p. 161-162: BREAKING BAD
After Walt’s defiant proclamation to Skyler, he walks away, with his lips moving as if he has more to say, but turns into the bathroom, a strikingly ambiguous moment. The richness of Cranston’s performance opens up a wide range of different thoughts that we imagine he might be suppressing: he might want to apologize to Skyler for berating her, or he yearns to boast more of the dangerous havoc he has caused but stops to protect her, or he might be trying to convince himself that he is indeed the one who knocks, not the target of his adversaries’ danger. All of these are potential outcomes of reading Walt’s mind, but the program never tells us precisely what he is thinking, allowing for ludic hypothesizing across serialized gaps in the narrative. Such interplay between tight alignment and limited interior access into a highly layered and self- deluded character is one of the key pleasures of Walt as a transforming antihero, with his fascinating psychology keeping us attuned and interested in him, even as he grows more hideous.