The brilliance of Walt White’s character lies in the fact that we never really know what’s going on with him.
‘Breaking Bad‘ is often called one of the best TV shows ever made, and out of the many reasons for such a coveted title, one has to be its range of complex characters. The show is about one Walter White, an ordinary high school chemistry teacher who finds out that he suffers from cancer but doesn’t have the money to pay for his bills. So, using his knowledge in chemistry he sets out to make high-quality meth, essentially reinventing himself as a drug lord. With themes of violence and moral decay, this one is a dark, thrilling watch and easily one of the most heart-pounding TV dramas of recent times. Over its five seasons, Breaking Bad has given fans several scenes that are somehow a mixture of cringe, awkwardness, and violence. And one such iconic scenes is the one in which Walt forces his underage son to drink tequila.
- The iconic scenes of Breaking Bad
- What’s going on in the tequila scene?
- The dark side of Walter White
What’s going on in the tequila scene?
While we never can point out exactly when Walt breaks bad, we see several hints sprinkled all through the early episodes that this is going to happen. In the tenth episode of the second season called “Over”, in one scene Walt is celebrating his cancer remission with his family, including his brother-in-law Hank who is a DEA agent. Walt, Hank, and Walt’s son Walt Jr. are sitting at the poolside, and Hank is telling an enamoured Walt Jr. about an incident revolving a Mexican drug cartel.
Meanwhile, Walt played by Bryan Cranston sits silently, and then fills his son’s cup with tequila, asking him to drink it. When he’s drained the cup, Walt fills it once more and orders his son to drink it. Walt Jr. drinks it again. Walt then proceeds to fill the third cup for his son, so Hank puts his hand over Walt Jr.’s cup, but he still keeps pouring the drink. This leads to a menacing stand-off between the two men, with Walt shouting, “My son, my bottle, my house”. But then Walt Jr. vomits into the pool and Skyler enters the scene, which diffuses the situation.
The dark side of Walter White
As this article argues, this scene with the tequila, one of ‘Breaking Bad’s iconic scenes for some fans, is the first time ever that Walt brought his murderous side back home.
‘Breaking Bad’ is essentially about how one family man is transformed into a murderer hungering for power. It shows us how human beings have the full capacity for evil and how there is a potential monstrous side lurking inside everyone, including ourselves. In this particular scene, we are exposed to Walt’s burgeoning evil side, for the first time unravelling in front of his family members.
This dark side of Walter comes upon us as the viewers almost suddenly, and it seems even we, as the audience, have not been intimated with his true intentions. But this is also what makes the show so interesting to watch. Don’t you agree?