Walter White went from high school chemistry teacher to one of the most ruthless individuals in the history of television, and that kind of turn doesn’t just happen overnight. Throughout the course of Breaking Bad, many things happened in order to change his trajectory, and at the same time, these things also helped fans to decide which side of the fence they fell on: pro Walt or against Walt.
We want to run through some of the issues that might have allowed fans of the show to make up their minds one way or the other in regards to the rise of Heisenberg. Here are five reasons that fans never gave up on Walter White on Breaking Bad and five reasons that they did.
STUCK WITH HIM – Cancer Diagnosis
All we really knew of Walter White in the early days was that he had cancer, which in itself shouldn’t be enough to make you feel attached to someone, even if it’s just a character on a television screen… but it did.
We felt sorry for this guy and we kind of wanted to see him succeed, regardless of how he did it. Everyone going into the show knows that fact about him and knows what he goes on to do, but because we all get hooked on this overqualified chemistry teacher, it feels like a personal journey.
GAVE UP – Hank’s Murder
Spoiler alert for those of you that haven’t seen the show in full: although if you qualify under that category, you probably shouldn’t be reading this, but oh well.
Hank went from being a bit of a jock to becoming one of the most interesting characters in the entire series. So, when he was eventually gunned down by Jack & his men, it felt like a betrayal of sorts.
We all knew that it was Walter White’s fault, and as a direct result, many people took it upon themselves to jump off of the bandwagon and start pointing the finger of blame.
STUCK WITH HIM – Fan Hatred Of Skyler
We’ve never really agreed with the fact that Skyler White was so universally hated on the show by the fans, but such is the nature of personal preferences.However, because of all that hatred, fans stuck to Walter White and seemed to back him no matter what. It didn’t matter that he was literally murdering people or that he was putting his family in a great deal of danger, because people would much rather overlook that than go out of their way to support Skyler’s side of the argument in any form.
GAVE UP – Gray Matter
Some people felt sorry for Walt that he missed out on billions of dollars, when in reality, it was all his fault.
Nobody forced him out of the company and it was Walter White’s decision to go, mainly because he felt inferior and couldn’t bring himself to stick it out. Why on earth should we feel any sympathy for this guy? Life is all about dealing with the decisions that have been laid out in front of you and moving on from them. He was never capable of taking that next step, and that’s a shame.
STUCK WITH HIM – Cooking Meth Made Him Happy
The bizarre aura of peace that seems to descend upon Walter White whenever he’s cooking meth is astonishing to see. As he said in the final episode: “I liked it. I was good at it, and I was alive”.
It gave his life purpose and it was the moment we’d all been waiting for: the moment where he admitted he wasn’t doing this for his family, and that he was instead doing it for himself. That honesty, and that level of love for his craft, gave fans a bizarre appreciation for him.
GAVE UP – Jesse Treatment
Jesse Pinkman did not deserve the level of treatment that he received, and if Walter White had his way, he would’ve been killed by Jack & his gang before he was tortured and forced to work as a slave for them.
Walt took it upon himself to use Jesse in every way a human being can be used, and it was just kind of sickening to see by the end of it. Jesse was the one who deserved to ride off into the sunset, and thankfully, that’s exactly what wound up happening to everyone’s favorite drug dealer (and, well, murderer).
STUCK WITH HIM – The War Against Gus
Gustavo Fring was a great character, but regardless of just how great he was, fans still seemed to gravitate towards Walter White above anyone else. Their war lasted for well over a season on and off, with both men gaining the upper hand in what wound up being more of a chess game than anything else.
While poisoning Brock certainly made us think about putting this in the ‘gave up’ section, it was the fact that Walt was fighting with his back against the wall that made us think it would make more sense for this to be his fate.
GAVE UP – Killing Mike
Mike was the kind of guy that everyone enjoyed watching – and we literally mean everyone. He was so dry with his delivery, and yet, he seemed to be the one making the most sense more often than not.
That was the beautiful thing about his character and that’s why we all adored him. Oh, and it turns out that he was probably the greatest grandfather that anyone could ever hope to be, which just added a lovely dimension to his story. Then Walter White killed him and we all started feeling pretty depressed and angry.
STUCK WITH HIM – They Developed A Connection
It’s plain and simple: Walt was the main character, and when you’re the main character in a show as popular and entertaining as this one, the fans are going to gravitate towards you.
He was so clumsy and yet so personable that his journey almost felt realistic. It was as if any one of us could fall into the same path and make the same sort of decisions. It’s only when you take a step back from the chaos and the madness that you soon realize just how backward the entire thing is.
GAVE UP – The Growing Arrogance
Walter White got to the point where he knew that he could pretty much get away with anything, and his ego seemed to grow as a result. He got cockier towards others, he started using intimidation in order to get his own way with people like Skyler and Saul, and he just generally wasn’t a nice person.
He had completed his transition over into becoming Heisenberg, and to be honest, there wasn’t all too much left of the man himself by the end of the series. The turn to the dark side had been completed.