Jesse: Oh, ugh, God, Jesus! God.
Walt: Shut up.
Jesse is gagging because Walt is sporting his famous tighty whities. Walt used to strip down to his underwear in his earlier cooks because he “didn’t want to go home smelling like a meth lab”. The ridiculous image of cooking crystal meth in tighty whities made us view Walt as an ordinary guy in over his head, which is why the writers are calling back to Walt’s innocent days before they show how despicable he has become.
Some people groaned at the sight of Bryan Cranston in his underwear in the pilot, because it brought back memories of his role as Hal on Malcolm in the Middle. Cranston explained that there was a significance to Walt walking around in his underwear in an interview with IFC, and said that he wore it for different reasons than Hal.
I had to ask, why would a grown man wear a boy’s underwear? Hal wore them because he always wore them and it never occurred to him to wear anything else. He’s still a boy. Walter White wore them because he stopped growing. The underwear became indicative of Walter White’s stunted growth. He just stopped caring. Hal wouldn’t think of wearing any thing else. With Walt it’s an I-don’t-care thing. An I’m-too-depressed-to-think-beyond-that thing. Too depressed to think about what I’m more comfortable wearing. He’s given up.
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