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The Series Disappointment Thread: Breaking My Heart


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#91

RDittmar

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 2:46 PM

The second half of Season 5 has been better, but also too rushed. Yeah, I get that lots of development is happening, but that doesn't mean that the writers couldn't have made more time to include scenes of the characters we've watched from the start actually reflecting upon the non-stop action they're in (like they did in Seasons 1 - 3).

 

As much as I admire Gilligan's desire to end on a high note and not try and milk this past it's prime, I think he would have been much better served to extend a lot of what we've seen in Season 5 over two whole seasons.

 

I've always been drawn to the show because Walt has chanced into living a very warped version of the American dream. He started as a bit of a nobody and after his diagnosis lead him to believe he had little to lose, he found a lot of inner strength and a special talent that earned him a lot of success and respect for his skill. Looking at the show's progress this way, Seasons 1 & 2 showed him devoting all his energy to breaking into a new career. Season 3 shows his talent recognized by "the man" but also the toll that success took on his family. Season 4 shows the inevitable struggle a driven man has with the constraints imposed by the "system" and his desire to break away so that he doesn't have to take orders. Ideally then, the "first half" of Season 5 should have showed Walt as the equivalent of Steve Jobs founding his own Apple meth business after breaking away from Fring's Microsoft.

 

I would have thought going into Season 5 therefore that Walt would have been upbeat and eager to learn the ins and outs of the business. I would have expected that hardwork on his part would have lead to success and that success would go to his head and ultimately bring him down. Given the abbreviated time available, however, we never saw any of that. Walt had to be an arrogant, hateful know-it-all from the getgo to fit in all the season's conflicts even though nothing had happened between the end of Season 4 and start of Season 5 to warrant his becoming that way. I didn't really even recognize the Walt of those episodes as the Walt of earlier seasons.

 

I've been enjoying the "second half" of Season 5 a lot more, but now I'm finding that the lack of time available to wrap things up is forcing the Jesse character to become unrecognizable. As pointed out above, his even being alive at this point has stretched credulity to the breaking point. Now we see him one day and he's happy to be out of the business. The next day, he's so racked with guilt and filled with hate against Walt that he's working to put him in jail. And it's even more annoying that to get there they had to regurgitate that #*%(&% nonsense with Brock getting poisoned. Last year Walt's arrogance was used as the excuse to drive the plot forward, now the character of Jesse himself is that excuse. I just hope the end when it comes doesn't require me to be heavily invested in Jesse's fate now that's he more of a plot point than an actual character.


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#92

Van Hohenheim

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 5:48 PM

Jesse's an erratic shit, but I suppose that could be attributed to the inherent immaturity of his character. What I find disappointing is that the writers thought that it was necessary to throw in the redundant Drew Sharpe story (let's kill off some totally random character and manipulate the audience into thinking it's impactful just because he's a kid!) as well as rehashing the already weak Brock storyline just to have him arrive at a place where he feels terrible, decides Walt's evil, and wants out. Jesse already broke bad when he killed Gale and felt tortured about that for a Season; that should have been the poignant point in his story that gave him reason to to reconsider his lifestyle. Jesse shooting Gale really loses its power in retrospective when he just kind of stops caring about the murder shortly afterwards, gets back into the meth business, then feels horrible all over again because random-Todd shot random-Drew and he lost surrogate-daddy-Hitman. The Brock poisoning was a terribly conceived plot, but at least it worked thematically to show how low Walt was willing to stoop. Bringing it back the way they did just made it feel doubly contrived, especially when there are so many other interesting, more plausible, more relevant ways they could have had Jesse lose his shit (why not just have Andrea OD on blue crystal? Or have her so strung out she leaves Brock in the car to die?). It's not my show, but I feel like there are so many better, more imaginative, and, frankly, less lazy ways the writers could have let some of these stories play out.


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#93

gm5626

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 6:13 PM


As much as I admire Gilligan's desire to end on a high note and not try and milk this past it's prime, I think he would have been much better served to extend a lot of what we've seen in Season 5 over two whole seasons.

