Breaking Bad: Era tudo um sonho?
O comediante Norman McDonald ficou intrigado com o final de Breaking Bad e desenvolveu uma teoria que deixa o final bem mais interessante, veja abaixo (cuidado com os spoilers se você não terminou de ver a série):
Eu era muito fã de Breaking Bad, mas devo confessar que não entendi nada sobre o final.
Você pode explicar melhor o que quer dizer? O que você esperava?
Em se tratando de Breaking Bad, eu estava esperando um final menos ambíguo, não um que eu precisasse completar. Tenho que acreditar que a polícia matou um homem desarmado.
Do que você está falando? Eu não entendo o que você acha ambíguo.
Ele é o homem mais procurado que existe e come num restaurante, conversa com a garçonete e aparece onde quer que queira.
Ele morreu no carro, cercado pela polícia.
A polícia não ficaria tanto tempo no bar. Eu tenho certeza que o DEA recebe ligações sobre “Heisenberg” o tempo todo. Sempre trotes.
Mas a polícia veio e cercou o carro de Walt. A fantasia começa quando as chaves do carro caem em seu colo.
Então espere… O que acontece quando ele está na casa da Skyler? Nunca aconteceu?
O que você acha? A polícia é vista cercando o lugar e ele aparece de repente e sai, nenhum nota o outro.
É tudo uma fantasia de Walt. Como ele poderia colocar ricina num pacote lacrado de estévia?
Na casa dos Schwartz ele vira o Mike. Sua voz, o jeito que ele fecha a porta dupla, sua frase sobre uma faca maior #fantasia
Eu ia dizer isso. Excelente ponto.
E de onde raios Badger e Skinny Pete vieram?
Acho que a polícia não encontrou pegadas no carro em que ele estava se escondendo.
Então quando ele toma um tiro da metralhadora no porta-malas feita em casa na verdade são os policiais em New Hampshire?
Ele nunca toma um tiro. Ele sucumbe à doença, reclinando no banco do seu carro, enquanto a polícia se aproxima, armas no gatilho.
A chave é a atuação. E o diálogo. Estranho, irreal.
Eu gosto desta idéia, mas sua fantasia no final não seria ter a família de volta?
Ele não possui essa imaginação. Sua fantasia é o que ele quer fazer. Mas sabemos que Walter White nunca faz nada sem uma empurrão.
Estranhamente conveniente também o fato que a sede dos nazistas tem o melhor lugar para Walt estacionar a metralhadora.
Irreal, como o diálogo e a atuação artificiais, como se o finale fosse escrito por Walter White.
Ele até desmanda os nazistas quando eles dizem onde ele deve estacionar.
E a metralhadora mata todo mundo e de alguma forma todo mundo está lá. Isso mostra que é a fantasia de um homem doente, morrendo.
É filmada como se ele fosse um fantasma. E então ele diz “eu ESTAVA vivo”.
O diálogo foi escrito por um homem doente à beira da morte. “Você está usando uma peruca?” “Não”, “Ah, parece que você está usando uma peruca”.
Essa cena é uma fantasia infantil com atuações de colegial e Walt diz uma mistura confusa de duas frases famosas de filmes. Ele está se esvaindo.
Espere um pouco: não há como um carro tão velho ter um porta-mala acionado por controle remoto. Você percebeu algo.
Concordo com sua teoria, veja a neve na janela do carro. Não dá para entrar em um carro coberto de neve sem mexer nela.
Jesus Cristo, você está estourando minha cabeça. A canção do Marty Robbins! Perceba! Um beijinho e adeus Felina. Felina não estava lá.
O que é importante de lembrar sobre a canção “El Paso” é que o cara que está cantando está MORTO.
Você assistiu Talking Bad depois (programa que passou logo após o final de Breaking Bad nos EUA)? Vince disse especificamente que não era um sonho.
Nunca acredite no autor, Logan. O que ele disse está na série.
Não era um sonho. Era o plano de uma mente doente.
Achei que era o melhor show de todos, com um final perfeito.
Vi no Buzzfeed. E assim as coisas mudam radicalmente de figura e temos um final realmente ousado. Abaixo, a citada “El Paso”, de Marty Robbins, que toca no último episódio e o batiza, e sua letra. Sublinhei as partes que têm a ver com Breaking Bad.
Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl
Night-time would find me in Rosa’s cantina
Music would play and Felina would whirl
Blacker than night were the eyes of Felina
Wicked and evil while casting a spell
My love was deep for this Mexican maiden
I was in love but in vain, I could tell
One night a wild young cowboy came in
Wild as the West Texas wind
Dashing and daring
A drink he was sharing
With wicked Felina
The girl that I loved
So in anger I
Challenged his right for the love of this maiden
Down went his hand for the gun that he wore
My challenge was answered in less than a heart-beat
The handsome young stranger lay dead on the floor
Just for a moment I stood there in silence
Shocked by the foul evil deed I had done
Many thoughts raced through my mind as I stood there
I had but one chance and that was to run
Out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran
Out where the horses were tied
I caught a good one
It looked like it could run
Up on its back
And away I did ride
Just as fast as I
Could from the West Texas town of El Paso
Out to the bad-lands of New Mexico
Back in El Paso my life would be worthless
Everything’s gone in lifenothing is left
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the young maiden
My love is stronger than my fear of death
I saddled up and away I did go
Riding alone in the dark
A bullet may find me
Tonight nothing’s worse than this
Pain in my heart
And at last here I
Am on the hill overlooking El Paso
I can see Rosa’s cantina below
My love is strong and it pushes me onward
Down off the hill to Felina I go
Off to my right I see five mounted cowboys
Off to my left ride a dozen or more
Shouting and shooting I can’t let them catch me
I have to make it to Rosa’s back door
Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle
I’m getting weary
Unable to ride
But my love for
Felina is strong and I rise where I’ve fallen
Though I am weary I can’t stop to rest
I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle
I feel the bullet go deep in my chest
From out of nowhere Felina has found me
Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side
Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for
One little kiss and Felina, good-bye
E pra não ficarmos só com a opinião de um humorista (como se o fato de um sujeito fazer piadas para viver o transformasse em um piadista serial, nunca disposto a falar sério), eis o texto que a Emily Nussbaum, da New Yorker, escreveu logo após o season finale (se alguém se dispor a traduzir, por favor o faça nos comentários que eu substituo o texto aqui):
I’m quite certain that many, many people adored Vince Gilligan’s kickass ending to “Breaking Bad”: it’s easy to sense that from even a brief surf in the celebratory waters online. Nothing I write can erase someone else’s pleasure: and why should it? Pleasure is an argument for itself. But if you don’t want to read a critical take, stop here. In my own way, I also enjoyed aspects of the finale, particularly the scene with Skyler. And yet, I did not like the episode. Maybe it was just me—I’ll read all the recaps, and I’ll soon find out—but halfway through, at around the time that Walt was gazing at Walt, Jr., I became fixated on the idea that what we were watching must be a dying fantasy on the part of Walter White, not something that was actually happening—at least not in the “real world” of the previous seasons.
And, if that were indeed the case, I’d be writing a rave.
I mean, wouldn’t this finale have made far more sense had the episode ended on a shot of Walter White dead, frozen to death, behind the wheel of a car he couldn’t start? Certainly, everything that came after that moment possessed an eerie, magical feeling—from the instant that key fell from the car’s sun visor, inside a car that was snowed in. Walt hit the window, the snow fell off, and we were off to the races. Even within this stylized series, there was a feeling of unreality—and a strikingly different tone from the episode that preceded this one. In “Granite State,” after all, each of the show’s action-hero fantasies were punctured, then deflated. Walt’s new identity doesn’t leave him safe in the Bahamas, with WiFi, free to plan his comeback. He’s trapped in New Hampshire, paying ten thousand dollars for an hour of poker—alone, powerless, sick. Jesse’s bold attempted escape from Nazi meth slavery doesn’t buy him freedom; it means his ex-girlfriend gets shot, and Brock is left a traumatized orphan. Walter’s clever phone call to Skyler was certainly a fantastic Hail Mary pass, as Saul acknowledges. But, in the aftermath, we can see that this brilliant stratagem doesn’t get Skyler off the hook: instead, she’s under the thumb of the law, working as a taxi dispatcher, her house trashed.
Also, Walt still has cancer. He’s sick. In fact, he seems like he’s dying.
Yet a week later, in the show’s finale, every one of these spiky edges gets sanded over. Gretchen and Elliot are cartoon assholes—monstrous foodies!—and the Gray Matter backstory, which once seemed ambiguous (Had they really stolen Walt’s ideas? Or had he huffed off, as Gretchen once suggested?), shrivels into Walt’s version of the story. Walt forces them to launder his money, emasculating Elliot and his little knife; Walt’s so pure, he refuses to take their money. Badger and Skinny Pete agree to participate in this plan, rather than, say, turn Walt in to the police and get a huge reward. We never see how Walt managed to find Badger and Skinny Pete in the first place, without being noticed. The unifying element of this episode is that Walter himself is never noticed, not during a drive across the country after the cops descend on that unfinished Dimple Pinch, and not in his own home town, despite how we’ve been told, again and again, that Walt is now a wanted criminal, with his face all over the papers in Albuquerque, and on national television, and that if he goes out in public, he’ll be caught immediately. The Schwartzes, who are two Bill Gates–level celebrities, have no effective security measures in their house; they push no panic button in the many minutes before Walt indicates that there are assassins outside.
