Bryan Cranston‘s character Walter White faced the ultimate dilemma on “Breaking Bad” after he was diagnosed with cancer in the show’s pilot: Start cooking meth to provide for his family or die a poor man and leave his family with his medical bills? We know what direction Walter chose.
But now Cranston faces one final agonizing choice come Emmy time. What episode should he submit to the judges in order to win a record-tying fourth trophy for Best Drama Actor?
The actor has two knock-out episodes from which to choose: “Ozymandias” and the series finale “Felina.” Let’s help him make the right choice.
Vote in our poll at the bottom of this post as to which of these has the best shot at earning him acting Emmy #4. Or if you think there’s another episode that’s even better, let us know in the comments section below.
“Ozymandias” (Episode 6)
Synopsis: A dramatic shoot-out in the desert ends with the deaths of Hank (Dean Norris) and Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada), then Walt goes off the rails, fighting with his wife (Anna Gunn) and son (RJ Mitte) and kidnapping his infant daughter.
Standout scene: Walt begs and pleads on his knees to the neo-Nazis to spare the life of his brother-in-law, even offering them eighty million dollars to keep him alive. Walt’s look of stunned horror when his pleas are ignored is absolutely gut-wrenching.
Analysis: This is the best episode in the history of “Breaking Bad” according to fans and creator Vince Gilligan. Cranston does an exceptional job running through the gamut of emotions here, from angry to passionate to broken to vindictive.
“Felina” (Episode 8)
Synopsis: In the series finale, Walt’s endgame is finally realized as he returns to New Mexico to say goodbye to his remaining family members and take out the neo-Nazis who destroyed his life.
Standout scene: The final minutes of the show when Walt saves Jesse (Aaron Paul), kills Uncle Jack’s crew (Michael Bowen, Jesse Plemons, Laura Fraser), then succumbs to his bullet wounds while marveling one last time at the true love of his life: a meth lab.
Analysis: Every scene in this extended-length finale showcases Cranston — I even dubbed it “The Walt Show” in my finale review — so it’d be an ace episode submission on his part. But much of the acting is subdued in this hour due to the nature of Walt’s waning emotional state.
Cranston currently has leading odds of 2/1 to win Best Drama Actor. He is followed by Matthew McConaughey (“True Detective“) at 9/2, then Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards“) with 5/1 odds, Jon Hamm (“Mad Men“) at 12/1, last year’s champ Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom“) with odds of 14/1 and three-time winner James Spader (“The Blacklist“) at 16/1.
Vote in the poll below as to which episode you think would be a winner for Cranston.and then cast your ballot for Best Drama Actor using our easy drag-and-drop menu.