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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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Yeah, there wasn't much humor in this show at all and the "knife fight" was scary. I certainly thought any of the 4 couldn't have been accidentally hurt or killed. So "Walt" returns "Holly" via the fire department before leaving with his new identity. What is it that brings him back to retrieve the "ricin" that was stored behind the outlet cover in his then fire damaged home? I've been rootin' for "Walt" for the past six years. His family is definitely gone so what's left? The money or trying to save "Jesse's" life in order to atone for what he believes are his sins? Only 2 episodes left. I wish they would have simply combined the last 2 episodes into 1 "super episode." The show warrants that much TV time :-)

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I thought it was both ironically funny and very sad when Walt was screaming we are a family.

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I agree, not much funny in this episode. BUT there WAS one part that brought a smile to me, and then sadness since it contrasted to what happens later in the desert between Walt and Jesse. I haven't seen any reviewer mention this yet but during the opening flashback when they first come out of the RV, Walt walks in front of Jesse who suddenly starts flailing around, obviously complaining about the smell of a fart, and Walt tells him a bit good-naturedly to shut up.

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I can see how for spectacle Walt coming to save Jesse would be good, but he was ready for Jack to kill him so why would he change his mind and decide to go all out to save Jesse?

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Agree with the aforementioned: in no way was the scene with Jesse shackled to the ceiling "hilarious." In fact, the way they framed Jesse's battered face in darkness, looking terrifyingly at a surveillance pic of Andrea and Brock, rivaled the best horror movies. Likewise the scene in which Walt cries "WE'RE A FAMILY!!!" No disrespect intended - and I know this is a recap, not fan reaction per se - but NO Breaking Bad devotee would have found that funny. Not one.

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Did anyone else notice that right before Walt confessed about Jane, the shot of the birds in the sky that looked like the planes colliding?

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The writers of TV Fanatic always try to impress upon us that they experienced the gamut of emotions when watching television shows. They laugh out loud, they sit on the edge of their seats etc. I highly doubt this guy was actually laughing at the scenes he says he was. He is simply trying to impress that there was still humor in the show...even though he's wrong.

Dhowe

I think that this was, legitimately, the best hour of television that I have ever seen. I literally gasped for air when Hank was shot, even though I knew what was going to happen. Incredible, simply incredible.

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Hey Sean, did you not notice that Jack & gang had given up on finding Jesse? That if Walt wanted to 'spare' Jesse, all he had to do was let Jack ride away with his millions? But no, Walt wanted Jack to kill his ex-partner right there. Why? Because in Walt's selfish, egomania he saw that Hank's death really wasn't his fault, that actually, it was all Jesse's fault. And he wanted Jesse to pay. Jessie's stupidity, not Walt's arrogance, was the big problem. Walt wanted Jack to put a bullet in Jesse's head. When Todd took that pleasure away, Walt had to resort to causing Jesse a different kind of pain, a pain to match his own unbearable guilt over Hank's death. Walt, with self-righteous glee, told Jesse perhaps the greatest secret of the entire series; Walt had watched and did nothing as Jane died slowly in her sleep. Walt has now created the instrument of his own death: Jesse. Even Walt knows he must die now. That's why he left Holly at the Fire Station.

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The only funny part was watching walt pushing the barrel through the desert

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