The biggest flaw with Breaking Bad: Holly White

As it’s very nearly impossible to become my “friend” on Facebook since I went into paranoid lock-down mode, I occasionally like to share my posts here, so you can experience the same intense, full-body, orgasm-like joy that my old high school classmates, parents of my daughter’s friends, and my pseudonym-ensconced stalkers feel when I issue hastily written insights on foods that I’d like to consume, articles of clothing that I can no longer fit into, and random television shows that I’ve watched online. The following update was sent out after I’d watched the much anticipated final episode of Breaking Bad. It was written in response to the thoughtful, exceedingly-detailed diatribe of an acquaintance, who, having also watched the final episode, felt it necessary to assess the probability, scene by scene, that things would have actually gone the way that Walt, our flawed protagonist, needed for them to in order to bring the show to a successful close.

WARNING: Spoiler Alert Ahead

So, after reading a few pages of painfully detailed analysis on how Walt couldn’t possibly have known, prior to driving into the compound of Jack’s white supremacist gang, that he’d be able to park close enough to their meeting place to put the automated weapon in his trunk into play, I responded with the following.


I loved the show to death, but every time that baby came onto the screen, the illusion was broken for me. Invariably, if she was in a scene, I’d find myself rolling my eyes, and muttering “bullshit.” It just never rang true. Walt would come into the house with her in his arms, and just set her in a playpen, as he went about plotting murder and the like. She’d coo for a second, and then fall completely quiet, as he built bombs, synthesized neurotoxins, and otherwise set his evil plans in motion.

I’m sure those well acquainted with the Albuquerque meth scene must think the same damn thing every time Badger and Skinny Pete hit the screen, but I don’t have any point of reference for that. I do, however, know that babies demand attention all-the-fucking-time, and have no qualms what-so-ever with letting loose blood-curdling screams when they don’t get it. And there’s no possible way that anyone could run bagel shop, let alone an international drug empire, in the vicinity of one.

hollywhiteSo, yeah, you can pick apart all the finer details. You can critique Walt’s meth recipe. And you can debate whether or not he could have gotten in to see his wife when federal agents were crawling all over her apartment. But, really, the most egregious flaw with the whole damn series is hiding quietly in plain sight. She’s right there, in the playpen. And her name is Holly White.

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  1. Chicken
    Posted October 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

  2. anonymous
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Chicken. I never got that reference on 30 Rock.

  3. K2
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    She cried for a few seconds when Walt snatched her away from her mom and ran off into the night with her. It was the quietest little cry possible, and then it stopped.

  4. Mr. X
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    People don’t mind watching other people get killed, but they will not tune in to watch a baby cry. It just ain’t gonna’ happen. There are certain television rules that cannot be broken.

  5. Jennifer
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I mentioned your gripe to my brother (who is a new dad) pointed out that Holly was never a real character in the first place – just a plot device.

    I see where you’re coming from though – I had the same kind of feeling at the end of Kill Bill vol. 2… there was NO WAY a kid would totally be cool with the fact that some crazy woman showed up, killed her dad and whisked her away to a hotel.

    Its amazing how what we’re willing to suspend disbelief for, and then have it all fall apart over something as mundane as a baby crying.

  6. Mr. X
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    We all know what we know. I have no idea, for instance, what it’s like to take a man’s life, what people talk about when they’re high on meth, or how to hook up a massive gun to a garage door opener, so that it sprays armor-piercing bullets through the trunk of a car. Like most people, I know babies, though.

    So here’s what I’m taking away from all of this.

    They should have given him a pet monkey instead of a baby.

  7. Graham
    Posted October 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I do recall him meeting with Uncle Jack to arrange other business. It doesn’t really say where they are during that scene, and I wouldn’t think they’d welcome a stranger right into their compound like that, but perhaps he offered enough money through Todd, and they wanted to size him up in person. That will be how I explain it in my head. So yes, Walt could possibly know what the compound looked like. I think the show left enough blank space that you could fill it in however you wanted. As for Holly, yes, I know a lot of kids that shriek non-stop. But I’ve also met a few that we’re eerily quiet more often than not.

  8. Chelsea
    Posted October 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


  9. Cheap Suit
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Holly White should get show of her own.

  10. Kathleen
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Every episode she was in I told my daughter it was a fake baby. They make realistic baby dolls for movies and sad old ladies who want to have a baby. Real babies squirm, want to get on you, get off of you, get up, get down and grab things. Same thing happened on Sons of Anarchy. Fake. Baby.

