A man accused of drug and theft-related charges has been booked into jail after being linked to a Breaking Bad-style RV meth lab. Breaking Bad first aired in 2008, and the series’ 5 seasons continued until 2013. The series followed chemistry teacher Walter White on his descent into the criminal world as a drug lord. As well as exploring the illegal drug trade and other related themes, the series considered the impact of criminality on family and relationships.
Despite starting out with relatively low ratings, the series soon turned a corner, picking up a dedicated audience. By its final season, the series had become a huge critical success to be compared alongside The Sopranos and other TV greats. Since Breaking Bad’s conclusion, creator Vince Gilligan has followed the series up with the 2019 film release El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie which portrayed the exploits of Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman in the aftermath of the series’ conclusion. Breaking Bad’s spin-off prequel, Better Call Saul, has been running since 2015 and is currently filming its sixth and final season. Like its predecessor, Better Call Saul has achieved universal acclaim, with lead actor Bob Odenkirk being singled out for particular praise.
Now, according to a tweet from the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department, a man has been arrested following Breaking Bad-style drug and theft-related criminal activity. Following the man’s alleged attempted theft from a home improvement store, police officers found “chemicals and lab equipment” inside of the man’s RV, pointing to evidence of a mobile drug lab. Check out the Phoenix Police Department’s full tweet below:
In Breaking Bad, Walter White and his assistant Jesse Pinkman used a mobile RV to create methamphetamine in the Albuquerque desert to avoid arousing suspicion, so it isn’t a surprise that the real-world events have been likened to the series. In the past, Breaking Bad has been criticized for normalizing drug use and other related offenses; however, the criticisms have largely come without evidential support. These events, as they are alleged to have happened, could reignite that criticism and play into a larger conversation about any links between the portrayal of criminality on screen, and real-life events.
Whether or not Breaking Bad was the inspiration for these events, the series has influenced TV and film in innumerable ways. Before he directed Knives Out, The Last Jedi, or Looper, Rian Johnson worked on Breaking Bad, directing the infamous third season episode “Fly.” Series lead Bryan Cranston has also gone on to work on Hollywood blockbusters since the show’s end, picking up an Academy Award nomination in the Best Actor category along the way.