The imagery of Breaking Bad‘s opening scene offers a perfect metaphor for Walter White’s full story. The series is considered to be one of the greatest television shows of all time known for its consistently strong writing at the hands of showrunner, Vince Gilligan. While the first season barely dips into the expensive world of New Mexico drug crime that the later seasons explore, it does establish characters and themes that the rest of the series would abide by. Particularly, the psychology of Walter White that would lead to his downfall.
Breaking Bad’s pilot shows glimpses of Walter’s experience as a high school teacher and father, portrayed as being entirely unfulfilling. Walter implores the help of Jesse Pinkman to help him cook meth and later sell it, which would establish the first conflict in his new life. While some shows diverge from their initial principles, the pilot episode can be praised retrospectively for establishing a continuity that represents all six seasons of Breaking Bad and its characters.
How Breaking Bad’s Opening Seconds Predict Walt’s Journey
The opening imagery of New Mexico’s deserts, the RV, and a pair of khaki pants floating through the air offer strong symbolism to Walter White’s six-season journey. The khaki pants represent Walter White’s, bland life as a high school chemistry teacher. The RV, which is used in the episode as Walt and Jesse’s base of operations for the creation of the crystal blue meth, symbolizes, Walt’s turn to a life of crime. The roughed-up and speeding RV is seen driving over the khaki pants before losing control and crashing.
Over the course of Breaking Bad’s six seasons, it’s revealed that Walter grew tired of his mundane existence where he felt he had underperformed in living up to his potential. In his life as a drug kingpin, Walter gets the chance to experience highs and lows that very few could understand. His career in crime is a speeding torpedo that eventually does lead to his downfall. This opening scene captures this perfectly with the khakis not only representing his previous career but also the lives of everyone who knew Walter White before he broke bad.
Did Breaking Bad Know How Walt’s Story Would End In S1?
Many TV series have started strong with captivating premises, but a lack of planning, or the show being stretched on too long, caused them to fail at delivering a proper ending. Mapping out a show from start to finish is no easy task, and this was not the case even for Breaking Bad. Vince Gilligan described the process by which the finale was written, saying that he and the writers pondered a number of possibilities for Breaking Bad‘s ending – other than Walt dying – before landing on the final version. While it’s possible that Walter was never going to have a happy ending, it seems that the specifics of Breaking Bad were never fully planned in advance.