In 2013, this show was all the rave. I remember a ton of my friends in college were talking about how they couldn’t wait for the ending and how the show was so awesome. I usually never watch TV so I didn’t really know what Breaking Bad was about and I had never watched an episode, but I remember telling myself that as soon as the series ends, I would start watching it.
It finally ended, and I remember having to stay off Twitter the entire week after the show ended because every single tweet in my timeline was related to Breaking Bad. It’s not that often that a show captures the entire audience of America, but that’s what seemed to happen with Breaking Bad. So, after the hoopla calmed down, I began to watch Breaking Bad. The show was incredible, and I was hooked after a few episodes. Check out the trailer for season one below.
The show stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White. (Yes, the dad from Malcom in the Middle)
Mr. White, is a chemistry teacher for a high school in New Mexico, he recently just turned 50, he has a wife and son who has cerebral palsy. White, is a very boring man who doesn’t have much excitement in his life until he finds out he has stage three lung cancer that is inoperable. This begins the complete evolution of Walt into a drug lord millionaire. One of the very first lines in the first episode is Walt explaining what chemistry is to his class.
“Chemistry is, well technically, chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of change.”
Walt’s character goes through an evolution within himself and appearance as well, so while the study of change applies to chemistry, it also applies to Walt himself in the series.
As stated above, Walt has been diagnosed with cancer and has a short time to live. This is where I find Walt’s intentions to be the best, and honorable. He worries about providing for his family. They aren’t exactly rich as Walt has a second job at a car wash, and wanting to have his son (Walt Jr.) go to college along with having money for his medical bills, he wants to find a way to leave a small fortune behind so his family is taken care of. I get that Walt becomes a drug lord who commits thousands of crimes while killing numerous people, but his intentions from the start were honorable. Given his genius level of chemistry, it’s tough to say I wouldn’t have done the same thing to give my family a bright future once I’m gone. After all, family is everything to Walt, so much that becomes a monster to make sure they are financially set once he is gone.
The change of Walter begins as he is celebrating his birthday with his family. His brother in law, DEA Agent Hank Schrader always seems to be showing Walt up. Hank is a “in your face” personality and loves to talk about his exciting work busting crime lords, finding meth labs and having the occasion shoot out with gangsters while comparing Walt’s life as a chemistry teacher to high school students. Walt keeps the cancer to himself for awhile, and asks Hank about the meth business after watching a drug bust on television. Hank confirms to Walt that there is a lot of money involved but makes the off handed remark about how criminals are too stupid and always get caught. Well, Walt isn’t your typical bone headed criminal, he is a near genius scientist, who was once a highly decorated up and coming chemist but realizes that if he wants to leave his family any money, then cooking meth is the quickest way while he has little time left.
Walt does a ride along with Hank, and discovers that one of his old students, Jesse Pinkman, is now a meth dealer. After watching him escape the raid, Walt confronts Jesse and asks him to go into business with him, Walt would cook the meth, while Jesse shows him the ropes of dealing.
Jesse, while at first hesitant to join with his old chemistry professor agrees after he can see what Walt can cook up. Throughout the series, Jesse, battles his drug addiction to crystal meth, because while he sells it, he is also a user. Jesse, wears his emotions on his sleeve. You can tell when he is happy, upset, terrified, depressed or angry. He doesn’t bullshit, what you see is what you get.
Walt also begins to feel powerful, not giving a fuck about things in life he once was afraid of. When him and his wife Skyler take his son shopping, some teenagers are making fun of Walt Jr. for his cerebral palsy, Walt confronts them. Normally, he would be terrified but kicks one of them in the knee and threatens the others off. He also sets fire to a mouthy lawyers car after the lawyer berates a woman on his phone and is just generally an ass. That was the first sign of Walt turning to the so called “dark side”.
After a drug deal goes bad with the local level C drug pushers, Walt and Jesse manage to kill them with chemistry. Literally. They both manage to escape, and Walt admits to his family that he has cancer and after talking with his family, decides to get treatment. (which he can now secretly afford) At first Walt, denied any help from friends, as Hank offered financial assistance as well as an old colleague but now, with Walt in the meth business, he decides treatment is doable.
