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Breaking Bad Review: For Family

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When Vince Gilligan said recently that "I think people are going to have trouble breathing after this thing airs," regarding "Ozymandias," he wasn't speaking in hyperbole.

There were moments in this third to last episode of Breaking Bad that had me holding my breath, there were moments that had me gasping for air and there were those that had me spit taking.  It was THAT crazy of an hour of television.

Ozymandias Scene

Last week's "To'hajiilee" ended with Uncle Jack and his crew opening fire on Hank and Gomey, and I was disappointed at the time that their arrival didn't bring a surprising one-shot murder of Agent Schrader.

Then, it seemed a swift killing of Hank would have been the more thrilling choice and would have made more sense coming directly after his call to Marie.

However, my tune changed quickly after seeing what Gilligan came up with for Hank's demise. Watching Walt beg Jack for his brother-in-law's life was emotionally intense, while hearing Hank tell the bad guy to "go f*ck yourself" was almost the perfect ending to the character's arc.

And that was just the start of it all! There was the pain on Jesse's face when Walt came clean about Jane, that ridiculous song that was playing while Walt trekked it with the barrel of cash in the middle of nowhere and, of course, Marie acting all high and mighty telling Skyler that Walt was locked up.

Todd, who has easily become the second best character in this back half of season five (yes after Walter), continued to be cool, calm and collected in the face of danger. His decision to keep Jesse alive, and then have him help him cook, was not only smart, but it also made for one of the hilarious moments from the episode.

After letting others (I assume) beat the living snot out of Jesse, Todd quietly gets him out of the hole in the ground, cuffs him to the ceiling, puts on his yellow jump suit and simply says, "Let's cook."  Perfect timing Todd. Perfect timing.

With Jesse locked up by Todd and company, and Skyler and the kids seemingly safe, we have to assume that Walt's ensuing move with that trunk machine gun is to rescue his former partner from indentured servitude, correct?

Before we get there, which may not be until the finale two weeks from now, we have to discuss the moments that led to Walt getting out of town with his new identity.

The frustration that was pouring out of Walter as he screamed at his family to pack and get in the car was at an all-time high, and it was carrying over to me as a viewer. I was ripping my hair out with annoyance that Sky and Walt Jr. weren't listening to him. I understood why they wouldn't, but a watcher of Breaking Bad isn't expected act with understanding, right?

You could quickly throw all the rules out the window, though, when Walter and Skyler started wrestling with that knife. It was absolutely one of the most intense scenes I've ever watched in my life.  

Anything could have happened. That's how high the stakes are at this point. Of course Walt wasn't going to die, but Skyler could have. The knife could have flown out and hit Walt Jr. It was insane.

It quickly became one of the funniest moments I've ever witnessed, however, when Walt screamed "WE'RE A FAMILY!"  In that second it hit me what I was watching. A flashback to Walt as the nerdy high school teacher jumped into my brain - which may be one of the reasons they used that flashback to start this episode - and the fact that he has become a ruthless drug dealer that was fighting his wife with a kitchen knife overwhelmed me in that moment.

I burst into laughter.

Things quickly became serious and intense again when Walt Jr. called the cops and Walt Sr. left with a stolen baby.

But the comedy returned after the commercial break when they opened with Walt talking in a baby voice to Holly, basically saying "goo goo gah gah" to his child.  

In that moment, it reiterated once again why Walter White has been such a great character over the last six years. He is still that dorky but loveable dad trapped in this vicious murderous drug dealer. And we love him for that.

He started doing all of this for his family. He may have become one of the most selfish people of all time during the process, but even to the end, he was always looking out for the people he loved.

Whether it was attempting to keep Hank alive at the opening to this episode, or laying it on extremely thick when he knew the cops were listening to his conversation with Skyler, he did everything he could to help his family.

I wonder what, if anything, he will do to help Jesse.

Like Vince Gilligan, I thought this was one of the best episodes Breaking Bad (or any series for that matter) has ever made. What did you all think of "Ozymandias?"

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (385 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I'm definitely Team Walt...I know that he has done a lot of awful things but what makes his character so great is that he has so many layers. Yes, Walt does blame Jesse...because he has no idea why Jesse would want to turn him in. He doesnt realize that Jesse mistakenly thought the dude in the food court was someone that was planted to "take him out". That is the only reason that Jesse signed on w/Hank and Gomey. Unfortunately, Jesse was still paranoid from his meth binge (when he was about to burn Walt's house down).

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When Walt and Skylar get involved in that fight and Jr. protects his mother when Walt has the knife in his hand and both Jr. and Skylar are really scared of him that made me cry.

