What doesn’t break you…

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Season 3 of Breaking Bad: DEA Special Agent Hank Schrader  is on a personal mission to catch the mysterious blue meth dealer. When he finally corners his target, he’s unable to obtain a warrant in time to search the target’s premises. Hank was certain that the target was manufacturing blue meth inside these premises. While Hank is right in front of the target’s premises, waiting for the warrant to be approved so that he can search said premises, he receives a phone call from a fake doctor who informs him that his wife is in critical condition at the hospital.

He immediately rushes to the hospital and learns that it was a prank call. His wife was safe at home the entire time. Meanwhile the target destroys the premises, thereby destroying all evidence that the premises was used to manufacture blue meth. Hank realizes that he was duped into being lured away just before he could obtain the warrant to search the target’s premises. This enrages Hank. Who would dare to use his wife against him? How did the target know his personal cell number? He’s blind with rage. He hunts the target down and beats the target to within an inch of his life.

Obviously, Hank’s actions result in dire consequences. The target is in the hospital and is ready to sue Hank and the DEA for excessive force. Hank knows his days as a law enforcement officer are numbered. Even before this unfortunate incident, he knew that he might have to start looking for an alternate career.  Ever since he was involved in a deadly shootout with a deranged drug dealer, he started getting panic attacks. When he was almost blown up by a bomb planted by a drug cartel, the panic attacks worsened. Panic attacks force him to rethink his career options. As he said to his wife, he’s not the man he thought he was.

Hank’s wife, Marie, often felt like he was shutting her out, not talking to her about what’s happening in his life, not telling him how he feels, but one day when they are in an elevator together, he finally breaks down. He’s hugging her and crying. He starts communicating with her again. Marie understands why her husband pulverized the target. Because he thought she was in danger. It was certainly no excuse to lose control, but she understood why he did it.

Breaking Bad is undoubtedly a dark show, but when Hank and Marie were locked in a brief embrace in that elevator – that to me was a beautiful ray of light.

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