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2013-10-01

Monday, September 1, 2014

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September 30, 2013 - 10:01am

My First Time: Max Radwin Breaks Bad

BY MAX RADWIN

AMC

No, I don’t watch “Breaking Bad.”

Yes, I’ve heard that’s it’s amazing.

No, I haven’t “tried watching a couple of episodes.”

That is, until last night, when I sat through my first-ever hour of what many consider to be one of the best shows in the history of TV. It also happened be the series finale, and what resulted is probably the most thoroughly ignorant recap of “Breaking Bad” out there. But, hey — maybe I offered a fresh take on the whole thing? Who knows.

Before diving into the recap, I have to admit — I’m not a total “Breaking Bad” virgin. It’s inevitable that I would have picked up on a few things about the show here and there just by stepping out of my front door. So before we start, this much I do know:

“Malcolm in the Middle” ’s dad — a.k.a. Walter White — has some form of cancer, and to pay for his chemo he sells drugs using the vast knowledge of science that also qualifies him to teach high school chemistry.

How does a high school teacher know that much about drug making? I’m not sure. Why didn’t this dude just get health insurance in the first place? Who the hell knows. Will I finally understand why my friend’s cover photo says, “Call Saul”? Let’s hope so.

All right, here we go:

We start in a car covered in snow, I’m guessing in Alaska or Canada or maybe just Wisconsin in May. Walter White doesn’t look too hot. He has cancer, right? So that’s probably why. He’s not bald though. I thought he was supposed to be bald?

In the car, he searches around for something but it turns out to be just his keys, which was a letdown. I thought it was going to be meth or crack or a gun. Does Walter White do drugs and have cancer? What a gangsta.

Then it transitions to Walter driving in some hot, open desert. I’m going to say Texas or maybe Mexico. Either way, that was quite a change in seasons. He must have covered some ground.

Walter gets some gas and messes around with some pill bottles (drugs? I hope it’s drugs). He calls some woman at the New York Times and pretends to be David Lynn asking about a phone interview with someone named Schwartz, who I’m guessing is Walter’s arch-nemesis that he is tracking down to kill/steal back his woman/overthrow for the drug empire.

Nope. I think Schwartz is just this dopey looking guy in the next scene complaining about Thai food. No way is this Walter’s enemy. I miss the guy’s name — let’s just call him Wonderbread — but the woman’s name I think is Gretchen. Regardless, both of them are boring, rich and white as shit. Kind of rooting for them to die.

Which looks probable at first, because Walter just lets himself into their house — Wonderbread’s wife nearly pisses herself when she sees him standing there in the kitchen. But unfortunately he doesn’t kill them. Instead, he just gives them $9 million. Whatevs.

Oh shit, but then to make sure they don’t squeal on him he hires two hit men to follow Mr. and Mrs.Wonderbread 24/7, which Walter demonstrates by having the snipers put their red dots on the couple’s chests. Does Walter White have an ARMY now? How much power does this dude possibly have just from selling some drugs on the side?

Psych, they tricked me again. It’s two goons in the bushes with laser pointers. And one of them is hilarious. He must be expressing the whole philosophical dilemma of the entire series. He asks Walter if what they’re doing is wrong — “For real yo. Like morality-wise.” Best character yet. Brilliant.

Walter talks with these two guys about someone selling “Blue Meth.” The morality-conscious guy says, “That shit is choice, yo” — so you know it’s the real deal. Apparently it’s Jesse that’s “cooking” this Blue Meth and Walter isn’t so happy about it. Ok, so Jesse = Bad. Let’s go with that for now.

Then it switches to a guy (maybe Jesse?) polishing a surfboard or building something from Ikea. Not really sure.

Flash to Walter sitting in a diner eating bacon. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THAT?!?

“Random Malcolm in the Middle” Flashback where Walter is wearing a sweater.

Shit, this show is all over the place. It’s hard to follow, even with commercials every five minutes. The next scene is super confusing:

Two people are seemingly on the most awkward date in the history of television. The ginger guy talks about the woman’s blouse and she’s like, “What are you even saying to me right now?” Walter interrupts them, thank God. At first I can’t tell if he knows them or if he’s going to take them hostage or something. But then he starts talking about meth — so yeah, Walter definitely knows them. He makes a business proposal to them but they aren’t buying what he’s selling, so he lets them continue on with their awkward-as-shit-date.

The blonde is Skyler, I think. She gets a call from a pasty brunette about Walter “being back.” Seriously, she is so pasty. And she makes it sound like Walter is a terrorist. Is he going to blow something up? That’s what she makes it sound like, damn. That’s, like, a whole different level. Wait, Walter was with Skyler during that whole phone call. Skyler = Wife.

Walter says goodbye to his infant son (or daughter?), but then there’s a kid on crutches that he creeps on who might also be his son. Not sure. Kind of touching, though.

Now Walter is at like a garbage dump or a construction site of some kind that is secretly a drug factory/gang headquarters. There’s lots of drama with the trashy ponytailed guy in the purple sweater. Walt makes his offer again, but ponytail isn’t having it.

Ponytail = Uncle Jack? I think I heard that right.

So then they’re taking Walter out back to kill him and they STOP so Uncle Jack can talk some smack. Why do bad guys talk so much shit RIGHT BEFORE THEY’RE GOING TO WIN? Seriously, you could have shot Walter right then, Uncle Jack. Right. Then.

Instead he brings in some guy in chains, like a drug-prisoner-slave guy (do they even do that in real life? Is that a thing?) and (finally!) it turns out to be Jesse.

This next part gets a little bananas: A machine gun thing pops out of Walter’s trunk and shoots everybody. Walter grabs Jesse at the last second, but everyone else is mowed the fuck down. I guess that was the most efficient way for the writers to tie up loose ends.

So Jesse is free, and decides to not shoot Walter (why was that even a debate? Walter just saved him after all). And then Jesse just drives away, laughing like a crazy person.

Walter’s like, “Oh shit I got a ricochet bullet to the gut I’m gonna die.” So he goes over to the meth-making area and holds his gas mask lovingly and pats the meth-making equipment with a nostalgic grin on his face like, “It’s been a good ride, old friend.” Didn’t realize drug dealers had so many feels. The cops roll up but good-’ol-Wally is already long dead by then. Damn. Heavy shit.

The show’s pretty good, though, from what I saw. Might have to watch it from the pilot, even if I did just ruin it for myself.


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