On Breaking Bad
Recently checked out Breaking Bad, a show I’d meant to watch for quite some time. Hooked from the first episode, I blew through the first four seasons fairly quickly (Netflix watch instantly again, proves its worth) and season five’s first half via iTunes. Watching an entire series in such a small frame of time may have put things in a different perspective:
- Like how the business progresses from a small, shaky operation in the first season, to epic scale in seasons 4 and 5.
- Also love the character changes in Walter and Jesse. Walter picks up things from every criminal he encounters, while Jesse is worn down by the collateral damage.
- Theme of being a man and doing whatever it takes to provide for the family – something shared with The Godfather series.
- Walter’s complicated nature; find myself rooting for his small successes like evading the cartel, but hope he’s ultimately pays for his crimes.
- Satisfying dot-connecting; really like the visual symbols like the burned stuffed animal in the pool -> Gus Fring, the eyeball as perhaps a watchful “Eye of God,” and the black hat Walter dons whenever he turns bad-ass.
- Colorful ancillary characters: Tuco’s psycho snorting, the silent Hector trapped in a bell-outfitted wheel chair, Sol the smarmy strip-mall lawyer, and the cold, calculating chicken-frying Gus Fring.
- Pushes the plausibility meter at times, particularly when complicated murders intended as chess moves in a larger game come off without a hitch.
- Love Hank, but it’s taken him so long to put the pieces together.
And since the show as of this writing isn’t over, some thoughts on where it goes from here:
- Due to all the circular writing, feel like the show will try to get us back to the start in one big way: Walter’s cancer. There are already some clues that it has returned (quitting the business, giving money to Jesse, wanting to see his family again). Chemotherapy, coughing, and possibly fleeing overseas to pay for treatment in cash.
- With Walter trying to learn from each criminal encountered, he’ll likely try to do the same as Mike and hand his cash down to his family via safety deposit boxes.
- Hank will try to get Walter but faces serious constraints without department help, plus his medical bills are tainted with drug money.
- Skyler may try to take matters into her own hands. She may try to enlist Jesse’s help in killing Walter.
- Big gun-waving confrontations between first Hank and Walter, and then Jesse and Walter. Walter’s got lots of secrets to divulge to both characters, making Hank feel like the dumbest DEA agent ever, and telling Jesse the truth about Jane and the “lily of the valley” poisoning.
- Walter dies, having achieved his goal of providing money for his family but destroys it in the process.