‘Breaking Bad’: The Inevitable Consequence – Was It What You Expected?

Published 2 years ago by

Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad Ozymandias Breaking Bad: The Inevitable Consequence   Was It What You Expected?

When people seem more concerned with interpreting the increasingly cryptic previews for the next episode of any show, it’s a pretty good indication that the prior installment ended with some kind of incredible cliffhanger. Of course, when it comes to Breaking Bad, that has to do with last week’s superb ‘To’hajiilee,’ which ended midway through a gunfight that found Hank and Gomez horrendously outgunned, and definitely outnumbered in the psychopath department.

There’s a moment after the inevitable happens with Hank that finds Walt looking back in his rearview mirror and he sees nothing; there’s no evidence of what just transpired. It’s reflective of the way that director Rian Johnson composed ‘Ozymandias’ around Moira Walley-Beckett’s superb script, in how so much of the brutality that’s perpetrated throughout the episode, from the deaths of Hank and Gomez, to Jesse’s torture, to Skyler pulling Walt Jr. into her office to confess her crimes and the crimes of his father, occurs off-screen.

All the truly gruesome and visceral violence is ostensibly left on the cutting room floor; major scenes, like the episode itself, begin in medias res, a tactic that constantly leaves the audience gasping for breath and trying to keep pace, rather than waiting for events to play out. In essence, Vince Gilligan and his Breaking Bad crew have already set up all their shots, and now it’s time to take them.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Ozymandias Breaking Bad: The Inevitable Consequence   Was It What You Expected?

But this technique is significant in another way, too. Because for all the carnage that’s perpetrated against major characters in the episode, there’s perhaps none more horrific or lasting than what transpires between Walt and his family. Knife fights are one thing; there’s a good chance the cut on Walter’s hand will heal with time, perhaps forming a scar as a lasting reminder. The difference between Skyler’s attack on Walt is that it isn’t coming from a place of outright aggression, but rather one of self-defense (whatever her complicity in the past); it’s a violent response visited upon an assailant who has inflicted wounds upon his family that will surely never heal.

At this point, the scope of Walt’s storyline has been reduced from the souless pursuit of building an empire, to simply providing for his family, to mere self-preservation. Twice during ‘Ozymandias’ Walt tries to sell the magic and the wonder of a bright, shiny new life – “Any future you want” – that all his money will be able to buy, to those who are past the point of listening to him. Walt tries to buy Hank’s life from Jack, as though there’s something he has to offer the Nazi that the guy can’t simply take. Despite the promise of 80 million dollars and the sort of freedom from the toils of meth making that amount of money can buy, Walt winds up on the losing end of the bargain when Jack takes nearly all of his cash and the life of his brother-in-law.

In one final act, Walt buries any hope of ever returning under a torrent of words designed to paint him as the mastermind, and his family – and Skyler in particular – as the unwitting victims in his dreadful scheme. There is no future for Walter White anymore, and he knows it. In fact, there’s no Walter White from this point on either; there’s just a man who used to be him, and will soon be Mr. Lambert.


Breaking Bad continues next Sunday with ‘Granite State’ @9pm on AMC. Check out a preview below:


Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Is Skyler going to do time?

      • Walt insane? Not so much. He is actually being back to Walt trying to be the good guy. But things have spun out of his control. Examples: he tries to save Hank’s life, even if it costs him every penny he’s made as Heisenberg. He acts like Heisenberg over the phone to get Skyler off the hook. The one time when he goes back to Heisenberg is to get Jesse, but it is an act of revenge (for Hank’s death).

        • Exactly. That phone call to Skyler was to show the police how horrible Walt is and all of this is his fault. He put all of the blame on himself, so that nothing would come back to his family.

          • It was obvious Walt guessed that the police were there and that the conversation was being recorded and he was trying absolve Skylar of any involvement in his criminal activities. To me, the important question wasn’t whether the police bought it or not, but whether Skylar knew what he was doing or not. As much as I dislike Skylar, I do think of her as an intelligent woman who knows her husband. I wonder if after Walt’s first few lines, whether Skylar knew and the “I’m sorry” that she said wasn’t in response to what he was saying but rather a sincere apology to him for making things worse for him – pulling the knife on him, calling the police and initiating an amber alert. For me to let go of the resentment I have towards Skylar, I needed that apology to be sincere.

    • the thing is, walter knew he was being listened to by the police when he was calling skyler, so as a last act of family saving, which is the point of all his actions, walt talks to skyler in a threatening way and admits all his wrongs for the police so skyler looks like innocent and was forced to go down with all of this under threat of her life. now that he saved her, walt will continue as mr. lanbert for the incredible last 2 episodes.

      • I feel clueless. How did you know his name would be Mr. Lambert?

        Please let me know.


        • In the opening episode of part 1 of the season… at the diner when the waitress asks him for his ID to check if it was really his birthday. She says Happy Birthday Mr. Lambert. Lambert is also Skyler’s maiden name.

          • Wow – you’re good! Thanks Rebecca!

  2. Am I the only one who is incredibly disturbed and upset at the fact that Hank got buried out there in the desert with Gomez and that’s that? Just buried. In the dirt. After being murdered. It irks me almost as much as what they do to *SPOILER* Robb Stark’s body in ASOIAF.

