Breaking Bad is many things. It’s funny, it’s inventive and it’s intelligent – but most of all, it is human. There are lots of reasons to love Breaking Bad. These are mine.
1. Well-placed and often visually stunning time-lapse shots.
2. Wonderfully imaginative camera angles.
3. Walt Jr.’s unshakable, unbreakable devotion to the fine art of breakfast. Boy’s bacon game is on point.
4. Badger’s profound interpretation of life and all of its complexities.
5. Every single thing that Mike Ehrmantraut says. Also, when he loses the top part of his ear in a gunfight and he just ROLLS HIS EYES because he is a badass and that’s what badasses do when they lose body parts in gunfights.
6. The fact that they’re not rocks, THEY’RE MINERALS. JESUS, MARIE.
8. Those Gus Fring moments that make you want to gasp/cry/whitey.
9. Jesse and Jane’s brief and beautifully destructive relationship. You knew it was never going to end well but that didn’t stop you from sobbing uncontrollably and comfort eating for days afterwards when it did. (That wasn’t just me, was it?)
11. When Walt Jr. calls Skyler a “(b-b-b-b) bitch” and you’re like, “HAHAHA, GET IT UP YE.”
12. Walt’s harrowing transformation from struggling Chemistry teacher to legendary meth kingpin and all of the horrifyingly gripping speeches he makes along the way.
13. The terrifying ruthlessness of “the cousins” (also known as “those spooky Mexican bastards”).
14. The echoes of father and son in Walt and Jesse’s relationship and the rare vulnerable moments they share.
But the very best thing about Breaking Bad? By the final episode, Walt has betrayed, hurt and killed countless people, both innocent and guilty. We’ve seen the full extent of his greed and his cruelty in his relentless quest for power.
But still, we root for him.
We catch glimpses of the cancer-stricken Chemistry teacher desperately trying to build a future for his family. Reflections of Heisenberg slide across surfaces of lab equipment while Walt bleeds, wounded by his own gun, knowing that he has fulfilled the duty which set him down this path in the first place.
We part carrying the message that sometimes, when we want something badly enough, we let it take over. We let it seep into our veins and creep into our minds. We lose sight of ourselves; of what we believe is right and wrong.
We part wondering if Walt’s death was a way for him to atone for his sins or just another way for him to avoid capture.
We part knowing that it’s never as simple as “good” or “bad.”