Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thank You, Vince Gilligan

[Content note: possible Breaking Bad end-of-series spoilers]

After my recent Team Walt debacle, I didn't have any intention to write about this magnificent series again. And I still won't...at least not at length. But with the coming of the end, I figured I'd go ahead and indulge in a little, "I told you so"...but more importantly, some thanks and reflection.

Since you've read this far, I'll assume you saw the series finale. Which means that we both know that in Walt's final moments, he admits to Skyler that his behavior throughout the series was driven by selfishness and that it wasn't actually all for his family.

Vindication! For this, I'll extend Breaking Bad's creator, Vince Gilligan, the first thank you. It's kinda sad that this fact needed to be spoon fed to the die hard Team Walt members out there, but what ya gonna do?

The second thank you I'd like to extend is for developing Skyler into the amazing character she became. It's sad how the Skyler haters that came after me couldn't see past their own misogyny* to notice that she was so much more than a nag (and that's the nicest term they use.)  For me, Skyler, as a character consistently begged the question, "What would you do if you found yourself in this situation?" She certainly isn't perfect, but neither are any of us, and that's kind of the point. She's been traumatized, manipulated, and is trying to cope with what she was thrust into...hoping to gain some control over her life again. It is upsetting that so many people want to blame her for her situation, and mistake trying to survive with being a partner in crime. But ultimately, Gilligan did Skyler justice, despite some people's inability to understand her.

The final thank you I'll extend to Mr. Gilligan is for creating this incredible, nuanced, complex show in general. And for trusting his audience with such heavy questions of morality (for better and worse.) While the conversations surrounding this show frequently frustrated me, it's a testament to the writing that such conversations we're able to be had at all.

*That piece is great satire.

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