Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad: The Main Characters, Ranked From Worst To Best By Their Arc

Breaking Bad is known for its incredible characters and their progression throughout the story. Here are the main players, ranked by their arcs.

When one talks about some of the greatest TV shows of all time, it’s only a matter of time before Breaking Bad is mentioned in the conversation. It’s easy to see why this is the case — after all, the fact of the matter is that Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece is pretty much a must-watch for anyone even remotely interested in good television shows that push the boundaries of this medium to greater heights.

While there are several elements of Breaking Bad that have helped it become such an unequivocal masterpiece, the one part that is under a microscope here are the characters. Each member of the main cast is electrifying on the screen, delivering incredible performances with the deftest emotional nuance to craft something truly spectacular indeed. Each of these characters went through truly amazing character arcs of their own, and this list will rank all the main characters of the show based on how engrossing and multi-faceted their character arcs are.

Lydia Rodarte-Quayle

Lydia promises Walt gallons of methalyne in Breaking Bad

There’s no denying that Lydia was certainly an intriguing character, but the fact that she was introduced in the very last season certainly hurt the credibility of her character, especially when compared to some of the other characters on this list.

That being said, the scenes where she was featured definitely entertained the masses, allowing them to witness the devious nature of a two-faced person who would do everything possible to get what she wants, regardless of the losses that may come in the way.

Marie Schrader

Breaking Bad might be a great show in every sense of the word, but that certainly doesn’t mean that all the characters hit the mark running. A great example of a person who never really makes a single scene enjoyable with her presence is Marie Schrader.

There’s little to no depth in Marie’s character, acting more as an observer to the insane occurrences that the White and Schrader family get wrapped up in. As a result, Marie definitely becomes quite stale over time.

Todd Alquist

While Todd is certainly one of the more intriguing characters in Breaking Bad, he suffers from the same thing that Lydia did — being introduced at the very end of the series’ run.

He may be the character that indirectly serves as the catalyst for the final conflict in Breaking Bad, but there’s still no denying the fact that he simply doesn’t compare to some of the other mainstays on this list.

Walter White Jr.

Actor RJ Mitte as Walter Jr in Breaking Bad

While Walter White Jr. definitely has his moments throughout the series, there’s still no denying the fact that he’s just a cog in the machine and doesn’t really do anything special or noteworthy in the show… aside from a few minor exceptions that are drowned out by other spectacular occurrences in Breaking Bad.

However, given the narrative of Breaking Bad, it was only a given that most of Walt’s family who had no clue about his criminal activities would be overshadowed by some of the other characters in the long run.

Saul Goodman

Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul

The lovable lawyer who might be sneaky but still sports a heart of gold — something that is evident for people who’ve seen Better Call Saul — Saul Goodman is easily one of the best characters on the show… even though his character might not develop all that much over the course of the show.

That being said, people who want to see more of this intriguing character can definitely go for the show’s prequel, which is just as good — if not better — than Breaking Bad.

Mike Ehrmantraut

Mike stood outside in a jacket in Breaking Bad

One of the most intimidating characters in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Michael Ehrmantraut is an enigma who should definitely be given the respect he deserves.

While the bulk of his character’s development might be present in the prequel to this show, there’s still no denying the fact that Mike’s development as a character over the course of the show is still fascinating to watch regardless. And, of course, one can’t deny that he easily has one of the coolest death scenes in television history.

Skyler White

Most people who’ve seen Breaking Bad don’t really hold Skyler in high regard, but these people don’t realize just how subtlely her character changes over the course of the show.

From being a somewhat dutiful wife to being conflicted about her husband’s actions, before ultimately becoming an accomplice to his crimes — the grace and poise with which Skyler handled all of these transitions should definitely be commended. Sure, she had her emotional moments, but those were few and far between and never really hampered her character all that much in the long run.

Hank Schrader

ASAC Schrader is one of the greatest and most endearing characters in Breaking Bad, which is why watching him die is one of the most heartbreaking moments on the show.

The lovable nature of his family-friendly demeanor in front of his family couldn’t have a stronger contrast with his no-nonsense DEA agent attitude, but the manner in which this character is written ensures that his character’s personality doesn’t feel all over the place — if anything, it feels completely natural.

Gustavo Fring

Gustavo Fring

A drug lord who was as merciless as he was composed, Gustavo Fring served as the antagonist for the majority of Breaking Bad before suffering one of the most brutal television deaths of all time.

Gus easily had the most captivating presence out of anyone in Breaking Bad, with audiences learning more about the character naturally as the show progressed without anything feeling too out-of-the-world or overwhelming. Gustavo Fring is a masterclass in character writing and more antagonists should definitely be molded after him to some extent.

Jesse Pinkman

Jesse Pinkman looking serious in Breaking Bad

Out of all the people on the show, it’s arguable that Jesse’s character was the one that changed the most. An unsuspecting drug dealer who developed a strong moral compass over the course of the show even after being roped into a life of drugs and crime, there’s no denying that Jesse is just fascinating as a character.

However, while his character might’ve arguably changed the most over the course of the show, there’s still one person who still managed to eclipse his arc in terms of sheer brilliance…

Walter White

Breaking Bad's Walter White

The evolution of a high-school chemistry student into one of the biggest drug lords around could’ve gone wrong in so many ways, but it’s a testament to the writing and direction of this show that Walt ended up being one of its best parts by a country mile.

The changes in Walter White’s character as he transformed into the elusive and powerful Heisenberg is an epic tale that should be witnessed by pretty much anyone who hasn’t seen this brilliant show yet.

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