Season two really heats up, after killing the Class C level drug dealers, their boss Tuco a higher class drug dealer who is an absolute nut job kidnaps Jesse and Walt. They manage to escape while Hank follows the trail to Tuco’s hideout where Tuco is killed. Skyler learns she is pregnant with Walt. Skyler catches on to what Walt is doing, and eventually learns the truth that he is now a drug dealer. Despite the fact that Walt is doing this all for Skyler and the family, Skyler is a total bitch and decided to cheat on her dying husband who is trying to provide a life after death for his family. I really hated Skyler, she acts like a bitch, and does nothing to support Walt. I know he is a drug dealer but I mean come on, he is doing the one thing he knows (chemistry albeit illegal chemistry) to provide for his family. I found it touching, while Skyler doesn’t and proceeds to whore around trying to get Walt to divorce her. Jesse meanwhile goes back and forth on being clean. He clearly wants to live a better life, but once he moves into a complex with a hot neighbor girl who loves drugs, so wanting to get with her, he starts doing meth himself. This leads to Walt, who is critical of Jesse using meth, breaking into Jesse’s place to find him passed out on drugs. Jesse’s girlfriend goes into a seizure over dose and begins to vomit all over herself, Walt does nothing but watches her die in her own vomit. Jesse wakes up and thinks the overdose was his fault and enters rehab. Meanwhile, Walt’s meth is so good that it has gotten the attention of the biggest crime lord in the southern part of the U.S., Gus who owns a chicken food franchise and has direct connections to the Mexican Cartel.
Breaking Bad has so much to tell in the series, it’s tough to type out every story line, but in season three, Walt and Jesse agree to cook for Gus in an underground meth lab which is top of the line. Walt agrees to it for millions of dollars. Skyler, helps laundry Walt’s dirty money. For various reasons, Gus wants Jesse killed but Walt gets Jesse to kill Walt’s assistant in the lab, which Jesse has post traumatic stress from. Jesse is in way over his head in almost every episode but yet you can’t help but cheer for the guy to keep going. Walt has now fully embraced his power, and realizes if he wants to save his family from the Cartel he must work with Gus. Hank closes in on the trail of Walt, even though he least suspects him. Jesse, Walt and Gus go in a circle of backstabbing each other in various ways, all of it makes for excellent dramatic television. The acting is second to none, almost all of the actors draw you in to their view of what is going on. You can feel the depression from Jesse, you can feel the power from Walt, you can feel the greed from Gus and you can feel the confusion from Walt Jr. who often comes off as humorous without trying to be, after all he is only 16.
“This is bullshit” from Walt Jr. is often a popular meme used for when schools stay open instead of closing for snow storms. Living in Michigan, there were quite a few “This is bullshit” days.
To sum up Season four and five, Walt is now a power hunger greedy monster, completely the opposite of who he once was, Jesse is a shell of his self, often in a daze or depressed. He is also captured by a rival gang and forced to cook meth for them for months and tortured. Gus is killed in an epic way, Hank is murdered in a shoot out after finding out Walt’s secrets and pretty much all hell breaks loose in the entire series. The final episode has Walt rescuing Jesse, but being shot to death. I really like to think that Jesse finds peace within himself and finds a better life.
Breaking Bad was not just an evolution of Walter White, but each character evolves in the show. Each character has really in depth personality which makes them easy to connect to and either you like them or hate them. It was rare to find myself emotionally invested in the outcome of characters from a television show, sure I cheered on characters before but I felt empty inside for Jesse and hatred for Skyler, Breaking Bad invested your feelings.
There are so many plot points I did not discuss, and reading about it does not do the show justice, I recommend it to the fullest to sit down and watch this show from start to finish. You will be hooked.
The camera angels are fulfilling too, coming from someone with a broadcasting minor who took a few film study classes, I caught on to subtle camera shots and what they meant for the future of the series. The series is full of characters, I didn’t even discuss the lawyer named Saul who is one of the best characters in the series, so popular in fact that he got his own spin off series after Breaking Bad ended.
Breaking Bad is a masterpiece, and season five lived up to the hype. Every episode was on the edge of your seat action, wondering what the next move of Walt, Jesse and Hank were going to be. Who was going to be killed in that episode? Who was going to lose a loved one? Television drama to its finest.
Do yourself a favor and watch the season five trailer above. It just gave me goosebumps and makes me really want to watch the entire series again. There is ONE bad episode out of 62… I don’t remember the name of it but I remember it involves Walt watching a fly zoom across his lab for the entire episode. It drove me mad, I’m not sure what the writers were trying to do, maybe put you in the mindset of Walt who is borderline crazy at this point because the fly episode made me crazy.Other than that, I have no complaints.
Some of the best things from the show never made it on television, for instance, Bryan Cranston knew he was known as the dad from Malcom in the Middle. So the producers gave a special tribute to Hal from the show. Check out this hilarious alternative ending.
Sorry, I could only find some weird Spanish subtitles version of it, but still you get the point. They also do a Pawn Shop parody with Walt and Jesse, also hilarious.
I mentioned earlier that the acting was superb. Aaron Paul who played Jesse, won multiple Emmys for supporting actor while Bryan Cranston won multiple Emmys for his lead role. From 2008-2013. Walter White was king, we will always remember his name just like he wanted. As perfect as Walt’s meth, 9.9/10