Agent Richard07 wrote:
Mike is tough, but he's just a thug, not Walt's spiritual adversary. That goes role to Jesse or maybe Hank.
Yes, but in the end it's all about being badass. Mike is badass.
In principle the writers could be writing, say, antihero vs. antivillain. But those Magic Moments (such as when Gus simultaneously poisoned an entire group of people or when Walt somehow poisoned a child he didn't know or have access to) given to the protagonists indicate the enormous emphasis on badassery. If that's what the show is ultimately about, Walt should get the win. Enjoying our badass heroes' antics, then feeling nicer because we get to moralize when he gets the axe at the very end, is a tacky cliche.
The real kick in the ass for Walt would be to see someone else redeemed, proving that he didn't have to ruin himself morally. But I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen either.
Whether Walt comes out on top in the end will depend on whether Vince Gilligan considers his story universe a moral one. If it's a moral universe, then bad people get what's coming to them. If not, bad guys get away with what they do, and if they are ever punished, it's mere coincidence.
I admit that one of the more interesting threads in this show has been the contrast between Walt and Jesse. Jesse has developed a conscience, while Walt's been systematically destroying his own.