Breaking Bad’s Ozymandias Traumatizes Us, Gilligan Explains

Fans of Breaking Bad have taken Ozymandias to heart in a serious way, tweeting, Facebooking, and generally talking to death the show’s end as it draws ever nearer.

If you don’t watch Breaking Bad, or have Ozymandias DVRed while your spouse or girlfriend is away, go read something else. Do Soduku, or knit, or check your car’s oil. Spoilers ahead!

On Breaking Bad this week, the episode titled Ozymandias brought the series to a violent boiling point — all Walter White has worked to protect in his gradually descent into [whatever he became] lay on the line, and the chain of events set into motion during that fateful first meth cook could only come to pass as Walt watched helpless.

Seriously. Spoilers for Ozymandias right here, go away now if you haven’t watched!

So, Hank dies. Walt doesn’t kill Hank, but as Breaking Bad has taught us time and again, for all intents and purposes, Walt killed Hank. Just like Walt killed the people on that plane, Drew Sharp, Gomie, and countless other people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Walter became a peddler of death, finally confronted with his life’s work.

Vince Gilligan, the monster that made us watch Hank die so bravely (“my name is ASAC Schrader!”) spoke of the decision “coolly,” Vanity Fair notes, explaining why it was necessary to put us through all that when Walt could have just left Hank a barrel and escaped to the Cayman Islands instead:

“This is one of those moments that we talked about a lot, the writers and I… It’s something that we debated for many, many hours. Emotionally, it felt like the right direction to take. Because, at the end of the day, Walter White has to reap what he has [sown]… Hank being killed is a direct result of Walt’s choices that he has made. I think [Walt] realizes this in this moment. He is beyond inconsolable.”

After watching Ozymandias, so were we, Vince. So were we.