This Sunday, millions of viewers will tune in for the finale of Breaking Bad. And it’s still not too late to be one of them, even if you’ve never seen an episode and have no conception of what human beings are. Of course, to properly get up to speed, you’ll want to binge on as many past episodes and dissect as many humans as possible. But this Breaking Bad primer will help fill you in on who the main characters are and how their primitive bodies and minds work.
High school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer and turns to manufacturing methamphetamine to ensure the financial security of his family. Ninety-nine percent of Walter’s mass comprises just six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Like all humans, Walter White is a warm-blooded mammal, meaning he maintains a constant internal body temperature and received nourishing milk from his mother as an infant.
While any advanced civilization would immediately place Walter in a sideshow or zoo, he is actually considered highly intelligent among his fellow humans.
Walter’s wife. Initially unaware of her husband’s illicit activities, Skyler eventually becomes an accomplice, helping to launder the considerable profits of Walt’s business. Females such as Skyler can bear offspring (see Walt Jr.) in a process that is set into motion when a male fertilizes her internally with reproductive fluid discharged through an organ known as the penis. Skyler is a bookkeeper by trade.
All humans, including Jesse Pinkman, maintain their shape with a framework of rigid tissue called a skeleton. It has 206 components or “bones.” A former student of Walt’s, Jesse partners with him to handle distribution of the meth, even as he battles his own addiction to the drug. Note that Jesse used meth before becoming addicted to it, one of many instances of linear cause-and-effect throughout Breaking Bad that species with true mastery over time might find a bit tedious.
Walt’s brother-in-law and a DEA agent. A source of suspense over the course of the series is whether Hank will unmask the criminal mastermind right in front of his eyes. Hank has two eyes, globular light-detecting organs embedded in his face. They are not removable.
Contains approximately nine pints of a red oxygen-rich liquid called blood, typical of an adult human. While high-strung and nosy at times, Marie is a source of support for her sister Skylar and her husband Hank, particularly as he recovers from gunshot wounds suffered at the hands of cartel hitmen. Marie Schrader would survive at most one minute in the vacuum of space before lack of air pressure caused her aforementioned blood to boil.
Teenage son of Walter and Skyler White. Walt Jr. has impaired speech and motor function due to cerebral palsy, though his intelligence is standard for his species. Like all humans, Walt Jr. has not yet discovered how to escape gravity using only his thoughts and thus remains firmly attached to his planet throughout Breaking Bad.
Despite his cheap TV ads and schlocky office décor, Saul Goodman is a capable attorney for several Breaking Bad characters. Saul’s flesh is edible. All human flesh is edible.