Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Breaking Wish

Like most of the country, I am obsessed with “Breaking Bad”. No, that’s not even accurate. I am addicted.  I’ll skip all of the obvious metaphors, but I can’t get enough of the show or the cast. I want to have surgery so that I sound like Aaron Paul. I hate myself for being a couple of years late to the party, but I’ll be first in line for Vince Gilligan’s next project. He could write a note on the wall of a bathroom stall in whatever they now call the Oakland Coliseum, and you’ll find me literally knee deep in it.

I think the writers are nothing short of brilliant, and for me to place this show above “The Sopranos” on my Mount Rushmore of television dramas is the highest compliment I can give.  There hasn't been a wasted episode, pointless character or a single line that wasn't meticulously thought out. The premise itself doesn't sound incredibly interesting.  And a show about a middle class and middle aged white person becoming a drug dealer, just three years after “Weeds” premiered, smells of a copycat. Yet they made the most interesting and most original series, the best ever.

That all said, I think they’re making a mistake. Not with the direction of the show, but with the Saul Goodman spin-off. For me, Saul has always been a great character, who has given the show great comedy relief at the exact right time. Before I stopped biting my fingernails, and began devouring entire fingers. But he isn’t the character to carry an entire series. He’s like Jack Black. Fantastic in a supporting role, but should only be the lead in the perfect situation. Think: High Fidelity, School of Rock, King Kong, and Shallow Hal.

No, the character that would make for the most interesting spin-off is the last character they introduced us to. The man with no name, played by the brilliant Robert Forster. (Thanks to the Podcast, I actually do know his name)

What television doesn't need is another show about a lawyer. Not even a corrupt, glorified ambulance chaser who offices out of a strip mall. But a show about someone who owns a vacuum store and on the side helps recreate identities and relocate all sorts of characters? That’s an idea worth exploring.  He’s someone I want to know more about. How did he get into that line of work? Why? What’s his end game? What are his methods?  And can you imagine all the different characters they could introduce?

Not just the criminal masterminds like Mr. White, yo. There’s the abused spouse wanting to start fresh. Maybe a disgraced politician that had to withdraw from a race because of some indiscretions. Or the front man of a band like The Cruisers. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Breaking Theory

After last night’s “Breaking Bad” I have, like the rest of the world, had to re-evaluate my prediction for how the show ends. Not that I had really committed a single theory, but based on what we knew, Walt was alive in the somewhat near future. Based on the, for lack of a better word, flash-forward, we knew that Walt had left the Albuquerque area and assumed a new identity. Most of the theories revolved around him calling Saul’s vacuum repair guy.

Stop reading now, if you haven’t seen last night’s episode. Also, get your priorities in line.

They left us believing that Hank and Gomez were dead, or that death was imminent. Not since Trayvon Martin, has someone been at such a disadvantage as a couple of DEA agents were against some ultra-militant Neo-Nazi psychopaths. But let’s be honest, they had pretty horrible aim. They had the better angle, more firepower, and shot first. Yet, somehow we never see Hank or Gomez wounded. Or I missed it. This is completely possible, as I can neither confirm nor deny that I had to pause the show, just to change my shorts. I was sure they were going to snipe Hank like Tom Berenger would have.  

Based on the assumption that Hank and Gomez lose the firefight, here is what I think is going to happen:

Walt will be wounded. There’s just no way that none of the bullets strike him. There hasn’t been a sitting duck like that since Tupac on the Vegas strip. Which, by the way, happened 17 years ago Saturday. RIP, Pac. And now, back to our regularly scheduled program. The skinheads aren’t going to kill Jesse. Maybe they think Walt is dead, but Jesse survived the shootout. So Landr-, er, Matt Dam-, I mean Todd’s crazy uncle is going to snatch Jesse. Our beloved Jesse is their best bet at increasing the purity of Todd’s cook as well as adding that blue persuasion.

But we know that Walt did indeed survive. I think he ends up turning State’s evidence, and testifying against the Skinheads. He could just as easily spin a tale about how they got their hooks into him, just like the story he spun about Hank in “Confessions.” And the Government will be more concerned with getting the guys who gunned down two of their own. Also, since the DEA has no knowledge of Hank investigating Walt.

So Mr. White testifies, but something goes wrong. The skinheads have Jesse cooking for them, but Todd finally perfects the cook, and Jesse becomes disposable. We see Walt coming back, not to go after Jesse. Not to face off with Walt Jr. Mr. White, who actually got away with being a drug kingpin for a year, can’t help but come back to avenge his top pupil. The cancer is back, and he doesn't have much time left. Sadly, neither does the greatest show ever.