This episode was named after the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The poem is about a fallen leader looking back at the ruins of his fallen empire.
“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away”
We begin with a flashback to the first cook in the RV. They are waiting for it to cool, and Mr. White explains the exact science of it, and Jesse is bored to death. He goes outside to smoke, and Mr. White in his now iconic tighty-whities, walks a bit further away, practicing a lie he is going to tell Skylar about why he is running late.
The conversation they have is pretty normal, Skylar isn’t bothered by the fact he will be running late, as long as he brings pizza. She is getting ready to mail a ceramic, “hideous crying clown” that Walt never liked to someone who actually paid money for it. Skylar suggests the name Holly for the baby she is still carrying in her womb. Walter says he’ll thing about it and suggests they go away, as a family. Take a drive. The almost four of them. This, as we know, is the very beginning of Heisenberg. After this, the lies get easier. He started out cooking meth to be able to provide for his family, long after he’s gone from the cancer currently growing in his lungs. But now it’s all falling apart. He hangs up the phone, and his image slowly disappears, as does Jesse and the RV in the background, leaving a shot of the empty desert.
And it’s title sequence time.
We pick up again with the sound of gunfire against a black screen. The desert reappears and the shooting stops. The vehicles belonging to Uncle Jack and the Aryans, and Hank’s bullet-hole, filled SUV return. We see Uncle Jack and his men still aiming their guns, but no one is firing back. Close up of Hank’s hand on his bloodied leg lets us know he’s been injured. He looks to the body of Agent Gomez, who looks to have not been a survivor. Hank spots Gomez’s discarded shotgun, and makes a last ditch effort in crawling to it, but he’s caught by Uncle Jack just as Hank gets his hand on it. Uncle Jack wonders aloud what they’ve walked into. Todd informs there is no sign on Pinkman, and it’s suggested he took off down the gully. Uncle Jack sends two of his men to check it out. Kenny pulls Gomez’s wallet and alerts Jack to the fact these guys are DEA. Uncle Jack cocks his gun to shoot Hank in the face. Walt emerges from the back seat and yells through a shattered window. He starts kicking and jerking his body trying to free himself, as he is still in handcuffs. He’s yelling, “No, no, no, Jack, no!” Jack motions for Todd to get Walt out of the car, while he and Hank stare each other down. Walt marches toward Uncle Jack, pleading with him not to kill Hank, Kenny pulls him back as Walt continues begging. Jack asks why he shouldn’t kill him, he’s DEA. Walt confesses, he’s family. His brother in law, actually. Jack does not seem pleased he never mentioned his brother in law in the DEA before. Walt tries to reason that he called them off, but the way Jack sees it, they did him a big favour. Walt states they weren’t even supposed to be there, and Jack says it’s too late, and wants to be let in on what was actually going down when they happened to pull up. Jack notices Walt and his brother in law don’t look to be on the best of terms. Walt doesn’t think it concerns Jack, but seeing as how, they killed Gomez and Hank has a bullet in his leg, it actually does concern them now. Walt further insists this is just between the two of them. Jack asks if there will be more coming, Walt says no, but Hank says he can bet on more agents coming. Walt keeps begging and tries to break free from Kenny’s grip. Walt explains to Jack, the DEA doesn’t know about this yet, and he looks to Hank and pleads, saying he can walk out of here alive if he can promise this will go no further. Hank says nothing, Jack says that’s what he figured and pulls the gun back up, and Walt screams, again for him not to shoot Hank. Walt then goes on to tell them about the money buried in the very spot where they are arguing. 80 million in fact, and Jack can have it all if he will just rethink shooting Hank. Jack says the money won’t do him any good in prison. Walt explains with the money, he can make a fresh start. He is offering everything he worked for, so Hank can be let go. Jack asks “the fed” if he would take that deal. Walt informs, “Hank. His name is Hank.” Jack nods, and asks again, “How bout it, Hank? Should I let you go?” “My name is ASAC Schrader. And you can go f**k yourself.” Hank says, sealing his own fate. Walter tries to reason with Hank, and begs him to tell Jack this can all be worked out. Hank looks to Walter, standing there in handcuffs, crying, and asks, “What, you want me to beg?” and then goes on to say, “You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see, he made up his mind ten minutes ago.” Walter looks dumbfounded. Hank pauses for a moment, and then gallantly looks and Jack and says, “Do what you’re gonna do.” But before he can finish the sentence, Jack has already shot ASAC Schrader dead. The gunshot echoes throughout the desert. Walter is staring, slack-jawed, at his now dead brother in law. He falls to his knees, sobbing, the rest of his body collapses sideways. Walter continues sobbing as Todd looks on, Jack explains about the specifics of the directions and that normally people don’t give such exact coordinates. He asks Kenny to look it up on his “fancy phone”. Kenny finds the exact location and grabbing the shovel brought to them by ASAC Schrader, Jack instructs Kenny to start digging. It isn’t long until he hits a barrel. A grieving Walt is laying there, motionless, his mouth still hanging wide open. The men uncover a barrel and open it to find, hundreds of dollars in fat stacks. The men celebrate and Jack urges them to keep digging. They continue while Walt lies helpless.
