Breaking Bad Characters: 7 DEADLIER Ways to Break Bad

Breaking Bad Characters: 7 DEADLIER Ways to Break Bad


“Hellfire rained down on my house!” “Sir–” In our last video, we looked at
7 supporting characters from Breaking Bad and how they reflect different forms
that bad behavior can take. In the story of Walter White’s
descent into evil, the people around him serve as mirrors of
what “breaking bad” looks like. So in this video we’re looking at
7 more lost souls who’ve strayed from the righteous path,
in even more serious ways. “No more half measures,
Walter.” If this were Dante’s Inferno,
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for free. “The moral of the story is
I chose a half measure, Mike Ehrmantraut represents
pragmatic evil. The “fixer” for Saul,
Gus and later, Walt, Methodical Mike is practical
in every sense of the word. “Now, I don’t know what kind of
movies you’ve been watching, but here in the real world
we don’t kill 11 people as some kind of prophylactic measure.” Once he’s made a decision
to do something, he makes sure to do it excellently,
thoroughly, without mistakes. He thinks through every eventuality. “The next time you bring a gun to a job
without telling me, I will stick it up your ass sideways.” He’s practical when it comes to
morality, too. “I’ve known good criminals and bad cops. Bad priests, honorable thieves.” His experiences on both sides of the law
have made him completely skeptical that high-minded principles have
any place in the real world. Mike has found that a pragmatic worldview
is the only outlook that can make sense of all
the contradictions and unfairness in what he’s lived. “My son wasn’t dirty!” So with no justice to believe in, Mike concerns himself with carving out
a much more manageably sized code of honor and set of rules for himself. “Me, personally I was hired to do a job. I did it. That’s as far as it goes.” The main rule Mike believes in
is personal responsibility — he holds himself accountable
for his actions and stays true to his word, “You can be on one side of the law
or the other, but if you make a deal
with somebody, you keep your word.” and he holds others
responsible for their actions. “Trust me, this woman deserves to die
as much as any man I’ve ever met.” Mike believes the people he encounters
in his criminal endeavors have chosen to bear the consequences
of their actions, just like he did. If it becomes necessary
for him to kill them, they’ve brought that on themselves. “Everyone sounds like Meryl Streep
with a gun to their head.” Ultimately, after accepting a world
that is far less than ideal, he makes it his goal to ensure
the well-being of those he feels personally responsible for — everything else is beyond the realm
of his personal responsibility. “Don’t make me beat you
till your legs don’t work.” Mike is Walt’s polar opposite,
which explains Mike’s extreme distaste for the great Heisenberg. “You know how they say
‘it’s been a pleasure?’ Well, it hasn’t.” Walt works in the drug business to fuel
his own desire for ever more power, while Mike prides himself on
knowing his place. “You and your pride and your ego. You just had to be the man. If you’d done your job,
known your place, we’d all be fine right now.” Walt is a grandiose liar,
while Mike is brutally honest. “What you packing?” “A pimento.” “Sorry, what?” “Pimento sandwich.” Essentially, Mike’s noble self-control highlights
what an impulsive out-of-control jerk Walt is becoming by contrast. “You are a time bomb. Tick, tick, ticking. And I have no intention
of being around for the boom. Somehow, in this line of work,
Mike still retains a certain moral integrity — so the moment when Walt kills Mike is
one of the clearest signs we get that Heisenberg has won over Walter White. “Shut the [BLEEP] up. Let me die in peace.” “I would like a cup of hot water,
filtered, if possible, and a single slice of lemon. And I’m assuming you don’t have stevia? Never mind, I brought my own.” Lydia Rodarte-Quayle is guilty of
the kind of evil that is born of desperation. The head of Logistics at Madrigal Electromotive
— and Gus Fring’s distribution liaison — is, as her last name suggests,
always quailing. “Okay.” “No. No. Not okay,
Mike. Not okay.” The–The look he just gave me
was the very antithesis of ‘okay,’ okay?” “Breathe, Lydia.” High-strung Lydia is not cut out
for a life of crime. [Muffled screams] Lydia is willing to do literally anything
if she thinks it will help keep her safe. “I can grow your business exponentially.” “Just give me the list.” “I can do that by helping you expand
into a larger, highly active, highly profitable marketplace.” So she shows how total desperation is
one of the most dangerous motivations out there for making people do evil things — “Yeah, I’ll take paranoid any day
over getting gang-raped by prison guards.” a desperate person has really
lost him or herself altogether. Any concern or sense of responsibility
for others Lydia may have once felt goes out the window — because she is terrified,
all the time. “You’re tying up loose ends,
and I don’t want to be one of them.” She’s like a drowning person who instinctively
grabs blindly at other swimmers, not caring if she pulls them down with her. When Walt talks to Lydia,
