“Breaking Bad” broke the Twitter dam with its third-to-last episode that ratcheted up the intensity level even by the show’s own high standards.
“Ozymandias,” written by Moira Walley-Beckett and directed by Rian Johnson, featured everything from the death of central character, DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) to a devastating knife fight between Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) being chained up and forced to help his tormentors cook a higher grade of meth.
The episode was a jaw-dropper for “Breaking Bad” fans because it featured 90-degree turns in the fortunes for all the key characters. Skyler turns on Walt, and Walt turns on Skyler, so much so he calls her an expletive during a telephone call — a disturbing sign that Walt has completely gone round the bend. Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) finally learns the truth about his father and turns on him. Marie forces Skyler’s hand at the start of the episode, before she realizes that her husband Hank is dead, thanks to Walt.
(As readers were quick to point out, it’s clear in hindsight that Walt’s call was his twisted effort to be a good husband by taking the heat off Sklyer with statements indicating her lack of involvement in the whole bloody mess as he knew police would be recording the call. Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker wrote eloquently about this particular dramatic touch.)
The sheer volume of major dramatic developments in “Ozymandias,” the title of the famous 1818 poem about a “Colossal Wreck,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, led to a storm of social media reaction from many bizzers who count themselves among “Breaking Bad’s” biggest fans.
Here’s a sampling of the chatter: