Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The minor Breaking Bad character who didn’t need to die

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To be fair, it’s unclear whether Donald Margolis (John de Lancie) is alive or not at the end of Breaking Bad. Following the death of his daughter Jane (Krysten Ritter), which only occurred as a result of Walt’s inaction, Donald goes back to his job as an air-traffic controller. Distraught from her passing, he’s unable to focus on his work, resulting in a mid-air collision between two planes. The last we hear about him, Walt’s listening to a radio report, which states that Donald attempted suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was rushed to the hospital. It’s unclear whether he survived the suicide attempt or not, but considering he’s never seen or heard from again, we can assume he passed away.

Donald was a good man who just wanted what was best for his daughter. He tried everything in his power to get her off drugs, but she overdosed before she could get any kind of treatment. As if that wasn’t bad enough, his inability to focus on his work following her passing resulted in the deaths of 167 people on Wayfarer Flight 515 when it struck another plane. It’s understandable that kind of guilt on his conscious would be too much to bear, and it’s heartbreaking he wasn’t able to get the help he needed before taking his own life.

The show leaves plenty of bodies in its wake, and it’s a lot to take in all at once — especially if you decide to binge-watch every season of Breaking Bad. Donald’s death just seems like overkill, and the show would’ve largely been the same if he had managed to live and move past this immeasurable tragedy.

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