Breaking Bad's most memorable props
Breaking Bad transformed an outlandish-sounding story about a terminally ill high school teacher who starts cooking meth with his stoner ex-student into one of this century’s most daring and brilliant dramas. It couldn’t have been done without, say, the cunning off-kilter genius of creator Vince Gilligan, or the nuanced, emotionally charged acting of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, who brought you 99.1 percent pure batches of Blue Sky against all odds. But let us give props to, well, the props: the inanimate objects that helped bring Bad to life — and to death. (R.I.P., Gus and Tortuga.)
Pink teddy bear
We met this half-singed, all-foreboding toy first by its stray eye, which was floating mysteriously in Walt’s pool at the beginning of season 2. Later we learned that the bear had plunged from the sky after the airplane collision that Walt had indirectly caused. In related news, check under your bed — you never know who’s watching.
Working off this drawing of Heisenberg, a.k.a. Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the Cousins crawled a long way to hack Walt to death, only to have Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) intervene in the nick of time and redirect them to Hank (Dean Norris).
The severed head of Tortuga
DEA informant Tortuga (Danny Trejo) couldn’t keep his mouth shut about the cartel, so the bad guys severed it — and the rest of his head — from his body, attached it to a turtle, and sent Hank and his fellow DEA agents one disturbing and explosive message.
The half-bombed head of Gustavo Fring
Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) didn’t lose his whole head, like Tortuga, but a bomb planted on Hector’s wheelchair ripped off half the kingpin’s face. He still wasn’t immediately felled by the explosion, managing to walk out of the room and straighten his tie before keeling over in death.
Los Pollos Hermanos fry batter
It may help to make the tastiest chicken in the Southwest. Or it might be hiding a few bags of blue meth.
As Walt began his transition into the ruthless drug lord, he donned a porkpie hat. By the way, when Heisenberg instructs you to say his name, say it.
Walt’s school ID
Our story began here, when Walt started pilfering boiling flasks and respirators from the high school where he taught to create his meth lab. He was placed on leave from the school when he made an inappropriate pass at the assistant principal. Who knows? Maybe there’s still a burner phone hidden in the ceiling of his classroom.
Lighter from Saul Goodman's office
Jesse (Aaron Paul) was about to use the lighter from the shady lawyer’s office in the most illegal way — to burn down Walt’s house after he discovered that Walt poisoned Jesse’s girlfriend’s son to turn Jesse against Gus. Hank stopped him after he soaked the house with gasoline and offered up a grander game of revenge.
Hector (Mark Margolis) claimed he was ready to talk — or at least ready to communicate through his bell — and reveal critical information about the case of the century, but only to Hank. Alas, it was all a ruse, but it led to some drawn-out comedy, as Hank’s team slowly translated his bell rings into phrases like “S— my f—.”
THE CAPN license plate
This colorful New Mexico license adorned Jesse’s 1982 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which bounced its way through a fatal shootout between Tuco (Raymond Cruz) and Hank.
Hank was known to brew a mighty good beer. He even offered to donate a six-pack for a fundraiser.
Hank receives a bust of this mythic individual — a.k.a. the Angel of the Poor, a.k.a. Narco Saint, a.k.a. the patron saint of Mexican drug dealers — from a colleague in El Paso, who is trying to teach him to know his enemy, per Sun Tzu. The statue is later seen on Hank’s desk back in Albuquerque.
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
A simple inscription from chemist Gale (David Costabile) to Walt — “To my other favorite W.W. It’s an honor working with you. Fondly, G.B.” — on a poetry collection by Walt Whitman helped Hank (Dean Norris) to realize that his brother-in-law was actually the meth lord known as Heisenberg. A brother-in-law whose toilet he was sitting on when he read these incriminating words.
Madrigal employee Lydia (Laura Fraser) preferred her tea with this sweetener. Except for that time when it was laced by Walt with ricin. And the fact that Walt informed her that she had unknowingly served herself a hot cup of death made revenge all the more, well, sweet.