Breaking Badass Power Rankings: 'Rabid Dog'

Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows of all-time, so just like last year, UPROXX is going all-out on our coverage of the show this season, its last. Cajun Boy will be writing the recap, 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 before watching it, to soothe your soon-to-be-tense nerves. That’s pretty badass.

Episode: “Rabid Dog”

Not Ranked: Walt Jr., Huell, Kenny, Gomie, and Marie’s Dr. Melfi.

8. Bald Man in the Plaza

“Mr. Gilligan, thank you so much for picking me for this part. I’m sure thousands of actors auditioned for Unnamed Bald Guy, and I’m honored you chose me. So what’s my back story? Am I Walt’s childhood friend who’s served 20 years in prison? Am I the new cleaner? I know you have a long history of casting bald men in important…oh, I only have two scenes? And no lines? And I don’t even get to kill anyone? Are you sure you don’t have anything else for me to do? I do a mean Mike Ehrmantraut. I am that guy! Get it? ‘Cause Mike said that…? I’ll shut up now.”

7. Saul

Night Classes Saul Teaches at the Local Community College:

-Virtues of Child Poisoning
-To Belize or Not to Belize: The Rise and Fall of the Mayan Civilization in Caracol
-Money Laundering 101
-Dojo Forget About Me: The Basics of Martial Arts
-Old Yeller, Don’t Get Weller, or How to Kill Your Best Friend and/or Dog
-Civil Liberties, American Politics, and Hello Kitty Cellphones

6. Badger

What Beaver, er, Badger sees when he looks in a mirror (thank god he didn’t go with Enterprise).

5. Marie

The first Google result for “untraceable poisons”: a Listverse ranking of “10 Poisons Used To Kill People.” But Marie already knows this — hell, she’s already found the poison she’d use on Walt. Saxitoxin. Often found in puffer fish. Can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning if too much is ingested. U.S. military designated it under Biological Toxins as “TZ.” But again, this isn’t news to Marie; she’s done her homework, not that she’d EVER use it on Walt. Her own private Melfi makes sure of this. He can listen to his client, all dressed in black, tell dirty, deceitful, dangerous tales of what this unknown monster in her and Hank’s life has done to them, to dozens of people, but he can’t advocate his poisoning. That would be morally and legally wrong, and beside, those new parking rules? C’mon! That’s the real tragedy in Marie’s life. (She won’t NOT poison the genius who suggested those *wink wink*.)

4. Hank

When it comes to Jesse, Hank’s mantra is: use him and lose him. Hell, that might even be the plaza mission’s codename. Why should he care for Jesse, the junkie murderer dribbling on his bathroom floor, who’s caused more headaches for the Schraders than the DEA has mugs? (“I put my life on the line to take down a meth kingpin, and all I got was this DEA mug…and some lasagna.”) He’s a mean to an end, and if the “end” includes a dead Pinkman, then so be it, as long as Hank catches Walt. It’s not the most graceful method of taking down a bad guy, but imagine you’re in Hank’s shoes. To him, Jesse is nothing; he’s trash, someone who has actively made the world a worst place to live. Now, the viewer, we know Jesse isn’t a complete monster — he’s just some misguided kid who fell into Mr. White’s web and hasn’t been able to fully escape it — but Hank doesn’t see things from our perspective. He can’t. If all I knew about Jesse was what Hank knows, I’d use him as bait, too.

Hank’s willingness to let a drooling junkie die in order to get what he wants makes him sound a lot like the man he’s chasing, but at least he’s doing it for the “right” reasons? Oh, Mr. Gilligan, you make nothing easy.

(Bonus points to Hank for the Deadwood on the bookcase.)

3. Skyler

Skyler: What have we always said is the most important thing?
Walter: Family?
Skyler: Family. So if adding one more notch to your bedpost of kills is all that it takes to ensure your family is safe, do it. I don’t care how much he means to you — he’s your old student, we’re your family.

*five minutes later*

Walter Jr.: BREAKFAST. Breakfast is the most important thing.

2. Walt

Don’t everybody like the smell of gasoline? Well burn, motherf*cka, burn GODDAMN PUMP MALFUNCTION. Walt is an expert at manipulating people when it involves something big, something like murder. But when the stakes are small(ish), like when he has to explain why the house smells like gasoline to his family, he’s hilariously ill-equipped. But at this point, no one believes the falsehoods he’s feeding them — not Skyler, not Jesse, not even Walt. Jr, who eyerolls his way through his dad’s gas station story. The power that the Heisenberg name used to give him has all but vanished. Now, he’s just a guy who’s time is running out, who everyone, save his wife, is trying to take down, who’s greatest skill (his ability to think his way out of any “situation”) has all but eroded. Without Jesse, he has no one, save Uncle Nazi and the Good Time Gang. He’s in trouble.

1. Jesse

Jesse may not be long for this world, but right now, he’s the key to everything. He’s the WILD CARD BITCHES. He’s the problem dog. He’s the rabid dog. He’s the drooling junkie who could seriously f*ck up Hank or Walt’s life, or both. He’s scared. He’s shaking. He’s snorting cocaine off CDs. He’s terrified that Mr. White could KEEP GETTING AWAY WITH IT, but he’s also distrustful of Hank’s plans. He’s sick of other people’s bullsh*t. He’s got an idea, “another way…a better way,” superior to the one that involves a conversation in the middle of a wide-open plaza. He’s gay for Mr. White, but considering how much everyone needs him, I’d say the world’s pretty gay for Jesse, too.