Alternative monitoring of popular culture ~ broadly defined ~ in the pursuit of deeper understanding.
Vince Gilligan wasn't much interested in examining the emotional and psychological pathology woven throughout Breaking Bad. In fact, Gilligan wasn't much interested in explaining much of anything in the world he created, aside from Walt's cancer, and even then little screen time was given to the man's illness and treatment, lending early credence to Walt's final season confession that his meth cook exploits were all about him. And, of course, as with much of what was presented in this brilliant show, the lack of exposition was deliberate and, to me, intriguing. Once Walt's cancer was arrested and he was off to the races with Jesse and Gus and the rest, the damaged psyches of the show's other characters were thrown into greater relief. Walt's sister-in-law Marie (Betsy Brandt) was such a bundle of repression and rage that her venomous meltdown after husband Hank's shooting was, at least to me, the character's most revelatory moment. It was clear to me that Marie was blistered by her resentment of her husband, his work, her work, her sister, and all of life, really. Oh, if she could only get that townhouse in Georgetown. Not a single moment was spent explaining this spiteful woman, in an effort to get us to understand her. She was who she was -- a bewildered, isolated, kleptomaniac out to piss off the world that had dealt her a handful of nothing.