I Just Now Saw: Breaking Bad

UPDATE: Comment thread is now officially open to anybody who wants to discuss the finale. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop scrolling after the 32nd comment.

Welcome to “I Just Now Saw,” a new column in which I attempt to conduct conversations about television shows you watched ten years ago and I just now saw, in their entirety, for the first time. Today I will be discussing what was sold to me as one of the best shows ever of all time, Breaking Bad, which has its finale on AMC Sunday. I try to be a smart human when I write about television, but I don’t think I connected with this show strongly enough to present any unique insights, so I come to you today as a fellow television viewer, not as a Professional Television Writer. I am merely a layman with eyeballs.

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I gave Breaking Bad a shot for the first time maybe two years ago. I watched the first three or four episodes on Netflix but didn’t get into it. It was painful to watch, almost. Walter White’s volatile insecurity and nerve-wrackingly clumsy forays into high-level betrayal were more disquieting and uncomfortable than entertaining. These people — everything about the way they interact and treat each other is heartbreaking. But I gave Breaking Bad another shot this summer because it felt like Required Reading. I dove back in a few episodes deep into Season One, and got into it pretty quickly with peak engagement circa Seasons Two and Three, watching the whole series on Netflix up until the final episodes premiered a few weeks back. With the finale around the corner, it felt like NOW IS THE TIME to talk about this show if I’m ever gonna talk about this show.

 

Top 8 Feelings About Breaking Bad

WARNING: THIS ENTIRE POST IS A SPOILER

 

1. So This Show Is Amazing and Stuff But…

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hey is that the ice cream truck?

Although I’m aware the internet is jam-packed with intricate, compelling and elevated discourse around the show, I can’t create any of that writing myself nor am I too interested in reading what others have to say (which is crazy ’cause I love reading about television). I’ve had a hard time coming up with the standard I Just Now Saw eight feelings about it!

Why is that? It’s a gripping and complicated and well-told story, so I’m anxious for the finale. I watched it obsessively. I like it. The acting is outstanding. It’s clearly superb television, in all the quantifiable ways and the objective ways, too. Every episode could be its own movie. It’s gorgeous, visually.

Lewis Jacobs/ Still Photographer, 2008

a very special episode of “road rules”

Is it because I don’t care about these people? I care about Jesse Pinkman, a lot, and caring for Jesse probably kept me engaged more often than any other reaction I had to the show. I care about Jesse because underneath the not-a-pussy posturing is a little boy desperate to be loved, and very few Breaking Bad characters on this show display that kind of vulnerability.

Still though, I’m hardened against all Breaking Bad‘s characters because I don’t trust the show to keep the good people alive — or good. That’s the idea though, right? Breaking bad. The only person who hasn’t broken bad is Walt Junior/Flynn, and I think we know somehow that he will be safe no matter what happens, because the show has promised us that, in its own way. They’ve done that by making Walt Junior our guy on the inside, the pure innocent we can trust to evade corruption even when everybody else has bought in — and to call out pussies and bullshit where he sees it.

walt-junior

everybody likes it. chicken for the people. i rest my case.

There was no romantic storyline, either, besides Jesse’s brief relationships (but Jane was an enabler and Andrea never really got fleshed out), which may contribute to my ambivalence. But I was also impressed by how this show managed to keep us on the edge of our seats without a romantic storyline and without sex, either, usually. Of course, the marriage was at the center of everything, for better and for worse, but that particular relationship story wasn’t about romance, really. It was about the heart but it wasn’t about romance.

walt-skyler

so you’re absolutely positive we can cancel home delivery and just keep our new york times digital subscription? you’re sure about this, sykler?

