- List of Breaking Bad characters
This is a list of characters from the AMC television series Breaking Bad.
Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) is a high-school chemistry teacher who, after being diagnosed with lung cancer at age 50, starts manufacturing methamphetamine to provide for his family upon his passing. Knowing nothing about the drug trade, he enlists the aid of his former student Jesse Pinkman to sell the product and to help "cook". Walt takes uncompromising pride in the quality of the methamphetamine he produces, even though he despises drug addicts and would never use the product. As he puts it, "The chemistry must be respected." His scientific knowledge and dedication to quality lead him to produce methamphetamine that is purer and more potent than anyone else's. Unable to procure enough over-the-counter cold medicine to supply the precursor for a large batch of methamphetamine, Walt switches to a different chemical process, using methylamine, a chemical that is easier to buy—or steal—in large quantities. The result has a blue tinge. The distinctive color becomes the signature of his highly potent concoction, called "blue meth" on the street, and it dominates the market. Walt starts off squeamish about the kinds of brutality needed to fend off other criminals, but he becomes progressively more comfortable with violence. He reasons that he has no choice. But Walt finds his new life as a drug lord thrilling and satisfying. In his previous life, he was cautious and fearful, unwilling to take risks. After a promising youth, when he helped make discoveries in crystallography for a technology start-up called Gray Matter, he worked years as an overqualified high-school teacher, one so underpaid that he has to take a demeaning second job working at a car wash. Meanwhile, his business partner at Gray Matter, Elliott Schwartz, married his then-girlfriend Gretchen, won the Nobel prize, and became rich. In fact, Walt never needed to make methamphetamine to pay for his cancer treatments. The Schwartzes offered to pay, but Walt refused. Walter's machiavellian descent into the criminal underworld reveals a surprising level of repressed ambition, a massive undercurrent of rage, resentment, vanity, and an increasing ruthlessness which has alienated him from his family and colleagues. He is repeatedly called "Mr. White" by Jesse, evoking the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs. Actor Bryan Cranston has contributed to much of the character, including Walter's backstory and personality traits. Cranston has won three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
In high school, Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) was a small-time methamphetamine user/manufacturer/dealer and an inattentive student in Walter White's chemistry class. Now in his mid-20s, Jesse is Walt's business partner in the meth trade. Jesse is impulsive, hedonistic, and uneducated, but also personable and possesses street-smarts. He talks in playful slang. He likes to wear garish clothing that follows the latest trends in youth culture, play video games, listen to loud music, take recreational drugs, and drive cars outfitted with gadgets to make them "bounce". When Jesse has money, he usually spends it throwing long-running parties for friends as well as strangers or on items like a giant-screen television for his home. Before his partnership with Walt, he added a little chili powder to make his methamphetamine stand out in the market. Walt insisted on making a pure product, and patronizingly taught Jesse the procedures to do it. Walt treats Jesse like a foolish son in constant need of stern correction. Jesse's own family kicked him out because of his drug use. Despite the friction between them, he and Walt have a deep bond of loyalty. Like Walt, Jesse is horrified by the brutality at the higher levels of the drug trade, but does what he thinks is necessary. He wrestles with feelings of guilt about the deaths, all drug-related, of people he's been associated with, especially his girlfriend Jane Margolis. Jesse's last name, like Walter's, also alludes to Reservoir Dogs.
Skyler White, née Lambert, (played by Anna Gunn) is Walter's wife, a published short-story writer who sells items on eBay. She and Walter have one son (Walter Jr). She is approximately 10 years younger than Walter, whom she met when she was a hostess at a restaurant near the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where Walter was employed at the time. She is pregnant during the first two seasons with the couple's daughter, Holly (born at the end of the second season). She cares for Walter very much, but their marriage becomes increasingly strained due to his unexplained absences and bizarre behavior. Unaware of Walter's meth business, she believes that Walter's illness has strained the family's finances and returns to her old job working for Ted Beneke, whose sexual advances had caused her to quit earlier. She increasingly relies on Ted for emotional support as her husband grows distant. She leaves Walter at the end of season two after her suspicions regarding Walter's double life are confirmed when he accidentally reveals he has two cell phones. In the third season, she deduces that he is in the drug trade and confronts him; he admits (and emphasizes) that he is a crystal meth producer ("not a dealer"). She demands a divorce from him in exchange for her silence about his criminal activities. When Walter calls her bluff and forcibly moves back into their home, she retaliates by initiating an affair with Ted and coldly informing Walter. She enjoys her affair with Ted, as they skip work frequently to go to his home. Even in her anger, Skyler is conflicted; she permits Walt to take care of baby Holly, and defends some of his actions to her divorce lawyer. She later finds that Walter has signed off on their divorce and left the house for good. When Ted arrives at her home and tries to clarify the nature of Skyler's feelings, she refuses to answer and asks him to leave. Following Hank's shooting, Skyler tells Marie that Walter earned millions through card counting at underground blackjack games, and offers to pay for Hank's physical therapy and anything else not covered by insurance. She later admits to Walt that she never filed the divorce papers, slyly beginning to work her way into Walter's criminal activities by reminding him that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other. She suggests an alternative money-laundering scheme after being thoroughly unimpressed by Saul's plan to launder the money through a laser-tag facility. Skyler suggests Walter instead purchase the car wash facility he worked at in the pilot, and offers to run the business for Walt. She tries to frame these decisions as forced on her by Walt's criminal activities, but she ends up letting Walt spend more time with the kids and having dinners as a family when Walt, sensing an opportunity to regain his place in the family, tells her that's the only way her cover-up can succeed. Skyler, through a combination of business planning and underhanded tactics, buys the car wash and begins laundering the drug money.
