Last night’s “Ozymandias” opened with a stunning aside from season one, which transported us back to one of Walt and Jesse’s first cooks. In this sweet time, Walt was still relatively naïve, covering his tracks in a more believable manner because of lack of practice, and showing genuine love for his Skyler, Jr. and the as–of–then unborn Holly. Of course, this entire segment functioned as a surreal foreshadowing of the episode’s later events, as the camera panned slightly too long over the Whites’ knife block, and as the married couple discussed Holly. The gradual fade out of this scene was jarring and presumably intentional, a grim reminder to the audience that though Walt’s old practice of cooking in his skivvies may have seemed like a low point, those days were shockingly innocent.

Moving past this aside, Vince Gilligan thrust us into the immediate consequences of last week’s shootout. Predictably, Gomie was taken down first—he’s never really been that important, aside from acting as a foil to Hank. As a viewer, it’s easy to see that Hank would not make it out of the desert alive—so why couldn’t Walt see that? His bargaining with Jack is painful to watch, though a nice reminder that family sits atop greed in Walt’s mind. From here “Ozymandias” basically imploded in on itself, commencing with Hank’s death. The artificial silence following Hank’s death muted Walt’s scream, leaving only Walt’s Munchian visage for us to take in. If “Confessions” revealed the darkest depths of Walt’s soul, “Ozymandias” showed us that Walt might have finally realized what he’s become. Unfortunately, Walt does not realize his own villainy before condemning Jesse to death and effectively confessing to the murder of Jane. Leaving Walt with a measly ten million, Jack and Todd take Jesse back along with 70 million dollars. This finally clarifies that Walt is probably hunting Jack and the Neo–Nazis in the flashforwards. We’ll find out soon enough, anyways.

As Walt rolls his barrel of bucks back towards the ABQ, Skyler’s world also comes crashing down. Marie, ever cringe­–worthy, enters A1 and confronts Skyler directly, telling Skyler the news in an attempt to save her sister from Walt’s fate. In this way, Marie seems more similar to Walt than any other character, shockingly valuing family over all else—her approach is simply rooted in honesty and trust rather than deception. As such, “Ozymandias” finally features Jr. learning the truth about his dear old dad, and suffering an almost total nervous breakdown because of it. As Skyler and Jr. drive home, an overwhelming sense of dread washed over the scene—Walt was clearly back, and only a matter of minutes separated a relatively stable situation from descending into complete chaos. And that it did.

As we briefly return to Jesse, we see him kept in the dungeon of Jack’s complex, clearly having suffered both mental and physical injury as he scurries away from the cheerfully sinister Todd. Ever–cunning, Todd realizes Jesse’s use far beyond what Jack and the gang would have, and so he chains Jesse up in the lab, prepared to cook. The scene faintly mirrors Crazy Eight’s imprisonment in Jesse’s basement, though the situation quickly becomes more severe as Jesse notices Todd’s photograph of Andrea and Brock. Oh god all the feels.

Essays could be written about Walt’s confrontation with Jr. and Skyler at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico. I held my breath watching the knife fight, certain that someone would end up accidentally stabbed; however, at no point did I think Walt would actually murder Skyler. He may be a monster, but he values family above all else, and this shows in what is possibly "BrBa’s" most heartbreaking moment: Skyler and Jr. cowering from Walt as he screams at them about families and togetherness. Walt looks especially skeletal here as he espouses his own, corrupted notion of Ohana, the shot portraying a tragic moment as the White family is finally torn apart. As Walt takes Holly and flees the house in his rusty, dying pick–up, it’s hard not to feel for Skyler for once.

Finally, we should touch on Walt’s phone call with Skyler, a revolting, touching maelstrom of a conversation marking the end of times. As Walt unnecessarily berates Skyler over the phone, it’s clear he knows the police are present, but it’s not clear exactly how much sincerity lies in his words. I would like to think that only Walt’s anger at Skyler’s confession to Jr. was real, and the rest was an act—a way of giving the Whites plausible deniability in any ensuing investigations, and an admission that he has finally become Heisenberg, the villain rather than the anti–hero. With all that, he does drop Holly off at a fire station before he leaves the ABQ for his new life in New Hampshire, a noble deed from a man who is, at heart, still looking out for his family. It’s difficult to see the remaining love and purity in Walt’s heart, but some still does remain, heavily obscured by a cloud of uncertain capabilities.

Some other notes:

*During the chess game in one of the transitions, the White king is toppled, poor Walter.

*Though they’re separated, Walt and Jesse are both in dire predicaments. However, at the end of "Reservoir Dogs," Mr. Pink survives and Mr. White doesn’t. Let’s see how much Vince Gilligan really loves Tarantino.