But maybe it’s more obvious than whether or not the show’s characters have resonated emotionally or a lack of romance: there’s just not much I relate to in this story, and I’m one of those viewers who needs that to truly love a show. It’s created its own fishbowl, independent of the wider world — politics, pop culture, all of it. So it doesn’t connect to the larger universe I also live in, it just connects to itself, and “itself” doesn’t have anything that reminds me of, well, me. The only feeling a Breaking Bad character felt that I related to was Walt’s frustration when he felt his authority or obvious devotion wasn’t being respected, or his frustration when he was forced to take orders from somebody else. But those frustrations are some of my most unflattering feelings ever and hardly ones I wanna relive in primetime. (Besides, ultimately, when I say Everything that I do, I do it to protect this family, I understand what the word “family” means, and believe in it. Walt doesn’t, not anymore.) On top of that, the show is so masterfully constructed that there’s little to critique for its own sake in a casual context. One either digs into this show and writes a thesis on it, or one perhaps has little to say.

gus

fuck you gus i don’t need a fancy orange raincoat, the rain needs a fancy orange coat to protect itself from me

Oh wait, there was one other feeling I totally related to:

ROLLING JOINTS IS HARD.

 

2. I Heard it On The Wire

Jesseshootsgale

here just take it it’s too heavy to carry around in my bag all day

When Jesse killed Gale, it was like when Bodie killed Wallace in The Wire, except not as sad because Breaking Bad never lets you love anybody as much as you loved Wallace. (Then you go see Fruitvale and let that actor break your heart all over again.) That was the moment when I had to take a step back and try not to care too much about anybody anymore. It was hard to stay emotionless while watching The Wire, though, because you got to see people be soft sometimes, too, and vulnerable, but there wasn’t as much softness in Breaking Bad. Just Jesse.

The other Wire parallel was, obviously, the criminal lawyers. On that tip, I’ll take Saul Goodman over Maury Levy any day, and I really hope that spin-off happens. Saul was the much-needed comic relief, and a surprisingly consistent and compassionate guy too.

 

3. It’s Raining Men

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I feel like this’ll be a theme for the next two shows I’m gonna talk about, too. Two major female characters in the whole show. Just two women! SO MANY MEN AND JUST TWO WOMEN. Mostly white men, too, at the forefront — aside from Hank’s partner, all the major men of color on the show are hardened criminals. Here’s the thing about diversity: it’s actually more interesting than a lack thereof. It’s basically the easiest way to make a situation interesting, is to make it more diverse. But that just isn’t this show, is it? For starters, it already is interesting so it probably doesn’t need my advice in that area. But moreso than that: the point of the show is men. Meth & Men. And the women who end up dead or alone or in trouble because of these men.

I don’t think of relating to a character being a definitively gendered experience, but in this case, I think gender is crucial in my failure to relate and The Majority’s overwhelming ability to relate: so much of the focus is Walter White proving to the world that he is a man. Online fandom seems wrapped up in celebrating the triumph of a middle-aged nerdy empathetic white guy transforming into a badass heartless borderline-sociopathic criminal, but I can’t imagine a worse fate for a man whose initial “flaws” are characteristics more commonly associated with femaleness than becoming a grizzled megalomanic.

Which brings me to…

 

4. I Fucking Hate Walter White

When he said Jesse, it had to be done, there was no other way, about killing the eight guys in jail, I wanted to scream at the television: “YEAH THERE WAS. TAKE YOUR OWN FALL FOR YOUR OWN FUCKING SELF, ASSHAT.”

But I always have a tough time with television characters who keep doing mean, stupid or unnecessarily difficult or wasteful things in the service of pride or ego, and that was Walter’s M.O. throughout. I stopped liking him when he insisted on paying for his own cancer treatment by making meth when his friend was offering to cover the whole thing  — a friend who, mind you, was only rich because of an idea Walter had. Still, I wanted to like him, wanted to root for him, and sometimes did. I thought his scientific solutions were badass and I loved his genius plots to get out of everything, ever. Like everybody, I got goosebumps over I’m not in danger, I am the danger. There were moments when Walt was trying to be good just enough for me to root for him. But also: Walt missed the birth of his child. Then Combo got killed and Walt said, “which one was he?” Then Walt watched Jane die. Then he poisoned Brock. And so on. And so on.