A good chunk of time passes, and they have now unearthed all of the barrels. They begin dragging the bodies of the fallen DEA agents, and toss them into the hole left behind. Jack instructs them to leave a barrel behind, Kenny starts to protest, but Jack makes it clear he wasn’t asking anyone opinion. Jack explains to the catatonic Walt they are leaving him a barrel. He tells him the boys will load it for him, and then asks for the keys to the handcuffs. Todd produces the keys and releases Walt. As Walt stands, Todd offers his condolences. Jack goes to Walt and explains Todd respects him and he would never forgive Jack if things “went another way”. Also, being that thanks to Walter, he is now 70,000 million dollars richer, he is in fine spirits and is giving Walt a free pass, and instructs him to get in his car and drive away. “No hard feelings” Jack offers to a silent Walter. “We square?” Walt still doesn’t reply, and Jack insists he needs confirmation they are square or things will have to go that other way. Reluctantly, Walt offers his hand and they shake on it. Before Jack can leave, Walt says, “Pinkman. You still owe me.” Jack offers, if Walt can find him, they will kill him. Walt says he has found him, and the camera zooms to the underneath of Walter’s car, and there, hiding in a small ditch, is Jesse Pinkman. He is drug out from under the car by one of Jack’s men, and Jack walks up to him ready to finish the job. He goes behind him, cocks the gun and puts it at the base of his head. Jesse looks up to see two birds flying in the sky. Jack asks if they are “good to go?”, Walt silently nods, while glaring at Jesse, but before he can shoot, Todd jumps in and suggests they keep him and see what he told the DEA guys. He could have information they need. They can kill him right after. Jack, Walt and all parties agree, and it seems as if Jesse has been given a stay of execution. For now. Although, Jesse is very unhappy with this new arrangement and begs to be let go. Two men are holding him as he struggles, Walt faces him, with a pained expression, confesses to Jesse he watched Jane die. He explains how it happened and how he could have stopped her but didn’t. Jesse sinks, defeated and they drag him away. Uncle Jack and Co. leave, towing Hank’s SUV with them. In their rear view mirrors, Walt is standing completely alone where his empire has now fallen. Walter gets in his car, adjusts the mirror and catches a glimpse of where Agent Gomez and ASAC Schrader are now buried. Next we see his car speeding down the highway. Suddenly, his engine begins to sputter and die. The dashboard shows Walt he is out of gas. Walt gets out of the car to investigate, and sees where it’s leaking as a result of having a bullet shot through it. He gets the barrel out of the car and pushes it through the desert for what seems like miles. He happens upon a little house with an old Native American man. Walt asks if the pick-up truck parked nearby belongs to the old man, he says it does. Walter offers to buy it, but the old man says it’s not for sale. Walt then shows him a fat stack of 100 dollar bills, and that seems to have given the old man a change of heart, because Walter is seen loading the barrel in the bed of said truck.
