One of my absolute favorite aspects of the entire Breaking Bad series is that not a single adult character is portrayed as perfect. We see each and every one of them make selfish and bad decisions at some point, but on several different levels in terms of acceptability.
This is one of the ways in which the show is very true to real life. It does not allow us or even make it possible for us to view any of its characters as morally sound heroes, in the traditional sense.
In my opinion and after much reflection and thought on the subject, I personally believe that Hank comes closest to being the “hero” of the series and while Jesse cannot really be seen as a “hero” in the same sense, I believe he comes next after Hank in terms of most morally sound.
Of course, there is a lot to consider when ranking the characters of Breaking Bad by their level of morality. For many central characters in the show, morality undergoes huge shifts and veers off sharply in places along the way.
But here goes nothing…
The following is my list of the top 10 worst Breaking Bad characters.
#1: Walter White
Worst Crime: Standing by and Watching Jane Die
It feels kind of strange and even slightly “wrong” to place Walter at the top of this list, probably because of how dramatic his transformation is from beginning to end.
In the first several episodes of the first season, we basically have no ill feelings about Walt and all we feel for him is sympathy and perhaps pity.
We naturally try to put ourselves in his shoes or those of his family and we genuinely feel for him in the earliest episodes.
Because of his dire circumstances and his love for his struggling family, we don’t even bat an eye at his decision to start cooking and selling drugs to leave behind some legacy for his children and wife.
Of course he comes to this decision. He has to!
We would do the same if it were any of us and we know it.
Besides, what real harm is done by manufacturing and selling a product for which there exists a real demand?
If only things could remain so simple, right?
Even when things take several disastrous turns for the worse by no fault of his own immediately after he partners up with Jesse Pinkman, we choose to continue sympathizing with him and the unfortunate series of events that quickly escalate into Crazy 8 and Emilio pointing guns to Walt’s head.
We share his fear and shock at these situations, reminding ourselves that this could happen to any one of us if we chose to do this thing for the benefit of those we loved.
In fact, we even go as far as reassuring ourselves that this shouldn’t seem unexpected considering that Walt was so far removed from the world he has now been catapulted into.
After all, he’s not one of “those” low-life drug dealer scumbags.
He’s an honest, hard-working man who has a family to take care of, a disabled son and a pregnant wife more specifically, and even washing cars after teaching high school students isn’t enough to make ends meet.
We are still 100% on his side when he is faced with the predicament of killing Crazy 8, who survived an earlier attempt on his life by Walt acting in self defense. We sympathize with his internal struggle over how to handle the situation and we relate to his search for much riskier alternatives to ending the man’s life.
When Walt ultimately strangles Crazy 8 to death with the bike lock that keeps him bound to the post in Jesse’s garage, we still don’t see him as doing anything shameful or wrong. He is simply doing what is necessary, for self-preservation, survival and the safety of his innocent family.
To his credit, he takes pretty good care of Crazy 8 up until he finds proof (in the form of a missing fragment from a broken plate) that he plans to kill Walt in order to escape. Only then is he pushed far enough in the direction of killing him as a matter of what must be done.
We watch him shed tears as he chokes him and struggles to avoid being stabbed by the plate fragment being waved at him by Crazy 8. We hear the emotion in his voice as he apologizes over and over again to the man he is killing.
We are left with the impression that this was a traumatic experience for Walt that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life and we think the whole thing was unfortunate.
When Walt decides that foregoing expensive cancer treatment is the best route for the sake of his family and the debt that treatment would likely leave them with if he were to die regardless, we even develop a strange admiration for his inner toughness.
His wife and son may totally fail to understand his reasoning and anyone that close to someone in a similar situation would react the same way they did. To close family members, any treatment that may allow a loved one to live longer is worth doing.
Even if money is problematic, that doesn’t matter to them. They will find some way to bear that financial burden, all that matters is giving their loved one every possible treatment to keep them around longer.
And while “tough” is certainly NOT an adjective that comes to mind when we think of Walter in the first season of the show, he DOES have an undeniable hard-nosed practicality within that becomes clear in his willingness to face death rather than sink his family into lifelong debt once he (their primary bread winner) is gone.
It’s the same reason he continues to wash cars even when his students make fun of him. Providing for his family is more important than the shame he feels when they point and laugh at him as he scrubs cars on his knee.
