Monday, September 9, 2013

Ozymandias


 
Walter White
AMC's Breaking Bad Sunday Night 9 p.m.

There are three episodes left of Breaking Bad, a show I reluctantly watched once, only to be intrigued beyond measure.  Mario and I became BB addicts, watching the cat and mouse of good and evil play out in the series….

The summary of the series seems gritty and inappropriate: a multi-faceted high school chemistry teacher is diagnosed with lung cancer and realizes that his wife, teenage son, and unborn child will be unprovided for.  His dilemma becomes apparent quickly: what does he do to make a nest egg in a small amount of time?
He solves this dilemma by cooking meth.

To make a long story (six seasons) short, Walter White (said Chemistry teacher) begins the series as a good, faithful underdog of a husband and father that you watch break the rules to provide for his family.  His morals break down, his ego is exposed and he awakens a person inside that is…well, a tyrant. 

Three more episodes.

In the last three episodes the story will end and we will be left, like children at camp, with a finished story that is both satisfying and creepy as we go off to bed.  I know this because that is how the whole series has been. 

Tonight in the wrap-up show, “Talking Bad” the series creator, Vince Gilligan (who also created the X-Files) gave us a tease of next week’s episode.  It is called “Ozymandias” (OZ-ee-MAN-dus), based on the Percy Shelley's poem, "Ozymandias" which speaks of the inevitable decline of all leaders, and of the empires they build, however mighty in their own time.

So we will see in the next few episodes, a kingdom falling…  Walt’s threats (“I’m the one who knocks”) will be exposed as useless.   All earthly kingdoms fall, don’t they?

As we wait for the next episode, I wanted to make the poem available for an easy read here.  It is is also the theme of one of my favorite books- (A Shattered Visage, by Ravi Zacharias).

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.’

                                                             ~Percy Shelley  1818