Breaking Bad: When Every Family Member Found Out The Truth About Walt (2023)

Each member of Walter White's family, including Skyler and Hank, eventually find out about his meth empire in Breaking Bad, but when do they? The story of Breaking Bad sees Walt, a boring and unadventurous chemistry teacher and car wash assistant, diagnosed with terminal cancer. To ensure his family's future, Walt cooks methamphetamine with former student Jesse Pinkman, and over the course of five seasons, evolves into a true drug lord with an iron grip on the local drug scene and an international sphere of influence.

Walt's constant battle to keep his enterprise secret from Skyler runs throughout most of Breaking Bad, but Walt is especially determined to ensure Walt Jr. (who changed his name to Flynn) never finds out. Walt's secret is complicated by his brother-in-law's role as a DEA agent; Hank and Marie Schrader's lives are intertwined with the Whites, forcing Walt to co-exist with the very man hunting him down. Ultimately, Walt's criminal activity is exposed to everyone, and he is forced to go on the run. Some characters find out before others, but all have different reactions to Walter's Breaking Bad secret.

Related: The Only Characters Walter White Kills Directly In Breaking Bad

When Does Hank Schrader Find Out About Walt?

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Hank almost caught Walt many times in Breaking Bad, but the moment when Hank finds out about his brother-in-law's double identity ranks as one of the most iconic scenes in the show. Hank discovers Walter's secret in Breaking Bad season 5, episode 8, "Gliding All Over." Walt has two big advantages over his DEA special agent brother-in-law: Walt is much smarter, and Hank grossly underestimates him. Whereas Walt constantly has to evade his wife's questions, he eludes Hank until season 5, despite being the primary focus of the entire Heisenberg investigation.

(Video) Breaking Bad - You're Heisenberg Scene (S5E9) | Rotten Tomatoes TV

Eventually, Hank makes the connection while on the toilet at Walt's house, finding a book that was gifted to Walt by Gale Boetticher, which includes an incriminating inscription. The DEA had already seized a book of Gale's with a similar tribute to "W.W.," and spying a similar message in the same handwriting made everything click for Hank, with the long-awaited big confrontation finally happening in the next episode, season 5, episode 9, "Blood Money". Even though he can't prove it definitively with this vague inscription, Hank now knows that Walter White and Heisenberg are one and the same. It's this realization that ultimately leads to Hank's death.

RELATED: Why Walt Didn't Let Gale Take THe Fall As Heisenberg In Breaking Bad

When Does Skyler White Find Out About Walt?

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As the person who spends the most time with Walt and knows him most intimately, it's no surprise that Skyler White becomes suspicious of her husband relatively early in Breaking Bad, though it takes a while for her to find out Walter's secret in its entirety. Though Skyler notices a change in his behavior, she initially chalks it up to Walt's cancer diagnosis in Breaking Bad – an understandable and natural assumption. But when Skyler later discovers her husband has a second phone, she's led to the next reasonable conclusion: Walt's cheating.

However, after confronting Gretchen Schwartz, Skyler rules out an affair. At this point, Skyler only knows that her husband is lying about something, and she begins divorce proceedings. Skyler figures out Walt is cooking meth in season 3, episode 1, "No Más." Confronting Walt after their separation, Skyler accuses her husband of being a marijuana dealer, based on one of Walt's lies from season 1 when Walt pretended Jesse was his weed dealer. Walt quickly reveals how greatly Skyler has underestimated the gravity of the situation, announcing he's really a meth manufacturer. Skyler decides to lend her assistance, but the couple's relationship remains damaged.

(Video) Vince Gilligan On What Happens to Walter White's Family | Fireside Chat | Breaking Bad

When Does Marie Schrader Find Out About Walt?

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As a sister-in-law, Marie is mostly indifferent to Walter White. Not involved enough in her husband's work to suspect Walter's secret, and only experiencing Walt's unusual behavior second-hand through Skyler, the Breaking Bad shoplifter has no reason or personal investment in Walt's secret, other than how it affects Hank, Skyler, and the kids. This might be why Marie discovering the truth about Walt happens off-screen. Even though the audience doesn't see the moment Marie finds out, it can be inferred that Hank tells her in season 5, episode 10 "Buried."

Hank only makes the connection himself two episodes before, and in the episode that follows, Marie is still confused about her husband acting so strangely, which heavily implies he hasn't told her about Walt at this point. "Buried" comes next, and includes a scene where Hank confronts Skyler about Breaking Bad's Heisenberg. Doing this alone, once again, suggests that Marie is in the dark, but several scenes later, Marie knocks on Skyler's door wanting to know if Hank's talking crazy. As such, it seems likely that Hank has the discussion with Skyler, then goes home to reveal everything to Marie, forcing her to go to Skyler herself to confirm.

When Does Walt Jr. Find Out About Walt?

