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Reflections on Breaking Bad: Big Bucks, Betas, and Nasty Bitches

This article is a follow-up piece to Walter White in Breaking Bad starts out as the ultimate beta male.

Quite recently I finished watching the entirety of Breaking Bad, all five seasons. I don’t think this TV show comes anywhere near the greatest of all time, The Sopranos, but it is nonetheless quite good. The last TV show I watched from beginning to end was Spartacus a few years ago, which was riveting. Breaking Bad was, overall, okay. Sadly, it never fully realized its premise. Yes, Walter White — in the immortal words of his sidekick-turned-antagonist Jesse Pinkman — the “guy with the giant stick up his ass” breaks free from societal expectations, clenches his fists in his pockets, and starts producing the most potent crystal meth in not just Albuquerque but, apparently, on the planet.

I had great hopes that Walter White would completely shed his beta shell. As I detailed earlier, the TV show starts with depicting him as an enormous loser. It is never fully cleared up how he ended up as a high-school teacher after getting a PhD in Chemistry from Caltech. Later on, it is revealed that Walter apparently left a fledging company he co-founded in a poorly thought out manner, selling his shares for $5,000 and ever since watching that company turn into a multi-billion behemoth. Yet, why didn’t he manage to get on his feet again?

There are some hints of why Walter ended up fucking up his life in such a spectacular way. In his second career as a drug manufacturer, he makes a series of shockingly bad decisions. He is often guided by a false sense of pride, and he is quick to reject well-meaning advice by domain experts like his ‘criminal’ lawyer Saul Goodman or hit-man Mike Ehrmantraut. The latter is the clearest depiction of an alpha male in the entire show, by the way: he is a man of action, keeps his word, does not let others cross personal boundaries, and is perfectly content being on his own. Anyway, it is almost a signaling device of Breaking Bad to let Walter receive advice he should heed. As the viewer, you only wait for things to go sour yet again. Unlike in Entourage, though, phone calls out of nowhere normally signify dread.

Walter White would love to be the boss, yet he always finds himself in some subservient role. Anytime he wants to rebel against the powers that be, he ends up in deeper shit. This is most clearly played out in the last two seasons when he is hell-bent on killing Gus Fring, the drug lord he is working for. Walter has the suspicion that Gus will eventually kill him, even though he seems to be changing his mind on that matter. Yet, Walter would only have had to keep up his end of the deal, which consisted of cooking meth and bagging one million bucks per month, or something along those lines, and he would never have antagonized Gus in the first place. The rift between Gus and Walter is due to the latter insisting on working together with his minion Jesse Pinkman, who is a loose cannon. Predictably, things eventually go south.

As much as Walter White may want to be a leader, he is not. Instead, he has a problem subordinating himself when it is in his best interest. He is also incredibly myopic. Killing Gus Fring is one thing, not taking into account that Gus is part of a larger operation is quite another. Thus, Walter ends up with the kind of bedfellows he had better stayed away from: a violent biker gang in whose vocabulary the word “scruples” does not exist. What is worse is that Walter is driven by power fantasies that have no basis in reality. True, in the end he will get “revenge”, but it costs him his life. Also, had he just stuck to the plan and acted less stubbornly, there would have been nobody around to take revenge on. All the guys he eventually kills he provoked first. He was the one who sought the confrontation. This is quite tragic as he could have gotten out of the drug business sooner, and in a much better position, to put it mildly.

I would not even call Walter White an anti-hero. Instead, he is one of the most unlikeable characters you can find on screen, right next to those insufferable hags from Sex and the City. Speaking of unattractive women: Walt is married to one, and what a piece of work that bitch is. In five seasons, there is not a single moment in which his wife Skylar seems to care about Walter, yet his tolerance for abuse is seemingly endless. Let this sink in: his ugly wife very easily seduces her handsome boss who turns out to be a simp in alpha’s clothing (lol), bangs him for a few weeks, helps him, er, cook the books to commit tax fraud, and gives over $600k of Walter’s money to him so that he can pay the IRS what he owes. She absolutely adores that guy, Ted. This is Ted, next to Skylar:

Skylar frequently made me cover my eyes.

There is no possible world in which such a guy would get a hard-on for that kind of woman. At that point in the show, my suspension of disbelief was stretched so much that I would have accepted aliens showing up.

When Walter realizes that almost all the money he has made up to that point is gone because his ugly wife Skylar gave it to some alpha stud, he laughs maniacally. Later on, she justifies her actions with the words, “I had to do it.” That’s apparently good enough for Walter who does not press further. Imagine your wife stole your life savings and tell you that she “had to do it!” It’s implausible enough to get into that position in the first place, but just shrugging it off is downright ludicrous. Yet, despite all the abuse and betrayal he experiences, Walter wants to provide for his family. Nothing can stop him. To add insult to injury, Skylar gets emotionally very affected when her boss ends up in a tragic-comical accident that sends him to the hospital and, at least that is implied, into the wheelchair. She clearly cares a lot more about that guy than she ever did for her husband. Despite realizing all of this, Walter doesn’t have it in him to kick her out.

