Doppelganger Breaking Bad

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Transcript of Doppelganger Breaking Bad

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THE STRANGE CASE OF WALTER WHITE AND HEISENBERG

1

Plot Summary

Breaking Bad is a television series that ran from 2008-2013. The story is set in Albuquerque, NM taking place over a two year time-frame, focusing on the protagonist- Walter White and his family.

Walt is a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperablelung cancerat the beginning of the series.

In an effort to secure his familys financial future before he dies, he turns to a life of crime, producing and sellingmethamphetamine, teaming with his former student,Jesse Pinkman.

Over the course of 5 seasons, the audience watches as Walt goes from mild-mannered teacher to notorious drug king pin.

SLIDE- This is a promo show for Season 2 showing Walts family: Walt Jr., born with Cerebral Palsy, his pregnant wife, Skyler, Skylers sister, Marie, her husband, Hank, a DEA agent and his partner, Jesse Pinkman

2

Secondary CharactersSaulGusMike

Plot SummaryIn his new line of work, Walt encounters some key players in the series.

Saul Goodman is Walt and Jesses attorney. Hes popular for his late night TV ads advising Better Call Saul when in trouble.

Gus- Is a sucessful restaurantuer running Los Pollos Hermanos fried chicken chain by day and by night he is a major drug kingpin with ties to the Mexican Drug cartel. Walt and Jesse ultimately begin working for him in an industrialized meth lab.

Mike-Head of security for Los Pollos Hermanos, hit man, enforcer, cleaner and occasional Private investigator. He later becomes a reluctant partner in Walt and Jesses meth operation

3

The Doppelganger/Double

Walter WhiteHeisenberg

The focus for my paper is to study the double of Walter White and Heisenberg

--------------------------Show Clip------------------------------------------

I found the following clip that details the transformation of Walt to Heisenberg in the series. There is violence and are spoilers, in this clip, so viewer beware.Pay attention to the voice overs.

4

Who is Walter White?

Intelligent, talented ChemistMild-manneredFamily ManDissatisfied, depressed High School Chemistry teacherFinancially unstableAfraid of life

Change is thrust upon Walt. In the beginning of the series, the audience learns that Walt was once a promising chemist and among the founders of the multi-billion dollar company Gray Matter Technologies, but he soon left, selling his shares for $5,000 for personal reasons and becoming an unhappy and disillusioned high school chemistry teacher.

After his terminal cancer diagnosis, Walt uses his chemistry abilities to cook the purest meth ever seen in an effort to secure financial stability for his wife and family upon his death.

Walt is characterized by being a Family Man who is mild-mannered, dissatisfied, depressed, financially insecure, afraid of living.

His physical appearance is slightly out of shape, wears a moustache

5

Who is Heisenberg?

Persona Walt takes when he enters to drug trade worldOriginally starts off as a cook for methCreates the purest form of meth ever seenWalt tries to keep Heisenberg secret from his familyCharacterized by his pork pie hat, bald head and sunglasses in the earlier episodes. Ruthless, filled with Hubris, unrelenting

Heisenberg is the darker side of Walter White.

He is the persona taken on by Walt once he enters the drug trade world.

Begins by being a meth cook, later becomes a drug king pin and murderer

Walt tries to keep Heisenberg secret from family

Characterized by pork-pie hat, bad head, goatee beard later on

Hes ruthless, prideful, unrelenting

6

Walt= Weak Heisenberg=Strength

There is an internal conflict in regards to how Walt sees himself. As Walt he is weak, unsuccessful, a failure.

As Heisenberg, he is strong, dominating and successful in his business. This dichotomy is at play in the entire series.

The necessity for an alias appears in the first season when Walt has his first encounter with the drug trade. Through Jesse, a distributor is found in Krazy 8. Krazy 8 and his cousin Emilio attempt to kill Walt because they think he is a drug-informant. Walt tries to placate them by offering his recipe, but instead attempts to poison them with phosphine gas. Krazy-8 survives and Walt is tasked with killing him, a thought which sickens Walt. He keeps him in Jesses basement and this begins a moral dilemma within Walt. When he finds out that Krazy-8 knows his name, his profession, his family, Walt sees the risk he has placed his family in. He still moralized to let him live until he realizes that Krazy-8 is going to kill him. He thus strangles Krazy-8 with the bike lock used to secure him in the basement.

