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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By Taegan J. Brown

Taegan is a Historian at heart, writer by trade. He was Born and raised in the lovely city of Toronto. He's something of a middle man : Not quite a serious critic but not quite a general audience member. His favorite directors are Steven Soderbergh, Stanley Kubrick, and yes Christopher Nolan.

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13 Responses to The End of Walter White Worship

  1. Vincent March 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Who made the picture? I really love the work!

    Reply
  2. The Proctor September 23, 2013 at 5:48 am

    Does this website have an editor?

    Reply
  3. Daniel September 19, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Lol and this person probably got paid to write this article. All the journalism classes in the world won’t fix stupid.

    Reply
    • Deepayan Sengupta September 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Nobody on this site gets paid to write. We all do it out of passion.

      Although, you also appear to be under the impression that we’re journalists, somehow, so who knows what site you think you’re on.

      Reply
  4. A dude from London September 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

    In response to Matt
    He gave Holly back so soon after taking her, because of what happened in the changing the diaper scene. Where Holly was continually saying “Mama”. It was clear to Walt at that point that Holly needed her Mum, brother and family more than she would need a millionaire kingpin on the run….ergo another Good act.

    He’s taking her I believe was another example of lashing out (which he is prone to do)and a denial of what has now happened – everything he has done this for(Family)has gone to c**p

    Reply
  5. Greg September 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Walt’s not a good guy; that’s implicit in the title, and you are correct, people will come to his defense because the story is greatly written that there’s the proverbial flip side to every coin; here’s my flip side to your thought’s

    (Walt’s defense).

    I think you understood Walt’s motivation during his conversation with Skyler; Walt knows that the police were called, he asks Skyler if they are there. When Skyler says “No” he knows she’s lying. Walt’s already made the decision to disappear from his family for their own good. He yells at Skyler and threatens to kill her as a guise because he knows the police are listening and he wants her to appear to be a victim, as someone who has always feared for her life that way she can continue to be a parent to the kids and won’t be viewed as an accomplice. He breaks down crying while doing so, because he knows that pushing them away is the only thing that will clear her name.

    That said, I agree, his luck will run out.

    Reply
  6. Harcourt September 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Umm, yeah. That call was Walt deflecting blame away from Skylar, knowing that the police were listening in. How embarrassing for the author of this article.

    Reply
  7. Max September 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Yah, you really missed the mark on the final act of that episode.

    Reply
  8. Matthew Marlowe September 18, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Walt’s phone call to Skyler at the end of the episode was actually one of the more heroic things he’s done lately – he knew the police were listening and provided Skyler with complete immunity from her involvement in Walt’s business by making it appear that Walt had threatened and forced her into helping him. Of course, he wasn’t entirely lying either; you have to imagine that a part of him does truly resent Skyler.

    Reply
  9. Penguin September 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    You missed the point completely on the phone call to Skyler. He was taking all the blame for their current situation. He knew the cops were listening and he was basically saying she was acting against her own will and following his orders, which, as we know was not the case.

    Reply
  10. E Cheung September 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Amazing this writer can be so clueless! Walter’s phone call to Skyler was for her benefit, for his son’s and wife’s benefit! To take a stab at protecting her from the avalanche of DEA scrutiny soon to come.
    Ga-zoinks!

    Reply
  11. Some Guy September 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    You really let the point of that phone call slip over your head didn’t you? Nothing he said was genuine. He knew the police were listening so he said all that stuff to make Skylar look completely blameless. In the call he took full responsibility for everything and made himself look like an abusive monster so that no one would blame her for going along with his actions while also saying she was trying to stop him the whole time. He also made a point of noting that Walt jr. only just found out. Even after she attacked him with a knife he was just protecting his family.

    Reply
  12. Matt September 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I actually kind of wondered if he assumed she lied to him about the police. He spent a lot of time taking full responsibility for everything. Then to say his taking Holly was her punishment just to leave her in a firetruck where they would obviously find her and return her due to the Amber alert.

    He may have been just being a dick but I am curious about why he would give Holly back so soon after saying him having her was a punishment to Skylar.

    Reply

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