The episode opened with a scene from the beginning of the series, when Walt and Jesse had their first cook together.
Boy, have things changed! A conversation between Walt and Skyler on the telephone prove that everyone is in a darker place now and none will ever be the same. The episode title refers to the famous Percy Bysshe Shelley poem and even the trailer for the second half of the season features Bryan Cranston reciting it. Now we see why.
Todd’s uncle and his crazy gang of fellows have officially killed Gomez and wounded Hank by shooting him in the leg. For a few moments it looks as though Hank might make it out alive, despite having said his ‘I love you’ and essentially his goodbye on the phone with Marie when he declared he had Hank in custody. But even after Walt pleads with Todd’s uncle and tells him about his money buried in the dirt, offering him 80 million dollars to save Hank’s life because he is family, the dude is shot and killed.
This seems to shatter whatever else was left of Walter White in so many ways. His entire motis operandi was to earn money to protect his family and even Jesse was considered part of that for so long. Now that a family member is dead, Walt lays down on the ground and watches in apathy as the bad guys unearth and take away his millions. They do leave him with one barrel of money which equates to eleven million as long as he promises to let it be and not take out any revenge.
Walt sees Jesse hiding out underneath his Chrysler and asks them to finish the job and kill him. He even tells Jesse that he watched Jane die of a drug overdose and could have saved her. He tells him this just to rub it in, the final knife in the back. Jesse is in shock, but Todd says that Jesse could still be useful before they kill him. He wants to glean all the information he can out of Jesse as far as what he told the DEA. Later on, we find out that even after the interrogation Todd comes up with another job for Jesse. He is to cook meth and make it pure like Walt used to or the gang is going to go after Jesse’s old girlfriend Andrea and her little boy Brock.
Meanwhile Marie is unaware that Hank has actually died and is still under the impression that Walt is in custody. She shows up at the car wash and tells Skyler that it’s all over. Skyler seems relieved, but Marie then forces her to tell Flynn the truth about his father immediately. Flynn is absolutely flabbergasted, even thinking this is some sick joke. He tells his mother that she is liar and that by going along with his dad it makes her just as bad as he.
When they return home they see Walt running frantically around the property with suitcases and he tells them to pack anything important because they are leaving immediately. Skyler realizes that if Walt was formerly in custody and is now frantically leaving town that Hank must be dead and she accuses Walt of killing her brother-in-law. He tells her that he tried to save him. Flynn is in shock that his father is a criminal. When Skyler realizes that Hank is dead she wields a kitchen knife and tells Walt that the family refuses to leave with him. She even cuts Walt’s hand and the two get into a scuffle. Flynn tackles his father and protects his mother.
Walt grabs baby Holly and heads out the door before Skyler knows what to do. She frantically chases after him, but it’s too late. Walt has the baby and she is powerless. She calls the police and when Walt calls the house later on he sounds like a crazed abusive lunatic, even referring to her as a ‘stupid bitch’. Marie is paralyzed with grief when she hears it confirmed that Hank will never be seen or heard from again. Walt ends up leaving baby Holly at a local fire station and disappears, forming a new identity like Jesse was close to doing a couple episodes back. Now he is even more dangerous as he has absolutely nothing to lose, not even his family.
The respectful father and husband we all met in the first season, the guy that would do anything for his family is long gone. Now this shell of a man is left, ruined and without an empire. Hence, the reference to Shelley’s poem, ‘Ozymandias’.
“I met a traveller from an antique land
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”