I have recently been trying to decide where Walter White registers as a villain. Not in terms of how memorable or fully fleshed-out (he’s near the top in both categories) but exactly how evil he ranks. If we’re to us Hitler at the top of the curve as someone who took advantage of an at-the-time run down country to fulfill his desire to wipe-out multiple groups of people, then Mr. White would be just below Anton Chigurh – Uncle Jack and crew being Nazis rinds us that Hank isn’t there – yet as he has done everything for his family.
That all changed at the beginning of “Ozymandis,” when Walt saw his brother in-law gunned down and lie in shock as the crew dug-up his earnings. Maybe he blames Jesse for Hank’s death but the look on Walt’s face as he uttered “Pinkman,” topped the “Empire Business,” in letting us know where he stands on the morality scale though it’s strange to think even Walter White could lose any more faith in humanity now that he’s entirely on his own. He can really only look out for number one – at least until he returns, presumably to rescue Jesse who should take anything he can get as he remembers to put the lotion on its skin.
Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) continued the streak of the series most notable directors getting behind the camera one last time by delivering another episode with excellent direction, especially when it comes to the White family knife fight. Hand-to-hand combat has been pretty scarce and Johnson continued to bring his skills from his film work here.
The other big development was Skylar revealing to Flynn – I’m sure he’ll want to drop “Walt Jr.” at this point – that she and Walt are behind the Albuquerque meth industry. Again, Skylar’s biggest fear is when work comes home whether she’s condoning murder after Jesse spread gasoline on the carpet or Saul coming to get the A1 treatment. If it wasn’t clear before it is when she explains the situation to Flynn. It breaks her. Walt taking Holly away nearly destroys her.
Walt still won’t cause any serious physical harm to his family especially when he could have stabbed Flynn and Skylar. He’s willing to make them think he’s capable after taking credit for Hank’s murder. It was also just last episode he referred to Jesse as family and he through him to Uncle Jack without any thought.
I still expect the final episode to take place entirely in the flash forward and the penultimate episode should take us there. I said last week that I was disappointed the journey to the end was all too clear. Now, thankfully, I have no idea how we will get there.