‘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:


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  1. Holy Sh*t!!!

  2. another intense episode. i was actually afraid that skyler or junior would end up being stabbed in that knife fight. cant believe that there is only two episodes left! sad to see hank go.

  3. Walts convo with Skyler was fantastic, even though Walt is know longer Walt i feel for him nonetheless

    • Hmph.

      Walt was only being nasty to Skylar over the phone because he knew the police would be listening. I think he tried to clear her of any suspicion in consequence.

      • Yeah I think so but I reckon some of the things he said were some repressed feelings he never let out against her, But the Jane thing wow that was brutal.

      • Such a sweetie, that Walt. Haha.

  4. That episode was so intense that even though it took an entire hour, after it was over I felt like only 20 minutes had elapsed. They have bended time and space!

    • Well, they did fool you by running the episode credits at nearly 30min into the episode. But it was definitely edge-of-your-seat greatness.

  5. Im glad Hank died, this would of never happened if he just LET IT GO.
    And also his dumb wife Marie ruined everything by going to skylar to brag. I will always be rooting for Walt, but i know he will go down just like scarface. :/
    So sad there is only 2 episodes left.

    • Yeah over the last few episodes I was kinda annoyed by Hank and Marie righteousness but what this episodes revealed to us is how every single things will and can go wrong will go wrong. The entire dynamic of this episode is perfectly stated by Murphy Law. Hank didn’t do anything wrong, in fact he was right, Jack won’t just let him go. Jack did what ‘Heisenberg’ will do. Even Walt knew it, he wouldn’t just have to offer an 80 million give away to entice Jack.

      On the other hand, i was totally shocked by Walt revelation to Jesse. As if he blames Jesse for what happened. He needn’t tell about Jane but he did it anyway.

      Truth is this episode is gut wrenching already as it is. The final phone call was coup de grace. A lie to end all lie. A lie that would meant Walter White is dead and all that remains is ‘Heisenberg’. An ironic moment when a man he so much desire to keep away from his family would actually save them. I don’t think I can handle much of another one episodes of retribution before finale. I actually very much hope it would just end with just one episode. Even though I do think he is an absolute evil, this is just too much…

    • What are you, a gang-banger wannabe? Hank was a cop. He’s just supposed to “let go” drug dealing and murder?!

      “Rooting” for Walt? Look, I’ll admit he is a captivating character, played to perfection by Cranston, but both the actor and the writers have indicated that they are going to bring him to his just deserts and inevitable consequences, as he is a drug dealer and murderer, not meant to be held in esteem by misguided fanboys, who apparently fantasize about being thugs.

    • I really liked Hank up until he found out Walt was Heisenberg. He was so obsessed to get Heisenberg just to get Heisenberg. His ego seemed more important than family. He didn’t seem to have any qualms about Jesse getting killed so long as it helped him get Walt. He didn’t seem to care that arresting Walt would destroy Walt’s family. He didn’t seem to care about Walt at all. It’s not like Hank was trying to stop Walt. He knew Walt was retired and dying of cancer. Walt, whom everyone thinks of as the devil, goes out of his way to save Hank’s life. Walt’s money is not just money. It was the price for his moral corruption, pain to his family and the only hope he had of providing for his family and, in a sense, loving his family from the grave. He offered up all of that money to save Hank. I didn’t want Hank to die, but that’s not because Hank was the “good” guy in the episode.

  6. I f**ked Ted.

    • You ungrateful B*tch.

  7. My stomach flipped when I saw Jesse was torched by Tod, and like that wasn’t enough they blackmail him to cock again. Just pure hell for him.

    • Yikes…with a single letter you changed the entire feel of your comment.

  8. Amongst all the horror of the episode, the most reprehensible was the actions of Marie.
    Showing up to gloat, then forcing her sister to completely crush Junior; that was not her place at all.

    Gilligan did what he set out to do: make the audience despise the “hero” we once rooted for. Hank was the only morally solid character & he went out like a man, even knowing that his death will crush Walt, so still coming out victorious.

    I’m still team jessie. He was just a punk kid who had every chance to turn his life around…If it wasn’t for the devil (Walter) manipulating his every move & squashing every ounce of his soul until there’s nothing left. Truly hope somehow Jessie frees himself from psycho Todd and lives happily ever after.

    • That echoed my thoughts of Marie exactly, but she was always supposed to be annoying. At least she went through the trouble of not wearing purple for the occasion (I think – she might have slipped a very dark purple past me).

