Pretty much every post on this blog so far is about things I don’t particularly like. That’s because I find it sooo much easier to write about things I hate rather than things I actually, you know, like. It’s easy for me to point out the flaws in things that suck (in my opinion). It’s fine, I thrive on complaining about junk. When it comes to things I LIKE though, well, sometimes I just want to enjoy them and not analyze them or try to explain what I enjoy about them. But this week I’m going to try to be positive and write a few posts about stuff that I actually think is good. That was an eloquent way of putting it. Good job, Alex. OK, let’s do this.
Obviously, because I am a human being who’s alive in 2012, I love Breaking Bad. It’s pretty much the perfect show. I love the way the plot is constantly building up to some explosive event, and just when you think the show has reached its limit, something more insane happens. But it’s also all believable, at least within the universe of the show. The characters are so well-developed; even though it’s impossible to predict what they’ll do, once they do it, it always somehow makes sense.
Now that this season (or this half of the season, or whatever they’re calling it) is more than halfway done, I have to say I’m really into Skyler. Skyler is interesting because, while the other characters at least have SOME options, she doesn’t really have any. Walt could have gotten out of the meth biz after killing Gus; there’s no real reason why Jesse couldn’t walk away. Mike is sort of stuck, since he owes his guys a lot of money to stop them from talking, but at least he’s resourceful, he’s seen some shit.
Skyler’s situation is different. She could try to run away, but she’s obviously not going to leave her children, and how could she explain the situation to her teenage son, or keep her baby safe on the run? She’s gotten too involved now to turn Walt in – she willingly agreed to launder his meth money! Last season, Skyler viewed herself as a partner. But now that she realizes some of what Walt is capable of, she sees that she’s a hostage.
One of my favourite moments in this ridiculously amazing season was the conversation Walt and Skyler had after she walked into the pool while Hank and Marie were at the house (which was a totally genius move, by the way). As Skyler shouts her increasingly desperate options, she quickly realizes that she’s backed into a corner, that she doesn’t know what to do. She admits that she isn’t like Walt, that she can’t justify or lie her way out of the situation. Then, in what I think was Anna Gunn’s best moment in the whole series, she tells him all she can do is wait…and hope his cancer comes back.
I think I’m intrigued by Skyler because of how my attitude toward her has changed so drastically since Breaking Bad began. At first, she seemed like this stifling force, who was trying to suffocate a man who just wanted to provide for his family. That isn’t really a fair assessment, since her husband was literally cooking meth, but she didn’t KNOW that at the time. Even taking meth out of the equation, it seemed like she was used to controlling every situation, to having everything go her way, and when that didn’t happen, she was kind of an asshole.
Now that she doesn’t have control over anything, I have no idea what Skyler’s going to do next. She’s gotten the kids out of the house temporarily, having sent them to stay with Hank and Marie after convincing them she’s in need of psychological help, but it’s not really a permanent solution. Of course I’m still invested in Walt and Jesse, but for the time in the series, I’m really intrigued to see what Skyler does, too.