Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte explains why he thinks Walt Jr. could end up becoming a drug kingpin. Created by Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad told the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a disenchanted high school chemistry teacher who resorts to cooking and selling crystal meth alongside his former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after being diagnosed with stage-three lung cancer. The AMC series grew immensely popular over the course of its run, leading to the spinoff Better Call Saul and the follow-up movie El Camino
Born with cerebral palsy, manifested in speech difficulties and impaired motor control, Walt Jr. (Mitte) is present throughout Breaking Bad. He eventually grows apart from his father and draws closer to his Uncle Hank. Fans are never given a complete window into the life of Walt Jr., leaving many fans to wonder what happened to the character. While promoting his new movie Triumph, in which he plays a teenager with cerebral palsy who dreams of a future in wrestling, Mitte has offered a theory.
During an interview with Esquire, Mitte reflected on what became of Walt Jr. after the Breaking Bad finale. Joking that it’s possible his character followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a drug kingpin, he explained that the loss of respect that Walt Jr. experienced with his father changed a lot. You can read Mitte’s quote below:
“Why not? A little drug kingpin action. I think with how the show ended, the whole Walter Jr. wanting to be like his father I think got diminished, where he really just lost a lot of respect for him. For the most part, Walt Jr. still has his moral compass, and really looked up to his Uncle Hank. Never know, he could be a drug kingpin or a DEA hero, so we’ll have to see.”
Although the actor is speaking partly in jest, it is interesting to consider how the events of the AMC drama shaped Walt Jr. The character is ultimately a big part of why Walter decides to take such drastic measures, arguing that he needs to provide for his family and particularly for his son. Yet, despite being an important component of the story, Walt Jr. is somewhat sidelined. Part of this is deliberate, as Jesse becomes something of a surrogate son to Walter at points. During one scene, Walter even refers to Walt Jr. as Jesse. And yet, despite the intentionality and incisiveness of the writing, the practical effect is that Walt Jr. often felt like a minor character even with Mitte’s status as a regular cast member.
It would have been interesting to see him interact with Jesse, as the two never meet during the show, and it would have been worthwhile to spend a few episodes ruminating on the fundamentally altered relationship between father and son. Given how excellently Breaking Bad wrapped up, and that the writers did provide Walt Jr. with a few moments of clarity towards the end, it’s hard to look back too harshly on Walt Jr.’s depiction. But despite the humor intended by Mitte’s answer, he’s not entirely wrong: his character could easily have easily ended up on one side of the law or the other. The show allowed for both possibilities, and some others, albeit it never explored Walter’s son with enough depth to say for certain.