Everybody loves a good fan theory. Sure, many of them are ridiculous and obviously wrong, based on weak constructions that Actor A was in both Movie A and Movie B, therefore proving that the two movies are in the same universe. An entire movie a few years ago, Room 237, was based entirely on fans sharing their half-baked theories about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining.
Once in awhile, though, the theories will be thought-provoking and shed new light on the work. And every so often, the theory will even be proven right. There’s another new fan theory making the rounds that may not be proven right, but it’s still taking the Internet by storm.
A video, posted to Netflix’s official YouTube channel, posits that “Breaking Bad is The Walking Dead.” It’s called “The Breaking Dead Theory.” Using crude animation, the video posits a simple theory of the two popular AMC series: That the crystal meth created by Walter White on Breaking Bad caused the zombie epidemic on The Walking Dead.
According to the video, there are multiple “smoking guns”: The drugs carried by Merle on an early Walking Dead episode looks like Walt’s blue meth. A certain red Dodge car appears in both series, being driven by men named Glenn. Darryl on The Walking Dead refers to an old drug dealer who used the Jesse Pinkman-esque phase “I’m going to kill you, Bitch!” And Gus Fring, it’s suggested, may have become a zombie at the time of his death scene. The makers of the video acknowledge that it’s a stretch, giving it a 5/10 for plausibility but a 9/10 for entertainment.
For some, the theory may be convincing. For one, the theory isn’t new - the blue meth, red Dodge and “bitch” clues were noted by a YouTube channel called Gripping TV, back in 2014, as reported at the time by Hitfix (which the Netflix video, in fairness, credits). And besides, it’s not exactly rare for fictional drug dealers to refer to foes as “bitch.” A more plausible explanation for the blue meth and red Charger is that one AMC show wanted to pay homage to another, or perhaps the same car was available for use as a prop.
The Gus Fring/zombie clue is the least convincing part - for one, Gus may have sold drugs, but he never used them himself. While meth had many negative effects on users throughout Breaking Bad’s run, it never led to zombification. Despite the same networks, the two shows have nothing in common in the areas of creative team, cast or geographical location. And the rare flash-forwards thus far on the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul have shown no indications of a zombie apocalypse.
The Walking Dead is presently airing its seventh season on AMC. Breaking Bad’s entire run is available on Netflix.
Source: Netflix, Hitfix