Breaking Bad: Guess I Got What I Deserved
So what Breaking Bad fan isn’t writing about the show this morning? Probably only the ones who wrote about it last night.
I’m not really sure what to say. I’m not a TV critic so I can’t dissect the show; I’m just a fan who was hooked to the journey of a high school chemistry teacher turned meth cook turned drug kingpin for five years.
The rise and fall of Walter White.
All I can say is that unlike other TV shows, there wasn’t a weak spot in Breaking Bad. Never a time when you could complain about the show slowing down or the plot going nowhere. No season you could point to and say it was weaker than the others. No “jump the shark” moment. Breaking Bad started strong, immediately picked up speed, never once faltered or slowed down and finished strong with, in my opinion, probably the best series finale I’ve ever seen. If I have to come up with one complaint about this perfect series finale it’s that it just wasn’t long enough. Seventy-five minutes was nice, but even with those extra fifteen minutes, it felt hurried and with the story it had to tell, the show easily could have been two hours. Those extra minutes could have been used to show us what was happening to Walt’s family back in Albuquerque during the time he was holed up in New Hampshire but that’s just a small nitpick.
The best part of the finale for me was Walt and wife Skylar’s last scene together where he admitted that he really didn’t do what he did for the sake of his family, but that he did it for himself. “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it, and I was alive.” That one line in that one scene defined not only the entire series, but the Walter White character. If Walt was telling the truth, and I’m not sure he was, then he really wasn’t a hero, he really wasn’t an anti-hero, and while he may have started out with noble intentions, in the end he was really nothing more a villain (and a pretty cold-blooded and despicable one at that) and despite that – and here’s the beauty and genius of the show – we still loved him, we still cared about him, we still felt for him and we wanted him to live. Or at least I did! That line also had a interesting ambiguity because it’s also possible - and probably likely – that Walt didn’t mean a word of it but was just trying to rescue Sklyer from the emotional trauma he’d put her through.
The finale did leave me with one question and that was the fate of Skyler. I wasn’t unhappy with her end but I didn’t understand it. While I never disliked Skyler the way a lot of other fans did, I never saw her as any sort of morally righteous character or protective mother. To me, she seemed to be motivated mostly by self-interest and was maybe, in the end, even worse than Walt because I think the argument can be made that Walt’s original desperate situation led him to a desperate solution and that despite what he said to Skyler in the kitchen during the finale, he at least started out with noble intentions. I’m not sure the same can be said for Skyler.
So that’s it. The end of Breaking Bad which leaves me breaking sad. Any thoughts on the finale? Feel free to leave them in the comments.