we can really see how far he has come in his transformation. “You’re a smart businesswoman,
you understand the concept of leverage?” “Please don’t patronize me,
I hate that.” “You have none.” Less than a year ago he was unsure
and stuttering in front of a fearsome drug lord. Now, it’s Lydia who’s afraid for her life
at the mere sight of him. “You’re putting me in a box here. You know what could happen.” “Again, none of my concern.” “Hi, I’m Saul Goodman. Did you know you have rights? The Constitution says you do,
and so do I.” Saul Goodman embodies
the evil of opportunism. “I’m a lawyer. Even drug dealers
need lawyers, right? Especially drug dealers.” If there’s a chance to make a quick buck,
Walt and Jesse’s criminal lawyer jumps at it, happy to bend any legal
or moral lines that stand in the way. “Conscience gets expensive doesn’t it?” We’ll delve much more into how
and why Jimmy McGill becomes this person in an upcoming Better Call Saul video, but by the time Walt meets him,
Saul is hardened into a truly “criminal” lawyer. “Seriously, when the going gets tough
you don’t want a criminal lawyer, alright? You want a ‘criminal’ lawyer.” Saul advertises himself in front of
cheesy renderings of a constitution, and an American flag — “And that’s why I fight for you,
Albuquerque!” and Saul’s character highlights
some of the paradoxes of what is considered right and good
in American society. In some respects, he fits our cultural standards
for an exemplary citizen. He’s got an amazing work ethic,
an ingenious entrepreneurial spirit, and endless gumption. “Don’t drink and drive,
but if you do, call me.” It’s precisely Saul’s lack of moral scruples
that makes him so good at his job. “If you’re committed enough,
you can make any story work. I once convinced a woman
that I was Kevin Costner. And it worked,
because I believed it.” He has the mental and moral flexibility
to find a loophole in anything. “This dude got Emilio off,
like, twice. Okay? Both times, they had him dead to rights, yo. And then, poof. Dude’s like Houdini.” So in him we get a portrait
of our culture’s dedication to getting ahead at all costs. He’s the axiom “America is
the land of opportunity,” taken a little too literally. “So if you want to make more money
and… keep the money you make — better call Saul!” What’s ultimately scary and dangerous
about Saul’s outlook is the lack of a moral center — “If a prison shanking is
completely off the table, and we’re sure of that?” “No shanking!” the absence of any scruple or principle
that can’t be violated, to hold him back. “The way of the world, kid. You go with the winner.” As the Season 4 finale
of Better Call Saul told us, Saul’s philosophy essentially becomes: “The winner takes it all” Walt makes extensive use of
this opportunistic evil — and his bond with Saul cements
his growing ambitions to build his criminal operation
into a true business empire. “There’s no honor among thieves,
except for us, of course.” [Laughs] Tuco Salamanca is an embodiment of evil
as unprovoked, senseless violence. Tuco is the first “real” drug lord
we meet in the show, and he fits our preconception of
what a drug dealer, or a “bad guy” in general, is like. “We’re gonna rewrite history with this.” [Snorts] [Screams] “All right.” He’s erratic, unhinged,
and will fly off the handle for no reason at all. In his first meeting with Walt,
he beats one of his own associates to death for speaking out of turn. “Woah! Damn, man,
look at that! Look!” Counterintuitive as it may seem,
just any old violence isn’t enough to make someone evil
in our society’s eyes. There are plenty of forms of violence
our culture condones or even applauds. In fact, studies have found
that we as a society are especially averse not to all violence,
but to unprovoked violence, specifically. The character of Tuco personifies
exactly this kind of unpredictable, spontaneous violence that we tend to
dislike and fear the most. “No, man. No.” “Come!” It’s by design that Tuco is one of
the first overtly evil characters we get to know early on — “I like doing business
with a family man. There’s always a lot
of collateral.” Tuco’s frightening persona is
the complete opposite of meek season-one-Walt. So this contrast helps us
justify Walt’s behavior. Surely, calm and clever Walt is nothing
like those crazy, actual drug dealers. But Walt swiftly comes to embody
this senselessly violent evil, too. Even right after “winning”
his negotiation with Tuco, Walt exits the house
and screams in his car — [Screams] so already we’re seeing him incorporate
aspects of the evil people he meets into his rapidly growing Heisenberg persona. [Screams] “What the hell is wrong with you? We’re a family!” “Get back to work.” Gus Fring gives human form to
soulless, corporate evil. “I don’t believe fear to be
and effective motivator. I want investment.” Gus is the ultimate multi-hyphenate — successful business-owner,
pillar of the Albuquerque community, benevolent employer…
and ruthless murderer. “I will kill your wife. I will kill your son. I will kill your infant daughter.” A corporation, by definition,
is a group of individuals, acting and legally viewed
as a single entity. Gus is essentially what that single entity
would look like if it came alive and became one man. “Pollos Hermanos, where something delicious
