Breaking Bad Film Analysis

By Kyle Manikhoth

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston” by TomConger is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Summary of Breaking Bad:

Walter White, an overqualified chemistry teacher, & a hard working man, is working to provide for his family. He has a wife named Skyler, a son named Walt Jr, and a soon to be daughter. He recently is diagnosed with lung cancer, and unable to pay for treatment, ends up meeting with a former student named Jesse Pinkman, and they end up partnering up and start cooking and selling methamphetamine using his knowledge of chemistry, becoming the infamous “Heisenburg.”

With a DEA agent brother, a worried wife, he hides this secret from them for a while. With lots of trouble and running into lots of bad people, such as Tuco Salamanca, a man who has many connections, later realizing he is a maniac and a murderer, ends up kidnapping Jesse and Walter and holding them hostage. Walters DEA agent brother (Hank Schrader) tracks them down due to the fact that Jesse was wanted for the missing of Walter, ends up finding Tuco alone and gets in a shootout, killing Tuco, while Walter and Jesse escape without being seen. Fast forward, Walter successfully sells as much as he needs to pay for treatment. He covers this up with a lie that his fellow partners in business are covering for his treatment, although with all of Walters strange behaviors, this leaves Skyler curious and suspicious and with everything leading up until now, Walter no longer successfully tell his lies, leading to Skyler finds out about Walter, leading to a very complicated marriage.

Walter wants to eventually make more money due to greed, and runs into a man named Gustavo Fring, recommended by his reliable lawyer Saul Goodman. Gustavo Fring is known as the famous owner of Los Pollos Hermanos (The most popular chicken restaurant chain) but secretly, he is the owner of a massive methamphetamine company and ends up hiring Walt and Jesse to cook for them. It doesn’t take long to realize that Gustavo Fring is not the man they originally wanted to work for. He is pure business and will do whatever he can to keep the money flowing in an organized manner, meaning he will kill whoever gets in his way and won’t let anybody interfere with his business. This leaves Walter and Jesse to come to the conclusion that they want to attempt to poison him, since they are his next in line people he is most likely to kill once he gets what he wants. This soon became near impossible due to the many opportunities but failed attempts they had, due to Jesse not wanting to kill him. Jesse also doesn’t get along with Gus’ other clients, and ends up almost getting in a shootout, to where Walter realizes this ending up saving Jesse and killing both of Gustavo’s men. This leads Gustavo to kidnap Walter into the desert, tell him that he’s coming for his DEA agent brother, and that if he interferes, he will kill his wife, son, and infant daughter. Hank receives a phone call, tipping him that somebody is coming to kill him. Walter has Skyler and the kids move in with Hank, knowing that Hank isn’t the real target, it’s him, meanwhile Gus takes Jesse to Mexico, celebrating with old people he worked with, but little did they know, Gus poisoned the drinks of everybody there, and ended up killing everybody except him and Jesse. This was because those people there many years ago had gotten his partner killed and forced Gus to work for them due to the fact that he was the one who had all of the smarts.

Gus goes up to the uncle of the people he killed, (a man named Tio Salamanca, a man who is paralyzed and in a wheel chair) and rubs it in his face that every single family member he has is dead. This is because the people that killed Gustavo’s partner and best friend, were working with Tio, and he was the last one left. Walter sees this, and comes up with the conclusion that he is going to use Tio to kill Gus. Jesse had a feeling that Gus deserves to die, but it wasn’t until his girlfriends son had been poisoned, and Gus was to blame, so this put Jesse on board to kill Gus along with Walt. They come up with a plan that Tio is going to attach a bomb to his wheelchair, and the bell he uses to communicate will set the bomb off. This plan ends up succeeding, as Gus meets up with him, confesses the murders, and then leading to Tio rapidly pressing his bell, causing the bomb to blow up, killing Gus, his partner, and himself. Walter then calls his wife and tells her that everything is going to be okay, they are safe, and ends the call with “I won.”

They all live happy, fear free, and knowing that they have nothing to worry about. His marriage with Skyler slowly gets better, as he is more present with the children and at home more since he is no longer cooking. Or so Skyler thought. With Gus gone, Walt decided there’s no harm in making a little cash in a safe way, and they would be the boss. With lots of convincing, he gets Jesse to partner with him again. They do harmless cooking for fun and money, and there is no harm so far. They hire a third partner named Mike, who was a former worker for Gus, and an acquaintance of Mike named Lydia, who supplies them the meth. Mike and Jesse decide that they’re out, wanting to sell all of the meth they made to a client, for $5 million each person, but for some odd reason, Walt didn’t want to sell. He explains to Jesse that a former business he co-owned, became a billion dollar company as soon as he left, and he gained a total of only $3,000. Jesse then asks him the question, “Are you in it for the money business, or the meth business?” To where Walt is left speechless and can’t respond. Jesse and Walt eventually say their farewells and Jesse moves on with life away from the meth business, while Walter is still in. Walt ends up working with a guy named Todd and Todds uncle.

