While Breaking Bad has been praised endlessly for its brilliant storytelling, something that has made it such an obsession with fans is its penchant for foreshadowing. Many other shows have foreshadowed various twists, but none of them compare to how well Breaking Bad pulls it off.
These moments may seem inconsequential or hidden in the background at first, but they eventually build into unforgettable moments. These details make the experiencing of revisiting Breaking Bad all the more fulfilling, as fans can see just how much thought went into building this story.
The Study Of Change
The series was one of the most fascinating character explorations in television history, as it followed Walter White from his life as a high school teacher to his life as a drug kingpin. While it was impossible to predict how much Walt would change over the series, he did tease that arc in the pilot.
While Walt is at school teaching his uninterested class, he explains how chemistry is really the study of change. He explains it as “growth then decay,” which speaks directly to Walt’s own rise and fall throughout the series.
Saul Mentions Lalo
As impressive as it is that Breaking Bad was able to foreshadow aspects of the show’s end as early as the first episode, they’ve even outdone that feat. The show was able to tease aspects of its eventual spinoff series years before it was even made.
When Saul Goodman is introduced in season 2 of Breaking Bad, Walt and Jesse stage a fake abduction to scare him. Thinking he is going to be killed, Saul says “It wasn’t me, it was Ignacio!” and asks if they work for Lalo. This hints at the events of the season 5 finale of Better Call Saul that aired more than a decade later.
Cut Off Mid-Sentence
The murder of Hank Schrader is one of the most heartbreaking moments of the whole series and established Uncle Jack as one of the most hated characters in the series. Not only did Jack kill Hank, but he also deprived him of the dignity of his final words, killing him while he was in the middle of a sentence.
However, not only did Walt avenge Hank’s death in the finale, but he also repaid that same insult. After Jack is injured by Walt’s machine-gun attack, he thinks he can negotiate with Walt. He begins to explain that he has millions of dollars stashed away but is cut off when Walt shoots him.
Walt And Gus Face Down
Though Walt and Gus Fring eventually became deadly enemies, it wasn’t hard to see the similarities between the two men, and the show was sure to highlight a similar journey both men went on.
A flashback scene shows the cartel senselessly murder Gus’s partner, Max. Gus is then held down on the ground as he cries in pain. This shot is later copied with Walt as he cries on the ground after seeing Hank murdered. Walt mirroring Gus in this moment hints that he will likewise plot his revenge against the men who killed his loved one.
The death of Jane is one of the main turning points for Walt in the show, but it also had far bigger repercussions than anyone could have predicted. When Jane’s father is organizing her room following her death, a mural is seen on the wall which features a pink teddy bear floating in space.
This, of course, ties directly to the pink bear seen floating in Walt’s pool which is shown throughout the season. However, it is only later revealed to have been the result of a plane crash caused by Jane’s father while grief-stricken over her death.
Walt Digs Hank’s Grave
The second half of the final season begins with Hank learning the truth about Walt and thus putting the two former family members at odds. When Walt realizes Hank is onto him, he goes out to the desert and buries his money.
As it turns out, when Jack digs up Walt’s money, he uses that same hole to bury Hank’s body. This means that Walt literally dug his brother-in-law’s grave, foreshadowing how he would be responsible for Hank’s death.
Prophetic Episode Titles
Once it became clear how much Easter eggs and extra details Breaking Bad puts into their storytelling, fans started looking for clues in every episode. As it turns out, some of the biggest clues were not even on screen.
The second season of the show features various episodes flashing forward to some forthcoming disaster in which the pink teddy bear is involved. Looking at the titles of each episode that features these flashforwards, they combine to read “Seven Thirty-Seven Down Over ABQ” which blatantly teases the plane crash.
Along with how shocking the aftermath of Jane’s death is, it is also very hard to watch. Whatever mistakes Jane made, she was shown to be a good person, and she did not deserve to die this way which is one of Breaking Bad‘s most tragic deaths.
The circumstances of her death were actually hinted at a few times prior to it happening. This was first shown when Marie rolls baby Holly on her side for safety, something Walt overlooked, and it appeared again, when Jane warns Jesse against lying on his back for fear of him choking on his own vomit.
Omens Of Gus’s Doom
Gus Fring always seemed like a man who was in complete control at all times. However, the first sign of him being caught off guard is when he is brought in for questioning by Hank, who is beginning to suspect he might be a drug lord.
While Gus manages to convincingly lie his way through the meeting, he begins to feel the walls closing in, and this is indeed the beginning of the end for him. He looks deeply concerned as he rides the elevator down. Brilliantly, the dinging of the elevator sounds like Hector Salamanca’s bell, signaling Gus’s end is coming.
The catalyst that sets the whole series in motion is in the pilot episode when Walt is told he has cancer. While he zones out, he acknowledges that he understands the doctor’s diagnosis that he has about two years to live.
That first episode takes place on Walt’s 50th birthday. Days after his 52nd birthday, Walt gets his revenge on Jack and his crew while also dying in the process. While the doctor was wrong about the cause of death, his timeline of two years was almost exact.