HeisenPAC (spoiler alert for people who haven't seen the final episode of "Breaking Bad")
By now it has been fully two weeks since "Breaking Bad" fans have been treated to the final chapter in the Damnable Life and Deserved Death of Dr. Walter Hartwell White, Ph,D., a/k/a/ Heisenberg, a/k/a Ozymandias. The final season, and especially the final episode, has been analyzed from every conceivable Freudian, Jungian, Nietzschian, Darwinian and what-have-you angle, and commented on by everyone from Kim Kardashian to the Dalai Lama.
However, I have yet to see one question raised that comes to my mind readily: What if, instead of becoming the biggest fabricator of crystal meth in the Southwest, Walter White had stayed in Gray Matter Technologies and become a billionaire pharmaceutical tycoon?
As we learned over the course of five seasons, Walt was a dormant Machiavellian, just waiting for the opportunity to bloom, or fester. When he finally admits to Skyler, "I did it for me. I liked it, and I was good at it," it became screamingly obvious--as if it hadn't been for the last two or three seasons--that the wimpy chemistry teacher we met in the first episode was a facade forced on him by circumstance. The badass in the stubbly beard and porkpie hat, who rigged a machine gun in the trunk of his car to revenge himself against his enemies, was who Walter truly was, all along.
So just imagine if, instead of having a meth lab and $11 million in a barrel, Walt had manufacturing facilities on all six inhabited continents and $11 billion in the bank.
Can we truly feel the deep, bitter resentment Walt would feel about Obamacare? Or the burning need he would have to trade his stock on Nasdaq without any pesky interference from the SEC? Dare we commit the blasphemy of noting that a certain resident of the White House bears a slight facial resemblance to Gustavo Fring? Could we even, in our worst nightmares, envision President Walter White, Vice President Jesse Pinkman, Attorney General Saul Goodman, Secretary of State Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, Secretary of Defense Todd Alquist and National Security Adviser Michael Ehrmantraut? Can you just imagine the billions of trillions this country could make from its secret deals with Bolivia and Afghanistan?
Of course, this is just a bit of gristle for Vince Gilligan to chew on. Far better to leave Heisenberg bleeding to death on the floor of his beloved laboratory.