Directed by Rian Johnson
Air date: September 15, 2013
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."
Just a little over a year ago, Walt and Jesse were cooking meth together in an RV out in the desert. At that time, it seemed that everything was going to be smooth sailing for Walt, who was expecting a beautiful daughter named Holly and enough money to support his family.
That time has long passed. In the same desert where Walt and Jesse got their start, Steve Gomez now lies dead, and Hank Schrader is wounded by Jack Welker's gang of Neo-Nazis. As Jack prepares to execute Hank, Walt begs him to stop. Jack is determined to go through with killing Hank since he had shot him, but Walt persists, offering his entire eighty million dollar fortune in exchange for Hank's safety. Jack sarcastically asks Hank what he thinks of Walt's offer, but Hank is resigned to his fate: he chides Walt for not realizing that Jack had already made up his mind ten minutes ago and has meant to kill him this entire time. He calmly tells Jack to do what he needs to, and is shot once in the head.
The shock of Hank's death brings Walt to his knees. He collapses, sobbing quietly as Jack uses the coordinates Walt gave him to track down the barrels of money Walt had buried, taking all but one barrel which Jack leaves to Walt as a gesture of respect for mentoring his nephew, and burying Hank and Gomez in their new grave. Before the gang departs, Walt, grief and anger now driving him, points out where Jesse is hiding. The Neo-Nazis drag Jesse out from under a car and prepare to kill him, but Todd asks Jack to spare him so they could find out what he told the DEA. Jack agrees to keep him alive, at least for as long as it took to interrogate him, and the Neo-Nazis apprehend Jesse with Walt's blessing.
Jesse struggles against his captors at first. Walt, however, decides to twist the knife in Jesse one last time: he tells him that he watched Jane Margolis die, choking to death on her own vomit as she overdosed, and did nothing to save her. This revelation takes all of the fight out of Jesse, and he puts up no further resistance as the Neo-Nazis drive him away, looking back at Walt with a sorrowful, defeated look on his face. Walt drives away with his barrel of cash, but the car stops not long after, the gas tank empty from a bullet hole. He rolls his barrel across the desert to a Navajo man's residence and buys out his truck for one of his stacks of cash.
At the car wash, Marie tells Skyler that Hank called her, informing her that Walt was in custody. While the trust between the two sisters is broken, Marie agrees to help Skyler however she can, but in exchange, she must give her every copy of Walt's false "confession". Additionally, she has to tell Junior the truth about his father. Skyler is reluctant to do so, but Marie insists she does so, or else Marie will tell him.
The Neo-Nazis keep Jesse detained in a pit in the ground. When Todd goes to retrieve him, Jesse, battered and beaten, pleadingly insists he told them everything and the only copy of the confession was at the Schrader residence. Instead of interrogating him, Todd takes him to a laboratory built in the Neo-Nazis' compound, which, to Jesse's horror, also has photos of Andrea and Brock. As Jesse realizes their lives are in danger, Todd nonchalantly puts on a hazmat suit and tells Jesse "Let's cook."
Skyler, with Marie, tells Junior the truth about his father's arrest and involvement in the drug business. Junior is completely incredulous and in denial, insisting it's all bullshit and demanding to talk with his father, whom he is told is in custody.
Walt rushes back to his home and begins to pack. When Skyler and Junior arrive, he instructs them in a panic to pack their belongings. Skyler demands to know what happened to Hank, because of course he wouldn't just release Walt from custody. But Walt desperately dodges the question, telling her he made a deal, and insist they pack. Slowly, however, it begins to dawn on Skyler... "You killed Hank." Walt insists he tried to save Hank and tries to help a confused Junior pack. Skyler, however, has had enough: she gets a kitchen knife and points it at Walt, demanding he leave. When Walt tries to approach her reassuringly, she swipes at him, slashing his palm. A fight breaks out between Walt and Skyler. Junior pushes Walt off of Skyler and moves to guard her.
Walt is enraged. "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WE'RE A FAMILY!" he screams. From the looks of fear on Skyler and Junior's faces, however, it dawns on Walt that he made his family turn against him. As Junior calls the police, Walt, in a final act of spite against Skyler, abducts a crying Holly and drives away with her.
