Why Walt might be hard to identify with:
- If we hadn’t seen him brandishing a gun in the flashforward, we might find him too much of a sad sack. He endures a lot of humiliations and it’s a little wearying. When he finally breaks bad, we’re ready for it.
- In the flashforward, he’s wearing tighty whities that feel very real.
- His disabled son is a smartass, rather than saintly, and they give him shit about his attitude, understanding that he’s not fragile.
- This guy lives in our economy. His money troubles and humiliations are very well observed from real life.
- The doctor who gives him his cancer diagnosis has a mustard stain on his coat.
- In the flashforward, we don’t quite understand what’s going on, but we can see he’s in a very bad situation. He seems to think he’ll be arrested or killed. He doesn’t have any pants on. ii. Present day: He’s turning 50 and his wife gives him a 50 spelled out in “veggie bacon” which looks terrible. His son says it smells like band-aids.
- His son has cerebral palsy. Walt mainly handles this excellently, but he lets just a bit of frustration slip through when, after dropping Walt Jr. off, he yanks the handicap sign off his mirror and tries to put it in the glove compartment, which won’t close, indicating that he can’t escape his son’s diagnosis.
- Most of his students ignore him, and one actively humiliates him.
- He has to work in a car wash after his teaching job and ends up having to shine the asshole student’s rims while he’s laughed at. vi. His son adores his brother-in-law Hank’s gun. Hank then mocks Walt.
- For his birthday, he gets a contemptuous handjob from his wife while she does an eBay option.
- He’s been coughing, and finally collapses into the suds at the car wash. In ambulance, he asks to be dropped off at a corner be cause he “doesn’t have the greatest insurance.” He undergoes a typically terrifying PET Scan. Finally he’s told he has inoperable lung cancer, but he’s too numb to react.
- In the flashforward, he’s brandishing a gun, possibly preparing to shoot some cops. We don’t know if he killed all those guys in the RV.
- In the flashback, we we see he’s not just good at science, he contributed to research that won the Nobel Prize.
- He’s clearly a great teacher, spraying spraybottles to change the color of flames.
- Eat: Joylessly eats veggie bacon
- Exercise: He gets up at 5am to exercise on some sort of step machine.
- Economic Activity: He’s working two jobs.
- Enjoy: He can’t enjoy the party. He can’t even enjoy the handjob.
- Emulate: He wishes he could win his son’s admiration like Hank does. He asks to do a ride along to busting a meth lab, seemingly because he wants to emulate Hank, but actually because he wants to emulate the cooks.
- He finally stands up to his car wash boss after his diagnosis.
- He’s loving to his son.
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