Emmys dilemma: Should Bryan Cranston submit ‘Ozymandias’ or ‘Breaking Bad’ finale?

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?

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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.

WGA noms spark outrage:
Where’s ‘Breaking Bad’ episode ‘Ozymandias’?

“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.

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“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.

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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.

8 thoughts on “Emmys dilemma: Should Bryan Cranston submit ‘Ozymandias’ or ‘Breaking Bad’ finale?

  1. Breaking Bad’s Ozymandias and The Good Wife’s Hitting The Fan are cut from the same cloth of game changer episodes, but even though it gives the supporting performers more (Gunn and Charles) the leads are reacting to their surroundings, not actually the subject of the episode. Cranston should submit Felina, it is the most Walt in any one episode of Breaking Bad, perhaps more so than the pilot. There’s a lot of range, a lot impact clearly in it being the end, and also, more so than Ozymadias, empathy. The rooting factor for him to kill the Nazi’s unlike the hating factor in Ozymandias of steeling baby Holly.

  2. I really don’t think this is even a question…Ozymandias is a slam dunk choice. Cranston has not one, not two, but THREE dynamite scenes. There’s the scene that Marcus mentioned. Then there’s the epic confrontation at the house with Skylar where Walt tries to rationalize all that has happened, which then leads to the knife fight with Skylar and Walt’s realization that he has lost his family. Then there is the scene on the phone with Skylar where Walt has to brutally sever himself from Skylar, and you can see that Walt is tortured by all the horrible things he has to say to Skylar. If we are talking about the strongest episode for Cranston, “Ozymandias” is clearly the best option.

  3. The standout scenes you guys have chosen are pretty lame. Ozymandis scenes could either be the scene where he is confronted by his family or when he makes the phone call to clear Skylar’s name. And Felina should be put down as the scene where he confesses to Skylar about actually enjoying cooking meth.

    Out of the two though, Ozymandias is the episode that impressed most all round.

  4. I asked Cranston about this outside of his play in NYC. He said he wasn’t sure what he was going to submit. I told him, without a doubt, to submit “Ozymandias”. It really showcases the range that Cranston has as Walt, especially when he goes from begging for Hank’s life to his coldest move when he tells Jesse that he watched Jane die. While Cranston is great in “Felina,” his performance has a lot more subtlety to it, or as much as you can get in “Breaking Bad.” It’s very collected, whereas with “Ozymandias,” you have a man struggling to maintain control of everything in his life as it all disintegrates around him.

  5. This is “terrifying”?

    The article and these comments are more terrifying.

    This was a TV show. a TEEVEE SHOW.

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