Final Predictions for “Breaking Bad”
Spoilers sure to abound, so please Rot13 your comments.
I think that Walt’s freakout during his final moments in the White household with his wife and children showed him for what he really is: a failed, fragile man, disappointed in the way his life turned out, eager to blame others for that, and desperately trying to make it what he thought it ought to be. He wanted to be an alpha male, the guy who brings home the bacon for a family that loves and admires him. But he wasn’t. Or isn’t. Maybe he once was… flashbacks show a different side of him before leaving Grey Matter, before becoming a teacher, and before becoming a father. The house was supposed to be temporary… just a starter home until they were ready for something bigger.
But he probably was never that guy. He left Grey Matter because he couldn’t hang in the big leagues. He had to wash cars to make ends meet. He was in a relatively empty marriage with a wife who didn’t hesitate to cheat on him when he thought she was doing the same and with a son who didn’t want his name, looking to his uncle instead of his father as his primary male role model.
Walt worked hard to change all this… but couldn’t. No matter what he did, it ultimately failed. He was ready to give in, until yet another person called him to the carpet for these failings: when Walt saw his former partner indicate that Walt contributed to the name and nothing else and heard Gretchen say that the real Walter White was gone… well, he couldn’t stand for that. No one was going to deny him his place in history. Add the revelation that someone is still making blue meth, diluting the legend of Heisenberg, and Walt has to go back and go out on his own terms.
I don’t buy the theories that he is going back for the Grey Matter folks. That doesn’t accomplish anything, not for him. He’s going to take out the Nazis in one last desperate grasp to regain his family. He thinks that taking out the men who took out Hank will somehow, someway earn him his family’s good graces. When it fails to do this, the ricin cigarette emerges… for Walt himself. No one takes out Heisenberg but Heisenberg. Not cancer, not Gus, not the cops, not the Nazis. Only Heisenberg himself. He goes out on his own terms, a complete and utter failure. Something he was all along, at least when judged against his own expectations.
Walt was and is the supposed impotent 21st century male. He is Michael Douglas’s character from “Falling Down”. He is mad at a world that did not deliver on the promise of a “Leave It To Beaver”-style life. It is always someone else’s fault. His bitterness consumed him, spawning Heisenberg, and leading to the most destructive of downfalls.
But what do y’all think???