Next, we go to the car wash, where Marie is getting the courage to go in and face Skylar. Inside, Skylar is on the phone leaving a message for Walt, while Flynn/Walt Jr. is working the register like a pro. He warmly greets Marie as she walks in; Skylar turns and looks less than thrilled to see her sister. Flynn/Walt Jr. asks what Marie has been up to, she says, “just this and that,” before says she and his mom need to talk. Skylar wishes Marie had given her a heads up, this not being the best time for a chat. Not being brushed aside that easily, Marie puts all her confidence in Flynn/Walt Jr. holding down the fort, and she walks to Skylar’s office. Flynn/Walt Jr. assures his mom he’s got it covered, and she follows Marie. Inside the office, the two sisters are sitting across from each other. Skylar says she has nothing to say, but Marie does, and demands Skylar sit where she is and listen. Marie goes on to tell Skylar about the phone call from Hank, and they Walt was arrested three hours ago. “Dead to rights.” She goes on to explain they had been working with Jesse Pinkman, whom she knows Skylar knows. Marie explains Hank is booking Walt as they speak. Skylar is in disbelief. Marie is over the moon about this latest development, and while she almost didn’t come, being that she doesn’t know if she can ever trust Skylar again. But, Marie explains how she keeps thinking about how upset Skylar was with Walt and how she brought the kids to stay at Casa Schrader, and that gives her hope that the old Skylar is still in there somewhere and maybe whatever Walt did to her can be undone. Also, she keeps trying to force herself to remember they are sisters. Skylar exhales, and looks slightly relieved at the news, she begins to speak, but Marie interrupts saying everything is going to change and she has got to prepare herself. She promises Hank will help as much as he can, and she will be there to support Skylar through this. But, she has conditions, first of all, she wants all copies of the DVD that was made to discredit Hank. Skylar nods, but Marie wants an answer, and Skylar says, “Yes.”. Marie then insist Skylar dry her eyes, and get Flynn/Walt Jr. in the office, because they are now going to tell him everything. Skylar objects, but Marie demands that either Skylar tell him, or she will do it herself. “it’s the only way.” Marie urges.
Next, we go to where Jesse is being kept, locked up in what looks like an underground cell. His face is badly beaten, and he is whimpering as if he is badly injured. Todd removes the covering and daylight shines through the grates. Jesse begins pleading, and promises he’s told them everything he knows and he’s told them about the tape and where it is, and suggests they just go to his house and get it. Todd says “We’re on it” as he pulls Jesse to his feet, Jesse is screaming that no one else knows about it. Todd helps him up the ladder, Jesse looks around, as Todd leads Jesse to their lab. He guides Jesse in, locks him to a large wire, with a track on the ceiling so he can move around, but not get far. He uncuffs him. Jesse walks to the end of the room, and sees a picture of Andrea and Brock. He is noticeably upset by this, as Todd nonchalantly walks in, pulling on a yellow hazmat suit and says, “Let’s cook.”.
We go back to the car wash, where Flynn/ Walt Jr. is having a hard time digesting what he has just been told about his father by his mother and Marie. He suggests they are completely out of their entire minds. Skylar, her face tear-soaked, confirms it’s true. Flynn/Walt Jr. demands to know how they could have kept this from him. He begs to know why she would go along with the whole thing? Skylar says she will be asking herself that very same question for the rest of her life. Flynn/Walt Jr. says this all makes her a liar, but wants to know was she lying then, or is she lying now? Marie assures Flynn/Walt Jr. that this is all very true. He says it’s bulls**t and tried to call his father, while Marie says he is in custody. Flynn/Walt Jr. then says he wants to talk to Hank, but Marie explains she has tried to call but he is probably very busy getting his father booked in. Marie tells Flynn/Walt Jr. this is a lot to process, and suggests maybe he try and breathe. This does nothing to console him, and he storms out of the office. Skylar puts her head in her hands and sobs. Marie instructs her to go home and regroup and she will stop by later.
