Breaking Bad: Season 5 Episode 14: “Ozymandias” Recap

Breaking Bad 514 Jesse at gunpoint

The fallout from last episode’s bullet storm of a cliff hanger leaves a pair of corpses in this emotionally devastating episode.

Continue Reading for my spoiler filled thoughts and reaction to Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 14 “Ozymandias”.

A helluva lot went down this week. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate everything that transpired in this fantastic episode even if my initial reaction is it wasn’t as great as “Confessions” or it didn’t reach the heights of the heart stopping cliffhanger to “To’hajiilee”. Which sounds silly considering this emotionally heavy episode had a beloved character die, a crazy family knife fight, Walt’s anguished phone call at the end and the awesomeness we come to expect from Breaking Bad.

On one level, Ozymadias is a logistical episode in which the course of events following the gun fight are played out; it’s merciless, gut wrenching, tragic and inevitable. By logistical I mean characters are positioned from point A to point B and the scenario for how Walt reaches the flash forward time point is set up.

Because the story is moving very fast, it makes it easier to accept certain necessary plot points like Uncle Jack sparing Walt’s life because of Todd’s deep respect and giving him a barrel of cash.

While the plot points build up to the final two episodes, every major character has a crushing moment of defeat or horrific revelation. This is incredibly dark territory in which we understand each character’s personal pain from their perspective. Each scene is like ripping the bandage off a festering wound … again and again.

At first the opening flashback felt like a delay to finding out what happened in the shoot out (yeah I’m impatient) but it’s actually significant in several different ways. Aside from the warm nostalgia of watching Jesse and Walt on their first cook in the old RV, it’s a vivid reminder of these characters at the start of their transformation.

Walt rehearsing his first lie is subtly amusing as we know it becomes second nature to him. Discussing what to name their unborn child brings to mind how over the course of the series, we haven’t seen Walt interact much with Holly even though he sees himself as a family man and went into the drug business to provide for them.

The time lapsed shots of the desolate desert in To’hajiilee from the first cook in the RV to the shoot out and eventual final resting place of Hank & Gomie is hauntingly symbolic. These images literally and thematically encapsulate what Breaking Bad is essentially about in a matter of seconds.

A part of me wanted Hank to find a way to get out alive but his fate was already sealed last episode so I was prepared for what was to come. Hank started out as a jokey gregarious bloke who evolved into Heisenberg’s greatest match. If it’s any consolation, Hank did defeat Heisenberg at this own game … at least until the neo-Nazis showed up.

I did appreciate Hank was defiant to the end, not begging for his life and throwing in a last barb at Walt. No amount of money could have saved Hank though Walt tried. As Walt’s actions become increasingly guided by his emotions it may be foreshadowing his final act of the series might be to do something terribly irrational.

Heading into the final season I was anticipating which secrets would finally be revealed and how it would impact the narrative. The ricin revelation became the turning point for Jesse to rat on Walt which eventually led to the shoot out. In this episode, Walt’s confession on letting Jane die was an emotional outburst equivalent to twisting a knife in Jesse’s heart. He blames Jesse for Hank’s death, not himself, and the reveal is Walt’s vindictive way to even the score. As many predicted, Jesse’s now a slave to the neo-Nazis. 

At the heart of this episode is the fall of Heisenberg. His empire has crumbled. His family whom he valued most is lost, his brother in-law dead and 70 millions dollars stolen by the Neo-Nazis. I don’t think Walt was thinking clearly when he nabbed Holly but in a way it made sense for a man who lost it all to cling on to her. Walt has always projected himself as a great father but even that is lost when Junior who idolizes him calls the cops.

breakingbad 514 skyler amc 650

Tying into the opening flashback, Holly’s first words are Mama which makes Walt realize who the baby belongs with but also to look after Skyler. The way that I interpret the phone call at the end is that Walt knows the cops are listening which Skyler indirectly confirms. Reading in between the lines, Walt is telling Skyler not to incriminate herself and that he’ll take all the blame without actually admitting to any crimes of his own.