At least for me, it was incredibly easy to pinpoint where in the story Walt changed paths and started his long descent into becoming a character whose death I was rooting for.
It is perhaps a little ironic that the first time I passed judgement on his character was NOT when his hands were ending another person’s life, but rather when he simply stood still and did nothing.
I can’t be the only viewer whose feelings immediately began changing after watching Walt stand by silently and do nothing as Jesse’s girlfriend choked to death on her own vomit.
We see Walt’s first instinct is to take action and intervene, but he catches himself and sheds a single tear as he tensely stands up against the wall, clearly struggling to hear and see a young woman dying helplessly a few feet away.
We know why he thought twice about helping her, but I don’t feel it justified letting her die and especially not when we consider how much she meant to Jesse, who had been nothing but a loyal friend to Walt up to this time.
Sure, she wasn’t a character I especially liked. I also happened to think that she was a negative influence in Jesse’s life (and he probably wasn’t a very positive one in hers either).
And yeah, she was way out of line when she took Jesse’s matters into her own hands and demanded his money from Walt under threat of exposing everything they’d done to not only his family, but the media as well.
We know most of that was bull shit and she was obviously just trying to scare the crap out of Walt and make sure he understood how much she knew about the business he was involved in with Jesse.
She wasn’t going to implicate her own boyfriend in something like that and she knew this would be the most effective way to get Jesse paid promptly — to threaten his partner.
But was that enough of a reason to stand back and watch her die next to a sleeping Jesse?
No, I don’t believe it was.
Firstly, I think Walt should have given Jesse his share of their money ALREADY and this whole thing could have been avoided.
I get it that Walt cares about Jesse, but he’s an adult and they were partners.
He can’t just hold Jesse’s share of the money hostage until he approves of what he’s doing with his life.
He’s not his parent, after all.
So yeah, double wrong for Walter there.
As you can imagine, from that point on things just slowly disintegrate throughout the following seasons.
Walter evolves into an unfeeling, greedy and soulless shell of the man we first came to know at the beginning of the series. He completely loses touch with all the things that once mattered to him and can’t even see it because it happens gradually.
Once a boundary is crossed, it ceases to matter. Eventually there is nothing left which is sacred to you and all is lost.
In the second half of the series, he is inadvertently responsible for Hank’s death, which is both tragic and inexcusable.
He also poisons a young boy close to Jesse simply to manipulate him into believing his lies about Gus, to ensure he wins Jesse’s loyalty when everything is thrown into doubt and Jesse starts to (understandably so) question Walt and his actions.
The boy nearly dies and the entire experience of his hospitalization is seriously traumatic for Jesse, who spends the entire time sick with worry that he may have accidentally been the cause of the boy’s illness.
Not only could Brock have died (and nearly did) but he left a deep scar on Jesse and pushed the limits of what his psyche and conscience could handle, which was insanely selfish and let’s not forget that his main motivation behind all of this was greed and his desire to overtake Gus.
While he does manage to pull of a couple of redeeming stunts, both involving drastic measures of violence in order to save and protect Jesse’s life, I kind of feel like that was the very least that
Walt could fucking do for someone he took advantage of as awfully as he did Jesse.
He owed him that, both times.
So yeah, by the last episode, I just wanted Walter to fucking die already.
#2: Jack Welker
Worst Crime: Murdering Hank in cold blood
Jack Welker gives Walter White a run for his money for the #1 spot on this list.
He even beats out Gustavo Fring since he doesn’t even know how to act civilized and Fring dresses better than him.
But in all seriousness, Jack is about as awful as any character I’ve ever come to know on any show.
He gives the entire fifth and final season of Breaking Bad an “icky” feeling just by being present.
Jack and his nephew Todd, along with the rest of their convict gang clearly represent Walter’s transformation into an easily frightened and super vigilant schoolteacher trying to make some cash by cooking dope to a hardened and soulless criminal who simply orders them to kill anyone who threatens his empire.
By the fifth season, it’s getting pretty difficult to recall Walter as the man he was when this whole thing began, but one thing is certain: the guy he was in the first season NEVER would have considered dealing with Jack and his gang. Not in a million years.
He would have treated them the same way he did Tuco and would have thought of him as a serious problem that needed dealing with.
Jack is crude and acts like your average convict criminal. He’s trashy, low-class and has that common hatred for “snitches” that so many idiots do who hate it when people talk to the cops (often because it is the right thing to do) and assholes like him get caught for being the douchebags they are.