But apparently Heisenberg is like this cult hero that men on the internet love, which is pretty neat.

art print by Spencer Rizk via society 6

art print by Spencer Rizk via society 6

 

5. You Look Like Somebody That I Used To Know

You guys! Landry. Why they always gotta make that boy kill people.

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Jesse Plemons // Landy in Friday Night Lights // Todd in Breaking Bad

Oh hey Cat, Lt. Sam Murray wouldn’t be very impressed with your new line of work. Frankie, on the other hand…

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Laura Fraser // Cat in Lip Service // Lydia in Breaking Bad

Don’t trust the B— in apartment 325 either, eh? Also, this girl was in Veronica Mars. Suddenly she’s just all up in everything.  I never even saw Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23, but it was advertised so aggressively that I felt like I did.

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Krysten Ritter // Gia Goodman in Veronica Mar // Chloe in Don’t Trust The B // Jane in Breaking Bad

Hey Susan! How’s Ben doing these days, have you spoken to Ross lately, what’s the deal.

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Jessica Hecht as Susan in Friends // Gretchen in Breaking Bad

 

6. I Don’t Understand Why People Think Skyler Is a Hypocritical Harpy

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oh fuck this diaper needs to be changed asap

According to the internet, Skyler’s a pretty unpopular lady. Anna Gunn, the actress who plays Skyler, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about the hate she gets:

A typical online post complained that Skyler was a “shrieking, hypocritical harpy” and didn’t “deserve the great life she has.”

“I have never hated a TV-show character as much as I hate her,” one poster wrote. The consensus among the haters was clear: Skyler was a ball-and-chain, a drag, a shrew, an “annoying bitch wife.”

When Walt first revealed the riches he’d amassed, I remember wishing she’d just take the money and deal with it in exchange for his actual honesty, which maybe would’ve been easier to procure if she’d not asked for a divorce, among other things. But Walt started it by not taking the opportunity she gave him in early Season Two to come clean. Regardless, Walt is an asshole to her most of the time, and treats her like she’s stupid, which she isn’t, but also he kinda treats everybody like they’re stupid. I liked that Skyler didn’t bend over for Walt, that she insisted on having a say in how the money was laundered and how information was distributed, and I hated Walt for pushing back.

But also: who can judge her for anything she did, ever, throughout this entire show? (Well, besides saying they should kill Jesse, which I obviously hated.) One of the scariest things you learn as you get older is that sometimes situations present themselves to you that have no solution and no right answer. It’s not like the math you learned or the books you analyzed in high school, where if you think hard enough, the correct path will reveal itself to you. Sometimes life is just rocks and hard places, over and over and over again, until everything blows up in your face and you have to learn how to make your hard place as comfortable as possible, because you’re not getting off any time soon.

 

7. My Ten Favorite “Breaking Bad” Moments

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huh, yerba mate isn’t half bad

1. Jesse having the most awkward dinner ever with Walt and Skyler.

2. Walt’s speech at the high school assembly. He may be Heisenberg somewhere out there in the desert, but high school gymnasiums are a new kind of brutal: Walt’s got agenda-driven, well-meaning but ultimately not-that-tuned-in adults behind him, and in front of him are bleachers jam-packed with teenagers, a.k.a., world’s most judgmental human beings. Walt’s fundamental inability to connect with human beings emotionally is vivid, here, is bright and vivid and sad as hell.

3. Saul’s A-Team pays Ted Benecke a visit to make him sign the check to the IRS. COMEDY!

4x11_-_Kuby_Huell

look, i’m sorry, i just find ‘blurred lines’ to be a really catchy tune, but if you want me to keep it down man, i’ll keep it down okay

4. The full video of Gale doing karaoke.

5. Gus taking out the entire cartel with that poison. This reminded me of how every time Buffy would face off a bunch of vampires at once I’d freak out because there’s just one Buffy and SO MANY VAMPIRES, but she would always win, you know? Except that Buffy is amazing and Gus is a psychopath, but whatever. BREAKING BAD!