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(Video) Breaking Bad Season 5: Episode 16: Walt and Skyler Final Scene HD CLIP

Despite a smattering of teenage angst, Breaking Bad's breakfast-loving Walt Jr. also loves his father deeply, setting up a donation web page for cancer treatment and hailing his dad as a hero. Walt Jr. has no idea that his father has been effectively replaced by Heisenberg, but his constant love and innocence serve to twist the knife of guilt into Walt at every turn. Also, where just knowing her husband wasn't being truthful was enough to prompt Skyler toward divorce, Walt remains loyal to his father until he discovers the full facts of the meth operation.

Walt Jr. finds out the Breaking Bad Walter secret in season 5, episode 14, "Ozymandias." The last of Walt's family to find out (excluding Holly), the meth kingpin was desperate to keep the truth from his son, not wanting that idealistic father figure image to be shattered. Skyler also wanted to protect Walt Jr./Flynn from the truth, but after they found out about Walt, Hank and Marie had other ideas. The truth becomes clear to Walt Jr. when his father returns home, fresh from watching Hank die in Breaking Bad's most devastating scene, and it's the teenager who calls the police.

Unlike Walt's Family, Better Call Saul Has Jimmy Finding Out His Own Secrets

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While the gradual revelation of Walter White's Heisenberg identity to his loved ones forms a central pillar of Breaking Bad's story, the spinoff series Better Call Saul doesn't do quite the same thing with Jimmy's journey. There are undoubtedly intentional parallels between Walt's arc and Jimmy McGill's descent into corruption as Saul Goodman, but the latter seems to take things much more personally.

RELATED: Everything That's Happened To Jimmy After Breaking Bad

(Video) Walt Deduces Jesse Is Alive | Felina | Breaking Bad

Jimmy doesn't have many loved ones to keep secrets from anyway, with his wife Kim also engaged in criminal activity. Rather, the character who slowly and tragically comes to terms with just how far Jimmy has fallen is actually Jimmy himself. Over the course of Better Call Saul's six seasons, Jimmy learns there are a shocking number of lines he's willing to cross, which is a key source of internal conflict for him. This offers an interesting contrast to Breaking Bad's Walt, for whom the conflict is more external.

Why Walt Chose A Pseudonym - And Why He Picked Heisenberg

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Walter White always saw himself as a chemist, an upper-class professional, and not a true criminal, which helps to explain why he created the science-inspired Heisenberg alternate identity in Breaking Bad. While operating under a pseudonym had the practical benefit of hiding Walter's Breaking Bad secret from the law and his family, it also allowed him to create a psychological separation between his life as a criminal and his one as a family man. However, the mythology of Heisenberg became more and more alluring and larger-than-life to Walt, eventually bleeding into his family life and entirely taking over his personality.

The inspiration for the Heisenberg name also sheds light on Walter's choice. Werner Heisenberg was a Nobel Prize-winning therapist who is credited with creating quantum mechanics. However, his legacy was tainted by his work for Nazi Germany during World War II, where he was at the forefront of the German program to create an atomic bomb. The always-imitative Walter White may have chosen the name inspired by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which is key to quantum mechanics and suggests that matter may simultaneously exist and not exist when it is not being observed.

Thus, Walter believed that as long as he avoided detection by his family, he could simultaneously be a family man and a criminal kingpin. But, like the real Heisenberg, his intellectual pride and curiosity led him to get involved in criminal and heinous activities, which ultimately tarnished his memory. This character complexity is part of what made Breaking Bad so compelling.

(Video) Hank & Walt's Game Of Cat & Mouse | COMPILATION | Breaking Bad

FAQs

What episode does everyone find out about Walt? ›

Gliding Over All

How does everyone find out Walt is Heisenberg? ›

In the final scene, Hank figures out that Walt is Heisenberg while perusing Walt's copy of ​“Leaves of Grass” on the toilet. The book is inscribed: ​“To my other favorite W.W. It's an honor working with you.

In what episode does Skyler find out about Walt? ›

I.F.T. (Breaking Bad)
"I.F.T."
Episode no.Season 3 Episode 3
Directed byMichelle MacLaren
Written byGeorge Mastras
Cinematography byMichael Slovis
10 more rows

Does Walt's family find out about him? ›

Each member of Walter White's family, including Skyler and Hank, eventually find out his secret in Breaking Bad. But when does Hank find out about Walt? The story of Breaking Bad sees Walt, a boring and unadventurous chemistry teacher and car wash assistant, diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Videos

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3. Walt Kills Walter Jr
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4. Walt And Skyler Fight | Ozymandias | Breaking Bad
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5. Walt's Tumor Shrinks❤ // #breakingbad #shorts
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6. Jesse Discovers The Truth Behind The Ricin Cigaretttes (Recap) | Confessions | Breaking Bad
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