Although Breaking Bad didn’t actually wrap up its 62-episode run until two installments later with the series finale, “Felina,” season 5’s “Ozymandias” was really the climax of the series. All the conflicts that the show had been building up for five seasons came to a head and the Heisenberg meth empire quickly came crumbling down.
Directed by Rian Johnson and written by Moira Walley-Beckett, “Ozymandias” has held a perfect 10.0/10 score on IMDb since it first aired on AMC in 2013. The episode was filled with heartbreaking payoffs to earlier Breaking Bad moments. So, here are the 10 most explosive moments in “Ozymandias.”
Steve Gomez Is Killed
Since it happens off-screen and Hank is killed just a couple of minutes later, the death of Steve Gomez got sort of swept under the rug among the Breaking Bad fan base. But Hank’s brief glimpse of his friend lying dead in the nearby dirt as he takes heavy fire, runs out of bullets, and sustains a gunshot wound to the leg, is heartbreaking.
Throughout the series, we mainly saw Hank through his relationships with Walt, Marie, and Skyler. But Gomez was his best friend. They’d always had each other’s back. And just like that, Gomez was dead.
“My Name Is A.S.A.C. Schrader, And You Can Go F*** Yourself!”
After a flashback to the events of the pilot episode, “Ozymandias” picks up where the previous episode, “To’hajiilee,” left off, with Uncle Jack and his gang of neo-Nazis showing up in the desert where Hank and Gomez are arresting Walt and engaging the DEA agents in a firefight.
Hank and Gomez are hopelessly outmatched, with Gomez being killed in the crossfire and Hank being immobilized by a gunshot wound in his leg. Then, Jack holds a gun to Hank’s head and his fate is sealed, even if Walt doesn’t realize it.
Uncle Jack Murders Hank
As Jack holds a gun to Hank’s head and Walt begs for his brother-in-law’s life, Hank tells him, “You’re the smartest guy I ever met, and you’re too stupid to see he made up his mind 10 minutes ago.” Hank dies on his own terms (or as much on his own terms as he can under the circumstances).
It’s abrupt and untimely, and he was surely devastated by the knowledge that Marie would be widowed, but this was always an occupational hazard, and Hank refuses to beg for his life – even if Walt isn’t as proud.
Walt Tells Jesse He Watched Jane Die
As Jesse is dragged out from his hiding place following the desert shootout and Uncle Jack is about to kill him, Todd suggests that they hold onto him to find out what he told the DEA and maybe get a couple of cooks out of him. Jack agrees, and Jesse is taken off to be a meth slave.
But Walt, perhaps partly blaming Jesse for Hank’s death, decides that it’s time to finally tell Jesse that he watched Jane die. He could’ve saved her and he didn’t, to protect his own interests.
Jesse Is Locked In A Cage
Over the course of Breaking Bad, some really terrible things happened to Jesse as a result of Walt’s selfish decision-making, from Jane’s death to Brock’s poisoning to the various murders he was forced to commit.
But in “Ozymandias,” it became apparent that Walt can make Jesse’s life a lot worse, as he gets him locked in a cage and forced to serve a Nazi gang as a sort of meth slave.
Skyler Slashes Walt With A Knife
In the cold opening of “Ozymandias” – a flashback in which Skyler calls Walt during his first cook to suggest Holly as a baby name – Skyler is framed with a kitchen knife in the foreground.
This foreshadows the harrowing moment in the present day in which Skyler grabs that knife while Walt is telling her and Walt, Jr. to start packing up their things and slashes his hand with it.
Walt Kidnaps Holly
After Skyler attacks Walt with a kitchen knife, he realizes that Skyler and Walt, Jr. aren’t going to come with him. But there’s still one White that hasn’t turned against him yet.
So, he grabs Holly from her crib, takes her out to his new pickup truck, and drives away. A heartbroken Skyler chases him down the street, but he manages to get away.
Jesse Finds A Picture Of Andrea And Brock In Uncle Jack’s Lab
When Jesse is chained to a pulley system in Uncle Jack’s lab and forced to cook some Heisenberg-brand blue meth for them to sell, he finds a surveillance photo of Andrea and Brock, the two people he cares about most in the world, hanging on the wall.
The implication is that if Jesse doesn’t cook for the Nazis, or if he creates any problems for them at all, they’ll kill Andrea, her son, or both of them. And in the following episode, they stay shockingly true to that promise.
Walt’s Phone Call Exonerating Skyler
After leaving with Holly, Walt comes to realize that he’s irreparably destroyed his family and he can’t take his daughter away from her mother, so he decides to return Holly to Skyler and absolve Skyler of her connections to his crimes.
Assuming correctly that the police have tapped the phones in the White household, Walt makes an angry phone call to Skyler that makes it sound like she was a prisoner of his drug business, in order to save her from police scrutiny.
Ed Galbraith Picks Up Walt
Following Hank’s death, Walt rushes home as fast as he can to start packing up the family’s things to take them to Ed Galbraith’s vacuum repair store and disappear with new identities. However, after they refuse to go with him, Walt has no choice but to leave with Ed on his own.
In the final moments of “Ozymandias,” Walt is picked up by the same red van that came to get Jesse (before he quickly changed his plans and decided to douse Walt’s house in gasoline instead) and vanishes without a trace – completely alone.