Even back in his days as a mild-mannered high school teacher and car wash employee, Walter White had a bunch of people who weren’t crazy about him. Now that he’s a tyrannical, murderous, psychologically abusive drug lord who will expend his wife, children, and closest friends to feel the slightest bit of glory, his popularity has sunk even further. We already know that Walt has a pretty good chance of biting the dust at the end of Breaking Bad‘s five-season run. But what we don’t know yet is who will take him down once and for all.
There are a handful of pretty substantial theories circling the Bad-o-sphere that pinpoint characters like Jesse, Skyler, and Hank as Walt’s ultimate down-takers. But some deeper thinking is called for with a show like Breaking Bad. Maybe whoever it is who finally gives Walt the axe is someone whom fans have long forgotten about? One of the many innocent bystanders in Heisenberg’s reign of terror? There’s a long list of characters who have been wronged by Bryan Cranston’s villainous genius, dating all the way back to the early episodes of the first season.
Hugo the Janitor
The good deeds of the closed-mouthed custodian at Walter’s high school did not go unpunished. Walter refused to come forth after Hugo was implicated for Walt’s crime of stealing the school’s chemistry equipment and then prosecuted for marijuana possession. The good-hearted man went out of his way to take care of Walt when the chemotherapy was waging war on his immune system, and Walt still let him take the heat.
Motive: We don’t know how much trouble Hugo got in for his stash of pot, but we’re pretty sure he faced jail time. That could warrant some revenge.
Means: Hugo was a pretty big dude, last we saw him. He could easily handle himself against the diminutive Mr. White.
Murderous: Here’s Hugo’s downfall: he’s too good a person. The sweet, sensitive, stoic man embraced Walt when he needed it most not out of personal affinity, but just out of an appreciation for kindness. Hugo wouldn’t kill Walt… but should he? The first of Walt’s victims returning to exact justice. Now that’d be an ending.
Gretchen and Elliott
Walt isn’t exactly on great terms with his ex-girlfriend and old college buddy and Gray Matter co-founder after involving the former in the web of lies surrounding his meth operation. We haven’t heard from or about Gretchen and Elliott in a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fostering a good deal of resentment for the nefarious Mr. White. He did, after all, only give a box of Ramen to Elliott for his birthday…
Motive: Meh, they’ll get over it.
Means: Boundless; they’re filthy rich.
Murderousness: We don’t know too much about Gretchen and Elliot, except that they’re intelligent, a bit pompous, and that one of them got married to Ross’ ex-wife on Friends. They don’t seem capable of murder, but then again, neither did Walt. Maybe Gray Matter does something to people…
Although Walter wasn’t directly responsible for the death of Jesse’s friend Christian Ortega, better known as Combo, he still played a large part in getting the young man to the point of taking a bullet from a rival drug gang. Combo’s mother, Mrs. Ortega (or Mombo), met Walt shortly after her son’s passing, and might be able to piece together some semblance of a theory that he is the very same Heisenberg who was using her family’s RV to run a meth business, and maybe use this theory to seek vengeance for her son.
Motive: Pretty strong.
Means: She didn’t seem all that nimble…
Murderousness: Mrs. Ortega did come off as more of the forgiving type than anything else. She knew her son was in with some bad activity, but how could she turn against him? Of course, this attitude might only be reserved to her own offspring.
Donald is another parent who could blame Walter White for his child’s death, and one who took the whole thing a hell of a lot harder than Combo’s mother did. Donald’s daughter Jane died choking on her own vomit right in front of Walt, who refused to help her in order to limit her obstruction of his and Jesse’s business. After losing his daughter, air traffic controller Donald inadvertently caused two planes to crash into one another, and then shot himself nonfatally.
Motive: He surely blames Jesse for Jane’s death, and would, by proxy, Walt, once the nature of their relationship goes public.
Means: As long as he still has that gun (or knows of a flight Walt plans on taking in the future), he’s good to go.
Murderousness: Mr. Margolis was not a patient man with anyone who seemed to be problematic for his daughter. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine him imparting his wrath on the man responsible for her demise.
Young Brock probably doesn’t know the truth about what Walter White tried to do to him (after all, it wasn’t Walt himself who imparted the poisonous Lily of the Valley flowers into the little guy’s diet). But Brock did seem a bit unnerved by Walt’s presence as the meth king sat next to him on Jesse’s couch. Maybe the kid just has good intuition.
Motive: At Brock’s age, “He started it!” is a pretty popular maxim.
Means: Being so young, Brock wouldn’t really be a pro at the killing game just yet. Although his uncle Tomas might have taught him a thing or two…
Murderousness: He does love playing video games. Don’t those turn you into a cold-blooded killer, or is that just something parents say?
Ah, Bogdan. Walter White’s angry, intolerant old car wash boss who was stripped of his business by his old lackey. Now, Bogdan himself is not the most sympathetic figure on Breaking Bad. We all rooted for Walt when he finally told Bogdan off, insulted his eyebrows, and perhaps even when Walt ousted the man from his longtime job in an effort to manufacture a front for his drug ring. But if Bogdan ever found out about this last ordeal, he might hope to get some revenge.
Motive: His life might well have been ruined by Walt; his career sure was.
Means: He’s not exactly doing too well financially at this point, nor does he seem to be the most fit or youthful figure on the show.
Murderousness: Well, he’s kind of a prick. So that’s a start.
So many have been wronged by Walter White, but only one can take the man down (unless they do some kind of elaborate team effort, where they take turns… you know what? No. Only one). So who will it be? Only a year until we find out… ugh.
[Photo Credit: AMC]