Richard Hanania's Newsletter
The H&H Podcast
Breaking Bad: A Love Story?

Breaking Bad: A Love Story?

Breaking Bad: Season 3-Season 4, Episode 4 (Audio and Video)

Chris joins me to go over Breaking Bad, Season 3, and the first few episodes of Season 4. I had gotten to Episode 4 of Season 4, while he had only gotten to Episode 2 of that season, so there was some confusion on this point, for which we apologize. You can listen here or on your podcast app, or watch the video below. There are spoilers in the episode and the rest of these notes.

Once again, I’m blown away by how little I remembered from originally watching the show. Often, it’s the emotional coloring of a storyline that stays with me, while plot details are completely lost. But those details are very important for understanding a story, shedding light on the personalities and motivations of the characters.

So I remembered Walter falling out with Gus, because I can still feel how miserable his life became under constant surveillance, but not how that happened. Hank’s injury was something that had completely dropped from my mind. I had remembered him as the guy at the beginning of the series and at the end, but forgot all of the development in between.

The character who is really making an impression on me on this rewatch is Marie. She had always been something of a joke in my mind, but here you see that she is actually quite sympathetic, particularly in how she takes care of Hank after his injury and doesn’t get discouraged regardless of how bad he treats her.

Walt and Jesse Photo: Jesse and Walt - Breaking Bad ...

On the main storyline, I’m taken aback by how much Jesse really screws Walt. There were a few times when Walt was in a position to simply continue making money and being on good terms with Gus, but Jesse ruins things with his emotional instability, drug addiction, and irrational pride. We discuss why Walter continues saving him, and come to the conclusion that he just cared about Jesse, making Breaking Bad in its essence a true love story. On this point, see Mike’s Half Measures speech.

One thing we thought was interesting was that Gail Betteker may have been the only character in the entire Breaking Bad universe to ever express a political ideology. We discuss the significance of this, and the role he played in Walt’s larger story.

Here’s the video of our discussion.

For previous conversations on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, see the links below. All the discussions are between me and Chris, except where Marc Andreessen joins us, as noted. They are listed in chronological order.

The Breaking Bad Universe

Better Call Saul: S6E7, Plan and Execution

Better Call Saul: S6E8, Point and Shoot

Better Call Saul: S6E9, Fun and Games

Nietzschean or Christian? Marc Andreessen on Breaking Bad and Saul

Better Call Saul: S6E10, Nippy

Better Call Saul: S6E11, Breaking Bad

Better Call Saul: S6E12, Waterworks

Better Call Saul finale with Chris and Marc Andreessen

Rewatching Breaking Bad, S1 and S2

Richard Hanania's Newsletter
The H&H Podcast
Connected to the Richard Hanania Substack. Discussions with Chris Nicholson on war, Rob Henderson on movies, TV shows, and culture, and more.