I’d just like to add that Jack would have stolen the #1 spot if he had followed through with his plans to murder Jesse after watching his confession tape.
#3: Gustavo Fring
Worst Crime: Ruthlessly slitting Victor’s throat for unclear reasons
Gus appears much like Walter does initially — that is, we only see the docile, professional and friendly businessman side of his personality for a while.
We know he is running a drug distribution network and we figure that must involve getting his hands a bit dirty here and there, but we really underestimated Fring’s level of cruelty and greedy tunnel vision.
Our first glimpses of the man give us the impression that he is super selective about who he chooses to do business with (which is probably smart when you consider how much he has to lose both in terms of social status and money), careful about how he conducts his business, highly practical in every sense and goes above and beyond his duties when it comes to supporting his community.
He’s a goddamn sociopath that convinces every person he meets that he is their best friend. It’s kind of fucking scary later on in the series, when we finally get to see his true colors come through when his patience is tested by Walter.
The man knows what he wants and needs and spares no expense when it comes to securing it — provided that things stay profitable for him. That by itself hardly makes a criminal out of him, but rather explains why he has been so successful thus far.
When Walter explains that he wishes to quit cooking for Fring because he has been neglecting his family and has enough money to cover his needs at that point, Gus wastes no time in blatantly manipulating Jesse simply to withhold half of his payment in a ploy to coax Walt back into a business arrangement with him.
Perhaps the most shocking scene in which we are forced to witness the extent of Fring’s rage is when he makes an example out of his henchman Victor by calmly and systematically changing out of his normal clothes and into a rubber suit, before grabbing a box cutter and slicing Victor’s throat with it, then grabbing his head and pulling it back to speed up the gushing of blood that ultimately ends his life a few moments later.
He does this right in front of both Jesse and Walt, clearly intending to send a message or prove a point.
What did Victor do to become the target of such violence from Fring?
Or did he even do anything at all?
Was it just to show Jesse and Walt what he was capable of and nothing more?
Just a live demonstration of how little Victor’s loyalty meant to him, and by extension, how little both of theirs did?
Who knows, really?
Even when we are shown the flashback from Fring’s past where he is meeting up with the Mexican drug lords to pitch the idea of getting into the meth trade (it seems cocaine was the popular market at the time) with his partner from Los Pollos Hermanos, it’s kind of difficult to feel any real emotion for the man.
Sure, he appears more innocent somehow in this scene but at the same time, there is nothing that resonates with us. Not even when the cartel guys shoot and murder his partner (and possibly his lover also) so close to him that the blood splatters from his head onto Fring’s horror-stricken face.
I mean, sure. That was kind of a punk move from the cartel ass clowns, but I just couldn’t really muster much sympathy for Gus even as he lie next to the pool crying as he watched his friend die.
Of course, when Walt has finally pushed Fring’s patience to the limit, the diplomacy and formalities go out the fucking window, quite literally.
At that point, he drops the front and speaks honestly when he makes it clear to Walt that he has absolutely no problem murdering his wife, his son and his infant daughter.
Well…so much for that relationship.
I guess we can’t blame Walt for starting to scheme up murder plans for Fring after that conversation, right?
#4: Lydia Rodarte-Quayle
Worst Crime: Setting up Declan and his crew to be murdered by Todd and his gang
We don’t meet her until season 5 of the show, but even that was too soon for me.
Lydia is not a likable character right from the start. She has a paranoid manner about her and it makes her appear guilty — which she is.
Similar to the character of Saul Goodman, she is somewhat of a pawn. More guilty by “association” than direct crimes committed with her own two hands, you could say.
I mean, it’s one thing to end another person’s life physically and it’s another to put a hit out on someone. The latter gives us the illusion that the person giving orders is somehow distanced from the actual wrongdoing which is taking place.
It may distance them physically, but we probably shouldn’t kid ourselves that it distances them morally speaking.
Shortly after meeting an incredibly nervous Lydia who is worried sick over the possibility that the entire Madrigal operation will be a bust in the wake of Fring’s death, she wastes no time in setting out to eliminate every person involved who may leak information or crack under the pressure of law enforcement.
Practical approach, yes?
