Hello all, here’s a much shorter thing about Breaking Bad that doesn’t delve deeply into criticism so much as it makes a prediction about the direction the show may take in this final season. I realize such things are ultimately silly as no one outside of Vince Gilligan knows where the show is going, but I think this is one of the best parts of TV fandom; being part of a community of people who make bold claims that hardly ever turn out to be right (insert comment about organized Religion here).
A “happy ending” for most television shows involves the completion of some sort of marriage plot, reconciliation plot, prodigal son plot, sins of the father plot etc. It is something predictable and can be great despite its predictability simply by the level of competence in its execution. These are emotionally understandable and acceptable paths to close the action of a favorite show. Breaking Bad, however,is operating on a totally different playing field. By locating in the audience a fervent desire to see the protagonist brought to justice, the fulfillment of any “happy ending” plot in Breaking Bad would have an emotional effect starkly different from tradition. Breaking Bad could breathe new life into the tired happy ending formula.
When Season Four of Breaking Bad concluded I was more convinced than ever that Walter White would die by the show’s end or at least be made to answer for his impressive list of heinous acts. It just would have to happen, I thought. I reasoned that I should not be so quick as to misinterpret his truly master class performance in manipulation during the finale as his “new level of play,” that he pulled off a once-in-a-lifetime power grab with alacrity, polish and—dare I say it—beauty; a stunt not easily repeatable and certainly not sustainable. But the more I watch Season Five unfold and the more I scrutinize all the things we’ve seen through the first four seasons of television’s best show, I am almost convinced that Walt is going to get away with absolutely everything.
“Ryan…” I said as I watched him type out his latest blog title about Breaking Bad effing happy endings in the A. “Ryan, you’re going to be a professor next month…”
“Yeah,” he replied proudly. “Yeah, I am.”
Then he hit Create Post.