Breaking Badass Power Rankings: ‘Hazard Pay’

Breaking Bad is the greatest TV drama of all-time (THIS IS A FACT), so UPROXX is going all-out on our coverage of the show this season. Cajun Boy will be writing an episode recap (with GIFs!) every week, while I’ll be handling the Breaking Badass Power Rankings, which will, well, rank the most badass characters from every episode. Why “Badass?” Obviously, the so-not-clever-that-it’s-clever name, but also because Breaking Bad is the kind of a show that makes you want to drink an entire bottle of bourbon and/or Franch before watching it, to soothe your soon-to-be-tense nerves. That’s pretty badass.

Episode: “Hazard Pay”

Not Ranked: Walter White, Jr., Holly White, Marie Schrader, Andrea Cantillo, Brock Cantillo, iPod-Listening Lawyer, Non-Todd Members of Vamonos Pest, Larry, Moe, Curly, Tony Montana, and “The Illegals.”


Someone needs to make a video of Skyler screaming “SHUT UP” to Nic Cage howling “BEES,” like, now.

Anyway, we’ve all wanted to scream at Marie before, especially when she’s inexplicably back in season one form. “STOP WEARING SO MUCH PURPLE,” something like that. But we haven’t; instead, we’ve kept our anger bottled inside, only occasionally letting it leak out onto Internet message boards. We take a deep breath, think maybe she’s not so bad, and then go back to smoking pack after pack of cigarettes. I mean, sure, Skyler is married to a monster of a man who just moved back into her house, uninvited, and the guy she f*cked, Ted, won’t be able to walk again because of an accident that was indirectly her fault, but…what was my point again?

Oh yeah: Skyler really doesn’t like Scarface.

Skinny Pete’s piano playing: #1 slot worthy
Badger’s guitar skills: #-1,596 worthy (double-neck guitars always look ridiculous, not badass, too)

Together: #6 slot

Also, I couldn’t help but think of this scene when they bought the roadie cases:

In fact, the exterminator idea reminds me of The Wire‘s abandoned buildings. Hopefully no quicklime is involved.

I would pay an infinite amount of money to watch a stare-down between Mike and his mackerel eyes and Huell with his egg-shaped head. They’d both fall asleep four minutes in, probably. But the three minutes and fifty-nine seconds before that: RIVETING.

Here’s what we know about Todd:

1. He’s an exterminator for Vamonos Pest who steals.
2. He unplugged a nanny cam so that Walt and Jesse could cook in private.

That’s about it — and yet, I don’t trust him. You’ve gotta have some balls, unlike Saul, to go up to the guys Mike just told you to pretend don’t exist — or if you MUST talk to them, call them by their names, Yes Sir and No Sir — and tell them about the nanny cam. Sure, he was looking out for them (assuming he actually did unplug said camera or didn’t start a feed of his own), but why bring it up? What’s he trying to pull by getting on Yes Sir and No Sir’s good sides? My guess: he’s trying to make more scratch, so that his band, featuring Skinny Pete on keyboard and not Badger on double-neck guitar, can put out their full-length LP:

Saul may not be great at picking out new meth-cooking locations (obviously the tortillas would smell like cat piss), but you gotta respect that outfit.

I’m not putting Jesse here just because he grabbed that hot tortilla from off the assembly line, thought that doesn’t hurt. Rather, he’s here because he’s the most adult, rational member of the f*cked up foursome behind Team Heisenberg. Where Saul’s too scared and corrupt and Walter and Mike’s egos are constantly barking at one another, all Jesse cares about is the work. If he needs to donate some money to shut his two semi-father figures up, sure, whatever, BITCH. Thing is, and the reason Jesse’s not #2, you feel so bad for the guy. We know what Walt did, in regards to Brock, and we’ve also seen enough of his private life to know that whenever he’s trying to help someone else out, he’s actually helping himself out. Jesse, who needs to feel connected more than anyone else on Breaking Bad, doesn’t know this; he still sees Walt as Mr. White, someone who’s looking out for his best interests, even if his best interests include breaking up with someone he may even love.

Just wait until he finds out about Jane…Poor guy.

Walter, you brilliant, evil son of a bitch. His bro-to-bro chat with his former-student, after they’re done cooking and while watching The Three Stooges, non-Kate Upton version, inside the “Post-Modern Prometheus” house, was a master class in feigning sympathy and planting a seed of doubt inside another person’s mind. In this case, the seed sprouted into, to continue this dumb metaphor, a skeptical tree, and Jesse calls off his relationship with Andrea. Why? Although not in these exact words, Walt insinuates that if he doesn’t, something bad might happen to her or, even worse, to him. Later on, when Jesse breaks the news, Walt shrugs him off; he’s got other things on his mind, financial things, power things. He’s beyond human compassion anymore (instead of consoling Skyler, he eats an apple) — he even makes his year-old daughter watch Scarface, a movie where “everyone dies.” And that’s to say nothing of the people who he feels are loose ends, like Mike and even Jesse. Remember Victor? Maybe Gus had the right idea. The underling “[took] liberties that weren’t his to take,” and when he flew too close to the sun, he “got his throat cut.” In Walt’s world, even if someone else is handling the business, he’s “handling him,” and that’s how this operation works. All for Walt and none for all.

I couldn’t put him #1, though, after he said he worked in a “box factory” in high school:

1. Badass suit? Check.
2. Chilling quote? Check. (“Just because you shot Jesse James, don’t make you Jesse James.”)
3. In charge of gobs of money, which always looks cool? Check.
4. A no bullsh*t speech involving the words “panties out of the hamper”? Check.
5. Threatening someone before breakfast? Check.
5. Didn’t work in a box factory in high school? Check.

And mate.