Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I'm Still Rooting For Walter White


In response to the question, "Do you still like Walter White...?", BREAKING BAD creator Vince Gilligan — on the eve of his show's final stretch of episodes — has been responding, "No."

This concerns me slightly, even though as a Walter White apologist I'm not even sure how I want the series to end.

Sure. I'll say it. It's personal. Walter White is a man who had great potential. Who could have had the world and ended up walking away from a company he co-founded that could have earned him billions. A man who had great ambitions, who's been humbled by fate. His Achilles heel is pride. Throughout the series, he defeats himself because of his deep-seated need to be regarded with a certain level of respect.

Of course, there are the issues of morality and points of no return. He begins his odyssey with a very simple goal: to earn enough fast money to clear his medical debts and set up his family to survive without him. And yes, he ends up doing horrible things along the way, by small increments. A Christian view of the world would suggest he can't get away with this without paying a greater penance. And I respect that Gilligan is the God of his own show and is in charge of dictating how that universe operates... but there's a part of me that has always felt that there IS a way for Walt to do all the terrible things he's done and still come back from it. I know it's a show governed by karma... but who says you have to pay for everything? As an audience member, I've seen this flawed character suffer a lifetime of indignities -- only to "break bad" fairly late in life for a relatively compressed span of time. There's a part of me that wishes his redemption could simply be him extricating himself from the meth business and living a long, full, mundane life for the rest of his days.

Vince Gilligan seems slightly surprised that audience members still root for this character after all he's done. There's a part of me that feels like he SHOULD know why we root for him. I'm still cautiously optimistic about them sticking the landing with this one.


Blogger M. Alice said...


8/13/2013 09:45:00 AM  

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