BREAKING BAD 514: OZYMANDIAS

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Would you like my 80 million dollars?

I mean, where does one start?  This week’s episode was probably the hardest one for me to watch.  This was due to a couple reasons.  First, going into the episode, I was fairly certain that this was the end of Gomez and Hank.  I had prepared myself for Hank to die, but that still didn’t make saying goodbye to Dean Norris any less difficult.  Second, this week’s episode seemed to just keep sucker-punching us with gut-wretching moments.  I found it hard to catch my breath during the commercials.  It seems like most people took Ozymandias pretty hard, so let’s get to talking and work through the pain…

1.  Hank goes out like a badass – Hank has never been the hero of the show in my eyes.  And, he certainly is not a character without flaws.  Heck, I can still hear him screaming at Marie about those damm minerals.  But, he no longer is the joke of a character he appeared to be at the beginning of the show.  Further, in his last moments on this show, he showed that he had more integrity, strength, and intuition than Walt will ever possess.  As Walt stood begging for Uncle Jack’s mercy and stupidly giving up his meth fortune (the only real thing that could ever be considered justification for Walt’s horrendous crimes), Hank stood (or in this case laid) in stark contrast.  Instead of crying like a baby when faced with the end, Hank took it like a champ.  And, once and for all, Hank proved to be a higher caliber man than Walt could ever hope to be (he even told Walt he was the most intelligent man he had ever met with his last words).  Let’s give a slow-clap to Dean Norris.

2. Poor Gomez – While I felt like Hank got a proper goodbye send-off, Gomez definitely got the shaft.  The first glimpse we get of Gomez is of his corpse.  Now, I know he had to die and I expected it, but come on.  No one even asks what happened to him until the end of the episode.  Surely, he deserved better.

3. Walt Jr. chooses sides – Finally, Walt Jr. knows the truth about his father, although it seems to take Junior a significant bit of time for the truth to actually soak in.  I know Junior has had his dad on a pedestal this entire series (and I get that, I think my dad walks on water most days), but Junior has figured out that Walt is a liar by now…so should he really be so defensive when he learns the truth?  I guess there is a pretty big difference in being a liar and being a meth king murderer, so I should probably give Junior the benefit of the doubt.  Afterall, no one has dropped a bomb on me like that ever.  I do think that when Junior saw his dad fighting with his mom over the knife everything clicked for him and I am proud that he made the courageous decision to choose team Skyler.  I think it would have been inauthentic if he hadn’t.

4. Does Walt take the high road? – Against my better judgment, I always seem to be looking for redeeming qualities in Walt.  I seem to have a real difficult time believing him (or really anyone) is completely evil.  Therefore, I believe that Walt’s call to Skyler after the Holly-abduction escapade was an intentional decision by Walt to shield Skyler from the blame and therefore shield her from criminal conviction.  What is less clear to me was whether Skyler knew that was Walt’s intention or whether she actually believed Walt was the monster he appeared to be on the phone.  In any event, I believe the phone call was a step in the right direction towards redemption for Walt.  However, I simply will never be able to forgive Walt if he doesn’t rescue Jesse in these last two episodes.  Never.

5. The stray dog that is Jesse Pinkman – My heart breaks for Jesse.  Can this kid never catch a break?  He seemingly escapes from the clutches of the Nazi gang by brilliantly hiding under Walt’s car, only to be almost shot in the head, then told that Walt murdered Jane (after which I am sure he wished he had taken a bullet to the head), then locked in an underground cage where he appears to have been beaten almost to death, and finally forced to cook meth in order to save the only two people in this world he has left to care about.  Seriously, how much can one person handle?  Two things I want to note about Jesse this episode.  First, we again have more references to Jesse as some sort of stray dog.  Todd hooks him literally up to a leash while he is in the meth lab.  Second, Jesse’s half beat up face was way too reminiscent of Gus’s half-blown-off face and of the pink teddy bear.  Both of which symbolize death.  Now, maybe this is meant to imply that Jesse is essentially dead–he has no fight left in him and has met his breaking point.  I hope that is the case and it isn’t a foreshadowing of Jesse’s actual death to come.  Fingers crossed.

I could go on for hours about Breaking Bad (y’all know that by now).  But, no one’s got time for that.  What did y’all think?

-LJ

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