Breaking Bad season 6 premieres on August 11, so I decided to catch up and watch five seasons of Breaking Bad in five days. To say I enjoyed the show is an understatement, and I’d like to discuss my fascination, along with my season 6 predictions.
Hi, My name is Josh and I’m an addict.
Breaking Bad has always been on my radar, we cover it on Hypable and I would always turn an ear when I heard TV spots for the show as the drug world has always intrigued me. No, I’m not really an addict, but I’m certainly addicted to Breaking Bad. After being turned on to the show by our own Andrew Sims, I went to Netflix and watched five season in five days.
You read that right – 54 episodes of Breaking Bad in less than 120 hours. I feel like I should be headed to a television marathon anonymous meeting truthfully. Watching Walt and Jesse start in their infamous RV and graduate to their multi-million dollar meth lab was riveting. When arguments occurred or business was being discussed, all I could wait for were those bags full of blue crystal.
I became fascinated. I’d heard of crystal meth prior to the show, and it certainly appears to be an epidemic of sorts, especially in the midwest, but this empire that Walt and Jesse were trying to create was so oddly inspiring. Seeing the transformation of Walt can’t be explained any other way than shocking. Seeing the innocent high school chemistry teacher switch to the monster meth manufacturer of Albuquerque was mind bending writing and more importantly, brilliant acting.
After watching the first few episodes, I grew to care about Walt and his situation and even more so with Jesse since he’s more my age. While Jesse is of course a part of an underworld that I’ve never witnessed, I could see myself getting caught up in the money and the life. Not to mention, I literally laugh out loud every time Jesse yells something to the tune of: “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!”
It’s easy to see what appeals to these types of people. While the show is certainly a glamorized version of the meth world, it does a hell of a job sucking you into the world, while making you want to sprint away after each episode back to your quiet, safe suburb.
The constant tension between Walt and his wife, or Jesse, or his DEA agent brother-in-law, Hank is palpable. There were some episode endings where I would literally yell out loud “Holy shit,” as the end credits were rolling. The fast forwarding at the beginning of the episodes is so addictive. They’ve created the perfect formula (no pun intended) for putting their hooks into the audience at the beginning of each episode and latching on with an unending death grip.
When you jump back to the current time, it’s always in your mind that you just saw the aftermath of something entirely disastrous and you sit on the edge of your seat like it’s the Superbowl and a hail marry was just thrown. When Walt let Jesse’s girlfriend die of a heroin overdose, I knew there was no turning back for him. Walt, thinking on the fly, was now a criminal mastermind who was out for himself, and also sometimes for the sake of Jesse’s well-being. Could he have been trying to scare Jesse straight by letting her overdose?
By season 3, I was fully invested. I could feel Walt’s fear of Gustavo in every episode, and now knowing how he “takes care of” Gus, it’s so wild to look back at his transformation. With Walt’s wife wanting nothing to do with his drug involvement, it’s gut wrenching to watch them fall apart. You see a happily married couple get ripped apart by a man’s life changing ambition, as well as fighting for his own life by defeating lung cancer.
Like other fans, I began hating Skyler due to her constant complaining, despite having all the reason in the world to act the way she does. That line, “Someone has to protect this family from the man who protects this family.” It broke through the screen, exploded the heads of Skyler haters around the globe. Despite my hatred for this character, she has reasons for being the way she is, but I found myself wanting to fast forward through her scenes as time went on. I’m very interested to find out how her character arc will end.
By the end of season 3, watching Walt tell Jesse that he can’t make it in time to kill Gale (the other chemist) – there’s no way around it, I was freaking out. Watching Jesse jump up and run, not thinking twice about killing Gale so that Walt could live, it was truly inspiring to see such comradery. Of course this resulted in Jesse having a very difficult time actually shooting Gale and dealing with his feelings afterwards about taking an innocent person’s life.
Jesse was in such visible, visceral anguish. Sure he had been tip toeing around this sketchy industry for years, but now his feet were firmly planted, steeped in blood. Luckily, Walt comes to his mental rescue, reassuring Jesse that had he not killed Gale, they would both be dead – which was true. We see Walt’s need for self preservation rear its head time after time, and it has essentially replaced his initial goal of leaving his family with enough money to live comfortably after his lung cancer most likely consumes him.
