My wife and I finished a couple of mini-marathon viewing sessions in order to wrap up season two of Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan’s seminal show about high school chemistry teacher Walter White’s foray into meth manufacturing (and what seems will be his eventual ascension into a drug kingpin).
In a word, wow.
I can’t think of another show that has more white-knuckle tension per minute of show time than this one. It’s almost excruciating to watch, but it’s also utterly riveting. You can’t not watch. It’s brilliant in every way.
It’s apparent that Walter really isn’t a good guy. He’s far too cold and calculating, and has far too much of an ego to ever be a real hero. (“Why do you say ‘charity’ like it’s a dirty word?” his wife Skyler asks him once.) He does have something of a heart, evidenced by his desire to save Jessie after Jane’s death. But Jane’s overdose was a calculation by Walter himself—he watched her die, having determined that her death was the only way for him to reconnect with Jessie.
Jessie Pinkman, for all his disastrous decisions, is the true moral center of the show. He may be a drug addict and not too bright, but he has a conscience and a heart and a functioning moral compass. He tries to save the little boy of the two druggies who robbed him, and is overwhelmed with grief when Combo (one of his drug runners) is gunned down on the street. Jane’s death throws him over the edge, into a completely self destructive spiral. I can only imagine how he’ll be affected when he finds out it was Jane’s grieving father who caused the deadly plane collision.
One of the best shows that’s ever graced the airwaves. I can’t commend it highly enough.