Hank’s death shook up Skylar; she can’t follow Walt down that road anymore but she still loves him. It goes without saying that Bryan Cranston’s performance is amazing; he’s projecting his anger over the phone while simultaneously he’s teary-eyed, broken up inside.

Throughout the series Walt has consistently been saving Jesse so one prediction floating around is that the finale will have Walt realize the blue meth back in the market is made by Jesse and he’ll have to save him one last time. However Walt’s hatred of Jesse and ordering his execution makes this prediction unlikely but I wouldn’t discount the unexpected on Breaking Bad.

Every time I think I’ve watched the best episode of the season, another comes along that’s even better. Two to go!

Was this a fitting end for Hank? Where does this episode rank in the final season so far? What’s your prediction for what happens next?


More Posts You Might Like:

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 13 “To’hajiilee” Review

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 12 “Rabid Dog” Review

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 11 “Confessions” Review

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 10 “Buried” Review

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Posted on September 17, 2013, in Breaking Bad, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Was it a fitting end for Hank? I’m not sure, but it was definitely the only end that would have worked. As for my predictions I myself am of the opinion that Walt may end up saving Jesse, but perhaps it won’t be what he sets out to do originally, maybe a by-product of the Walt vs Uncle Jack & Co. set up. Like you say though, this is Breaking Bad, and who knows what will happen.

    Great recap as always!

    • Hank got to use the F word but that got muted out on the version I was watching. Yeah, his death is the only end that would worked. That’s a great prediction that I can see happening. I’m really looking forward to Walt Vs Uncle Jack and co. The neo-Nazis made it personal when they took out Hank and enslaved Jesse. Great discussing BrBa with you!

      • Yeah he went out like a badass, didn’t beg, was resigned to his fate but still with as much pride as he could muster. It’s probably worth mentioning that now the police will be aware of Walt’s activities (both in and out of the kitchen) so I’d imagine a manhunt of sorts will be mounted. Not that I think the guns in the flashforward are meant for the police, I believe they’re for the purpose of the Walt vs Uncle Jack & Co. showdown, but DEA involvement could definitely put a spanner in the works too. Ah, I can’t believe we’re so near the end!

        • Yeah since the police are aware of the two missing DEA agents and Walt said Hank “will never be seen again” it makes him a prime suspect in that investigation not to mention for kidnapping Holly and the kitchen fight. I’m guessing Marie will cooperate with the police and fill them in on Walt, assuming she’s emotionally stable enough? Poor Marie.

          I’m not sure how many months away we are from the flash forward time point but I imagine next episode will cover Walt’s adventures in New Hampshire while evading the Police/DEA. I guess that explains his “disguise”; the new glasses and hair we see in the flash forwards. This final season has flown by so fast, yeah I can’t believe we are already down to the final two!

  2. Walt seemed to have made up his mind about Jesse. I think he thinks that Jesse is dead. Also, the blue meth is not back on the market when Walt says he has things still to take care of, so I think he is out for vengeance now. For Hank.

    • Yeah, Walt sentenced Jesse to death. that was hard to watch after all they’ve been through together.Walt will go after Uncle Jack, but I’m not sure how Jesse will factor into this. After Walt revealed he let Jane die, I’m guessing Jesse would want Walt dead too. So many people with vengeance on their minds! Great as always talking “Bad” with you!

      • Glad to have the opportunity! The show is so good, I want to extend that enjoyment by seeking out other resources on the subject. Your insights are always fun to read. So thank you for your contribution.
        I am leaning toward the popular theory that Jesse will take out Walt, but not until after Walt has achieved some measure of redemption by taking out Uncle Jack and his gang. I am hoping it will have the emotional gut punch Victory had in Spartacus. We shall see.

        • Thank you very much for your kinds words! I get a lot of enjoyment discussing my fave shows with everyone. I also like reading other reviews and learning from them.

