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Making the Best of Bad, Emersion Breaking Story Telling Part 2. Dealer’s choice Patreon reward for TheGreatEater, whether he wants it or not! · 5:07am May 23rd, 2018

We’re finally continuing part 2 of my Breaking Bad post for all 30 of you who care! Again, part of my Patreon reward system I’m trying to catch up on!

As maybe half out of the above mentioned 30 know, I stopped my blog with the notion that Breaking Bad ended 8 episodes before it kinda, sorta actually did. That’s because for me it sorta did. Now, I’m not saying the last 8 episodes don’t matter or that episode 8 of season 5 is somehow the happy ending I always dreamed BB would have,

Come on, get happy!

Honestly, there are one or two characters that didn’t make it that ruin the happy ending for me… and a bunch that are still alive. Still though, it’d have been a fun place to end, minus the last couple of minutes of the episode, Walt, for all his sins, gets away Scott-free and Jessie’s life is less miserable than it’s going to be!

I know things seem bad now, Jesse! But. You. Will. Get. Through. This!

What broke me, or rather my suspension of disbelief was the freakin’ super incriminating book Walt left for the world, and Hank… Mostly Hank, to find. Apparently, when asked, the creators have come out saying that Walt was becoming overconfident.

Like… All at once? In just… one big overconfidence dump? He decides he’s accomplished his goals and now it’s time to drop little “I’m Heisenberg, by the way!” Notes around like he’s a nervous pubescent teenager hoping to get noticed by senpai? Problem there is Walt KNOWS Hank will bury him and destroy everything he’s done if given the chance. Sure, one can argue that much like serial killers and mother nature, Walt WANTS to get caught.

Yes. I know it’s almost nothing like the book on the account of reading said book. I still had a good time.

The problem is that Walt doesn’t want to get caught. He wants people to know that he’s smart on some level and it eats him up inside he can’t take credit for being the someone-who’s-really-good-at-sportsball of Meth. However, getting caught means he loses. It ALSO means he’s maybe not as smart as he likes to think he is.

Furthermore, it makes little sense with what we’ve seen with him. Walt is willing to do some pretty brazen stuff if he thinks he has the edge, but he is SUPER paranoid when it comes to being discovered by the authorities. Sure, there are things he’s not expert at, for example, it’s clear Mike had been getting away with crimes with far more ease and for longer than Walter did. But he used burner phones, was careful talking to Jesse and other associates in public, etc… Basically, Walt has a pretty good understanding about the basics, and when he dodged a bullet with Hank and the Walt Whitman connection the first time, it’s frankly amazing he didn’t destroy the book.

I mean, it’s not like Walt ever felt all that attached to Gale. Liked him? Sure. But Gale was not ever likely to become a ‘replacement Jesse’, at least emotionally for Walt. And it’s not like Walt couldn’t afford to buy a replacement book if he really just loved Walt Whitman that much.

It also cheapens any victory Hank might have had. Hank had come close to connecting the dots, but really… The book was like Walt grabbing the page and finishing the whole dinosaur… or whatever it was you connected the dots with when you were a kid. And THEN Jesse comes along and colors it for Hank.

I know I’m spending a lot of time on this one thing, but I’ll wrap it up and get to my main point.

I think one, even just one of the people Walt had killed in prison should have lived long enough to get out something. To be perfectly honest, it’s actually REALLY hard to kill someone via showing them your stabs, especially when all you have is a shiv.

Now a LANCE I wouldn’t question!

At her very least, Hank would have earned a clue or tip there instead of Walt leaving out a Flintstone-sized bone for him.

Other notes or things that bugged me with the series… There’s a funny scene to me where Walt talks about how astronomically impossible it was that he bumped into Jane’s dad at the bar the night before she died… Okay, but… the entire series runs on all these chance encounters that just seem to line up time and time again? Not to mention the powers that be just love to explode Walt’s money stash to keep in in the game. Essentially, this felt less like Walt was willfully choosing to be this ‘morally ambiguous man’ and more that he was pushed into it whenever he dilly-dallied.

Also, after discussing with a friend, I have to say I think the series could have used another season or two of Walt building his empire… maybe becoming the next Gustavo Fring. White does some undeniably terrible things, but there’s usually a little grey around the stuff he does. The end result is we never really quite see the monster the show wants us to think Walt is or could become or whatever… Especially because there’s always a handful of people running around much worse than Walt.

Also, what the eff was with all the Jesse torture porn?! You’d think the creators would have gotten a note to tone that down after the first and second season, but no… They doubled down and had to find new and more terrible ways to make his life a living misery. Just maybe like… some percentage less of pain would have made it more believable, like… I don’t know… a 15% or 25% reduction.

Getting back to this frickin’ book, that’s where I had to give the series a short breather and also sort of accept that, for me, the pizza part was over.

