The Ozymandia poem behind last night’s Breaking Bad

I mean, wow! Last night’s Breaking Bad was an emotional nightmare. All the consequences of Walt’s actions came crashing down as his family was finally torn asunder by the destruction of his thirst for power. Walt began his journey in the underworld hoping to find salvation for his family, and got so sucked into the game that he ended up being a toxic entity that would rip everything apart.

The title of the episode is “Ozymandias” which is 19th century poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the crumblings of empires, and Walt is definitely in the empire business.

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

All that remains of Ozymandias is his name, everything else has turned to desert dust.


Bryan Cranston did a ominous reading of Oxymandia for a teaser trailer for the second half of Breaking Bad‘s final season:

This seems like an indication that none of Walt’s empire will exist at the end of it all. Everything’s already started to get gnarly, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the least of it.

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