At a gas station restroom, Walt changes Holly's diaper, his injured hand bandaged with duct tape. After changing her, however, Holly utters her first words: "Mama". He realizes that Holly not only misses her mother, but fears her father now. His entire family, the reason he got into the meth business to start with, was scared of him and wanted nothing to do with him.
Back at the White residence, Skyler works with the police to try and track down Walt and Holly. A phone call comes in from Walt. Under the police's instructions, Skyler answers and tries to speak normally. While she denies that the phone is being traced, Walter knows better. As an act of recompense, Walt, acting as the dangerous Heisenberg, scolds Skyler for her disobedience, for telling Junior about his drug business and never being grateful for the things he had done for her, even going as far as to call her a "stupid bitch". Skyler knows that this is an act on Walt's part: by playing himself up as a dictatorial druglord who reigned over her with fear, he could convince the police and the remaining family that Skyler was never a willing participant in his illicit business. He furthers the act by threatening her with the same fate that befell Hank, and when asked where his body was, telling her that she would never see Hank again, crushing Marie's heart in the process.
Finally, Skyler begs Walt to return Holly to her. Walt, fighting back his tears, tells her he still has things left to do, and hangs up. Holly is later found in a fire station, left there by Walt with her home address pinned to her clothes.
The following day, Walt contacts Saul's disappearer. With his barrel of money and a suitcase of whatever belongings he was able to pack, Walt climbs into the cleaner's car, and sets off for a new life...
This episode provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Jack looks legitimately impressed by Hank's "My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself" comeback.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Played straight with Walt pleading for Hank's life. Completely and utterly defied by Hank himself. Played straight by Jesse after being tortured by the Neo-Nazis.
- All for Nothing:
- Walt's ill-advised kidnapping of Holly when he realized Skyler and Walt Jr. turned against him and thinking that Holly couldn't turn against him due to not knowing enough practically put a final nail in the coffin for any chance of redemption. And he was proven wrong, as she started crying "Mama!" Having realized he'd gone too far, Walt left Holly at a fire station to be brought home to his wife and son, and he spent the rest of his life at least partially trying to making amends until his death in the finale.
- Jesse's strategy of nailing Walter with his drug money completely falls through after his DEA allies are murdered and he gets kidnapped by the Neo-Nazis. As listed below, it couldn't have backfired more spectacularly.
- And Another Thing...: This is how Walt 'confesses' to Jesse that he watched Jane die.
- Anyone Can Die: Spelled out to the extreme here. As soon as we see Gomez, a series mainstay since the pilot episode, lying dead on the ground, Hank's minutes too are numbered.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Where's Hank?"
- Book Ends:
- Walt got his start cooking meth (and a criminal) in the To'hajiilee desert, and it is in To'hajiilee that his career as a criminal ends.
- This episode begins and ends regarding Holly.
- Boom, Headshot!: Hank's ultimate fate.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Walter borrows from Jesse by calling Skyler a stupid bitch.
- Break the Haughty: Walt spends the entire episode facing a reckoning: Hank's death at the hands of Jack's crew, Jack's crew taking his money, his family abandoning him, and even his baby daughter wanting her mother over him, finally make him realize what he's become.
- Break Her Heart to Save Her: Knowing that the police and the family will be listening in, Walt calls Skyler and begins verbally abusing her in order to portray himself as a psychotic drug lord who terrorized her into complicity in his crimes from the beginning. This is done to make sure the law enforcement involved won't prosecute her for willingly aiding him and so Marie and Walt Jr. won't shun her. He's playing it up hard, crying as he delivers the more brutal lines, and you can see the moment Skyler realizes what he’s doing.
- Broken Pedestal: This episode marks the point when Walt Jr. turns on his father.
- When Walt is rolling his barrel of cash through the desert, he happens to pass by a dust-covered, long-forgotten pair of khakis.
- Speaking of rolling the barrel, Walt seems to have figured out what was obvious to Hank when he and Jesse stole methylamine for the first time:Hank: Try rolling it, morons! It's a barrel, it rolls!
- The episode opens on a previously unseen moment during Walt and Jesse's first meth batch out in the desert. It harkens back to the moment Walt genuinely felt he was in control and doing what he thought was best. It's also been noted that it is the first instance of Walt lying to his family due to his meth-making. It stands in stark contrast to what happens in this episode.