However, back at the White residence, Walter has already made it back and is packing for the whole family to get the hell out of town.
Skylar, Holly, and Flynn/Walt Jr. are headed in that direction. There is a constant beeping from where Flynn/Walt Jr. has neglected to buckle his seat belt. Skylar quietly asks him to buckle up, because it’s not safe. Flynn/Walt Jr. scoffs at the notion, and then tells his mother, if this is all true, and she has none all along, she is just as bad as his father. Skylar’s car pulls up and she asks who the pick-up belongs to. They see Walter coming out of the house, hauling luggage, Flynn/Walt Jr. calls to him in surprise. Walter doesn’t stop, but explains he needs him to go inside and start packing his things this very minute. Flynn/Walt Jr. tells his father what his mother and Aunt Marie have told him, that he was arrested and that he’s a drug dealer. Walter brushes that off, and demands everyone come inside. Flynn/Walt Jr. is begging for his dad to stop and talk to him, but Walter says the priority now is to pack. Flynn/Walt Jr. persists, saying he was told Uncle Hank arrested him. Walter promises to have a discussion about it later, but at the moment, there is packing and getting away to be done. He barks for he and his mother to go to their rooms and get whatever is important, and do it now! Skylar asks Walt why he’s there. Walter further demands this isn’t the time for a discussion, they have to go. Skylar presses and says Hank has him in custody and wouldn’t have just let him go. Walter says he negotiated, and Skylar wants to know what that means, but all he will says is that they are fine. Everything will be fine, but they need to get their things together and leave. Skylar still demands to know what happened. She asks the whereabouts of Hank, while Flynn/Walt Jr. wants to know why they need to leave. Walter asks for both of them to trust him, which considering the situation, is a very tall order. Skylar keeps insisting to know where Hank is, while Walter continues to plead for them to just do as he asks. Skylar asks him again, “Where is Hank?” Walter goes to her and explains they have 11,000,000 in cash, right outside. They can start over. Brand new lives. Away from Marie and Uncle Jack and whomever else would like Walter/Heisenberg’s head on a platter. “All we have to do is go. We have to go right now. That’s all we have to do.” Walter pleads. “You killed him.” Skylar accuses. “You killed Hank.”, “What!?” Flynn/Walt Jr. cries, overhearing his mother. Walter screams that he did not kill him, but that he tried to save him. Flynn/Walt Jr. is coming apart at the thought Hank might be dead, and with everything else he’s just been told. Walter keeps trying to reassure them everything will be fine, but encourages them to get on board with the leaving this house, state, maybe even country. Flynn/Walt Jr. begs his dad to talk to him and let him know what’s really going on and Walter continues furiously packing. Skylar walks toward the phone, which is laying by the set of knives. He pulls a large knife out of its slot, as Flynn/Walt Jr. is still begging to know the truth about Hank. Skylar then stops Flynn/Walt Jr. putting herself in the middle of him and his father. Walter turns to see Skylar standing in front of Flynn/Walt Jr. holding the knife. “Get out” Skylar demands. Walter continues to promise this will all be figured out, but she insists, “Enough.” Walter puts down the suitcase he was holding and walks toward her, repeating himself. She tells him not to say another word and demands he get out, he moves toward her to try and plead with her more, but she slashes his hand with the knife. He looks at the very deep cut in his hand, and then to Skylar. He tries to wrestle the knife out of her hand, and a struggle ensues, with Flynn/Walt Jr. begging them to stop. Walter begs her to let go, while Skylar demands he leave him alone. They crash to the floor, each still trying to gain control of the knife. Walter, bites Skylar, causing her to release her grip on the knife. Walter then proceeds to hold her down, but before he can do anything, Flynn/Walt Jr. tackles his dad off his mother, and then puts himself in the middle to protect her. “What the hell is wrong with you?” Walter yells. “We’re a family!” In the background, Holly is crying, and Walt and Skylar are on the floor, both terrified of the man standing before them. “We’re a family.” Walt whispers, as he is seeing more of his empire crumble. Flynn/Walt Jr. whips out his cell, Walter asks what he’s doing, and without answering, Flynn/Walt Jr. calls the police. He tells them his dad has pulled a knife on his mom. He’s dangerous and may have already killed someone. Walter drops the knife and while Flynn/Walt Jr. is giving them the address, makes a mad dash out of the house, with baby Holly. As soon as Skylar realizes he’s got Holly, she cashes after him, screaming, “Walt, please, no!” She is beating on the window, screaming, Holly starts crying, as Walter, backs out of the drive way, pushing Skylar’s car out of the way. Skylar runs into the street and runs after him, but stops as he speeds away and around the corner, out of site. Walter and Holly are in a changing room, where he is getting Holly cleaned up. He is gently asking her to say “Da-da.” He is sweetly talking to her, and playing with her while he gets her dressed again. He explains to her they will be getting a new car seat. He sits Holly up, as she is babbling, “Mama” over and over. A sad realization crosses Walter’s face. He holds her tightly.
