Welcome to the first season of the Fantasy Breaking Bad League! Despite the fact that “Breaking Bad” is a thrilling and fast-paced crime show, we at Pop Culture Lab Notes felt it was missing something, like point values we could arbitrarily assign and then brag about.
We’ll pick a lineup of five characters for the week and then each character will be assigned points based on five categories: Badassery, Comedy, Morality, Intelligence, and Kill Count. Just like real-life fantasy sports, this gives us a reason to root for characters who are otherwise terrible. Sure, everyone hates Skyler, but what if she’s on your team? Suddenly you’re cheering her on as she outmaneuvers Bogdan at the car-wash. Then you eject Bogdan from the league for losing to a character as terrible as Skyler. Get it together, Bogdan.
Anyways, there are only enough characters for two teams, so it’ll be Alex’s “Los Pollos Hermanos” versus Lou’s “The Fightin’ Meth-Heads” this season.
So, with the first pick in the 2012 Fantasy Breaking Bad draft, Los Pollos Hermanos select:
1. Walter White
Alex: This was not a very difficult decision. Walt is Breaking Bad’s top scorer, and he put up some HUGE numbers last season. Sure, he started off pretty slow, spending several early episodes running around like a chicken who knows he’s about to have his head cut off. But by the end, he was able to finally defeat Gus, and he only had to poison one innocent child in the process. And I don’t see that coming back to haunt him at all!
Walt has all the momentum going into season 5, and with the promo campaigns suggesting that he’ll take Gus’s place as The Man in the ABQ, I foresee him doing plenty of damage, especially in a PPK (points per kill) league. Now, I did briefly consider taking Jesse here, since he’s a lot less likely to fall victim to his own hubris, drunkenly incriminate himself to a DEA agent, etc. But Walt WON last season, and this team only accepts winners.
The Fightin’ Meth-Heads are on the clock. And with the second pick, they select:
2. Jesse Pinkman
Lou: It’s Jesse Pinkman, bitch! Jesse started last season at the bottom of the barrel, but pulled himself together enough to beat the shit out of Walt and then show the Cartel how they do it up in the ABQ. He may have gotten duped by Walt and his Lily-of-the-Valley, but you can bet this next season will see them go head to head again. It’ll be meth cook against meth cook, like some Midwest version of Iron Chef. Walt may have the burning rage, but Jesse has the advantage of not being totally morally bankrupt, PLUS he throws a killer party/week-long drug binge.
3. Hank Schraeder
Alex: Okay, so I’m kind of hedging my bets with this pick. If Walt continues to open his big stupid yap around Hank, leading to a big break in Hank’s investigation, I’ll benefit. If Hank gets killed, I’ll benefit. And if Hank continues to do that thing where he furrows his brow and says something vaguely accusatory like “Kinda odd how you won all that gambling money at the same time Heisenberg rose to power, huh,” but then suddenly guffaws and slaps Walt on the back and says something like “But there’s no way YOU could be a major drug dealer, buddy! Ha ha ha! ‘Nother beer?” — I’ll still benefit. And of course, if Walt somehow ropes Hank into being his DEA mole, I’ll win this damn thing running away. (No offense, Hank. Hope physical therapy’s going well, buddy.)
4. Mike Ehrmantraut
Lou: Good ol’ Mister Erman… Eherm… Mike. Good ol’ Mike. Mike started out as one of many henchmen in the employ of Gustavo Fring, but through sheer charisma, he’s become a major player and fan favorite. He makes a mean team with my man Jesse Pinkman and I’m hoping this season will see them bond over the times each of them beat the shit out of Walt. When he got shot in the gut towards the end of last season, it looked like he might be down for the count, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it kept him from being killed by Tio “Ding Ding!” Salamanca. There’s no way he’s gonna go down without a fight and I don’t see him joining Walt after he killed Gus, so expect some high-octane fights between two men whose combined ages equals well over 100 years.
5. Saul Goodman
Alex: I see Saul as my X-factor. He brings a unique combination of style, wit, and Odenkirkness to every scene he’s in, and if he continues to pull out tricks like the whole fake-car-wash-inspector scam that helped Walt and Skyler embezzle the shit out of all that drug money, he’ll be a solid contributor to what is already a pretty great lineup.
6. Skyler White
Lou: Whether you love her or you hate her (Ed. note: you hate her), Skyler White is a major player in the Breaking Bad universe. While she used to just be a shrill housewife, she has since evolved into a shrill partner-in-crime with her estranged husband. Yes, whether she’s forcing her husband to buy a car wash to use as a front or playing dumb to get her former lover out of a financial jam, you can bet Skyler will be on the front lines of the Heisenberg empire and she’ll never go away, no matter how many emails you send to Vince Gilligan asking him to kill her off.
7. Walter White, Jr.
Alex: If this were a Fantasy Breakfast league, Flynn would be the consensus #1 pick. Unfortunately, it’s not, and the kid’s career stats would seem to indicate that this selection is a bit of a reach. Some might say that he’s not even worth drafting at all. But he can’t just stay in the background eating Corn Pops forever. Will he enter the family business? Or will he become Hank’s top informant? Or will he end up face down in a plate of waffles, his role reduced from kitchen nook regular to mere collateral damage? I don’t know, but no matter what happens, I at least want Junior on my bench, ready to get in there and eat a grapefruit for the team.