    • Please, I rewatched the entire series before the start of this season and Jesse isn’t the Vanguard that most make him out to be. Before I thought Walt was the only reason Jesse was in this situation but Jesse is just as bad and the cause of his situation as the ‘Devil’

      • Jessie attempted to get out plenty of times and unlike Walt, has been shown over & over again that he has a real heart for others. He was still a kid, basically, when the series started. I’m not saying he’s innocent…but if not for Walt, he may have endured thus life long ago

        • I agree, Jesse is still a kid and he carries a big heart to protect and look out for kids to be a father he never had.

          But I agree, Marie is a complete c**t in how she reacted to the whole situation and is a self-righteous b***H with no life of her own. She wants Skylar’s kids too, I’m calling it now.

        • Ah, Jesse has freedom of choice, just like everyone else in the show, and he is a drug dealer and murderer, like Walt, so he deserves everything he gets.

  9. I keep reading that Walter winds up in New Hampshire, when was that said. In the flash forward he is in his house in NM.

    Did i miss something about new hampshire?

    • In the first flash foward from 5.1 when he buys the gun at the Denny’s the license plate says New Hampshire. The state motto of New Hampshire is “live free or die”, that was also the name of the episode.

    • I think it’s a hideout that Saul’s friend provided for him in NH. It seems the flash forward was maybe a couple of months after the Hank incident since Walt had his hair fully grown. I think next episode will be Walt “taking care of loose ends” with then going to NH once it’s over or the other way around. Something then goes wrong and forces Walt to come back.

      • I believe it was a year in the future on Walt’s 52nd birthday.

  10. Omg what an intense and emotional episode, I’ve never seen anything like it, I tried over the past week to work out the possible outcome of that gun fight but could never have imagined the impact it would have!

    I’m completely blown away by it, epic and awesome, this show is unbeatable! All I can think of now is that Walt must come back to atone for his sins by ridding us of the nazi scum and saving Jesse, but knowing this show I will be completely wrong!

    • Walt and Jesse also have consequences to pay, too. Ridding the world of the Nazi’s does not even begin to make amends for what they’ve done.

  11. its like watching a train wreck in slow motion…hiesenberg is done walt is running on pure emotions he has lost all touch with reality..

  12. I think the ricin is to kill whatshername, the lady in charge of the meth distribution. The gun is tokill todd, Jack, & all of their arayan bretheran.
    Whether or not it’s because of Jessie or if he even knows Jessie is there is yet to be seen.

    Of course, I’ve never been right about what’s going to happen next on BB. Brilliant writing staff.

  13. As much an Ozymandias speech at the end as it was the final act of a good man accepting consequence of the monolithic ego he has succumbed to over the span of the narrative.

    From the moment Hank died, Walter White was gone. He knew it. It was pure Heisenberg delivering that line to Jesse. The final speech though would suggest he is out to “free” Jesse in the same way he “freed” his family. That line was just malice. Cruelty. Ultimately, hurt at the betrayal for in the head of Walter White, he has done nothing but protect Jesse. It is Heisenberg that clouds the moral judgement of his actions.

    Last night was destruction of consequence leading to finally the clarity of acceptance. Now comes the reaction…

    A brutal, unique television show.

  14. Sweet Jesus that was intense…
    I really don’t know what else to say???
    I mean there’s still 2 episodes left, I don’t think I can handle anymore…

  15. Yup, incredible. Everything is difficult to watch after a BB ep. It seems like Walt’s on his way to NH right now.

    Will the ricin be for Lydia? Maybe. Is the 50 cal for Todd’s uncle and the gang? Maybe.

    Will Walt come back, rescue Jessie, destroy the empire he had created, and then die on his own terms? Maybe.

    2 more.

    Salut to one of the 3 best series I have ever followed.


    • You’re not kidding…
      I tried to watch The Newsroom right after but I was in such shellshock that after about 20 minutes I realized I had no idea what was going on so I had to switch to football until I got my bearing back. ;)

      • I’m with you! I tried to watch Dexter right after and had to turn it off. It was Dexter’s penultimate episode and I couldn’t get my head into it because I was still shell-shocked from Breaking Bad! RIP Hank

  16. Another brilliant episode. Golden Globe nominee Bryan Cranston was especially good in Ozymandias. He delivered some intense and violent scenes fantastically. Loved Director’s Guild Winner Rian Johnson’s directing on this one. Time did indeed fly on this episode. This could have been the ending to the series in my opinion. Hope the last two episodes are close to the quality of this episode.

  17. I was not a fan of Hank during the 2nd half of this season. But I have to say he redeemed his self fully with that death of his.

  18. Only 2 episodes left! I can’t wait to see how the diner flash forwards play into the finale… assault rifle and ricin? I don’t know, but these have to tie in somewhere as Vince is NOT going to put those scenes into earlier episodes as I sign of things to come and then just let them lay untouched or not revisited.

