Monday, August 20, 2012

On Birthrights

In Sunday night's episode of Breaking Bad (and if you haven't watched it yet, skip over to the next paragraph), Mr. White tells Jesse that the reason he refuses to leave the "business" is because he doesn't want to sell himself short. He shares with him that once upon a time he started a company, but when he needed money he sold his shares - worth $5,000 at the time - in order to adjust to increase bills. Now that company is worth 2.6 billion dollars. He "threw away [my] son's birthright for $5,000." I can see why he is reluctant to give up a $305 million dollar opportunity for $5 million (although, let's remember the reason he started this "business" in the first place was to earn enough for the cancer treatments - $700,000).

Sunday morning my pastor preached on Jacob and Esau, two brothers who couldn't be more different. I notice a similarity between Esau and Walt, however, about how quickly each was willing to give up a birthright for a quick advance. How much is a bowl of lentil stew? Definitely not more than $5 million in their day. But alas, patterns befall patterns.

And since hindsight is 20/20, we can see both have learned a valuable lesson. Both men had the potential of something great, and they lost it. We know what happens to Esau through the book of Genesis; his chapter has been told. But Walt? The season is still not over, yet we discover a man who has gone so far down the rabbit hole he has begun to lose his sense of self. Through his alter-ego, Heisenberg,  he will stop at nothing to gain back what he thinks is rightfully his. Control freak much? Indeed, he will stop at nothing even if that may mean putting his family at risk, an option no loving father or husband should ever even consider making.

Walt has broken bad, but can he be repaired? Can he be truly repentant? Cue the final installment of the series finale...

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