Walter invites Hank and his wife over to the house for a celebration dinner that Walter is now cancer free. Hank has to use the restroom, and bored while on the toilet, he browses around for magazines and finds a book by Walt Whitman. He opens up to see a message from a former meth cook that ended up dying, and the message says “To my other favorite W.W :D” Hank puts all of the pieces together, and realizes that Walter White is the man they’ve been searching for all along, and that he is Heisenberg. Hank storms out of the bathroom and tells his wife that he isn’t feeling good and that he has to go.

Walter, clueless, visits Hank to check up on him to see how he’s doing since he left not feeling good, to where Hank beats Walter up, calls him a liar, and links every single bad thing he’s done, to where Walter doesn’t deny it and accepts it, and gets kicked out. Hank tells his wife, and contemplates whether or not he should turn Walt in, since they are so close and he’s family.

Jesse finds out that Walter was actually the one who poisoned his girlfriend’s son, in order to make it look like Gus did it to make Jesse turn on Gus and help Walt kill him. This makes Jesse go insane, break into Walters house and pour gasoline all over and right as he is about to set his house on fire, Hank walks in and convinces Jesse not to do it, but to in return help him get Walt and put him in jail. This leads to them partnering up and both seeking to capture Walt. Jesse gave Hank a warning that Walt is the devil, and that everything you think will happen, the exact opposite happens.

Jesse baits Walter into the desert, where Jesse is the only other person that knows Walter buries his money there, and he tells him to meet him there in a hurry or else he will burn all of his money and give him nothing. This leads Walter to drive over there in a hurry, only to find out and realize that Jesse is not there alone, but with another person, and believes they are out to get him. He hides as they are looking for him, and he ends up calling Todd and his uncle for backup. As soon as he calls them, he sees Hank and immediately tells them nevermind and that he’s got it. He walks over to them with his hands up and turns himself in. He realized at this point that what he did was wrong and let Hank take him in. As he handcuffs Walter, he sets him in the vehicle and locks him in. Immediately after, he calls his wife to celebrate that he finally got him. As soon as Walt gets in the car, he sees 2 trucks pull up and it’s Todd, his uncle, and their crew. He freaks out and tries to signal them to go away, and once they reach them they interrogate each other for a while, causing things to go south. Todd’s crew pull out their rifles and aim it at Hank, his partner, and Jesse.

Walter is screaming at them to leave and that he told them to go back, but Walter is stuck in a car with the windows rolled up and doors locked, so there’s nothing he can really do. Hank and his partner pull out their weapons while Jesse hides under Hanks partners car. Todd’s crew fire the first few shots and immediately, Hank and his crew were outmatched. Hanks partner gets shot in the head and dies immediately, while Hank had been shot in the leg and can’t move or do anything. Todd’s crew comes up to Hank and tells him to release Walter, and so he does. Walter tells them to just forget about it and go back, to their response is that he’s a DEA agent and he’s already seen their faces, and so they need to kill him. Walter makes Hank swear that he won’t say anything or repeat this, and that he’ll just take him in and forget about them. Hank realizes that this isn’t going to work, to where he responds with “They’ve made up their mind the minute they came down here and pointed the gun at me, so just do it.” Immediately after he says this, Todd’s uncle shoots Hank in the head.

Walter falls on his knees and bursts into tears while they find a place to bury Hank. Todd tries to calm him down during this to where Walter expresses his frustration with everybody there. They end up stealing some of his money, and give him about 1/8th of what he eventually earned.

After Walter calms down, he looks over at them and tells him that this was not what he ordered or wanted, and that the real person they should have killed is Jesse Pinkman. “They all look confused and say well he’s gone now do you want us to find him and kill him too?” Walt responds with, “He’s not gone, he’s under that truck.” To where Jesse is hiding under, they drag him out and point the gun at his head. They look at Walter, and he gives them the signal to do it. Right before they are about to shoot him, Todd interrupts and goes “He knows a lot of information we can find out a lot of things about him and everything else before we kill him.” To which they do, they enslave Jesse to cook meth for them and hold him as their hostage in a cage.

Back at home, Hanks wife, still clueless, tells Skyler that Hank arrested Walter and that he should be home any minute. He tells her to expect Hank to knock on her door and break the news to her since he was the one who wanted to do it. 10 minutes later, Skyler receives a knock at the door, but it isn’t Hank, it’s Walter. He explains how things went down but doesn’t explain what happened to Hank until she asks where he is, to where Walter responds with “Let’s not worry about that now we need to pack and get out of here.” Immediately Skyler realizes that something happened to Hank and she automatically suspects it’s him. She calls the police on Walter and says how her ex-husband killed her brother in law and how he’s acting dangerous. Out of anger, Walt steals their new born baby and drives off, with Skyler chasing after him the whole time. He runs to a payphone and calls Skyler, by this time the police are at her house, and he explains how she is a terrible wife and the reason Hank is no longer with us is because he crossed him. He has his baby in his hands and delivers her to a fire station to where she can get home safe.

