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The End of Walter White Worship

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Note:  This article contains spoilers for Breaking Bad’s “Ozymandias”.

It’s been a long time coming and oh so bittersweet, but Walter White has finally reached a point where even his loyal supporters can no longer justify his actions. The series has certainly provided its viewers with poignant examples before of why Walter isn’t a good person and why he shouldn’t be rooted for, but it would be a lie for me to say I wasn’t myself a supporter of Walt despite his catalogue of atrocities. “Ozymandias”, however, leaves us unable to ignore the elephant in the room.

First we see Walter reveal to Jesse that he had been present when Jane died and allowed it to happen. This moment from Walt is petty and unnecessary: he had already beaten Jesse with his typical blind luck and really only decided to add insult to injury because he blames Jesse for Hank’s death. This shows Walt’s lack of perspective, as he continues to do whatever he can to convince himself that he’s not responsible, that he’s a wronged man. But how could he or anyone else still think he’s not the bad guy after his phone call to Skyler near the end of the episode? After kidnapping his daughter and threatening his wife, Walter has the nerve to blame Skyler for his current predicament. True enough, Skyler has been a difficult character to love, but the idea that she is the catalyst of Walt’s recent fatalistic misfortune is really quite ridiculous, especially considering her recent support for and accepting of Walt’s criminal tendencies.

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The frantic finger pointing and self justification that Walt performs is perhaps Vince Gilligan’s address to anyone still defending Walt. Just as he blames Jesse and Skyler for his decline, so too do many supporters desperately try to justify Walt’s behavior by blaming Skyler for attacking him or Walter Jr. for calling the police. The fact is that Heisenberg has always been Walt’s greatest enemy and no amount of finger pointing is going to change that, be it from the character himself or his fans.

There are still two episodes to go and at the rate that this show is going, it’s not likely that Walter is going to have any sort of happy ending. Though circumstances point to some attempt at absolution, it’s important to bench expectations when it comes to Breaking Bad, the best programming television has to offer.


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