Walter White – How a Man Becomes Evil

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    Breaking Bad’s Walter White undergoes one of the greatest character transformations on television.

    Walt was once a promising chemist who, in graduate school, contributed research to a Nobel Prize-winning experiment. After graduate school, he co-founded the company Gray Matter Technologies with his friend Elliott Schwartz and his then-girlfriend Gretchen. Walt abruptly left the company and sold his financial interest for $5,000. Gretchen and Elliot later married and made a fortune. Walt resents Elliot and Gretchen for profiting from his work without crediting him.

    Knowing nothing about the drug trade, he enlists the aid of his former student, Jesse Pinkman, to manufacture and, more importantly, sell his meth. Walt’s scientific knowledge and dedication to quality lead him to produce crystal meth of unrivaled purity. Walt eventually devised an alternative chemical process utilizing methylamine, giving his product a distinctive blue color. His crystal meth, christened “blue sky” by dealers and users alike, instantly began to dominate the market. While Walt was initially squeamish about the use of violence, he gradually came to see it as a necessity and eventually developed into a ruthless drug lord motivated largely by vanity, ego, and greed. Not only does Walt become more sinister throughout the series, but he rises in power. In Season 1, he and Jesse make thousands of dollars street dealing, but by Season 5, Walt is a millionaire drug lord that supplies crystal meth all across the South-West USA and as far as Eastern Europe. He achieved this by killing Gustavo Fring, establishing his own drug empire and then going into partnership with a neo-Nazi gang.

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