Walter White had a history of picking up traits from his victims throughout Breaking Bad. Over the course of the series, all of Walter White’s victims changed him in some way, whether he killed them with his own hands or simply caused their deaths (as in the plane crash incident). Among those victims were a number of figures that Walt directly killed and proceeded to copy some of their characteristics. Here’s how each of Walter White’s victims changed him in Breaking Bad.
When Walt first entered the meth business, he held on to his moral obligations when it came to supporting his family as a way to justify his actions. He wasn’t equipped with the experience of how to interact with drug dealers or leaders in the cartel. In order to survive in that world and thrive with his budding meth empire, Walt transformed into the legendary criminal known as Heisenberg, and Walt’s Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul evolution remains to be one of modern television’s most iconic performances. Notably, during this transformation, Walt had a habit of picking up certain qualities that were noticeable in his victims.
How Each Of Walter White’s Victims Changed Him
In Breaking Bad season 1, Walt and Jesse Pinkman were nearly ripped off during their first drug deal. While showing Emilio and Krazy-8 his meth recipe, Walt concocted a poisonous gas. The explosion instantly killed Emilio but Walt and Jesse were forced into holding Krazy-8 captive – the first of the many people Walter White kills. The partners kept the drug dealer in the basement, and when Walt made him a PB&J sandwich, he preferred the crust removed. After a stabbing attempt, Walt ended up suffocating Krazy-8 with a bike lock. Later in season 3, Walt was shown cutting the crust off of his sandwiches.
Gus Fring was one of Walt’s most prominent victims over the course of the show, and Breaking Bad’s Gus death scene was without question the most memorable in the entire series. The two tried to equally lead their divisions of the drug trade but Gus’ overbearing control became a threat to Walt. After a few failed attempts, Walt finally killed Gus in the season 4 finale with the help of a bomb and Hector Salamanca. In Breaking Bad season 5, Walt was seen driving an old Volvo. This may not seem significant, but Gus drove an older model Volvo in earlier episodes of the season. Hank had even stated that cars like that allow criminals to hide in plain sight. In addition, Walt refused to break from his act as a harmless car wash owner when Lydia Rodarte-Quayle came to see him in the same fashion that Gus presented himself differently in Los Pollos Hermanos.
The second major character out of all of Walter White’s victims was the beloved Breaking Bad character Mike Ehrmantraut. After killing Mike in season 5, it looked like Walt started to copy the man’s drink order. A season earlier, Walt and Mike were together in the bar and they both ordered whiskey but Walt preferred no ice. There were other instances in the series that hinted Walt’s preference for no ice in his drinks. After he killed Mike, Walt started wanting ice in his drinks. This was confirmed in the eighth episode of season 5 when Hank offered him a drink and Walt requested it on the rocks. Walt even started to use Mike’s lingo when confronting people. Mike once threatened him to “learn to take yes for an answer.” Walt spoke that exact phrase to Lydia in season 5.
How Many Victims Of Walter White Are There?
Throughout Breaking Bad, Walter White murders over 200 people (although not all with his own two hands), and likely fits the definition of a serial killer by the time the series ended. The fact he subconsciously acquires traits of those he kills like trophies is definitely a serial killer-like behavior, and Walt’s strange pattern of copying his victims reveals how much he came to embrace unleashing his darkest impulses. During Breaking Bad‘s Gus death scene, Walt also killed Hector and his henchman Tyrus. Walt was also responsible for the deaths of Jesse’s love interest Andrea, Todd Alquist and his gang, Walt’s former lab assistant Gale, and many more. Combined with the plane crash that killed 167 people, every person Walter White killed on Breaking Bad amounts to a little over 200 lives.
The reason why Walt copied his victims was never clarified in Breaking Bad, although it was clear that Walt carried a lot of guilt during his time on the series. The critically-acclaimed Breaking Bad episode “Fly” exemplified how the guilt over the people Walter White kills plagued his life after Jane’s death. There was even a similar instance with the eyeball from the pink teddy bear. Rather than keep tangible souvenirs from his victims, Walt preferred to allow their distinct qualities to live on — one of the many nuanced character quirks that made him so watchable as the main protagonist-turned-antagonist in Breaking Bad.
Next: Vince Gilligan Is Right: You Shouldn’t Root For Walter White