Breaking Bad 

How Walt Actually Poisoned Brock

Breaking Bad season 4 aired years ago, but fans still want to know how Walt poisoned Brock, and why. Here's the shocking Heisenberg moment explained.


  •  Walt’s poisoning of Brock is considered his most heinous act, as it exemplifies his descent into pure villainy and his willingness to harm a child.
  •  Walt planted the poison in Brock’s juice box at school, ensuring that only Brock would come into contact with it.
  •  Despite the devastating act, Brock ultimately survived and made a full recovery, but the guilt and turmoil it caused had lasting effects on Walt, Jesse, and their relationship.

How did Walt poison Brock in Breaking Bad? The incident took place in season 4 of the AMC hit series but the truth didn’t come out until the following year. The character Brock Cantillo (Ian Posada) was the six-year-old son of Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend, Andrea (Emily Rios). Brock greatly admired Jesse and the two would often hang out and bond over video games. After Jesse and Andrea broke up, he continued to send them money through Saul Goodman so they could afford a better living situation. The pair reunited in Breaking Bad season 4, but shortly after, Brock was rushed to the hospital with a serious illness – but did Walt poison Brock?

At first, Jesse believed that Brock was given the ricin that was intended for villain Gus Fring; he thought that Walt stole the ricin and gave it to Brock as a way to punish Jesse for getting too close to Gus. When confronted, however, Walt gave Jesse the idea that it must have been Gus who used the ricin to harm Brock. Sadly, Jesse was right as Walt caused Brock’s illness to get Jesse to help him kill Gus on Breaking Bad using the Lily of the Valley plant, revealed to be in Walt’s backyard in the final shot of the Breaking Bad season 4 finale. But how did Walt poison Brock with berries from the plant?

Breaking Bad’s Brock Poisoning Explained

Jesse on a family date with Andrea and Brock in Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan provided more details to the question of how did Walt poison Brock at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013. The writers of Breaking Bad referred to the incident as Walt becoming the “Evil Juice Box Man,” imagining him injecting the poison into Brock’s juice box. Off-camera, Walt had somehow planted the juice box in Brock’s lunch at school, making sure only he came in contact with it. The rest of the plan involving the ricin stolen by Huell then played out on-screen. Brock ultimately survived the illness and made a full recovery. Walt later encountered Brock and seemed very uneasy around the young boy.

His actions have obviously caused a lot of guilt for how he used a child’s health to mess with Jesse. While Walter White had many breaking points throughout the series, many fans consider Walter White poisoning Brock as the moment Heisenberg really turned evil, dropping any remnants of the morality he once had and focusing on retaining power regardless of who he had to harm to achieve it. Jesse eventually put the puzzle pieces together and figured out that Walt was responsible, causing an enormous amount of turmoil between the two men. Jesse also confronted Saul Goodman, who admitted that he did help Walt but didn’t know that his intention was to poison a young boy.

Later on, Walt himself admitted to Jesse that he poisoned Brock with a Lily of the Valley plant just to keep Jesse on his side in order for them to orchestrate the death of Gus Fring, but by that point, their relationship was already in shambles. Shortly after, as Jesse was being dragged to Jack Welker’s Compound, Walter White also confessed to Jesse that he witnessed Jane Margolis die and chose not to intervene. After Walt let Jesse free in the Breaking Bad series finale, many thought one of the first things Jesse would do was find Brock and take care of him to honor Andrea.

However, 2019’s El Camino gave Jesse Pinkman barely enough time to tie up loose ends and get a shot at freedom after he was kidnaped by Jack Welker and the Neo-Nazis. Before escaping to Alaska, Jesse sent a letter to Brock, but the contents of the letter remains between the writers and Aaron Paul to this day. Vince Gilligan originally planned to have Jesse read it as a voiceover but later chose to keep its contents a secret, which is why El Camino didn’t reveal Jesse’s letter.