- Also in the opening scene is the Crying Clown statue that Skyler sold in the pilot while giving the unenthusiastic birthday handjob to Walt.
- The kitchen knife Skyler attacks Walt with is the same knife Walt was using in the first episode of Season 2 when he was paranoid Tuco was coming to kill him.
- The Cameo: Noah Segan briefly appears as a firefighter.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Todd talks his uncle out of killing Jesse by saying they should keep him alive until they find out what he's told the DEA. It will later transpire that Todd is also interested in using Jesse in order to manufacture purer meth.
- Cassandra Truth: Walt didn't actually kill Hank (though he was certainly partially directly responsible for it) but by that point, he's alienated his loved ones so much that not even Skyler and Walt Jr. believe him.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- The knife rack from the opening flashback is far too prominent not to come up later.
- The dripping from the undercarriage of Walt's car when they pull Jesse out.
- Saul's cleaner finally comes to use in this episode.
- Chess Motifs: The fire station scene starts with a closeup shot of the white king being moved; the board is set up so white cannot win the game.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: The shootout from the end of the last episode is revealed to have ended this way.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Walt's Motive Rant to Skyler over the phone, finally giving her the freedom she so desired. It tears Walt up inside. He also confirms Hank's death to the authorities, allowing Marie to have at least some closure.
- Crying Wolf: After so many lies, Walt can't convince Skyler that he wasn't the one who killed Hank.
- Darkest Hour: By the end of the episode, Hank's investigation has gone up in smoke with him and Gomez dead in the desert (with the rest of the DEA having no clue they were even there), Jack and his crew have taken almost all of Walt's money and kidnapped Jesse to force him to cook for them (on top of giving him the worst beating he's endured in the series), and Skyler and Walt Jr. have turned on Walt and exposed him, forcing Walt to go on the run.
- Death Glare: Walt shoots a pretty vicious one to the now-captured Jesse while revealing he was behind Jane's death.
- Defiant to the End: Hank realizes Jack is going to kill him no matter what he or Walt says to convince him otherwise, so he refuses to beg.Jack: How about it, Hank? Should I let you go.
Hank: My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself.
- Despair Event Horizon: Pretty much everyone in this episode who isn't a Neo-Nazi, at one point or another.
- Did Not Think This Through: Walt throws away the one slim chance he had to save Hank, by telling Jack that no backup is coming. If Jack had believed that more cops were about to arrive, a living Hank could have been a useful hostage, while a dead one would just add a second murder rap to his troubles, which could have been the difference between a life sentence and a death sentence. Hank himself clearly pinned his only hope on this, telling Jack, "You bet your ass the cavalry's coming." Downplayed, because Walt only had a brief moment to reason this out, and it was still very possible that Jack would have tried to get the gang away before the backup arrived, in which case he would certainly have silenced Hank permanently on his way out.
- Dissonant Serenity: When he's about to execute Jesse, Jack asks Walt "Good to go?" with all the gravitas of someone heading to the doctor's office.
- Domestic Abuse: Invoked by Walt during his phone call to Skyler, portraying himself as a domineering abuser so the remaining family and the police will believe that Skyler was forced to collaborate with him in his crimes.
- Doorstop Baby: Walt anonymously drops off Holly at a fire station, with the White household address and phone number written on a napkin and safety pinned to her shirt so she would be safely returned to Skyler.
- Downer Beginning: The episode starts off with Gomez dead and Hank shot in his leg, out of ammo and doomed with 6 Neo-Nazis still well armed and unscathed cornering him.
- Downer Ending: Let's see... Hank and Gomez are dead, Jesse is forced into slavery by the Neo-Nazis, Walt loses most of his money, Walt Jr. learns about his dad's meth-making, Walt effectively loses his family, and the last shot of the episode sees Walt (after having dropped off Holly at the fire department) leaving with the extractor... yep, this trope fits to a T.
- Drama Bomb: It's probably quicker to name the scenes where something incredibly dramatic DIDN'T happen in this episode. To put it another way, the closest thing it has to a joke or levity is the "seatbelt" moment with Skyler and Walt Jr., which soon turns into a well-deserved chewing-out from Junior.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Hank takes on a gang of heavily armed Neo-Nazis with nothing more than a Glock pistol, and remains composed and dignified before Jack murders him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
- Jack spares Walt solely out of respect for his nephew's wishes.
