The AMC series Breaking Bad did a lot to explore the collision of two different worlds. On one hand, suburban high school chemistry teacher Walter White is a rules follower just trying to provide for his family. Then there’s the criminal underbelly of Albuquerque drug dealing, which Walt discovers and later exploits to make quick cash.
A series of coincidences leads to mild-mannered Walt interacting with some of the most dangerous criminals and murderous cartel members in the world. However, even as Walt transforms into Heisenberg, he strives to keep his family protected from his criminality.
And somehow, two of the most important people in Walt’s life never meet — not even once — during Breaking Bad.
Walter White begins making meth with good intentions
Walt’s foray into drug dealing began with a terminal cancer diagnosis at the beginning of Breaking Bad. Once Walt finds out he’s dying and leaving his family without the means to survive, he becomes desperate to make fast cash. After attending a ride-along with his DEA agent in-law Hank Schrader, Walt realizes how much money he can make using his science skills to make crystal meth.
After teaming up with former student and current drug dealer Jesse Pinkman, Walt begins his quest to come up with the $737,000 he thinks it’ll take to keep his family afloat after his death. He keeps his new business endeavors hidden from his wife, Skyler, and their teenage son Walt, Jr.
Jesse Pinkman becomes Walter White’s protégé
Walt is portrayed as a kind of mentor to Jesse at first. But Jesse provides experience in the realm of drug distribution and making connections with other people participating in illegal activities. Meanwhile, Walt teaches Jesse the science behind making meth and helps them create a truly exceptional product.
Even as he’s exploring how far he’ll go with breaking the law, Walt continues striving to be a good parent and example for his son. For that reason, he never allows Jesse to meet Walt Jr. and vice versa.
Walt Jr. isn’t home during the most awkward dinner ever
One of the most memorable scenes from Breaking Bad occurs when Walt invites Jesse to his house for dinner. Though it seems like a friendly gesture, Walt is really trying to get revenge on both Skyler and Jesse by forcing them into an uncomfortable situation.
The dinner is a disaster by any measure. Jesse tries to make small talk with Skyler by complimenting her green beans. But even his attempt at normalizing the situation doesn’t work.
If there was an ever a time for Jesse to meet Walt Jr. this would be it. But instead, Skyler had already insisted that the children go live with her sister Marie and Hank to keep them safe.
Walter White fails at keeping his identities separate
Even though Walt manages to keep his partner from ever interacting with his son, he fails at isolating his criminal actions from his family life. Eventually his insistence at becoming a drug kingpin costs him his family. His partner hates him, his wife leaves him, and his son doesn’t respect him.
Was it worth it? As Walt says during his final interaction with Skyler, “I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.”
Walt made his choice and stuck with it.
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