Observations: “Vince Gilligan has famously said that Breaking Bad is the story of how Mr. Chips becomes Scarface. And it’s true, and that’s the exciting, attention-getting way of putting it. But it is equally, and heartbreakingly, the story of the journey from ‘Will do. Love you’ to ‘You stupid bitch! How dare you.’” – from James Poniewozik’s review of Ozymandias
“‘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”.
Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (5.14): As a movie critic, I see well over 100 films a year, but it says something about the Rian Johnson directed episode of Breaking Bad that it was better than any movie I’ve seen this year. Or last. The episode took its name from the haunting, despairing poem from Percy Shelley, and the episode — which saw the death of one major character, and saw Walter White ruthlessly turn Todd against his own former partner, Jesse Pinkman — may well survive as long as Shelley’s sonnet. The words of Ozymandias — “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair” — could have also been the thoughts of every other television showrunner looking upon Vince Gilligan’s finest episode in a series full of fine episodes. “Ozymandias” wasn’t just the best episode of television in 2013, it may well be the best episode of television we will ever see. — Dustin Rowles
The episode title refers to the poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, which recounts the crumbling legacy of a once-proud king. Over the course of the episode, most of the main characters fall to their knees out of grief, in comparison to the poem. At the end of the fifth episode of Talking Bad, Vince Gilligan emphasized the line: “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” in reference to Walt and his fallen empire.
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.