Posted By Kent Merritt

Breaking Bad: ABQ

Truth and Consequences

The second season of the Emmy winning AMC series Breaking Bad came to an explosive conclusion Sunday night, reigning a whole lot of bad karma onto Walter White and his property, once again proving the old adage...drugs are bad, mmkay?!

Poor Walter might just wish that the lung cancer he was diagnosed with way back in season one would've ended his life, knowing that he is now to blame for the death of Jane, the unravelling of Jesse, and the disintigration of his marriage - and that's just in season two!  But once he discovers it was his actions that helped to propel the chain of events that led to the mid-air crash of two airliners, he might just decide to hit Jesse up for some of his stash just to numb his pain.  Just keep repeating to yourself, Walt: "Drugs are bad...drugs are bad".


From the opening scenes of the finale, where we once again witness the slow-motion black and white images of the hazmat-clad workers fishing that creepy one-eyed pink toy out of Walt's pool, taking photos of his smashed SUV, and zipping those two body bags, the camera pulls back to reveal an even bigger crime scene in full color, now covering several city blocks, with two large plumes of black smoke in the distance.  Trying to speculate on what this dramatic scene would foretell was pretty much pointless.  Bravo to Vince Gilligan for blowing my mind once again.



Honestly, the rest of the episode paled in comparison to those opening images.  There were heartbreaking scenes of a devastated Jesse blaming himself for his girlfriend's death (partially true, but Walt was just as much to blame) as well as a powerful face-off by Walt's wife Skylar as she finally confronts Walter with all of his lies.  Poor Walt has got some serious soul-searching to do. 

But even all of that is nothing compared to the loss of lives caused by those two colliding planes, which occurred because of Jane's grieving dad who returned a little too soon to his job as an air traffic controller.  Once Walter finds out that by standing by and letting Jane choke to death on her own vomit, he also signed the death warrants of several dozens more people, there's no telling where his distorted logic will take him next season.


An excellent article on the Los Angeles Times website revealed that creator Vince Gilligan had provided some clues - cryptic though they might be - to what those black-and-white opening segments meant:

"“If you look at the names of all the episodes," Gilligan said, "in particular the episodes that have the strange black and white teaser, they spell out a hidden message.”  - That message: Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ"

This is why I love this show.  Breaking Bad is like reading a well thought out, intricately plotted novel.  A great story, told with great care and detail, with a time-tested moral to the story.....drugs are bad.


Better Call Saul


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