Yeah, Science! A Heisenberg Halloween

*(WARNING: spoiler alert)*

The end of AMC‘s Breaking Bad proved VERY timely for Halloween twenty thirteen.  

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The show chronicles the transformation of Walter White, from a Nobel award contributor, and high school chemistry teacher, into ALBUQUERQUE ’S meth king-pin supremo.  Far from being the protagonist of the series, WALT proves to be the catalyst for the disintegration of all that is good around him, and we are witness to how he becomes the embodiment of the TUMOUR that threatens his own existence.

Chemistry is the study of change

Chemistry, and not  Walt, however, is Breaking Bad’s most notable character, and specific credit must be given to the show’s refusal to dumb down the science references used.  Instead, the writers relish in the opportunity to meticulously describe, visualise and explain the complex chemical processes used by MR WHITE and his tragically humorous side-kick, JESSE.

There was no question, therefore, that a CHEMISTRY LAB would serve as the backdrop to our Halloween festivities. DSC_2921

Beakers, conical flasks, volumetric flasks, test tubes and clamps set the scene, and a black light along with a special delivery of DRY ICE from Chillisticks added the finishing touches to the display.DSC_3057

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Frozen carbon dioxide sublimates when added to a cool Hendricks and tonic, dispersing the wonderful cucumber aroma in the dense vapour

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Frozen carbon dioxide sublimates when added to a cool Hendricks and tonic, dispersing the wonderful cucumber aroma in the dense vapour. Dry ice is available to purchase in the UK from www.chillistick.com



A high proportion of screen time focuses on the pair’s METHAMPHETAMINE 
manufacturing facilities, as well as demonstrating how Walt applies his technical GENIUS to building brilliant devices, concocting poisons and mastering the technique of “living tissue” disposal (the infamous “bath tub” scene in season one is quite apt for a Halloween appearance!).

"The methylamine keeps flowing, no matter what. We are not ramping down. We're just getting started. Nothing stops this train."

“The methylamine keeps flowing, no matter what. We are not ramping down. We’re just getting started. Nothing stops this train.”

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The molecular formula for methamphetamine
 and mercury fulminate

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Tonic water contains QUININE, which fluoresces under UV light



It may be blue, but it’s the bomb

Cinematographers have succeeded in developing a rich visual identity for the show, with COLOUR playing its own significant role.  Frame by frame, colour is used to distinguish between characters, moods and landscapes, and the vibrancy of the show’s enhanced pallets are striking.  

Beneke's End

Beneke’s End

BLUE, in particular, pervades the series, as word of the chemical purity of HEISENBERG’S signature blue crystal spreads across the South West, beyond the border into cartel country, and later into Eastern Europe. 



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Walter White + Elliott and Gretchen Schwarz = GREY MATTER, Marie’s obsession with the colour purple, Skyler and Jesse PINKman are further examples of how colour saturates the show.

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Woodrow Wilson? Willy Wonka? Walter White?

Tread Lightly

As an English Literature graduate, and having elected to enrol on a number of critical theory classes, I love how multi LAYERED Breaking Bad is, and has proved (with hindsight) to be. Its imagery and symbolism is boundless, and provides a vast catalogue of interpretations ready to be devoured by all literary criticism enthusiasts.

No! I am the one who knocks!

No! I am the one who knocks!

Although the true meanings of these symbols are widely debated, there is consensus that seasons two’s PINK TEDDY BEAR is the most iconic of them all. photo-3

It’s vivid deep CERISE hue and two-face-esq burns have continuing significance from season two onwards, and particularly for the shocking finale of season four.  If you are yet to watch the show, or wish to rediscover it (which I would, by the way, certainly recommend), you could have some fun and play a game of Where’s Wally/Waldo, with Wally/Waldo substituted by this pink teddy.  There are at least three other sightings of him in season two…

Margoli's Macarons

Margoli Macarons

Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James 

Los Hermanos Polos Goodiebag Station

Los Hermanos Polos Goodiebag Station

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Castor Bean Ricin Candy Cigarettes and “Blue Sky” sherbet

Yeah, bit*h! Magnets!

Yeah, bit*h! Magnets!

Ozymandias: I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it.

At its heart, Breaking Bad is a good old-fashioned MORALITY play, with undertones of a classic Western. Refreshingly DARK, Breaking Bad really does deserve all the hype and critical acclaim it has received during its five year run, and I for one, will certainly miss it!

Heisenberg. You’re goddamn right!

Heisenberg. You’re goddamn right!

One thought on “Yeah, Science! A Heisenberg Halloween

  1. Pingback: Something Wicked This Way Comes: Hosting a Traditional Halloween Party | Geek Chic HQ

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