Breaking Dad: Reimagining Postwar Models of American Fatherhood in Breaking Bad
The sixth and final season of Breaking Bad begins with a cold open (i.e., an in medias res teaser that appears prior to the program’s opening credits and is intended to grab the attention of the audience) that depicts series protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston) returning to his much-altered home an undisclosed amount of time after the events of the fifth season finale, titled “Gliding Over All.” A wide exterior establishing shot reveals the extent of the ruination that has occurred since viewers last witnessed Walter communing with his extended family on the patio of 308 Negra Arroyo Lane, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Chain-link fencing bearing bold yellow “Warning: No Trespassing” signs surrounds the White family home. In contrast to the neighbors’ yards, Walter’s is brown and overgrown from inattention, and the tree at the corner of the lot is bare. Boards adorn the windows of the house, graffiti tags are scrawled across its exterior, teens use the empty pool as an impromptu skatepark, and leaves and other debris litter the roof over the garage. Once Walter crowbars his way inside, he discovers a similarly depressing wasteland stripped of its former inhabitants and contents: debris-strewn floors, exposed wiring in the hallway, an insect infestation in the kitchen, and the name “Heisenberg” (Walter’s drug kingpin alias) spray painted in large block letters on one of the living room walls.1
KeywordsNuclear Family Postwar Period White Family Modern Family Foster Care System
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