Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 14

King no more

WARNING: Lots of tears, lot of spoilers, lots of tears caused by spoilers.

Here is, unedited, an email I sent to my friend Matt on Monday afternoon, the day after “Ozymandias” aired. It addresses concerns I expressed about the previous week’s ending backing show creator Vince Gilligan into a corner, with respect to the fate of Walt’s brother-in-law Hank and how his death or reprieve from death would transport the show down a path I did not want to see it travel (namely: Walt vs. the neo-Nazis, with a sliver of redemption for Walt at stake).

My skepticism flew out the window in the first 20 minutes. Without a doubt “Ozymandias” ranked as one of the best television episodes I’ve watched. I’m stunned at how many key plot points they squeezed into one episode. And it all felt seamless.

Any doubts the neo-Nazis were bad shots evaporated with the sight of Gomez dead in the dust. And the way Hank went out … he received the kind of heroic send-off he deserved.

Per Walt: I howled at the screen when he told the neo-Nazis how much money he had. What an idiot! How naive to think he could save Hank. Some would see that as a sign of humanity. I saw it more as a power hungry man seeking to control a situation that was beyond his control. Also, Walt’s admission to Jesse about Jane all but seals the deal that Walt will not be swooping in to save Jesse … because if he tries Jesse will kill him.

The upcoming time lapse raises questions about whether Jesse will be alive by the time Walt returns. My guess is he will be because Jesse is the heart of the show, and the heart of the show should not die off-stage. Todd will keep Jesse to cook because Todd is incapable of picking up the craft in six months. Also, he will use Jesse’s lady and Brock as collateral to keep Jesse in line.

I loved Anna Gunn (Skyler), Betsey Brandt (Marie), and RJ Mitte’s performances, particularly RJ Mitte as Walt Jr. We’ve been knowing this day would come for a long time, in terms of the son learning the father’s misdeeds. And much has been made about Walt Jr’s scenes largely featuring him eating or doing something juvenile. But the character and the actor burned bright in this episode. When Jr separated his father from his mother and called the cops I felt a strong desire to cheer. (I watched the moments that preceded Jr’s intervention dreading the potential of Walt accidentally stabbing Skyler to death.)

Here are my bad guesses at this point:
Walt comes back with the assault weapon because, well, he’s lost his reason for living at this point, and is pissed the neo-Nazis took most of his money. Or, he returns to avenge the deaths of Marie and/or Skyler at the hands of the neo-Nazis. That would be a far darker turn. Marie has the tape of Jesse so she is in danger. Walt’s call to Skyler in the show’s waning moments made viewers think she would walk. No one walks on Breaking Bad. A bad wind is blowing her way.

I have no clue what Walt does with the money. Or, more precisely, the barrel of money. I believe the DEA will round up Skinny Pete and Badger. Huell will also be interviewed, as will Saul Goodman. I’m betting Saul is arrested in the finale. His spin-off is a prequel, after all.

Oh, and Lydia … We might see her again. We might only hear her voice, as in calling to check on operations. I’m not sure what would lead her to step foot in Albuquerque at present. Mike should have killed her when he had the chance just like Todd should have killed Jesse and Uncle Jack should have killed Walt. If you’re gonna be the bad guy you can’t be half a bad guy. (I get the feeling the neo-Nazis will regret their greed in the wake of finding Walt’s money and continuing to cook.)

That leaves the ricin: does Walt take it while in the process of being apprehended or does he give it to Lydia (he’s already thought about it) or does he give it to his long lost love from Grey Matter, a wild card show fanatics have raised on the Interwebs?

And what about Walt’s cancer? I say he stops chemo and resigns himself to death. Thus the hair regeneration.

I love how the show broke insane last night and yet it could still end any number of ways. I am ashamed I ever doubted Gilligan and co.

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