 

I'm pretty sure Vince wanted a full two season 26 episode order to wrap the series.  I remember it was a really tough negotiation with AMC and Sony even threatened to shop the show around to FX and other cable networks.  The compromise ended up being the 16 episode season split into two mini seasons.  The ratings in season 4 were still comparably anemic to what they are now.  Under 2 million viewers for the most part.  I can see where AMC was coming from at the time.  They must be kicking themselves now not anticipating the surge netflix would provide to the ratings as new viewers binge on the old episodes and catch up. 


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#94

chatty123

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 6:15 PM

I think with Jesse the Gale killing got to him but he could always rationalize that this guy was a criminal and his life ultimately depended on him killing Gale. With Drew it was a complete innocent who had no ties to the drug trade who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also believe in some naive way that Jesse felt that with Gus gone and Walt, himself and Mike in charge that they would have control over such incidents and could minimize the damage by showing no mercy on child.innocents killed.

 

That obviously changed with Drew Sharp as he lost any sense of control he had and realized that Walt was as bad as Gus or the Cartel leaders etc and that it would always be a revolving door of sociopaths at the top.


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#95

RDittmar

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 8:59 PM

Even though I have been enjoying the episodes this season more than I did last seasons, I also have to say that the last couple have really capped my disappointment in a way as well.  I remember hearing – I think on these forums – that Gilligan was saying that this season (talking about 4 or the first half of 5) Walt would do something so bad that people would finally lose all sympathy for him.  I thought at the time that just might mean that Walt would kill Jesse or callously let him be killed or just actively plan to kill him.  I thought that because my favorite moment in the series came at the end of season 3.  Mike and Victor were getting ready to kill Walt at the lab and it looked like Walt was offering up Jesse in his place.  I remember thinking “That blankety-blank so-and-so.  He really has become a selfish a-hole.”  Of course, that wasn’t what it appeared to be and the season ended on a pretty good cliffhanger.

 

Now, however, the Jesse subplots this season have gotten contrived and superfluous to the point that even though Walt wants him dead, I just don’t really care anymore.  It doesn’t make me feel any different about Walt in any way.  In fact, I actually felt myself rooting Walt on because now it’s starting to smell like things are going to come to a very maudlin end.  My fear now is that Walt is going to go in with machine gun blazing and be all like “Jesse, you’re the drug addled, murderous, slightly sociopathic son I’ve never had! Please forgive me for all of the things I’ve done!”  I really hope I’m wrong and they’ve got something a lot better than that, but I’m keeping my expectations in check.


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#96

JOnanGoopta

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 9:24 PM

I remember hearing – I think on these forums – that Gilligan was saying that this season (talking about 4 or the first half of 5) Walt would do something so bad that people would finally lose all sympathy for him.

 

As much as I detest Walt at this point, and I have since the Brock poisoning, I have not lost all sympathy for him.  I really doubt I'd continue to watch a show where every single character was so utterly repulsive I couldn't stand to watch them, and Walt actually, both with his phone call to Skyler and the police and by returning Holly, actually recovered a certain amount of my sympathy.  I also wouldn't have cared about his suffering at Hank's death if I'd completely lost sympathy for him.

 

Unless he plans this total sympathy-losing event for one of the next two episodes, Vince has failed, even if I am completely in the Walt-is-a-monster camp.  It's truly a magnificent failure, though.  A failure worthy of Shakespeare.


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#97

Sunshine55

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 9:40 PM

Walt has completely lost my sympathy too many times to count by now. If there was a lower depth to which he could sink, I guess he slithered there when telling Jesse the truth about Jane. But then he did all the other stuff that happened in the rest of the episode, which sent him another level lower. Leaving Holly at the fire station gave me the idea that maybe there's a tiny bit of soul left.

However, as much as I hate him and think he's a horrible person and hope terrible things happen to him, I'm still compelled to watch him, and I think that's almost all due to Bryan Cranston's performance.

Somehow, he manages to find Walt's humanity, no matter what despicable thing he does. In a lesser actor's hands, I think it would be hard to see Walt as anything but a thoroughly despicable person.

I wish Walt could have redeemed himself two or three seasons ago, but it would have gone against the whole premise of the show.

I suppose my biggest disappointment has been in the way Jesse has been treated. I think he's too often been the punching bag of the plot. I understand dramatically why they may have made those choices, but I think the poor kid has endured far more than any human being (or fictional character not named Walter White) should have to go through.


