Well, it is over and we can now rest at ease knowing that the tumult of Walter White’s life came to a more or less acceptable resolution. Yes, BREAKING BAD concluded last night and I did get to see the concluding episode and did not have to sacrifice any small furry animal to accomplish this!
I just concluded reading Maureen Ryan’s column in Huffington Post and she provides a brilliant analysis of the episode and the series. I noted as I read this column that it was almost as if I was reading literary analysis. But then, as I noted yesterday, Breaking Bad has a literary quality to it as it is not merely entertainment but is a work of art diving straight into the heart of human existence. For example, one of Ryan’s points was that White always managed to come out on top in some way even in impossible circumstances, always managing to contrive an exit strategy which would further his interests. And even here, in this final episode in which he dies, he accomplishes his often announced purpose of taking care of his family even thought he had to arrange it in such a way that he will never get the credit for it. So, once again he made a “successful” exit. One could even say, he found a way to beat cancer in that he contrived a way to die under his terms and, in his own words, have a good time in the process. “I liked it,” he said at one point about his career in meth production.
The heart is complicated and these complications are difficult to bring to the page but good writers can do it. And good writers who are also good movie producers can, we are learning, bring the heart’s “beastly little treasures” to the “little screen” as well as the “big screen.” Oh yes, there is all that other drivel. But, if we are discriminating viewers we can find “good stuff” on Tv and Breaking Bad is the best thing I’ve ever seen. I will soon begin watching it again. And I strongly encourage you to read Ryan’s column.
One other thought about the literary quality of this TV show. I just stumbled across a quote from Franz Kafka, “Literature is the ax that cracks the frozen sea inside.” This show is an ax that can wreak havoc on our “frozen seas” if we approach it with a discriminating mind.