    • I thought that was actually quite perfect. Walt literally dug Hank’s grave (which will possibly be temporary, but who knows). If the last two episodes are even half as good as this one was, we’re in for a wild ride…

  3. to think aaron paul has stated there’s much worse to come. so has rj mitte. I mean jesus, this show isn’t half stepping with consequences. jesse tells todd he told him the location of the recording he had made for hank, todd then replies the neo Nazi’s are ” working on it “.

    chances are holly might have better off staying at the Albuquerque firehouse.

  4. watching this show, I could never understand all of the walt deserters changing sides and abandoning this hero of a man who had taken control of his life for the benefit of his family, I always thought the past murders bar mike were purely logical decisions, so I couldn’t call walt evil because it wasn’t an emotional motivation, it was business. then I watched ozymandias and even after hank died I was still with Walt because he tried to save him I still wanted Walt to ‘win’. then he told Jessie about janes death and something snapped in my head, and now i’m on the other side, that there was pure evil, there is no walter white for me to support anymore he is pure Heisenberg and should get his just deserts, I apologies to my friends and family who I have argued non stop with about walts fate, you where right, I wish walt would’ve survived but hes dead now and all that remains is for Heisenberg to be destroyed in the most degrading way possible. you betrayed my faith mr H now you will die mwa haha

    • He confessed to Jesse.

    • That is so ironic that that’s the part that made you turn against Walt. That whole arrest scene and the events immediately following are what made me root for Walt even more. Ever since Walt got into business with Jesse, Walt has had to save Jesse time and time again all the while risking himself and his goals. Jesse is the one who wanted to kill those 2 gangsters after he found out they murdered Tomas. Walt had to bloody his hands to SAVE Jesse, which eventually led to Gus wanting to kill Walt. Walt could have (and should have) let Jesse get shot by those gangsters and he could have continued to work for Gus and make millions for his family, in relative safety. He gave up all of that for Jesse. Since Gus was itching to eliminate Walt he needed Jesse to kill or help him kill Fring. But of course, Jesse is too much of a coward to go through with it. Walt’s left hanging with a guillotine over his head because Fring could kill him at any moment. He poisoned Brock out of desperation so that he could kill Fring when Jesse couldn’t. Walt had to take care of everything while Jesse got to be the bleeding heart hero. Ugh, it makes me so mad thinking about it. After everything they went through together and after all the times Walt risked himself for Jesse, Jesse goes and rats on him. I was sickened by that satisfied smirk on his face when Walt was arrested. Now that the DEA was going to arrest Walt, his son would find out what his father did, and he would lose all his money, and he would spend his final days dying of cancer in a jail cell. Imagine how betrayed Walt felt at that moment. In a world full of greys, where morals are questionable, one thing remains a constant, you don’t betray someone who’s gone through hell and back with you, never letting go of your hand all the while. I can’t understand people who make Jesse out to be the hero. Jesse got to get high, mess everything up, bloody Walt’s hands, cry about it and then act like he’s morally superior to Walt. I was laughing with the Neo Nazis when one of them asked “does this p*ssy cry through the entire thing” because I couldn’t think of a more apt description of Jesse. I’m glad he was tortured. Now let’s kill him already.

  5. Problem is, in the view of Todd and Uncle Jack, Skylar is a KEY WITNESS.

    • Which is why I think Walt is coming back to kill Uncle Jack and his gang, who are the last few people threating his family (in Walt’s mind anyway). Like Vince Gilligan said on Talking Bad when discussing the gun Walt had in the flash forward. It’s a weapon made to do a lot of damage to a lot of people.

  6. I f**ked Ted.

  7. Walt is using a fake ID. If you were going to take on a new identity, surely you would change your birthday. So, the flash forward may not be that far into the future.

  8. Maybe Walt is coming back to kill Jesse and the M-60 is for anybody that gets in the way.

  9. Sad to see Hank go. He tried everything.
    1) Try to convince Walt in letting Skyler and the children go to him and Marie.
    2) Try to convince Skyler in leaving Walt.
    3) Blackmailed by Walter in the tape.
    4) His only help left was Jesse. He at first also screwed him over.
    He clearly was on his own.

    Don’t think Walt is coming back to save Jesse. The chemistry between those 2 is over. If Jesse survives, he has to save himself this time.

    I’m afraid Hank isn’t the only person who is gonne die in de White/Schrader family.

  10. In the classic tragic form, the villain gets a little hope that he isn’t going to lose everything, but it is a false hope.
    Macbeth: “I cannot be killed by man born of woman.”
    Macduff: “I wasn’t born of woman; I was ripped from the womb.”
    Macbeth: “Arrghh. I was tricked by the Fates.”

    In this next episode I predict Walt will get a little false respite, there will be a lot of tension, fear and menacing, but no major character dies.

    Walt telling Jesse about Jane is a plot device. Jesse has sufficient motivation (as if being left to the Nazis isn’t enough) to kill Walt no matter what Walt does or ever did for Jesse. But what was Walt’s motivation to tell him? It was: you caused the death of someone I cared about, but I’ve already paid you back: I let Jane die.