is always cooking.” By making the corporation corporeal,
Vince Gilligan and his team of writers managed to portray an elusive type of evil
that is extremely dangerous in today’s world. When we see something bad happen,
our impulse is to look for the guilty individual parties
in order to hold them accountable. But what’s so frightening about corporate
evil is that there is no single human who’s responsible — the evil enacted on the world
stems from the principles that govern the corporation itself. A corporation exists only to increase
growth and profits. As appealing or intriguing
as polite and calculating Gus might seem, there is no there there. “I’m sure if you keep digging,
you’ll find me.” As Gus comes on the scene
in Walt’s story, this is a signal that Walt
is thinking bigger — “What you two need is
an honest-to-God businessman, alright? Somebody who treats your product like
the simple, high-margin commodity that it is.” his startup wants to scale. “I’m in the empire business.” “I told you, numbnuts,
this guy’s OG.” Hector Salamanca demonstrates
the evil code of honor. “Me and my family,
we built this whole business.” Silent and motionless in his wheelchair,
Tuco’s and the cousin’s uncle is like a living totem
with near supernatural powers — [Bell rings] a living embodiment of cartel rules. Rule number one —
family is all. And Rule number two —
never talk to the DEA. “W, X, Y…” [Bell rings] “All right.” “Yeah, thanks. I-I can spell. For him, the rule that family is everything
far outweighs the well-being of any of his actual family members. So, if one of his family members
were to kill another, Hector might easily feel it his duty
to kill the remaining one in order to observe his rule
that family must not harm family. This kind of paradoxical,
extreme observation of principles makes Hector a far more terrifying form of
evil than the senseless randomness that we saw in his nephew, Tuco. “Salamanca did, Salamanca money,
Salamanca blood!” And it explains why Hector manages
somehow to stay around so long, and remain so powerful,
even long after he would seem to be pretty much incapacitated
and impotent. Hector is clearly an evil person, “How about your payment is
you get to live?” yet he genuinely believes
in the thing that Walt keeps telling everyone
he values the most — family. “Now, the Salamanca name
dies with you.” Yet in Hector’s case
standing by family means dominating in the bloody,
inhuman drug trade — because that is
what the Salamanca family does. “This is what comes of
blood for blood, Hector. Sangre por sangre.” So Hector’s character illustrates
that any ideology or code — even if it’s based on good values —
becomes evil when taken to the extreme. [Screams] “Just so you know
this isn’t personal.” Todd Alquist represents evil
for evil’s sake. The nephew of Neo-Nazi Uncle Jack
is a true-blue sadist. Think of the eagerness
with which he jumps at the job of torturing Jesse. “I mean, I can do it. Me and him,
we got–we got history.” Later, Todd punishes Jesse for
trying to escape by shooting Andrea — and making Jesse watch. But the degree to which Todd’s worldview
is warped is shown best in the episode “Dead Freight.” When a kid on a dirtbike happens
on the crew robbing the train — Todd immediately shoots the child dead. “Shit happens, huh?” After, Todd is extremely worried, but not because he feels guilty
for killing a child — he worries that Walt will think
less of him. “Did I make a mistake, Mr. White? Because to me, you know, respectfully,
I was looking out for the team. I didn’t want to kill him,
y-y-you gotta believe that.” Todd is one of the most terrifying
representations of evil we get in Breaking Bad — someone completely devoid of empathy,
who genuinely enjoys causing pain. Most of the other characters have
some justification for doing things that hurt others, but for Todd evil actions
are an end unto themselves. So the fact that Todd becomes Walt’s
second-in-command in season five, replacing Jesse, shows how far Walt has come
in his transition into pure evil. He has finally crossed over into
the territory of evil for its own sake. “Hey, man, I gotta know we’re square,
or we’re gonna have to go that other way.” Walt was written in a way that made it
very hard to completely dismiss him, even at his most despicable, and each of the types in this list
inspires a similar type of conflicted empathy. Each has something endearing
or at least laughably ridiculous about them. “Does that ring a bell? The guy actually has to ring a bell.” “I-Yes.” Tuco’s devotion to his Tio;
Todd’s awkward crush on Lydia; or Mike’s down-to-earth expertise
and unflappable charm. “Be nice, be nice. Let Wendel in there. Wendel doesn’t eat,
no one eats.” By producing unforgettable,
appealing characters and then making all of them
pretty darn bad, Breaking Bad forces us to look
without flinching at people who do evil things. It gives us the space to honestly
evaluate our own morals and ask how we measure up
on this complex scale of sins. All together, this makes Breaking Bad perhaps the most thorough and profound
televisual exploration of evil, ever created. “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it.” Hi guys, this Alani,
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Author:

