping away from him, and, now matter how much he smiles and implores, there's only one conclusion Skyler can draw: Walt can protest all he wants that he tried to save Hank, but there's nothing he can say or do. After all the times he's abused their trust, Walt has finally lost control of his family; the terrible irony of it is that it's over the death of a man he tried to save.
As Walt leaves the room, Junior following, begging for understanding, Skyler picks up a knife. It's the same knife rack that sat behind her in the flashback at the episode's beginning and now, almost two year's down the line in show-time, she's turning it against Walt. As Walt reenters the living room, bags in tow, Skyler turns, blocking Junior from him. Once again, we find ourselves staring down that corridor that's featured so prominently the last five episodes, only this time it's Skyler barring his way.
Walt is frustrated, irritated even, by his inability to get through to her, but, even as he puts the bags down, the camera stays on the knife in Skyler's hand.
This is Walt as the interloper. His ego, his amoral pragmatism, his violent masculinity - all elements brought out by his involvement in the drug trade - are not welcome here, in the home. Skyler, once the matriarch of the White family, forbids him to speak: Her reaction is visceral, instinctive; however calm Skyler may seem, she's rightfully on the verge of hysteria.
Walt, however, has nothing but contempt for raw emotion, his own displays of "weakness" aside, and, as he advances, Skyler lashes out: The sound of the tide builds and breaks with an almost comical "phwhip". In another burst of tragicomedy, more tragedy than comedy, Walt and Skyler battle over the knife. They grunt and groan, shaking back and forth in front of the family photos, as Holly bawls in the background. They throw themselves rigidly into walls, into furniture; the knife comes up, shaking in mid-air, as Junior watches on, still resting on his crutches, pleading with them to stop.
It's only once Walt is ascendant, one hand on the knife, the other on Skyler's chest, that Junior intervenes. Having tackled his father off her, it's now Junior's turn to shield his mother.
Even as Walt, brow furrowed, demands to know, screaming, "What is wrong with you?! Skyler and Junior look up at Walt, terrified; for all Walt's mumblings of "We're a family", it's not enough to stop Junior reaching for his phone and placing a call to the police.
He pulled a knife on my mum. He has, at last, destroyed his family. Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! If the only thing that remains to Walt is to be remembered, then perhaps it's better to be thought of as a killer than a petty tyrant. For now, Walt doesn't have time to think of that: Holly may be the only White, the only family member, who is not yet lost to him. Holly's innocence is all that remains to him. Skyler's reaction at losing her baby to this monster is utterly distraught.
Having hammered on the truck window, screamed, begged, Skyler runs down the street, desperate beyond all measure, as Walt makes his escape from the family home. Once again, in the space of a day, Walt has inflicted extreme emotional distress out of malice or disregard on someone for whom he claims to care.
Breaking Bad | pop mitzvah!
It's Skyler's turn now to feel that same helplessness. Perhaps Walt's maliciousness, his infliction of helplessness upon others, in some way goes back to Walt's cancer diagnosis in the pilot, the injustice of it, his inability to escape from it or lash out at it. Walt was a good man and he got screwed.
As a bad one, he's able to ensure he does not suffer alone. Holly, at least, he still has affection for - though it's hard to believe even Walt could hold Junior's distrust against him. Holly he can salvage. As she speaks her first words, there in the public toilet, before his very eyes, we see the light go out in Walt's eyes: Holly's first cogent act is to call for her mother. Though he hugs Holly, kisses her, holds her tight, we can see that Walt has no choice but to let her go. Though anger has been Walt's emotion of choice, it's worth remembering just how well Bryan Cranston does sadness too.
Back at the White home, local police are orchestrating an Amber Alert. Everyone, Marie included, is reeling; Junior tries to comfort her, but all Marie can says is that "Hank had him in handcuffs".
A call comes through. Can you name a show in which phone calls have proven as pivotal as in Breaking Bad: Passing through the gauntlet of the White family voice-mail message - that must have stung - Walt is there to demand that Skyler pick it up. With Walt now memorialized as an abusive husband, if not yet a drug dealer, the police are quick to run a trace.