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#98

JOnanGoopta

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Posted Sep 19, 2013 @ 9:58 PM

If Vince didn't want people sympathizing with Walt to the end, he should have picked a worse actor.


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#99

bosawks

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 7:30 AM

If Vince didn't want people sympathizing with Walt to the end, he should have picked a worse actor.

 

Eh, people are going to sympathize with who they're going to sympathize with I'd rather have Bryan Cranston.  And I'll even admit to the fact that as a "Walt's a sociopath" person that upon engaging in a lively debate with a "Walt's a poor put upon provider" person my dialogue tends to devolve to "What's your problem he's the goddamn devil!".......


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#100

chatty123

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 9:10 AM

Walt aint gonna lose sympathy in this day and age though. People like the bad guys, especially if they are well acted. If it was a real person they would be calling him a monster but on TV it is all good, if they wanted the desired effect for everyone to hate him they would have had to make him more of a cowardly monster, as its been done he's been more of an evil genius.


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#101

JOnanGoopta

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

I was being mildly facetious, in that I don't think the show even exists without Cranston and Paul.  I'd certainly find it difficult to watch without such engaging actors.  However, having chosen someone to play a monster who is so capable of conveying a broad range of emotions, it should be very understandable to VG that people would still sympathize with him, even now.  I am personally firmly in the "you monster" camp, but with a bravura performance like in Ozymandias, it's sometimes "you poor, poor monster."


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#102

Constantinople

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 12:47 PM

This is an unpopular opinion, but I felt like the show really took a dive in Season 4. After being left breathless by Full Measures, I remember watching Box Cutter and being vividly disappointed by the show's decision to abandon logical character motivations. I know Gus was a wonderful character portrayed by a great actor, but he long outlived his welcome, IMO, To start, his "decision" to allow both Walt and Jesse to live after their shenanigans in Full Measures struck me as complete bullshit; no one who I'm supposed to view as being that intelligent, calculating, and ruthless would just let those two walk away after their stunts. There should have been greater repercussions to Walt for killing Gale than watching some barely-above-an-extra get killed as some sort of "warning". Um, hello? Gus had no use for or attachment to Jesse, who double crossed him twice in the past week.

 

So had Walt.  Three times actually:  running over and shooting the dealers; not disclosing Jesse's location (though Gus may have not known about that); and devising the plan to shoot Gale.
 

As far as I'm concerned, it should have been Jesse who got his throat slit, not Victor. Yeah, the in-show reason provided is that Walt and Jesse come as a package, and one won't cook without the other, but  come on. Walt had a wife and kids that Gus could easily have used a leverage to make him cook against his will (yeah, Gus said that he doesn't find fear to be a good motivator, but they were kind of past that by that stage, story wise) . Similarly, when Gus realized he could get Jesse to cook, I felt wildly unable to believe that Gus wouldn't just have Walt murdered and force Jesse to cook under threat of death or torture. Gus' "decisions" in Season 4 went totally against the character they'd established him as in Season 3.

 

Gus spent years, decades actually, slowly building-up his distribution network (and plotting his revenge).  Gus needed a cook and his only available options were Walt or Jesse.  I don't think Gus explicitly threatened Walt's family until Season 4, but Walt had to know his family was at risk after Gus arranged the shoot-out between the Cousins and Hank.  Jesse knew exactly what he was risking when he defied Gus and planned to go after the dealers, but did it anyway.  Neither one had had recently shown themselves to be acting rationally, and thus susceptible to death threats.
 
Thus, I don't think Gus would make a snap decision as to which one to kill and which one to keep.

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#103

beaugard

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 12:16 AM

I've been disappointed in the these final 8 episodes.  With only one more to go, I don't see how it will lift up the entire 8 to where I will feel better about it.  I feel the quality of the show has declined.  I loved the first 8 of this season, but these last ones have not been that good.  Too many questionable plots have sprung up- from Walt's lame "confession" video, to Hank's disastrous and implausible handling of the case, Jesse's irritating depression in the beginning, his useless attempt at burning down Walt's house, Skyler's head-scratching turn into advocating murder, the most uninteresting villains of the entire series- Jack and Company, the inclusion of Todd scenes over long-standing members of the cast, the unrealistic and incredibly conveniently timed revelation to Jesse about Brock's poisoning, the handling of the character of Andrea, who we never got to know in enough depth to even care that much she was killed,  the torture of Jesse, questionable timelines, the inability of Walt to do anything right, the stupidity of Walt telling the Nazi gang he had buried money nearby, the list goes on and on- even if the finale is a slam dunk, there's not much in those first seven episodes I want to revisit much.  In the course of the series, Walt made some bad decisions, he got himself into bad situations, but he was never portrayed as being stupid, and that's all he seems to have been so far in these final 8.  His only counter to the threat of Hank was the "confession" video, which didn't even make much sense.

