‘Breaking Bad’ recap: ‘Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’

Taylor Bigler Entertainment Editor
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German diver Stig Severinsen may hold the official world record for holding his breath underwater for 22 minutes, but if I knew I was going to hold my breath for approximately 60 minutes during Sunday’s utterly insane episode of “Breaking Bad,” I would have called in the officiating judges to time me.

“Ozymandias” picked up where it all began: in the desert, in the RV – just two men hanging out in tighty whities cooking meth. It was a more innocent time then. “The reaction has begun,” Walt says to Jesse, and it certainly did, in more ways than one.

Then the RV fades away – “the shattered visage” of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s imagination – and the gunfire appears.

I would be a wealthy lady right about now if I had placed money on Hank’s fate, because I just knew that Hank was going to die within the first five minutes of this episode.

But Vince Gilligan, et al are so adept at creating tension that even though I was 100 percent certain that this was the end of Hank, they made me question my prediction up until the second that Uncle Jack shot Hank point-blank in the head. And even after it happened, I gasped and held my hands over my mouth for a good four minutes.

Walt’s catatonic state after Hank’s murder made me believe that Walt was just going to give up right then and there. But he is, after all, Heisenberg — the king of kings.

I have never seen such sick satisfaction on Walt’s face as when he told Jesse that he witnessed Jane’s overdose and that he could have saved her, but chose not to.

Walt resigns Jesse to a fate even worse than death with a simple nod of his head: being chained up by the Nazis and forced to cook meth. The only thing keeping him alive is the knowledge that the Nazis know where Andrea and Brock live.

Walt wrongly assumes that he and his family can start all over. He tries in vain to get his wife and son to leave with him, but they know something is wrong because he isn’t in Hank’s custody like Marie told them he was.

Skyler is actually scared of Walt for the first time, and for good reason. After she grabs the knife and comes out swinging at Walt, he mutters the tragic last words to a petrified Skyler and Walter Jr., “But we’re a family! But we’re a family…”

He then “kidnaps” Holly, but only to give Skyler the upper hand in the legal shitstorm she is about to get into regarding how much of Walt’s illegal activities she actually knew about.

Walt then calls Saul’s guy who gets people new identities and he rides off into the sunrise with him.

Why does Walt want to start a new life, anyway? What does he have to live for? There may be two episodes left, but if you really want to guess what happens in the end, let Shelley explain:

“Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

Other notable moments:

  • Todd is, perhaps, the most insane of them all.
  • Walt’s domestic abuse plan to get Skyler off the hook for knowing about his meth empire was simply tragic. He has done this all for his family – so he tells himself – but now he has none.
  • The opening credits didn’t roll until after the desert shootout, because it was SO TENSE.
  • An eagle-eyed fan noticed that Walt passed by his pair of pants from the pilot episode when he was rolling the barrel of money through the desert.
  • Hank’s final words to Walt were perfect.
  • Both Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt were phenomenal in this episode, particularly during the scene in Skyler’s office at the car wash.

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