Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mr. White Hates Brock

I've really fallen off on updating this thing regularly, haven't I? I've been busy/preoccupied. But it's also my computer that's gotten downright lethargic in its old age. A fucking Vista machine that's running on 6 years. Can't afford to upgrade until I make a big sale and Hollywood has been taking its own sweet time.

Point being, the computer's gotten bogged down and it can be cumbersome to update this thing sometimes.

Onto my latest thoughts on BREAKING BAD with possible mild *SPOILERS*...

There's some debate over how unsympathetic Walter White has grown over the course of the series. Vince Gilligan openly talks about his idea for the show, from the start, being the story of this mild-mannered man's evolution into Scarface. And that's certainly been the trajectory.

I think, however, it's gotten a lot more difficult to *root* for Mr. White by the start of Season 5. Six episodes into the season and he's become a different animal. Leading up to this season, we've had many scenes of a man trying to survive in a desperate situation. A man who's been given a death sentence by the Universe, who's trying to provide for a family that's falling apart. We continually see him backed into a corner by all sorts of circumstances. By the end of Season 4, he's defeated one of his greatest nemeses. Season 5 begins and suddenly Walter is playing the manipulative kingpin in every single scene.

And yet, I can't stop rooting for the guy. From a writer's perspective, it's clear that this story isn't going to end happily ever after. But on a human level, I see this as the story of a man who failed to achieve something when he was younger. A level of career success he fully expected to achieve. When we meet him at the beginning of the series, he's a man who has come to accept a reduced lot in life. Who has lowered his expectations. He could have owned part of a multi-billion dollar company and instead... he's a high school science teacher who has to supplement his income by working at a car wash.

Then he starts cooking meth. At first, just as a desperate measure to earn enough quick money to pay for his medical bills and provide for his family after his death. But as his journey progresses, he discovers that the expertise he brings to this underground business gives him a unique advantage. Suddenly, he's starting to get all the things that he lost with his former career: money, power, respect. And yes, it's gone to his head. And I think there's a way he could have played it wherein HE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALL. But I still have sympathy for the man. And I still hope we get to revisit some of his humanity before the inevitably bitter end he reaches.

Two more episodes before the show takes a year-long break. Really, really, really hoping there's some sense of season-end closure at the 8th episode, even though it's technically just the midpoint of the "final 16 episodes". A year's a long time to wait for a sense of closure.


Anonymous fedup said...

I think the last ep did a good job of showing shedding more light on White's plight. He feels he's lost everything and that the meth is all he has left. Although the meth really is the source of his problems, at least with Skylar. I mean he could take the $5m and stop and try to patch things up with Skylar, but I guess he's too far gone...

8/22/2012 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger M. Alice said...

$5 million is for suckers. The sun never sets on the Heisenberg Empire! All hail Emperor White!!!

8/22/2012 02:40:00 PM  

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