There are only two episodes left of Breaking Bad, and one can only speculate as to how Vince Gilligan will choose to end the series. Tonight’s episode took us into a living hell created by Walter White, and nobody was spared from the brutal truth sans Nasty Jack and Todd Alquist. Season five has teased us with flashback sequences, but where does Jesse Pinkman fit in all of this? Here are five questions about Season 5, Episode 14 called “Ozymandias”.
What can we learn from the opening sequence?
Shortly before last week’s desert shootout, Jesse Pinkman reminded Walter that they were in the exact same spot where they first started cooking. The opening sequence of tonight took us back to the early days when Walt still had hair and Jesse was a young gun learning the meth game. Mr. White walked into the open desert to call his wife, and had a moment of deep thought ala Jack Handey before he slowly faded away along with Jesse and the RV. What does this mean? Was Gilligan simply transitioning into the madness of the present day or is there more to it? Could Walt and Jesse take off together?
What’s the deal with Todd Alquist?
Jesse Pinkman was about to be executed, but good ol’ Todd jumped in at the last moment and convinced his Uncle Jack that they should question Pinkman. He also told Walt “sorry for your loss” after Hank was killed. This isn’t out of character as Todd doesn’t have a history of violent outbursts, at least not verbally, but does he truly want to help Jesse and Walt? What does he have to gain? Maybe we found that out as he has shackled Jesse up in a meth lab and asked him to start cooking. I have a feeling that the kindness of Todd may be used against him.
Does Walter Junior have a dark side?
I don’t think so. There has been speculation over the weeks that Junior might explode when he finally found out the truth about Padre, however he was quite calm. We weren’t able to see Skyler actually break the news to him, but instead saw Junior’s reaction at the beginning of a new segment. Was there anything before? Did he rant and wave a knife like Skyler did later in the episode? I was a bit disappointed by the scene as I thought it would be a good moment not only for the show, but for the character, to have Junior display the hurt and betrayal that he felt. Walt Jr. was baffled and obviously upset but never became violent. When Skyler begin slashing with a knife, and Walt tackled her, Junior was calm and gently removed his father and called the police. Maybe his anger will get intensify and he might take it out on Jesse Pinkman when and if he sees him. After all, it was Jesse that carried on with Walt by making and distributing meth. I don’t think Junior would harm his father, but he might unleash on someone he feels that was responsible for the destruction of his family. Perhaps he will just stay home and protect his mom.
How about that phone call?
This scene is a perfect example of why Breaking Bad is one of the best television series of all time. It was so good that I didn’t even catch the true significance at first. Walter White knows how to manipulate, and has used every possible tactic to stay one step ahead of everybody during his reign as Heisenberg. When he called Skyler and unleashed the fury, it seemed authentic given his predicament. After all, she had just taken a knife to him! But after seeing little Holly cry “Mama”, Walter had a change of heart and re-focused on his family. Through that emotional phone call Walt was able to accept full responsibility and take the blame off Skyler while the police listened. Walt was playing a role and teared up because of it, but there was still an intensity that was honest and heartbreaking. The subtext of that call is just remarkable.
Who picked up Walter on the side of the road?
Was this one of Saul Goodman’s guys who is setting up Walt with a new identity? Remember when Jesse was on the road waiting for a ride out of town, but decided to stay when he learned his cigarettes were poisoned? Walt is clearly ready to split, but something will pull him back and it will involve Jesse Pinkman. Several of the flashbacks this season have teased at the return of Walt after a long disappearance. Remember the old neighbor who dropped her groceries when she was Walter? What did he do? Did she think he was dead or did he do something horrible? There is a lot that can happen in the final two episodes. My prediction is that Jesse takes out Todd Alquist next week, and probably does it with pleasure as he wasn’t too happy when Todd killed a young boy earlier in the series. We didn’t see Saul Goodman in this episode, and even though AMC will have a spinoff about his character, a prequel, that doesn’t mean that he survives Breaking Bad. Walt and Jesse are going to find a way to reconnect and find the entire $80 million. At what cost though?