As season 5.5 of Breaking Bad quickly approaches, and with the promise of an even further downward spiral for Walter White, I have to wonder…are there any sins left for this broken man to commit?
To explore this, let’s take an inventory of Walt’s crimes and misdemeanors via The Ten Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not have other gods before me. “Say. My. Name. It’s Heisenberg.” √
2. Thou shalt not worship false gods. See previous. √
3. Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain. “You’re god damn right.” √
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. i.e. Remember the methylamine and keep it flowing. √
5. Honor thy father and mother. Who? √
6. …Kill. Duh. √
7. …Steal. Yup. √
8. …Bear false witness against your neighbor. Bingo. √
9. …Covet thy neighbor’s (meth) house, status, or wife. √, √, and read on for wife.
10. …Adultery. That would be a no. So far. ⊗
Adultery – the only unbroken commandment, and the final bad to break. The act would seal Walter’s fate not only with his family, but also with himself. After all, Walt started cooking meth in order to provide for his beloved kin.
So for what reasons might Walt commit adultery?
Let’s take a look at the rise and fall of Walt and Skyler’s sex life. In the series pilot, establishing a meth business with Jesse serves as virtual Viagra for Walt, provoking husband and pregnant wife to enjoy a salacious romp. In episode 7, at Walt’s faculty meeting, where the theft of lab equipment is addressed, guilty Walt fondles Skyler under the table and the two end up having crazy monkey sex in Walt’s parked car.
As virile alter ego Heisenberg overtakes terminal Walt, his libido continues to skyrocket. Yet, Skyler’s fizzles. Walt’s unexcused absences and odd behavior cause Skyler to become suspicious, angry, and feeling abandoned by the man she thought she knew. Then came baby Holly, not to mention Skyler’s assignations with her boss Ted Danake. And if that was not enough – Skyler discovers Walt is having a drugged up “affair” with 99.1% pure Lady Blue.
In season four, after having her suspicions confirmed, we find a terrified and depressed Mrs. White, placing herself in the role of provider and protector (from Walt.) Skyler sleep with the enemy? Oh, hell no.
So, just how long can Walt, or manly-man Heisenberg, prevail without the blissful, self- affirming, ego massaging effects of sex?
Let’s say Walt does cross the self-imposed line and takes up with a new squeeze. Would it be a hasty tryst or a second chance at undying love? Might this scar Skyler even more than the fact that Big Daddy is a Meth King? Would an affair enable the finally in-the-know Hank to use Skyler’s wrath against Walt? And would vulnerable klepto Marie becoming Walt’s mistress ever be completely out of the question? How about neurotic, control freak Lydia?
Adultery has brought down many an empire – and it could bring down Walt’s.
Anyway you twist it, I cannot wait to get back on the nerve-wracking joy ride that is Breaking Bad.
Monica Z. Sage is a freelance writer of short fiction, teleplays and an upcoming sci-fi novella.