Henry "Hank" Schrader (played by Dean Norris) is a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent. He is also Walter's boisterous brother-in-law, and Marie Schrader's husband. He is currently investigating a new meth kingpin in the area named "Heisenberg", unaware that Heisenberg is actually Walter. Hank is not free of shortcomings – he once offered Walter a Cuban cigar, and when asked whether that was legal, replied "sometimes the forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest." Although loutish and obstreperous, he is highly competent at his job and genuinely cares about Walter and his family. When searching for a missing Walter in season two, he stumbled upon the drug baron Tuco and killed him. This earned him a promotion and a transfer to El Paso but also triggered panic attacks, which Hank struggles to keep from affecting his work. While in El Paso, Hank is with a group of fellow DEA agents, preparing to meet an informant, when a tortoise with the informant's severed head atop its shell arrived, with a sign painted along the tortoise's shell that said "HOLA DEA". This triggers a panic attack for Hank, who flees to a car to hide his embarrassment from his colleagues, who are investigating the shell. Removing the informant's head from the tortoise shell triggers a nasty explosion, killing and wounding the DEA agents who were nearby. Although unharmed (his hiding the panic attack from his colleagues resulted in being shielded from the blast), Hank is so further traumatized by this incident that he is unable to return to El Paso, eventually giving up the promotion, which went to his close friend and partner, Steven Gomez. Nagged by feelings of inadequacy, Hank becomes obsessed with the Heisenberg case, and overly aggressive on the job, starting a fight with two men in a bar whom he suspects of dealing drugs. A call telling him that Marie was in a car accident forced him to abandon pursuit of Jesse's RV, a huge clue in the case. Discovering he had been duped, he violently beat up Jesse, resulting in his suspension from the DEA. Hank finally opens up to Marie and reveals his panic attacks, but Jesse ends up not pressing charges because Walter agrees to a 50-50 deal working in Gus's mega-lab for millions each. Unknown to him, the Cousins—twin brothers and hitmen from Mexico—have been following him, planning to avenge Tuco's death. An anonymous caller warns Hank about the hit one minute beforehand, just as he returns to his car in a shopping center parking lot. Because he is suspended, Hank is unarmed. He is shot multiple times, but manages to kill one of the Cousins and severely injures the other, who on Gus's orders is later murdered by Mike while in the hospital. Hank is left unable to walk by the shooting and doctors are unsure if he will be left paraplegic. Marie, however, insists on putting Hank into expensive PT (physical therapy). When told that insurance won't cover the doctors Marie chooses, Skyler and Walter agree to pay for it (unbeknownst to Hank). When Marie suggests taking care of Hank at home, Hank refuses, saying that he won't go home until he can walk again. Marie makes a bet that he can still get an erection, and if he does, he has to return home. Shortly afterwards, Hank looks annoyed as Marie triumphantly wheels him out of the hospital.
Later on, it is shown that in his recovery, Hank has spent time "bidding on minerals", or buying rocks. Throughout his recovery, he is much harsher to Marie than he ever had been in the past, snapping at her constantly and treating her with contempt. The cause of this behavior is likely the fact that he is dependent on her for things he would once do himself (going to the bathroom and heavy lifting, among others). He seems to be his usual self in the presence of others, though he still makes crude remarks about Marie in their company. Recently, he has been approached by the Albuquerque Police Department to offer his insights into the shooting of Gale, including looking over his lab notebook. He had come to believe that Gale might have been the elusive Heisenberg, and (seeing this as closure for his previous work) turns the evidence back over to the APD. However, at a celebratory dinner with Walter and his family congratulating their acquisition of a car wash, Hank discusses his conclusions about Gale being a cooking genius, prompting Walter to arrogantly claim that he doubts that Gale was doing anything more than copying the work of a greater meth cook. Suspicions aroused, he had the APD send over the evidence once more, this time noticing that Gale, a known vegan and consumer of organic food, had a napkin from Los Pollos Hermanos (Gus's fast food joint), and questions why a vegan would eat fried chicken. He procures a fingerprint from Gus while eating with Walt Jr. at one of Gus's restaurants and it matches with a fingerprint found in Gale's apartment. When asked about this, Gus comes up with an alibi and a story to explain being at Gale's place, but Hank remains suspicious. He even has Walt drive him to the restaurant and, when there, tells the alarmed Walt to place a tracking device on Gus's car (which Gus later removes). After the tracking device revealed nothing about the whereabouts of Gus, Hank comes up with a new plan. A few days later, Hank and Walt go on another car ride. Suddenly, Hank brings up that he knows about the laundry facility that's owned by the parent company of Pollos Hermanos. As it turns out, this is the facility that houses the meth super lab that Walt and Jesse both work at. Walt, visibly flustered, tries to change the subject and deflect the suspicions of Hank. Hank doesn't pay much attention to Walt, and urges Walt to pull into the driveway of the laundry facility as they approach. However, Walt, still trying to stall, claims he did not see the entrance and tells Hank he will make a U-turn at the next chance. Walt then pulls directly into an oncoming car which causes a collision. Hank and Walter receive minor injuries. Marie decides that having Walter drive Hank for his investigation is irresponsible and Hank's purchase of a hand-controlled vehicle is revealed. Hank's plans are cut short when he is placed under DEA protective custody, after Walt places a tip off - via Saul - when Gus threatens to take care of Hank's private investigations. Hank then pushes Gomez to search the laundry facility, which turns out clean. Hank is seen obsessively looking at photos, taken during the search. Later Hank watches the television report of the retirement home bombing which killed Gus Fring and the fire that destroyed the laundry facility.
