Breaking Bad - ’Half Measures’ (3x12)
Sassiest Script Moments
I’m wondering if you can tell me a little bit about what the younger Saul is like and how he’s different from the Saul we know in “Breaking Bad.”
I can’t tell you specifics, because I would get excommunicated from the Catholic Church, as well as every other church where people watch “Breaking Bad.”
He’s going to surprise you. I think when people see Saul from the “Breaking Bad” show, they are seeing the public face of that character, the things he wants to present to the public because he thinks it will get him business, and he had created that persona. So who is the real guy who did that? And I think I would just put it this way. A lot of times people see cynical behavior or a cynical attitude and they think the person is a cynic; in this case maybe Saul Goodman is a cynical guy about the law and stuff. A lot of cynics, I would argue, or people who are called cynics, are truly idealists who just had their feelings hurt. And so I think there’s some philosophy there that maybe carries over in to how Saul became the character that we met on “Breaking Bad.” So that’s as specific as I’ll get. It’s pretty philosophical or whatever, but I would say that… that’s all I can say. He’s a very different guy from what you think. I’ll put it that way. And yet it all makes sense, I think, because the writing is so good, and the writers have really challenged themselves and have come up great from it.
"Milton’s Satan is terrifying because he is recognizably human: he exhibits ambition, pride, desire for freedom, and injury at being undervalued. Like Milton’s Satan, Walt is an anti-hero, burningly intelligent and reeking of lust for power.
Walt’s dilemma is the same as Satan’s: how to assert a modicum of control — of free will — against forces larger than oneself. Satan rages against a tyrannical, unjust, uncaring God; Walt battles against the inexplicability of his cancer and a broken health-care system.
Like Milton’s Satan, Walt seeks to reason and justify his rebellion. He invokes art, science, free market rationality, protection of one’s family. In this sense, libertarians and artists alike ought to embrace Walt. He is a radical individual. His product, while problematic, merely feeds demand; demand increases, and so too must production.
Walt risks all to feed a ceaseless, self-destructive desire to be king. For Milton’s Satan, ruling Hell means liberty; for Walt, selling meth means being no one’s bitch. As Milton’s Satan says of Hell, “Here at least / We shall be free.”
– from In Hell, “We Shall Be Free”: On “Breaking Bad” by Michelle Kuo & Albert Wu
Illustration: Paul Gustave Doré, Paradise Lost - The Fall of Satan