To become ‘Evil’ you very well might need to ‘Break Bad.’ Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece television series did nothing if not examine the ways a decent man pushed at the wrong time can evolve into a monster, and drag his family and others down with him.
Walter White was hardly alone in his questionable ventures though, with the Cartel, Neo-Nazis, drug dealers, chicken brothers, and Ted Beneke on the loose. To counter all those are DEA agents, wives, idealist chemists, and innocent bystanders caught in the wake. These are the D&D character alignments for some of the key players in the Breaking Bad world.
Walter White/Heisenberg (Neutral Evil)
The cancer-stricken man who always has a plan. Walter White initially seems law-abiding and blandly “good,” but his diagnosis and the continual upscaling of risk and reward lead him to become something quite different. By the end, he can fully justify multiple murders to himself. And they were not for defense, but outright gain. Due to the method in his madness, he can’t be classified as outright “chaos,” but he’s crossed the line into “evil.”
Hank Schrader (& Steve ‘Gomie’ Gomez) (Lawful Good)
Chasing bad guys and serving the law, Hank and Gomie qualify as the highest ideal in the Breaking Bad world. Not only are both men willing to lay down their lives for the law, but Hank also has zero qualms about taking down family if needs be. Gomie is always right there alongside him when it counts.
Mike Ehrmantraut (Lawful Evil)
Mike’s a former cop putting his formerly lawful skills into nefarious practice. We learn through Better Call Saul that Mike was a corrupt cop in a corrupt system before turning to outright crime. He has a body-count to his name and more than once circumvents the justice of the law for his various employers before and during his tenure with Gus Fring.
He does have a code though, and even if he’s doing all of this for his grand-daughter, what he’s doing is unmistakably evil, even if we like him a whole lot.
Todd Alquist/Uncle Jack’s Crew (Neutral Evil)
These guys will do anything to get what they want. All Walt has to do is casually imply to Todd that their brazen heist needs to be a secret and Todd goes all the way to child-murder. Jack and his crew jump when Walt calls them to seemingly random coordinates, but the moment they figure on getting paid, their duty goes out the window. A very loose concept of honor among thieves is the closest they come to abiding by any “law,” so they fall into Neutral Evil territory.
Skyler White (Neutral Good)
Skyler has the burden of being between Walt and “lawful citizen” all whilst being stuck with him as he spirals. She’s too observant and ‘cluey’ to be fooled and eventually, that means she either has to become complicit or let her family fall apart. No easy answer for her. In the end, she maintains her inherent goodness despite sacrificing her ethical boundaries more than once.
Walter ‘Flynn’ White Jr. (Lawful Good)
Mostly kept oblivious right to the end, Walt Junior manages to unwittingly pull his parents back towards the law and “good” more than once. He does let his dad buy him a few things and he has to get set straight by Hank over some booze-buying, but he’s a good kid at heart. And someone who loves breakfast as he does can’t be evil anyway.
Gale Boetticher (Neutral Good)
He was just in it for the chemistry. If you can have high ideals in the drug world, Gale did. Wanting nothing more than a pure product, and lacking a cruel bone in the entirety of his body from all appearances, he couldn’t avoid the fate of someone like him being in a den of snakes.
Saul Goodman (True Neutral)
For the right price, Saul Goodman can and will do just about anything as long as his neck isn’t on the line. Even seeing where he’s come from in his own series it’s mostly a matter of playing the game to him, not abiding by laws if they can be circumvented. When you need a criminal lawyer, get a “criminal lawyer.”
Jesse Pinkman (Chaotic Good)
Everybody’s favorite drug dealer. Jesse becomes the surprise moral center of the Breaking Bad world despite beginning as an unwitting partner in crime for Walt. Well, an unwitting partner of Walt. Jesse already had his entire foot, let alone his toes, dipped into meth cooking and distribution.
Regardless, Jesse consistently feels the pull back towards the light. It may be that he’s only pulling back once he sees the worst results of his careening drug career alongside Walt, but Jesse has empathy for the right people, especially kids. He ping-pongs around the law but strives, in the end, to not do harm.
Gus Fring (Lawful Evil)
Gus may donate to good causes and only exact a toll on those who he deems deserve it, but he constantly puts lives in danger whether indirectly or directly. No amount of charity outweighs the human cost to his actions. He will sacrifice any and all in the name of his long-sought revenge. He thinks he’s different from the likes of the Cartel and the Salamancas and he’s not wrong, but he’s so very far from being in the right.