No one spots Walt when he enters Skyler’s home, either—or when he leaves. No one notices when Walt goes to see his son for the last time, even though you’d imagine that area would be flooded with surveillance. Walt is not noticed even when he steps inside a brightly lit, crowded Albuquerque restaurant, where he sits down with Lydia and Todd. I mean, it’s not as though the man’s a master of disguise: he’s got hair again, so he looks similar to the way he looked back when he was a teacher at a local high school—and in fact, he’s even more noticeable, because he looks homeless, ragged, and Unabomber-like. Has Walt magically hacked everyone’s cell-phone cameras? (@albuquerquejoe: Check it out! Walter White dining out with some well-shod bitch and a Nazi!)
So many moments felt peculiarly underlined: we see the ricin stirred into Lydia’s tea in a dream-like closeup, and then we also get to hear Walt on the phone with Lydia, rubbing it in, letting her know that she’s dying. The things that we never see in this episode are the painful things, many of them involving children: Lydia’s daughter bereaved, Brock as an orphan.
Of course, there’s the climactic sequence, which rivals any of Walt’s earlier mastermind plots: Walt builds a fantastic remote-controlled super-gun that kills almost all of his Nazi enemies. Even though Lydia has told the Nazis that Walt is back, and the Nazis are planning to kill him, they let him in. They don’t shoot him immediately. Indeed, they have a whole conversation with him. O.K., that might happen, and it often does happen, whenever people meet their enemies in television shows, only to fatally underestimate them. But in what universe would Uncle Jack, heretofore so pragmatic and unflappable, get so incredibly offended at Walt calling Jesse his partner? In what world would he then pull Jesse out of his cage, so that Walt could see that he was suffering? In Walt’s dreams, that’s where. Or at least, that’s how it felt to me.
In any case, Walt then knocks Jesse to the ground, to protect him. He hits the trigger. The guns go off. There’s that glorious cinematic bloodbath, and when it ends, there are two perfectly symmetrical survivors left standing. Todd survives, so that he can be strangled by Jesse in an echo of Walter’s Season 1 murder of Krazy 8. Uncle Jack survives, too. In hardboiled tradition, he picks up a cigarette, puts it in his mouth, and tries to negotiate before Walt blows his brains out, demonstrating that Walt cares less about money than he does about justice. The entire sequence is nearly video-game-like as pure revenge.
The tenderer, more emotional scene came earlier. That would be the lovely and beautifully filmed sequence in Skyler’s kitchen, in which Walt gets his redemption, as well as his say. He offers Skyler those lottery numbers—so that she can get closure on Hank’s death, and give Marie closure, as well. In addition, Skyler will have new evidence to offer the cops. Walt lies to her about his money being gone, so that she’ll be able to accept the dirty cash when it eventually comes to Walt, Jr., as a trust fund. Most miraculously, he drops the insistence that everything he’s done has been for his family. “It was for me,” he admits to Skyler. “I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really—I was alive.” Then he strokes baby Holly’s head, as Skyler looks on, in loving silence.
It was a genuinely poignant scene, and well-played, but only if Walter was actually dead. Which I am choosing to believe he was.
Don’t be mad, readers: as the Internet people say, YMMV, and very likely does. From my perspective, at least as I write, shortly after the finale aired, if this episode in fact took place in reality, it was troubling, and yes, disappointing, if only because the story ended by confirming Walt’s most grandiose notions: that he is, in fact, all-powerful, the smartest guy in the room, the one who knocks. Anyone other than Walt becomes a mere reflection of this journey to redemption. (With the exception of Jesse, who had the most mysterious scene: a poetic fugue of his own, in which he created what felt like a small coffin.*) It’s not that Walt needed to suffer, necessarily, for the show’s finale to be challenging, or original, or meaningful: but Walt succeeded with so little true friction—maintaining his legend, reconciling with family, avenging Hank, freeing Jesse, all genuine evil off-loaded onto other, badder bad guys—that it felt quite unlike the destabilizing series that I’d been watching for years. If, instead, we were watching Walt’s compensatory fantasy, it was a fascinating glimpse into the man’s mind—akin to the one in the movie “Mulholland Drive,” a poignant, tragic attempt to fix a life that is unfixable.
