‘Breaking Bad’ never gave us a single dull death. Amongst the many, many shocking deaths we have witnessed over the five seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’, Jane’s death was the one people had not expected at all. Is Walt ethically responsible for Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’, if not legally?
Brutal, chilling, and inventive – that’s what you could call the deaths in ‘Breaking Bad’. They sneak up on you and just when you are least expecting it, bam, in your face! Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’ Season 2 was one such cold and dark death. The scene received some of the strongest responses, and although not many people agreed with Jane, it was a shocking moment for all. As the viewers, along with Walter White, watched Jane choke to death, we wondered if Walt was the one who’s responsible for her death.
Was Walt solely responsible for Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’?
- Why was Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’ necessary?
- There could have been an even darker death for Jane
- How much is Walt responsible for Jane’s death?
Why was Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’ necessary?
The last but one episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ Season 2 saw Jane choking to death after a night of heroin session with Jesse Pinkman.
Jane chokes on her own vomit after her coughing accidentally flips her on her back. However, the “WTF” moment in the scene arises when Walter White, despite being present near Jane, watches her choke to death instead of helping her. The cold inaction of Walt came across as a devastating response to the viewers. This scene of Jane’s death in ‘Breaking Bad’ prompted such disturbing feelings that even the AMC people called up creator Vince Gilligan checking if the writers were one hundred percent sure about going that way.
Walt’s inaction in Jane’s death made no sense to the ‘Breaking Bad’ fans. However, Gilligan shared his theory on why Jane needed to die for Walt and for the show. Jane was pulling Jesse into the world of heroin addiction, which was a threat to their business. It had almost made the two lose a profitable arrangement with Gus Fring. Moreover, Jane had threatened to expose Walt’s double life blackmailing him into giving Jesse his fair share of the profit. Besides self-preservation, Gilligan also feels that Walt’s love and protective feelings for Jesse made him let Jane die.
There could have been an even darker death for Jane
Jane’s death made the ‘Breaking Bad’ audience gasp with shock. However, it could have been way darker than what was finally shown on-screen. The initial plan was to make Walt not just an onlooker in Jane’s death, but also to physically make him responsible for her death. The first draft had laid the scene out somewhat like this: Jane starts coughing while still being on her side, and after taking a look at her, Walt nudges her, making her lie on her back, which in turn kills her.
After getting some strong negative responses from the network and the production who thought that it was too early for Walt to commit something that cold, Gilligan and his team decided to water the scene down a little by making Jane flip on her back accidentally. The scene, however, still bothers Bryan Cranston. He said,
“In a split second, her face lost all characteristics, and out of that came the face of my real daughter choking to death”. The actor still can’t seem to come to terms with the scene and was “a weeping mess” after the scene played out. He continued, “Even as I say it now, I get a little choked up about it because as a parent, that’s the only thing that scares me. That’s the risk — there’s my daughter choking to death and it scared the hell out of me”.
How much is Walt responsible for Jane’s death?
Most of the ‘Breaking Bad’ fans hold ‘Walt responsible for Jane’s death ethically, if not legally. While that might be true, it is much more complicated than a passing judgement. Walt’s struggle with his conscience is clearly visible in the scene when he rushes to Jane’s side of the bed and starts making a pros and cons list for saving Jane. That aside, Walt was responsible for Jane’s death if we look at it only and only on moral or ethical grounds.
A fan said on “Reddit”, “Since Jane intentionally put herself in a position of danger by taking drugs, it’s doubtful Walt would be held liable in a real-world scenario. The line of responsibility becomes blurred, however, when you consider that Jane only rolled on her back after Walt began shaking Jesse. Did Walt’s shaking of Jesse physically cause her to roll over? Or was it simply an unconscious reaction to an external stimuli that would not have caused a conscious person to turn over unless said person chose to of their own free will?”
Do you think Walt is responsible for Jane’s death? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!