It's unclear yet as to how much Marie and Co.Ozymandias
Though he asks for and receives confirmation that Skyler is alone, he must know that there are people listening; the fact he breaks his phone apart suggests he doesn't want to be traced. If there was any doubt in the show's portrayal of Walt as a pseudo-abusive husband, this phone call dispels all doubt: Walt's vitriol and blame casting are difficult to listen to - "What the hell is wrong with you? This is what comes of your disrespect. Now, setting himself up as the indisputable patriarch of the White household - he took Holly because Skyler "needs to learn" - Walt is every cliche that archetype embodies and more.
He's vengeful and vindictive, mocking Skyler's concerns. Hatred and resentment pours out of him like it's been building up for years. This, I'd suggest, is for much the same reasons that so many fans of Breaking Bad seem to hold Skyler in so much distaste.
While I, for the most part, have found Skyler complex and sympathetic - every unlikeable thing she's done has been as a response to something far worse on Walt's part - she was, for many seasons, and even now till a lesser extent, the person to whom Walt would have to go home and lie. Skyler was Walt's eBay-obsessed, slightly lecture-y ball and chain; the show forces identification with Walt, and, as I said earlier about Marie, Skyler has proven a magnet for criticism in his place.
Hopefully, when Walt turns to outright misogyny, calling Skyler a stupid bitch, those who've been so unwilling to give the character a break might finally been forced to face up to some dissonance in this regard. Then again, is it just possible that, as opposed to villainy, this is Walt at his most noble?
In burning his bridges - even in the cruelty of telling Skyler and Marie, and Junior"You're never gonna see Hank again" - could Walt be letting her off the hook? I don't just mean this in terms of legal repercussions,but morally too.
When Walt tells Skyler that Hank died because "He crossed me" and coldly threatens her to tie the line, it's impossible to overstate how vile he seems. At this juncture, it seems there are two distinct and opposing ways to view this scene. Both, giving Walt's conflict, the difficulty of gauging his motivation, seem almost equally plausible.
The first option is that Walt has gone off the deep end, claiming responsibility for Hank's death - whether or not he knows he's on the phone with the police - out of a desire to inflate his legend, like he encouraged Jesse to take credit to Spooge's death-by-ATM back in Season 2. He's treating Skyler like his competition, lashing out at her - "Family or not, you let that sink in".
The second reading is that Walt is using his alter-ego as cover for his own hurt: He's playing into his new persona as abusive husband in order to facilitate a break from those he loves and has almost destroyed. Perhaps I'm giving Walt too much credit - I find my sympathy has remained with him far beyond the point at which other people having been willing to write him off.
The fact remains, though, that, in the space of a single episode, Walt has gone from pleading for Hank's life to taking credit for his death, a leap that in any other show might come across as ludicrous. Similarly, Skyler has gone from the concerned wife calling Walt to confirm he's okay to asking him to come home so that she can recover her baby and he can be arrested.
Breaking Bad has a habit of keeping you on your toes: In what seems to support that second reading, Walt's first task, it seems, is to ensure Holly makes it back home. The previous scene of Walt on the phone having taken place in the inky black parking lot of a fire station, lit by a single blazing streetlamp, the next thing we see is a chessboard in that fire station break room.
The move the fireman makes, as far as I can tell, is the white king from A8 or H1 - the rearmost, rightmost square - to B8 or G1, its neighbor to the immediate left. Could the white king still be Walt - if you believe he's still redeemable - and, in which case, is doomed to face off against Uncle Jack as the black king?
I could spend the rest of this paragraph trying to decipher it, but I'll skip ahead, instead, to the discovery of a whimpering Holly in the compartment of a fire engine; Walt presumably having turned the lights on to attract attention.
For all Walt's talk of punishing Skyler, he gives her back her baby; that surely has to be worth something in the antihero stakes. The final scene of "Ozymandias" - to my mind one of the greatest hours of dramatic television ever to be broadcast - sees Walt sat in front of "the tombstones": Unlike Jesse, Walt, with his three bags and his barrelful of money, gets in the car, gets in the car. There's nothing left to keep him Albuquerque - no family tie or injustice in need of avenging.
