Archive | October, 2013

The Untidy Endings of Breaking Bad


One of the major criticisms of the Breaking Bad series finale seems to be that all of the characters got “tidy” resolutions.  I guess that is because nearly major character ended up having their lives changed one last time by Walter White, many of which seemed final.

But that’s only if you think that the show’s world ended with Walter White’s death. That life wouldn’t somehow intrude. But life goes on, which is why I would argue that – in fact – almost none of the characters got tidy resolutions.

For example:

Skyler White – She’s still a widow, nearly penniless, and at the very best will win a long protracted court battle that will exonerate her for something for which she is guilty: laundering money.

Flynn & Holly White – Holly will never know her father, and – at best –will come of age experiencing a mother who is completely broken, as well as a possible life-shattering revelation. And Flynn – even if he gets that $9.7 million – still has to deal with the fallout of the hero of his childhood being a drug kingpin, and Gretchen & Elliot’s story will just feel like another lie.

Uncle Jack, Todd & The Nazis – Of all of the characters, these are the ones for which this argument holds water. Death by machine gun and strangulation is untidy by another definition of the word, but it is pretty final – even if it leaves a hole in the meth trade that will lead to even more bloodshed.

Badger & Skinny Pete – Take over the meth trade with Walt’s seed money. Are killed by the resurgent Mexican Cartel.

LydiaShe might not even be dead.  If she’s dead, her daughter is an orphan. If she lives, she’s going to be in deep shit from the folks who are expecting more of the 96% pure blue meth.

Marie Schrader – Widow. Estranged from her sister. Has to unbury her husband to bury him.

Saul Goodman – Stuck in a spin-off. And no doubt forever plagued by serious amounts of retcon.

Huell – “Huell? Huell? Bueller?”

Elliott & Gretchen – How do you launder $9.7 million in cash? Even for billionaires, that wouldn’t be an easy thing. How do you convince Flynn that this totally out-of-the-blue gift wasn’t somehow engineered by his dad? When – as far as he is concerned – his dad was capable of anything?

Jesse Pinkman – Yes, it’s better to not be in meth-making slavery for the rest of your life, but he’s still family-less  the killer of Gale (in cold blood!) and Todd, and has to deal with being at least partially responsible for the deaths of the last two women he loved.

Walter White – In Hell. With Uncle Jack, Todd, Gus Fring, Tio Salamanca and all of the other bad people who he’s directly or indirectly killed in the past two years. The untidiest resolution of all.