- Walt is willing to give up his entire fortune if it means Hank will be spared and later takes steps to prevent Skyler from being sent to prison. He also coos over Holly like any other loving father of a newborn and playfully encourages her to say "Dada". Unfortunately...
- Even Evil Has Standards: When Uncle Jack and his Nazis take Walt's barrels of money, Jack does leave Walt with one barrel, out of respect to him.
- Evil Is Hammy: Invoked in-universe, when Walt deliberately plays up his Heisenberg persona when he calls Skyler on a phone line he knows is tapped, hoping the cops will believe she was Trapped in Villainy by her evil, abusive husband and show her leniency.
- Evil is Petty: Having already sold Jesse into slavery, Walt stops the Neo-Nazis dragging him away... just long enough to tell Jesse that he was there the night Jane died, and chose not to save her. Vince Gilligan considers this one of Walt's worst deeds due to its simple, pointless sadism.
- Exact Words: Walt manages to confess to Hank's murder without actually confessing to it; when Skyler asks him where Hank is, he responds "you're never going to see Hank again. He crossed me". This is all true - Hank crossed Walt by investigating him and he's now dead - but he never actually specifically says that he killed Hank himself.
- Face Death with Dignity: Hank refuses to beg for his life or even pretend that there's a way out, in sharp contrast to Walt desperately offering Jack everything he has to spare his life.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: "My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself."
- Failed a Spot Check: Somehow, the Nazis just plumb forgot to check under that car.
- Fate Worse than Death: Instead of killing Jesse, Jack's gang takes him captive, tortures him for information, and then forces him to cook meth for them by threatening Andrea and Brock. Aaron Paul himself has said that Jesse would definitely prefer death.
- Foregone Conclusion: There was no way Hank was going to survive with a bullet in his leg, his partner dead, and several neo-Nazis with their guns trained on him. He even spells it out for Walt:Hank: You're the smartest guy I ever met, and you're too stupid to see... he made up his mind ten minutes ago.
- From Bad to Worse: Oh boy, this episode. For context, this episode starts with Gomez's death. Walter White essentially realizes how much he fucked up. See Downer Ending above for more details.
- Get It Over With: Hank knows Jack won't spare him, so he refuses to beg for his life and tells him to "do what [he's] going to do".
- Get Out!: Skyler, after realizing that Hank is dead and things have truly gone to hell. And then Walt makes a move for her knife.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Jesse's plan to rake Walt over the coals epically blew up in his face. Both his "allies" are murdered in relatively quick succession, the Neo-Nazis drag him out and plan on using him as a slave while figuring out what he told the DEA, and his ex-partner tells him frankly that he willingly allowed Jane to die so that she wouldn't squeal his secret and to keep Jesse in line. Plus, most of the money that could've been used as evidence against Walt as well as all the confession tapes Jesse made against Walt get stolen by the Neo-Nazis, with the last still in Walt's possession, meaning even if Jesse escaped, he'd have no way to convince the DEA of the truth and would likely be arrested due to Guilt by Association. Plus there's that bit about Walt visiting Andrea to help get a fix on Jesse's location, which the Neo-Nazis witnessed and held over Jesse. Is it any wonder after all of that that the kid shut down?
- Gory Discretion Shot: While Gomez's dead and bleeding body is shown, we're spared the sight of Hank with a bullet in his head.
- Gut Punch: This episode is one of the most emotionally draining TV episodes ever.
- Handicapped Badass: After averting this trope throughout the entire series, in this episode, Junior jumps his dad (who's holding a knife), gets him off of his mother, shields her from him, and then calls the cops on him. Unfortunately, he can't stop him from taking Holly.
- Hated by All: Walt has achieved this status by the end: Skyler thinks he killed Hank (when Walt was only indirectly responsible) and attacks him, his entire family now fears him, and he becomes the most wanted man in America, forcing him to use Saul's cleaner and go into exile. His deliberately psychotic-sounding tapped phone conversation with Skyler certainly doesn't help him either. He does take Holly with him on the run to alleviate his loneliness but can't bring himself to separate her from her mother.
