Perceptive fans of Breaking Bad have surely noticed how Walter White starts to exhibit behaviors initially specific to the characters he kills throughout the plot. This strange mimicry gives rise to controversy when Walt is featured plating his bacon on the occasion of his 52nd anniversary, just as Skyler did a year before.
While generally Walt displays his victims’ habits after killing them, fans’ take on the festive plating is that the scene works more like an omen, anticipating Skyler’s death by the hand of her very own husband.
So, when articulated, the buzz around Breaking Bad and the mimicry theory goes like this: did Vince Gilligan intend to create a character that replicates his kills’ behaviors? And if so, is mimicry both a post-kill characteristic and an anticipation of the kills to come? Or does it have just one of the two functions?
Gilligan admitted that Walt was never meant to be a character that takes on his victims’ characteristics, let alone to imitate his future targets’ conducts. By design, the plot did not envisage such a character. Yet, according to Gilligan, fans who connect the dots are right to do so, since the series is replete with “visual echoes” – as Gilligan puts it – of past kills.
Up to season finale, no murdering of Skyler happens. I can only assume the scene in question was created to add some extra tension, capitalizing on what viewers have already sensed about Walter and his relation to his victims.
Speaking about season finale, comedian Norm Macdonald’s theory of dream is, while catchy, dismissed by Vince Gilligan. The producer says Walt could not have had representations of things or events he had never experienced. I find it a little iffy, because, in my opinion, fantasies can also be projections, not just pure constructions or reconstructions of past experiences.
The end of Breaking Bad is monumental, however one decides to interpret it. Is it reality? It might. Does it feature the fever dream of a men tormented by the effects of chemo, ready to die in isolation? It might just as well.
What I want to point out is, regardless of the concept one feels at ease to accept, the merit of the show consists of something else. It brings the art or creating suspense to a whole new level, leaving viewers insatiable even after all loose ends are tied up.