It isnt until he comes face to face with another methed-out dealer named Tucco that Walt reveals his alias, Heisenberg.

Ultimately, Walt must surrender to his alter ego to survive in the drug world. Eventually both worlds are unable to survive separately.7

The Heisenberg Principal

Walt takes the name Heisenberg from a real person.

Werner Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932.

He is most known for his uncertainty principal

theuncertainty principleis any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties can be known simultaneously

This goes into one of the sources Im using for my paper.

8

Secondary Support

The transformation of Walter White into Heisenberg undergoes several changes in look and attitude. Walter Whites choice of Heisenbergs name can surely be attributed to his will to wear the mask of a revolutionary scientific genius (60).

The name of Heisenberg is a guarantee of the complexity of reality. The disciplinary institutions that pretend to be in control cannot have total access to the truth of human lives. The observed subject has traits that make him/her ontologically impossible to be scrutinized in all of his/her intentions and will (60).

In his essay, . Heisenberg: Epistemological Implications of a Criminal Pseudonym, Alberto Brodesco examines the choice of Heisenberg by Walt and how it contributes to his transformation.

The transformation of Walter White into Heisenberg undergoes several changes in look and attitude. Walter Whites choice of Heisenbergs name can surely be attributed to his will to wear the mask of a revolutionary scientific genius (60).

The name of Heisenberg is a guarantee of the complexity of reality. The disciplinary institutions that pretend to be in control cannot have total access to the truth of human lives. The observed subject has traits that make him/her ontologically impossible to be scrutinized in all of his/her intentions and will (60).

9

Highlights of Research

Mirrors, Reflection, & Dualities in Filming

10

Mirrors and Reflection

Walt exists as two men concurrently. Because of this, mirrors and reflection play a strong role in this series.

Walts transformation is both psychological and physical and the physical is reflected in both the mirror images and dual scenes.

The images in this slide reflect that (pun intended).

Explain photos

11

Walt and Gus

While it isnt the focus of my paper, it is important to note that a case could easily be made that Walt and Gus are doubles for themselves.

The first picture in this slide shows a similar reaction to a loved one being killed.

Upon meeting for the first time, Walt doesnt see Gus visage in person, but rather, notices his reflection in the glass while sitting at a table in Los Pollos Hermanos

Los Pollos Hermanos loosely means Chicken Brothers and an argument could be made that the log itself is a mirror reflection.

Like other stories we have read, mirror and reflections play a large role in the filming of this series.12

How Does Walt Relate to other Doppelgangers/Doubles?

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Narrator & Tyler Durden

Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde

Like Dr. Jekyll, Walt is a brilliant scientist. Both men desire to be more than they are. They both create stronger versions of themselves that in the end, end up taking control over the creator. Science is certainly the connecting factor and while Hyde is directly created by science, I think Heisenberg is as well.

Narrator and Tyler DurdenLike Tyler Durden, Heisenberg is created out of need. In this case, it is more of a psychological need. Both alters are violent, commanding and reckless. The major differences here is that the narrator is not seemingly aware of what Tyler is doing, but Walt doesnt have that break from reality. He moves between two worlds. Both use science, chemistry specifically.13

Modern Day DoppelgngerWalter White

Don Draper

I have to give props to Emma and her presentation on Don Draper because I think these two characters have a lot of similarities. They both are self-created and self-aware. Perhaps this is a comment on our society. We can easily manipulate our identities for various purposes. Maybe AMC knows something we dont, or maybe they appreciate this tale where identities are so malleable. Maybe thats just what todays doppelgnger is.

14

Brodesco, Alberto. Heisenberg: Epistemological Implications of a Criminal Pseudonym. Breaking Bad: Critical Essays on the Contexts, Politics, Style, and Reception of the Television Series. Lanham: Lexington Books, 20