The Pilot episode takes place during Walt's 50th birthday. The final episode too, takes place on his 52nd birthday, as he remarks to the diner's waitress.
There was an alternate scene that was cut from the script which takes place during the scene where Walt is on the phone, pretending to be a reporter for the Times. In it, a former student of Walt's recognizes him and Walt pays him off and threatens him to make sure he doesn't rat him out. Before the student leaves, Walt asks him what he was like as a teacher and the student said that he was good and talks about an incident where he sprayed different chemicals at a flame and it made different colors.
The show's camera operator actually started crying while shooting the scene where Walt talks to Skyler for the last time, and he had to take his eye off the eyepiece of the camera.
Vince Gilligan did several takes on the scene where Walt's blood stained hand slides down the stainless steel tank and selected the one where the blood smear resembled a "W" for Walter White.
Carmen appears briefly during the school scene. The actress (Carmen Serano) reprises her role, one she hasn't been seen in since Episode 1 in Season 3 (nearly 4 years ago).
This episode was rated on average, a perfect 10, by more than 60,000 IMDB.com users.
This episode received universal acclaim and Vince Gilligan stated on the episode podcast that he considered it the series' best.
The scene where Walt is changing Holly in the public bathroom and she says her first word, "mama," was not intentional. The baby said this because saw her real mother walk by on the set and the crew decided to keep it as it gave the scene more drama.
In July 2013, AMC created a promo that featured a voiceover of Bryan Cranston reciting the poem that shares the title with this episode.
Writer Moira Walley-Beckett requested to work with Rian Johnson again because of their previous experience working together on the third season episode "Fly". Notably, "Fly" was one of the most controversial episodes because of it's seemingly "filler" nature. Before coming back to Breaking Bad, Rian Johnson wrote and directed "Looper" which has received good reviews.
The title, Ozymandias, comes from a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the "inevitable fall of kings and empires". It was published in 1818 and is notable for its virtuosic diction.
To'hajiilee is the name of a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.
The confession video interestingly calls back memories from the pilot episode where Walt thought he was going to get caught and filmed a video for his family, apologizing for what he had done.
Millard Drexler, the CEO of J.Crew Group, makes a cameo in this episode.
The confession video idea was pitched by Vince Gilligan. It all stemmed from the fact that Walt had used "blood money" to pay for Hank's medical expenses.
The production team had to rent the storage unit for over a year just to keep the same unit for use in the brief scene in this episode. The money pile had to be rebuild and according to Vince Gilligan and Michelle MacLaren, it was quite expensive to get that scene.
The decision not to film the shooting spree near the end of the episode was not to save money and/or time. Vince and Michelle note on the podcast that the scene is really about Lydia and it actually looked better on the script to not show the shooting spree. Interestingly, the bus was found at a junkyard and brought to the stage set. The production team created the inside of the bus and a large structure to film it from all angles. The outside shot was filmed at a location and was another concrete basin.
According to the podcast, both Thomas Schnauz and Vince Gilligan said that one of the hardest things to write this season was the confrontation and consequences of Skyler meeting with Hank to discuss Walt. The writing team went through hundreds of scenarios in the process of selecting the most dramatic course of action.
The crew had to create the playground that Jesse ventured off to in this episode because there was actually no park there. Also the location with a hill was actually surprisingly hard to find in the city because ABQ is really flat. Michelle MacLaren used brought in the technocrane again to get another interesting camera angle: filming Jesse straight down while he lay on the turning glider.