100 thoughts on “Breaking Bad Characters: 7 DEADLIER Ways to Break Bad”

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  • Todd was such a great character – came out of left field. I did NOT expect him to be as king-fuck if shit-mountain aa he turned out to be.

  • This is an aspect of the show people often don't talk about. Most of the character's were villains to a degree. They enabled and pushed each other to further break-bad as time went on.

  • While I agree on those 7, I still see some evil in Skailer, Mary and Hank. There is a difference between doing evil while not intentionally wanting to harm someone who did not cause any threat or harm to you or family vs. those who are willing to harm others the maximum they could while trying to look that they are abiding by governmental rules. I see no justification for Skailar cheating with Tod, Hank and Marry for hatred they had for Walter.

  • Greko- grb0204 says:

    I want a video on the Symbolism in the Salamanca family (from BB and BCS) cause there is a LOT of stuff there.

  • Fraktur Obsession says:

    Lydia's voice is so cringy and annoying to me. I always mute the sound or skip the scenes when she speaks.

  • Gus spells it out here: "I will kill your infant daughter", etc. This is what Mike never understands – Walter doesn't just take out Gus because of his "pride" or a desire to be a "big man", he does it to erase the man that hovers as a constant threat not just to him but to his whole family.

  • Todd is robotic evil. He doesn't do evil for evil's sake, and he doesn't do it for pleasure, he does evil like an algorithm. He killed Drew Sharp because his programming told him to protect the mission. He left baby Holly alive because his programming told him Skyler wouldn't say anything about Lydia, and it would be better hold Holly's life over Skyler's head. He tortured Jesse to get him to make meth, and then he killed Andrea to prevent Jesse from trying to escape in the future. Everything outside of his loyalty unit is just a thing to manipulate to achieve the loyalty unit's goals.