After failing to have Mike killed as one of the names on her list, he decides to (foolishly) spare her life in order to utilize her connections and access to methylamine now that Fring is dead and
Walt and Jesse have asked him to team up with him to restart their own operation.
Lydia of course obliges and skittishly aides them in obtaining the chemicals they need for cooking to save her own life.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have ranked her as poorly as this had it not been for the scene after all of that where we see her deliberately manipulate Todd’s crush on her by setting up an entire group of guys who are all annihilated upon arrival at their agreed meeting place.
She hides underground while Todd and his gang murder all the men, and when it’s over and Todd comes to get her, she asks him to guide her through the dead bodies strewn about the ground outside so that she can cover her eyes and not have to actually see the carnage she just created.
That was pretty sickening.
Of course, he does as she asks and she slowly makes her way through it all with her hand over her eyes.
#5: Todd Alquist
Worst Crime: Shooting an innocent boy (Drew Sharp) as a precautionary measure
Todd is about as morally complex as Lydia, which isn’t saying much.
He’s pretty much a surface character who is in everything for himself. He is obedient, and eager to learn how to cook when given the opportunity by Walt.
When we see them in the makeshift lab working together for the first time, it’s pretty clear that he’s a little henchman for Walt in the making.
This conveniently takes place right as we begin to see Jesse trying to put some distance between himself and the business venture with Walt. He is clearly unsure about Walt at this point and is quickly losing interest in cooking with him, despite the profits he stands to earn from doing so.
Walt, however, is awfully quick to take on Todd as a thoughtless replacement. He doesn’t even seem to stop and consider how trustworthy this kid is or whether he is the right type of person to even be allowing that close to his “empire,” as he later calls it.
Well, as it turns out…Todd is definitely NOT the kind of person you want to partner up with.
Not only is his family exclusively prison convicts, but we find out that Todd can sometimes take instructions a little too seriously.
When Walt makes it clear that NO ONE can ever find out about the train heist he is planning with the help of Todd, Mike and Jesse, Todd doesn’t think twice about shooting a teenage boy who happens to be riding his four wheeler in the area and stops to wave at them.
Shoots him dead, as Jesse screams “Noooo!” in the background.
Fuck you, Todd.
You, sir, are an asshole.
#6: Saul Goodman
Worst Crime: Being a spineless, selfish and cowardly idiot with zero loyalty
Yuck, Saul Goodman.
That’s the third “yuck” character in a row now.
What I mean by that is Lydia, Todd and Saul (as well as Jack) all have one unfortunate thing in common: they lack depth or moral complexity.
For someone like me, that makes them…not only kind of revolting, but also boring and difficult to hate because they almost aren’t worth that much emotional investment.
Saul is the slimy used car salesman type and he’ll throw one client under the bus as soon as they are out of sight, or sometimes while they are still within earshot (guess he’s got balls in some sense).
He’s the best friend of whoever happens to be in the room and he is the eternal opportunist, on a constant mission to milk every person and situation for all it’s worth for him.
He’s motivated by greed and while he never actually gets his hands too dirty with crimes, he certainly has no problem quickly suggesting them to more capable characters he is involved with at every chance he gets.
He has no real emotions of his own, but he is masterful at appearing to and has a deep understanding of how to utilize the emotions of other people to his own advantage.
Throughout the whole series, we never even get any hint of Saul having an actual personal relationship with anyone in his sad life.
Only clients who are every bit as guilty as him.
He even has to get massages from a really lame looking piece of equipment he keeps in his office, that’s how unappealing he is apparently.
Saul reminds me frighteningly of my loser fuck twat of a husband. Perhaps I should have listed that as his worst crime, on second thought.
#7: Mike Ehrmantraut
Worst Crime: Becoming jaded by his line of work
Surprisingly, I couldn’t recall any single thing that Mike did which I find truly appalling.
However, it’s important to consider that he shows up in the story as a person already deeply involved in tons of shady shit, more or less.
We first meet Mike on the awful morning when Jesse awakens to find his girlfriend Jane dead next to him in bed. The episode begins by showing Jesse frantically attempting in vain to resuscitate her by performing CPR.
His face is red, tears flood the corners of both eyes and he is breathing erratically. We can sense the state of distress he is in.
Having been too high on heroin to be aware that Walt had been in his place while he was asleep, he calls him in a panic and tells him about Jane.
Of course, the people watching know that Walt could have saved her and instead just let her die. This news isn’t unexpected and he is awfully calm during the phone call with Jesse, which we only hear his side of.