          Oh I loved the Spartacus finale, that was so perfect and like you said an emotional gut punch even when I knew his fate. So many great theories on how BrBa will end … yeah we shall see!

  3. Hank got to use the F word but that got muted out on the version I was watching. Yeah, his death is the only end that would worked. That’s a great prediction that I can see happening. I’m really looking forward to Walt Vs Uncle Jack and co. The neo-Nazis made it personal when they took out Hank and enslaved Jesse. Great discussing BrBa with you!

  4. I loved this episode. Pretty much as good as TV gets right here. Not that I wanted Hank to die, but it felt like the thing the show should do. The Jane reveal caught me off-guard. I was always wondering it it’d come back up. I was floored by this episode. Definitely my favorite of the season. Still not sure how it will all wrap up but I can’t wait to see it!

    • TV doesn’t get better than this. What a run of amazing episodes! The Jane reveal came out of the nowhere, that was very cruel of Walt. Poor Hank, anyone who goes up against Walt does not get to live. Maybe Jesse will be the exception? A lot of ground to cover next episode and then the finale to end all finales!

  5. A co-worker just raved about the latest season of this. He actually only caught the last season but he actually got invested in the characters right away. I haven’t been watching any show this year but I might give Breaking Bad a shot one of these days!

    • Wow that’s pretty amazing to hear of someone jumping in on the last season and getting invested in the characters right away! If your co-worker goes back to the first season they’ll be pleasantly surprised at how different the characters are. Netflix has the previous seasons which helped a lot of viewers to catch up. If you can find the time, Breaking Bad is well worth watching and maybe you’ll be raving about it too! 🙂

  6. Hey man, I know I’m late to this review but I’ve been super busy this week. I watched this episode Monday morning and I can easily say that this is probably the best episode of TV I’ve watched. This episode of Breaking Bad was just all out chaos! I have never gone so mental, freaked out and speechless at TV before. I thought the “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones in season 3 was gonna be the most talked about TV episode this year, but Breaking Bad comes along and smashes it.

    Everything that I had hoped would go down would and then there was all the surprises and revelations that came afterwards. I didn’t think there was anyway that Hank and Gomez were gonna make it out of that, I’m gutted for ol’ Gomey and Hank, no offence to the guy, but considering the position he was in he had to die. Also poor Jesse, his life is in the shitter, I dunno what the neo-Nazis or Todd did to him but he’s totally fucked up. As for Walt, at this point he’s got nothing, his family have turned against him, he’s told Jesse everything (even about Jane, that was SO cruel!) and he even abducted Holly, mad man! He is a monster. And yet some part of me still likes him, maybe I’m remembering the reason why he started it or maybe it’s my liking for the bad guys who can get away with things (I know I’m sick lol).

    Can’t wait for these last 2 episodes, gonna be some must-watch TV! 😀

    • Hey, it’s never too late to discuss and catch up on Breaking Bad! 🙂 It seems like every episode the shi*t hits the fan, then there’s even more shi*t the next episode! It’s so crazy! I also loved the Red Wedding episode, it’s hard for me to compare since both are my fave shows.

      At the end of episode 513, a part of me was in denial about Hank dying but it was the only way to end it like you said. When Jesse climbed out of his holding cage his face was beat up bad. Maybe there’s a deleted scene of him getting wrecked by the neo-Nazis?

      Yeah, Walt has hit rock bottom; some karmic retribution coming back his way. Even though Walt ordered Jesse’s execution and done horrible things over the past seasons, I find it hard not to root for him. He told Skyler and Flynn, “what’s wrong with you people?” but I wonder if he’ll be asking himself that next episode?

      I heard the the last two episodes will be longer than an hour … can’t wait! Great as always chatting with other fans of BrBa!

  7. (Im)Patiently waiting for your Granite State recap! 😀

  8. Haha, aww that’s so kind of you. I posted the recap! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Breaking Bad Episode 514 “Ozymandias” | Emilia Jordan

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