Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Walter White: Boring Lame Chemistry Teacher to Bad Ass Meth Cook

Let's be real here; for those of you who have seen Breaking Bad, you know why it's such an amazing show. For those of you who haven't seen it, just stop reading this post and go on a binge watch right now.
Character development is such an essential item for all films and television shows. There's nothing better than to see characters grow and change. And to be honest, in the words of Yeezus himself, "Imma let you finish, but Walter White had the best character development of all time."

Breaking Bad first came out in 2008, but the show wasn't buzzing at that time. It only got hyped up and became the most watched show on American cable when it was approaching the season finale. People were starting to go crazy with every episode being a cliff hanger. As the show started to get more noticed and recognized, everyone just knew Walter White as the bad ass, bald chemistry teacher suffering from Stage III lung cancer who could also cook some high quality blue meth. At least, that's who I knew Mr. White to be when I started hearing about Breaking Bad. But Mr. White was never anything close to being Heisenberg at the start of it. Instead he was the socially awkward, boring chemistry teacher.

He had hair on his head too. Weird.
How did he become such a bad ass you're wondering? It's obviously because of Aaron Paul's character, Jesse Pinkman.

Pinkman, bitch!
Yeah, Pinkman. I mean, just look at this: Walter starts doing the famous 'grab crotch' motion to anyone that makes him angry, just like Pinkman. maybe that's not entirely the reason, but if we really want to explore this development, it all goes back to the man who plays the genius: Bryan Cranston. The writers never really developed a back story as to who Walter White really is when developing the show. So, Cranston made his own past. He gained weight for the show and dressed in bland and boring colors like green and brown. He also took some attributes that his father had like being slightly slouched over to make it seem like the character had so much weight on his shoulders. He starts off like this, being the protagonist in the show. But later on, we start to see how he becomes the antagonist and we as the audience start to question his morality in choices as well.

Some have suggested that Walter White actually adopts some traits off of the people he's murdered, and maybe that's what has led to him being such a bad ass. And it's a pretty accurate theory. Gus was probably the most irritating character of all for Mr. White; he was always ahead of Mr. White's plan and just knew exactly what to do. Later on, Walter would adopt the same concept. We even seen a little bit of Mike's personality in Walter, especially in the season finale. Mike had a non-sense attitude, kind of serious humor, and Walter would eventually develop the same personality, which can be witnessed here:

He pulls off some smooth tricks that really do make him the bad ass that he is. For example, he pulls of a stunt when selling meth to one of his "bosses" early in the season:

And other pretty sneaky stunts like when he finally got rid of Gus:

Whether or not you think Mr. White is the bad ass bad guy at the end of it all, he did start out pretty lame. But to become this genius meth cook that happens to be two steps ahead of his enemies is still pretty awesome if you ask me. We even witness in the beginning of the season how he ends up being the one pursued all the time. But eventually towards the fourth season, he becomes the pursuer. He's no longer Walter White at the end of it, but instead he finally becomes Heisenberg. 

Always in style.

1 comment:

Mark B said...

You did a grear job analzing the character development of Walter White. Love it how you included the motion pic to connect with your writing. Even though I didn't get hook on the show like rest of the world, I must admit that Walter White character was very interesting. Good job!