The story of a 50-year old chemist with a lung cancer begins with one of his worst decisions in life: Walter White decided to cook meth and so, Breaking Bad began. Those who think that he only did it for money are wrong: the pilot episode introduces a powerless man who can’t stand up for himself who gets a wake up call. “I am awake”, he tells his partner in crime Jesse when asked why he decided to get in the business.
In one of the greatest pilots in the history of television, Walter White defines chemistry as “the study of change”. The metaphor can be extended to the episode itself. In just 58 minutes, the emasculated high school teacher transforms into a master manipulator who can think on his feet and the rest is history.
It Was Hank Who Gave Walter The Idea To Cook
Hank is first introduced at Walt’s surprise 50th birthday party. He was the light of the party, while Walter was lurking in the background. It was one of those scenes where it was hard not to hate him since he was so full of himself and condescending towards Walt. He turned on the TV so everybody could hear about the drug bust he made and the $700,000 he confiscated.
The ridiculous amounts of money instantly grabbed Walt’s attention and he started having lots of questions about the business. Hank said: “Walt, just say the word and I’ll take you on a ride-along. You can watch us knock down a meth lab. Get a little excitement in your life.” Little did he know the tragedy that he had just set in motion by that indecent proposal.
Jesse References The Name Of The Show
After Walt gave Jesse all of his savings for the RV, Jesse demanded some answers. Why would Walt want to cook with him? Walt told him that the main reason is money, but Jesse is not buying it.
“Some straight like you, giant stick up his ass all of a sudden at age, what, sixty, he’s just gonna break bad?”, he asks, worrying about his mental health. Walter stands there for a second and gives the most honest, yet elusive answer: “I am awake.” One of the most tragic things about Jesse is that Walt manipulated him from the very beginning and he didn’t even know it.
Walter Forced Jesse To Partner Up
Those with a poor memory might think that Jesse and Walt partnered up as equals, but that wasn’t the case. Walter knew that Jesse is ‘Captain Cook, a minor drug dealer that the DEA was after. He approached Jesse because he had dirt on him and forced him to sell meth for him. Otherwise, he would turn him in.
So much for the two of them being a powerful dynamic duo. Jesse was his little slave and he remained one until his freedom in El Camino. By then, he was a completely different man from the pilot, but some parts of him stayed the same.
Walter Has A Nobel Prize Plaque In His House
Walt’s house is filled with hidden details fans often don’t notice. Before the infamous vegi-bacon birthday breakfast, Walt is in a room that has an impressive plaque on the wall: it turns out that he was a team member on a research project that won the Nobel Prize. That’s a really big deal, implying he is one of the greatest chemists in the world.
The contrast between his apparent glory days of the past and the miserable life he was living in the pilot only intensified. How could such a genius work as a high school teacher with a side job in the car wash?
Walter Attacked The Kids Who Made Fun Of Jr.
When Jr. is made fun of in the department store, Walter is having none of it. His enraged attack on a young man surprised everyone, especially Skyler. Later on, Walter becomes much more assertive than he was in the pilot where it was obvious that he was still very nervous about standing up for himself.
It’s crazy to think that if the guy punched him back right then, there would have been no drug empire since he would probably succumb to cancer completely right there and then. That wasn’t the only time that things could have gone south for Walter in the pilot, but luck was always at his side.
Walter Pulled A Trigger On Himself
Many forgot the important fact that Walt not only wanted to kill himself in the pilot, he actually went through with it and pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t go off. He wanted to end his life right there and then because he heard the sirens approaching.
It turned out it was just the firefighters on their way to put out a fire caused by Emilio’s cigarette.
Krazy 8 Was Hank’s Informant
Krazy 8 uses Jesse as a scapegoat for Emilio’s arrest, accusing him of ratting his partner out. It turns out that it was Krazy 8 who was Hank’s informant all along. Those who have recently watched Better Call Saul know that since it’s a major part of the plot.
Those who watched closely knew that that was coming in the spin-off, though: it is mentioned by Hank in Breaking Bad‘s pilot too.
Walter White Gets His Life Expectancy Exactly Right
When the doctor broke the news about cancer to Walt, he couldn’t think of anything else but the mustard stain on the doctor’s coat. In that scene, we find out that he will live for two years at best with chemo.
The series ended on Walter’s 52nd birthday. He was right: he died exactly two years after that fateful day when his life changed forever.
Walter Passed Out Because He Saw A Gretchen Lookalike
It’s no coincidence that Walter passes out right after seeing a slim dark-haired woman get into her car. She reminded him of Gretchen, his former colleague and girlfriend turned a big pharma mogul. Her character is first introduced in the third episode of the first season.
The injustice she had done to Walter is just another reason why Walt completely lost his mind and stopped considering other people altogether when he broke bad.
All The Foreshadowing
Before Walter joined Hank at his job, he was seen pondering at the pool. It was then that he decided that he is indeed going to join the game. The pool was a recurring theme in the series.
There was also a scene with a barrel: watching Breaking Bad the first time around, the detail slides by unnoticed. Those who have seen the show know well what happens in the upcoming episodes with those same barrels. There was also a silent nod to Better Call Saul: Walt’s bank is called Mesa.