Fordham University asked me to say a few words about Walter White and why he has reached such justifiable heights in our popular culture.  The show started off slowly in its rise to iconic prominence - why would anyone want to watch a story about a chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer, his wife pregnant, their son with cerebral palsy?  

Soon the extraordinary strength of Walter White and the appeal of the show became clear: we were looking at the human ability to stand up to the worst that the universe dishes out, to not go quietly but fight against the adversities that could otherwise bury us.  It is this indomitable spirit that makes Walter White such a remarkable and even admirable figure, even if he cooks meth and kills in his fight for himself and his family.

Like Tony Soprano ("The Sopranos"), Vic Mackey ("The Shield"), and Dexter Morgan ("Dexter"), Walter White has became an anti-heroic heroic everyman for the ages. I hope he survives the finale. But I expect his character to live for a long time, whatever the series deals to him in the end.  

Fordham was also good enough to prepare the photo below (Walter White courtesy of AMC)