Breaking Bad: Season 5, Episode 14 — “Ozymandias”

Outside looking in.

Outside looking in. (AMC Networks)

It’s been six whole days and I still don’t have the words to process “Ozymandias,” which is surely a contender for the best episode Breaking Bad has ever produced.

More than any show I’ve ever watched, Breaking Bad has given me more moments where my heart has basically fallen out of my chest, devastating me beyond belief. Jane’s O.D., Gale’s murder. So pretty much any scene involving Jesse the last four seasons. “Ozymandias” makes all that look like reruns of Care Bears.

Rather than rehash all the horrifying events, let me just say that this episode exemplifies the show at its absolute peak: it is at once exhilarating, exhausting and experimental. We may have all seen Hank’s death coming, but could we have predicted Walt being so callous to Jesse, revealing his most intimate secret solely to make Jesse suffer even more than he already has?

At that point I was ready to write Walt off forever, hoping he’d meet a brutal end in these next two episodes. But even though his desperation and despicableness reaches new lows in “Ozymandias,” I still found myself rooting for him again by the end.

That phone call to Skylar, perhaps the most riveting scene to be broadcast on television all year, is Walt completely unhinged: He’s at his absolute nastiest and yet still remains his clever self throughout. He may not keep the cops off Skylar’s trail for long, but he’s still protecting her and the kids, even while using them as pawns.

Walt is no longer in control and even Heisenberg may not have thought everything through, so we’ll just have to trust in Vince Gilligan. He hasn’t let us down yet.

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