6. Gus Fring walks out of the room in the nursing home and adjusts his tie with half his face blown off. That’s some movie magic right there.

7. “I am the one who knocks” / “I am not in danger, I am the danger.” Duh.

and you are the one who says "who's there" and then i'm the one who says "orange" and you say "orange who?" and then i say "orange you glad i didn't say banana?"

and you are the one who says “who’s there” and then i’m the one who says “orange” and you say “orange who?” and then i say “orange you glad i didn’t say banana?”

8. Pretty much every Saul Goodman scene.

9. The Star Trek script.

10. Walt Hugs Jesse.

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8. My Fantasy Ending

I’m a sucker for a happy ending, but I know we’re not gonna get one here. I mean, does anybody else just want Walt to take Jesse in as his surrogate son for real and for everybody to become good people again and maybe Jesse and Walt Jr. and Skyler go on a shopping spree at the mall and then buy an island and live in a tree fort? Just me? Pancakes for everybody!


 

Alright people, your turn: how do you feel about Breaking Bad? What do you think is gonna happen in the finale? Isn’t it annoying that every show on television doesn’t have a lesbian in it?

Riese is the 37-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 2697 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. I scrolled really fast to get to the bottom to leave my comment without seeing any of the post, because I also just watched a marathon of Breaking Bad. But I’m not quite done yet (5.4 was my last one).
    I already have so many thoughts and feels about it though, I’ll have to come back when I’m done and read this.

  2. I don’t know what I’ll watch when Breaking Bad ends. I live in New Mexico, so it’s always so awesome to see a place I just visited on tv. But, I do agree that it would’ve been great to have better, more developed female characters. I’m also surprised at the lack of hispanics in leading roles, given it is New Mexico. Regardless, I’ve been watching every episode since its return faithfully and I’m sad to see it go.

    I must be the only fan who likes Walter and Todd, simply because they’re so damn evil. It’s not that I’m rooting for them, persay, but it’s kind of like how Bellatrix Lestrange and Azula are just so bad, but in the good way? Unlike Peter Pettigrew and Ozai?

    I feel like I’m explaining this wrong.

    • i think what i have trouble with as opposed to more cartoonish villans is that walt wasn’t evil to begin with and he doesn’t live in a terrace of horror where he overlooks the rest of the village and cackles surrounded by goblins, he lives in a real world surrounded by real people who aren’t evil, and so his actions impact them in a way that they can’t possibly be prepared for in the same way they are prepared for lex luther. but also i’ve never seen harry potter so i’m not sure what those villans are like.

      • That is a good point.

        But I never thought Walt started out good, exactly. I guess “evil” as a word is too strong. I think the opportunities presented to him unleashed that greedy, selfish side that’d always been lingering underneath, starting with his leaving Grey Matter. It’s funny, when people talk about complexity, I don’t think of Walt. I think he’s been very one note throughout the series, and he’s rather predictable, which is something I can kind of appreciate from a villainous main character. I’ve always, always been able to tell what he’ll do because he’s such a selfish, conceited asshole, even when he claims to stand for his family. And I’m there, cringing as he does evil shit, knowing he was going to do it anyway—that he’ll always be Heisenberg inside.

        Jesse is the dynamic character here. He’s the one I think who started out with a good heart, got led astray, and somehow, seeing Walt’s true self unfold, realized the world he’d desperately been trying to enter was not all that he’d thought it would be.

        I will never understand the people who defend Walt, though. He’s a murderer, a liar, and an asshole. Like Hannibal Lector and Dan Draper, we watch (at least I watch), because I’m fascinated with the mind of someone so twisted. Not because they’re secretly the hero who can never do any wrong. There are really people out there who defend Walt? Sad world, indeed. I don’t, however, like Skylar and I’m not exactly sure why, either. Probably lack of characterization. Same with Marie. They just don’t interest me. Poor female characterization and lack of racial diversity given the setting is really the biggest bummer for me. The Wire will be next on things to watch, since I really hated Weeds. If Mad Men weren’t so damn slow paced, I’d be all over that.

