Unless you live under a rock, you are well aware the AMC television show Breaking Bad airs its series finale tonight. Like many, I am anxiously awaiting the finale to see how the saga of Walter White ends and, while I have my guesses as to how it all ends, I will not bore you with any predictions.
After all, for those who have followed the show for any length of time know, if you try to make any predictions, most of the time you are going to be wrong. Show creator Vince Gilligan and his writing staff are amazing that way.
With the tenor of my little space on the internet here, I’ve found myself wondering during this final season why I care so much about this show. In trying to overcome demons and find new ways of creating more happiness in my life, why would I be drawn to a show that is so dark and, well, depressing?
Quite simply, because Breaking Bad is a show which draws the viewer in so much that you examine yourself and your own morality.
When the show began, it may have been far-fetched, but one could at least understand the choices Walt makes in order to make money to leave for his family after receiving his cancer diagnosis. Without question, cooking meth isn’t a choice most people would make, but again, it’s understandable why Walt chooses this path and, in a sense, it was easy to “root” for him in his noble quest.
Somewhere along the way, it also became very easy not to root for Walt anymore. The choices he made throughout the show—murder, blackmail and about a million lies—made it impossible to sympathize with him any longer. Male ego and pride were the factors which drove Walt, not a desire to leave his family better off after his death, no matter how many times he claimed that to be his motivation.
It always has fascinated me to have conversations with others who watch the show to see if they are able to pinpoint the moment when they no longer cared for Walt. When was it you could no longer hope to see him succeed?
Just as fascinating to me is seeing there are still a great number of people who do, in fact, root for Walt. What does that fact say about them?
The conversations this show brings about are amazing.
Yet, as the show winds down tonight, personally I still find myself hoping the best for Jesse. Thinking back to all the reprehensible things Jesse has done himself on the show, it makes me question why I still hope Jesse finds a happy ending in tonight’s finale.
Is it as simple as realizing Jesse actually has a conscience and, although he’s chosen the wrong path numerous times and is, well, a murderer, his self-imposed suffering is far worse than the external events that have happened? It almost seems as if Jesse has redeemed himself because of his constant understanding of the lives ruined by Walt’s actions and his utmost belief that his own life should be taken as redemption or simply as retribution for the horrible acts he has committed.
I haven’t even discussed all the other characters, such as Skyler and Hank. Those are the two other characters who could spark conversations that last for hours upon hours.
As you can see from this blog post, I don’t offer answers or solutions to what Breaking Bad means. There are still a lot of questions I’m working through in my own mind and, for that reason, I absolutely adore this show. It means different things to different people, but the one thing nearly everyone can agree on is this was a brilliant show and I cannot wait to see how it all ends this evening.
After tonight, there is something else I look forward to with Breaking Bad. There is no doubt in my mind that I will purchase the entire series and revisit it from time to time, as I’m curious to see if my answers to the myriad of questions this show poses change throughout the years.
This show has renewed my interest in Bryan Cranston as an actor, as well as brought new actors such as Aaron Paul to my attention. While Paul’s newest show doesn’t look like something up my alley, I will follow his career from here on.
However, what Breaking Bad truly has done for me on that front is it has made me a fan of Vince Gilligan. This show was incredibly written and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.
I know it’s a Sunday and people are in football mode right now (or, for many who follow this blog, preparing for the WNBA playoff games), but what are your guesses for how Breaking Bad ends?