“Breaking Bad”: Moral?
A few years ago my sons told me about a popular program, “Breaking Bad.” I rented both the first and second years of the shows from the library, and in short order watched all the episodes. Then I got bored with it – two years was enough. This last year however I have been watching or recording all the shows, and of course most of the world knows last night was the final episode.
In “Breaking Bad,” besides being a TV show with great actors, we see moral relativism at its peak. Is Walter White a hero or a villain, or simply a tragic figure forced to do things for his family and their future because of his poor medical insurance? Some have seen deep symbolism in the show, from the use of colors to the choice of names.
Some have called the show a good example of Satan and the power of evil. The Jewish message is much simpler. Everyone is born good, not tainted with original sin. We all have choices to make, continual choices every day of our lives. Walter White started to make the wrong choices and in time he grew to enjoy the choices he was making: coveting money, power, the manipulation of people, and even murder.
Besides the excellent acting one of the reasons the show might be so popular is because everyone can make the wrong choices at times, and perhaps viewers see a little of themselves in the wrong choices Walter White made. It’s not Satan, nor the devil that made Walter White make the wrong choices, but only Walter White. The fact the show is so very popular might give moralists reason for concern. Sometimes as Sigmund Freud said however, a cigar is only a cigar.
This much I’m willing to bet however: someday Vince Gilligans will bring Walter White back from the brink.