THAT COLOSSAL WRECK (Remember My Name – Part 2)
The essence of Percy Bysshe Shelley‘s poem, Ozymandias, is brilliantly depicted in the episode as we witness Walt’s downfall from the meticulous and ruthless kingpin we saw in Season 5A, to the pitiful wreck of a sculpture that now has lost his legacy and family. First off watch this amazing pre-premiere trailer in which Bryan Cranston reads the poem.
- “The reaction has begun” – We see better times when Walt could easily work his way out with half-baked lies in the flashback (or perhaps his first truly rehearsed lie), which I’d rather see as a brief memory that he has in the heat of the shootout, since it fades away and gives place to the grim aftermath. Walt can’t get out of Bogdan’s ‘system‘, basically, or rather the metaphorical universe of humiliation and regret, the same world that has eaten away at him since the Gray Matter buyout, and what ultimately motivated him to break bad and restore control over his life. Through his actions Walt has created a chaotic web of lies and deceptions that needs to be constantly fed with more tragedies, most devastating of which perhaps, happen in this episode. This overwhelming system finally beats him in the end and he has to go on a new life, with a new identity. The opening phone call brilliantly foreshadows the closing conversation both visually and thematically as we see the scenery changing from daylight to pitch-black (Hats off to Heisenberg Chronicles), Walt’s caring look turning to utter helplessness masqueraded by his conscious rendition of the Heisenberg persona (which we’ll get to later), Skyler’s confidence giving place to utter dread, Holly being put in danger and happy ‘family time’ becoming banishment for Walt, essentially; the almost four of them now.
- We’ve seen many indications of Walt’s metaphysical world folding in on itself, literally, when he has to ironically and tragically go through the same events over and over again, most notably in the case of his employers. Interestingly, the White residence sequence resembles “ABQ” where Skyler packs her and Holly’s stuff and decides to leave Walt after for the first time truly opening her eyes to the depth of his lies. Only this time, it’s Walt who’s desperately trying to salvage the remainder of his dignity through his family by packing up and taking them on a new life. Notice the way Skyler bangs on the car window as Walt takes Holly away visually resembles Walt’s helplessness in stopping Skyler from leaving in 2.13. This fantasy of smooth sailing with him in charge slowly disintegrates as Skyler and Junior finally realize that Walt’s always been the real danger threatening their lives.
Next: “Crying Clown…”