In Breaking Bad, one of the biggest points of contention has always been when Walter White truly became Heisenberg. There are many moments, from him blowing up Tuco’s base to him trying to intimidate dealers, as well as the moment he realized Skyler gave away his money. It’s tough to pin down, as Walt was involved in so much death and destruction, but the birth of Heisenberg really came with Todd’s most twisted murder. This occurred in Season 5, Episode 5, “Dead Freight,” when the guys realized they needed to steal methylamine from a train to continue their business and make money after the DEA closed in following Gus’ death.
After they siphoned off enough of the chemical, Walt, Jesse and Todd spotted a kid on a bike. He didn’t know what was going on, as he waved to them, with his primary concern being the tarantula he just bottled. However, in the blink of an eye, Todd shot him dead. They’d eventually take the boy, later revealed as Drew Sharp, back to their lab and dissolved his body in acid.
In the moment, as the kid was shot, Walt never flinched. Jesse’s the one screaming in panic and regret, while Walt let it happen. When they got back to base, Jesse remained livid, and even Mike took a swing at Todd as they didn’t want any breadcrumbs. However, Walt never lost it because he knew the boy had to go. It proved why he’d be cool working with someone like Todd, even if Jesse wasn’t.
Killing kids was always a line Walt never wanted to cross, ergo why he killed Gus’ dealers when they endangered children on Andrea’s block. To see Walt then crossing this line meant he was totally engulfed by darkness. Given he had a teenager, Walt Jr., and a newborn daughter, Holly, it reinforced that he simply didn’t care anymore.
Unlike Jesse — who showed empathy to kids in the past — and Mike — who had a granddaughter — Walt’s lack of action and his sinister silence were complicit enough to speak volumes. It wrecked Jesse so much that he’d try to send a large chunk of his profits to the family, but Walt was so cold that he didn’t even want that. It wasn’t just because a trail could’ve been made, but also, Walt wanted Jesse to get it in his head this was part of the business.
This debacle informed the bombshell later on that Walt did poison Brock, Andrea’s son, from that lingering Season 4 mystery. Still, he felt remorse after that, as he was manipulating Jesse into staying with him, but weeks later, with Todd as his war dog, it was now obvious Walt was all about being a real kingpin and would do anything to protect his empire.
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