With nowhere to go and nothing to do, being the most wanted man in the country, Walter goes to his reliable lawyer Saul Goodman, and Saul links him with a man that can make you “disappear.” The man takes Walt across the country and gives him a new home and identity in the middle of the woods. Walt is told to hide here until he becomes unrecognizable, growing out his beard, hair, and wearing different clothes. After months and months, and his family hating him, he decides to take a trip back to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he used to live. He pays a visit to former rich partners he worked with and brings $1 million to their house, telling them to give that money to his son when he turns 18 since he won’t accept the money himself, and threatens them with fake hit men if they don’t do so. He then pays a visit to his wife at her new place, and tells her that he’s gone for good and gives her the coordinates to where the rest of his money is buried, and to buy a nice new home for her and the kids, and he tells her he will wait outside so that she can turn him into the police.

After waiting, the police never arrived, meaning she never called. This makes Walter think that there’s one more stop he needs to make, and that’s to Todd and his crew. He creates something in the trunk of his car out of pieces that we can’t tell until the end. Walter drives up to Todd’s house, and reverses into his driveway. He goes up to Todd and his uncle and says, “Have you done it yet? Jesse Pinkman.” They say no, which angers Walt and he questions why for all these months they still haven’t killed him, to where they bring him out from his cage, he looks terrible, and Walter realizes this whole time they’ve been enslaving him. Walter punches Jesse, and tackles him to the ground, everybody in the room, and clicks his car keys to open the trunk, to which a turret sets off in his trunk, shooting and killing everybody in the room besides Walter, Jesse, and Todd. Todd has been shot badly, so Walter unhooks Jesse’s handcuffs and sets him free, to where Jesse immediately runs over to Todd, strangles him with the handcuffs and kills him. Walter and Jesse make eye contact, and Walter tosses him the gun, and tells him to shoot him, because he deserves it.

Jesse aims the gun at Walter, but can’t shoot him. He then drops the gun and looks at Walter, to where Walter throws him his car keys, and tells him that he’s free and to get out. Jesse drives off screaming with excitement that he’s finally free, and this is the last we see of Jesse until the movie El Camino. Walt on the other hand, we notice he has been shot in the side and is bleeding a lot. He walks over to the meth lab that they held Jesse enslaved in, and he gets down in pain, and dies in the place he felt most alive, the meth lab.

Reason for choosing:

I chose to do a film analysis on the show Breaking Bad. I chose to do this because it was my favorite film I’ve watched and the details in this film are unlike any other. The shocking twist of events and the message of the film stood out to me.

This video sums up every episode of Breaking Bad in a short hour video.

This video shows the attention to detail that most people missed, but led up to very important events in the film.

My Character Analysis:

Walter White: Protagonist but not the good guy. He worked hard to be great at something but wasn’t. He was a boring teacher who was made fun of by his students, he worked also at a car wash which he got made fun of for, but when he started cooking, he was finally the best at something, and respected by so many, and although he claimed he was doing it to provide money for his family, it was true at the time, but he really was doing it for himself because he enjoyed it, which caused him to deal with everything that happened to him and his family because of it and turned into a horrible heartless person.

Jesse Pinkman: Jesse was originally the person you thought would be the bad guy. Jesse was rude to Walter in the beginning and had gotten into a lot of trouble, but the more you realize he is a good guy he just has problems such as addiction, gotten involved with the wrong people, and doesn’t have a relationship with his family. By the last season you realize he is the good guy and didn’t deserve anything that happened to him, I was completely on his side.

Hank Schrader: Hank was a very confident / cocky DEA agent. He’s funny, and doesn’t like others help and likes to do things himself. He is always there for his family and for Walter, especially Walter Jr. Deep down he cared for Walt, and he expressed that, but once he found out that Walt was Heisenberg, he still showed sympathy for him regardless of what happened.

Skyler White: Skyler was my least favorite character in the beginning, because you really felt bad for Walt due to the fact that he has cancer and she still wanted to divorce him and cheated on him, but later on you grow to realize that she had a lot of things come her way due to Walt that she just didn’t deserve and she has to raise her kids alone now, makes you feel sorry for her.

Walter Jr: Walter Jr has cerebral palsy, to where he has to wear crutches and his speech is a little bit slower and slurred, was often bullied and Walt would defend him. Throughout the series he is always on his dads side, often blaming his mother for the things that happened since he had no clue of what his dad was getting into. Very close with his uncle Hank, and when he found out he died and that his dad was part of it, he hated him and never spoke to him again.

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