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The Breaking Bad Fan Theory That Has Us Looking At Victor More Closely

There are a lot of brutal character deaths on Breaking Bad, but the murder of Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) is one of the bloodiest and most shocking moments of the entire series. Victor is a loyal and hard-working henchman for Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and he even reveals a competence well beyond his job description by working on a batch in the lab. So it is a jaw-dropping moment indeed when his boss turns his well-earned rage for Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) on Victor and slices his neck open in season 4's premiere, "Box Cutter."

The move is stunning to Walt and Jesse, of course, since they are expecting themselves to be on the receiving end of Gus' vengeance after Walt has ordered Jesse to kill Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), but even the usually stolid and impassive Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) is left agape by the sight of this messy execution. Perhaps no one seems more surprised, though, than Victor himself, who greets Gus with a smile when he first descends on the superlab and stands confidently beside his boss while he hulks over Walt and Jesse ... until the moment Victor finds himself flailing and bleeding out in Gus' arms.

According to one fan theory, though, Victor may have good reason to expect that Gus might punish him for what happened to Gale, and his actions leading up to his death may be a failed effort to avoid that exact consequence.

Victor could be on protection detail for Gale

One Redditor has theorized that Victor knows good and well that he is in trouble after Gale is murdered in season 3's "Full Measure" because it is his job to protect the guy. As MyNameIsZaxer2 writes, "Fring's murder wasn't spur-of-the-moment, but rather Victor was made well aware far in advance that his life depended on his ability to protect Gale." This fan points out that Victor has been exceedingly attentive to Walt and Gale's every interaction in the lab and, when it becomes clear that Walt has sent Jesse after Gale, Victor is the one who storms off in panic mode in hopes of thwarting the attack. "When he arrives, he isn't careful to not be seen and seems to be revealing a great amount of emotion for what should otherwise be a run-of-the-mill business casualty," the Redditor adds.

In addition to being careless at the crime scene, Victor also shows an unusual lack of restraint by kicking over a table of lab supplies upon returning with Jesse in tow. When Walt mentions that Gus will want the cooking to continue no matter how mad he is about Gale, Victor gets into gear prepping the batch and then says in front of Gus that he has the process memorized and can take over the lab by simply following the recipe. This may be Victor's last-ditch effort to convince Gus that he is still a valuable asset to Gus' team, and perhaps he is only surprised to find that it doesn't work.

Victor could also know that being seen at the scene is his doom

Even if his failure to protect Gale from Walt and Jesse isn't enough to earn him a death sentence with Gus, there's a chance Victor knows he has made a grave error by being seen at Gale's apartment after the shooting. Upon bringing Jesse back to the lab, Mike goes into cleanup mode and asks Victor whether he swept the apartment before leaving. Victor admits that there were people on the scene, so he could not rid the place of evidence, and he has to confess that he was observed there by those witnesses. Although Victor tries to brush it off by telling Mike, "So what? I'm just another looky-loo," they both may know how much of a mistake that was.

It's only after Victor has told Mike that he was spotted at the scene of Gale's murder that Mike calls Gus to let him know what has happened, and we don't hear what that conversation entails. Mike doesn't interrupt Victor's subsequent efforts to show off his mettle in the lab to Gus, but he also sighs in a way that suggests he may know this effort is for naught. It's very possible, then, that Mike has informed Gus of Victor's error, and his death is merely a matter of Gus handling that loose end — and intimidating Walt and Jesse in the process, of course. If so, Mike's state of shock may not be owed necessarily to Victor's death itself, but by the pure gruesomeness of the way Gus does it.