He instructs Jesse to stay put and wait, telling him he knows what to do.
“Better call Saul!”
He calls Jesse back to reassure him that Saul is sending a guy right now to help him take care of the unfortunate situation.
And that guy, of course, is Mike Ehrmantraut.
He’s an older bald guy with a somewhat sarcastic expression permanently fixed on his face. If he’s not irritated with you for some reason, he is definitely not amused to say the least.
He arrives, calmly sweeps through Jesse’s house collecting evidence of their drug use and anything else incriminating and then gives Jesse instructions on what to do next.
He tells him he’s going to leave and tells him to call the paramedics to report Jane’s death. He tells him exactly what to say to them and makes him repeat it several times before he is satisfied and he then exits.
It’s a harsh introduction, but even in that first scene I didn’t pick up the “scent” of a villain in Mike. He sure as heck hadn’t made a very positive impression yet, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t a vacant vessel of greed and pride, like certain other characters.
But at that point, I was pretty unsure of what to think about him to be honest.
As the show continues, Mike’s role in the story becomes more significant and we are given more opportunities to size him up, so to speak.
Who’s side is he on?
In fact, who the hell is he actually working for anyhow?
Initially we think he’s working for Saul Goodman, but later find out that he’s part of a much bigger and darker operation that is being run by Gustavo.
Learning that throws a lot into question…if this guy works for Fring, does that mean he’s the same kind of animal that he has turned out to be?
How could someone decent work for someone like Gus?
In fact, it eventually becomes pretty clear that Mike is, in fact, Fring’s right hand man as far as keeping tabs on all his operations, transporting the product under dangerous conditions, facing the danger of a run in with the cartels, digging around for information about how long Walt likely has to live and a number of other day to day tasks.
Despite his professional closeness to Fring, Mike manages to mostly remain neutral. He appears to just be a guy doing his job and trying to avoid any unnecessary drama. A tall order when your responsibilities include killing people, keeping people from being killed and whatever other tasks are common for ‘Head of Corporate Security’ at fast food chains.
But as the series progresses, we eventually watch Mike develop a sort of paternal bond with Jesse. We also get glimpses of him visiting his granddaughter and we don’t doubt his love and affection for her, even before we find out that he has dumped all of his shady money into a trust fund for her eighteenth birthday.
After everything is said and done, we sort of wish that Jesse had listened to Mike when he tried to warn him about the dangers of remaining associated with Walt.
“You…are trouble,” he says to Walter.
Boy, was he ever 100% right.
And yes, it IS too bad that Jesse couldn’t see it and don’t even get me started on all the suffering he ends up going through that Walt is to blame for.
#8: Hank Schrader
Worst Crime: Beating the Shit out of Jesse After the Hoax About Marie Getting Hurt
In the early episodes of Breaking Bad, Hank seemed like a character who I wouldn’t have strongly positive feelings about. The biggest disadvantage being that it was difficult for me to relate to him since he’s a cop and kind of has that macho chest-thumping thing going on, which usually gets a huge eye roll from me.
However, it’s pretty clear that Hank is a stand-up guy, at least when it comes to family. Following the revelation that Walt has been diagnosed with cancer, Hank takes a moment in private to assure him that he will always be there for Walt’s family if something happens to him.
Walt, being the sniveling douchebag that he often is, seems annoyed by this offering of love and support, if anything. Probably because he’s a douchebag, I guess.
But we know Hank is speaking from the heart here and at least as viewers, we can appreciate the sentiment.
As Hank continues to investigate the source of the blue meth taking Albuquerque by storm, he tracks down the old Bounder which Walt and Jesse used for their mobile meth lab.
After Jesse unknowingly leads Hank right to the tow yard where it is parked, he and Walt find themselves trapped inside as Hank circles the vehicle, determined to find a way to look inside.
In what is obviously a moment of desperation, Walt resorts to calling Saul and having him fake a phone call to Hank, telling him that Marie (his wife) had just been seriously injured in a car accident.
Here again, we see that Hank’s heart is in the right place when he immediately drops everything, jumps in the car and speeds off to the hospital where his wife was allegedly being transported to.
We know how personal this investigation is for Hank, especially this deep into things. We know he’d pretty much give his right testicle up in exchange for solving it, and he’s borderline obsessed with figuring out who the elusive Heisenberg really is.
