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The Breaking Bad Prop That Still Has Fans Scratching Their Heads

Breaking Bad is one of the greatest television shows of all time, and as such, it has a tremendous amount of rewatch value. The story of high school chemistry teacher-turned-methamphetamine kingpin Walter White, AKA "Heisenberg" (Bryan Cranston) reveals new, previously unnoticed narrative wrinkles and crazy little details with every viewing, and the performances of its roundly excellent cast like take on new levels of nuance every time fans relive the series.

Certain details, though, jump out upon repeat viewings that don't seem to make much sense. You'll recall that near the end of the first season, Walter and Jesse entered into an uneasy partnership with Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), a local meth distributor and certifiable psychopath with deep ties to the Juarez cartel. That partnership came to an unceremonious close during the second season, when Tuco kidnapped Walter and Jesse with the intent of forcing them to go south of the border to work for the cartel: however, Hank, who had been on the lookout for Jesse on an unrelated matter, spotted Jesse's car at the desolate shack where the two were being held by Tuco and his disabled uncle Hector (Mark Margolis), and he ended up killing Tuco following an armed confrontation.

In season 3, we're introduced to "The Cousins" — sharp-dressed, silent hit men who are seen taking part in a bizarre, crawling procession to a shrine to Santa Muerte, the Angel of Death in traditional Mexican lore. One of the men pins a crude sketch to the shrine: a drawing of Walter in full Heisenberg mode, with his trademark pork pie hat and sunglasses.

Not many people had ever encountered Walter in that getup to that point, prompting inquiring fans to ask: Who drew that sketch, and how did the Cousins get their hands on it?

Fans on Reddit are puzzled as to who could have drawn the Heisenberg sketch

There are a multitude of Reddit threads dedicated to this question. One thread was begun by user el-grosso, who wrote, "Throughout season 3, there is that badass picture of Heisenberg. The twins see it when they crawl into that place, and it's shown again after the twins murder that guy with an axe. With Tuco and his associates dead, and Hector unable to talk.. who drew that picture?"

User architacos remembered Walter's first meeting with Tuco, during which he extracted payment from the drug lord by threatening him with a pound of highly explosive fulminated mercury. "I assumed the image was done by one of Tuco's men," they wrote. "He had plenty of people working for him in that building that Walt went in to get his money from Tuco and almost blew up the place. Someone must've seen him."

Over on another thread, user klownxxx arrived at a similar conclusion. "[Tuco's associates] No Doze and Gonzo both saw Walter in his hat and shades, but they were both dead by the time Tuco kidnapped Walter. Tuco's doorman also saw him [in that outfit], though." User ryderj99 concurred, writing, "Tuco's henchmen saw him. Tuco himself may have sent a description of the meth cook he was bringing across the border."

On yet another thread dedicated to the mysterious sketch, user SquidMan93 posted a response that we believe came the closest to being the correct one. "Tuco saw Walt with the hat and glasses (in the Season 1 finale) and either drew the sketch himself or described Walt's appearance over the phone to the [Cousins] when he arranged for them to pick them up from Hector's house." To that, we say... bingo.

The answer to the puzzle probably lies in an intense season 2 episode

Indeed, Tuco and his henchmen were the only ones to ever see Walter in Heisenberg mode, and it seems pretty unlikely that any of those flunkies would ever have had occasion to be in direct contact with the cartel. We're thinking that it couldn't have been anyone other than Tuco who drew that sketch — but then, how did it get into the hands of his cousins?

During Walter and Jesse's captivity, Tuco mentioned that the cousins were on the way to haul the pair off to Mexico and into a life of indentured servitude — but he never did mention having recently made a trip south of the border himself. Since Tuco only found out Walter's real name during the kidnapping episode, perhaps he — stay with us here — simply mailed his sketch to his cousins, as an insurance policy along the lines of, "If anything happens to me, it probably had something to do with this guy."

Of course, that detail might be incorrect, and perhaps the show's writers don't even know exactly how the Cousins came into possession of the sketch. Maybe Tuco sent an underling with a sample of Heisenberg's blue meth down to Mexico, and the sketch along with him. Or, maybe some low-level cartel operative paid a visit to the States after Tuco's death, got the sketch from Hector, and passed it off to the Cousins after returning home. The deadly duo could have received the drawing any number of ways, but it sure seems unlikely that anyone but Tuco himself could've been the one to put Heisenberg's likeness on paper.

Say, maybe the upcoming sixth and final season if spin-off Better Call Saul can fill in the blanks for us — and give us one last encore for Walter, to boot? Look, we can hope.