Marie Schrader (played by Betsy Brandt), née Lambert, is Skyler's sister, Hank's wife, and Walt's sister-in-law. She doesn't hesitate to offer advice to others, but she often fails to practice what she preaches. She shoplifts obsessively due to kleptomania, for which she sees a therapist. She appears self-centered and shallow but is very devoted to her husband and cares deeply for her sister's family. In season three, Marie becomes a major source of comfort and support to her husband, who proves to be more emotionally fragile than he lets on. When Hank is shot and nearly killed by the cousins, Marie angrily accuses Hank's DEA colleagues of not doing enough to support and protect their fellow agent. With Walt and Skyler's help, she arranges for Hank to undergo an aggressive physical therapy program that is not covered by their insurance. Marie loves the color purple, and nearly all her household and clothing items are various shades of purple.
Walter White, Jr.
Walter White, Jr. (played by RJ Mitte), is Walter and Skyler's teenage son. He has cerebral palsy, manifested in speech difficulties and impaired motor control, for which he uses crutches. He grows apart from Walt due to his father's absences and bizarre behavior, being taught to drive by his friends and wanting to be called "Flynn". In an effort to help his father pay for cancer treatment, Walter Jr. sets up a website asking for donations. As part of a plan to launder Walt's drug profits, Saul Goodman (Walt's lawyer) arranges for a wave of "donations" drawn from Walter's drug money. When Skyler and Walter separate due to Walt's deceptions, Walter Jr. ultimately takes his father's side, and stops answering to the name Flynn. As of the end of season 4, Walter Jr. remains completely oblivious to his father's drug business and its role in his family's life.
Gustavo "Gus" Fring (played by Giancarlo Esposito) owned and operated "Los Pollos Hermanos" ("The Chicken Brothers"), a successful and much-loved fast-food restaurant chain, which is also a front for methamphetamine distribution throughout New Mexico and neighboring states. Born in Chile, he emigrated to Mexico in 1989, shortly before the Pinochet regime fell. An expert businessman and manager, Gus foresaw the profitability and coming large-scale market for methamphetamine long before the Mexican drug cartel did. He started the first version of the fried-chicken/methamphetamine operation while in Mexico with cook and chemist Maximino Arciniega, and restarted in the U.S. due to a conflict with the cartel. Gus is, above all, cautious and methodical. Despite his control of a multi-million-dollar drug-trafficking network, almost no one knows who he is. He "hides in plain sight" as a community-oriented businessman, even publicly donating to anti-drug causes, while working through carefully vetted intermediaries to establish contacts to carry out his methamphetamine operations. He is initially wary of hiring Walter, considering him to have poor judgement for keeping a drug addict (Jesse) for a business partner, but he does so in order to get access to Walt's market-dominating and extremely profitable "blue meth" manufacturing process.
Ever since the beginning of their professional collaboration, Gus sees Walt as somewhat of a threat due to his high intellectual capacity, and as such tries to eliminate him in various ways. In season 3, Gus has Walt train Gale to be as good a cook as Walt, only to be able to dispose of Walt without harming the drug manufacture. When Walt responds by killing Gale (by sending Jesse to do the job), Gus slits his own henchman's throat in front of their eyes, which reaffirms Walt's determination to kill Gus. He tries to hatch various schemes during season 4, but repeatedly fails as Gus starts manipulating Jesse to turn him against Walt. Eventually, Walt figures out that the only way to succeed is to "beat Gus in his own game", and so he resorts to poisoning Jesse's girlfriend's son to make it seem as if Gus had done so, ultimately kindling Jesse's desire to kill Gus. Unfortunately, Jesse inadvertently gives away the scheme, so Walt uses Saul to retrieve information as for Gus's possible whereabouts. Upon learning of Gus's visits to Hector Salamanca, Walt finally succeeds by convincing Hector to help him lure Gus into the nursing home by pretending to be a DEA informant and have Gus and Tyrus killed by suicide bombing the place. Even moments before collapsing and dying, with half his face blown off, Gus maintains his famous calmness and manages to adjust his tie.
It is implied that Gustavo Fring may not actually be his true name. Neither Hank nor Mike can find any record of Gus's existence before his immigration from Chile to Mexico. Don Eladio mentions that he has spared Gus's life only because he knows who Gus is, and warns him that he "isn't in Chile anymore"; in another flashback scene, Hector Salamanca mockingly refers to him in a phone conversation as "Grand Generalissimo". Vince Gilligan purposely left Gus's past ambiguous, comparing it to the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.
Saul Goodman (played by Bob Odenkirk) is a criminal lawyer—that is, a lawyer who is a criminal. Dressed in flashy suits, Saul appears on low-budget TV commercials with the slogan, "Better call Saul!" He offers to get clients acquitted for their crimes or help them sue to make the most of wrongs they've suffered. His real surname is McGill, but he thinks his clients feel more confident with a Jewish lawyer. The moniker "Saul Goodman" is also homophonous with the expression "[it]'s all good, man". Behind the scenes, he maintains extensive connections within the criminal underworld, and serves as a go-between connecting drug distributors, evidence removers, impersonators, and other providers of illegal services with their clients. Despite his somewhat sleazy appearance, Saul is a highly competent lawyer, able to efficiently solve problems and find loopholes in order to protect his clients. He has served as an adviser for both Walt and Jesse during their conflicts with each other and Gus Fring, and has helped Skyler in her attempts to acquire a car wash in order to launder Walt's drug money.
A former police officer, Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks) works for Saul as a private investigator and for Gus as a private investigator, cleaner, hitman and consigliere. Mike possesses extraordinary skills and knowledge regarding crime and violence: removing evidence from crime scenes, installing hidden surveillance equipment, entering and exiting buildings without detection, and killing people without detection. Mike works effectively and efficiently, untroubled by psychological demons or yearnings for revenge. He is a calm and calculated individual and commits murder in a very professional manner without passion or emotion, describing killing as 'business' and not personal. The audience occasionally gets glimpses of his personal which is in contrast with his work as a criminal; he is a devoted and affectionate family man who enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.
Secondary recurring characters
The Salamanca family
Tuco Salamanca (played by Raymond Cruz) was a Mexican drug kingpin who became Walter and Jesse's meth distributor towards the end of season one. He was unpredictable and prone to violent outbursts, but surprisingly respectful of Walter because of his superior product, intelligence, business style, and guts. He has no respect for Jesse, whom he continually taunts, threatens and abuses. Paranoid, he kidnaps Walter and Jesse and brings them to his uncle's house in the middle of nowhere. He wanted to bring Walter to Mexico where he could cook full time. Walter and Jesse tried to poison Tuco, but his heavily handicapped uncle was eventually able to inform his nephew of their plan. Tuco nearly executed Jesse as a result, but Jesse fought back and shot him. Tuco soon recovered and tried to find them, but he was killed in a shootout with Hank, who had just arrived.
Unable to speak due to a stroke, communicating only by ringing a desk bell attached to his wheelchair, the elderly Don Hector Salamanca (played by Mark Margolis) was once a brutal Mexican drug kingpin and an associate of cartel boss Don Eladio. He is Tuco Salamanca's uncle, having raised him as a son, and likewise to Tuco's twin cousins Leonel & Marco. Though brutal, Hector is very loyal. He spent 17 years in San Quentin State Prison, never once revealing any information to the authorities. He taught his nephews that family is everything, and lives by the creed himself. Hector loathes Gustavo Fring, calling him a "fry cook" and a "dirty South American." Likewise, Gus despises Hector for killing Max, and goes out of his way to torment the former kingpin. These feelings come to a head in the Season 4 finale, when Walter White is able to convince Hector to use a makeshift bomb to kill himself, eliminating Gus and Tyrus in the process.
Leonel and Marco Salamanca
Leonel and Marco Salamanca (played by Daniel and Luis Moncada), referred to as the Cousins, are twin hitmen for a Ciudad Juárez Mexican drug cartel. In spite (or because) of their austere, mechanical physicality and virtually non-verbal interaction, they are a fearsome presence and kill without hesitation or emotion. They are, in fact, revealed to be the ones who killed Tortuga by decapitating him with a machete. As children they occasionally argued, though Don Salamanca put this at least partially to rest when he nearly drowned one of them and reinforced to them that 'family is all' (i.e., everything) which may explain their desire to avenge Tuco. Following the death of Tuco, (who turns out to be their cousin) they are summoned to New Mexico by Don Salamanca to kill Walter. En route to being smuggled into America, they killed the entire group of immigrants when one recognized them by their skull-tipped boots. The Cousins quickly tracked down Walter to his house and were about to kill him, when Mike informed Gus Fring of their presence and he ordered them by text message to abort the mission. Although Gus has given them permission to kill Walter after their partnership ends in three months, Gus is warned that the Cousins will probably ignore such deals, and a scythe is later found drawn outside Walter's house by Mike (believing the Cousins to have drawn it to send a message). Gus redirects the brothers by telling them that Hank is the one who killed Tuco. Gus gives them special permission to kill a DEA agent on his turf, which is normally prohibited due to the amount of attention drawn by such an action. When they confront Hank, he kills Marco by firing a hollow-point directly into his head, causing it to burst. Leonel is severely injured, prior to the death of Marco when Hank backs his car into him and presses him against another, causing Leonel to lose both of his legs. To silence Leonel, Gus Fring has Mike assassinate him in the hospital, effectively distracting the entire police force in the hospital building by personally bringing them fried chicken; Leonel dies in his hospital bed, and Mike is seen leaving the hospital after disposing of a syringe.
Steven Gomez (played by Steven Michael Quezada) is Hank's DEA partner and friend. A Hispanic himself, he has a lot of knowledge about the inner workings of Mexican gangs. He doesn't seem to mind Hank's off-color remarks about his race. Gomez, or 'Gomie' as Hank affectionately calls him, is promoted to El Paso after Hank, scared of going back to the deadly environment there, delayed his transfer.
Jane Margolis (played by Krysten Ritter) was Jesse's neighbor/landlord/lover. She was a tattoo-artist (without any tattoos) and recovering addict. Although she carried an aloof air, she and Jesse soon become a couple. She eventually relapsed into drug addiction and introduced Jesse to heroin. She threatened to blackmail Walter after he refused to give Jesse his cut from a major deal nearly ruined by Jesse's addiction. Her actions work, so she and Jesse plan to run away to New Zealand with the money. That night, in Walt's presence (and with him not intervening), she dies in her sleep by asphyxiating on her own vomit. Her death manifests significant repercussions throughout season 3, and is largely responsible for Jesse's downward spiral throughout the first half of the season over his role in her death. Walt also expresses guilt over his inaction towards Jane to Jesse in the episode "Fly", while under the influence of sleeping pills, and later questions the statistical improbability of both meeting her and talking to her father on the same night despite never having met either beforehand.
Donald Margolis (played by John de Lancie) is Jane's father. He owns the building his daughter managed for him. He sent Jane to rehab once before and goes with her to recovery meetings. Donald becomes furious when he discovers that his daughter is back on heroin, suspecting Jesse is at fault. He nearly calls the police but relents when Jane promises to go back into rehab. Depressed, he goes to a bar and strikes up a conversation with a stranger (Walter) about the heartache of raising children. His words inspire Walter to help Jesse get clean from heroin. After Jane's death, he unwittingly causes a mid-air collision of two planes at his job as an Air Traffic Controller. After the accident, it is revealed that Margolis was rushed to the hospital to treat a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Ted Beneke (played by Christopher Cousins) was the President/Owner of Beneke Fabricators. He gives Skyler her old job back as an accountant during season two. Ted has always been attracted to Skyler but doesn't make any advances since her return. Ted commits tax fraud to keep the company alive and save everyone's jobs. He admits this when Skyler finds out while working on the company's books. Skyler sleeps with Ted in season three, so as to exact revenge against Walt for his life of crime, but Ted's offer for her to have some of her things at his house is ignored by her. Skyler later gets angry at Ted when he shows up at her house to ask about their relationship, and she later severs both her personal and professional ties with Ted.
In season 4 Ted meets up with Skyler, now running a car wash, and notifies her of the IRS' criminal investigation into his company's tax fraud. Since Skyler is heavily linked to Ted's tax fraud, and would have her entire family put under surveillance if the investigation were to proceed, intervenes by pretending to be a ditzy accountant at Ted's meeting with the IRS. While her show of incompetence (allegedly using Quicken to handle the company's accounting) gets Ted off from a full investigation, she must still deal with his poor financial standing and the need to pay his backtaxes and penalty. Skyler arranges for Ted to receive money for his IRS case by having Saul manufacture a dead relative in Luxembourg with sizable assets. However, a follow up by Saul reveals that Ted has leased a new Mercedes and is using the funds to reopen his business. When Skyler approaches him about his need to pay the IRS first, he refuses and tells her to leave; seeing no alternative, Skyler is forced to reveal that she was the one who gave Ted the money. Ted still refuses to pay the IRS, as he will lose his home and social status regardless. His motive turns out to be blackmail; he expects Skyler to foot not only his tax bill but his other obligations as well. With no other options, Skyler has Saul Goodman send two of his men to force Beneke to write the check. They succeed, but Beneke panics and attempts to flee. In the process, he trips on a loose rug and crashes headfirst into a piece of furniture. Though never explicitly stated, the viewer is led to believe that he died.
Victor (played by Jeremiah Bitsui) was a loyal henchman to Gus. He first appears in season two as a seemingly fellow customer in Los Pollos Hermanos when he suddenly confronts Walter and tersely conveys Gus's non-negotiable offer to purchase Walter's meth and arrange for delivery within the hour. In season three, he continues his work under Gus. Gus instructs Victor to give half of the money for Jesse's meth to Walter as a way to convince Walter to cook again. After Walt kills two of Gus's dealers, Walt tells Gus that Jesse is "at least two time zones away." Victor guards the lab at all times when Walter and Gale are present and monitors their conversations. Walt suspects Gus is preparing to kill him, and conspires with Jesse to kill Gale, making Walt indispensable as the only remaining cook. Victor picks up Walt from his home, telling him there is a leak in the lab. Walt is greeted by Mike when he arrives, and deduces they plan to kill him. Walt begs Mike to spare him, offering to turn Jesse over. Under the pretext of contacting Jesse to lure him into a meeting, Walt convinces Mike and Victor to allow him to call Jesse using his cell phone. Instead of arranging a meeting, Walt instructs Jesse to kill Gale before Mike kills Walt, leaving Walter as the only chemist available to Gus. Victor races to stop Jesse from killing Gale, but does not arrive in time; he enters Gale's apartment and is seen by neighbors. He dies when his jugular is sliced by Gus in the season 4 opener "Box Cutter", possibly done as a message for Walter or Jesse, as well as punishment for carelessness. Later in the episode, Walt, Jesse and Mike are forced to dispose of Victor's body using hydrofluoric acid, echoing Walt and Jesse's previous experience with Emilio from season 1.
Gale Boetticher (played by David Costabile) was a chemist hired by Gus Fring to help set up the new laboratory and serve as Walt's "lab assistant". He holds an MS degree in organic chemistry, with a specialty in X-ray crystallography. He describes himself as a "nerd" and a "libertarian" (confirmed in a later posthumous episode when a Ron Paul sticker is shown on a page in Gale's lab notes). He is single, vegan, apparently cultured, and an intellectual equal to Walt. He is a fan of foreign language music and apparently speaks fluent Italian. As a side project, he is working on a process for brewing a superior cup of coffee, and impresses Walt with his results. However, after Walter learns of Jesse's intentions of pressing charges against Hank, Walter is forced to fire Gale and re-hire Jesse as his partner. After Jesse's "disappearance," Gus re-hires Gale and instructs him to learn everything he can from Walt. He tells Gale that Walt has terminal cancer, and that the meth production cannot halt for even a week because of his business' high overhead. Gale agrees to take over the lab full time after one more "cook". Upon Walt's call, Jesse shows in his doorway with a weapon, prepared to kill Gale. Gale begs for his life, offering Jesse his possessions and money. A gunshot is heard as the screen fades to black. In the season four premiere, Gale is found dead by Victor, who then escorts his killer, Jesse, to the lab. Gale's lab notes are shown close to his body, on a table, when the crime scene investigation is being done, at the end of "Box Cutter". Later an Albuquerque police detective gives Hank copies of the evidence taken from Gale's apartment. After reviewing it Hank then shows Walt and Walt Jr. a DVD amongst the evidence. The DVD shows Gale singing karaoke of the song "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling in front of images of rockets and wildlife while the song is captioned in Thai script.
Brandon "Badger" Mayhew (played by Matt L. Jones) is Jesse's friend. Badger is on probation, but still does drugs. He has a job holding a sign outside of a bank. He and Jesse teamed up briefly to cook meth in season one, using the money from Badger's job to buy pseudophedrine. However, Jesse disposes of the inferior meth (several times), angering Badger, which escalates into a scuffle. Jesse kicks Badger out of his RV and strands him in the desert. Badger and Jesse reconcile, and Badger helps clear the meth lab from Jesse's basement and asks his cousin to hide Jesse's RV. Badger is later enlisted to deal Walter and Jesse's meth, but is eventually arrested. Badger then flees New Mexico to lie low in Fresno, California for a while, but he returns and quickly agrees to sell meth for Jesse again. Badger later appears at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting with Skinny Pete, informing everyone that "Blue Sky" is back in town but cannot bring himself to sell any to the people at the meetings because they are trying to better themselves and he thinks it is wrong. He and Skinny Pete continue to attend meetings and even begin working the steps. Eventually he relapses into drug use when Jesse tempts him into using again. He leaves Jesse's house after a few days of nearly continuous partying, claiming to remember having a cat he needs to feed.
Skinny Pete (played by Charles Baker) is Jesse's friend. He served time in prison with Tuco and introduced him to Jesse. Jesse recruits Skinny Pete to deal meth, although Pete is on probation. He is mugged by two addicts, forcing Jesse to get the money and product back. He may be borderline illiterate, spelling "street" wrong and having trouble reading his own writing. After Badger is nearly arrested and Combo is killed, Pete quits dealing for Jesse, fearing his going back to prison and his own safety. He eventually decides to sell meth for Jesse again, albeit on a smaller scale. He attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings with Badger. After following the program together and staying clean, they eventually relapse back to using when Jesse tempts them with meth. After a few days of heavy meth use they leave Jesse's house.
Christian "Combo" Ortega (played by Rodney Rush) was Jesse's friend who also doubled as a dealer of his methamphetamine. Combo was later killed when a rival drug group shot him several times. His death drove Jesse to spiral into drug addiction. It is later revealed that the RV where Walter and Jesse cook meth belonged to the Ortega family, and Combo sold it to Jesse for $1,400 without his family knowing, providing a big clue for Hank when he is tracking down "Heisenberg".
Gretchen Schwartz (played by Jessica Hecht) is Walt's old college chemistry assistant and now co-owner of Gray Matter, a successful pharmaceutical company. Apparently a former romantic interest of Walt's, she is currently married to Elliott Schwartz. She discovers that Walter lied to his family about her and Elliott paying for his treatment, horrified when Walt angrily and bitterly blames her and Elliott for ruining his life. Although she claims that Walt sees it wrong, it is still unknown what transpired, only that Walt left her and his research behind suddenly and without explanation after Gretchen took him to her parents' home for the weekend. Later, after Skyler's suspicions of Walt having an affair with Gretchen are renewed, Skyler makes contact with Gretchen, who eventually tells her that they never paid for any of Walt's medical bills. However, out of pity towards Walt, Gretchen later covers for Walt and states that she did help Walt out on the condition that she would deny it if asked by Skyler. She also added that the two would no longer be able to continue to "fund" Walt's treatment. When told this, Walt spins another lie in which he claims that he met with Gretchen and learned that she and Elliot have gone broke due to the recent recession, hence them cutting off their financial help.
Domingo Gallardo "Krazy-8" Molina (played by Max Arciniega) is a meth distributor formerly associated with Jesse Pinkman and Emilio. Unbeknownst to Walt and Jesse, Krazy-8 is a DEA informant, acquiring the customers of the dealers he rats out. Krazy-8 becomes suspicious of Jesse when he attempts to sell him a new product after Emilio's arrest and forces Jesse to take him to his new partner. Krazy-8 suspects Walt is involved with law enforcement and appears intent to kill him until Walt offers to teach him his drug formula. While mixing chemicals, Walt creates a small explosion that produces phosphine gas and appears to kill both Emilio and Krazy-8. Emilio dies, but Krazy-8 eventually regains consciousness, prompting Jesse and Walt to imprison him in Jesse's basement for several days as Walt works up the courage to kill him. Walt attempts to rationalize freeing Krazy-8, who has regained his health, but eventually strangles him with a bike lock upon realizing Krazy-8 plans to attack him with a concealed piece of a broken plate. Later in the episode, it is implied that Walter disposed of Krazy-8's body with hydrofluoric acid in the same manner as Emilio.