        • “I think the opportunities presented to him unleashed that greedy, selfish side that’d always been lingering underneath, starting with his leaving Grey Matter.”

          YES THIS! i agree that the reason he didn’t start out evil was mostly just a lack of opportunity. like you said, he wasn’t a great guy to begin with, and like i wrote in the post, he’s always been so motivated by pride and ego (even in how he handled revealing his cancer diagnosis and dealing with his family’s reaction to it in the early days) that i lost sympathy for him early on. at first though he just made me feel uncomfortable, now he makes me feel angry.

          i don’t understand how him and skyler ended up married — i know there was a ‘how we met’ story in there somewhere, i think, i can’t remember — but i wish i could see what their relationship looked like back when it actually functioned. maybe we did see that and i just don’t remember.

          and yeah jesse… his character has been so complex, hit so many extremes at opposite ends… he’s just been so fucking human.

          i’ve never liked marie, even from the get-go. she’s the kind of person who annoys me in real life, too. i’d love to see marie and skyler’s mom though, there’s a lot those two have in common w/r/t controlling situations that probably started with their own parents.

  3. I don’t particularly like Skyler, but she’s smart and she’s strong and she doesn’t put up with Walt’s bullshit like everybody else. I definitely don’t understand why everybody hates her. Actually I do, because sexism.

    But I’m so excited for Breaking Bad to end. I can’t NOT watch it, but I’ve spent the last three seasons just waiting for Walt to die. He ruins everyone’s lives and then has the audacity to pretend he’s doing it for them.

    TL;DR: Would be much improved by lesbians, Walt’s death is the only thing that will satisfy me.

  4. This article is so smart! And true. Yeah, I was bothered by the lack of female characters, too (not to mention the lack of queers). That’s another way The Wire trumps Breaking Bad: brilliant, three-dimensional queer characters. I wish BB had allowed the subtle homoerotic tension among its male leads to rise to the surface in at least a few instances. (note that I haven’t seen the whole show…)

    My top ten favorite moments would definitely include the scenes where Walt is teaching, looks out at his students, and realizes they’re completely disinterested. As a teacher, I found those moments relatable and heartbreaking. I thought they were a subversive commentary on the vulnerability of being an older person in a room full of younger people who are tech and pop culture savvy (and thus smarter than you), but don’t have a background in certain basic forms of knowledge (which you are supposed to teach them. But first you have to get their attention. Which is hard.).

    I’m conflicted about whether Walt should’ve been represented as more vulnerable (and thus somehow more likable). I really love this show, but I always feel this nagging doubt about whether someone who seems like a good person could actually go this bad this fast. I mean, when the show starts he has a sense of morality; now he doesn’t. Am I being naive to think that’s too extreme? Jessie is more interesting because he continues to be conflicted, continues to feel the tug toward morality.

    Okay, long comment, sorry!

    • ” That’s another way The Wire trumps Breaking Bad: brilliant, three-dimensional queer characters. “ YES! I think Gustavo Fring was gay, but they never really dug into that, in the same way they never really dug into anybody’s sexual or romantic lives — although arguably the death of his boyfriend was what made him switch over from evil to good. But Gus clearly had no limits to his sociopathy, I don’t doubt that he would’ve killed even Mike if he had to. Part of what fleshed out Omar was that he operated by a specific moral code, and that code had its limits.

