Many series finales disappoint the audience, but Breaking Bad‘s “Felina” had plenty of unforgettable moments. The biggest came when Walt hid an automatic machine gun hidden in the trunk and used it to eliminate Jack Welker and his Neo-Nazi gang. It was the final act of genius from the highly intelligent antihero.
The finale has a near-perfect score of 9.9/10 on IMDb. Only “Ozymandias” ranks above it. But while the finale was satisfying, there were characters that didn’t really deserve to be in it. They should have been written off the series earlier. On the flip side, there are characters who met a tragic end before they deserved to and should have been present in the finale.
Should Have: Mike
Mike’s death was a major disappointment. The man was the definition of a good-hearted human being. Most importantly, there was nothing serious enough to justify Walt’s decision to shoot him. In Season 5’s “Say My Name,” Walt simply wanted the names of Mike’s former coworkers in order to tie up all loose ends, but Mike refused to give them to him.
In a fit of rage, Walt shot Mike in the stomach. He quickly realized he had made a mistake because he could have simply asked Lydia for the names. It’s surprising that a genius chemistry guru didn’t think that far. Walt tried to apologize but Mike simply told him to “Shut the f** up, and let me die in peace.”
Shouldn’t Have: Lydia
Given how often she mingled with the baddies, Lydia should have died at the hands of her associates rather than Walt. Instead, Walt revealed to her in the series finale that he had poisoned her by replacing the “Stevia crap” that she normally put in her tea with ricin. He clearly was a big fan of ricin.
It was also a bit surprising that the DEA wasn’t able to link Lydia to Gus yet her Madrigal boss Peter Schuler rushed to commit suicide because he was aware the DEA was coming after him. It would have made much more sense for Lydia to be killed by someone like Hank Schrader rather than Walt.
Should Have: Gus Fring
Gus Fring was the Joker to Walt’s Batman. There is a reason why Batman never kills the Joker and vice versa — Gotham would become too dull. At least Gus seemed to understand this and refrained from killing Walt. He could have easily done it if he wanted. Sadly, Walt took Gus out with the first real chance he got.
Even though it was an epic death scene, their rivalry ought to have continued into the final season. Gus was a formidable villain. It is this role that made Giancarlo Esposito a top pick for playing antagonists. Instead of Uncle Jack, Gus should have caused Walt headaches up until the series finale before both of them died.
Shouldn’t Have: Todd
Todd was a hard character to like. The biggest reason why is because he shot a kid during the train heist and showed no signs of remorse. Apart from that, all he did was kill and obey the orders of his boss Jack.
The decision to write Todd into multiple stories of Season 5 was baffling. His scenes provoked more anger than thrills. Then the Breaking Bad universe doubled down on Todd, making him a huge part of El Camino via flashback scenes, which was even more baffling.
Should Have: Hank Schrader
Hank spent the entire series pursuing Heisenberg only for him to get killed before seeing his hard work pay off. Watching him die because of Walt’s own mistakes was more heartbreaking.
Hank came out on top after a gun battle with more formidable opponents in the Cousins, only to die at the hands of less formidable opponents in Jack’s gang. It would have been more satisfying if Hank found a way to get out of the standoff in the desert. If the showrunner really wanted to kill him off, a death in the series finale would have been a better sendoff for such a skilled DEA agent.
Shouldn’t Have: Skyler
Even though Walt was majorly at fault for the deterioration of his marriage, Skyler didn’t need to give him as much hell as she did. She deservingly earned the tag of “most annoying character.” Just like Chuck in Better Call Saul, it would have been more satisfying if she would have been written out of the series rather than stay until the bitter end.
Any viewers who had previously warmed up to Skyler stopped rooting for her when she cheated on Walt just to hurt him. She even became violent and cut Walt’s hand with a knife. Skyler’s decision to make Walt’s life intolerable after he came clean and made her a part of his meth business made little sense.
Should Have: Ted Beneke
Time to play the devil’s advocate. And the devil is indeed Skyler. Since she finished the series alive, she didn’t deserve such a miserable ending where she was shown struggling to make ends meet. After all, it wasn’t her fault that Walt got into the drug trade. Skyler and Walt were peaceful before the whole meth drama began.
Instead of Ted having the accidental fall that put him in a coma, he and Skyler should have remained on “cheating” terms. He should have driven his company back to legal profitability and when things got worse for Skyler, Ted could have taken her and Walter Jr. in with him. This would have been a better way for Walt to lose his family, rather than them just ignoring him.
Shouldn’t Have: Jesse
Jesse’s early death at the hands of Jack Welker’s gang might have made the sub-machine scene in the finale even more iconic. Walt being been driven by the need for revenge, rather than just the need to settle scores with the Neo-Nazis might have been more intriguing to watch.
Jesse had also been on a downward spiral in the fourth and fifth scenes, so his death wouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. He was so conflicted to the point of throwing away his money. He just didn’t know what to do anymore.
Should Have: Donald Margolis
Fate was unkind to Donald. He was a good guy who lost his daughter as a result of Walt’s actions. Unable to focus at work due to the grief, he accidentally caused two planes to collide, leading to the Wayfarer 515 disaster. Sadly, he committed suicide shortly after that.
An alternative plot in which Donald broke bad and began hunting Walt after learning that he was responsible for his daughter’s death would have been better. Perhaps he should have been jailed after the airline disaster but later escaped to serve as a secondary antagonist in the show.
Shouldn’t Have: Jack “Uncle Jack” Welker
Jack was nothing but a walking gun. Unlike other villains in the show like Gus and Tuco, he had no enviable personality. He was neither smart nor ambitious enough.
The entire series revolved around smart decisions, hence Walt should have faced off against a savvier antagonist. Jack Welker’s time in the series needed to end early. His death at the hands of Hank during the desert shootout would have been more satisfying. Sadly, that never happened.