  • Jessie: Self-delusional Evil
    Skyler: Self-delusional Evil: Bitchy Housewife Edition
    Infant Daughter: Pure Evil (because that's what babies are)

  • Todd is more like a psychopathic child than a sadist. Reminded me a lot of Dexter Morgan actually, they have the same emotionless cold ambivalence about murder. But his personality is more naive & servile almost like a little kid who wants to make his father figure proud.

  • pretty bullet says:

    Better Call Saul. lol We had two of those where I grew up. The crookedest lawyers in town but for the right price they would make your problem go away.

  • How the hell I never saw Hector's scenes!!!!
    Could anybody give me the number of the flashback episodes of him?!!

  • Todd's evil is unquestionable loyalty. He's by far the most loyal and obedient character, but he also commits the cruelest crimes. And the Nazi symbol tattooed on his uncle's hand isn't a coincidence.

  • Debbie Hariette says:

    I disagree with the Todd description – he volunteered to torture Jessie in order to keep Jessie alive so they could cook to higher purity. He was calculated and with no empathy – maybe a younger Gus Fring

  • Christoph Zeit says:

    I'd say that Jack and his gang are the weakest villains, characterwise, uncharismatic and not very intelligent. They are the most ruthless though and they hurt Walt more than the others, interestingly. They get the best of him, despite being not smart at all. They don't really fit into the show as well as the other villains, the have no arc. I was expecting Todd to rise and to become a more active, aggressive villain, but these characters sadly never got any backstory from the writers, like Todd probably being raised in a horrible environment, maybe abused by parents or uncle. For me it's pretty much clear, that he manipulates his uncle to do what he wants, but it's very subdued. I was expexting Todd to take over more actively, getting rid of his uncle, maybe with Lydia as a partner or even love affair, showing intelligence and cunning that he was hiding before.

  • I know many people talked about why they disagree with this interpretation of Todd. I'd like to add that every evil act he did was to please either Lydia or Walter. He agreed to take Jesse hostage and torture him so they could continue cooking meth in order to keep Lydia around. He shot the kid because he thought Walt would thank him for it and consequently earn his respect..

    When Walter kills his entire gang, Todd really doesn't seem to understand because, to him, everything he did was justified as an act of "love" or "respect". Todd embodies on a more visceral level what Walter became as Heisenberg. A boy subjected to an indifferent world who has to become just as indifferent in order to survive and get what he wants.

    "I did it for my family"

    "I did it for you, Mr. White."

    It's the same lie, just told differently.

  • Eh, Canadian Gamer says:

    In all honesty. I'd go with pragmatic evil. Cause if you're a straight arrow, you're easy pickings. I think one always has to be a little crooked to protect himself from those who are really crooked. Why do you think Mike avoids Walt at first? At least Mike is honest and holds personal responsibility above all else.

  • Mike, Hector, Tuco, Jesse & Saul are deluded.

    In a criminal world, the only thing that matters is kill or be killed, it's an all-out competition, there are no "pride, family values, thieves honour" similarly if you can't control yourself like Tuco you're not going to last long. They are all a full tier below the real chess players Walter, Gus, Todd & Lydia. They aren't burdened by principles, they just plan their moves and attack.

    No half-measures, remember?

  • westcoast willy says:

    Todd isn´t really evil. He just serves the purpose of his gang thoughtlessly. His immorality seems to be more like an intellectual issue.

  • Ezriel Shepherd says:

    Todd is actually that way because he craves approval from the people around him he deems to be role models in my opinion, other than that, I agree with the rest of the video!

  • Great analysis of the characters. You know Billions has some pretty great characters too. Just putting it out there.

  • I would say that todd represents evil from the extremist psychopath. Kills a child, doesn't blink an eye. Tortures a man endlessly, doesn't care at all. Kills his ex, ''nothing personal'' in other words no feelings negative or positive. His expression too, always the same. Detached.

