What were Walter’s major turning points? The creator of the series was quoted saying that he wanted Walter to go from “Mr. Chips to Scarface.” This transition happened through a series of events. The first was blowing up Tuco’s building as Heisenberg. Walter is forced to do what he said he would never do again, by getting violent. This is a start of a pattern of Walter saying something and doing another. This change is not only internal but physical. Walter shaves his head, puts on sunglasses and starts wearing a hat to conceal his true identity. With this change in clothes, Walter goes from harmless schoolteacher to extreme badass who the craziest drug lords don’t even want to work with. This change represents Walter taking a leap toward becoming the monster that is Heisenberg.
The next turning point was when Walter killed the drug dealers to save Jessie’s life. Walter had killed before, but this time is different. When he killed Krazy 8 and Emilio, it was completely out of self-defense and they were a clear threat to Walter’s own safety. However, killing the drug dealers was a choice between Jessie’s life and ending two other’s. The argument can be made that he had to do what he did but the way he killed them was very different from the way he killed Krazy 8. Walter had an internal struggle when killing Krazy 8. He did everything he could not to do it. But he had no problem killing the drug dealers. He just ran one over and shot the other without any thought. Watch how easily he kills them.
The moment that really stepped up Walt’s ruthlessness and manipulativeness was poisoning Brock. Although Brock didn’t die, Walter seriously risked his life. Walt had done some pretty terrible things up to this point, but every other time it was justified (or at least I think so). People he killed he somehow put him/herself in a dangerous situation and brought it on him/herself. However, Brock was ten! He was ten years old and had never done anything wrong in his life. This shows that Walter would do anything to anyone for his own survival. Not even Tony Montana hurt children.
The final step in Walt’s transformation was threatening Hank. Walter’s justification for his actions throughout the show was that he was protecting his family. It was his justification to Jesse, Skylar, Gus and most importantly to himself. But this action finally crosses that line. When Walt tells Hank to “tread lightly” he is telling him that he would kill him if it came down to that. This highlights how he has come full circle. Threatening the one thing that he has always said he was trying to protect.