Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad: 5 Times Walt Had A Brilliant Plan (& 5 Times He Just Got Lucky)

As Walter White gets drawn deeper into a violent world on Breaking Bad, he has to rely on his intelligence and a lot of luck to stay alive and free.

In his career as a meth cook on Breaking Bad, Walter White comes up against a lot of very intense situations. While Walt can sometimes seem out of his element in this dangerous world, his intelligence and quick thinking usually allow him to come up with some brilliant way of staying alive.

However, with his life and freedom put at risk so many times, there are moments when it is pure luck that allows Walt to continue on. But whether it is smart strategies or divine intervention, Walt usually comes out on top in Breaking Bad.

Brilliant Plan: Getting Hank Away From The R.V.

Hank finds the RV in Breaking Bad

Even though he doesn’t realize his brother-in-law is a meth cook, Hank is still the most intelligent cop in Breaking Bad. In fact, before he learns Walt’s secret, there are several times in which he comes close to catching him in the act.

One of the most intense near misses is when Hank comes to investigate Jesse’s R.V. while Walt and Jesse are inside. However, Walt uses his connection to Hank to his advantage as he gets Saul to make a phony call to Hank that Marie is in the hospital thus causing Hank to abandon his investigation.

Got Lucky: Spotting Jesse At The Police Raid

Walt’s entire plan to provide for his family by cooking meth is risky to begin with, but it also only happens out of pure coincidence. After accompanying Hank on one of his drug busts, Walt happens to see and recognize Jesse who escapes the raid.

Though the idea was already in Walt’s head, there was no way he ever could have pulled it off on his own. If he had not spotted Jesse at the moment, his drug empire would have been a non-starter.

Brilliant Plan: Blowing Up Tuco’s Office

Walt holds a bag of mercury in Breaking Bad

Though Walt deals with a lot of dangerous criminals who are capable of terrible violence, he knows how to use his intelligence to stand up against them. In the case of the unhinged drug dealer, Tuco, Walt uses chemistry to get the upper hand.

After Tuco beats Jesse and takes his product, Walt visits Tuco with another delivery, but instead of meth, it is fulminated mercury. After throwing a piece, it explodes and destroys Tuco’s office. Walt then threatens to throw the entire bag unless he gets what he’s owed.

Got Lucky: Not Getting Arrested After His First Cook

Walter White stands in his underwear with a gun in his hand in Breaking Bad.

Though Walt becomes the best cook on Breaking Bad, his first experience in the drug trade does not go so well. The first episode of the series opens in the aftermath of the mayhem as Walt stands in the middle of the desert with no pants, a gun, and sirens approaching.

With his R.V. stuck, cooking material all over the place, and two presumably dead men in the back, it looks as if Walt is finished. But it turns out that the sirens were actually from fire trucks on their way to put out a nearby fire and they don’t pay any attention to Walt.

Brilliant Plan: Killing Gale

Jesse shoots Gale in Breaking Bad

As Walt gets deeper into the drug game, his plans begin to get darker as he is willing to do some unspeakable things to stay alive. When his relationship with Gus Fring starts to sour, he realizes that Gale is being groomed as his replacement.

When Mike picks Walt up to finally have him executed, Walt makes a phone call to Jesse to warn him and send him to kill Gale. With their replacement cook dead, Gus has no choice but to let Walt and Jesse live a little longer.

Got Lucky: Hank Killing Tuco

When Tuco is forced to flee the country, he decides to take Walt and Jesse with him to start a new cooking operation in Mexico. While out in an isolated cabin in the desert, Walt and Jesse are able to shoot Tuco and run. But with Tuco heavily armed and nowhere to hide, it doesn’t seem like they’ll get far.

But just as Tuco is ready to chase them down, Hank shows up looking for Jesse and finds Tuco. The two men engage in an intense shootout which leaves Tuco dead, thus eliminating him as a threat and covering Walt and Jesse’s tracks.

Brilliant Plan: Rigging A Bomb To Kill Gus

Gus Fring at his death scene in Breaking Bad

Gus Fring is a very intelligent villain who is able to be one step ahead of Walt at times. When Walt plants a bomb in his car, Gus is able to sense the danger and avoid it. However, Walt does eventually realize Gus’s weakness.

After Walt recruits Hector Salamanca to his plan, Hector arranges for it to seem as though he is talking to the DEA. When Gus comes to kill Hector to keep him silent, he discovers too late that Walt has rigged Hector’s wheelchair with the bomb, killing both men.

Got Lucky: Gus Calling Off The Salamanca Cousins

The Salamanca cousins wait in Walt's house Breaking Bad

Given how Walt is eventually responsible for killing Gus, it is ironic that Gus saved Walt from a surely brutal death. After learning what happened to Tuco and Walt’s role in his death, the Salamanca cousins pay him a visit.

It is one of the scariest scenes in Breaking Bad as the two silent killers creep into Walt’s house while carrying an ax. As Walt sings in the shower, they sit calmly on the bed, waiting for him. At the last minute, Gus sends them a message, calling for a meeting and saving Walt’s life.

Brilliant Plan: Getting Revenge On The Neo-Nazis

Walt's gun shoots up Jack's clubhouse in Breaking Bad

After Uncle Jack and his neo-Nazi crew kill Hank and take most of Walt’s money, fans were eager to see the villains get their comeuppance. Indeed, Walt makes that his mission in the final episode of the series as he visits their compound with a secret weapon.

Parking his car alongside their meeting room, Walt rigs a machine gun to pop out of his trunk and fire into the compound, killing Jack and his crew, giving Walt his one last victory, and delivering a crowd-pleasing finale to Breaking Bad.

Got Lucky: Seeing Gretchen And Elliott On Television

Gretchen and Elliott at a party in Breaking Bad

It was satisfying to see Walt conquer the neo-Nazis, but he would have had a very different end in the series were it not for some good timing. While Walt is in hiding, he visits a local bar and calls his son. But when Walt Jr. angrily dismisses him, he feels defeated and calls to turn himself in.

But as he waits for the police to arrive, Walt happens to see Gretchen and Elliott on the television in an interview where they claim Walt had no role in forming Grey Matter. This insult to his ego is enough to spur Walt on and remain on the run.

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