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Ten Tough Bosses From Breaking Bad (and What to Expect If You Work for Them)

Power in the world of Breaking Bad is constantly shifting. Whether they’re at school or on the streets, Walt, Jesse and the various characters in their lives have all been in charge at one point or another. But who would you want to work for in the Breaking Bad universe? Some bosses recognize talent, while others tend to communicate with their fists. (Sends a clearer message than email.) Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of working with some of Breaking Bad‘s toughest bosses.

Walter White
Pros: He’s a mentor to Jesse. When paired with Gale, he encourages his second lab assistant whether he’s making meth or coffee. As a businessman, he knows how to keep overhead low in order to boost profits and is adept at handling shady lawyers and psycho killers.
Cons: He’s secretive. He’s got a quick temper. He’s had a few instances of road rage and he’s a little too quick with a lie, which can be bad for morale.
Signature Quote: “You asked me what I want you to do. I want you to handle it.”

Gustavo Fring
Pros: Runs his businesses (be they fast food chains or drug empires) with an exacting eye for detail. When conflicts arise between his employees (like, say, when his meth manufacturer kills two of his dealers), he’s willing to talk things out. It’s why his chicken (and his meth) is the best in the area.
Cons: His primary concern is his own gain, and he has no compunction about getting his hands dirty. If you’re in his way, you can expect a visit from some gun-toting assassins.
Signature Quote: “One needs to learn to be rich. To be poor, anyone can manage.”

Hank Schrader
Pros: Around the office, few are more beloved. His boisterous, jovial attitude makes him a good partner and supervisor, while his dedication to his job makes him a great cop.
Cons: Suffers from post-traumatic stress that often clouds his judgment and makes him hesitate. Becomes obsessive about certain cases (the elusive Heisenberg) to the point of damaging his career and interoffice relationships.
Signature Quote: “Get a big old raging hard-on at the idea of catching this piece of s—! Oh – my apologies to the HR Department. ‘Grow tumescent with anticipation.'”

Jesse Pinkman
Pros: Demonstrates loyalty to his co-workers and business partner. Understands business concepts like distribution networks and “breakage.”
Cons: Disorganized and careless, his far-too-public operation draws unwanted attention from police and results in Badger’s arrest. His loyalty to his friends can cloud his judgment and he tends to refer to pretty much anyone who annoys him with as a “bitch.”
Signature Quote: “Now they’ll be working for you, you’re working for me, and I’m working for you. You follow me? Layered, like nachos.”

Saul Goodman
Pros: A quick wit works in Saul’s favor. His reliance on subordinates for measuring his vitamin intake makes for great job security. His mixing with Albuquerque criminals means you don’t have to worry about having a record.
Cons: Operates out of a strip mall — not exactly the classiest of digs. Plus, as Saul’s employee you’ll occasionally be called upon to pose as a police officer and make fraudulent phone calls to DEA agents.
Signature Quote: “Conscience gets expensive, doesn’t it?”

Tuco Salamanca
Pros: Intense. His managerial style is best described as “assertive,” Tuco commands fear in his underlings. He knows a good product when he snorts it.
Cons: Thanks to his volatile temper, his employees tend to have short life expectancies. Speak out of turn and you’re dead.
Signature Quote: “Nobody moves crystal in the Southwest but me, bitch!”

Ted Beneke
Pros: As the president of Beneke Fabricators, Ted cares for his employees. He’s committed to his staff during tough economic times and loyal to former employees like Skyler.
Cons: He’s committing fraud to keep his employees on the payroll. He can be a little hands-on with married women.
Signature Quote: “The people that work here are like family — I can’t let that fall apart because a couple of bad years.”

Carmen Molina
Pros: Is understanding about her employees’ personal issues and supportive of them. As the Assistant Principal at Walt’s school, Carmen is always there to check in on his health or to stop him from rambling inappropriately at school assemblies.
Cons: She may be too lenient. While it’s good that she’s willing to give Walt time off for his cancer treatments, she could have been stronger than granting him an indefinite leave after he made a pass at her.
Signature Quote: “Please feel comfortable coming to me with any problems, any issues. Anything at all. You know, completely confidential.”

ASAC Merkert
Pros: A good eye for talent, Merkert recommends Hank for a transfer to El Paso after he successfully takes out Tuco. Is understandably frustrated with his top guy shuffling his feet in Albuquerque, but still supports Hank in his Heisenberg investigation.
Cons: Far from the cliche of the angry captain, Merkert is too patient with the anxious, occasionally hot-headed Hank. He also disarms his agent just before Hank needs a gun most.
Signature Quote: “Know why sharks are at the top of the food chain?… Some of those suckers travel thousands of miles in pursuit of their prey.”

Pros: As the owner of the car wash where Walt worked part-time to make ends meet, Bodgan has built a solid, unassuming business that Skyler recognizes as the perfect money laundry.
Cons: Constantly understaffed, Bodgan often has to rely on his cashiers to scrub down cars, much to their chagrin. He’s not exactly the most personable guy, either, and often treats his employees — Walt especially — like dirt.
Signature Quote: “Are you here to work, or to be staring into space?”

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