Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 14: Ozymandias

Breaking Bad (Photo: Ursula Coyote / AMC)

… … … … Wow.

Last week on Breaking Bad: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! And Junior had trouble with the cash register at the car wash. But mostly AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Actually, let’s take it way, way back, all the way to Walt and Jesse’s first cook. Things seemed so much simpler back then. The RV. Walt in his undies/apron combo, Jesse ricocheting through life. As the meth cooks, Walt finds a bluff (as it were) to place a phone call to Skyler. He lies and says he has to stay late at the car wash. Skyler is in the kitchen, wrapping an ugly clown tchotchke that she sold on eBay. As they chat about dinner plans (there’s a two-for-one pizza deal, BYO roof), Skyler suggests a name for the baby that’s on the way: Holly. Walt likes the name. The call ends. Walt fades out of the frame. Jesse, who looks like he’s fighting with a nearby boulder, fades out of frame. The RV fades out of frame. Title card.

We return to the empty desert. We hear gunshots before last week’s standoff fades into frame. Hank clutches his bleeding leg as he looks over to Gomez’ lifeless body. Hank makes a desperate crawl to his partner’s rifle, but the gang blocks him. As they taunt Hank, Todd says he can’t find Jesse, who was hiding in the car when the shootout began. They’ll take care of Pinkman later as Todd’s uncle cocks his gun to shoot Hank. Walt pops up from the backseat of the truck and begs Jack not to shoot. Jack is not amused that Walt called him, canceled the order, and is now depriving him the opportunity of disposing of witnesses. “No cavalry is coming?” Jack asks. Walt says there isn’t, but Hank says there sure as hell is. “Sorry man,” Jack says. “There’s no scenario where this guy lives.”

Walt plays his last card: there’s $80 million, which the gang can take if they don’t kill his brother-in-law. Jack considers this, but wants to verify that Hank really is family. “My name is ASAC Schrader,” Hank says, “and you can go fuck yourself.” This does not curry Jack’s favor, but Hank tells Walt he knew what his fate would be ten minutes ago. Jack shoots Hank. Walt falls to the ground and sobs. Todd looks at his former boss and is not sure how to react. Todd is a sociopath. Meanwhile, Jack found it odd that Walt gave such a precise location when he called the posse. He asks one of his goons to pull out his fancy phone so they can find those exact coordinates. When they find the spot, they start digging and quickly discover the first money barrel.

Later, we see the gang loading the last of the barrels into Jack’s truck. The crew then drag Gomez and Hank’s bodies to the freshly dug grave where the barrels were. Jack tells the crew to move one of the barrels to the Chrysler — no sense leaving Walt completely high and dry. Todd walks over to Walt and uncuffs him. “Sorry for your loss,” he says insincerely. Jack walks over to Walt and asks if they’re square. Walt is still in shock, but eventually shakes Jack’s hand. Before they leave, Walt turns around and says they still owe him the hit on Pinkman. He signals that Jesse had been hiding under the Chrysler throughout the shootout. The goons pull him out and get ready to shoot him in the head. Todd intervenes at the last second to suggest Jesse may have info on how to cook. It’s not ideal, but Jesse lives to see another day. As he is dragged away, Walt tells Jesse he watched Jane die from her heroin overdose and chose not to save her. We go into the first commercial break and sit in silence over what happened in the last 20 minutes.

The credits only just now start rolling (9:26pm, by my clock). Walt starts driving back, but the Chrysler is out of gas — either because Jesse disconnected the fuel line or because one of the hundreds of bullets recently fired pierced the tank. This leads into this week’s music video of Walt rolling his barrel of money through the desert to any bit of civilization. He eventually finds the house of a local tribe member whose truck miraculously becomes “For Sale” after Walt hands over a stack of bills.

Back at the car wash, Skyler tries calling Walt again to find out where he is. Marie comes in and tells her sister they need to talk. They go into the office so Marie can inform (and let’s call it as it is: brag) Skyler that Hank has arrested Walt. Skyler sits in stunned silence as Marie gets a few things off her chest. She says she’s not sure she can ever trust Skyler again, but is willing to work with her to undo whatever horrible things Walt did to her. However, there are a few conditions: Marie gets every single copy of the confession video: DVDs, raw files, everything. No one tell her about the “Hank and Marie react to what they’re watching” meme. Condition two: Skyler must tell Junior everything.

Let’s check in on Jesse. He’s still alive, living in an underground cell with half his face covered in what looks like chemical burns. Todd comes down to retrieve the prisoner, and Jesse freaks out, begging for his life. Todd leads him up a ladder into the new lab. Todd attaches Jesse to a human-sized version of a dog run. He uncuffs Pinkman, who is now free to move about the lab and cook to his heart’s content. Or, you know, die. In case Jesse needs more motivation, there’s a photo of Andrea and Brock posted at the far end of the run. Todd suits up.

Back in the office, Junior is not taking the news of his dad’s new hobby well. “THIS IS BULLSHIT.” He storms out and Marie suggests Skyler goes home and regroups.

Back at home, Walt starts packing everyone’s clothes, much like he did during “Crawl Space.” Skyler and Junior arrive and Walt scurries outside to tell them to pack. Walt talks at a fast clip, but Skyler stares at him in wonder/terror/shame. “Walt, why are you here?” Walt says he negotiated his capture and is free to go. “I need both of you to trust me.” Skyler asks where Hank is, but Walt changes the subject to the money currently sitting on the flatbed of his new truck and that they need to skedaddle. “You killed him,” Skyler accuses. Junior can’t believe what he’s hearing.

The action has moved to the kitchen, where Skyler pulls a butcher knife from Chekhov’s knife block, featured so prominently in the flashback phone call. She tells Walt to get out, but he continues to approach. Skyler swings and cuts Walt’s hand. Walt goes berserk and the two fight for the knife. Skyler’s holding her own in the fight, but AIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEE. Walt pins Skyler down and, before something horrible happens, Junior tackles his dad and gets the knife. He stares down Walt as he calls the police. Walt makes a run for it, but stops to grab Holly. Skyler chases him down, but Walt is already in the truck.

We next see Walt in some random road stop restroom with one of those koala changing stations. He puts a new diaper on his daughter. He holds her and looks in her eyes. “Mama,” she says, repeatedly.

The police are at the White house, issuing Amber Alerts and updating Skyler, Marie, and Junior on the situation. A call comes in and Skyler lets the machine pick up. It’s Walt. The police put a trace on the call as Skyler answers. Walter proceeds to berate Skyler for the next several minutes, practically plagiarizing all Skyler-hate that exists on the internet. Skyler does not engage, but does confirm that Hank has been killed. Marie is destroyed. After Walt verbally eviscerates his wife, he hangs up and snaps his phone.

We jump to a fire station. One engine’s lights start flashing, but no alarms are ringing. A firefighter heads out to the truck to flip the light switch, and is greeted by a crying Holly sitting in the front cab.

The next day, Walt waits at the pickup location for Saul’s identity cleaner. The red minivan shows up, Walt loads in, and we see the car drive away.

Next time on Breaking Bad: Do we really want to know? And could it possibly top this past hour of television?

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv