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Out Of Every Death In Breaking Bad, This One Stands Above The Rest

Warning: This article contains spoilers for all seasons of "Breaking Bad."

There are few shows as good as "Breaking Bad" at making its audience care just as much about its characters' family lives and goals as its high-stakes action scenes. In fact, it's perhaps because of the intricate detail and intimacy with the more mundane elements of its characters' lives — such as buying a car wash — that makes the intense parts that much more nail-biting. And part of what makes it so intense is that few characters seem to have plot armor, so anyone could die at any time.

It's nearly impossible to select what the most impactful death in "Breaking Bad" is, as its characters are so well fleshed out that there are no (or at least, very few) total villains or heroes in the series. This gives each death scene complicated emotions that come with it, even if they did things to deserve it, as in the case of Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) death in the series finale, or the dramatic reveal of Gustavo Fring's (Giancarlo Esposito) face being blown off in the final episode of Season 4. There are also many tragic deaths, such as those of Jesse's girlfriends Jane (Krysten Ritter) and Andrea (Emily Rios). Also, who could forget the largest body count, which was when Walter indirectly caused a plane crash, resulting in 167 lost lives? However, one death near the series finale hit the hardest for many.

Hank Schrader loses his life after coming so close to taking Walt down

Over the course of the series, one of the most compelling storylines is the dynamic between brothers-in-law Walter White and Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), one, of course, being a secret meth cook while the other works for the Drug Enforcement Agency. After sharing all of his intel on the mysterious Heisenberg with his brother-in-law without knowing that he was staring at the culprit the entire time, Hank eventually realizes that Heisenberg was Walt all along.

It all comes to a head when Hank discovers one clue that ties Walt to Heisenberg, leading to several incredibly tense confrontations until he finds the evidence he needs to arrest him, reciting his Miranda rights while finally handcuffing the criminal he'd been hunting for the past year. Just as it seems that Walt will finally be put away, however, the neo-Nazi Jack Welker (Michael Bowen) and his gang arrive, shooting Hank in the head and poetically burying him in the very hole Walt dug to hide his money.

IMDb users voted Hank's death as the most impactful of the series

Hank's death in "Breaking Bad" is among the most impactful of modern television, with Cranston's phenomenal show of disbelief, grief, and guilt following his brother-in-law's death becoming a meme for its melodramatic quality. It also marks a breaking point for Walt in the series, as he finally absorbs the biggest, most personal loss as a result of his actions, with all he has to show for it being one barrel of money. Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) describes Walt as a "ticking time bomb," and this is arguably the moment everything fully goes "boom."

The public appears to agree, with a poll on IMDb showing that 50 of 243 people, or around 21% of the vote, believe Hank's death was the most notable of the series. Following it up are Gustavo's death at 47 votes (19%), Walt's death at 28 votes (12%), and the death of Emilio (John Koyama) getting 18 votes (7%). Several Reddit users also feel the same way, as evidenced in this particular thread.