In Breaking Bad, the main antagonists are easy to identify. There’s no mistaking Tuco for a good guy when he beats his henchman No-Doze to death and no one hopes for good deeds from Gus Fring either when he slices Victor’s throat with a boxcutter. However, there are also those characters that seem good, at first, but heavily inconvenience or hurt the protagonists.
Some of the low-key villains are simply digging into their nature and have no idea that they are punishing the main characters or getting in the way of their objectives. Others know exactly what they are up to but they don’t consider it wrong. To them, they know best and whoever suffers as a result probably deserves it.
Over the course of the series, Marie is supportive not only to her husband, Hank Schrader, but also to her sister, Skyler. She is generally an understanding person too. Marie also has kleptomania, which often puts her husband in a difficult spot, since he’s among the most respected law enforcement agents in Breaking Bad, and lands a then-innocent Skyler in hot water herself when he takes the blame for one of Marie’s thefts.
That said, her mental health condition is not what makes her a low-key villain, and it comes up during high-stress moments in her life. But there’s a peek into her dark side when she advises Walt to take his own life after learning he’s a meth cook. She even tells her therapist that she fantasizes about killing Walt, making some of her motivations questionable.
Adam and Diane are the quintessential elderly parents. They love their younger son, Jake, because she shows promise but they hate Jesse because he’s already proving to be a lost cause.
While it’s understandable for Adam and Diane to feel disappointed given the career path Jesse has chosen, the manner in which they handle him feels unfair considering Jesse’s status as one of the fan-favorite characters in Breaking Bad. Instead of simply evicting him from his dead aunt’s house, they involve a lawyer. The eviction forces Jesse to rent an apartment where he meets Jane, kickstarting a chain of tragic events. Jesse’s parents are also more than glad to throw accusations his way and label him guilty, even when he isn’t. A perfect example of this is when they accuse him of giving Jake marijuana, yet Jake bought it himself.
The wealthy co-owner of Gray Matter Technologies started the company with Walt. He also worked with him on a proton radiography study that won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
At first, Elliott is depicted as caring as he tries to offer Walt a job and pay for his cancer treatment. But during Walt’s lowest moment, Elliott denies any association with him. He lies to the media that Walt had little to no contribution to Gray Matter’s success, illustrating his self-centeredness. Elliott’s selfishness is also demonstrated when he declines Walt’s request to deliver $9.72 million to his son Walter Jr. Luckily, Walt knew this would happen, so he tricks him into believing that he has to.
To supplement the income he gets from teaching, Walt takes up a side job at the A1A car wash, one of the most iconic Breaking Bad locations. The owner, Bogdan Wolynetz, is an astute businessman but when dealing with Walt, his true colors show.
To cut back on costs, Bogdan forces Walt to wash cars, even though he signed up for the accountant job. Consequently, Walt gets humiliated when his student Chad finds him cleaning his car and laughs at him. This is part of the reason Walt quits and becomes a meth cook. Bogdan also proves to be chauvinistic and disrespectful when Skyler approaches him to buy the car wash. He considers her unworthy to engage in business negotiations with him and this works to his disadvantage since the Whites choose to blackmail him.
Vanco is a DEA agent working at the El Paso Intelligence Center. He is often at the center of missions, best seen when he extracts information from the informant Tortuga and goes to check out the mysterious turtle.
Despite being a good agent, Vanco is an unwelcoming colleague. He mocks Hank in Spanish when he gets transferred to the El Paso office. He is also unnecessarily rude to Hank, being reluctant to even answer simple questions, such as why he has a statue of Jesús Malverde — a saint worshipped by drug dealers — on his desk. Nevertheless, Hank acts as the bigger man, when he tends to him during the turtle explosion.
The Beneke Fabricators’ boss is a darling to his employees since he always treats them respectfully. He also offers Skyler her old job back when she is badly in need of an opportunity.
While he isn’t necessarily an evil person, Ted cooks the books of his business and deals Walt his biggest emotional blow by sleeping with his wife, Skyler, with the infidelity marking a point of no return in their marriage. Ted also paints himself as unreasonable and foolish by spending the $617,000 Skyler gives him instead of paying the IRS, as agreed.
The boss of the DEA’s El Paso division is the stereotypical superior who is behind all forms of bureaucracy. He is first seen debriefing Hank after the death of Tuco Salamanca.
The El Paso division is among the best because Ramey runs it well. However, he works against Hank by shutting down one of his investigations, claiming that the star agent is using too many resources. The closure puts a halt to the progress Hank was making in establishing the identity of Heisenberg.
Walt is forced to visit his credit union to borrow money from his pension when Skyler books a top oncologist for him. There, a boisterous stock-broker named Ken takes his parking space.
Ken is the perfect model of success. He speaks confidently of his business deals on his Bluetooth headset, wears expensive suits, and drives a BMW 318i Cabrio with the license plate “KEN WINS.” While his arrogance isn’t enough to make him a villain, Ken’s decision to take the parking space of a man who is suffering from cancer and trying hard to get a loan to pay for treatment makes him detestable. He definitely considers himself way more important than others.
The tattoo artist falls in love with Jesse when he moves into an apartment unit that her father owns. She ignores his numerous flaws and sticks with him, even when her father warns her not to.
Having started as a genuine person, Jane suddenly beams with greed when she discovers that Walt is withholding lots of money from Jesse from the first Gus deal. She blackmails him, yet Walt was withholding the money for a good reason as he was trying to force Jesse into going to rehab and getting clean. This disincentivizes Walt from saving her life in a crucial moment, triggering an even worse chain of events that results in the mid-air collision of Wayfarer 515.
Walt’s wife is loving and supportive at the start of the show. She wants her husband to get overcome his cancer, so she does her best to take care of him. Things then get complicated when Walt becomes one of the most intelligent meth cooks in Breaking Bad.
Skyler makes a habit of addressing Walt with hostility, yet he is cooking meth to make enough family for his family. In her defense, learning that her husband is a criminal is a lot to deal with, but she keeps judging him even after she helps him launder money and ultimately becomes a fairly enthusiastic and effective participant in their illegal operation, coming up with intelligent schemes herself.