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Bad Chemistry : The Character Elements of Breaking Bad

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Part two of Breaking Bad's final season kicks off in just a few days, and we're growing increasingly anxious, wondering where the end will take us. For four-and-a-half seasons, we've watched the characters grow and change, with no transformation as significant as Walter White's own personal journey from meek and innocent to ruthless and evil.

Years of watching Breaking Bad has taught us which chemical elements combine to make meth, and now, as we await the show's denouement, we decided to break down the characters in the same way. Using assets from the Shutterstock library, we created a "chemical" diagram for each of the main players from the show. See how they all combine below, then tell us what you think. Does everything add up?

Table

Walter White | Tyrant

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Over the past five years, Walt has evolved from a harmless man to become a manipulative tyrant who will go after power at any price. Originally in the drug game to help his family, the Walt of season five wants only money, control, and respect. He's used any means necessary to get there, crushing each of his enemies along the way.  

Jesse Pinkman | Outcast

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Jesse, the outcast, has always had a good heart. But he's loyal to a fault, constantly trying to belong to something and find someone to love. Because of this, Walt is able to easily manipulate Jesse, who craves redemption and often turns to drugs himself throughout the series.  

Hank Schrader | Warrior

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One of the only Breaking Bad characters to ever act with honor, Hank is the show's warrior. He's protective, tenacious, and always looking out for what's right — even if he has to bend a few rules to get there.  

Skyler White | Innocent

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From day one of Breaking Bad, Skyler has been the innocent. She was kept in the dark while Walt transformed into a villain, and she is often forced into harm's way in order to protect her children.  

Marie Schrader | Actress

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Skyler's sister and Hank's kleptomaniac wife, Marie is the show's performer. With absolutely no knowledge of Walt's violent life, Marie frequently appears weak, playing different parts that enable her to feed on the attention and pity of other characters.  

Walter White Jr. | Hungry

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Walt Jr. is hungry. Always hungry. Sometimes he wants bacon and eggs. Sometimes he wants cereal. Sometimes he wants to call himself Flynn. We never know what's going on with that boy, but we know he can always be found at the kitchen table in time for breakfast.  

Saul Goodman | Comic Relief

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Walt and Jesse's crooked lawyer is the show's much-needed comic relief. In a way, Breaking Bad is slightly Shakespearean, and every tragedy needs a few laughs. Saul provides perfect one-liners and moments of levity, standing in stark contrast to Walt's frighteningly serious demeanor.  

Mike Ehrmantraut | Sage

Mike

An old beat cop from Philly haunted by a case he can never forget, Mike is now working as the clean-up man/assassin for Gus Fring. Weathered by too many years on both sides of the law, he remains driven by the need to give his granddaughter a secure future.  

Gus Fring | Two-Faced Tyrant

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Playing himself off as a staple of the community, Gus is the drug kingpin who hides right in front of your face. Drawing very clear parallels to where Walt is headed, Gus is both one of the main villains and Walt's personal adversary.

- Designs by Deanna Paquette and Jordan Roland

Anyone who didn't make the chart who you think deserves a break-down of their own? Give us your best analysis in the comments!

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