Season 4 sees the breakup of the partnership that Jessie and Walt have developed. Walt is instructed by Gus to work in the lab without his cooking partner, while Jesse goes on money pickups with Mike. Oh Mike, how we loved you. All business, no emotions – he’s who should have been the meth industry mastermind. The juxtaposition of a dead eye hit man and loving grandfather was fascinating.
Jesse grows bored riding shotgun for Mike, and you can tell that Gus is just trying to split Jesse and Walt up so that they don’t cause him anymore trouble. Mike’s basically Jesse’s babysitter, making sure he doesn’t slip back into old habits, and he proves to be very helpful when he saves Mike’s life during Gus’ own setup to make Jesse feel like he’s part of the crew again.
All the while, Walt brews his 99.1% blue-gold in their eight-million dollar underground lab. Watching them produce 200 lbs of meth a week was exciting, yet frightening at the same time. Despite it taking place in a fictional world, it’s clear that there’s someone out there doing something like this in the real world, and that people are buying massive amounts of this poison.
As a new fan, I sometimes struggled with the illegal aspects of the show, but five seasons in it doesn’t bother me any longer. It’s a business, as Walt would say. Who’s to say that similar types of behavior doesn’t occur in “legal” businesses. While someone may not end up with their throat cut, can we truly say companies don’t constantly push out their competitors? I loved the parallels that Skyler witnessed between her squeaky clean employer cooking his books and her husband cooking his meth.
Another episode where I found myself literally yelling out loud was when Gus, Mike, and Jesse head down to Mexico where the cartel wants Jesse to stay and cook meth for them permanently. When Gus poisons essentially the entire cartel, along with himself, it was mind blowing. I saw those little brown pills he took prior to the meeting and knew Gustavo had a plan to get all three back home.
But what a way to slice the head off of an entire cartel. He kills the boss, and every captain at the party. I have to give it to Gus, he’s tougher than hell drinking his own poison for the good of his company. Jesse proves himself once again after Mike gets shot during their exit after he kills Hector Salamanca’s grandson. Taking them to the tent/hospital and seeing the doctors only focusing on Gus was oddly difficult to stomach.
This again reminds us that money is paramount in this cutthroat, illegal industry. Luckily, Gus gets back on his feet fairly quickly after appearing to get his stomach pumped and Mike gets a weeklong gutshot wound healing vacation in Gustavo’s makeshift hospital.
By the end of season 4, Hank is just getting too close to Gus’ operation and Gustavo fires Walter, telling him he’ll murder his entire family if he warns Hank about the hit. With help from the DEA, all enter into hiding except Walt and Jesse. Both knowing that they must now kill Gus to stay alive.
After Walter comes up with a master plan to assassinate Gus, I realized now who the real monster was. It wasn’t Gus, despite him slicing his own men’s throats at will; it wasn’t Mike, who stalked people better than the DEA ever could, and it certainly wasn’t Jesse – it was Walt. He builds a pipe bomb and tests the detonator in his own house.
It’s just chemistry, right?
During one failed attempt at a parking garage where Gus pulls out some sixth-sense madness, he doesn’t get into his 10-year old Volvo which Walt’s pipe bomb was attached to.
Walt realizes he must go back to the drawing board. Finding out that former cartel enforcer Hector Salamanca is enemies with Gus, he realizes that this will be the perfect way to kill Gus. When Gus walked out of Hector’s room appearing unscatched, and we only see one side of him I yelled “No way!” Then the camera pans to the left, and we see Gus straightening his tie as half his face is blown off. It was truly one of television’s greatest holy shit moments.
Going into season 5, I felt the total shift that Walt had taken. He was no longer in the game just for the money, but the power that came along with being at the top of the industry.
This shows up the most when he and Mike have business discussions, where Walt is clearly upset with the way the money is being cut up – especially when Mike lets he and Jesse know they have to continue to pay off the 10 guys in jail so they won’t rat them out.
“Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.” - Mike
I knew it was only a matter of time before Walter killed Mike. And sure enough, once Mike gets in a major pinch with the DEA, Walt takes him out for a couple of names he realizes he could have easily gotten from Lydia.
