AMC has just put out a new trailer for the upcoming season 5B of Breaking Bad, and it's likely to give you chills.
No new scenes, no hints at what's to come - just Walter White calmly reciting Percy Bysshe Shelley's 1818 sonnet "Ozymandias" over sprawling shots of the Albuquerque desert. Oh yeah, and the hat - Walter White's "shattered visage."
It doesn't take a scholar to read the implications in this trailer. Shelley's "Ozymandias" tells the story of a monument, built by a proud and boastful king, which stands withered away by time. It's a powerful poem that holds a simple message: no matter how powerful the king, everything comes to an end. It's a poem about inevitable decline.
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Text for those interested in pulling out some kingly interpretations from the poem and how they relate to Walter White:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. 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