So, did you catch Breaking Bad the other night – as it boldly ventured to the final frontier with not just a Star Trek name check, but a lengthy discourse between Badger and Skinny Pete? If not, it was a classic, and quite funny. Badger and Skinny Pete, stoners who frequently bicker about elements of pop culture, debated the merits, practicality and possibly life-altering effects of the transporter, and Badger essentially pitched a Star Trek episode, the highlight of which would be a blueberry pie-eating contest pitting the very bored crew against one another. It comes down to Kirk, Spock and Trek’s whipping boy, Chekov.
From the moment it aired, Breaking Bad fans have been dissecting every word uttered in the scene, theorizing about its greater meaning. Is, for example, Walter White… Kirk? Or maybe Chekov? Or… You get the idea. And Walt’s drug-dealing alias is Heisenberg. Is it a coincidence that there’s a little something called the Heisenberg compensator in Star Trek? According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia, it’s a component of a transporter system, designed to permit the derivation of precision vector and positional data of particles on a subatomic level. Michael Okuda suggested the scientific gag, which itself is based on Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle.”
As if that weren’t all brilliant enough, Michael Czap created – at warp speed – an animated version of the Breaking Bad scene for Vulture.
So, Breaking Bad/Star Trek fans, what’s YOUR theory as to what it all means as Breaking Bad races toward the finish line?