Why Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt Still Hasn't Watched The Series' Best Episode

betsy brandt on phone with hank breaking bad

For many TV fanatics out there, Breaking Bad is to televised drama what Blue Sky is to Albuquerque's fictionalized drug culture. It's viewed as the best of the best, with Vince Gilligan and his creative team delivering 62 episodes of pure excellence. Star Betsy Brandt likely wouldn't argue that fact at all, but it might surprise some fans to know that Brandt still hasn't ever watched Season 5's "Ozymandias," widely considered to be Breaking Bad's best episode. Surely there's a good reason, right?

Indeed there is, and those who remember how the first chunk of "Ozymandias" plays out might have an inkling why Betsy Brandt would have been wary about ever sitting back to give it a watch. Namely, it's the episode where Dean Norris' Hank Shrader gets killed off by Michael Bowen's monstrous Jack Welker, and as Brandt put it in an interview with Collider, she's not very excited about the notion of watching her TV hubby get shot in the head. In her words:

When I first got that script, and Moira Walley-Beckett wrote it, and the cast was reading it and then we were emailing each other, and I really put it off. I put off reading it where he is killed. Like a child I said, ‘If I don’t read it, could it maybe not happen?’ And so much of that was me as the actor, but also as a fan of the show. That world shifts if Hank’s not in it. Not just for Marie, for everyone, for the entire story and just that world. That world is better if he’s there. And such a testament to the writers and to Dean that I felt such a loss. And then also, Marie just loved him, still does. So that was so hard for me to do. I still haven’t watched that whole episode. I just can’t do it.

While it sounds like Betsy Brandt has watched certain scenes within the Rian Johnson-directed "Ozymandias," it's very likely she just bypassed everything that took place in the desert. It would have been one thing had she been in a position to watch the episode without knowing what was going to happen. But because she'd obviously received the episode's script from writer Moira Walley-Beckett, she'd already exactly how read Hank's fate skewed tragic, and it appears this was a case where "telling" was far more ideal than "showing."

Sure, Hank and Marie had their issues across Breaking Bad's five seasons – "Jesus Christ, Marie, they're minerals!" – but those relatively small-scale marital arguments obviously weren't enough to make Hank's death mean less to either Marie or Betsy Brandt. After all, it appears nothing too argumentative ever went down between Brandt and Dean Norris in real life, so Brandt would presumably only feel discomfort and sadness from having to witness a good friend's fictional demise.

Weirdly, she didn't say anything about not watching the finale, "Felina," in which Bryan Cranston's Walter White dies. Marie probably would have been 100% okay with watching that go down, despite the fact that Walt didn't intend for Hank to get killed. It was still his fault in the long run. Betsy Brandt also shared the Breaking Bad scene that she believes is one of the greatest thing she's done in her career, and it understandably did not involve any of Marie's family dying.

Having starred in the network sitcom Life in Pieces opposite Colin Hanks for four seasons, Betsy Brandt followed that up in 2020 with a couple of appearances on CBS' The Unicorn and ABC's A Million Little Things. And only a few days ago, as of this writing, Brandt was added to the cast of Hulu's Love, Victor in a recurring role for the upcoming second season, where she'll play the mentally unsound mother of neighbor Felix (Anthony Turpel). We probably won't see her making any other cameos in Better Call Saul when that show returns for its final season, but one can hope.

For fans who just can't get enough, all five seasons of Breaking Bad are available to stream on Netflix. While waiting to see Betsy Brandt back on TV for a new show, head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule for a look at some of the other shows hitting the small screen soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.