Even Meth kingpins have awkward moments.
I AM a huge Breaking Bad fan. One of my favorite scenes is this well-written but embarrassing and awkward “Pep Talk” from good ol’ Mr. White after the airplane collision incident, which was by the way his fault.
In this scene from Season 3’s episode 1, Carmen, the school principal, gathers everyone to share their thoughts and feelings on the unfortunate accident. Funny because she kept on cutting them off.
When it was Walter’s turn, he starts off with a seemingly positive note. But as he kept on talking, he starts rambling about worse airplane deaths statistics. He gives off a message that the airplane collision in Albuquerque was not “bad enough” to grieve over, dismissing the accident and the victims’ demise.
The people around him were obviously being perplexed, and then becomes uneasy. Most of them were being surprised to hear a more realistic speech from the supposed-to-be-inspiring cancer survivor.
What they don’t know is that he was rambling out of guilt.
Let’s have a recap. In season two, Walter was kind of responsible for Jane Margolis’s death. Jane was Jesse’s heroin-addict girlfriend who had a backslid and was of course a bad influence to Jesse.
Now, Walter visits the couple one night, who were asleep–and saw Jane choking to death with her own vomit. Walter attempts to save her at first, but being the Satan spawn that he is, lets her die instead. Jane’s father who was an air traffic controller, was so depressed on her daughter’s death that he made a fatal mistake on his job. It ultimately led to the two airplanes colliding.
167 lives were lost that day.
Having known that series of events, it’s not hard to justify why Walt’s “Pep talk” and attempt to comfort the people around him was so cringe-worthy… but kind of funny.
It’s embarrassing because he was supposed to inspire everyone, but fails. It’s funny because it boldly shows Walt’s response to his guilt. He may haven’t done that on purpose, because rationalizing things is just his go-to method on solving his problems.
Many people, including myself, find ourselves relating to this scene. I give the wrong message to people sometimes without intending to do it, too. I mean, who wouldn’t fret with the thought of having the responsibility of many people’s deaths? Right, Walt?
Anyway, I love this scene because from another angle, he was doing the people a service. It’s not bad to take a healthy dose of reality check sometimes. Ya know, be aware of how fleeting our lives are–and be inspired to make the most out of it.
Here’s a clip of the scene.