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Old October 12 2013, 07:39 PM   #928
stj
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Re: Breaking Bad Final Half Season

gblews wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
I never cared for Scarface, but if Al Pacino's character had as many wins at his end as Walter White did, people would have rolled in aisles of the theater, laughing hysterically. As near as I can determine, people who do like Scarface enjoyed the win, win, win fantasy, then enjoyed denying it by ritual comeuppance. Conquering hero becomes scapegoat.
Tony Mantana didn't start out as a "good guy" who initially got into the business to provide for his family after his death from terminal illness. No way to plausibly compare these two characters in the areas in which you suggest above.
The whole point is that in some approaches to drama, the issue is vicarious fulfilment of fantasies, even if the vicarious figure has to be ritually punished to allow escape from guilt for indulging the fantasy. (Of course, some are offended at their hero being so abused, but you can't please everybody.) Whether or not there was some lip service as to the moral acceptability of the vicarious figure is strictly a matter of personal taste. The essential narrative delight is the winning, which suits a moral view of the universe as a struggle without rules, bellum omnia contra omnes, whatever reactionary justification seems acceptable.

I think this is essentially Team Walt's misunderstanding of the series. They were not foolish because the series deliberately allowed both this approach, and the approach to the series as a tragedy about someone like us. But as I say, at the climax you can't really have it both ways. It's either Granite State or Felina. (I don't understand the occasional comments about Ozymandias should have been the finale. That seems to me like the kind of thing Chase pulled with The Sopranos, unless the argument that Chase was just being oblique in presenting Tony's death is correct.)
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