Every sunday night my Twitter timeline and Facebook home page used to be filled with statuses and tweets about Breaking Bad. People would often post about their amazement at an episode’s ending, their emotional distress, and anticipation of future events. Truth be told, I didn’t care much initially. Considering how little Television I’ve watched for years, it wasn’t a big shock that I wasn’t aware of the big fuss. About a month ago, a few days after series’ finale, the temptation to check the show out finally beat me, and with Netflix being ever present, I was set. Fast forward a month, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made.
I don’t want to go into details of the show, but rather Breaking Bad itself. It was an absolute roller coaster. Its unpredictability and well-thought out pace throughout was pure joy. It had you on the edge of your seat in some scenes, only to provide a much needed comic relief a few minutes after. I loved and hated most characters on the Series. For me, if you love and hate something/someone, it means you actually love them. I think the more you love someone, the more you dislike them when they anger you. Throughout the movie, I found myself rooting for different characters at different times. It was near impossible to maintain some consistency. Even the bad guys mostly had something extremely likeable about them. Take Gus for example. A ruthless drug kingpin, who at the same time is the most professional and polite character in the entire series. It’s utterly brilliant, how can one not love Gus Fring ?!
Breaking bad had everything. Each character was required to provide a new dimension to the puzzle to make it all work and I think Vince Gilligan got the balance spot on. Whenever the show was getting too dark and dramatic, there was always Skinny Pete and Badger to bring the tempo down. If not them, Saul Goodman would step up. The show had pure crime and blood provided by ruthlessness of Salamanca family and Neo-Nazis. Intelligent crime management and authority by Gus and later Walt. Pragmatism and hypocrisy by Skyler and emotional drama mostly suffered by Jesse (You may consider checking a doctor out to ensure if you’re a human being, if you weren’t cheering for Jesse in the very last episode). Every once in a while, we got reminded of Jesse’s emotional turbulence and deep love for children as first demonstrated in season 2 episode “Peekaboo”. The character development was what made Breaking Bad great. You compare Jesse and Walt we knew in the pilot, to the ones we saw in “Felina” and the transition has been nothing short of spectacular.
I personally love it when an ending leaves the audience to answer some questions for themselves. I think Breaking Bad does that. Yes, we know Walt dies, but no one can certainly answer the million dollar question which is: “Is Walter White the winner/loser in the end?” There are plenty of arguments for both parties, but I believe Walt wins. His self-actualization is what makes him the winner. He realized his dream of being respected and admired. Something the Walter White we knew in the pilot was severely missing. Walt wanted legacy and recognition for his brilliant mind and expertise. He gets those. He ensures his legendary blue meth dies with him, while he financially secures his family using Gretchen and Elliot (threatened by two and the best hit men in West Mississippi- Badger and Skinny Pete- perhaps one of my favourite scenes of season 5) . Walt takes revenge from everyone who took advantage of him at some point, be it the society, Neo-Nazis, and himself. He dies at a meth lab, where he feels most alive. In his mind, he has no unfinished business left and that’s why I believe it’s a happy ending for Heisenberg. A bit controversial after all the terrible things his loved ones have gone or will go through, isn’t it?!
Breaking Bad will go down as one of the best TV series ever produced and rightly so. If you’re feeling special and hipster by not watching it, then I suggest you change your mind. I certainly don’t regret it myself. There is plenty of stuff to look forward to. You’ll shout, laugh, and cry on this memorable journey. In case you found yourself wanting more or needing help, don’t hesitate and ……CALL SAUL !