His almost startled look in the side-view mirror says it all: At least not like this. With a panoramic shot of the dry grass, the low, scrubby trees, the New Mexico sky at sunset, the car pulls off into the distance; a lone dog crosses the road and hops the curb behind it as we cut to black. In an event that's been teased these last five episodes, Walter White has finally left his family, and it seems, by the state on his fake ID in S05E09 "Blood Money and the title of the next episode, "Granite State", he's off to New Hampshire, exchanging those dusky oranges for igneous grey.
There's nothing, it seems, to draw him back to the Land of Enchantment apart from revenge and we all know what they say about that. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
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It makes sense given the need for Bryan Cranston to grow his hair back, getting the RV out of mothballs, not to mention that they were already shooting in the right location. As well as bringing the show full circle, thematically speaking, it's nice to know the production Breaking Bad, if not Breaking Bad itself, got something of a happy ending: Here's the promo for next week, "Granite State".
This scene is a complete knockout. Anna Gunn again proves how indispensable she was to this series.
By all rights, Skyler should be completely broken by now. Look at the state he left her in. Look at this marriage. What a terrible and crushing relief for Skyler, to hear those words. Too late, of course. It must have been unbearable to see him climb out of the rubble of Heisenberg and briefly see him again in those glassy hazel eyes.
Quite satisfying to see it end on this note, with such cruel resignation. No finale is complete without a callback to beginnings, to the hopes and dreams that fueled the story and drove it ever-forward.
Christ, did I get some feels. Killer choice of callback. He is bright, and he seeks out pleasure he can make and touch and feel. He lives to create and is forever offering parts of himself to others, straining to connect: Recall the first time he praised Mr. In the end, they both might have mastered the process, but it was that gorgeous and deadly final product, a sheet of azure glass, that made them dream harder and drove them both mad. My project for his class was to make this wooden box.
So I wanted to get the thing done as fast as possible. So I finished it in a couple days. And it looked pretty lame, but it worked. You know, for putting stuff in or whatnot. So when I showed it to Mr.
Pike for my grade, he looked at it and said: Now give me a D and shut up so I can go blaze one with my boys. I made another, then another.
And by the end of the semester, by like box number five, I had built this thing. You should have seen it. I mean, I built it out of Peruvian walnut with inlaid zebrawood. It was fitted with pegs, no screws. I sanded it for days, until it was smooth as glass. Then I rubbed all the wood with tung oil so it was rich and dark. It even smelled good. You know, you put nose in it and breathed in, it was…it was perfect. What happened to the box? I…I gave it to my mom. They have art co-ops that offer classes, adult extension program at the University… Jesse: I traded it for an ounce of weed.
Jesse just picked the wrong project. He was too eager for love. Too easily beaten and chained. A problem dog who was never, ever going to get that bone. The series always had to end with Walt and Jesse.
See, I had a prediction. For all their parallels, the two had never met, and I felt that the surrogate son murdering the real son would finally prove to Walt, and us, just how far the pendulum had swung. His last moments were spent rescuing that poor child he once flunked.
But the sight of Jesse, haunted and thin and topped with a head of matted six-month prison hair, does something to Walt.
Suddenly, it all seems to make sense to Walt. This is the kind of legacy King Ozymandias leaves: While the bullets empty into his enemies, Walt protects Jesse. And, of course, in one of the most fitting moments of all, he takes a stray ricochet to the stomach, which would undoubtedly have hit the kid instead. What our cold antagonist could not feel, our protagonist could, and did. The endless fear, doubt, pain, even flesh wounds endured by Jesse make him a Jesus-y representation of the human horrors wrought by Walt over so many years.
Jesse is basically walking scar tissue, and his status as a garbage dump for trauma does not escape him. It is cruel justice, cruel and right, that he should finally be shielded by the corporeal body of Mr. Of course, our problem dog also deserves one more revenge bite. Todd HAD to go, and of course we all shrieked in savage delight when we heard that graphic neck-crunch: