Live Free and Beyond Your Ego’s Constraints, Learn from Walter White in BREAKING BAD, Season 5, Episode 2 – “Madrigal”

For a complete summary, go to http://breakingbad.wiki.com/Madrigal. For the purposes of this blog, here is the big stuff:

  • Walter keeps up ricin deception, helps Jesse find what appears to be the ricin cigarette that he supposedly misplaced in Jesse’ new Roomba – a robotic vacuum cleaner.
  • In response to Walt and Jesse asking Mike to partner up with them as they return to cooking, Mike nails it when he says to Walt, “You are a time bomb and I have no intention of being around for the boom.”
  • A Hank-led DEA team meets with several executives from the conglomerate, Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, that shipped the industrial filtration system to the now dead Gale Boetticher. Head of the company assures DEA that Schuler, who committed suicide because of his illegal activities that involved Madrigal, was an anomaly and that he pledges his company’s full cooperation in the investigation.
  • Although the evidence from Gus’ laptop has been destroyed, Steven Gomez points out the APD discovered a list of Gus’ offshore bank accounts that might be a lead.
  • Mike meets with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, a Madrigal executive, who wants Mike to kill eleven men who were on Gus’ payroll who could implicate Mike or herself. Mike rejects the idea, saying his guys have integrity.
  • Mike tells DEA he was head of corporate security for Gus but Hank doesn’t buy it. Although he lacks adequate evidence to arrest Mike, Hank does reveal to the suspect they know Gus made a $2M deposit to an account in the name of Mike’s granddaughter. Mike claims he doesn’t know anything about it.
  • At Saul’s office, Walt, Jesse and Sleazeball Saul discuss logistics of setting up another meth lab that’s local and not in a RV. Jesse reports he’s found all the meth precursor chemicals except methylamine, which he doubts he can find anywhere. Saul suggests getting out the meth business, Walter balks, says he’s broke: “Does that seem like an acceptable stopping point to you?”
  • Mike outmaneuvers one of Gus’ former henchmen who sets a trap in hopes of killing Mike (Lydia hired him to do what Mike refused to do, which is kill the eleven men, and to kill Mike too). After the bald assassin and PI learns the plan, he shoots the guy dead.
  • Mike is about to shoot Lydia at her apartment, pauses, asks her if she has access to methylamine, she says yes, and he spares her life. Grudgingly, Mike tells Walt he’ll join up with them.
  • In bed with his wife, Walter tries to improve her mood by saying, “When we do what we do for good reasons, then we’ve got nothing to worry about. And there’s no better reason than family.”

Again we see Walt has a chance to escape from the meth business. Even Sleazeball Saul thinks it’s prudent for Walt to exit stage left from the tragedy drama but it’s not to be. That’s because Walt is afflicted with a cognitive disorder that I’ve called different things in previous blogs: ego-centric mindset, ego-centric POV, the ego, and ME (short for malignant egophrenia, a Paul Levy term he uses in his book, “The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of our Collective Psychosis”). In order for Walter to continue the meth madness, he has to justify it in his mind. He does that by convincing himself he’s doing for the good of his family. Namely, he needs to make a lot of money in a short period of time so he can provide for his family’s financial well-being after he’s dead from cancer.

On the surface, that sounds plausible, almost noble. Walt risks his personal safety and freedom (he’ll be thrown in jail if he’s convicted of making/selling meth) for the sake of his family. Wow, what a guy, huh? But that’s not the real reason he does the meth thing. He doesn’t admit that until the final episode when he tells Skyler he did it all because it made him feel alive. The Heisenberg persona appeals to him because it allows him to be a big shot, to be a superstar in the meth world. He’s the Lebron James of meth cooks. He thrives on the attention and admiration of his fans, which in this case are mostly meth addicts but also rival drug cartels and guys who sell for Walter and Jesse (e.g. – Skinny Pete and Badger). He gets off on being The (Meth) Man, aka Heisenberg. So no matter how much trouble it gets him in and no matter how many financial setbacks he has because of the meth business, Walter can’t resist its seductive, dangerous charms. If Walt bothered to weigh the pros and cons of his decision, he’d see the cons are much greater than the pros. But that would require a level-headed, honest assessment of self, which is impossible for a person with his disease.

The alcohol or drug addict is the same way. If they created a T account like accountants use with debits/cons on the left side and credits/pros on the right side, the “account” would end up with a debit/con balance. The damage wrought by abusing alcohol – physical and mental health problems, compromised personal relationships, attendance and/or performance issues at work, DUI’s and lowered self-esteem to name a few – far exceeds the credits/pros – temporary escape from reality, lowered inhibitions, and a buzz. But again, practicing alcoholics don’t have the ability to honestly assess their situation.

If you’ve been sober for any period of time and want tools to help you keep that positive streak going, or if you feel you have a drinking problem and want a system that will inspire you and help you find your true identity, you can buy my e-Book for a mere $3.99. Happy Meals and most Starbucks drinks cost more than that and they don’t last nearly as long as the benefits from my book! Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Go to http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/leewriter for more information.

If you like this blog, follow it on WordPress.com and/or share the content with your online tribe on Facebook, Twitter, etc. THANK YOU. Have a blessed, completely aware day.

Note about the author of this blog:

Lee A. Eide is a freelance writer from Red Wing, MN. This blog shows how to free one’s self from any obsession by living beyond the narrow confines of the ego. His book, “Overcome Any Personal Obstacle, Including Alcoholism, By Understanding Your Ego”, is available at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/leewriter and on Amazon.com.

Also available on Amazon.com and www.xlibris.com:

“Dead Man’s Plan” – spiritual thriller that’s been described as “a unique and fascinating read” by Midwest Book Reviews and “a great, exciting story with well-developed character’s” by Mary E. Dana of SharpWriter magazine.

Author’s website is http://www.leeeide-thewriter.com. Eide lives in Red Wing with his cat, Shaggy II.

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