Monday, April 26, 2010

Things Breaking Very Badly For Hank Schrader

The thing with the new modern drama is that the bad guys are often the good guys, and the good guys are lesser good guys.

I think about the dogged Agent Harris, always coming up short against Tony Soprano. Tony was the show's hero, but the Keystone cop feds were one step behind and hard to dislike.

Or master criminal Stringer Bell toying with the squad from The Wire for the better part of 3 seasons, until getting caught in the crosshairs of two more vicious criminals.


In the case of the new best-show-on-TV, Breaking Bad, DEA Agent Hank Schrader isn't a perfect character, but he is a top-notch investigator. Unfortunately, he can't close on the elusive "Heisenberg," the local meth kingpin - who just happens to be Walter White, his brother-in-law.

While Walt is the perfect anti-hero, Hank's personal drama has won us over as well.

Hank is the ultimate bad-ass fed, but is dealing with some post-traumatic stress after a Mexican drug cartel blew up his border task force. So now he's having panic attacks, general anxiety, and behaving very erratically. His professional life is in limbo, and he can't talk to anyone - including his wife - about it.

But he still has his instincts and is right on top of the mysterious RV, the Blue Sky meth, and ultimately Walt. But Walt has the jump on him, since he knows his enemy.

When Walt and Jesse are cornered in the rolling meth lab, Walt pulls a fast one (with a major assist from "Better Call" Saul Goodman), arranging a fake car accident involving Hank's wife, knowing it would pull Hank from the scene.

When Hank finds out its a ruse, he gets dragged down one step further toward his emotional basement.

Now not only is he aware of the problems in front of him. He doesn't even know about the relentless evil "Twin Reaper" who now have made it their mission to chop him into half-a-dozen pieces.

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