  • This show is basically a case for why recreational drugs should be legalized. No effects on the amount of addicts, just less violence.

  • I had a love/hate relationship with Lydia, for one side she is gorgeous but for the other i couldnt stand her lack of honor and paranoia Yikes!

  • Lydia is one of the scariest characters, as she "hides in plain sight," pretending to be normal and "fit" in, when she's like the amoral drug money laundering people.
    She's a sociopath.

  • Tuco fits the crazy, drug dealer, bad guy stereotype perfectly.
    Tuco had to die – far too unstable, out of control, and dangerous!

  • I think Jesse Pinkman's Girlfriend said it best when she said "ahahahchchhhhciiuuc,kclckckkjksaaaaa barf barf barf ahausisk,sjmaiksjdhjuydhujde" dies

  • Idk why but the first time I watched brba I hated Tuco and was waiting for him to die but the second time around I loved Tuco because all of the scenes with him were either interesting or funny or both

  • Just a thought, I wonder why they never had any dark web mentions, I mean Saul was practically a human version of what the dark web sounds like

  • i THINK YOU SHOULD TAKE DEEPER LOOK INTO WHY wALT LEAVES TUCO AND LOOSES IT SITTING IN HIS CAR. This is more of his frustration to having to use violence to the other people involved in the business he is trying to have finncial success. He never thought about having to use violence to be a success as a druig cook; he and Jesse really wanted no part of hurting people to reach their goals of success. This is seen right from the fiorst several Episodes

  • DeclinedForCredit says:

    I like Tuco reminds me of my youth and mid twenties. Good thing a sprinkle of drugs on a person you just fucked up tends to tie up loose ends… Now I am a different person thanks to my family. When you do get caught you see the damage you not only do to yourself but to those most important to you. I was facing serious time. But because it was my first time and I had a good lawyer because of my family I was granted a pardon for everything if I stayed out of the circle of people I was doing business with for two years and didn’t commit any other crimes. I miss those days sometimes… but I mostly regret it and I am trying to be a better person by caring about others more than myself. I probably deserve to go to hell. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try to make up for the damage I have done to people. The court even offered me a deal if I ratted on my business partners. I said fuck you, lol. I fucking hate cops the last time I was pulled over I told the cop to go fuck himself. Also, the dishonour of being a rat is not something I want on my shoulders. Especially considering the blowback that would happen to my family. Funny how I went from the main drug dealer of a small town to a refined academic with a career now. Those years almost seem like a dream. Even my family has a hard time believing the things I have done. Some said I should write a book about it. I only found out I had the balls to do the things I did back in high school. I went from bullied outcast. To a guy that beat the shit out of my worst bully in front of the school. I snapped, everyone has a breaking point right? Well my break made me realize that I liked violence and that being passive gets you no where in this world that includes both the realms of criminality and academia. Never back down and if you fall hurt as many of the sobs as you can as bad as you can. Now In life I have more to care about than only myself. So I never go looking for trouble but if it comes to me. Well you better hope you kill me first. I bother no one and no one bothers me and that is the way I want the rest of my life to be. Everyone has a dark side and everyone has a chance to change their lives for the better. In the end I am not the same person I was anymore, but that part of my life will always be apart of me until I die.

  • Todd comes off as "manchild evil" or "raised evil"
    Like, killing and death is so normalized to him that its like a responsibility in a normal job.
    Like Leatherface without the mental disability
    Might've been a normal guy if he wasn't raised by criminals

  • Lydia should have been #1. She is COMPLETE HUMAN GARBAGE
    Todd at least has respect for Walter and tried to spare his life and I would argue has a sense of courage. But not Lydia. Lydia even tried to use her child to stop Mike from killing her. Lydia is scum in it's purest form.

  • Todd is "evil for its own sake". Nope, you are wrong about that. Maybe he is closest to that of all the characters, but he is not that.

  • Gus was such a calculating and articulate villain and that about him was so appealing. He blended into society so well and was unsuspecting. His downfall was crossing paths with Walt.

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