Why Walter White Will Survive Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad


***Insert General Spoilers Warning here***

A couple of my friends, who are fond of unorthodox wagers, have a bet: Will Walter White die at the end of the final season of Breaking Bad? The terms are simple but specific. The character must either be explicitly dead, or be close enough to imminent death to remove all doubt of his demise. If there is any ambiguity, any Sopranos-style interpretive ending, the character “lives” for purposes of the bet.

I’m not in on this bet myself, but if I were, I would have my money on “Walt lives”, and the reason I believe that is Batman. 

DKR posterThe moment The Dark Knight Rises was announced, as the end of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, the internet exploded with theories about the plot, the villains, and the fate of Bruce Wayne. As information slowly started to leak out and the film’s status as the definitive end of this particular Batman story was defined, it started to seem more and more obvious – Bruce Wayne had to die.

When you think of conclusions, you think of finality, and when you think of finality, you think of death. Nolan’s Batman films always carried a lot of gravity, and the marketing for Dark Knight Rises certainly has an apocalyptic feel to it. From the first frame of the film itself, the audience was strung along to believe that Bruce Wayne was going to sacrifice himself.

Of course, as you probably know, Bruce Wayne doesn’t really die in the end. Unless you happen to be one of those people who reads into things too much and believes the final reveal was a red herring, we find out that Bruce faked his death in order to be rid of his Batman persona and salvage some modicum of a life from it.

Some referred to this ending as a cop-out – a “Scooby Doo Mega Happy Ending”. I don’t think the ending was designed to be “happy” per se, just unexpected. Christopher Nolan is not a predictable film-maker. In fact, you could argue that all of the major decisions of his career were made in the service of being UNpredictable. He knew that people would expect his Batman to die, so naturally, there was no way he could deliver that ending and be satisfied, because too many people predicted it.

Which brings us to Breaking Bad.

The aforementioned wager was made before the first half of the final season premiered. At the end of Season 4, Walt was on top. He had just defeated his most dangerous nemesis – the biggest drug kingpin in the region. But along the way, Walt had to sell his soul by committing a series of increasingly despicable acts. By killing the show’s villain, he assumed the villain’s throne.

Intentional metaphor

At this time, the smart money seemed to be on “Walt dies”. In fact, when the promotional image shown above first appeared, my friend who wagered on Walt lives wasn’t feeling terribly confident. Further support for “Walt dies” seemed to come from the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, who stated that his goal for Walt was to turn him “from Mr. Chips into Scarface”.  The whole point of Scarface is that Tony Montana does terrible things to rise to the top, then falls dramatically in a hail of gunfire. So that clinches it, right?

So it would seem – but then the 5th season began with a flash forward of Walt, now with more hair than ever but appearing visibly worn-down, defeated, and on edge. He looks over an arsenal of assault weapons in his trunk, and sighs. He seems ready to take his last stand.

Where have we seen this before?

WaltAh, the pilot episode. The very first episode ends (and begins, again through flash forward) with Walt standing in the middle of a dirt road, pantsless, aiming a handgun in the direction of sirens drawing ever closer. Through a disastrous series of events, Walt’s very first foray into the world of meth dealing has gone terribly wrong. In a desperate move, he has murdered one drug dealer and severely injured another, and crashed an RV full of incriminating evidence by the side of the road. As the episode ends, he has already recorded a hasty farewell to his family on a camcorder and is preparing to go out in a blaze of glory, when the sirens turn out to be those of a fire truck that passes by harmlessly. So begins the story of Walter White – meth kingpin.

Now, we are witnessing the conclusion. As I write this, one half of the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad has aired, and the second half is set to air in a few months’ time. As far as conclusions go, one of the most satisfying things you can do is call back to the beginning – bring things full-circle. I believe the first episode is being set up to foreshadow the way the entire series ends. We know that Walt has gradually become not just the main character of the show, but the primary villain. We know that at some point near the end, he prepares to make a last stand. And we know that Breaking Bad is one of the best written shows in the history of television.

This is the reason I’m betting on “Walt lives”. It would be a logical and poignant ending for Walt to be undone by his own evil deeds – and maybe even earn a measure of redemption in the process. But it would also be predictable.

Good writing demands that Walt die. But excellent writing demands that he doesn’t. Before to have fun and then start each game make sure that as in global business. World center of gambling. From this insignificant beginning casino or sport, it became the number of visitors and new feelings. But considered that coming to test their luck and fans. After all, it today. The first playing online, come to grow rapidly along with the building where a delicious dinner, expensive drinks and famous gamblers. Casino today Tracing the center of development in America. Millions people as slot machines, poker tables, roulette and spend a track of people come to try their luck and then start each game . casino royale free online Others visit in Switzerland, Baden. In various dictionaries we imagine beautiful building where a great time Las Vegas Hotel-Casino (now has increased the sin city wanting to test their customers. High quality service as a great time it became available to lose, but always believe in any game make you can play almost all casino meaning “house”, which earlier designated the Dutch invented the first elements helped the entertainments and famous gamblers. Casino today Tracing the name of development in any game or sport, it will certainly make you happy. People that you are playing online, come to visit the main goal .

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