And as soon as he hears that Marie is in trouble, that all ceases to matter and his only concern is getting to wherever she is.
When he learns that the entire thing was a hoax, he realizes also that it was one which cost him an opportunity at making a break in the case which he had just lost forever.
I personally thought his subsequent rage was 100% reasonable.
And I also don’t blame him at all for driving straight over to Jesse’s house, marching up to his front door and proceeding to beat the living fuck out of him.
The only real problem with the whole scene was that it SHOULD have fucking been Walt’s piece of shit ass taking the beating, NOT Jesse!
But of course Hank doesn’t know that. It made perfect sense for him to assume that Jesse had been behind the whole thing and I don’t fault him for the way he reacted, but it’s obviously a shame that Jesse takes yet another crippling blow because of Walt being a gigantic pussy.
However, it was the choices Hank made immediately following the violent encounter with Jesse which really won me over.
After beating the poor guy nearly into a damn coma, the rage subsides enough for him to realize what he is doing. As this slowly washes over him, the weight of everything clearly begins to sink in.
He doesn’t lie to the other cops about what happened when Jesse is taken off in an ambulance. He knows he shouldn’t have reacted without thinking things through.
He accepts his responsibility, despite his law enforcement buddies giving him every opportunity to change his story so that it doesn’t paint him the bad guy.
In fact, they nearly urge him to lie.
But he doesn’t.
He knows the implications of what took place. If he doesn’t lie about how things went down with Jesse, he is almost guaranteed to have ruined his entire career as a cop.
But he refuses to lie.
When Marie pleads with him to lie about the altercation, he lays it all out for her by admitting that he was wrong and confiding in her that this was a moral failure on his part as an officer of the law.
This displays more integrity than most people will ever have in real life, sadly.
Following the dialogue with Marie, he breaks down and cries which is a little shocking given how tough and made of steel he has consistently been up to that moment.
Alas, he is human. And a damn decent one, at that.
#9: Jesse Pinkman
Worst Crime: Murdering Gale Boetticher to Save Walt’s Life
Jesse Pinkman provided the starkest contrast to my initial reactions to Hank. Not only did I relate to him personally on more levels than I can count, but I’d go as far as to say he could be my fictional soul mate or male version of myself in most ways.
In the beginning of the show, Jesse is pretty much portrayed as your typical drug dealing, petty crime committing, unmotivated young adult fucking off his life one risky poor decision at a time.
We never suspect Jesse of anything at any point in the show.
Because he is not “slick,” and he is no criminal mastermind, to say the least.
I can see how some people may make the mistake of concluding that he is an idiot.
And to be fair, perhaps he is.
But he is honest enough in his idiocy that I don’t count it as a character flaw.
You can argue with me all you want about whether this is valid, but I will come right out and tell you that I blame Walter for the vast majority of Jesse’s wrongdoings throughout the series, and gladly hold him accountable for the most significant of those.
After being blackmailed into starting the meth operation with Walter, Jesse is repeatedly forced to take all the real life risks that Walter’s public image and home life keep him safe from.
As he conveniently hides behind the scenes, he expects Jesse to deal with every part of the business that is unpleasant, dangerous or at all risky.
As you might expect, this plays out in a perpetual disaster for Jesse.
After a while, it starts becoming difficult to watch as he is unfairly punished for Walt’s cowardice over and over again.
Half way through a second viewing of the entire series, I found myself almost getting fucking angry at Jesse. Like I just wished I could grab him by the shoulders and shake the shit out of him.
“You dumbfuck! He’s a lying piece of shit, get the fuck away from him!”
Of course, we have to bear in mind that Walt was Jesse’s chemistry teacher in High School, only a few years prior to when all of this started.
Like it or not, that makes him an authority figure in Jesse’s life and that would be the role he played in Jesse’s mind regardless of the situation.
As has been pointed out by others before me, Jesse refers to Walt as “Mr. White,” consistently from beginning to end.
A small and subtle detail, but an important one.
This guy is his chemistry teacher and he always will be. Let that sink in for a moment.
Unlike many of the other characters in this list, when I think about (what I consider) Jesse’s worst crime, I am not filled with rage.
But rather sadness.
I think most would agree that murdering Gale was the worst thing Jesse did in the entire series, hands down.
