Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Breaking Bad Death Power Rankings: "Ozymandias"

Well, there you have it. We have been impatiently looking over the edge for the past month, seeking the thrills that rush through our body as danger lingers inches away. But the wind finally pushed us over the edge this week, and Vince Gilligan sent us plummeting with the devastating 60 minutes that was "Ozymandias." As expected, we saw the end of Agent Gomez and Hank, and as I feared, it was absolutely brutal to witness. But the episode didn't stop there. The show pushed us further down as nearly everything in Walter White's world collapsed and we were left with nothing but the crater-like hole left from the fall.

That's what is amazing about this show. The pace is unbelievably fast. There were so many horrible, yet twistedly fantastic scenes last night: Walt laying, mouth agape, in the desert as he stares at the first real consequences of his actions: the stiff body of his brother in law. The absolute terror of the knife fight scene. The phone call. The fallout from the shootout could have lasted several episodes, but Breaking Bad shoved it all down our throat scene-after-scene. And I actually felt sick afterward. Twenty-four hours later, I can still feel the nausea lingering.


1) Agent Gomez - Poor Gomey, we don't even get to see you meet your demise. We blinked an eye, and you and your majestic goatee were gone forever.

2) Hank - I hope there is an endless tap of Schraderbr√§u in heaven, and Shania Twain is giving you that tuggy you've always wanted.

Still Kicking:

3) Walter - Chance of death - 90% (no change)
Well, technically "Walt" is dead. Whoever left town in that red van was not the family man Walt had convinced himself that he was, and as the flash forward showed us, he's clearly not "Walt" when he turns 52 years old in a few months. He physically survived with nothing more than a hand-slash, but every other part of him is dead. He claims he still has business to take care of, but to what end? He has nothing but an $11 million barrell left to salvage.

4) Jesse - Chance of death - 80% (+5%, no change in rank)
After losing his game of hide-and-seek, Jessie became the meth equivalent of the "captured scientist forced to build a death machine against his will "movie trope.The good news is that he's in the care of Todd, the Nazi with half-a-heart of gold (the other half is...well...Nazi heart). The bad news is that we all know what happens after the scientist has fulfilled his duties. We've obviously not seen the last of Jesse, and I'm confident Walter's return has something to do with him, but Jesse's outlook looks increasingly dim

Out of Harm's Way?

5) Todd - Chance of death - 30% (-35%, no change in rank)
It was a flawless victory for Todd and his boys in the shootout. His nonchalant enslavement of Jesse was absolutely terrifying, yet strangely endearing.

Here's what I wish would happen. Walt comes back into town, having re-evaluated his life, and decides he can salvage a minor victory in the midst of all this failure by saving Jesse. He comes in, guns-ablazing, and frees Jesse from his dog house/meth lab. However, I have little hope in this outcome. While Jesse certainly deserves a happy ending, Walt does not deserve to be the hero.

6) Lydia - Chance of death - 20% (-10%+1)
It's unclear how Lydia will fit in to the rest of the story, but I highly doubt we've seen the last of her. Her unstable personality and erratic behavior still make her a threat to be killed -- especially when her co-workers are a bunch of rich, murderous Nazis.

7) Skyler - Chance of death - 10% (-10%+1)
Days don't get much worse than the one Skyler just had. First, she has to tearfully confess to her son that his father is a meth druglord and will likely be in prison for the rest of his life. Her son responds by calling her as bad as Walt, which is just about the worst thing you can say about anyone in the Breaking Bad universe. However, she finally stood against Walt when learning of Hank's death, and in the end, Walt finally cedes to her. He lets his family go, which is the best thing he's done for his family during the show's entire run.

8) Marie - Chance of death - 7% (-33%, -2)
I think I've finally given up on my theory that Marie will get herself into trouble. What's more likely is she'll fall into a depressive funk and trade in all of her purple clothes for black. Still, that conversation with her therapist about poison lingers ominously.

9) Saul - Chance of death 5% (no change in percentage, +1)
We may not ever see Saul again until his prequel spin-off (WHICH IS NOW CONFIRMED!!!). All of his ends are pretty much tied up, and we didn't even get to see Walt come to him for the Hoover MaxExtract Pressure Pro Model 60 special.

10) Walt Jr. FLYNN - Chance of death - 3% (-12%, -1)
One of the most devastating aspects of Sunday's episodes was watching Walt Jr.'s fantasy world crumble. Here he was, just trying to make every day an A-One Day, and all of a sudden his father is a criminal, his mother is an accomplice and his idolized uncle is dead. No amount of McGriddles will make him ever have an A-One Day again. But when Walt Jr. stepped in front of his mother and dialed the police, we saw him transform into FLYNN - MAN OF THE HOUSE. Goodbye: Walt Jr. Hello: Flynn, the man who loves...dinner?

11) Holly - Chance of death - -200% (-200%, no change in rank)

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