Breaking Bad Mania has continued all this week on the heels of what was a spectacular opening episode- Blood Money– kicking off the final 8 episodes last Sunday. The conspiracy theorists are out in full force, often with mind-blowing (and fascinating) speculation. I’ve developed my own theory, and it’s all based on what seems like a throwaway moment from Blood Money.
Before beginning, allow me to familiarize you with “Chekhov’s Gun”. Per the wikipedia page for Chekhov’s gun:
Chekhov’s gun is a dramatic principle which requires every element in a narrative to be necessary and irreplaceable, and for everything else to be removed.
The creators of Breaking Bad know this principle all too well. The entire series is littered with tiny, seemingly throw-away moments and objects that boomerang back at the most crucial times. Walt, for instance, is dressed just like the bizarre pink bear that permeates season 2. It isn’t until we see Walt dressed in pink and white (like the bear) that we finally figure out where the bear came from. In the season 4 finale, Face Off, an earlier shot lingers on Walt staring at a plant called “Lily of the Valley”. Later, Walt uses said plant to poison Brock and set the events in motion that would lead to Gus Fring’s death.
This all brings me to Badger Mayhew and his Star Trek screenplay, the odd, hilarious, and seemingly meaningless scene in Blood Money when Badger explained his idea for a Star Trek episode. Vulture popularized it on Monday by showing an animated version of it.
In a show that wastes nothing, it seemed out of place to have 2 minutes of Badger rambling about Star Trek. But there in the middle of it is Chekov. And he’s using a gun of sorts- a transporter device- to cheat. The show winks hilariously at Chekov’s gun by putting a seemingly throwaway sequence about a guy named Chekov in their show. So surely it can’t be meaningless, right?
Listen to the story again. There are three principal characters locked in a contest. The first- the one in command of the pie eating contest- is Spock. He’s brainy, he’s a nerd, he’s logical, he’s almost completely unbeatable… he’s just like Walter White. The second is Kirk, the fat cheeseball character of the Star Trek universe. In other words, he’s similar to Hank, who is also a fat cheeseball. And finally, the third character is Chekov- a younger member of the Star Trek crew. Apparently, Chekov occasionally subs in for Spock according to his Wikipedia page (I had to look this up because I’m not much of a Star Trek guy). Basically, Chekov is Jesse.
In Badger’s script, Kirk/Hank “can’t take any more. He yorks.” Eating poisoned food, say, laced with ricin might make one vomit. Further in the script, Chekov has rigged the game against Spock by using his friend, Scotty. He even pushes Spock to the brink- “I can’t believe this Russian is defeating me!” But then Chekov’s friend bungles the plan and “beams his guts into space.” Jesse’s friends, Badger and Skinny Pete, are highly likely to bungle a plan. Ingesting ricin, according to a website that probably put me on an observation list just by checking it out, causes a person’s “liver, spleen and kidneys to stop working”, and then they die.
To sum it all up, I think Badger’s Chekov story is a Chekhov’s gun moment in which he explained major plot points of the next seven episodes. I think Walt uses the ricin on Hank. And then Jesse tries to use ricin on Walt, but somehow Badger or Skinny Pete mess it up. They poison Jesse instead. Thus, Walt defeats Hank and Jesse, and they both die.
I’ll admit, it sounds bizarre. But there’s only one way to find out, and that’s by tuning in over the next seven weeks.