Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad has three more glorious episodes before trotting off into the sunset. In anticipation of the finale, everyone with half a brain and a WiFi connection has, to some extent, weighed in on how the series should wrap up. On Friday, The Atlantic's D.B. Brady did just that by examining Breaking Bad's Shakespearean influence and looking at how Albuquerque has been affected over the course of the show's five seasons.
To say that the residents of Albuquerque struggle to be blithe and bonny would be a gross understatement. There have been multiple explosions, a child was shot, a plane crashed, a child was poisoned, and then there was that time that a meth head was squashed by an ATM machine.
Brady argues that Breaking Bad, as a Shakespearean tragedy, makes Albuquerque the "tragic hero." Basically, Brady looks at Breaking Bad as though it were Macbeth and explains that, essentially, no one will survive.
The question, then, is how would William Shakespeare end Breaking Bad? Picking up where last Sunday's episode ended, Hank and Gomez are unlikely to survive the shootout with the Nazis. To an extent, they've been corrupted by Walt, who is himself an aberration in the great chain of being. Likewise Jesse, who might survive the shootout, but wouldn't survive Shakespeare's final scene. Skyler attempted to kill herself once. And though she's certainly darkened, like Lady Macbeth, perhaps through a completed suicide she will reveal her redeeming spark of humanity. The Nazis have already erased Declan's gang. Once Lydia is dead, Blue Sky's last conduit to Eastern Europe will disappear. Todd and the Nazis will not survive Walt's M60 machine gun. As for Walt, it's inconceivable that Shakespeare would let him survive to see the curtain drop. [The Atlantic]