What Brock Actor Ian Posada Has Been Up To Since Breaking Bad

Brock from Breaking Bad

Ian Posada, alternatively known as “Li’l Ian Posada,” is the young actor responsible for bringing Brock Cantillo to the screen in Breaking Bad, and he’s not been in much else. Throughout the episodes he appears in, Posada’s adorable acting work is a key component in making him so lovable for both Jesse and the audience. This, in turn, is what makes Walt’s decision to poison the young boy so despicable. Poisoning any kid would be horribly wrong, but Brock is especially sweet and innocent.

Since appearing in Breaking Bad from 2010-2013, Ian Posada hasn’t been in much, but he did play one of drug lord Fausto Alarcón’s sons in 2015’s Sicario. It’s an interesting coincidence that both of Posada’s major roles have been in content centered around illegal drug dealing, but fortunately, Sicario keeps him mostly out of harm’s way, unlike Breaking Bad. What happened to Brock after Breaking Bad also remains a mystery. The AMC series features plenty of tough moments, but Brock’s poisoning in Breaking Bad season 4 is one of the hardest to watch.

Walter Didn’t Kill Brock, But Breaking Bad Features A Shocking Child Death

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Better Call Saul

Despite Brock’s fate being unknown, Breaking Bad viewers have speculated that he probably ended up with his great-grandmother— a much luckier fate than what happened to another minor in the show, 14-year-old Drew Sharp. Played by Sam Webb, Drew Sharp was the kid on a dirt bike who was killed by Todd because Drew witnessed Jesse, Walt, and Todd during their train heist. What’s truly notable about the death of Drew Sharp is that, ultimately, Jesse was the only one who had a problem with it in the crew, while Walt accepted the death as a consequence of the game. Indeed, this shocking child death was a key point in Walter White’s Heisenberg transformation.

Though Breaking Bad spared Brock, it killed Drew to show how far Walt has come. This was made especially apparent when Walt had no issue dissolving the child’s body in hydrofluoric acid to remove the evidence. Despite the show’s gray morality, there remains a distinct difference between being involved with meth dealing and gang violence, and actively poisoning kids or dissolving their bodies in acid. There is a reason infanticide carries a far lengthier prison sentence than the murder of an adult, as Jesse’s reaction to Drew Sharp’s death shows.

However, while Walt actually killing Brock could have backfired for the show, the shocking death of Drew at Todd’s hands was necessary to show both Jesse and Walt’s evolution as criminals. It was one of the most shocking Breaking Bad moments, but arguably necessary for the narrative.

Playing Brock Brought Ian Posada To Tears (But Not Because Of The Poisoning)

Jesse tied up and screaming in Breaking Bad

The question of why did Walt poison Brock is a disturbing one, however, that moment was not as unsettling for actor Ian Posada as another tragic death on Breaking Bad. According to Emily Rios (via: Hollywood Reporter) who plays Andrea, Posada’s mother called her following the episode in which her character is killed by Todd. Rios remembers he was devastated by the death of his on-screen mother and she had to reassure him that she was okay. It just goes to show that Breaking Bad is not a show that’s suitable for children, even if the child was on the show.

Is Poisoning Brock Walt’s Most Heinous Act?

Breaking Bad Walter White

Seeing the relatively decent and caring person he is in the first episode of the series, fans may be left to fully realize how Walt turned into the monster he had become. Up until that point, Walt had been on a gradual and shocking journey to becoming a more ruthless man. Perhaps the moment the audience truly saw what this man was capable of when it came to protecting his empire was allowing Jesse’s girlfriend Jane to die in her sleep. However, in that moment, at least the audience could see the intense guilt Walt felt about the decision and its consequences.

The poisoning of Brock seemed to be the act that convinced Walt there was no line he would not cross and he became deadlier as a result. Ordering the execution of all of Mike’s men in prison was a terrifying display of his power. Walt killing Mike was also a shocking moment as it was the first murder he committed that was truly unnecessary and that he simply did out of anger. The poisoning of Brock may have opened up the floodgates of Walt’s villainous actions, but from nearly taking a young boy’s life to using it to manipulate Jesse into committing another murder to using Gus’s death to solidify his empire, Walt poisoning Brock remains his most heinous act on Breaking Bad.

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