My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
Who cares? Who cares, who cares, who cares? I’m not saying who cares about the show — I’m saying this is becoming the point of the show. What makes Breaking Bad one of the most moral shows in the history of television is that actions have consequences, whether those actions arise from pain or greed or fear or panic. You pay for your actions, not the operation of your heart. The psychoanalytical journey we could all choose to take — and that most of us have taken — with Walt is a bloodless exercise. It is a luxury afforded to people who can see selfishness and wickedness and violence in the abstract, the way you can when it’s on television. What these final episodes are doing is showing no mercy, because evil shows no mercy. That’s not “Evil Shows No Mercy” in a tattoo-it-on-your-arm kind of way; that’s reality. That’s the reality of the fact that the reason to be a moral person is, in part, that brutal acts of violence do not take place inside a cage where the only ones hurt are the ones who deserve it — rats, or finks, or phonies, or fools. When you embrace doing whatever you want in order to get what you want, you cannot isolate the consequences. This is not a show that will ever be revealed to take place inside a snow globe; it’s a show where everything spills everywhere. – Linda Holmes on Breaking BadBACK TO TOP