*Spolier Alert: No seriously, this piece is riddled with Breaking Bad Spoilers and (though censored), lots of naughty words*
Today begins the end of what will go down in history as one of the greatest television shows ever created in the history of this here planet Earth. I can’t speak for all the other planets, but if they do, indeed have life forms, they would agree.
Breaking Bad is coming back for the final 8 episodes before it closes its final chapter and leaves us grieving for a show that set the bar so damn high, I really don’t see how any other show is going to be able to take its place. This show has pushed all kinds of boundaries. I’m excited, because I can’t wait to see what happens next and sad because, well, in 8 weeks, it will all be over. How it’s going to end is anyone’s guess. There are a ton of theories floating around. But, I think, or rather hope, Vince is going to keep up guessing up until the final moment. It’s kind of like when people try to predict the end of the world and how it’s going to happen. And, they are always really wrong, because you can’t get ahead of God’s plans. Not that I’m saying Vince Gilligan is God, but in the world of the meth cooking in the ABQ, he may as well be.
Now, I have to go on record as saying, I was late to the Breaking Bad game. When I first heard about it, I thought the premise sounded depressing. A chemistry teacher finds out he’s got terminal lung cancer and so he takes to cooking meth in order to gain enough money so that he doesn’t leave his family penniless when he kicks it. Oh yay! What a fun story! Even Vince Gilligan has said he can’t believe he was able to sell it to a network, because it does sound like the last thing you would want to spend your free time watching. So, I gave it a miss. Until about a year ago. And while I’m not one to go along with something just because of the hype, people were going on about this show enough, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Plus, I’d just gotten a subscription to Netflix, and every time I logged on, it was there in my recommended list. That picture of Walter White, sitting there in the yellow hazmat suit, staring me down. I finally relented. About three episodes in, I’d seen the error of my ways. This show was amazing. The writing, the scenery and the acting. Oh my Lord. Bryan Cranston, who I was really only familiar with as Malcolm’s dad, was born to play this role. He redefines Badass and will go down in history as playing one of the most unexpected villains in history. And it is all an act. Bryan in real life is apparently a pure delight. No one has a bad thing to say about him. In interviews he comes across as charming and likable and not at all capable of committing murder or taking on a drug cartel. But when you see him as Walter White, none of that seems possible. Like, at all.
Recently, a friend of mine has started watching Breaking Bad, and she asked another friend, who is a fellow fanatic, “Am I supposed to like Walter White, because I don’t.” I thought this was as interesting question, because, I don’t think you are supposed to like him. I saw an interview with Dean Norris, who plays Hank, and he said he is always astounded by the people who say, “I don’t know who to root for”, and he’s like, “Really?” You are, however, supposed to understand him. In the position he was in, he saw no other way. He’s a chemist. And when he saw that drug bust on TV, and that pile of money the DEA confiscated, the wheels began turning in his brain. He possessed a means, through his smarts and training, to produce something capable of getting him a “fat stack” to borrow a term from Skinny Pete. Then he ran into Jesse Pinkman, a former student, during a ride-a-long raid, and things started to come together. Jesse was his in. Walter was the cook, Jesse was going to lead him to people who would actually buy it. Suffice to say, this was unfamiliar territory for a high school chemistry teach with a teenage son and a baby on in the way, and a very loving wife. In many ways, he bit off more than he could chew. This was only supposed to be a one-time thing. But, he kept stepping further and further into a dangerous world, and in order to survive, he becomes ruthless. It’s all about this person’s survival, not just with cancer, but with life. He was extremely depressed even before he gets the cancer diagnosed, that’s just what pushed him over the edge and put him in a fight or flight mode. He was jealous of his friend Elliot and his wife Gretchen, who were multi-millionaires, for developing something, and Walter had always felt like he should have been a part of it. At Elliot’s birthday party, Walter makes a comment about the fact, Elliot has built an empire. During season 5, Walter mentions, he is in the business of building an empire. Somewhere along the lines, we completely lost Walter. He’s Heisenberg now. Walter White is gone.
And, tomorrow, the ninth episode of season 5 begins. This story is about to come to a most likely violent end. But who is the next victim in his quest to build his empire? Will it be Heisenberg himself? I for one, can’t wait to find out.
In celebration, let’s take a look at the top five worst things Walter has done in his Heisenberg transformation:
5. Jesse Pinkman
This poor guy. He gets pretty much destroyed all because he happened to get seen by Walter jumping out of a window during a drug bust. Walter then threatens to turn him in if he doesn’t help him. That’s the first dick move. Then, he basically treats him like s**t, but somehow Jesse has this sense of loyalty, that to his credit, up until this point. Walter has too. He has saved Jesse’s life a couple of times, but at the same time, beat the s**t out of him psychologically like a kid whacking away at a piñata. Which brings me to my next worst thing…
4. Letting Jane die
I think this is a real turning point for Walter. Up until this point, he’s only killed once and that was out of defense. This was the first time he killed out of revenge. She blackmailed him to get Jesse’s money, Walter was withholding. She promised to share her knowledge of his meth cooking adventures with the school, his family, and Walter wasn’t fond of this, so when he was at Jesse’s and they were sleeping and he accidentally knocked her out of the recovery position and when he sees her in distress, his immediate instinct is to rush to her aid, but something stops him. If she dies, no more blackmail. So he watches her die. And he cries. Because he knows what he’s doing is awful. But, in his mind, the bigger picture, this solves a lot of problems. Unbeknownst to him at the time, her father was the kind man he’s shared a beer and a little conversation with earlier that night, was her father, and he worked in air traffic control. His intense grief over losing his daughter causes a slip and two planes collide, killing over two hundred people.
This poor guy. He was as harmless as they come, and I suspect he and Gus were more than friends, as Gus testified to the police when Gale is found shot in the head, he was fond of him. I only say this because he seems unlikely to have come into the meth cooking world on his own. He was a silly little geek who listened to opera and made videos of him singing and read Walt Whitman. But, Gus has him working under Walter to learn his recipe. When Walter discovered this, and put together the fact that once Gale was ready, Walter would no longer be needed. Gale had to go. Walter convinces Jesse to shoot him in the face. Another beating for poor Jesse.
The DEA brother in law who is always hot on Walter’s trail. Because of Walter and all the s**t he’s stirring, Hank is shot and nearly killed. He basically has to learn to walk again, and he isn’t nice about it at all, taking it out on his purple loving, klepto wife, Marie. Where we left off, Hank makes the connection Walter is somehow involved in all this. If I were him, I’d be p***ed.
Boy, has she taken a lot of s**t. Fans call her cold-hearted, but really, she’s just trying to protect her family. I gotta give the woman credit. I don’t think I would have handled any of this as well as she has. She, like Jesse has taken a lot of Walt as he builds his empire. The, “I’m the one who knocks” speech was a real dick move. She’s just showing concern, and he basically terrifies the hell out of her by telling her not to worry about someone coming to shoot him, because he was the one doing the shooting. Then later he tries to smooth it over, and she has none of it. She is desperately trying to keep hold of a quickly unraveling situation. And she is doing it with an infant. I mean, we need to cut her some slack.
So, here we go. The last 8 episodes. Vince promises I won’t be disappointed.