20 April 2014

+JMJ+

Happy Easter, B****!

I didn't start watching the TV series Breaking Bad until early this year, after it was over. What persuaded me was Bryan Cranston's acceptance speech for the whole cast's award for Ensemble in a Drama Series.


No, not the "white supremacist Nazis" part. The "I would kill you all over again" part.

Now that I've watched the whole series, do you know what would really make my Easter? A video showing all the death scenes on the show, each followed by a clip of the actor who played the dead character talking about that role, and if possible, that particular scene. Because that's exactly how insignificant sin and death became on that first Easter morning: they're nothing but a laughing matter for those who have the hope of rising again with Christ. And the award for the whole cast at the end? Well, that's the heavenly crown. 

I did find a pretty good video of the "death count"--but it misses a couple of characters and is more of a Holy Week meditation than an Easter celebration. Spoilers after the jump, of course . . .



One friend who pushed Breaking Bad on me (because, yeah, it's like a drug--not that you haven't heard this comparison before =P) said that it has a good ending because Walter White is able to redeem himself. While I am glad that Walter finally admits to himself and to his wife what the root of all his actions was, I don't buy Pelagian happy endings.

It would have been too silly--not to mention too out of character for Walter--had the show ended with explicit signs of his salvation. But the point to take away is that salvation was always open to him, no matter how bad he broke. All his sins--all the deaths he caused or helped to bring about, and all the agony he brought upon innocent people and those who trusted him--are just tiny notes on a ledger that was stamped "Telestai' on the first Good Friday. And this is true for our own sins as well.

This is our faith: that all debts have been paid in full. We may still mourn the wages of sin today, but we can also begin to share the joy of eternal life.

9 comments:

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Breaking Bad really is an incredible show! Like you said, "We may still mourn the wages of sin today, but we can also begin to share the joy of eternal life." Happy Easter!

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Happy Easter, Melissa! =) I think Breaking Bad will always be in my Top 5 TV Series of all time.

Bob Wallace said...

The only time the series fell apart was the bit about the "white supremacist Nazis" - because they were nothing of the sort. They can across more like a drug-dealing motorcycle gang.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I didn't even know that was what they were supposed to be until I was done with the series and started to read Breaking Bad reviews and forum discussions. I'm not a fan of storytellers putting a swastika on something as shorthand for evil, when it won't actually affect the plot.

Bob Wallace said...

Yeah, white supremacist Nazis who made their living as bug exterminators. What, no swastikas on the walls of their compound? Pitiful.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

So how do we get tipped off that they're supposed to be Nazis?

Which begs the question of why their being generic awful people isn't enough. Why would Vince Gilligan and the other writers have felt white supremacists were essential to the story? (Or perhaps, was it a meta joke, because Breaking Bad has mostly white characters and the non-whites are mostly villains?)

Bob Wallace said...

I have no idea what was going on in Gilligan's mind. I didn't know what they were supposed to be until after the program was over. I never thought about the non-white angle, but I don't think that holds up. The most lower-class people in the entire series were the bug exterminators, and the more upper-class ones were the non-whites - although upper-class Mexicans, like those around the pool, are Spanish white.

Belfry Bat said...

I can think of one thing that nazis and bug exterminators have in common (other than species). However, other particulars than means determine whether an act is good or evil. (such as: it's object, its end... )

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Bob -- The cartel members may have been really rich, but they were still miserable villains. One other great thing about Breaking Bad was that it always portrayed villainy as sleazy.

Bat -- I don't think Gilligan was aiming for cuteness there. There's just no artistic excuse for making them Nazis, especially when people can apparently watch the entire show and be really shocked later on to learn what they were supposed to be.