A Poetic 'Breaking Bad' Theory for The Yet-to-Come Series Finale
As someone prone to panic attacks, I really should stop watching Breaking Bad. Last night's episode, "To'hajiilee" really put me over the edge. I shouldn't be watching this show alone, honestly, because it's just abnormal to be tearing your hair and screaming at Bryan Cranston alone in your room with your Macbook. (Although judging by all the posts on Twitter, I'm not alone in my agony). The cliffhanger at the end of "To'hajiilee," with Walt ducking in the back of the car to avoid a spray of rapid bullets from Todd's Uncle Nazi gave me hives. Literal hives.
And to make matters worse (or better, depending on how masochistic of a fan you are), Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, the man who holds our mental composure in his hands, has said that next week's episode "Ozymandias," the sixth of the final eight, is the best episode yet. What does that mean, Vince?!? As someone who close-reads just about everything, and a rabid Breaking Bad fan, I unfortunately think the title of next week's episode means that everyone in the BB universe is gonna die. BLEAK? Yeah, but what about Breaking Bad isn't bleak?
Before Breaking Bad came back mid-season, AMC released this ominous and amazing trailer featuring Bryan Cranston reading Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ozymandias:"
The poem, published by Shelley in 1818, has become a symbol in pop culture of the decay of all great leaders. So naturally, my Breaking Bad theory, culled from the trailer and the "look on my works, ye mighty, and despair" leans toward the darker side: I think Walt's going to live, and everyone he loves (or loved) is going to die. Do I want that to happen? No. Would it be satisfying? In some twisted way, sure.
On a visceral level, I really just want Walt to die. Hopefully from cancer, and in his final breaths he apologizes to Jesse and leaves him all his money and then Jesse somehow adopts Skyler, Walt Jr., and baby Holly and Jane comes back to life and everyone sings a song. A girl can dream, right?
I just want some emotional release from this show, for once. But the end of "Ozymandias" notes: "Nothing beside remains/ Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare/ The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Walt got into the meth game at the beginning of Breaking Bad for his family — to leave them with something when he would eventually die from cancer. But megalomania and power consumed him, rendering him a monster. But he still maintains that his ultimate goal is to quit the drug business and have his family all together. So wouldn't the greatest demise for Walter White, Heisenberg, the One Who Knocks, be the dissolution and death of Skyler, Walt. Jr., Hank, Marie, even baby Holly?
It's dark, but I think the only way Walter White would be truly remorseful were if he was left to wander the New Mexico desert alone, with nothing but a fake ID and his seven barrels of money.
And then the happy ending would be we'd get a Saul Goodman spinoff/prequel. S'all good, man.