A few thoughts on Breaking Bad and alignment


Just started this show -- was sickish over a weekend, marathoned Season One and am now halfway through Season Two. The following is based on those 1.5 seasons, yah? I don't doubt things will change up ahead.

Walter White starts off as Lawful Neutral. By Season Two he's now well into Lawful Evil territory, some regrets notwithstanding. At the moment he's that particular sort of self-deluding Lawful Evil who thinks that bad isn't so bad as long as people are being sensible and following rules. But he's clearly following a character arc, and I'm pretty sure he's going to end up solid Neutral Evil: perhaps with regrets, but with few or no compunctions.

Midway through Season Two, Skyler is pretty clearly LG. Look at how she goes to confront Jesse for "selling marijuana" in Season One, or her attitude towards Marie's shoplifting, or her organized, rule-following, take-charge attitude towards life in general. Apparently people have classed her as CG? Don't see that at all. But then, these characters definitely move over time, so she may loosen up in later seasons. We shall see. (Also, WTF was up with the Skyler hate? Apparently some people hated this character so much the *actress* was getting death threats? The. Hell.)

Jesse Pinkman is pretty perfect Chaotic Neutral. He isn't evil, and you could even point to some minor moments of generosity and self-sacrifice, like when he takes the rap for his little brother's joint. But OTOH I don't think a meth cook / meth dealer gets to have a G in his alignment line. He's doing a lot of damage, and he really doesn't care as long as the money's good. Occasional qualms do not a moral framework make. And you'll notice he's fine with *Walt* killing the drug dealer in the cellar... he just doesn't want to do it himself. That suggests he's not so much good as squeamish.

Hank has become a really interesting character. In the beginning he's presented as a complete meathead, a overbearing, macho doofus who's thoughtlessly belittling of Walt and also more than a bit of a sexist and a bigot. All of which are true! But he's also an honest cop who's really good at his job. He struggles with his wife's issues, tries in his way to be a backup father to Walt Jr., and offers unqualified support to Walt and Skyler. Anyway, he's pretty clearly Lawful Good.

The late Tuco was pretty perfect Chaotic Evil. "I'm going to beat a loyal henchman to death for basically no reason, and then I'm going to blame you for it."

Favorite minor character so far: Tuco's uncle. Ding!

Doug M.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alignment is not a relevant issue with this show of Grey. Alignment is for simple depictions of characters so they can be readily lined up in a Good/Evil Law/Chaos wargame.

The characters on this show aren't nearly that shallow.

I believe James Jacob (and maybe Wes Schneider?), when asked to give a movie/show that best represents LE and the modus operandi of devils, pretty much always name Breaking Bad and Walter White gradual descent to darkness.

Saul is neutral

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