Andrea Cantillo (played by Emily Rios) is a love interest of Jesse Pinkman. She is a single mother to a young son named Brock and a recovering meth addict. Jesse meets her at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and initially tries to get her to relapse so that she will become a customer of his, but reverses course when he learns that she has a young son to care for. He engages in a romantic relationship with her, but ends it when he discovers that the 11 year old boy who killed his friend "Combo" is her younger brother Tomas. After the break-up, she confronts Jesse at his home about a large sum of money which he had left for her at her home. He tells her that the money is for her to move out of her bad neighborhood and to help raise her son. Saul continues to deliver money to her, in her new home, on behalf of Jesse. When Brock is poisoned, Jesse rushes to the hospital and stays there until the doctors notify him that Brock will survive.
Tyrus Kitt (played by Ray Campbell) was Gus's henchman, hired to replace Victor following his murder. He served as Mike's second-in-command, monitoring Walt and Jesse's activities both inside and outside the lab. Tyrus dies in the Season Four Finale.
Huell (played by Lavell Crawford) is Saul Goodman's new bodyguard and security. Hired more for his size than his intelligence, he has some digestive problems that keep him from being as stoic as Saul would like.
Kuby (played by Bill Burr) is a hired hand for Saul Goodman. He assists in facilitating the car wash sale to the Whites by impersonating an environmental inspector, and later intimidates Ted Beneke with the help of Huell.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Merkert (played by Michael Shamus Wiles) is Hank's boss at the DEA. He is impressed with Hank's work and recommends him for a transfer to El Paso. When Hank returns, he is frustrated by Hank stalling a second transfer to El Paso, unaware that he is suffering from panic attacks and is scared to go back. After Hank attacks Jesse, Merkert is forced to suspend Hank without pay, but tells him off the record that Jesse will not press charges. Following Hank's shooting and subsequent recovery, he welcomes Hank back to work, but refuses to advance Hank's suspicions of Gus Fring beyond a basic interview.
A meth-addicted street prostitute portrayed by Julia Minesci who associates with Jesse Pinkman. She helped Jesse maintain an alibi and withstood an intense interrogation from Hank Schrader on his behalf. Knowing her to be loyal to him, Jesse tries to convince her to help him kill two drug dealers who convinced an 11 year old boy to murder Combo on Gus Fring's orders. She declines at first, fearing the repercussions, revealing that she has a son that she needs to protect, but Jesse eventually persuades her to help, drawing comparison between the murdered boy and her own son. At the last moment she is spared the ordeal by Mike who intervenes to take Jesse to a meeting with the drug dealers. She was featured in the online promotional material as one of Saul Goodman's clients.
Carmen Molina (played by Carmen Serano) is the assistant principal at the high school where Walt teaches and Walt Jr. attends. In season three, Walter makes an awkward pass at her, resulting in Walt being on "sabbatical... indefinitely."
Gonzo (played by Jesus Payan, Jr.) is Tuco Salamanca's brother-in-law and one of his lieutenants. He dies while moving No Doze's body from under a stack of cars in a junk yard; the stack shifts and catches his arm under it, partially severing it and causing him to bleed out. When Walter and Jesse learn he is dead, they incorrectly believe that Tuco is killing any witness to No Doze's murder.
No Doze (played by Cesar Garcia) is one of Tuco's head lieutenants in his drug organization. He was severely beaten to death by Tuco himself in the final episode of season one for making a comment to Walter and Jesse ("Just remember who you work for"), which Tuco took as an offensive remark towards his intelligence.
Jake Pinkman (played by Ben Petry) is Jesse's younger over-achieving brother. Jesse accepts the blame for a joint belonging to Jake.
Mrs. Pinkman (played by Tess Harper) is Jesse's mother. Along with her husband, she kicks Jesse out of the house, but feels guilty about it. She appears in seasons 1-3.
Mr. Pinkman (played by Michael Bofshever) is Jesse's father.
Elliott Schwartz (played by Adam Godley) is Walter's old college science partner and co-owner of Gray Matter, a successful pharmaceutical company co-founded by Walter. He is married to Gretchen Schwartz. Walter blames him and Gretchen for stealing his research and becoming millionaires in the process, although the exact truth of this claim is unknown. Elliott offers to pay for Walter's treatment. Walter declines, but tells Skyler he has accepted to cover up his use of drug money in the process.
Spooge (played by David Ury) is a drug addict who stole meth from Skinny Pete at knifepoint. He was later accosted by Jesse in his home as Jesse attempted to retrieve the stolen drugs and/or cash payment. Spooge attempted to repay Jesse by breaking open an ATM he had stolen from a convenience store. While attempting to drill into the machine from the bottom, he began verbally abusing his girlfriend (played by Dale Dickey) who tipped the ATM, crushing Spooge's head and killing him instantly. Spooge's death was attributed to Jesse among his associates and rivals for a short period until the woman confessed the murder.
Clovis (played by Tom Kiesche) is Badger's cousin who operates a vehicle towing and repair service. When Jesse's RV quit running, Clovis charged him an exorbitant amount to tow and store the vehicle due to its cargo. Clovis repaired the RV and caught Jesse sleeping in it after Jesse had scaled the fence (and destroyed a portable toilet in the process) after being evicted from his home. Clovis ordered Jesse to pay for the repairs and property damage and then threatened to sell off Jesse's inventory to cover the repairs when Jesse claimed he could not furnish immediate payment. Jesse again broke into the gated lot and drove through the gate without paying for the repairs. He later returned to pay Clovis for the repairs and damages and made arrangements to store the RV inside Clovis' gated lot for $500 per week. Clovis also sold Jesse a used red hatchback (Toyota Tercel). Jesse eventually decided to retrieve the RV, but Walter warned Clovis that the DEA was looking for it, forcing Clovis to bring it to a junkyard to be destroyed.