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I wouldn't give Walt *too* much credit for that phone call. Yes, his main motivation was to absolve Skyler of any guilt. But a lot of what he was saying was from true feelings and frustrations. I mean he has said very similar hurtful and awful things to her before. Telling her that she should've just listen to him, be a goood odedient wife, and calling her a bitch, it was completely in character. Heisenberg isn't just his evil personae - it's Walt, he's Heisenberg, always has been.

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I was one of those happy both Walt and Jesse lived through the shoot out. Since they are my favorite characters in a TV show my alliance is always to them, even though in real life I detest Meth and the reality of it all! They made it look as though Walt had been shot and splattered with blood and in the opening that wasn't how it worked out! Sargent Shrader asked for it as far as I'm concerned. Just as Jane had a death wish and never would have attained sobriety! I loved seeing Marie get her comeuppance for making Skyler tell Junior the whole sorid truth! My favorite part of the entire episode was when Holly told Walt ' Mama Mama Mama'!!! And out of all the insanity a sane moment arrises and he does something right!
Walt and Jesse will slide into HELL together as it should be...
And my only HOPE is that these writers continue working for a long long time!

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Lots of chilling moments in this episode, but for me the hardest to watch was Walt's last encounter with his family. As Skylar drove up the the driveway and wondered who that truck belonged to, I stopped breathing and don't think I started again until after she fell to her knees in the middle of the street. I always felt that Walt Sr. would lose Walt Jr. as a consequence of his breaking bad. The moment Jr. called 911 and reported his dad, that was it and Sr. knew it. Gotta say that I've had no sympathy for Walt from the moment he let Jane die; that was a point of no return for him. And to see him spit it in Jesse's face confirmed for me that as far back as then, Walt was a Bad Guy.

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What an episode! You could see the pain on Walt's face during his phone call with Skylar when he knew nothing would be the same anymore, and that he finally had become the bad guy. He knew had to embrace the role in his new circumstance.

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Great episode but still Game of Thrones > Breaking Bad

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...And Walt, blinded by his pride and inability to control fate, destroying the lives of everyone around him.

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Just watched the episode and my mouth is still gaped open. One of the most dramatic, ironic moments in film history. Like Lindalou alluded to, BB is better than most dramatic movies out there. Walt is the one who thought in a split second - taking Holly (if anything, so he could say goodbye); deliberately laying it on thick over the phone to absolve Skylar from blame; to take total blame for Hank's murder (so he could exact revenge with the white supremacists himself). I loved how the flashback framed the most painfully ironic moments in showing how everyone's shortsightedness and ego has led to the exact opposite of their intended goals. Hank's need to be the cowboy, not so much because he cares for the meth addicts but a notch under his belt. Marie's self-righteousness with Skylar and Flynn, only to find she's lost Hank. Jesse, need for revenge and resenting feeling controlled by Walt only to be literally enslaved by white supremacists (when Walt gave him his freedom more than once). And Walt, blinded by his pride and inability to control fate, destroying the lives of everyone around him.

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Lindalou, this is a TV show, not real life, and yes, even drug dealers in real life or on TV are more than 1 dimensional-they hate, love, mow the lawn, maybe even have kids or a dog, & pay taxes! I'm totally on Walt's side, & I don't use meth!
Loved seeing Jesse beaten and chained-remember, he tried to torch Walt's house, which was also home to his wife & kids. Don't even think Jesse has a "moral compass"-HE'S cooked the meth and sold/used it himself-clearly no Beaver Cleaver there! Jesse is now a "meth monkey", as a user put it last nite! Feed him, water him, chain him & watch him cook!
LOVED seeing Hank get shot and Marie hearing "you won't see Hank again" from Walt-she deserved some of her own back after she harassed Skyler & forced her to tell "junior". Re "junior"-1 of the most irritating characters around. Glad to see he's been yanked into real life finally!
I admired Walt for trying to protect Skyler on that phone call, which WAS mentioned in the review, Bobbins. The tears he was trying to hold back showed there's still a human heart in Walt, & I cried for him. I think he plans to use the ricin he took from the outlet on the 1st episode of this season on himself when the cancer gets too bad-like another user in here, I want to see Walt go out on his own terms! I'll miss this show badly.....

Breaking Bad Season 5 Episode 14 Quotes

You're the smartest guy I ever met, and you're too stupid to see he made up his mind 10 minutes ago.

Hank

I watched Jane die. I was there, and I watched her die. I watched her overdose and choke to death. I could have saved her, but I didn't.

Walt