Walter White saw Jane die on drugs, killed Mike, kidnapped his own daughter, and you still think the ‘Breaking Bad’ baddie wasn’t a sociopath? We need to talk!
Don’t lie, we all wanted Walter White to stay alive even after all the crimes he committed; and even though we knew that prison or death was all that he deserved. Indeed, the ending of ‘Breaking Bad’ was the most satisfying finale to ever air on TV, second to only ‘Game of Thrones’ (obvious pun). Yet, after 7 years of the show’s conclusion, still, fans do theorize and try to figure out aspects of the show that were never addressed by the creators or were lost in the subtext. The fan base, even now, is divided on whether Walter White was a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’ or not. Thus, today we are Dkoding this psychological trait of the chemistry boss.
Still not ready to call Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad’ a sociopath?
- Was Walter White a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’?
- Who or what is a sociopath?
- Walter did some terrible things
- Walter was anything but a sociopath
Those who call Walter White a sociopath never understood Breaking Bad.
Was Walter White a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’?
You remember those naïve old days of the life of Walter White when we used to sit in his chemistry lectures and learn some science. It was fun when that science turned into Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) “science, bitch”.
But, just like Walter (Bryan Cranston), we didn’t realize when that seemingly fun equation turned into a deadly explosion. It all happened so naturally, and so rationally, that all we can now do is hail the creator Vince Gilligan for utilizing his props, creative techniques, and the story arcs so well.
Undoubtedly, Walter White committed some horrible acts while being in Heisenberg’s skin, a human adaptation of Scarface. But does that make Walter White a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’? Let’s find out.
Do not shame Breaking Bad fandom by calling Walter a sociopath.
Who or what is a sociopath?
While trying to breakdown the psychology of the character created by Vince Gilligan, it won’t be justified if we don’t support the claim with precise scientific explanations and possible evidence. So, quoting “Healthline” on the definition of a Sociopath: “A sociopath is a term used to describe someone who has an antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). People with ASPD can’t understand others’ feelings. They’ll often break rules or make impulsive decisions without feeling guilty for the harm they cause.”
There are several other related traits of a sociopath such as manipulating others, lack of sympathy, lack of conscience, etcetera. Not to forget, they are mainly believed to pull it all off because they work like a charmer. Like Walter, perhaps? Depending on these traits, do you really think Walter White was a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’?
Walter did some terrible things
We have seen Walter’s arc as a criminal from killing Emilio, because he had to, using his chemistry in defence, to then executing a massacre in “Felina” because, again, he had to, using physics this time.
In between, Walter killed many, which includes Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Lydia; and also the setup of the explosion in which Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) sacrificed himself killing Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) was Walter’s science.
He also watched many people die and was partially responsible for their deaths, like Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), Gale, Jane, and over a hundred people on-board the flight. He committed crimes like kidnapping his own daughter, trying to poison a kid; he manipulated Jesse the entire time. And for all the many crimes he committed, there’s no justification for them. But do these crimes justify the tag of a sociopath for Walter in ‘Breaking Bad’?
Breaking Bad fans believe Walter was anything but a sociopath.
Walter was anything but a sociopath
However, even for all the terrible things Walter did, we still might not consider him a sociopath in ‘Breaking Bad’. Committing crimes isn’t the only trait that defines a sociopath. Crimes aren’t even necessarily a trait.
Each and every act of crime that he committed was followed by overwhelming emotions, moral struggles, and extreme guilt. Even though towards the end he admitted to the fact that he did it all for himself, we all know how much he cared for his family and Jesse. As a matter of fact, moments before Hank was killed by Jack, Walter was ready to give his entire money to save Hank.
So, Walter cared; he felt for people; Walt suffered extreme emotions; he carried loads of guilt, and probably was one of the most emotionally layered and vibrant characters on television.
Thus, we believe that calling Walter White a sociopath will only mean failing to understand the very core of ‘Breaking Bad’. What are your views on it? Do you think Walt was a sociopath?