 

Right now, people are gripped in the moment, but I think when the euphoria rubs off, people will come to realize the dip in quality, especially compared to the first 8.


Edited by beaugard, Sep 25, 2013 @ 12:29 AM.

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#104

Consternation

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 12:33 AM

I still love the show, and I have tried to rationalize most of what you have said to myself, but I won't to you.  I had a lot of the same issues.  The half-season has felt rushed.  Most of the time I have felt like I'm in a whirlwind of who knew what and when did they know it and I can't keep it all straight any more.  I love everything that is happening in these final 8 but it is rushed.  I wish they had been the final 16.  Plus the first 8. 


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#105

JOnanGoopta

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 12:54 AM

I find it hard to avoid commenting that a lot of people have felt that this season has gone too slow.

 

I guess no matter what you do, some people will claim you did the wrong thing one direction, and another group will claim you did the wrong thing the other direction.


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#106

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 3:18 AM

I mostly love the show, and especially the majority of the episodes shown this year; but I was disappointed in their doubling down on the farfetched Brock poisoning storyline; and now again that they have brought back Gray Matter out of the blue, apparently (from what I read on another site) just because a dying teenager asked them to explain what happened there in greater detail.


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#107

stillshimpy

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Posted Sep 25, 2013 @ 9:03 AM

Yeah, I'm also on record here as having a full-body-cringe over the entire "Oh...great, the Brock poisoning is going to be key to the resolution?  Argh.  Better stock up on anti-inflammatory foods or something.  That plot will never hold together for me and I'm willing to just go with a LOT of "well, that's far-fetched, but what are you doing to do? It's fiction" just in general.

 

"We travel through wormholes to other planets, where everyone speaks English...primarily with a Canadian accent, gotta problem with that?"

Me: "No, I'm good."  

"Walt somehow took his busted face hither and yon, presumably near children yet no one questioned that and managed to poison a child in a series of truly unbelievable events...and THEN he predicted Jesse's reaction with complete and total accuracy..."

Me: "Uh....unless he traveled through a wormhole to meet Canadian-accented-aliens, then that's too much suspension of disbelief for this genre, don't you think?" 

 

So that plot reared it's head again and I cringed, but I was sort of pleased that they didn't try to then make it make sense, thereby further straining my ability to suspend disbelief.  Instead, they just worked with what they had presented:  Walt poisoned Brock.  My fear was that they'd take another run at explaining it and it would get worse. 

 

The Gretchen and Elliot thing I didn't mind at all, particularly not the source of why they decided to address it.  That's long been a question among fans:  What happened between Gray Matter and Walt being a teacher?  He had a job at a lab, at Sandia, what happened?  Where did that go?  Did he piss someone off?  How did he end up in the dead-end of small salaries when he thought he was going to have a bright future when he bought the house with Sky.  

 

So that's my only disappointment with seeing Gretchen and Elliot again.  Yes, I wanted to know some backstory, a sentence or two would have sufficed and it appears that that might not be their focus in bringing the story back. 


Edited by stillshimpy, Sep 25, 2013 @ 9:04 AM.

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#108

johnnyonthespot

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Posted Sep 28, 2013 @ 10:51 PM

I'm absolutely thrilled that Breaking Bad is bringing up old storylines.  That's what great series and great novels do.  There have been lots of recent call-backs to the earlier episodes, and every one of them has felt satisfying to me.  The original cook site.  Walt's khaki pants.  Jane's death.  Hank revisiting all the clues he should have recognized from the very beginning.

 

In particular, the appearance of Gretchen and Elliot in "Granite State" was both surprising and fitting.  Walt's professional and personal frustrations - even more than the appearance of his cancer - are the best insight into the man he became.  As he said to Jesse in the first half of this season: "I'm in the empire business."

