BURN IN HELL, WALTER WHITE2 comments
As was befitting of its methodical nature, Breaking Bad ended its compelling run with a few loud bangs, and a gentle death.
Walter White never looked better, and deserved much worse.
This is not to suggest that the finale wasn’t satisfying. It was more than ready for the hype, even if the last 15 minutes were something of a stretch, gamely trying to invoke the best of Walter Hill and Sam Peckinpah. Even so, we have no quibble with those who survived and those who perished. Like everyone else, we expected the final body count to be higher.
We do wish Red-headed inbred Todd didn’t get off quite so easily. Some would say he suffered at the end. We would say not nearly or brutally enough. In a show filled with unredeemable scum, he might have been the worst of all, dispassionately snuffing an innocent young boy and then Jesse’s girlfriend, the latter with the horrified Pinkman watching helplessly from a distance. Not only was Todd a clinical Sociopath, but worse he was a moron, which the writers tried to use to buck up his laconically singular dimension. Remember the torture scene in “Casino Royale?” This would have been an apt fate for Todd, though only if a nest of Cobras would have been unleashed on his unprotected junk.
Ya, we hated him that much.
Breaking Bad’s final gasp, like the Sopranos several years ago, twisted its main players through a Shakespearean Funhouse. Before it was over, Walt saves his prodigal son and sometimes alter ego, Jessie, from what promised to be a grizzly end. His long-suffering wife was privy to his admissional coda that he was a much better criminal than family man, for which he offered no apology. And while Skyler was incapable of forgiveness, at the very least she was able to finally surrender a morsel of grudging respect for her husband’s never-ending reserve of cancer-ridden fortitude. The final 30 seconds might have been Walt’s most vulnerable, as he caressed his hand over the smooth metal of the Meth cookers, (his true mistresses,) and with what remained of his life seeping from his stomach, stretched out next to the silent machines and contentedly slipped away. This as they stoically watched over him one final time, inanimate lovers helping to ease his journey into oblivion.
Walter White deserves our gratitude for many reasons, though none more so than making us care so passionately about a bad guy. The greatly missed James Gandolfini pulled off the same incredible turn as Tony Soprano, and even though it’s become cliche, it is safe to say that Tony opened the creative store for Walt and so many other of his ilk.
And like the character of Tony we understand, and are ultimately relieved, that Walter White is finally dead. Which doesn’t mean we won’t sorta’ miss him, and his dreary band of misfits.