There are a few very unfortunate plot holes and inconsistencies in Breaking Bad. One is that Skylar manages to get the IRS off Ted’s neck due to pretending to be uninformed. This is not how the laws work, however. If you break the laws, claiming to not know the laws isn’t a valid defense. Further inconsistencies include Walter’s lawyer repeatedly stating that he “knows a guy” who can help you create a new identity for him, but if he doesn’t show up for a meeting you’ve arranged, you won’t get another chance. However, Walter first tries to get his family to disappear this way unsuccessfully, because his wife gave his life savings to Ted, as mentioned above. Yet, in a later season, Walter uses that guy to escape. Furthermore, in a later episode, it is revealed that the Whites are sitting on a cube of stacks of money, which you can eyeball to be hundreds of millions, and even if you use the number the show later gives you — 80 million bucks — it is way too much money given the revenues Walter’s operation brings in. Note that that cube of money is in addition to the millions they launder.

The guy on the right is Bull Burr, by the way.

The personalities of both Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are incongruent. Walter is supposedly calculating, yet he is too often not in control of his emotions. You wonder if a woman wrote this character, so unpredictable is he at times. In particular in the later episodes, he turns completely Machiavellian, seemingly out of the blue, and starts lying with a straight face. He also seemingly can’t make up his mind on whether to kill Pinkman or not, which is just nonsensical. There are situations in which the circumstances are not changed at all, yet a switch gets flicked in Walter’s head and suddenly his opinion completely changes. Pinkman is likewise highly unbelievable, but for different reasons. He starts out believable enough, him being a washed-up druggie who can’t think more than a few minutes into the future. He hits rock bottom, taking heroin, living in squalor with a local community of meth heads, or, later on, inviting hobos and druggies into his home. Yet, there seems to be a switch in his head that gets flicked and he gets sober and turns his life around right away. It’s completely absurd. Also, it’s not clear why he doesn’t bang a lot of women in exchange for drugs. He’d be the type. Yet, in one particularly cringe-worthy scene he leads a woman into his room to play some video games. To add insult to injury, it’s the only chick with a genuinely hot body in the entire show. Instead of feasting on her in a vertical position, we get to watch her with a controller in her hands.

The low point of Breaking Bad is its promotion of “progressive”, i.e. degenerate social norms. Skyler cheats on Ted and gives him Walt’s life savings. Walt is fine with it. Skylar’s sister says that she would like to fuck Ted, too. Jesse Pinkman falls in love with a single mother and develops a strong bond with her kid. Walter and Skylar’s kids temporarily stay with their in-laws, and they are “just like family”. Walter wants to make millions only to give to his family, who want nothing to do with him, in particular his wife. Organizational drug dealer Lydia Something is a multi-millionaire single mother who is raising her daughter with the help of a maid. In short, if you think Breaking Bad is in any way “edgy”, you need to open your eyes. It’s promoting the typical liberal nonsense. Even social outlaws like Jesse and Walter are cucks. Heck, probably the most telling sign that Breaking Bad is a show coming from a dipshit liberal mindset is that there is not a single hot woman in it. It’s basically wall-to-wall ugly bitches, with the occasional semi-attractive woman, who is only attractive for her age. There is a brief scene with a few half-naked strippers, and those were the least attractive strippers I’ve ever seen on screen, essentially semi-chubby chicks with messed-up boob jobs.

Despite the many flaws of Breaking Bad, it’s a decent-enough TV show. I would not want to watch it again, but I don’t regret the 50 or so hours I spent on it. However, as a palate cleanser, you may want to expose yourself to visually appealing women afterwards, either in the flesh — Hi, Sleazy’s Gal! — or on screen — Hi, 2B from Nier: Automata! — because you probably don’t want to go to bed with images of Skyler White fresh on your mind. That woman is so ugly she’ll give you nightmares, and that is probably not what you want.


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5 thoughts on “Reflections on Breaking Bad: Big Bucks, Betas, and Nasty Bitches

  1. LOL I wanted to react earlier but didn’t want to give to many spoilers. It’s indeed strange that Walter stays in his beta cuck role towards his wife. You would expect both Ted and his wife would be killed at that point. And that with all the money flying around Jesse Pinkman would start to party like a pro. But instead of partying with the hottest chicks in the best clubs. Something he can now easily afford. He just stays living like a total looser. Even at the point when he should be a multimillionaire. He basically stays the same fuck up. Breaking bad starts out great. But goes down in quality fast. Specially after he just let his cheating bitch wife cuck him. And yet Walter doesn’t stray from her. You would think he would trade her in for a small army of 20 year old girls at that point.

  2. I have a series i can recommend to you Aaron, Profit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profit_(TV_series)

    It only had one season so it is not a big time commitment to watch it. It is basically the father of the modern “let’s have the anti-hero or villain as the protagonist” so it was ahead of its time, which is what led to its cancellation.

  3. Breaking Bad… I was interested in the concept, i.e. “normal dude goes badass producing and selling dope”, but exactly for the inconsistency you described I got bored before the first season was over.

    I have a suggestion for a series with very strong characters, fantastic writing and a great deal of controversy, a good amount of violence and a damn good soundtrack: True Detective.
    Both detectives (Rust and Marty) are very real and they go through real life stuff.
    True Detective 2 was different. Maybe not as good, but it definitely had some very good moments as well. And in both TD1 and TD2 the endings are well thought out.

    Give it a try if you haven’t.

  4. Wow Aaron, you are merciless as a TV critic. 😀

    I have to say, indeed it disappointed me that Walt didn’t get back at Skyler by getting some pussy. At some point I was hoping that at least he did it with bloody Lydia (whose actress was a beauty on her heyday, at least).

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