But it’s awfully hard to point the finger at him with any accusatory passion considering the evident reluctance he struggled with beforehand and certainly the trauma which haunted him after.
We know that the only reason he shot and killed Gale was to save Walter’s life.
And the threat was not imagined, it was very much real.
Had he not gotten rid of Gale, Walter was a dead man.
He doesn’t want to do it and both he and Walter know this. Originally, the plan was for Walter to handle that part of things.
But shit happens and things didn’t go according to plan.
In my opinion, the real tragedy of this whole situation is not even that Gale was murdered for essentially having done nothing wrong.
The truly sad part is that Jesse risked his own sanity by forcing himself to do something he felt was unthinkable, all in the name of protecting someone he thought was his loyal friend.
Jesse is somewhat unique among the characters of Breaking Bad because he lacks an anchor.
He doesn’t have the support of a significant other. He doesn’t have children who depend on him for anything. And while it’s entirely his own fault, he doesn’t even really have any decent friends because of the shit he’s chosen to deal in.
Which makes him easy prey for basically everyone else in the show who DOES have these things. Many would reason that Jesse should take the risks in place of Walter.
After all, he doesn’t have a wife and infant child back at home.
Which is total BS.
Like it’s just convenient to fucking forget that Jesse, unlike Walt, has a future still.
He is still young enough to point the rest of his life in whatever direction he desires, if only he could figure that out.
Which is why it’s that much more unfortunate that the only brief relationship he is allowed throughout the season (of any real substance, that is) happens to be with someone as toxic for him as Jane was.
To be clear, Jane was relatively innocent in comparison to the others on this list. But given the effect she had on Jesse, the effects he had on her, their lives were headed in a direction of predictable misfortune had Jane not died.
But at the end of the day, Jesse couldn’t have known those things. No matter how horrible of an idea it was for them to stay together, all he knew was he loved her and now she was gone forever.
The scene where Walt finds him in a drug-induced stupor in that house full of junkies was the most heartbreaking scene in the series, hands down.
When he breaks down and sobs as Walt holds him, I just want to rip Walt apart limb from limb with my hatred.
I think it’s fair to say that Walt’s selfish, greedy and psychopathic shit comes close to driving Jesse over the brink of madness. This is perfectly illustrated towards the very end of the series, when he figures out that Walt has intentionally poisoned the young son of Jesse’s girlfriend in order to manipulate him.
This literally causes Jesse to snap.
In a blind rage, he assaults Saul (score!), steals his car and proceeds to douse Walt’s house with gasoline, hellbent on sending the whole thing up in flames.
Sadly, I can relate to his state of sheer chaotic rage as he slowly begins to realize he cannot trust anyone and he is the only person involved in any of this shit who sees how appalling Walt’s actions are.
#10: Skyler White
Before I finished watching the series for the third time, I mostly felt pity for Walter’s wife.
After all, none of the shit storm which became her life was in any way something she had a part in choosing.
It was all Walter’s decisions which she was more or less forced to live with unless she was going to leave him and tear apart their family.
Although I hate to say it, this is probably the exception to the whole “stay together for the kids,” approach to a broken marriage.
And while she does spend nearly two seasons being suspicious of Walt, demanding that he confess to the incessant lies he fed her, being horrified at what she would later find out he was doing and finally discouraging him from continuing down his chosen path, she remains with him throughout.
This was her biggest mistake.
It doesn’t fit with her character either. She comes across as a strong willed woman who is most concerned with the safety of her children. Which is why it’s more than a little disappointing that she was willing to put up with Walt’s shit at all, rather than get the fuck away from him and never look back.
Yes, I get how it would be difficult to do for a long list of reasons.
But she had the conviction and nearly went through with it more than once.
I’m sorry, but having divorced or estranged parents isn’t the end of the world when the alternative is being stuck in the middle of feuding drug lords caught up in a pissing match over who has the bigger dick.
Waiting for Walt’s cancer to return and claim his life was basically the coward’s way out of her situation and I sort of expected better than that from her.
In my third viewing of the show, it really sunk in how much she ended up compromising in terms of what she felt was right and wrong.
Going as far as suggesting they get rid of Jesse, she sort of slowly and reluctantly morphs into Walt’s begrudging partner in crime.
The scene where Marie slaps her in the face after learning that Skyler knew about Walt’s dealings at the time Hank was shot by the cartel cousins was surprisingly satisfying.