Championed as “the best show on television”, Breaking Bad closed out its 5th season with one hell of cliffhanger. Kinda. While Season 5 is technically not over yet, you’ll have to wait until next year to find out how, not only how Season 5 concludes, but Breaking Bad as a whole.
For those of you who have yet to watch Breaking Bad, this is good news for you. It means that you have more than enough time to catch up on the previous seasons. On the other hand, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already taken your first hit of that blue crystal, and you’re fiending for your next fix. You’ve likely searched for another show to tide you over until Breaking Bad returns only to find that sadly, there’s nothing else like it. Sure, other shows have intriguing characters, drama, anti-heroes, and so on, but nothing does it like Breaking Bad. I’ve never watched any other show, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, which has caused me the kind of anxiety that Breaking Bad routinely manifests. Its ability to create a suffocating amount of tension is like nothing else.
Just another day at the office
From the first episode of Season 5, I could tell that things were going to be different. Where the previous seasons have pit Walter (Walt) White and Jesse Pinkman against various antagonists, from Mike Ehrmantraut to Tuco Salamanca and of course “Gus” Fring. The antagonist for this season is arguably Walter White himself. Walt has completely fallen in love with his alter ego Heisenberg. He’s become woefully self assured, more arrogant (if ever that was possible), and completely blinded by his own ambition. There was a significant rift between Walter White and Heisenberg, however he’s now become so bold that he’s perfectly comfortable with inviting Jesse to join him for dinner, along with his wife. Something that before would have been completely unheard of. While ”Gus” was extremely dangerous, a formidable blend of brilliance and viciousness, Walt has effectively become his own worse enemy, to the point of self-destruction.
In seasons prior, Walt had shown his propensity to do whatever he deemed necessary to accomplish his ends, which was to protect his family while making money hand over fist. While his actions have always had consequences, only now have they lead to his complete isolation. Although Walt seized control of his “business”, he lost those closest to him in the process. His children, wife and even Jesse have become added to the list of casualties stemming from his “business”, figuratively speaking of course.
So, is it safe to say that I won’t be getting any tonight?
In this season, more so then others, it felt like the intention was to make Walt completely unsympathetic. Morality never seemed like something that Walt struggled with but he openly admits to Jesse that he’s come to terms with the evils he’s done. It wouldn’t be difficult to argue that Walt had already crossed the line of being unsympathetic well before Season 5. Between watching haplessly as Jesse’s girlfriend choked to death on her own vomit and poisoning a child in order to turn Jesse against “Gus”, Walt has been malicious and unremorseful in building his meth empire.
Mo Money, Mo Problems
As the half season comes to an end, we see Walt (somewhat) humanized. He’s confronted with the choice of walking away from his empire and given the opportunity to mend his ailing relationships. In the final minutes we’re hit with the bomb shell that we all knew would inevitably drop but never knew just when or how.
- The “Say My Name” Prometheus