      ” I thought they were a subversive commentary on the vulnerability of being an older person in a room full of younger people who are tech and pop culture savvy (and thus smarter than you), but don’t have a background in certain basic forms of knowledge (which you are supposed to teach them. But first you have to get their attention. Which is hard.).”
      Absolutely,

      Am I being naive to think that’s too extreme? Jessie is more interesting because he continues to be conflicted, continues to feel the tug toward morality.
      I think he didn’t realize how much he’d been craving power until he finally got some, and then wanted more. I think it’s kinda like going into war. You do one terrible thing and then a switch turns and the floodgates open? Or there’s also the what’s one more philosophy… but it’s not just the things he does, it’s how he talks to people and is an asshole. I kinda got the sense he was never exactly a “great guy,” he was just too emasculated by his life’s circumstances to let his real self come to the surface?

  5. Yup, I find it hard to relate to the middle aged male anti hero that seems to be at the front of many shows. I could empathize a lot more with Skylar.

    I mean I like Breaking Bad. But I haven’t finished it yet and I don’t feel any pressing need unlike some shows I’ll watch in a couple days.

  6. I just really want something good to happen to Jesse for once, he’s really been put through the ringer. Also, I would watch a show that was just Badger and Skinny Pete talking about Babylon Five and Star Trek.

    I don’t need to relate to characters to love a show, I didn’t relate to anyone in The Wire either but still loved that show.

  7. I keep hoping that Jesse makes it somehow. The way this show goes though, the only thing “makes it” could possibly mean is that Jesse might get to kill Walt but probably dies in the process. Ohhh, Jesse.

  8. Wallace! T_T

    The Wire had so many great queer characters. Kima, Omar, Rawls, Snoop, Kimmy, Tosha…one of the reasons I love it so much.

    On-topic, I’m only three episodes in to Breaking Bad, read this article spoilers and all, and regret nothing. From what I’ve seen and read about the show, I agree that a lot of the fervent love for it is due to fans’ love for a nerdy white guy who “reforms” himself into a take-no-prisoners badass, which is fun to watch and all, but it’s not like we’ve never seen a cishet white man do this before.

    (Wheee first comment!)

  9. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the did a prequel TV show about a young, gay, mastermind Gustavo Fring?

    Also, I want Breaking Bad to end with Jesse killing Walt and then taking all of his money and starting over somewhere with Brock (whom he adopts). I think that’s what I want.

        • i’m mostly anxious about the three hour period between 6 and 9 when the east coast will have already seen the show and i haven’t yet when i will have to avoid the internet and any kind of human communication to avoid spoilers

      • ” yes and then they can drive off into the gorgeous sunset together!! ”

        You weren’t far off!!

        I’m very pleased with the ending, are you?? And I hope that there was some money in the car that Jesse took, because I just want him to be okay, you know? He’s gonna drive to Alaska or something and open up a shop to sell handcrafted wooden boxes. And the cops will never come after him, because everyone thinks he’s dead. Yeah BITCH!

        Also I hope you didn’t get spoiled on the West Coast. If so, I apologize on behalf of the East Coast.

        • i am SUPER pleased. they managed to have a relatively happy ending and they did so without doing anything predictable. which i think is what’s good about this show always, yeah? it’s always surprising, there are very few tropes. he’s invested in making these human beings really specific human beings instead of tropes, you know?

          i think jesse is gonna go get the money and then adopt brock and make wooden boxes in the northwest

    • YES to both those suggestions. Gus is one of my favorite characters on the show and I started to like it a lot less after his death (although he did get one of the coolest deaths on television.)

      And fff I just want Jesse to kill Walt SO BADLY. I am not getting my hopes up but it just makes no sense that the writers would show Jesse losing everything he has ever loved along with most of his dignity just so he can be killed off in the finale without even getting to confront Walt.

  10. Talking to Walter White fans is the absolute worst. They will literally justify anything he has done by saying it was either “necessary” or Jesse’s fault. It’s like okay wait you’re not bothered by the fact that he has no compunction about poisoning a child and ruining the lives of everyone around him?? I don’t mind people who say “yeah he’s evil but I like to root for the bad guy,” it’s when they start to try to justify Walt’s actions that is really disturbing.

    (Also how shocking is it that pretty much all hardcore Walt fans are straight white dudes? Hint: 0%.)

