Breaking Bad Final Half Season

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Chuck Finley, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can totally understand people rooting for Walt and that's what makes the writing (and acting) of the show so brilliant.

    We have a man, a coward, who never had the guts to take his chances in life even though he was brilliant in his field and it wouldn't have taken much for him to succeed.

    He is caught in a dead end job and then get's a different kind of chance to prove himself and he slowly begins to transform when he realizes his gambles and risk taking pays off and he gets the respect he believes is owed to him. From then on everything spirals down.

    Now the vile things he does are always presented with a twist for the viewer so he can decide if he's right or not. Tuco is a bad guy, one of the worst and his near paralyzed uncle didn't seem better at all (he wasn't as we find out later) so killing him is justified, right?

    Walt running over the two drug dealers who killed the kid dealer before is justified, right?

    Jane.. ah, here it get's tricky for the first time in the show. Well, she turned out not be a very nice person and she dragged down Jessie with her. She threatened Walt to expose him (and she may have taken all his money in the end) so Walt let her die. However in this case.. was she really a bad person? She was a junkie, an even worse one than Jessie but does that make her a bad person? She could have been helped as her dad tried to help her but this time Heisenberg took control for the first time and there was little justification, if any at all, for Walt to not save her.
    Yet the only thing he really cared about was him and the negative impact she had on his life by threatening to expose him and by taking down his partner which would have made Walt's life more difficult.

    There have been other instances later in the show that had similar ambiguous scenes but i believe Jane was the first time anyone should ask himself if Walt is just a good guy who went too far or if he had lost it.

    The writing was so good on the show that even in the penultimate episode where he slowly withers away in that cabin and is in desperate need of some human company we are trying not to feel sorry for him and many do but i can't fault them. Even after all he's done, all the lives he ruined for his own ego we can't deny that we feel sorry for him at that moment.

    As to Hank.. i believe he's the mirror to Walt in a way. Hank was a capable cop but he was out of his league when he got the chance to "play" with the big boys in the big league. Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small one in the ocean (forgive my bad metaphors :lol:). However the one mistake he made was that he didn't bite the bullet and come clean and ask for support from the DEA office but at this point it also became personal because Walt had been doing his business for so long under his nose and he never suspected anything and that just destroyed his ego.

    He might have wanted to save his job in the process but it was revenge too.. in that regard Ahab Hank is not a too far out moniker but i'd not call him a villain by a long shot (they way he went down was anything but villainous).
     
  2. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes.

    Can you imagine Breaking Bad without Jesse? I can. It's the awful show Team Walt was watching. Jesse Pinkman is the most powerful argument I've ever seen for leaving a serial open-ended.
     
  3. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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  4. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I see it as Jane who was dragged down by Jesse. She was more chemically addicted than Jesse was but she was sober for a long time and under control until she met Jesse.

    Her father was controlling her life because of her history, and she had two routes to her freedom. The first was to commit to sobriety and work hard out of her hole, the second was to shack up with somebody who could produce enough money to take her away from her father. She had chosen the first until Jesse came along and gave her the opportunity to fall back into her old patterns.

    It's also hard to see the ending as Walt's victory. Sure, the ending was the best possible outcome starting at the beginning of that episode. But we can't forget that two episodes prior he lost everything. His family, his money, the life of a person he cared deeply about. The last episode was just the most of the damage he could undo.
     
  5. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because that's how the show works.. every action carried a reaction and consequences. It would have tanked the entire show when suddenly in the finale everything was fixed, the cancer wouldn't kill him for some miraculous reason and he would get to keep the money to start over somewhere else.

    He just had the fortune to be able to keep it together for one last time to tie up loose ends and go out with a "small" victory (as Vince Gilligan put it).
     
  6. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    He wanted his drug money to go to his family, and it (probably) will. That was the single most important thing to him, and he achieved it, at least so far as he could. He also saved Jesse from the Nazis, and he only had the opportunity to do that because they didn't kill him as he'd originally wanted. He got to go out on about as high a note as was possible at that point.
     
  7. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I like that the finale vindicated my opposition to team "Walt is evil!". In the final episode he did his best with a bad hand, and died a hero.
     
  8. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He did best with a bad hand?!?!

    HE'S THE ONE THAT RIGGED THE DECK!

    :lol:

    Everything was his fault, did he do decent in the final episode? Sure, but he destroyed his family, got part of his family killed, murdered countless others and poisoned children, let others die.

    He was evil, and finally admitted it in the end.
     
  9. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    He admitted he cooked for himself and not his family; he didn't admit he was "evil." :confused:
     
  10. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Walt is a deeply flawed human being that has done terrible things, but there's obvious decency tucked in there. I think reducing Breaking Bad to a show about goodies vs baddies is simplistic. The reason I liked the second half of Season 5 so much was that Walt and Hank were both super flawed people with their nice and dark sides. It was what made the show so tragic.
     
  11. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Walt managed to say goodbye to Holly; managed to provide for Junior; saved Skyler from Lydia and the Nazis; finally reconnected to Skyler by suddenly growing the balls to finally be honest; finally overcame his obsession with money by killing Jack Hitler; even reconciled with his son, albeit the surrogate, Jesse! About the only thing he didn't triumph at was beating cancer.

