Breaking Bad’s steady evolution is no less significant than that of its protagonist (turned central villain) Walter White. It began life as a Coen bros-esque dark comedy about a good man turned drug producer, and morphed into a terrifying cautionary tale about pride, rage, and self justification.
As such, while the show started off great, it took a little while before all the pieces came together. Many of the show’s finest characters didn’t even show their faces until after the first, abridged season came to a close and creator Vince GIlligan got the chance to tell the story he was truly interested in.
These characters may not have been around from the start like Walt, Jesse, Skyler, and Hank, but their impact on the story is no less significant for that. They became some of the most powerful creations Breaking Bad had to offer, and in many cases, the actors were rewarded with critical praise, career boosts, and industry prizes.
These are the best of the bunch whose emergence on the show allowed the writers to slowly but surely alter the course of the show, going from something gripping but fun to a masterpiece in drama and tension.
10. Todd Alquist
One thing Breaking Bad does especially well is examine all kinds of evil. There are characters whose backstories explain their villainy; there are those who commit misdeeds for understandable reasons, or who revel in the banality of wickedness.
Todd Alquist is different. He’s one of the few characters who feels like there’s something - empathy, emotion, a soul - entirely missing. He never seems to enjoy any of the terrible things he does, but he can carry out the most heinous of acts without so much as a flicker.
His list of sins is as long and ghastly as anyone’s. He’s killed innocent women and children, and kept a former colleague a slave to impress a girl. Indeed, his one-sided love for Lydia is just about the only humanising thing about him.
Jesse Plemons’ talent is on hand to make Todd far more than a one-dimensional sociopath, though. Todd does care - about impressing Walt, about Lydia. His “passion” simply comes across in the most horrendous manner imaginable. He never seems to mean anyone harm, and that makes him all the more frightening.