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The Walter White Tactic That Made No Sense In Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad is still one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, but it's not without its flaws. It turned fans against Skylar White, Walt's sensible and level-headed spouse who had nothing to do with his criminal empire. Seriously, the less said about the whole Ted Beneke thing, the better. It glorified Walter White a bit too much as well, helping lead to a shift away from antihero-driven prestige TV.

And Breaking Bad isn't without its plot holes, either. Throughout the show, Walt makes so many mistakes running his crystal meth empire that he's lucky it survives as long as it does. To some degree this should be expected. Walt is a brilliant chemist, but as a criminal he's a fish out of water. Even after he evolves into a cold-blooded criminal mastermind, he still suffers from the fatal flaws of arrogance and greed in quantities that would make Euripides blush.

Even so, one of the mistakes Walt makes with his money leads to a disaster that's so basic, anyone who's a little familiar with the basics of criminality — or just good sense — should have seen it coming. That's why it's so strange that Walt didn't.

Walter White: great at chemistry, not so great at common sense

In season 5 episode 8, "Gliding Over All," it's revealed that Walt has made about $80 million in just one year of cooking meth. It seems like he's finally reached his goal of building a drug empire, but really it leads to a whole new set of problems. Skylar gathers the $80 million in a huge pile in a storage locker, and later Walt buries the money in a hole in the desert.

This is when Walt makes his biggest mistake, or really two mistakes in one. First, he accepts his $80 million entirely in cash. And second, he hides all his money in one location. Sure enough, six episodes late, in "Ozymandias" (which is a solidly ironic name, since it references a poem about a greedy desert king), Walt's neo-Nazi biker gang colleagues learn about his money stash and steal almost all of it. In an arguably even bigger plot hole, the neo-Nazis are still generous enough to let Walt keep a few million for himself.

Walt's decision is arguably the biggest plot hole in the series. On some level, he's aware of the danger of keeping big piles of ill-gotten cash. During season 4, Walt and Skylar bought a car wash to launder some of the money. On the other hand, Walt specifically bought that car wash because he used to work a demeaning job there and wanted to humiliate his former boss, Bogdan. Walt has always wanted to prove he's better than everyone else, and in the end it literally cost him everything.