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Breaking Bad's Rodney Rush Was 'Surprised' And 'Hurt' Over Combo's Death

While "Breaking Bad" may seem deceptively humorous at times, that doesn't stop the show from going all out on subjecting viewers to devastating deaths. In a story about a remorseless drug kingpin, brutal demises are to be expected, to the point where even Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) could have been killed off in Season 1. Fortunately for him, Paul's impressive acting ability saved the character from the chopping block. However, there are other characters who aren't as lucky. 

In a 2012 Reddit AMA, Rodney Rush described the harrowing day when he learned it was a curtain call for his character, Combo. Rush's wardrobe fitting for the episode quickly became confusing when he heard rumors circulate. Only when speaking to the lead did he learn Combo would be gunned down in a gang initiation that episode.

"I had no idea what the deal was because I hadnt even got my script. Then I ran into Bryan Cranston and he told me 'If you got to go, then that's the way to go.'" When it was obvious Rush didn't know what he was talking about, Cranston explained Combo's fate. Rush described conflicted feelings, stating: "It was funny as hell! I was kinda hurt that I would be getting killed. But the way Bryan put it made me feel good." And even though it may not have seemed like it at the time, this plot twist was a turning point for the rest of the characters on "Breaking Bad."

Combo's death was a precursor for an iconic villain

Rodney Rush may not have known it at the time, but his character's death was an integral part of the series. The repercussions of Combo's death reverberate amongst the characters until it reaches a critical breaking point. Just as there is no "Breaking Bad" without Walter White, it seems impossible to envision the show without the standout villain, Gus Fring. Portrayed by the incomparable Giancarlo Esposito, the Los Pollos Hermanos owner and drug dealer poses the largest threat to Walt's operation. Gus' intelligence rivals Walt's, making him a terrifying foe. Fans on Reddit were not oblivious to this, as one viewer reminded Rush.

"Combos death causes Jesse to seek revenge against the two dealers who had him shot. This brings him into conflict with Gus," u/future-madscientist posted. He went on to compliment Rush, noting that the plot could not have moved forward without his tragic contribution. "But Combos death is really the trigger for everything that happens afterwards. Congrats on being so damn essential to the plot sir!!" Rush seemed to take this comment to heart when replying to the fans' support.

"Yeah it was a pretty essential role for the show," Rush agreed. "Very insightful comment." His death also didn't seem to eliminate the actor's relationship with the show. Rush would return in Season 3 for the famous flashback episode showing how Jesse really got his hands on the RV. Thanks to "Breaking Bad," Rush has two claims to fame.