Walter White is not only the best character in Breaking Bad but also one of the most iconic TV characters of all time. His character development is superb, with audiences watching him morph from a disgruntled Chemistry teacher to a cold-blooded drug lord. He is as intelligent in the lab as he is in the streets, devising clever plans that leave him on top.
Walt is indeed a solid character. yet, some things about the highly skilled chemist from the AMC show don’t hold up well when reexamined. Most of these things seemed okay when they were thrown into the tense narrative but they can be easily labeled as baffling when subjected to closer inspection.
His Poor Career Choices
Walt founded Gray Matter Technologies with Elliot but sold his stake after making one of the most questionable choices in Breaking Bad. He had broken up with Gretchen because he felt intimidated by her wealthy parents. He thus felt he couldn’t work with her anymore.
Choosing to leave a company he had worked so hard to build made little sense, especially because the reason was a minor one. Woe unto him as Gray Matter went on to become a billion-dollar company. He had the option of simply breaking up with Gretchen and continuing to work with her as a colleague but he didn’t do that. Proof that it was a bad decision lies in the fact that Walt couldn’t earn enough in his next venture. This forced him to be a drug lord, something that led to his death.
His Inappropriate Sexual Behavior
After learning that Skyler had cheated on him with her boss, Ted Beneke, Walt got so furious that he attempted to kiss the J.P. Wynne principal, Carmen Molina. His behavior got him suspended.
What Walt did amounted to sexual harassment because there had been no earlier flirtation between the two. Carmen had no feelings for him either, hence the reason she pulled away. While it’s understandable that Walt was heartbroken and felt the need to get vengeance, there is no justifying his decision to just randomly try to kiss his principal.
His Poor Parenting Skills
Walt kept trying so hard to be a cool dad. The best example of this was during a party at the White residence where Walt chose to introduce his son, Walter Jr., to alcohol, At some point, Hank felt Walter Jr. had had enough but Walt kept pouring into his cup.
Instead of looking like a cool dad, he came off as quite irresponsible, Walter Jr. had never taken alcohol before, and forcing him to consume volumes on his first try would likely have made him hate liquor than find it cool. It was also unreasonable of him to antagonize Hank just so he could please his son.
His Feud With Jane
Walt let Jane die when he found her asphyxiating on her vomit after binging on drugs. This was because she had blackmailed him into giving Jesse back his money. He also felt that she was a bad influence on Jesse.
Jane was indeed a bad influence to Jesse and she only blackmailed Walt so that she could enjoy the money. However, the reverberations of letting her die were so huge. Her father, an air traffic control was so devastated that he caused the Wayfarer 515 tragedy. Jesse also sank so deep into grief that he wasn’t able to do his job properly.
His Arguments With Skyler
Walt and Skyler’s fights were always uncomfortable as he would even threaten during the heated exchanges. The two had one of the biggest arguments in Breaking Bad after she learned that Hank had died. Walt then chose to flee with Baby Holly, leaving Skyler screaming in the streets.
It was yet another moment that showed just how bad a parent Walt was. Since he was on the run, there was no way he was going to be able to take care of Holly by himself. Toddlers need plenty of attention and Walt had so much on his plate. Kidnapping one’s daughter without caring how the other partner feels about it looks bad, even if it’s done out of love.
His Need To Brag
From the “say my name” moment to warning Skyler that he is the danger, Walt could never refrain from bragging. His braggadocios nature would eventually cost him as he ended up hinting to Hank that Gale wasn’t Heisenberg.
Walt’s pride might have made him appear badass as events unfolded but it’s now impossible not to wonder what he was thinking. He had only started cooking meth to make money. He wasn’t supposed to get carried away being a criminal. Getting carried away is what made him lose the family he was trying so hard to make money for. Not to forget that it caused his death.
His Treatment Of Jesse
Many moments provewhy Walt and Jesse were not real friends. Walt could never resist the urge to mistreat Jesse. He let his girlfriend die, poisoned the son of his next girlfriend, and sacrificed him to Jack Welker’s gang. When Jesse chose to snitch on him, it didn’t come as a surprise.
Without Jesse, Walt would have neither gotten the head start he needed in the Albuquerque underworld nor became one of the biggest drug lords in America. While he knew how to cook meth, he had no idea how to move it. Jesse made all that possible and for this reason, he ought to have cherished him deeply. His mistreatment of Jesse was a case of him forgetting where he came from.
Eliminating His Partners
Gus and Mike were two of Walt’s most important partners in the drug trade but the meth cook chose to mercilessly terminate them. He did so thinking he was protecting himself but things only got worse for him.
As Mike pointed out, Walt would have avoided most of his later troubles if he had just known his place and remained a loyal employee to Gus. The Los Pollos owner was a symbol of order and after his death, everything fell apart. Killing Mike was pointless too since he could have gotten the information he wanted from Lydia. Earlier in the series, Mike had saved his life too as The Cousins were about to attack. Not to forget the innocent Gale who was only trying to do his job.
Walt became quite amoral as the show went on. He had no problem killing random people or working with a white supremacist gang. He couldn’t even call out Todd for shooting a child.
Watching Walt mutate from a family man to a ruthless drug lord was as entertaining as it was sad. There are multiple things he ought not to have been okay with because they were simply not right. Nonetheless, he chose to be blind to the wrongs of others as well as his own, something that made him more hatable as a character.
As despicable as Walt was, his death triggered tears. For most of the show, he suffered from cancer only to get killed by a bullet from his automatic weapon.
Walt’s death was painful because it felt like fate was kicking him when he was down. He had already lost everything, including his friends, criminal career, and family. For this reason, leaving him alive at the end of the series wouldn’t have been so bad an idea. Alternatively. his fate would have been left ambiguous than that of Tony Soprano.