…Walt hasn’t taken the name Heisenberg as a way of giving props to a man he idolizes, Walt has taken the name of a principle he seeks to exemplify. He’s taken the name of the metaphysical truth he now embraces and embodies because Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle opens him up to the possibility that he wasn’t destined to be bad. Heisenberg allows Walt to believe that he chose to break bad and that he can chose to be good again. In the absence of a soul, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle opens Walt up to the possibility for redemption.
- Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living Through Chemistry | Darryl J. Murphy
I’m gonna do a bad job paraphrasing it, but one of the truest statements anyone’s ever said about Hollywood is, “Success in Hollywood doesn’t change you so much as it reveals who you really are, deep down inside.” That analogy could be applied to a lot of life-changing events. In the case of Walter White, finding out in that first episode that he’s dying of terminal cancer frees him, as he puts it. It means that he is now awake, and this awakening from sleepwalking through the first five decades of his life, this sudden lack of constraint or inhibition, allows him to be the person that he truly is. Unfortunately, the person that he truly is is most definitely not all good.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that profoundly egotistical, amoral men never quit the job they love in order to spend more time with their families, even though that’s always the reason they give.
I suspect some viewers are disappointed by the idea of Hank getting tipped off to Walt’s secret essentially by accident–literally, with his pants down. But on reflection, maybe that was the only way it could happen. This season gave us Walt utterly triumphant—if despicably so—and Hank, in the end, utterly thwarted on the verge of getting one of the prisoners to flip. There was simply no way Hank was going to catch Heisenberg; he was outmatched. But Walter White–relaxed, his guard down, convinced that he had in fact managed to pull off the perfect crime? That guy, Hank could get.
I think Skyler sees Walt as we’re meant to see him: a self-deluding, pathetic man, but a dangerous one. She punctures the fantasy that there’s anything admirable left about Walter White, that we should still root for the man who fought back against illness and emasculation with a pork pie hat and chemistry.