 

I can't think of a single hanging thread that hasn't been tied up to my satisfaction... other than some confusion about the Brock "lilly of the valley vs. ricin" situation.


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#109

DB in London

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Posted Sep 29, 2013 @ 2:25 AM

I find it hard to avoid commenting that a lot of people have felt that this season has gone too slow.

 

I guess no matter what you do, some people will claim you did the wrong thing one direction, and another group will claim you did the wrong thing the other direction.

 

 

I find it hard to avoid commenting that the real problem is that the pacing of these final 8 has been all over the place. Episode 6 could have been 3 episodes, while episodes 2-5 could have been reduced to 2. So that's where the too fast/too slow comments come from. It's uneven.


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#110

benteen

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Posted Oct 3, 2013 @ 9:28 AM

My disappointment....Jesse and Junior never had a scene together.

 

Very minor disappointment...I always wanted Walt to see that picture Jesse drew of him in high school that read "The reason Mr. White really loves science."  I would have love to have seen Walt's reaction to that.


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#111

Doxa

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Posted Oct 5, 2013 @ 8:34 AM

The more I think about, the more I find the nazis group disappointing and ridiculous, like they are not fitting in Breaking Bad universe. First of all, we are suppose to think that they are really villains because they have svastikas. Ok. Then, they appeared to be very stupid, careless about talking of the meth in that restaurant. The next time they are criminal masterminds by sneaking into Walter's House in front of the police, threatening Skyler and the baby. And they find 8 millions dollars, they are just ok with this, they aren't even trying to kill each other for the money, they aren't changing after, what is even the point of the 8 millions ? What are they driving by ? What are they trying to do in general ? All in all, they seem highly unbelieavable and cartoonish. Same problem with Lydia. It's not even a group, just a dude named "Jack", the others are just following him quietly.


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#112

backhometome

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Posted Oct 5, 2013 @ 9:20 AM

 

 

My disappointment....Jesse and Junior never had a scene together.

I wanted this too. I always thought it would be fun to see them in a scene together. Walt's 2 sons meeting would have been great. 


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#113

LadyHeisenberg

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Posted Oct 5, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

I was generally pretty happy with season 5.  My disappointment was that there was too much focus on the nazis/Todd/Lydia.  It seemed Jesse was pushed to the side and not given much story, even though there should have been plenty for him to do.  He only had one or two scenes in quite a few episodes this season.  The whole Jesse turns against Walt thing seemed very rushed and thoughtless.  I don't think it made much sense for Jesse to be afraid of/against Walt.    


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#114

beaugard

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Posted Oct 7, 2013 @ 8:59 PM

I did think the last episode answered my biggest gripe about the first 7 of the half-season and I actually loved the finale and it made the half-season worth it- my heavy frustration was that Walt was acting so dumb in the first 7, just making dumb decisions (even the one to kill Jesse was not very smart of him)- but finally in the finale, I got my smart Walt back, boy did I miss him!  In fact, he made one smart decision after another- I still think it was unbalanced, one critic noted it was too much, that Walt succeeded in the last episode with everything he did, but I'm still grateful because there was a lot to compensate for since he acted so stupid for so long- it's still hard for me to reconcile this smart Walt from the dumb Walt we've been seeing, but I'm glad smart Walt at least finished out the show.


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#115

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Posted Oct 13, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

 

 

Marie is kind of the weakest of the core characters. I think she would represent middle-class invented problems. She's a housewife married to a man with a great income and she has to make up problems because her life isn't complicated enough. Compulsive lying, kleptomania, are you shitting me? Why does she need to invent this drama? Initially, she would simply be the link between the Whites and the Shraders but ultimately she could follow a redemption arc similar to her husband, becoming a better person through adversity rather than becoming worse. 

 

Marie was a radiological technician.  I got the impression she made her own money.  She's married to man who has an exciting job.  Her job isn't exciting.  Doesn't surprise me that she would try to inject excitement into her on life this way.


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#116

ezbliss

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Posted Oct 13, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

Correct, Marie was a radiology technician (not a housewife).  Both she ahd Hank had good jobs, they had a really nice house, but no kids of their own.  I also never heard them refer to other family or friends.

 

In "Open House" I felt the reason for her stealing and fantasy story-telling escapade was because of boredom, frustration, and the way Hank was acting like a jerk.


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