- Heel Realization: When Holly utters her first words and calls for her mama Walt finally realizes he's gone way too far, thus setting the tone for his actions in the remainder of the series.
- Heroic BSoD: This episode is full of them:
- Walt collapses and weeps after Hank's death. He also has another during the final moments of the episode, when he realizes his family will never love him again.
- Junior goes through one at the reveal of his father's crimes.
- Skyler breaks down in the street as Walt drives off with Holly.
- Marie goes into one of these after finding out about Hank's death.
- Jesse loses any will to fight his capture after Walt reveals he watched Jane die.
- Hope Spot:
- All the evidence regarding Walt's criminal life goes away with Hank and Jesse, then Walt goes home, and soon after that, the entire nation knows who Heisenberg is.
- Jesse looks at hope to Walt once he stops the Neo-Nazi taking him away, only to tell him that he is the one truly responsible for Jane's death, breaking Jesse's spirit.
- For a few episodes, Marie had been living in depression regarding Walt being Heisenberg and Skyler being complicit in it, and she starts the beginning of this episode in high spirits due to Hank informing her Walt has been caught. Once Walt (seemingly) confesses to his role in Hank's death, Marie completely breaks down in despair.
- I Have Your Wife: The Neo-Nazis blackmail Jesse into cooking for them by threatening Andrea and Brock.
- I Want My Mommy!: Skyler and Walt Jr. decide to kick Walt out of the family, so Walt runs away with Holly. Then Holly says her first word: "Mama."
- Internal Reveal:
- Walt Jr. finally learns the truth about his dad.
- Walt tells Jesse he watched Jane die.
- Walt confirms Hank's death over a phone call to Skyler that Marie and the police are listening in to.
- The DEA now know who Heisenberg is.
- Jerkass Façade: Walt pretends to be an abusive monster to Skyler over the phone in order to legally absolve her of all responsibility.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: After seasons and seasons of atrocities, Walt's actions finally catch up to him: he loses his brother-in-law, his freedom, his entire family, and is forced to go on the run.
- Kick the Dog:
- Walt not only gives Jesse up to the Neo-Nazis to be killed, but he stops them just for a moment so he can reveal that he watched Jane die and did nothing to stop it just to further crush his already destroyed spirit. Out of Walt's laundry list of crimes, this is the only one that has no possible explanation beyond petty sadism.
- Walt abducting Holly to spite Skyler is definitely this.
- Played with by Walt's speech over the phone: while it initially sounds like it, he's giving Skyler an alibi to get her off the hook for collaborating with him.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Poor Hank.Hank: Do what you gotta d—- [Jack blows his head off]
- Killed Offscreen: We last saw Gomez holding his own with Hank against Jack's crew. When we pick up, Gomez is seen lying dead. Hank soon follows.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Hank's "He made up his mind ten minutes ago" remark comes at approximately the ten-minute mark in the episode.
- Literary Allusion Title: The episode is titled after Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem about the ruins of a once-great empire. The sonnet is quoted in full at the top of this page and was read by Bryan Cranston as an advertisement for Season 5B.
- Manly Tears: During his final phone conversation with Skyler, Walt spends the entire time bawling his eyes out as he desperately keeps up the charade of a domineering monster who forced her into his life of crime.
- Moment of Silence: After the gunshot that kills Hank, Walt's cries of despair as he collapses to the ground are muted.
- Motive Rant: Invoked by Walt during the phone call. He psychotically rants about how Skyler has weighed him down and hindered his work to make it seem like he's a violent domestic abuser who threatened her into complicity, thus ensuring the police will view her as simply another of his victims.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After spending nearly five whole seasons rationalizing and justifying his increasingly immoral acts, Walter finally goes through an absolutely gut-wrenching one after kidnapping his baby daughter when he runs away from his wife and son after they turn on him. While he's taking care of her in a restroom, playfully cooing over her and encouraging her to say "dada", Holly instead says "Mama" and he realizes at that moment that his actions over the course of the last year and a half have led to the destruction of his entire family, either through death or ruined lives.