8. Marie Schraeder
Lou: Marie is a triple threat: she’s a kleptomaniac, she’s passive-aggressive to her sister, AND she’s lying to her husband about their insurance. She’s mostly been a peripheral character in past seasons, but there is obviously going to be some future episode where she confesses to Hank how they’ve been paying for his physical therapy. Hopefully somehow that works out to her advantage? If we’re being honest here, she better put up some big numbers early on or she’s getting cut. The Fightin’ Meth-Heads play to WIN!
Alex: This will probably prove to be the most brilliant and cunning maneuver of the entire draft. Todd has yet to actually appear on the show, and I know absolutely nothing about him other than that he’s a “dependable, innocuous, working-class guy.” Which, in the Breaking Bad universe, means he’ll have killed at least three people by season’s end. Lou should probably fire his entire scouting staff, because Todd was not on his radar AT ALL. Meanwhile, I thought outside the bun and nabbed the steal of the draft.
10. The Cartel
Lou: Now, the Cartel is really a toss-up. They could come back in full force and fuck Walter up, or they could all be lying dead on Don Eladio’s kickass patio. Realistically, the Cartel is made up of more than 10 or 12 guys or however many Gus killed, but then Breaking Bad has never been really concerned with the realism of the drug trade. Given that they have been major players in the last two seasons, I’m hoping they come back to ABQ to help the Whites celebrate Dia de los muertos (by which I mean, I hope they come back and give them a day full of death, not, you know, the actual Mexican holiday where you get candy and presents).
11. Brandon “Badger” Mayhew
Alex: Badgers are fierce creatures who lure their prey by acting like a perpetually-stoned moron for four mating seasons. By the fifth mating season, the badger will have instilled a false sense of security in the other animals, allowing them to strike with deadly force. Assuming Breaking Bad’s writers are as purposeful, detail-obsessed and intelligent as I think they are, Badger will live up to his name this season and become one of the most feared players in the meth game. Also, he will eat LOTS of squirrels and gophers.
12. Ted Beneke
Lou: Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Why’d you pick Ted, Lou?!” you’re screaming, “He’s dead!” To which I say, “Is he? I thought he just got knocked out. Whoops!” But seriously, even if he is dead, I feel like the Beneke estate will haunt the Whites through next season. Maybe the IRS will investigate the source of the sudden $600,000 Beneke turned in? Also, maybe Ted is alive! You don’t know!
13. Steven “Gomie” Gomez
Alex: There are several theories floating around about Ol’ Gomie. Some think he’s working for the Cartel. Others think he was the mysterious voice who tipped Hank off before the Cousins tried to kill him back in Season 3. I tend to think he’s just there to be the target of Hank’s affectionate casual racism (though the evil-looking goatee Gomie grew last season had me wondering). He could still emerge as a key player this season, and if he does, I’m in perfect position to take advantage.
14. Skinny Pete
Lou: While I like Badger more, he and Pete seem to operate mostly as a duo these days, so whatever score one makes, the other should follow. Last season saw him lounging around Jesse’s house, but maybe season five will have him return to the Pete of old. You know, the Pete who got robbed by meth-heads and did other, less embarrassing things.
Alex: I needed a guy who can come off the bench and clog a toilet when it matters. Huell is that guy.
Lou: The Big C. We thought we saw the last of Walt’s cancer back in season three, but Vince Gilligan has been hinting that it’s going to come back in a major way next season. Obviously Walt is going to remain until the end of the series, but that doesn’t mean Cancer can’t give run him a through the ringer on the way there. The prognosis is PAIN.
17. The Ghost of Jane Margolis
Alex: Unless this show takes a weird turn, Jane will not literally appear in ghost form. But that doesn’t mean she won’t do some quality haunting this season. And if Walt’s Cancer does come back, you can bet I’ll be bringing Jane’s Ghost off the bench. Walt will end up confessing his crime of omission due to pre-surgery anesthetic, or a post-surgery alcohol binge, or an actual fugue state, or some combination of the three. This will lead to some major conflict between Walt and Jesse, and when there’s conflict, I’m ultimately betting on Walt to come out on top.
Lou: Wendy the Prostitute’s biggest moment in the past two seasons was when she blew a bunch of guys to the tune of the pop song “Windy” and then tried to poison two guys at the behest of Jessie. She, of course, failed, just as she fails at everything except being a hideous prostitute. She might seem like a strange choice to round out my team, but I have a feeling that she’s going to come back in a big way in season five, killing Walt and taking over the meth business. Either that or she’s gonna get cut as soon as a better player pops up.
So that’s it! The first ever PCLNBBFL2012 Draft! Place your bets now, and come back each week for thrilling updates!
The rosters for each team:
LOS POLLOS HERMANOS (Alex):
FIGHTIN’ METH-HEADS (Lou):
WHO WILL WIN?