Breaking Bad in Retrospect: Characters We Loved to Hate/Hated to Love

Loved to Hate

  1. Gustavo Fring

Rinky-dink chicken joints will never be the same…so long as flashbacks of the Los Pollos Hermanos villain stay stuck in our memory. Gus is by far, still the biggest baddie of them all, having run his slave-labor meth factory and executed every morally reprehensible plan there was to retain his employees. The blow-up scene of Mr. Fring was rich to say the least, and undoubtedly among the most treasured scenes from the show.

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2. Hector Salamanca

*BEEEEEEEP-BEEP BEEP BEEP*. Who could forget the snarling, wheelchair-bound uncle of Tuco Salamanca? The nasty, once-leader of Mexico’s drug cartel took center stage in Season 2, acting as the obstacles in Walt’s steadily growing blue-meth biz. His entire family was full of monsters, especially Tuco and “The Cousins”. Although our disdain for the old man lasted the entire season and following, we must credit him for enabling Gus Fring’s explosive end.

Image3. Todd Alquist

A ginger-headed, poor man’s Matt Damon, Todd was the dirtiest of the dirty. He not only killed a child mercilessly at the close of Season 4, but without hesitation would sell anyone he knew down the river. (Except maybe his crush–drug lord-in-training Lydia). A comrade to Jesse’s neo-Nazi captors, the 20-something punk’s slimy persona and unsuspecting motives immediately made him one of the most despised, newer of characters on BB. For Todd’s final “moment”, we all owe Pinkman a round of applause.

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4. Hank/Marie Schrader

Although it may seem unfitting to include them on a list of villains, Hank and Marie were despicable in their own right. The loudmouth duo was extra fake and acted as the contrary of relatives to Skyler and Walt. Not to “speak ill of the dead” or anything, but there’s no denying most viewers’ distaste for the kleptomaniac-Marie and her highly arrogant and stubborn husband. The epitome of a douchey cop, Hank seemed disposable from the first season. After all…why couldn’t he just LET THE MAN COOK?

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Hated to Love

  1. Saul Goodman

For most of us, Saul’s character was an acquired taste. Introducing himself as a greasy yet masterfully clever attorney, he gained the trust of partners Walt and Jesse—even assigning them his go-to client protector, Mike. His staying in the know, keen awareness of the meth industry, as well as manipulation skills, impressed both us and Walt. Goodman was the ultimate secret-keeper of the operation. His motives and fallback plans to retain the innocence of those who hired him were questionable at times, but always proved purposeful. We hope he does well in Nebraska.

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2. Mike Ehrmantraut

The show’s original crime scene-cleanup guy, Mike initially rubbed most of us the wrong way. One was never sure where his loyalties lied. He was unfeeling and had traitorous tendencies; yet, somewhere in the midst of all his wiretapping, stealthy spying, and casual murders, we developed a certain affinity for the hardhearted hit man. It was only at his time of death that a softer Mike emerged, voicing his concern and love for his granddaughter.

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3. Badger & Skinny Pete

The two burnouts, and comrades of Jesse’s, earned viewers’ respect in the finale, assisting Walt in the intimidation and bribery of ex-partners Gretchen and Elliott to pass on the money to Walt’s family.

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4. Walter White

Throughout the course of the series, lung cancer-ridden Walt did some really horrid things. As his desperation to protect his meth recipes, business, and family grew, so did his acts of violence and murder. He isolated himself with every cooking session, receiving hate from his own wife and family. The lengths he went to in order to cook raised eyebrows, as did his sneakiness and patterned, lying behavior. He poisoned, killed, and plotted all under the defense of “providing”; and at times we weren’t sure whether to detest his dirty deeds or hail to Heisenberg. A true family man and more-than-qualified chemist, Walter White was the exemplary modern-day hero, a meth martyr, and will truly be missed.

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