‘Breaking Bad’ Shows Us That Walt’s Idea of Winning is for Everyone Else to Lose
“When I’m out, I’m out.” –Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks)…
The flashforward scene that kicked off this season, the one that found Walter White (Bryan Cranston) alone on his 52nd birthday in a diner buying a machine gun, is starting to look even darker given the direction this half-season, which ends next week, is taking. Maybe Walt isn’t by himself because no one wants to be around him anymore — he’s shown he has no trouble keeping people at his side in unwilling parodies of previous relationships.
Maybe they’re all dead.
Walt ended last week’s episode promising that he had an idea in which everybody wins, but by the end of the hour last night he’d both refused to give Jesse (Aaron Paul) his fair $5 million share in hopes that would make him stay and he’d shot and killed Mike for what he realized after the fact was no reason. Mike, the only genuinely competent lawbreaker in their group; Mike, who saw Walt so clearly — “You had to be the man” — while missing the very important detail that Walt’s not actually as smart as he thinks he is but is more ruthless, that he would kill a former partner out of wounded pride and impulsivity before realizing it wasn’t necessary. Mike, the actual criminal, has always had more respect for people than Walt, who to Jesse shares the key detail that he’s written off any hope of leading a good life, and is prepared to go up in flames….
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