    • i have read two things online about breaking bad: anna gunn’s article i linked in this post, and this recap by alyssa rosenberg. on both articles, but mostly the latter, i was STUNNED by the indignation commenters had over acknowledging that walt ever did anything wrong, ever. like they were so viscous and mean about it that it made me feel like… well, no wonder you like a viscous/mean character and want to defend him because clearly you are also viscous and mean!

    • I’m always amazed when I come across people who are Team Walter White. Maybe it’s because I marathoned the first three seasons but it was clear that he was never a good guy, even at the beginning you could see how much of an asshole he is.

  11. I’m just assuming that at approximately 10:16pm tonight I am going to be a hot damn mess of emotions over the end of this show.

    Everything you wrote here was so spot on though! I hate Walt and actually quite like Skyler, which always leads to a hot topic of debate among my friends. I never understood all the hate she gets.

    All I want in the world is a happy ending for Jesse…but I just don’t think that will happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if this episode includes his suicide….

    BUT I JUST CAN’T HANDLE THAT THOUGHT.

  12. Oh my god. I haven’t even read the article yet but this is EXACTLY what I wanted. My dependence on recaps is such that I need validation from autostraddle re any programme ever….In many ways worrying, but in many ways great.

    • Yes.

      So I just started watching it and I’m weird because I’m only through the first season and I watched the series finale at a bar because spoilers don’t bother me! It’s making the whole experience like watching Memento or Run Lola Run, where the “ending” is the beginning and all that good stuff.

      AAANNDDDD…

      I liked The Wire more (so far).

    • Yes!! This may have been the most perfect series finale I have ever watched. I almost had two panic attacks whilst watching the show, I shed a single tear, and everything was tied up so perfectly with a neat little bow with justtt enough ambiguity for me to make up happy stories in my head.

      And now I have to discover what it’s like to not hold my breath for an hour straight every week.

      • i totally agree, i thought it was great. also at the end — part of why walter went to the lab to die was because he wanted to get the credit for being the one still putting blue meth on the streets, right? what i also found interesting is that throughout the entire finale, whenever it seemed like walt was in danger or the aryans would win and jesse would never get out, i was completely calm that everything was going according to plan and he was in complete control of the situation, as opposed to the first and second seasons when he made me so nervous.

        i also liked how they had him tell skyler that he did it for himself, that’s when i realized damn, carrying around this idea that he “did it for the family” even though she knows otherwise is maddening. it’s always maddening to think that somebody insists they did you a favor when you know they were acting selfishly, no matter how logically you know they’re bullshitting, in the back of your head is a scared person entertaining the 1% chance that this person really was looking out for you that much, and the angry person livid that somebody could even believe that about themselves after what they’ve done.

        • I sort of thought as Walt going to the lab to die as going to be in his ‘happy place’ more or less. I guess idea of having credit for blue stuff on the street makes sense too though. I just hadn’t really considered it.

          And I loved that moment when Walt finally said he did it for himself. It seemed like a moment that just had to come in the series…and it’s so interesting that the cost of him feeling “alive” was the lives of SO MANY PEOPLE. What selfish, arrogant man. Although I like that in the end he still found a way to leave his family the money.

          I also loved that Jesse kills Todd…and that Walt ends up protecting and saving Jesse after all that.

    • I’m actually glad that Jesse refused to kill Walt. Walt clearly wanted someone to kill him. Instead he died, essentially, from shooting himself. He wanted Jesse to think he was letting him get his revenge but it was really just another selfish act.

  13. I loved Breaking Bad because every normal hard working non privileged male brought up before 1980 has or has lived a Walter White’s life. Does the author not see that? Not lived it? My life is a carbon copy of Walter White’s, just without the killing and drugs and unlawfulness. The deception, multiple cell phones, anxiety, depression, worry, fear, responsibility, poor health, loss, humiliation,……… for a 50-70 something year old man, these things are on our mind daily.

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