Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Breaking Bad - Satisfied with the End?

Young Walter writing on a blackboard
Just add water

Should I mention there will be spoilers? I'm basically one giant spoiler. So, I found myself running low on episodes in my, at the time, favourite TV show Breaking Bad. It was all down to the last season, and my mind was flourishing with possibilities. There was a matter of telling Hank, laundering the money, 
dealing with the wife, Saul, Pinkman… And just as in the season before I felt that Walter was a supporting character (basically an old fellow who grunts complains and is powerless most of the time), here I felt he hasn’t restored his first seasons-respect and charisma. I understood that he became more vicious and unforgiving over the years, but somehow it just felt weak and unfulfilled.
Like I said at the beginning, I expected a lot. I imagined Hank chasing after Walt, Walt going into hiding, something that could have been done in a couple or more episodes, just in order to give it a proper ending. But no, they just carried on, as if the show would last for ages, and then in the final episode (or two) resolve all of it. By this “resovle” I am refering to a link to those opening scenes where Walt visits his old house, now ruined, that are shown in the beginning of the season as a kind of a teaser. And basically I liked it, I liked it very much, as it responded well to my overall idea of how it should end. However, one gets the impression that what we have here is a couple of scenes they just forget about in a manner “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there”.
That being said, wasn’t there an easier way for total annihilation near the end. A man who is a master chemist goes on and builds a self-rotating machine gun? What happened to that explosive imitation of crystal meth? That would have worked out fine, just like some sort of poison, or gas. Of course, I am forgetting, this is still American television (no matter it isn’t your usual one) and epic fights and shootouts are apparently a must!
Hank died in a soldier-blaze of glory way, which was mildly disappointing, though realistic. What bothered me, however, is how all the main characters remain alive just enough for some meaningful lines and acting (I’m refering to Hank’s scene, as well as the self-rotating machine gun one).
Finally, I was very disappointed with how Walt’s past was depicted (or not). We are left guessing about his past love interest, her husband, Grey Matter company, younger Walt, scientist Walt, ambitious Walt, rising-star Walt. I believe that part is crucial when it comes to understanding why Walt is how he is now. We need to see how he fell, why he fell and how he came to accept the simple, uneventful life that followed. I think that in that lies another, separate TV show, one maybe even emotionally stronger.

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