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Breaking Back into ‘Breaking Bad’

Will Neal | Wednesday, August 28, 2013

“My name is Walter Hartwell White. I live at 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87104. This is my confession.” This is how the story of the legendary Heisenberg ends. On January 20th, 2008, southern gentleman/mastermind Vince Gilligan introduced the world to “Breaking Bad” and the beginning of one chemistry teacher’s descent into fortune, darknes, and destruction.
As a severely over-qualified chemistry teacher working two jobs to support his growing family at the age of 50, the life of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) spirals out of control with one devastating piece of news. “Lung cancer. Inoperable…” Walter mindlessly repeats back to his doctor in the pilot episode, followed by muttering his low chances of survival. Between his medical bills and the threat of his impending demise, what can a man do to support his family?
The solution becomes clear to him after being exposed to the potentially substantial profits of cooking meth and an opportunity rises to form partnership with a former student turned delinquent, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul – aka greatest “Price is Right” contestant of all time). “You know the business,” Walter tells Jesse to reach an understanding, “and I know the chemistry.” After purchasing an RV to quietly cook meth in the New Mexico deserts, Jesse learns that Walt not only knows the chemistry, but also makes the highest purity methamphetamine the state of New Mexico has ever seen. After adopting the alias “Heisenberg,” and adding a “colorful” twist to his meth formula, Walt begins to learn of the darkness inside of him and what he is truly capable of.
“I like to think of chemistry as the study… of change,” Walt tells his class in the pilot episode, or rather “growth, decay, then transformation.” While these words were directed to explain the science of chemistry, they more importantly foreshadow the journey of Walter White: the first character on television to (mentally) change from one man into another. This is an average man who has thrown himself into from a mild-mannered lifestyle into one of the most dangerous and deceptive businesses on earth.
Now throw in marital troubles (that’s putting it lightly) with his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn), a growingly estranged son with a love for breakfast (RJ Mitte), a brother-in-law DEA agent on Heisenberg’s trail (Dean Norris), a sleazy yet loveable lawyer (Bob Odenkirk), kleptomaniac sister-in-law with an obsession of the color purple (Betsy Brandt), and a badass senior citizen who knows his way around a gun (Jonathan Banks). There’s also murder, arson, roof pizza, Pontiac Aztek’s, magnets (“yeah, magnets!”), exploding cars, exploding octogenarians, exploding tortoises, lots of coughing, train heists, countless revengeful Hispanic adversaries, and a lot of fun with science (“yeah, science!”).
Enough with the recap – let’s get into what’s really important: how’s it all going to end? We’re thre3 weeks in to the final season and so far, there’s no clear sight of the fate of any character on the show. Fans have dissected “Breaking Bad” from beginning to end and, thanks to”BuzzFee” and the rest of the internet, we’ve been introduced to some captivating theories – but it’s all speculation at this point. Every episode has taken an unexpected turn and continues to deliver excellent performances and storytelling. We were promised an extraordinary final season to this iconic AMC series, and so far, “Breaking Bad” has fully delivered that promise. Will the “one who knocks” finally have what’s coming to him? Will anyone have a happy ending to this story?
We’ll have to wait another fiv5 weeks to find out. Until then, just sit back and enjoy the ride. And if you haven’t started watching, shame on you and spend the next several weeks binge watching on your roommate’s Netflix account.
Contact Will Neal at
wneal[email protected]