Though he’s made a career out of writing and directing original projects such as 2012’s Looper, he’s also got experience jumping into a beloved property with three episodes of Breaking Bad on his resume. Two of those episodes, “Fly” and “Ozymandias” are consistently talked about as among the series’ best.
Season 3, Episode 10
“Fly” is the smallest episode the series ever did, taking place entirely almost entirely in Gus Fring’s meth superlab. Walt (Bryan Cranston) becomes obsessed with finding a fly lurking inside the lab and enlists Jesse (Aaron Paul) for help. But the episode is really about Walt’s guilt over his crimes and the death of Jane (Krysten Ritter).
Johnson masterfully builds the tension using little more than two characters, a room and a ladder. If two Star Wars characters ever get stuck in a spaceship, Johnson has it covered. More importantly, the episode shows he can do a lot with very little. For Star Wars‘ epic nature, the small character moments are talked about just as much as the spectacle.
Season 5, Episode 14
Creator Vince Gilligan calls this the series’ biggest episode, and for good reason. Almost every storyline comes crashing together, and Walt really begins to suffer the consequences of his actions. Hank dies, his family turns on him and he becomes a fugitive. Oh, and Walt confesses his role in Jane’s death and and Jesse is tortured by neo-Nazis.
“Usually there is one scene or one act where we are like, ‘Oh, this is the biggie. We need to concentrate on this.’ In this episode, as Moira Walley-Beckett wrote it, literally every act would be the one big act in any other episode. I was just overwhelmed and kind of petrified when I read the script — in the best way.”
TV and film are different animals, “Ozymandias” is arguably the most important episode in the show’s history. It certainly shows Johnson has the skill set to move beloved characters forward in huge ways – and even be responsible or their onscreen deaths. Johnson also had the honor (and heavy task) of shooting the final scene shot for the series — the flashback cold open in “Ozymandias.”
“Ozymandias” is also among the show’s darkest, but manages to do so without much blood and guts. That’s good for Episode VIII. For all it’s action, Star Wars violence is relatively sterile.
We are years (and at least one Star Wars movie) away from seeing how Johnson’s take on Star Wars shakes out. But Bad alum Paul is among those particularly excited about Johnson’s new gig:
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) June 20, 2014