While Jesse and Walt do a bit of cooking with their genius plan of using bug-infested homes as cooking stations, Jesse soon realizes he wants out of the game after the incredibly suspenseful train robbing situation occurs. This was possibly my favorite episode. The sheer amount of heart stopping moments that occurred while draining the train of its methylamine is more than you get in an entire series of any other TV show. And having that poor boy wave, I imagine we all jumped out of our skin at that exact moment when Todd pulls out his gun and shoots him instantly while Jesse yells “No!”
It was a sad time for me, seeing Jesse so upset and willing to leave Walt. But he had no choice, he couldn’t deal with the fact that his actions indirectly led to the death of a young boy. The show took a turn then, not wrong or right, but a turn that I imagine everyone could feel. The hilariously ironic partnership of student and teacher was no more and that changed the dynamic of the show.
When Walt is finally on his own, he asks Todd, one of the pesticide employees, to assist him in cooking and Walt makes a fortune. When Walt’s wife takes him into the storage locker with all of his money, my jaw dropped. Yes, it’s not real, but Walt’s entire success was tied up in that one scene. His wife, estranged, his multi-million dollar empire resting in a storage box, and he finally tells Skyler that he won’t cook any longer – as fans sigh, not quite sure how we feel about his departure from the industry. Maybe we’re just glad that our main characters are all still breathing at this point and not in any danger – yet.
The first half of season 5 ends with Hank finding the book that Gale had given to Walt as a present while he uses the restroom. Hank’s facial expression is enough to scare us back into that fear we thought we had seen the last of as he sees “To my other favorite W.W” on the inside of the first page. He’s realized that there’s a great possibility that Walt is his Heisenberg.
‘Breaking Bad’ season 6 predictions
We’ve seen that Walt purchases a massive gun in the flashforward where he’s turning 52, so there will undoubtedly be a shootout of epic proportions. Personally I believe this will be used to either get his family back from a kidnapping, or possibly Jesse. I don’t think it will be used to simply kill people, unless Walt goes completely nuts. Sure, he’s a child-poisoning meth manufacturer, but he’s not yet reached face-slapping, Tuco status either.
Hank won’t arrest Walt, but will confront him about the evidence he’s found linking him to his Heisenberg. I think this may be a turning point for Hank, he’ll have to make a major decision that will cause him to transform as Walt has. He’s always been such a straight arrow DEA agent, but he can’t turn Walt in because it would look just as bad for him if the DEA were to find out that Walt had been hiding right under his nose. Hank does have a difficult time keeping things to himself though, so it’s possible he may spill the beans to his wife or someone else.
Jesse will be forced to cook again. They’ve written him into essentially hating the industry now, and the best way to shock viewers would be to have Jesse weeping under his gas mask, while brewing Walt’s blue crystal. This is a stretch, but Jesse has to get back into the story somehow. Since Walt has told Skyler he’s quit, Lydia and Walt’s other distributors will need product, and it’s widely known that Jesse can cook using Walt’s method.
Despite being in remission, Walt’s cancer will rear its head again and cause Walt to “break bad.” This will give him the push he needs to go full scarface in Albuquerque. We already see that he’s let himself go a bit in the 52-year-old flashforward, and this most likely means he’s either in hiding (possible given his fake license) or has given up on his appearance due to the cancer wreaking havoc on his whole body, possibly affecting his brain (his most prized possession). This will allow the show to go full circle, seeing as the first episode exposed us to Walt’s incurable cancer and it should end with Walt again accepting his fate.
The show will end in the desert with quite a few dead bodies lying on the ground, with either Walt left alone with only his cancer, his family and Jesse dead, or everyone dead except for Hank. Hank will do his best to make it look as though his family was never involved in such heinous acts – attempting to salvage their memories despite their actions. The transformation which should be most interesting this season will be Hank’s, who was left with the most grave decision at the end of season 5.
If you haven’t had a taste of this show yet, I’d suggest doing so. I was apprehensive at first, but after watching these five seasons in just five days, I’ve clearly become a Breaking Bad addict, and I’ll be looking forward to each Sunday until the show’s finale. For those who are already fans, please tell us your season 6 predictions below. Breaking Bad season 6 premieres this Sunday, August 11.
Editor’s Note: Hypable is aware that technically this is Breaking Bad season 5 Part 2. We’ve found through search data that the majority of the show’s audience searches for news using season 6 in their search phrase, so we’ve decided to stick with that title until further notice. We do apologize for any inconveniences this may cause our readers.
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