    Only 2 episodes left! Man! Am I going to miss this show!

  19. hi im a 21 year old male…and i would like to admit to everyone here i will prob cry when the series end….i mean this episode was beyond epic and intense. i mean that speech to skylar…come onnnnnnnn that is oscar material! and wtf flynn spazzed out and lied and said his dad pulled the knife?!!!! i efffing flippped with anger and called him a retard ” forgive me father” overall 2 episodes left and im sad to see this show go.

  20. When Skylar and Walt were battling, did anyone else mistake the suitcase they fell back on as a baby carriage for a SPLIT second? I gasped then sighed instantaneously.

  21. it was a good episode, but I think eventually walter or Heisenberg will have a change of heart and go back to get Jessie and or the rest of his money…………….

  22. Amazing television on every level. Here’s what I think may happen. Walt returns to kill the Aryans and take back all the money he “earned”. In the midst of this, he finds Jesse being held against his well and frees him. After an intense battle/escape, Jesse picks up a gun from one of the fallen Aryans, shoots and kills Walt, takes some of the money for himself and gives the rest to Skylar and Walt Junior. The end.

  23. after everything that happened I still root for walter till the end, if he dies I don’t think I’ll be able to take it :(, also poor jesse, he became really annoying these past episodes but seeing him on the floor all beat up and frightened was horrible, this is the most emotional series i’ve ever seen, i’ve never cared so much about the characters

    • I’d care for them too, if I cared for drug dealers and murderers. As I’ve said above, they are captivating characters, played to perfection by the actors, but they deserve no emotion on anyone’s part, save for sadness for their arrogance, ignorance, and many sins. We can hope for their redemption, but that doesn’t, nor shouldn’t, come without just and proper consequences for their wrongdoing.

      • Does it get cold up there on your high horse? It’s probably windy as all hell.

        • So, then, should I assume that you actually hope to see them get away with everything that they’ve done? How much blood is on their hands? They were also present during the murder of a child and have kept silent about that, as well…

          Does it get cold up there on your high horse? It’s probably windy as hell.

          • jeff its a tv show calm down, if screenwriter wants to root for walt let him I did until this ep, IN REAL LIFE people should get their just deserts but its not real life

        • +1

        • LOL! Righteous condescension. I was just thinking that comment sounded like something Skylar would say. Did you think Gale was the devil because he was willing to make a living making meth? I don’t. I subscribe to Gale’s perspective. Those who want to get high will get high. He’s not shoving the meth up little kids’ noses. Did you think that Hank was the devil because he killed insane Tuco or the scary brothers? Hank was threatened and he defended himself. Aside from Mike, Walt only killed those who threatened him. I don’t even think Fring is viewed by fans as much of a monster as Walt. It seems as though Fring is viewed as a businessman and Walt is this monster because he’s had to kill people. I don’t think Walt is a saint. I wouldn’t want to make friends with him in real life. But I’m not about to so easily pass judgment on him.

      • dam jeff you’re the life of the party man!!

  24. Jesse is getting everything he deserves. That little b**** should have taken his money and bounced a long time a go but he’s such a mental midget it’s embarrassing. That’s what happens when you straddle the line between villain and hero when you are neither.

    As for Hank we all knew that was coming. I do feel bad for junior though… And Skyler is a stupid hooker who can’t make up her mind either and she deserved every word and more. Walt is going to go down in a flame of fire and he’s burning everybody that has crossed him and I can’t wait for Heisenberg to go out like the villain he knows he is!

    • hurt much bro?

      • No. Why do you?

    • You speak so eloquently, like a warrior poet!

      • For those who believe the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” Has never met me!

  25. I have to say that from what I saw until now Walter White was only trying to fix things but he couldn’t because of the circumstances like the stupidity of some caracters in the show. Maybe in the last 2 episodes we will get to see Einsenberg going against the killer of Hank and the police.

  26. The most intense episode of any show I’ve ever seen, Breaking Bad is a masterpiece, hands down THE greatest show ever made, I honestly don’t know who to like or feel sorry for anymore, its just so wonderfully written to do that, I was pretty disappointed in Pinkman turning on Walt but I don’t want him to go out like this, at the hands of that sicko Todd, I would rather they just put a bullet in him than make him suffer like that, whatever happens now I think its safe to say this will end very ugly..

  27. Hank is dead because of his own hubris. He wanted to bring Walt in all by himself because of pride.

  28. Did anyone else notice Walts pants from the very first episode as he was rolling the barrel through the desert – a call back to the last episode of the first season. about 20:30

  29. Hank should have focused on his minerals instead of Heisenberg. Marie needs a trip to Belize…