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Science teachers gone bad January 23, 2008

Posted by davegoblog in Pop Culture, Science, Technology, Television.


Why is this man running through the desert in only his underwear, shoes, socks, and an apron?  “Breaking Bad” begins by smacking the viewer in the face with a very frantic Walter White (portrayed brilliantly by Bryan Cranston of “Malcolm in the Middle”) wildly driving an RV while sirens blare in the distance.  What the heck is this high school chemistry teacher doing?

Flash to three weeks earlier.  We learn that in addition to teaching, Walter works the cash register at a local car wash to make ends meet.  He has a pregnant wife who sells various knick-knacks via online auctions, a teenage son with cerebral palsy, and a Pontiac Aztek that is falling apart.  The day after his surprise 50th birthday party, he collapses at the car wash and is rushed to the hospital only to discover he has inoperable lung cancer even though he’s never smoked.  The doctor gives him two years at best.

What’s Walter to do?  Why not start a mobile methamphetamine lab with a former chemistry student?

One of the funniest parts (for me) is when Walter steals lab equipment from the school and shows it to his former student and now business partner.  In addition to the prized 5000 mL round-bottom flask, he’s taken lab safety gear to protect himself while cooking the meth.  Just like a good chemistry teacher – safety first, even when breaking the law.

“Breaking Bad” airs on AMC on Sunday nights at 10pm, and the first episode is currently available as a free download on iTunes.


1. Elizabeth - January 27, 2008

thanks for the add on twitter and the comment on my blog. I’m always happy to meet more science people online. This Breaking Bad show sounds especially funny to me since I’m a chem/phys teacher.

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