About a month after watching the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, I still found myself unable to start watching the 5th and final season of the show.
I absolutely enjoyed every minute I spent watching these seasons. I loved how every episode was amped up with drama and suspense (even though the suspense did not last very long).
While I do not agree with a lot of people that say it’s one of the greatest (if not the greatest) of all time, I still think it’s a great show and definitely worth watching.
So the question I asked myself was, “Why can’t I bring myself to watch season 5?”
I didn’t have to think hard before I realized I couldn’t bring myself to continue because of how much I hated the protagonist and the antagonist all in one, Walter White. A chemistry teacher turned drug dealer. When I asked around, quite a lot of people did not share my sentiments. So I asked myself, “Why really, do I hate him?” When I thought about it a thousand and one answers came to mind, but I’ll stick to these five. Enjoy.
When the series began, Walter was just a chemistry teacher who allowed himself get bullied by everyone, including his students. As it progressed his confidence grew until it became an annoying trait that just made me want to see Walter less. While it is expected of anyone in Walter’s shoes to have a bit of ego, he took it to another level by becoming an ego-maniacal meth dealer. As the series progressed and his victories piled up, coupled with the fact that no other person could come close to the level of pureness of his cooks, his conviction that he was an under appreciated genius became grander, thus making him more dangerous and irritating to me.
An example was when he called Skyler after he kidnapped their daughter, and went on a rant of how he was the one providing for the family and how she was constantly undermining him despite everything he had done to take care of her and the kids. Accepted, he might have done it to get the cops of Skyler’s back; he seemed too convinced to have not meant it.
Another example was the way he imposed himself on his wife after she discovered his illicit activities and lies and asked him to leave the house. Despite the fact that she told him she didn’t want him anymore, he kept coming back and imposing himself on her, until she didn’t have a choice but to let him stay.
He is a manipulative S.O.B:
I think it is a general human rule that no one wants to be manipulated. I personally feel emasculated when I realize I have been manipulated and generally don’t trust people who do it. So it did not help Walter White’s case with me that he was constantly pulling one manipulative move or the other.
One move he pulled consistently from the first season till the end was manipulating his son into thinking Skyler was the bad person. He was constantly having her make the difficult choices that their son didn’t like and thus making her look bad, while he remains the good and loving father who always has his son’s best interest at heart. An example was when he bought Walter Jnr a Mustang for his birthday, and Skyler had to make him give it back.
Another one was when she had to ask him to leave the house. Her son, who did not know the full story, assumed his mother was in another of her moods, and taking it out on his ‘innocent’ father. It got so bad that at a point, their son even called his mother “a b*#ch”. That for me was the point of no return for Walter.
What gave me joy the most was that, when it came to it, and Walter attacked Skyler, their son took his mother’s side. I found myself grinning. That scene gave me so much joy. The manipulative S.O.B was finally seen for what he truly was.
The height of Walter’s evil manipulation for me however was when he manipulated Jesse into betraying Gus Fringe. While I’m not against the idea, since he felt his family was in danger, I absolutely hated that he had to poison an innocent little boy to do it. He claimed he knew the exact amount that wouldn’t kill the boy, but we all know even the most routine of medical procedures can go wrong at any time. No one has the right to play with the life of a kid, more so when it’s not your kid.
He killed Jesse’s Girlfriend:
Walter killed quite a number of people throughout the duration of the show, but the most painful for me was Jesse’s Girlfriend in Season 2 (considering he was not directly responsible for Hank Schrader’s death). This was a girl who had made bad choices and was trying to get her life back on track after hitting rock bottom, and was unfortunate enough to meet Jesse and his drug habits. She definitely did not deserve to die.
I hear some of you saying, “But he didn’t kill her. His only sin is that he did not act.” I hate to break it to you, but he did kill her. If you remember two or three episodes before her death, she told Jesse that when stoned, they were supposed to lie on their side, so as not to choke on their vomit. This was exactly the position they were in until Walter broke in. While trying to wake Jesse, he tipped her over unto her back, thus leading to her death. I never could forgive him for letting her die.
Nothing is more annoying than Walter’s lies. At the beginning of the show, he was likable because of his innocence. As time went on, and he had to tell one lie or the other and got away with it, he became very annoying.
While I understand why he had to tell some of the lies he told in the beginning, as time passed, the lies became a way of showing how intelligent he was, and how everyone else was stupid and that is what I hate.
Audacious lies like the one where he claimed he blacked out for three days, meanwhile he was somewhere in the wastelands being held captive by the psychopathic drug kingpin Tuco, or the one where he lied to his wife for months that his former business partners were the ones paying his medical bills; all contributed to his feeling of superiority to all those around him and the feeling that he could get away with any lie.
It got to a point, he did not even have to come up with an excuse or lie beforehand. He just flowed in the moment, and was sure a good one was going to come up.
There’s a Yoruba saying that, “if a lie goes on for 20 years, the truth would eventually catch up with it”. Walter White, brilliant as he was, was no exception. With time his lies began to unfold, and the people he loved began to see him for exactly what he was. It even got to a point, his son could see through his lies. There was this episode his son asked him what happened to his face. Half way through his lie, his son cut him off and told him what he was saying was “bullsh$t”. Oh, the joy in me when I watched that scene.
He is an A hole:
My hatred for Walter does not stem from his drug dealing activities. In fact I was rooting for him to be successful in his drug trade. After all, he was just a man who wanted to give his family something to live on after he dies. There was a time when Walter was very lovable, even though he had started cooking meth and had killed two people.
Somewhere along the line, he began to change. I guess that is expected of someone in his shoes. However, Gus Fringe was not an A hole. He conducted his business well, and did not go the extra mile to get on people’s nerves.
There was this particular scene that really pissed me off. Walter had just bought the car wash, so he went to the (former) owner to collect the keys. On leaving, the guy tried to collect some of the things he had attached sentimental values to, like the first dollar bill he received. Walter refused to let him have it. When the guy left, he broke the glass the bill had been preserved, took the money and put it in a vending machine for a can of soft drink.
All these reasons above contribute to my immense hate for the character Walter White (yes, I know the distinction between the character and the actor).
Apparently, a lot of people liked him. I heard some good folks in Albuquerque organized a mock funeral for him and were able to raise funds for charity. It’s good to know he could still achieve something good after his death.
If you hate Walter White as much as I do, feel free to leave your comments on why you do. If not, your comments are also welcome.
Until next time, Ciao.
During the course of writing this article, I finally decided to watch the final season, and I really enjoyed it. I especially loved the way things ended.