- Never My Fault: Walt blames Jesse for Hank's death, even though Walt in reality shares as much blame as Jesse, as his actions, including poisoning Brock, drove Jesse to Hank, and Walt called the Nazis in the first place. Although to be fair, Walt did not know Jesse allied with Hank, or that the Neo-Nazis would come anyway despite him calling them off. Accounting for this would have made this episode very different.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- When Skyler realizes Hank is dead and believes Walt killed him, instead of picking up the phone and calling the police to try to get Walt arrested, she picks up a kitchen knife and starts a fight with him, forcing Walt Jr. to get between them and giving Walt the opportunity to kidnap Holly while she recovers.
- Jesse too. If he had just met with Walt at the mall a couple of episodes prior like planned, instead of trying to locate the drug money, he wouldn't have been (partially) responsible for both his allies getting killed and being taken captive with Andrea and Brock being used as leverage to keep him in line.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: This episode pretty much throws any existing status quo as we knew it out the window.
- Not Me This Time: In rather Dramatic Irony, it's the one thing Walt didn't do that ends up destroying his relationship with his family forever: he's blamed for murdering Hank when Walt made every conceivable effort, even literally begging and pleading, to avert Hank's death.
- Off the Grid: Walt pleads to Jack and the Neo-Nazis to take his $80 million and use that to just live on the lam to avoid repercussions for killing Gomez and shooting Hank in the leg. Jack refuses the deal, killing off Hank and finding the barrels of cash without Walt admitting so, and the next episode shows it is Walt who is instead forced into this trope.
- Oh, Crap!:
- Jesse when Walt reveals to him the true circumstances behind Jane's death.
- Skyler when she sees Walt is back home without Hank.
- Walt when Skyler attacks him with a knife.
- Skyler and Junior when Walt wrestles the knife out of her and threatens them.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- Walt offers all of his money to save Hank from getting killed, despite him being led to the location only because Jesse threatened to literally burn that money.
- Skyler realizes Walt's last con when he hams it up during their phone call so that everyone else there will think she was forced into this by Walt.
- When Walt nearly stabs Skyler with a kitchen knife, the normally passive Walt Jr. drops his crutches and throws himself at his own father to save his mother, and expresses utter terror at what's happening for the first time in the show. Shortly afterward, he immediately calls the police on his father to show just how scared of his father he is now.
- Painting the Medium: In other episodes, the opening cast and crew credits start immediately after the intro. Here, they don't appear until the second act begins, to emphasize the stakes and tension of the first act.
- Pet the Dog:
- Todd persuades his uncle to let Walter live.
- Jack also does this by leaving Walt 11 million dollars.
- Walt does this to Skyler by making the others think she was forced by Walt under threat of harm.
- Poor Communication Kills: Skyler and Walt Jr. assume that Walt killed Hank.
- Precision F-Strike: Hank gives one to Jack:My name is ASAC Schrader, and you can go fuck yourself.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Walt deliberately invokes this over the phone with Skyler so everybody will believe that she was coerced into becoming his accomplice.
- Rule of Symbolism:
- The prologue ends with Walt, Jesse, and the RV fading away, referencing the final line of the titular poem.
- Jack's swastika tattoo is visible on his hand when he shakes Walt's, emphasizing Walt is making a Deal with the Devil.
- Towards the end of the episode, we see a closeup of a chess board. The white king (i.e. Walt) is almost cornered with one move remaining, and only two pawns and a knight are left, showing the fall of Walt's "kingdom".
- Serial Escalation: The shit is raining all over the fan in this episode, and doesn't give you a breath.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Having realized he's torn apart his family, Walt calls the extractor.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Saul, who usually serves as the Plucky Comic Relief that provides levity to the show's drama, is completely absent from this nonstop pulse-pounding episode.
- Shout-Out: "He made up his mind ten minutes ago" sounds a lot like "I did it thirty-five minutes ago" (especially considering the character who says that line is named Ozymandias).
- Suddenly Voiced: Holly, after being abducted by Walt, is asked by him if she can say, "Dada." She instead says "Mama" repeatedly. These are Holly's first on-screen words, and it crushes Walt.
- Taking the Heat: Walt's phone call to Skyler was performed in order for the family and the law enforcement to believe that Skyler was not a willing participant in his crimes.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: Invoked. Walter plays up his own villainy to fully protect Skyler from the police that he knows are listening. As broken as Skyler is, she knows that he's not telling the right story but goes with it anyway.