Back at the White residence, police are there, and there is an Amber Alert being issued for Holly. Marie is muttering to herself, trying to make sense of the fact Hank had him in handcuffs, and how he could have gotten away, Flynn/Walt Jr. puts his arm around her for comfort. The phone rings. The detective asks Skylar is she is expecting a call, she says no, and the answering machine picks up. “Skylar it’s me. Pick up.” Says Walter’s voice on the machine. Skylar picks up the phone, as the detectives start a trace on the line. “Walt. Where is Holly?” Skylar demands once she answers the call. “No police?” Walt asks. She looks at the detective, who shakes his head, and she tells Walt no. She asks again to know where he is and where is Holly? “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you do one thing I say?” he yells. Skylar is shocked by this, he continues by telling her this is all her fault. This is what comes of her “disrespect” He then goes on to remind her that he’s warned her for over a year that if she crossed him, there would be consequences. He explains he took Holly, because she needed to learn not to mess with him. She demands he bring her back. He keeps going by saying maybe now she’ll listen. He accuses her of never believing in him. She was never grateful, he just worked and slaved and she just whined and complained. He brings up that because she has told Flynn/Walt Jr. how he makes his money, thus turning his son against him, is a further betrayal after he has told her over and over to keep her mouth shut. Walt is clearly only saying this for the benefit of the police, he knows must be listening. This way, they will think she had nothing to do with his empire and was forced into going along. “I’m sorry.” She offers quietly. Walt goes on to say she has no right discussing his business. He built this and he built it alone. Without anyone’s help. She tells him he’s right. He then goes on to threaten that if she doesn’t tow the line, she will end up just like Hank. Skylar tearfully begs him to tell her what happened and where is Hank? This gets Marie’s attention and she stands, waiting for Skylar’s reaction. Walter tells Skylar she will never see Hank again. Skylar begins to break down, which lets Marie know everything. Her husband is dead, and she begins sobbing. Walt says he crossed him, and him being family didn’t matter. He tells her to let that sink in. Walt is in tears, struggling with the evil part he is having to play. Skylar begs to just have Holly back. She tells Walt to just come home. He pauses, before saying he’s still got things left to do. Walter hangs up, and tears apart the phone so it can’t be traced. Sobbing, he looks in at the baby in the cab of the truck. The camera cuts to the left, and shows he is at the Albuquerque Fire Station Twenty. We cut to the inside where firemen are playing chess, when one notices the lights have come on one of the trucks. One of the men goes to investigate, and when he opens the door, finds baby Holly. Crying and alone, with a note pinned to her jacket.
Next shot, it’s what looks like early morning, and we see the barrel next to some luggage. Wide shot shows us Walt is sitting not far, and he is in the same place Jesse was supposed to meet Saul’s vacuum repairman. The same minivan pulls up, Walt gets in. He looks in the rear-view mirror as he is driven away from his fallen empire.
And that’s where we left off. Two more episodes left. As hard as this one was to digest, next week promises to be even more intense. Maybe we will finally get some answers, like what happened to the house and what’s got Carol so darn scared.