  11. Noname123
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Not all babies scream constantly and demand 24/7 attention, my parents said that my sister and I rarely cried as babies. Though Holly did cry a few times throughout the show.

  12. Noname123
    Posted August 22, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Kathleen, pretty sure “Holly” wasnt a real baby throughout most of the show. There was one version of her that made it look like she was in a constant cataleptic state.

  13. Savaliste
    Posted August 26, 2014 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    You’re an idiot. Firstly I hear her cry in an episode. Secondly she isn’t in every scene therefore she could be crying when we’re watching some other scene elsewhere. Thirdly I hate when people say babies cry ALL the time and demand attention and they’re annoying. “Some” babies do that. Not all. I have an 18 month old and she doesn’t act like that.. never did unless her teeth were coming in. So don’t act like a whiny critique about the major flaw being the baby. I thought it worked well. I didn’t think I would even see her in the show that often and I love seeing walt love her…he would do anything for his kids.. hence the point of the show.

  14. SVI
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I just thought she was really loyal to the operation and didn’t wanna snitch. Someone in that family needs to know how to keep their mouth shut.

  15. Morgan Burchett
    Posted January 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    My baby doesn’t cry or throw fits. It seems to me that you have a very odd and tarnished view of babies. If that comes off as offensive that’s not how I mean it. I’m just saying there are babies that act the way Holly does.

  16. Maria
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Lol funny: ‘someone in that family needs to learn to keep their mouth shut’ and ‘didn’t want to snitch’; ‘she was loyal to the operation’! I thought she was fab x

  17. Posted January 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    What you don’t understand is that Holly White is the most elaborate set-up for a series sequel in history. She was so quiet because she was a very observant child. And in 20-30 years, she will follow in her father’s footsteps with her OWN drug empire…

    Or at least one can hope! ;)

  18. Jonathan
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    You seriously have so little experience with babies that you don’t know babies that hardly cry at all?

    Not every baby is the same, man.

  19. Rere
    Posted January 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    My baby doesn’t cry a lot either, maybe when hungry or tired but there are quiet babies.

  20. Marcus Couch
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    The babies in the show are very real, one of them is a family member. Do your research people! There’s even a scene where the baby calls for mom and the cast just went with it and it made it into the show!!

  21. Don Eladio
    Posted May 4, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    It is a TV show, it is a visual entertainment for God’s sake. Holly does cry at times, quoating from ‘K2’s’ comment – she cried when Walt snatched her away and there’s a few moments where she cries appropriately. Too much crying would ruin the flow and it would be a wee uninviting. Nobody wants a visual entertainment to be off-putting not even subtly. Vince has undeniably crafted it impeccably and there’s nothing to rant about it.

  22. Max
    Posted September 1, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Could there be the possibility that your own kids acted differently than other babies when they where at that age? I mean i’m no scientist but the last time i checked people are kind of different from one another and as far as i know babies can also be classified as people.

  23. Joseph Hodges
    Posted January 12, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    The biggest flaw was the crippled son.

  24. Susan Karius
    Posted February 18, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Little (?!) late to the game, but the thing that struck me about baby Holly (and what caused me to hit up Google and happen upon this thread) was how her head was ALWAYS covered by a cap or baby blanket/towel, even at inappropriate times (who puts a toddler to bed with a hat on?). Even in her final scene with Walt, when he asks Skyler if he could see Holly, she’s asleep with nothing on her head, but Walt has his hand on her head the entire time. I thought maybe her hair was too different from the rest of the family’s to be believable, but the little bit of it you can see at the end looks consistent.

  25. Al
    Posted July 2, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    My niece was pretty much like this. Easiest baby ever. She slept through the night from day 1.
    I can remember babysitting and she cried a little at one point for like 5 minutes. I ignored her and she went to sleep.

    15 years later my sister was punished with my nephew, the little monster.

  26. Caileen Brennan
    Posted July 26, 2020 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the guy who wrote this watches Friends and Big Bang Theory. Invalid point as Holly cries multiple times throughout the series and not all babies scream and cry constantly. Why try to make up a problem that doesn’t even exist in a phenomenally made show? Someone’s just jealous they can’t write as well as Vince Gilligan.

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