Don Eladio (played by Steven Bauer) was the head of the Ciudad Juárez Mexican drug cartel which employed Juan Bolsa, Hector Salamanca and Salamanca's nephews. He first met Gus Fring at a business meeting twenty years prior to the start of the series, where Gus and his partner Max attempted to propose a business deal where they would produce methamphetamine for the cartel. Unimpressed by their pitch, he had Max executed for manipulating him into a meeting, but spared Gus's life due to a currently unrevealed past in Chile. At some time in the next few years, he entered into a partnership with Gus, where the latter served as his chief distributor in the American Southwest.
Following the deaths of Juan Bolsa and the Cousins, and Gus's subsequent establishment of the superlab, Don Eladio ordered retribution through his henchman Gaff, hijacking meth deliveries and killing some of Gus's operatives. Gus agreed to Eladio's demand - the formula for the blue meth and the services of a chemist - and traveled to the cartel's superlab with Mike and Jesse. After Jesse cooked a successful batch, Eladio invited the three to a party at his villa with multiple capos of the cartel, toasting their new business venture with a bottle of premium tequila supplied by Gus and chiding the latter for needing to be kept in line every twenty years. However, shortly afterwards the capos began to collapse, victims of a poison Gus had put in the tequila. Eladio saw that Gus (who had vomited up the poison) had betrayed him, but collapsed dead into the swimming pool before taking any action.
Tortuga (played by Danny Trejo), literally "Tortoise" in English, was an informant to the DEA in El Paso on the inner workings of the Mexican cartels. Upon discovering that, cartel operatives cut off his head and placed it on a tortoise with the words "Hola DEA" written across its shell. A hidden bomb in the head then exploded, severely injuring some of the DEA Agents and Mexican police on the scene with Hank. It is later revealed that he was killed by Tuco's cousins.
Juan Bolsa (played by Javier Grajeda) is a high-level member of the Mexican drug cartel that the Salamanca family belongs to. It is Bolsa who orders Tortuga's execution by the Cousins, and later places his head on a booby-trapped turtle for the DEA to find. He is also the cartel's liaison with Gustavo Fring, and the one who arranges a meeting between Gus, the Cousins and Don Salamanca on the matter of Walter. He tells Gus he will urge the Salamanca family to be patient, but advises that Gus risks losing the favor of the cartel if he does not finish his business with Walter quickly and that he cannot guarantee the Cousins will listen to reason. He has forbidden the Cousins to kill Hank Schrader, as the DEA is "off limits." He is later killed by Mexican federales at his home in Juarez in retaliation for the cousins' attack on Hank.
Gaff (played by Maurice Compte) was a member of Don Eladio's drug cartel. He is first seen coordinating the hijacking of a Los Pollos Hermanos truck transporting drugs, killing the guards inside by pumping it with exhaust. Gaff serves as the cartel's representative in a sitdown with Gus, where he rejects the offer of $50 million to cut all ties and informs him there will be no negotiation, only an ultimatum to deliver the formula for the blue methamphetamine. Later, he kills one of Gus's men with a sniper rifle following a clean-up operation at the farm, but stops shooting when Gus presents himself as a target. He is strangled by Mike during Gus' mass poisoning of The Cartel.
Maximino Arcieniega (played by James Martinez) was Gus' business partner. Gus paid for Max's education in biochemistry and chemical engineering, at the University of Santiago in Chile. When the pair moved to Mexico and opened up a chain of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken restaurants together, Max was the chemist – he cooked the crystal meth, samples of which he and Gus started giving away. These samples gained the attention of Don Eladio, a local drug lord, whom Max and Gus had approached in the hopes of convincing the Don to join them in the meth business. Don Eladio, unimpressed by these upstarts and nominally dismissive of selling methampethamine in lieu of cocaine, had Hector kill Max on the patio of his mansion as Juan Bolsa watched. Gus was forced to watch his friend's fatal head wound bleed into the swimming pool, a vision that stayed with him. After moving to the US, Gus set up a college scholarship in Max's name (which Gale won one year) and grew determined to avenge his friend's death, while mentally tormenting the now-disabled Hector in the hospital by mocking the death of Hector's nephew, and having rival drug lord Juan Bolsa killed by Mexican authorities in retribution for the attempted hit on DEA agent Hank.
- ^ a b Gilbert, Matthew (Mar. 6, 2009). "Even more addictive in season two; Dark wit makes 'Breaking Bad' compelling". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2009/03/06/even_more_addictive_in_season_two/. Retrieved Sep. 23, 2010. "Even the last names on "Breaking Bad" - White, Pinkman - recall the character code names from Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs.""
- ^ Itzkoff, Dave (October 9, 2011). "Vince Gilligan of ‘Breaking Bad’ Talks About Ending the Season, and the Series". The New York Times. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/vince-gilligan-of-breaking-bad-talks-about-ending-the-season-and-the-series/. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
- ^ Wallace, Brian (Mar. 26, 2010). "It's All Good, Man: Bob Odenkirk Talks 'Breaking Bad'". Yahoo!. http://tv.yahoo.com/blog/its-all-good-man-bob-odenkirk-talks-breaking-bad--1110. Retrieved Nov. 18, 2010.
Breaking Bad Creator CharactersWalter White · Skyler White · Jesse Pinkman · Hank Schrader · Marie Schrader · Walter White, Jr. · Saul Goodman · Gus Fring · Mike Ehrmantraut Episodes Related articles
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