Walt stands idly by while Jane dies (“Phoenix,” Season 2)
In a moment that signifies the anti-hero’s full-on descent into Heisenberg-dom, Walt opts to let Jesse’s heroin-addicted girlfriend asphyxiate on her own vomit, thereby saving himself. Little does he know that the semi-murderous move will result in a plane crash claiming the lives of 167 people.
Walt “rescues” Jesse, betrays Gus (“Half Measures,” Season 3)
Walt selflessly (?) defies orders and saves a grief-sticken Jesse’s life by running down — and then gunning down — two of the Chicken Man’s go-to guys. The chemist later talks his way out of being offed for the betrayal, only to learn that living with a distrustful Gus may actually be a far worse fate.
In an act of desperation, Jesse kills Gale (“Full Measure,” Season 3)
The tender-hearted Jesse reluctantly, tearfully, gut-wrenchingly joins Breaking Bad‘s Killing Club after learning that, if goofy lab assistant Gale remains alive, he and Walt won’t. The aftermath of murdering someone ultimately proves too heavy to handle and eventually sends the once-sober sidekick spiraling.
Bell-ringing Hector lures Gus to a fiery grave (“Face Off,” Season 4)
When Gus shies away from Walt’s car bomb, the meth maker finds a very unlikely accomplice — wheelchair-bound Hector — to help him take out the Pollos Hermanos king. Hear that ding? That’s the sound of Gus’ final tie-straightening, Walt’s ascension to the throne and our faces falling off at how neatly Heisenberg’s enemy is neutralized.
Brock’s Poisoner Is Revealed (“Face Off,” Season 4)
Who knew that a slow zoom-in on a potted plant could reveal so much? The innocent-looking Lily of the Valley in Walt’s backyard answers one question — White, not Gus — definitely poisoned Andrea’s young son, and it begs many others. Will Jesse find out? If so, what will he do about it? And is this the act that signals the final departure of Walt’s humanity?
Todd murders an innocent onlooker… for the greater good? (“Dead Freight,” Season 5)
Per TVLine’s own Michael Ausiello: “As Friday Night Lights taught us, no good can come from putting a weapon in Jesse Plemons’ hands.” This senseless kill by a minor character marks the beginning of the end for the White/Pinkman/Ehrmantraut trio, with the latter two opting to exit the business as a result, and the former drawn in more than ever.
Walt kinda-sorta accidentally murders Mike (“Say My Name,” Season 5)
For the super-organized Walt, Mike’s murder is uncharacteristically messy – and to add insult to fatal injury, White realizes too late that he could’ve gotten the legman’s crew list from Lydia. Mike finally finds peace beside a gently flowing river, but questions raised by his absence will continue to make trouble for the chemist in the episodes ahead.
Hank (finally) gets wise to Walt’s alter ego (“Gliding Over All,” Season 5)
After four-and-a-half seasons of wondering when and where and how Hank would inevitably learn of his brother-in-law’s meth-y extracuricular activies, the revelation comes via a small, relatively quiet scene that finds the DEA agent reading on the toilet. Thanks to Gale Boetticher’s love of Walt Whitman (and Walter White), Hank is able to, at long last, put together the pieces of this haunting Heisenberg puzzle.