All 16 of us saw this comming

I guess for me the series proper either ends abruptly or doesn’t have a proper ending or that proper ending mostly exists in my head. The last 8 eps have their merits in places, but I can’t get over this one decision and, you know what? Maybe that’s okay. It doesn’t mean all the episodes before it were automatically garbage.  And really, this is a sort of important lesson to take with all long-running series (hint, hint). Not so great or even just BAD stuff comes along and you either have to move on form it or accept the good times you had and call it quits… Or, again, do that blind eye thing where you kinda ignore whatever insanity has no place within the framework you’ve worked out for the series and eat as much of that franchise cake as you can stomach.

I’m not sure where that analogy came from, but I’m going to power on over making any, some might say, overused, Portal memes.

The ability to pick and choose is likewise important for writing fanfiction, because, let’s face it, if you write massive, sweeping epics about a series that’s still going, sooner or later you’re likely to be Jossed and it’s going to be helpful to turn a blind eye to said thing or maybe just accept you’re changing direction and keep-on-keeping-on. At the very least it’s more dignified than throwing a fit.

Above: A man having a heated argument with his wife and not being a badass at that particular moment.

Well! That feels like a good place to stop. Though the 5 fans of the series reading this that want more should definitely check out Better Call Saul. It’s been really enjoyable so far!

Again thanks to TheGreatEater for the Patreon support even if no topic was offered. As P-page says, my goal is to do one of these for all my $5 and above supporters every month, so if you want to get in on this, or just want early access to fics that I don’t dream up and get out in a matter of hours, come on in, ‘cause something’s always cooking! Come on in, cause…something…something…Chowder…something!

Catch you in the comments… Maybe!

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Comments ( 5 )

Better Call Saul is definitely the better show. Since they occasional show a bit of the future Post Breaking Bad, part of me hopes that the end of the show will somehow manage to fix the end of Breaking Bad as well.

I'm glad that someone besides myself and one of my best friends thinks so regarding BCS. I mean, sure the pacing is even slower than BB, but at least Saul/Jimmy's problems are the result of people in his life and not outside influences seemingly spurned on by a diety with a magnifying glass in front of the sun.

I never honestly saw Walt leaving the book in his bathroom as a massive mistake, because frankly, only one person could conceivably have picked that book up, looked at the inside cover, and connected the dots. ONLY Hank could have made that critical connection. Nobody else. And it just never occurred to Walt, perhaps, that Hank might take a shit in his bathroom, randomly pick up a book that, let's face it, is not the kind of thing Hank Schrader would ever read unless he was SUPER BORED, and OH, there's this ONE INCREDIBLY DAMNING PIECE OF EVIDENCE!!

It was, to me, an oversight on Walt's part--the type any criminal makes in any good mystery. The type of clue only a Sherlock Holmes or a Kudou Shinichi or a Ben Matlock stumbles across, the one out of place thing that suddenly resolves the entire chain of events.

In short, chance and fate brought Walt down, not blind overconfidence.

As for why Walt didn't throw the book away? Well, that's understandable. Walt didn't want to kill Gale. Felt awful about it. Gus forced his hand, and he didn't really resonate with Gale on a personal or professional level, but he did respect him, and, well...Gale was all but ready to suck his dick. Possibly literally! We know Walt loves having his ego massaged.

I think it's reasonable for Walt to have kept the book, simply because he regretted his part in Gale's death, and just throwing it away dismissively would have been the same as throwing the man's entire life away without a second thought--without a HELL of a lot of regret.

No, the book represents something important. It represents the humanity that Walt refused to shear from himself. It represents his soul and his regrets--his conscience if you will--his acknowledgement that his actions and his fortunes have had fatal consequences for others who maybe didn't deserve to die to save his own ass.

You don't throw your soul away on the off chance your brother-in-law can use it to nail your ass to the wall.

Also, what the eff was with all the Jesse torture porn?! You’d think the creators would have gotten a note to tone that down after the first and second season, but no… They doubled down and had to find new and more terrible ways to make his life a living misery. Just maybe like… some percentage less of pain would have made it more believable, like… I don’t know… a 15% or 25% reduction.

Now here, I'll agree with you. Season five just kept running Jesse over with the bullshit truck over and over again until the point it was hard to even watch.

Overall, we're going to have to agree to disagree on the ending--I was quite satisfied with it, and felt like it was the logical way for Breaking Bad to end. But, like you said. :scootangel:

I look forward to seeing your thoughts on Better Call Saul, though! #FuckChuck

I'll consider BCS as another dealer's choice blog. Definitely agree on a major point on THAT series with you. :twilightangry2: ChuuuuuUUUUCK!


You don't throw your soul away on the off chance your brother-in-law can use it to nail your ass to the wall.

I mean... on one hand, I see where you're coming from... On the other hand there's a fair chance anything I write will be a labor of spite and not love... I guess I'm a "no half measures" type guy in the sense that WALT thinks and not necessarily Mike. :raritywink:

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