Breaking Bad 

Breaking Bad: 10 Times Hank Almost Caught Walt

Walter White was a notoriously careful criminal, but there were more than a few instances in Breaking Bad in which Hank nearly caught him.

Hank Schrader made his first appearance in the pilot episode of the show, teasing his emasculated brother-in-law and belittling him. Little did he know that Walt has it in him to become a criminal. Breaking Bad isn’t just a story about a chemistry teacher who decided to cook meth; it’s also a family drama, as the brothers-in-law played cat and mouse for five seasons before meeting their tragic ends.

The signs that Walt was Heisenberg were there for the start; blue meth appeared right about the same time that Walt started acting strange, but Hank never connected the dots. Hank was the most heroic character on the show, and he was a great policeman. His only mistake was believing that his brother-in-law was a good man.

Hank Visits The School

walt and hugo in breaking bad season 1

Even though Walt cooked deep in the desert, the DEA found his cook site and even found some equipment belonging to the high school where Walt worked at. Hank paid the school a visit in “Crazy Handful of Nothin,'” and it turned out that some glassware and two respirators were missing.

Walt was visibly terrified, especially when Hank teased him: “you don’t want people to start wondering about you …” Since Hank didn’t really think Walt had it in him to be a criminal, he just laughed his accurate suspicion off. It was so obvious that Walt was behind this, though. In the end, it was Hugo, the janitor, who got in trouble. Ever since the pilot episode, Walt started showing a suspicious amount of interest in Hank’s work.

The Surveillance Video

jesse and walt stealing a barrel of methylamine breaking bad

In “Seven Thirty-Seven,” Hank watched the surveillance video of two anonymous individuals stealing a barrel of methylamine. The video was too grainy for Hank to realize it’s his seemingly innocent brother-in-law who robbed the facility. When Hank finally realized that Walt was Heisenberg in season five, he re-watched the video and realized that it’s pretty obvious that it was Walt.

Marie Suggested Hank Finds Jesse

the pinkman residence in breaking bad

Marie wasn’t among the most likable characters of Breaking Bad, but we have to give it to her; the woman was pretty smart. When Walt went missing because of his ‘fugue state’ in “Grilled,” it was her who redirected Hank’s attention to Jesse Pinkman. This led Hank to talk to Jesse’s parents and to track down his car with the infamous THE CAPN registration plate, which brings us to the next point…

When Hank Caught Tuco

Hank and Tuco have a standoff in Breaking Bad

Walt and Jesse were just about to be killed by Tuco when Hank drove up to the Salamanca residence in the middle of nowhere and shot Tuco dead. Hank didn’t know it at the time, but he saved Walt’s life, and Walt saw the bloody confrontation with his own eyes. But, even seeing his brother-in-law traumatized by the event didn’t discourage the ambitious chemist. If anything, he felt even more invincible.

Killing Tuco and saving Walt’s life wasn’t the only heroic thing Hank ever did; if only he knew that he was enabling Heisenberg all along …

The Arrest Of James Kilkelly

james kilkelly gets arrested on breaking bad

When Badger got arrested, Saul Goodman came up with a plan: they will give the DEA their most wanted man, Heisenberg, only it will be James Kilkelly, a guy who goes to prison in exchange for a hefty sum of money. The arrest went down in “Better Call Saul,” and, when Badger sat down next to the wrong person, Walt had to go distract Hank so Jesse could tell Badger to change benches.

Hank didn’t buy the arrest, but he also didn’t connect the obvious dots; just as the arrest is about to happen, his brother-in-law shows up. Let’s not forget the DEA had a sketch of Heisenberg by then already.

What’s In The Bag? Half A Million In Cash

Walter White In No Mas Breaking Bad

It’s hard to say who was smarter: Gus Fring or Walter White. They had one thing in common: they were both hiding in plain sight. When Hank helped Walt pack his bags in “No Más” and asked him what’s in the bag, Walt straight up told him the truth: half a million dollars in cash. Hank just laughed it off even though Walt’s eyes were deadly serious.

When Hank Was Just Outside The RV

Hank Schrader outside the RV in Breaking Bad

“Sunset” was definitely one of the most suspenseful episodes of Breaking Bad. Jesse and Walt were trying to get rid of the RV, but Hank caught up with them in the junkyard. If it wasn’t for the surprisingly intelligent man who worked there and was well-versed in law, Walt and Jesse would have been caught right there and then.

Hank was already at the door when he got a disturbing call set up by Walt. Hank was informed that Marie was in a hospital, so he left the RV and rushed to go see his wife.

Willy Wonka? Walter White?

Hank asking Walt about W W on Breaking Bad

One of the biggest plot twists of the show was definitely Gale’s story arc and especially his tragic end. In “Bullet Points,” Hank showed Gale’s notes to Walt, hoping he’d pick his brains since he was a great chemist. Hank asked Walt whether he has any idea what W.W. stands for. “Willy Wonka? Walter White?,” Hank quipped.

If you watch closely enough, Walt flinches just a little bit when Hank says his name. Walt chuckles, puts his hands up, and says: “you got me.” The foreshadowing sent chills down our spines.

When Walt Got Drunk At Hank’s House

the whites and the schraders have dinner shotgun breaking bad

It wasn’t long after that event when the Whites were over at the Schrader household again. In “Shotgun,” Skyler told her sister and brother-in-law that Walt had a gambling problem. Meanwhile, Walt was just getting increasingly drunk with wine.

Hank thought that Gale was his guy, so he finally let the case rest. Instead of breathing a sigh of relief, Walt had to comment that he thinks that Gale isn’t Hank’s guy. He told him that his mastermind is still at large. Hank found his next clue the next morning, remarking “since when do vegans eat fried chicken?”

Hank Wanted To Check Out The Laundry

hank and walt in a car crash breaking bad

Hank was now investigating Pollos Hermanos. One of his most memorable quotes has to be his comment on Gus: “a guy that clean has to be dirty”. In “Crawl Space,” he asked Walt to take him to the laundry where the superlab was located.

In order to prevent their little field trip, Walt deliberately caused a car accident. It seemed like Hank even knew that Walt did that on purpose, but he was still in denial at that point.

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