    Maybe in his head Gilligan thinks Granite State showed Walt finally beaten, and Felina only shows Walt winning small. But, thematically, Walt wins big in Felina. I think that the only thing that kept the episode from grinding it in the viewers' face that they were Team Walt all along was that, when Walt suddenly became the hero willing to accept martyrdom, that we had Jesse the anti-villain rejecting cold-blooded murder, of anyone, not even Walter White.

    At the beginning of the series, Walter White, afraid of dying and contemptuous of everything he has in his life, breaks bad. Everything after was about trying to live in memory as Heisenberg and using his money to control his family after his death, ways of denying his mortality. His rediscovery of courage and acceptance in the last few episodes is not really very believable. It's gratification for Walt identification.
     
  12. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How was Hank "super flawed" and (with a ) dark (side). especially when you use those same terms to describe Walt?
     
  13. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hank was more sympathetic than Walt, but he was definitely largely driven by his ego and desire for vengeance, rather than concern for the law in his closing few episodes. I enjoyed this type of storytelling, with ambiguous and conflicted characters. Even Todd got to show a nice side at times.

    I often wonder what show some fans have been watching. Especially when I read stuff about Walt declaring he was evil in the finale. Eh? This wasn't Star Wars.

    My favourite Breaking Bad character was Mike, and you couldn't pigeon-hole him as a good or evil character.
     
  14. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    If Hank truly was the Good Guy (TM), he'd have gone to the DEA with his information, his own career be damned. He decided to hold out for one reason, which not so coincidentally is the same reason Walt does what he does: pride. He wanted to be the one to bring him in and by trying to go Captain Ahab/Dr. Loomis and use Jesse to go after his money, he backed Walt into such a corner that he got the Nazis involved. If Hank had been more concerned with putting away a murderer rather than personally beating Walt, he and Steve Gomez would still be alive.
     
  15. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hank can be 'kind of a jerk' as we've seen him be throughout the show and he's not always the most attentive husband, but those are normal person flaws. Walt's flaws are 'Evil murderer sociopath' flaws. Big difference there. :lol:

    I saw his decision not to tell the DEA as motivated by embarrassment and pride rather than vengeance. The only reason it was important to him to bring Walt in himself was because he had previously made Walt his confidant in his entire investigation and he didn't want to make that walk of shame.

    It's true, Walt is not as evil as the Nazis. But he's equally evil as, say, Fring. And come to think of it, Jesse (Would have if not for Jack) beat Walt the same way Walt beat Fring. He found his emotional vulnerability that overrode his rational cleverness.
     
  16. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, in the finale I saw, Walt was finally selflessly honest to Skyler, showed he had conquered his greed when he immediately killed Jack, and proceeded to die to save his friend.

    Hardly bloody Emperor Palpatine.
     
  17. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Hank screwed up the way he handled he case, but let's not pretend that he and Walt were equivalent. One was killing people and ruining people's lives, the other was not.

    Not a big gesture of conquering greed since he would not be able to get the money to his family and wouldn't be able to spend it himself. And his "friend" only needed to be saved because Walt was trying to have him killed.
     
  18. Ryan8bit

    Ryan8bit Commodore Commodore

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    All of these things are just spun in positive way when there is equally a negative side.

    - Walt had already said goodbye to Holly when he left her in the fire truck, but even still saying goodbye just acknowledged that he was going to die.
    - While providing for Junior, Junior still hates Walt's guts and doesn't know the truth about him and that he didn't kill Hank.
    - Skyler may have been saved from the Nazis and maybe even with the whole location of Hank's body, but it's still likely that she would be facing some legal troubles.
    - Walt's reconnection with Skyler didn't mean much because it too little too late... everything in their body language conveyed that.
    - Walt was obviously still obsessed over the money or he wouldn't have been going through the whole plan with Gretchen and Elliott. The only reason he didn't go after the rest of the money was to implicate himself and not his family. He was further building that legend of Heisenberg, which isn't exactly the honorable removal of obsession (although it doesn't exactly defeat the delusion theory either).
    - His last meeting with Jesse I don't think qualifies as a reconciliation.


    I think the whole idea that the finale is a delusion of Walt's is silly. It ignores all of the negative that is there and focuses purely on the positive. But there is plenty of negative.

    And seriously, for every time that Walt got lucky in the show, if we questioned it every time as being a delusion, then that just defeats the whole purpose of the show.
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Hank usually did the right thing, if not always for the right reasons. Walt pretty much always did the wrong thing, and rarely for the right reasons. There is very, very little moral equivalence between them. Walt killed innocent people. Hank never did.
     
  20. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    I said it was because of pride. If it wasn't for this flaw, Steve Gomez would be alive and Marie would have someone coming home to her every night.

    Hank outright says he doesn't care if Jesse lives or dies or is harmed by Walt as a part of Hank's manipulations simply because he's a junkie. How are Steve Gomez's death and Jesse's year of hell not lives ruined as a direct result of Hank's vendetta?

    No one is saying or has said Hank and Walt are moral equivalents in terms of what they've done; of course Hank didn't do anything coming close to poisoning an eight year old. What is equivalent between them is the source of their flaws, their choice to take dangerous risks in order to get the credit rather than be impotently humiliated.