- Took a Level in Badass: Walt Jr. moments after not only learning his adored dad is a criminal but watching him struggle with Skyler and a knife; he jumps off his crutches and pulls Walt off Skyler moments after Walt had the upper hand and uses his limited movement to shield Skyler from his father. To add insult to injury, he calls the cops on Walt.
- Trauma Conga Line: Walt loses everything in this episode: his cover, his family, most of his money, and his freedom.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- Walt gets a truly vicious one when Skyler pulls a knife on him, and then Walt Jr. pulls him off her while they're fighting. His reaction goes from shock and outrage to horror as he sees their fearful expressions and realizes he's completely alienated the people closest to him.
- Walt then fakes one to absolve Skyler from Walt's business, so that the cops (as well as Junior and Marie) will think Walt coerced Skyler into the meth business.
- Villainous Rescue: Walt attempts to save Hank's life by giving up his life's work. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
- Weapon Stomp: Hank tries to crawl for Gomez's shotgun to continue the fight, but Uncle Jack casually walks over and stops him.
- Wham Episode: The whammiest episode of all. It's revealed that Hank and Gomez lost the gun battle with the Nazis. Afterwards, Uncle Jack's crew kill Hank and Gomez, take 6 of the 7 barrels of cash, go their separate ways with Walt, and take Jesse into custody so they can debrief him and have him teach Todd to cook Blue Sky. Walt personally informs him that apart from poisoning Brock, he was directly responsible for Jane's death, one of Jesse's biggest tragedies. Walt Jr. learns everything about his parents' involvement in the drug trade. Walt and Skyler get into a fight and Walt Jr. calls the cops on him. Walt ends up fleeing, taking Holly with him before leaving her at the fire department after an epiphany, and the episode ends with him getting into a car with Saul's identity-eraser.
- Wham Line:
- "I watched Jane die. I was there, and I watched her die. I watched her overdose and choke to death. I could have saved her.....but I didn't."
- "You're the smartest guy I ever met, and you're too stupid to see... He made up his mind 10 minutes ago." Then Hank turns to Jack, "Do what you gonna d-" Boom, Headshot!.
- One of the most hard-hitting lines in the show is delivered by baby Holly. What's even better is that the line wasn't even scripted; Holly's actress saw her mom off-screen, reacted accordingly, and Cranston just went with it."Mama, mama, mama."
- During Walt's phone call to Skyler, it's not originally clear what he's doing, right up until he starts impersonating Skyler saying "Oh no, Walt! Walt, you have to stop! You have to stop this — it's immoral, it's illegal! Someone might get hurt!" As much as Skyler hated supporting his empire, she never truly tried to stop him in this manner, and it's when it becomes obvious to Skyler and the audience that Walt's taking the hit so she comes out looking relatively clean.
- Wham Shot:
- The episode almost immediately starts with one: In the aftermath of the shootout, Hank glances over at Gomez, who's lying dead on the ground.
- When Skyler picks up the phone when Walt calls her, he begins cursing her out, blaming her for all of his failures and calling her a "stupid bitch" who couldn't just do her one job to keep him secret. On Walt's side of the call, we see him turn around only to see him bawling his eyes out, confirming that he's pulling one last con to try to save her.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Jack is none too pleased about Walt never letting him know that he has a brother-in-law who works in the DEA.
- This entire episode is a long and very vicious one to Walt, showing how all his rationalizations and justifications were nothing but hot air.
- Junior calls his mother out for siding with his father through everything."If you knew about this, and you didn't do anything, then you're just as bad as him!"
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Similar to Jesse calling Walt by his name showing him how much he has grown to despise him, Walt calls Jesse by his surname to show his utter contempt for his ex-student and partner.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Walt, having crossed the Despair Event Horizon, tries to do right by his family with this trope. Calling his home phone, which he knows will be tapped by the police, he attempts to absolve Skyler of her (entirely willing) role in his crimes by taking sole responsibility and painting himself as an abusive, domineering, half-insane monster that no one will side with. He's overacting the hell out of it and it's very visible when Skyler realizes what he's doing.