The Do’s and Don’ts of "Breaking Bad" Withdrawal

The worst day in the history of the television universe is finally upon us. Yes, my friends, tonight we have to say goodbye to Breaking Bad forever.

After everything we’ve been through with Walt and Jesse, the death, the manipulation, the backyard barbeques, the kidnappings, breakfasts with Flynn, bell ringings, and all of the science, we’re being repaid for our anguish with only more devastation. And a few hospital bills. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of heart attack scares in the past couple of weeks.

Photo via Facebook.

Photo via Facebook.

The Breaking Bad empire has managed to capture the fascination and, surprisingly, the hearts of millions of crazed, turmoil-addicted, #TeamWaltandJesse fans across the country. What started off as an underrated show, with only 1 million viewers for the first season and partially in the shadow of AMC’s other new show Mad Men, Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece didn’t look promising at first. A viewership that low is what usually gets a show cancelled.

But AMC took a chance on our two favorite meth cooks and let them live to see another season, and boy was it worth it. Five years and a rollercoaster of emotions later, and the series finale is projected to reel in an astounding 8 million viewers. And viewership isn’t the only thing that’s come so far.

We’ve seen Walter White transform from a high school chemistry teacher into a multi-continent drug lord into, now, a helpless, isolated nobody being killed from within his own body. Jesse Pinkman has torn at our heartstrings, from his first days as a junkie punk, through all of his moral discoveries, various crying episodes, his sinister plots against Walt and now his excruciatingly painful to watch attempts at escaping from the Nazis.

Walt’s son has gone from Walt Jr. who complains about the lack of Raisin Bran Crunch at the table, to Flynn, perhaps the true hero of the story, who wrestles a knife from Walt’s hand and has the courage to tell him to “just die already.” Skyler finally comes to her senses, decides to stop taking all of Walt’s bullshit and takes on Walt’s original role, protecting their family. But this time, it’s from Walt, Mr. “I am the one who knocks” himself. Funny how that works out, isn’t it Mr. White?

As much as I can’t stop thinking about the epicness that will be the finale to end all finales, however, I can’t help but wonder: What the hell am I going to do with my life afterwards?!

After devoting Sunday nights to my couch and TV for the past five and a half years, it’s hard imagining life without thinking about a cliffhanger for the following week. What’s going to make my skin crawl with anxiety? What will keep my distracted from my Monday workload? How am I going to get my weekly-dose of an adorable baby (yes, we can’t forget about Holly)? It’s painful to think about.

Well, I can tell you one thing. There are certainly right ways and wrong ways to go about handling your Breaking Bad withdrawal pains. Assuming that the country doesn’t explode into a chaotic, anarchical free-for-all on Monday, take my advice and abide by these do’s and don’ts of Breaking Bad withdrawal, and you might have a chance of keeping your sanity.

DO’S:

Do take out your sadness with food. The possibilities are endless. Anything that involves blue sprinkles or blue sugar is automatically in, so bring on the cupcakes. I would also recommend frying up some chicken in honor of Gus Fring himself. But please, hold the meth. If you’re really a diehard, visit the real site of Los Pollos Hermanos in Albequerque, Twisters! Chock full of burritos and burgers, this isolated fast food joint hasn’t changed since the filming of Breaking Bad, and you can even sit in Walt’s iconic booth.

Photo via Facebook.

Photo via Facebook.

Do rewatch the entire series on Netflix. If you’re still recovering after the finale, a.k.a paralyzed from head to toe on your living room floor in a state of shock, then it might be best to wait a little bit before embarking on six seasons worth of drama all over again. I’d give it a week. Maximum. Walt and Jesse might get lonely without us.

Do buy all of the Breaking Bad memorabilia that’s out there. ALL OF IT. I’m talking posters, keychains, t-shirts, banners, glasses, baby clothes, lab equipment, the works. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a inscribed copy of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.” If you’re feeling gutsy, sign it with Gale’s initials. Tis the season for cliffhanger memorials!

Do discover Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul outside of their meth-laden ways. For Walt fans, indulge in a little Malcom in the Middle (he’s much more innocent as a suburban dad, I swear) or head over to Cambridge to see Cranston take on the big stage as President Lyndon B. Johnson in American Repertory Theater’s production of “All The Way.” Although shows are mostly sold out, there are limited tickets available for Patron Seats and Standing Room Only for the truest of fans.

If you’re more a part of the Jesse Pinkman fan club, check out the work that Aaron Paul is doing with his wife’s nonprofit organization, The Kind Campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about bullying among girls. He recently used his celebrity status to raise $1.8 for the charity. Also keep a look out for Paul’s new movie, Need for Speed, set to premiere in March 2014. Still craving some daily Jesse wisdom? Paul’s Twitter should do the trick.

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DON’TS:

Don’t start your own meth business. Seriously, don’t be that guy who ruins it for everyone. Yeah, we all know that watching the show for five years gives you quite an insight into the business of “crystal blue persuasion,” but there are much healthier ways of dealing with withdrawal. Try blue Poprocks instead.

Don’t attempt to create ricin. As much of all of us are very “Yeah science!” throughout the series, we all know on the inside that ricin is a big no-no and, in the end, it’ll just stay hidden in the walls of your house anyway. Or will it?

Don’t start put the word “bitch” at the end of all your sentences. In reality, only Aaron Paul can pull that off. Also, I’m pretty sure that your mother would not appreciate it. Unless you do it like this girl:

...keep that to yourself. If you really can’t help it, make it a silent “bitch” and be prepared for some pretty confused looks when you start giggling to yourself after you saying something.

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Don’t forget to look out for Better Call Saul, the assuredly fantastic spinoff that AMC has announced is actually happening. Spearheaded by Peter Gould, a writer and producer that has been with the series from the beginning and starring Bob Odenkirk (who else?), this prequel to the series could potentially serve as a painkiller for your loneliness.

Don’t drop everything you’re doing and stalk Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul or Vince Gilligan, begging them to start cooking meth again. It’s not going to happen. And you’ll most likely be labeled a psychopath. Best to just stick to Netflix reruns.

The Breaking Bad series finale airs tonight, Sept. 29, at 9/8 c on AMC. 

Photos via Facebook.

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Mary Yuengert