Still, even if right now I feel that the finale fell short, either because it was too obvious (look under your seats! closure for everyone!) or wayyy too subtle (a cinematic fantasy that never declared itself, except in my own tiny head), that doesn’t mean that the show failed as a whole. I’d bet that we’ll all be arguing about “Breaking Bad” for quite a while. It was that good, for that long. As with Walt’s meth, this brutal season still comes in for me at ninety-two-per-cent purity. If that’s not perfect, if that’s not what I was hoping for, it’s still one powerful batch.
*Update: Yes! I know. I had forgotten all about that story Jesse told in his recovery group, about building a wooden box in shop class, which makes this moment all the more poignant and revelatory. No need to alert me in the comments. I’m clearly no Walter White.
O Warren Ellis também comentou sobre essa hipótese no Vulture. Segue o texto original em inglês. Se alguém quiser traduzir, já sabe, é só postar a tradução nos comentários que troco aqui:
Over the last five years, we have watched a small hero become a big villain. The ordinary indefatigability of a clever man who settled for an invisible and honest life slowly metastasized, through buried pride and smoldering self-loathing, into the need to become larger than anything around him. The final episode of Breaking Bad has, like any well-written piece of television, generated many theories as to what actually happened. You can accept any you like. That’s the fun of the game. There’s a great one, spun out by Emily Nussbaum and Norm Macdonald, speculating that Walter White actually died in the car at the top of “Felina” and everything that followed was an edge-of-death hallucination.
Walter White did die. It’s stated at the end of the penultimate episode, by Gretchen. Walter White is gone. The final episode is the death of Walter White and the apotheosis of Heisenberg.
It’s written on the wall of the old White family home. Nobody wrote “Walter White lived here.” They scrawled HEISENBERG over the plaster. Before he enters Skyler’s new place, Marie tells her that there are reports of him popping up everywhere — but all through the episode, Heisenberg can only be seen when he wishes to be seen.
In this last hour, everything he tried and failed to do when he was Walter White pretending to be Heisenberg is restaged, and is successful. He has stopped pretending to be Heisenberg. Or, perhaps, he has stopped pretending to be Walter White.
There’s no pretense with Skyler, even as shipwrecked and abandoned as she is. He doesn’t wear Walter White and claim that he committed five years’ worth of horrors for his family. Exactly as Gretchen said, the sweet old Walter White is gone. He knows how to play Lydia now, and Uncle Jack and his strange and easily wounded sense of personal honor, and even weird, pockmarked Todd, whom I’ve seen adorably re-christened as “Meth Damon.”
He fully commits to being Heisenberg. And that’s why, in this last hour, his schemes finally work. They don’t work because he’s dreaming it. They work, without backfiring (almost), this time, because Walter White isn’t getting in the way of Heisenberg. He is, at last, the Bad Guy, and his final act is as operatic as that of Al Pacino’s Scarface, a film referenced in the series. “So say good night to the bad guy. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you.”
Why does that ricocheted bullet get him right at the very end? Because, faced with Jesse, he throws his old partner to the floor and clear of the fusillade. That’s something Walter White would do, and so Heisenberg gets killed for it. What keeps him alive is being a fictional supervillain. What kills him is being human.
We ended where we always knew we would, with Walter White filled with cancer and lying dead before us. But, before he went, we saw him become the criminal mastermind he’d always been accused of being, and perhaps always dreamt of being, and it was horribly glorious.
Se esse foi mesmo o final – todo o último episódio seria um delírio vingativo pré-morte de um Walter White cercado por policiais em um carro congelado em New Hampshire -, ele é bem mais interessante, e ousado, que a versão didática que seria o final, caso o tomamos ao pé da letra. Mas para que isso acontecesse, deveriam ter evidências mais fortes que não estamos assistindo à realidade e sim a um devaneio. Não digo que a série assumisse um surrealismo onírico forçado, mas podia ter pesado um pouco mais na camada lyncheana da narrativa. Mas mesmo que isso não tenha acontecido e se esse foi o final pensado por Vince Gilligan, me sinto muito mais satisfeito do que aceitar a versão pedestre e literal que teria sido este season finale. Só lamento que isso não tenha sido tornado ainda mais evidente na tela, exigindo dicas externas. Se isso realmente aconteceu – se Walter White passou, em nossa realidade, todo o episódio estatelado e agonizante num carro congelado -, o season finale de Breaking Bad realmente equipara-se a finais clássicos como Sopranos, St. Elsewhere, Seinfeld, Six Feet Under e The Wire.
Ou talvez eu tenha sido mal acostumado a exigir culhões narrativos de uma série que terminou quase mecanicamente, com poucos momentos de emoção.