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?"


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.


...than killing the liability that has become Jesse Pinkman. Walter is not a dorky dad stuck in the body of a murderous drug dealer. It is the exact opposite. The best part of the show is when Jr called 9-1-1 without a second thought. In a split second he was able to do what no one has yet been able to do...the right thing. He proves to be the bravest character on the show and the only one whose moral compass points true north.


Good read, but I couldn't disagree more! I think you've completely missed the mark on Walter White and his motivations! Short of saving Jesse's life in a super heroic way, nothing is going to make me think he does anything other than continue his egomaniacal pursuit of being 'the one who knocks'. And the telephone conversation with Skyler? While the repercussions may be that he helps Skyler, Walter's real motivation was to give himself another reason to pat himself on the back so that he can continue on with a clear conscious. And NO, I do not think the trunk machine gun is there to save Jesse - it is there to kill Jesse...he is Walter's 'unfinished business' and we all know what Walter does to unfinished business. Walter called for Jesse's murder after Hank's death, uncovered his hiding place ('found him'), stared him in the face as he nodded to Jack with a gun to Jesse's head and then twisted the knife with the story about Jane...Walt has no intention of doing anything other than removing the liability that is Jesse Pinkman. Walter White has never been a dorky dad stuck in the body of a murderous drug dealer - it is the exact opposite. The best part of the episode was when Jr picked up the phone and called 9-1-1 without a second thought. In a split second he was able to do what no one on the show has yet to do...the right thing. He proves to be the bravest character on the show and the only one whose moral compass points to true north.


Yeah, the only funny part was Walt rolling the barrel (past his missing khaki pants from the Pilot episode. Did anyone else notice that?) and then Walt Jr. (er, sorry, Flynn), looking at his mom incredulously when she tells him to put on his seat belt. Nothing with Jesse was funny. Although Walt will get meet his end, I still hope he ends things in his own terms. He's already lost everything he truly cares about. In the moment Hank got shot, I think that is the first time he would ever take everything back. Before, everything in his mind was justified. But when Hanks gets killed, I think that is the first moment where Walt truly wishes he never went up to Jesse's house to strike a deal to make meth and realizes the horror he's brought upon his family. All of his actions weren't worth it in the end. Now you've got a guy with limited time, and nothing to live for. I hope he takes those White supremacists down!


I agree with most of what has already been said - definitely nothing funny about this episode. Also, the reviewer really felt "frustrated" that Skylar and Walt Jr wouldn't go with him??? REALLY???? Would you jump into the car of a drug dealing sociopath/murderer, who clearly just killed Hank? SMH The episode was incredible, and the power of this show lies in the evolution we all have undergone as viewers - at the start of the show, pulling for the poor cancer stricken and cash strapped family man/teacher, to now, hoping that he pays for all the crimes he has committed and lives he has destroyed. Spectacular television.


@wizarddrummer: you are "sad" that Walt lost the money he worked hard for... the money from selling a highly addictive drug that destroys lives. Really, the "body count" should include the 1000's of users that the blue meth destroyed. It amazes me that many are still in "Walt's corner"...especially after he vindictively gave Jesse up from his hiding place under the car probably because he blamed Jesse for Hank's death rather than himself.


The episode like the whole show was mindblowing but i dont like how the writers' try to still create that sympathy factor for Walt.
Like him pleading for Hank's life. If he is a badass,let him be a complete badass. Walt knew that letting hank go means he will rot in jail forever and his family forever tarnished.Hank being the logical sociopath,would surely prefer to kill hank at that stage.He still thought he could rectify the situation.If he is ready to kill Jesse why not hank.
Just go the whole hog i say.
Felt sorry for Hank.He deserved to go out with a bit more bang,like taking out one of those nazi guyzz...


Walt should have never mentioned the 80 million dollars (Hey I'm still rooting for Walt!) Hitler, Stalin and others are far worse that this guy. Not to mention that he should have at least given coordinates that would have put the X marks the spot about 100 feet away from the real location. If drugs were legal then there wouldn't be violence right? Anayway, I'm sad that Walt lost most of his money - he worked hard for it.


Not a single mention of the phone call Walter made giving the police the impression that Skylar knew nothing and was forced and abused to keep quiet?


Breaking Bad has saved me a lot of money....I don't need to go to dramatic movies since there is no film as well written or acted as this cable series. I have enjoyed every season, but none more than this last, I literally held my breath through most of the episode. Great, great, great...and oh, I agree with most that the reviewer is wacko about the humor.


"couldn't" should have been "could"

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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.


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.