There’s a popular theory about Breaking Bad that claims that every time Walter White kills someone, he picks up some of their character traits.
We trawled through the evidence to make it a little easier to follow. And we have to say, we’re almost convinced.
On top of that we also found a whole load of other hidden details that demonstrate just how layered and complex this show is. Enjoy!
1. Remember Crazy 8? He used to have his sandwiches without crusts. And then after killing him, so did Walt.
2. Then there’s Gus. Gus used to drive a Volvo, now check out Walt’s ride in the Season 5 opener.
The Season 5 opener was, coincidentally or not, the very next episode after Walt had killed Gus.
3. But that’s not the only habit of Gus’ that Walt picked up after his death.
Now, of course, Walt never actually saw Gus do his little towel trick before chucking his guts up. Therefore if there genuinely is something to the theory of Walt picking up traits of his victims, then it must be a nod from the writers, rather than a conscious decision by Walt.
4. You can clearly see him channeling his former boss in the first episode of Season 5, Part 2.
Walt refuses to “break character” for Lydia, maintaining the role of blameless car wash owner. Gus had done the exact same thing at Los Pollos Hermanos, when Walt confronted him.
5. And the evidence for this theory just keeps stacking up. Next up, Mike.
On the left you can clearly see Mike drinks his whiskey with ice, whereas Walt does not. Fast-forward a season (to a time after he has offed Mr. Ehrmantraut), and suddenly he wants ice? Interesting.
7. So in Season 5, Episode 1, when we see Walt make the number 52 with bacon on his birthday — something Skyler once did for him — that must mean…
Good luck, Skyler.
8. And then in the same scene we find out his fake ID has the surname ‘Lambert’.
Which just happens to be Skyler’s maiden name. Seriously, good luck, Skyler!
At least there’s nothing in the flash forwards that suggests Walt might kill Jesse, right?
10. Unsettling theories aside, there also seem to be numerous references to classic movies, like The Godfather.
Michael Corleone’s “I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart”, isn’t a million miles away from Hank’s “It was you. All along it was you”. Just saying.
11. Enjoying your lunch, boys?
13. Oranges also seem to be consistently significant throughout the seasons.
14. Another hat tip to The Godfather, perhaps?
15. Colours are also an integral part of the show. Here you can see the change in the colours Walt wears over the first two seasons.
Notice the boring beige and pale greens he wears in the pilot, compared to the dark place he’s at by the time he lets Jane die and gets kicked out by Skyler.
16. The colour green seems especially significant when it comes to Walt.
The first image here is taken from the pilot, whilst the second comes from the end of Season 4, just after he’s told Skyler that he’s won.
17. You can also see the change in Skyler’s colours as she gets sucked deeper and deeper into Walt’s world.
18. Then there are some more leftfield spots, like the consistent presence of this ‘8’ or infinity symbol.
Particularly during Season 4 episode, ‘Salud’.
19. Check out this clearly intentional example of foreshadowing.
Tuco’s grill, given to Hank by his colleagues after he killed him, seems to fit Walt a little too well — suggesting Walt will eventually become a killer every bit as ruthless as Tuco.
21. And finally, take a look at Walt walking through his front door on three consecutive birthdays.
The change is chilling enough. But when you look at the words of this conversation between Jesse and Jane earlier in the show, these images seem all the more significant.
Jesse: You know, I don’t get it. Why would anyone paint a picture of a door, over and over again, like, dozens of times?
Jane: But it wasn’t the same.
Jesse: Yeah, it was.
Jane: It was the same subject, but it was different every time. The light was different, her mood was different. She saw something new every time she painted it.