As many of you who watch television, or just randomly read stuff on the internet about television, know, AMC's dark drama series Breaking Bad is in the midst of its concluding arc, set to air its final episode on September 29. However, there are some of you that either just do not watch television (like myself), do not watch Breaking Bad, and/or just do not have enough interest in the show to care. What is one to do? While one could leave them alone, it is rather amazing to watch people freak out about TV shows or any media freak out about any information about their favorite show leak out, especially if there is spoilers. One writer recently demonstrated the fun of trolling random strangers with Breaking Bad spoilers. The twist is this: The spoilers are fake.
fun game: text "you catch the leaked ep of breaking bad? marie's death was pretty fucked up, right" to any area code + random 7 numbers
— electro lemon (@electrolemon) September 11, 2013
Our noble endeavor starts with electro lemon tweeting the above as a joke this past Wednesday. Rob Fee of Mandatory decided to pull that trick, with some of the results seen below. The trick here is that Marie Schrader, an important supporting character in the series played by Betsy Brandt, did not die in episode shown September 15, titled "Ozymandias." (Of course, this is not to to say she will not die in the final two episodes, but details)
As one can see here, the results of the trolling served to enrage and enliven the Breaking Bad fandom, but for giggles. In a small way, it is understandable that the response to even a small spoiler is fierce. The loyalty of the Breaking Bad fandom for this show is as such that a terminally ill patient who died recently refused an offer by show creator Vince Gilligan himself to be told how the show ends so as to die knowing the final fate of bespectacled chemistry-teacher-turned-drug-lord Walter White.
Still, this form of trolling can be a fun activity, and a great way to get people's knickers in a twist for the sheer audacity. Perhaps, in writing about this, I am a little less affected by spoilers. I remember as a kid being spoiled of the major plot event of Final Fantasy VII, the first mainstream video game with a deep story, and yet I was still affected by it just as much when I played the game about three years later. (For those wondering, the event is the murder of female lead Aeris in front of the cast by the villain Sephiroth. Given the game is more than 15 years old, I am not spoiling anything by saying that)
Sometimes, just knowing the big plot point is not as important as the events that lead to it. Consider American Beauty: In the first minute or so of the film, lead actor Kevin Spacey narrates what happens to his character, Lester Burnham, by the end (he dies). That does not lessen the blow of when he actually dies. So, when one really thinks about it, is it all that bad knowing that, say, Hank Schrader dies in the upcoming episode of Breaking Bad? We do not know how or why, we just know it happens. Sometimes, that is not enough to be phased by it.