Friday, October 04, 2013

Breaking Bad

Forgive me this brief excursion.

Breaking Bad was a fantastic show, competing perhaps only with The Wire in its depth, characterization, and flawless execution. One of the core questions in the show was whether Walter White was a narcist or psychopath. To me it was obvious, but Walt made it clear in the pitch perfect finale:
I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really... I was alive.
His family were props in his personal movie. Walt cared about how he was seen. He felt no guilt, only shame. So when at last even he could not deny that fact that the story he was telling himself was a false one, and that his motives were selfish, could he make things right. Skylar and Flynn are lucky Walt didn't off them to preserve his self image.

A psychopath would not have cared. To him, people are tools, not mirrors. But Walt wanted to be seen in a particular way and did what he could to reenforce that image. Compare and contrast to Gus.


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