Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Defending Walter White


On the last episode of TALKING BAD, Dean Norris mocked the "Team Walt" people, wondering how many of them could *possibly* still be rooting for Walter White after the latest installment of BREAKING BAD.  Vince Gilligan himself seems to marvel at the phenomenon of people still rooting for this character who's sunk to such villainous depths.

This aggravates me. This is not a matter of rooting for Walter White. This is a tragedy. This is about having spent all this time considering this character and feeling for how he has fallen. We are not rooting for him to steal Holly away and start a new life with her; we are saddened and in shock at the level of desperation he's reached that he feels this is his only move. After all this time, how can you NOT feel something for this character? We have seen him lose his soul by increments over 5 seasons. How can you not understand his fatal flaws and where he's coming from?

It's short-sighted and reductive to scoff at all the people who still care about Walter White. The majority of them aren't anarchists just rooting for the bad guy to win. I think the majority want to see a decent man — who's fallen hard — find some 11th hour redemption. Or, barring that, go out on his own terms. The series represents a year in this man's life. A year in which he's broken bad. A man who's suffered a lifetime of indignities before we meet him. We watch him get systematically stripped of everything. At the very least, he should be allowed to go out on his own terms.


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