me: Breaking Bad season 3 episode 10 Fly is one of the most interesting episodes of television because it is essentially a litmus test of the scientific mind and gives so much insight into walt and jesses characters and exactly how much it takes to make them crack and it’s so strange and beautiful because tv shows are so rarely character focused now that so few will you ever get an episode or segment where you have two characters with the same motive but you put them in a pressure cooker of specific circumstance and turn up the heat then you can see their true drives and what makes these characters fundamentally and uniquely themselves and similarly it’s also a testament to how in art and film and television you can make so much with so little it just depends on the creativity and determination of the people working on it and the fact that the writers and the production team were able to make an episode that’s so significant to the characterization of their two leads it’s just so beautiful and just diluting that episode down to memes just feels so sad looking down on a bygone era of television that not enough people appreciated at the time
also me: lalo is the fly
My Breaking Bad villains ranked, by how much they genuinely are terrifying on screen:
1) Lalo Salamanca - Lalo is honestly most likely the scariest villain I’ve even seen on a TV show (maybe attributed to recency bias, but I digress). The way he is portrayed as both explosive & unpredictable (a trademark of being a Salamanca) but also capable of emotion & even love (putting his family above everything including himself, making sure Nacho knows he is seen before the betrayal, being able to bond with a dog he just met even though the dog is trained in a different language) is honestly bone chilling. The character is so versatile and you can never guess what he’s next step will be, and once you can… Oh God, you hope somebody or something stops him.
2) Gus Fring - ‘The Take’ on YouTube had one of the best ways to describe Fring, and that is “man as a corporation”. The Chicken Man was always the face of “what if somebody took drug dealing & made it a legitimate business?” & that is Gus. Born out of necessity after Tuco’s actor had admitted the role had taken a big emotional toll on him, Gus was the character that absolutely sold me on Breaking Bad alongside Mike. The way he changes his facial expressions from a creepy, fake & “normal” grin to a hate & rage filled frown is always shown masterfully on screen & is a brilliant mechanism to show the audience when a switch in Gus’ mentality occurs. Killing his right hand man with a box cutter just to prove a point, saving Hector Salamanca from dying numerous times just to torture him to avenge his dearly departed friend Max, those are just few of the things that make The Chicken Man so terrifying.
3) The Cousins (Leonel & Marco Salamanca) - The Terminator but coming in a 1+1 deal, every time you get a close up shot of their wonky looking shoes you know somebody is done for. The twins barely have any sentences in a script, but their appearance says it all. One of the interesting aspects of these horrifying hitmen is that they are not devoid of emotions, not at all. They obviously care for each other, and for their uncle, and you cannot forget the devastating looks they had on their faces when they thought they were looking at the charred body of their cousin, Lalo, after the season 5 finale of Better Call Saul. The way they gently place a jacket on him & a sticker that promises revenge, you cannot deny the fact that you know someone is going to pay a very heavy price. La familia es todo, no?
4) Jack Welker - To the surprise of no one, the neo-nazi gang leader is here on the list as well. Not only has this bastards gang successfully executed 10 inmates, with one of them being burned alive, he is also a participant in one of the best scenes in Breaking Bad, the murder of Hank and Gomey. He murders Hank mid sentence, casually burying Hank & Gomey in a an unmarked grave. He takes all of Walt’s money besides a single barrel, because he’s nice like that. The absolute glee this person feels by being able to execute human beings, completely disregarding their humanity & not feeling bound to any contract or agreement whatsoever makes this character very uncomfortable to watch.
5) Walter White - The man that made these walls come tumbling down. Walter White is one of the most powerful characters I’ve even witnessed on TV, especially after watching Better Call Saul (S6B where you at?!). Knowing how smart, calculating and intelligent were the people Walt had defeated & the complicated history behind them all, I really can confidently say that Walt’s intellect is absolutely horrifying. The way he jumps from Walt to Heisenberg at first & eventually accepts Heisenberg as who he truly is just goes to show what decent writing can actually give you when it’s played right on screen. As calculated & intelligent he used to be, his pride & ego made him unpredictable. Knowing he won’t hesitate to watch a woman choke on her own vomit, poison a child, have an admirer of his shot point blank, and cause the devastating crumbling of both his family & the entire drug empire around New Mexico just proves that whenever this man is on screen, the process of someone’s downfall is at full speed.
6) Tuco Salamanca - The character so explosive & colorful that he was too much even for his own actor to play out for more than a few episodes, Tuco Salamanca is the definition of a time bomb tick-ticking. He wasn’t very intelligent or as smart as his other buddies on the list, but he was no doubt powerful. This man could snap someone’s bones with his bare hands and end someone’s life from the sheer force his fists. He could go from somewhat calm to a cackling maniac in a matter of milliseconds & you’re always walking on eggshells around him.
7) Todd Alquist - Just as he’s everyone’s least favorite character, Todd is the last one on the list. This child killing neo nazi is the definition of a psychopath. The sheer experience of hurting & killing people gets this young gangster rolling, and his range from “innocent sweet boy ready to learn from the best” to cold blooded killer definitely leaves a mark anytime he was included in a scene.