Bad Man Rising: Walter White's Lowest Lows on 'Breaking Bad'

Chronicling his journey from warm-hearted family man to cold-blooded killer

Shooting himself (Season One, Episode One:

16. Shooting himself (Season One, Episode One: "Pilot")


It starts with a goodbye. In Breaking Bad's very first scene, Walter White ends up standing in the desert in his underwear, looking into a camera he's holding himself, tearfully saying farewell to a family he thinks he's about to lose forever. That's how bad his initial attempt to cook and sell meth has gone, from the moment he decided to blackmail his former student, Jesse Pinkman, into teaching him the ropes so that he could fund his own cancer treatment, to his spur-of-the-moment chemical warfare against the dealers Jesse unwittingly enticed into robbing them. As he tells his wife, Skyler, and son, Walter Jr., how much he loves them, Walt believes he has blood on his hands, a cloud over his good name and the cops on his trail. In all three cases, he's both right and wrong. Though he gets out of this jam alive and uncaught, in many ways he and a lot of other people would have been better off if his story had ended when the recording did.