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Breaking Bad

Amazing series.  Amazing episode last night.  Talk about a gut punch.

Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros.

(I need to do something about that).

This is the final season of BREAKING BAD.  I think GAME OF THRONES may have a shot at upsetting BB for this year's Emmy (only a shot, though, I think they are the clear favorite), which pits us against their previous season...  but there's no way in hell that anyone is going to defeat BREAKING BAD next year, when their last season is the one in contention.

Admittedly, trying to handicap the Emmys is a mug's game.  You never know.  But for what it's worth, I think this year is our best chance of actually winning one.  Given the splash the Red Wedding made, our profile is likely as high as it is ever going to be.  We had a great season.  If the Academy is ever going to give their ultimate accolade to a fantasy show (something that is by no means certain), it's going to be this year, I think.

But we'll see.  BREAKING BAD, MAD MEN, DOWNTON ABBEY, HOMELAND, and HOUSE OF CARDS will have something to say about that as well.  All good shows, I think.  A couple are great shows.  HOMELAND is the defending champ, MAD MEN's won four, and HOUSE OF CARDS has that whole "gamechanger" thing going for it.  Should be an interesting race.  We'll all know on September 22.


Sep. 17th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
Walter still has a soul
As bad as Walter is, he's still trying to save his family. That scene where he berates his wife, calls her all kinds of names... he's trying to give her an alibi, so she gets off as the battered wife with no choice but to do as she was told. It comes full circle, where Walt is still trying to take care of his family, as screwed up as it is. He isn't all bad.
Sep. 17th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
Hey, Tywin Lannister is all about family too.
Sep. 17th, 2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
Tywin is by far not the most evil person in Westeros. He's a total ruthless bastard, to be sure, but he's not Joffery, and he's not Ramsey. Nor, for that matter, is he Theon.
Sep. 18th, 2013 03:40 am (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
Well, yeah, but to a far greater extent than Walter, Tywin is about 'family' in the abstract. To some extent Walt is as well, since he happily lies to and manipulates everyone around him, but not to the same extreme as Tywin. The latter to me didn't seem to give much of a damn about the actual individuals composing his family beyond their utility in advancing the family name, and would have sacrificed any of them in the name of the House of Lannister, if it were necessary.

Even as far as Walt has fallen, its difficult to imagine him being willing to actually physically harm Skyler, Walt Jr. or Holly. For anything.
Ray Feighery
Sep. 18th, 2013 08:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
NICE! :)
Ray Feighery
Sep. 18th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
NICE! :)
Sep. 19th, 2013 03:38 am (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
To be fair, Walt never tried to have his disabled son killed.
Sep. 20th, 2013 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
I think Tywin is more about idea of Lannisters family than about the real people who are his family.
Sep. 22nd, 2013 08:48 am (UTC)
Re: Walter still has a soul
Walter vs. Tywin
Skyler vs. Cersei
Junior vs. Tyrion
Jesse vs. Ramsay
Mike vs. Bronn
Saul vs. Petyr
Hank vs. Gregor
Marie vs. Lysa
Uncle Jack vs. Walder Frey
Gustavo vs. Balon

Let's get ready to rumble!
Sep. 17th, 2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
The Monsterness of Walt vs. Ramsey
I think of Ramsey and Joffrey as being sadistic psychopaths, without the capacity for empathy - there are people like that (not too many, thankfully), and I think it is a form of mental illness. I almost feel like they can plead insanity, in some sense, which Walt cannot. This also plays into the monsters made vs. monsters born issue. Is it appropriate to judge somebody who lacks the capacity for empathy the same way we would judge somebody who IS capable of empathy, for the same action? I'm not so sure.

For me, the real illustration of Walt being a monster this episode was not the phone call at the end (which I agree was meant to exonerate his family) but when he agreed to have Jesse killed, when he was helpless on his knees, with a gun to his head, right in front of him. Walt (unlike Ramsey or Joffrey) DOES understand the moral implications of killing somebody, he IS capable of empathy, and yet he chose to have Jesse murdered ANYWAY. In this sense, I think one can argue that Walt is the bigger monster.

Does anybody see what I'm saying here?
Jeff Bunting
Sep. 18th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
Re: The Monsterness of Walt vs. Ramsey
Jesse is considered a snitch and Walt blamed Jesse for Hanks death because he went to them instead of coming after him one on one.
Sep. 18th, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Re: The Monsterness of Walt vs. Ramsey
Yeah, I know those were his immediate reasons, but considering how close they have been in a larger context, I still find it absolutely reprehensible. I know Jesse betrayed Walt, but - it just crossed some sort of line for me. I think when you've been close with someone, or cared about them in the past, you are obligated to cut them a little slack, even when they mess up or betray you.

Different people will draw the "monster line" in different places, but for me, killing (or intending to kill) someone you once cared about - and I do think Walt once cared about Jesse - is well past it. Similarly, Tyrion broke my freaking heart when he killed Shae, even though he, also, had his reasons.

Sep. 18th, 2013 03:22 am (UTC)
Re: The Monsterness of Walt vs. Ramsey
I think the question of the series was how far will Walt go? We found out the answer this season. He wouldn't harm the people he considers family. He would of course lie to them and manipulate them and expect them to be grateful for it if they found out, but he wouldn't harm them. It's not going up against the wrong drug lord that does in Walt, it's the way he treated the people closest to him.

Jesse was family until he turned on him. Walt had already decided to kill him. What part of working with the DEA to set him up resulting in the death of Hank and the loss of his family and most of his money was supposed to change his mind about that? It's only Jesse's fault in Walt's mind, but Walt's mind is what we're talking about here. The fact that Walt is willing to still go through with it while looking him in the eye I don't think makes him any more or less a monster. It just means that he understood what he was committing to in the first place. But the man that passes the sentence should swing the sword. Bad form, Walt.

I would disagree that being a psychopath makes you less of a monster than someone who isn't but can still be a cold blooded murderer. Ramsay would have let Jesse think he was getting away and then murdered Brock in front of him. Jesse would wish for death long before it came to him. I'd rather take my chances with Heisenberg.
Sep. 18th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: The Monsterness of Walt vs. Ramsey
Walt's final cold line to Jesse "i watched Jane die" is that final nail in the coffin...


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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