The Cinema Backfire: Breaking Bad’s Final Episodes Could Determine Its Legacy

To some, Breaking Bad will be pigeonholed as a juvenile philistine serial program about drugs, violence and killing, three things that to some people will never be considered artsy. To the rest of us, it will be regarded as the most compellingly vigorous spectacle that has ever been constructed. Before Breaking Bad, Vincent Gilligan wasn’t notorious for designing well-written small or big-screen programs. (depending on your opinion on the X-Files). And the main character was said to be played by Bryan Cranston, who was famous for being a ridiculous, somewhat imprudent yet comedian—which is the completely contrary of what Walter White is now. .

The point I am getting at is nobody prophesied this program to be as enchanting as it is.

With some providence but chiefly dexterity, Gilligan has written a chef-d’oeuvre that might be branded as the greatest TV show of all time. There are so many remarkable things about Gilligan’s writing, with one of those things being his aptitude to develop relatable, yet enormously multifaceted characters. Look no further than at Walter White for an example. Much like the archetypal Bryan Cranston character we are accustomed to, White is introduced as a misfortunate spineless nerd who is underachieving – because of his extraordinary knowledge in chemistry – as a high-school chemistry teacher. However, his less-than-stellar life takes an immense turn once he is informed that he has cancer, and when he meets up with an old high-school student: Jessie Pinkman. Ironically, his cancer becomes a symbolic metaphor of his life, as he winds up living every day on the verge of death.

In time, he progressively becomes the most famous drug manufacturer in town, and even though he swears that he is doing it for his family, it eventually becomes apparent that he is doing it to nourish his gigantic ego. He ends up undertaking every conceivable illegal activity—not because of him being deranged in the head; instead, to protect himself from being caught or murdered. Regardless, however, of being an ingeniously shrewd, calculating murder, Gilligan does an impeccable job of keeping Cranston’s character both sympathetic and amiable. Whether it is because of his cancer, handicapped son, unfair wife, him continuously trying to protect Pinkman’s well-being, or something else, there are certain merits White has that figuratively enforces someone to cheer for him. Analogous to the Walter White character, every other character is effectively distinctive and developed as well.

Developing characters is a very significant layer of writing, but it still pales in comparison to storytelling. Without a story, a show lacks a leg to stand on. Everything in cinema has a semblance of a story. Yes, even terrible shows. Breaking Bad not only has a story, but it also has an exquisite one. Gilligan has mastered every facet of writing and telling a story, incorporating every subcategory genre into it, making followers exultant, infuriated, perplexed, and traumatized. There is also a payoff in practically every show, and it is customarily layered with unanticipated twists and turns, which are believable and remain true to the characters’ role. The suspense is splendid and the action scenes are penetrating, and the dialog is piercing as a stiletto. Gilligan takes his followers on a compelling journey of Walter White’s life, using tons of voluminous crisscrosses, although, by hook or by crook, not once derailing lucidity. Whether it is creating an intriguing conflict or stacking colossal odds against the main characters, the show always has its viewers addicted.

Season four, due to its virtues, could have been an admirable culmination to the show, particularly because of the chess match amongst Walter White and Gustavo Fring, translating  into the most intense conflicts of all time and making Season 5 essentially a bonus….and what a bonus is has turned out to be. Since the first season, we all were aware what the ultimate showdown would be: Hank vs. Walter White. Nevertheless, it was tremendously uncertain of how Hank would find out and how he would react.  Much to our surprise, the show displayed Hank’s profound confidence that his pursuer is indeed Walter White, albeit having no factual evidence.

Some of its fans alleged that Hank would endeavor to safeguard White from being caught, thus putting his job in severe peril. Instead, Hank reacted in a rampant manner, throwing a haymaker that knocked White’s lights out. Even though White was family, it is understandable why Hank reacted that way. After all, Walt put Hank’s health in serious jeopardy, primarily when he deliberately drove directly into an automobile, so he would not discover the meth infested laundry mat.

In order to stop Hank from pursuing, White calculatingly develops a fallacious video that articulates that Hank and he were business partners. Well, sort of. He proclaims that Hank forced him to cook meth, followed by commonsensically explaining every tragic event that has transpired over the past couple of years in his fabricated story. Hank counteracted with a video of his own with Pinkman describing what actually happened. Thereafter, however, Hank comprehends that there is no actual evidence, realizing that he needs a better plan.

In the intervening time, Jesse Pinkman became a liability, due to him feeling a strong sense of guilt for his actions and making it transparent that he was involved in illegal undertakings.  Saul and White accordingly developed a scheme to get Pinkman out the DEA’s eye by shipping him to another place in America. But just as Pinkman is going to leave, he realizes that Saul and White were a part of Brock being poisoned. Pinkman, as a result, retaliates by walloping Saul and trying to burn down White’s house, only to be stopped by Hank. Both Hank and Jesse end up establishing the most hodgepodge partnership ever due to their hatred towards each other being eclipsed by their vehement hatred towards Walter.

The most ironic fragment of this entire story is that White cares about Pinkman much more than Hank does. Gilligan makes that transparent as Walter is completely against killing Pinkman even though both his wife and Saul suggest that it is the most sensible thing to do, whereas Hank salivates over Walter murdering Pinkman during their meeting since it would be on videotape.

In the latest episode, Hank thinks as a criminal, so White can receive the comeuppance that he rightfully deserves, by blackmailing Saul’s bodyguard into thinking that White was trying to kill him so he could tell him where White was hiding his money (as its evidence that would hold up in court). Saul’s bodyguard does not exactly know where the money is hidden, although gives him enough facts to work with, telling him what the money is hidden in: black garbage bins located at Home Depot.

Therefore, Pinkman tells White that he is going to burn all of his money if he does not meet him there, leading the DEA directly to where he concealed the money. White, as a result, calls his neo-Nazi hitmen for backup until he tells them not to come because he recognizes that Hank is with Jesse and, out of benevolence, does not want Hank to die, so simultaneously gives himself up. Just as Hank accomplished his objective, then calls his wife to boaster about it, the neo-Nazis come despite Walter telling them not to, culminating into a cliffhanger that ends with an erratic shootout.

With just three episodes left, there are many unsolved questions surrounding the lives of those involved in this frenetic story. However, there have been a few- if any – logically flawed questions throughout the entire show. Everything is detailed and well-constructed, leaving practically nonexistent gaps or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. No matter how far the story seems to go off narrative, it all weaves together and makes total sense.

When all said and done, this show could cement its legacy as the paramount television series of all time. As preposterous as it may sound, it could all be determined by its final episodes. After all, think about the most famous shows ever that had its legacies tarnished all because of the finale, let alone the closing three episodes. Seinfeld has always been scrutinized over its lackluster season finale. The same especially can be said about the Sopranos’ ending that left many with a sour taste in their mouths. It appears as if Breaking Bad is not all in for the money. It also has its dignity, evidently caring to end on a high note than milking the cow until it becomes entirely dry. Hitherto, Breaking Bad has not been a disappointment in any of its season ending or in general, yet the pressure has never been this high. And the final episodes could likely determine its legacy.

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