The series Malcolm in the Middle is a family show produced between 2000 and 2006. It focuses on the family life of an American family belonging to the lower middle class. In contrast, the series Breaking Bad is anything but family-friendly. The English term „breaking bad“ stands for „transformation into evil“ in German. It’s all about violence, drugs and intrigue, and the lead actor Bryan Cranston, who already had a starring role in the series Malcolm in the Middle, is particularly convincing.
Is it possible that Malcolm – played by Frankie Muniz – will become Walter White (Heisenberg) in Breaking Bad? It seems like a far-fetched theory, but the Breaking Bad fan theory has been spreading among fans on the Internet. Originally, fans had their sights set on Hal, Malcolm’s family man played by Bryan Cranston. Hal was too good a fit and creates a timeline problem because „Malcolm In The Middle“ takes place before Breaking Bad, not after. But Malcolm could become Walter White, because he has more in common with the villain of Breaking Bad than Hal.
More explanations follow, showing what similarities there are between the movie characters.
Background on the life of Malcolm
Malcolm was the focus of the series Malcolm in the Middle, which ended in 2006. In the series, actor Frankie Muniz embodies a highly gifted boy who grows up in a poor family that represents the lower middle class of the United States. He has an IQ of 165 and is placed in a special class for the highly gifted. Nevertheless, there are some problems to develop with intelligence. This is because his brother Rees, Dewey and he mimic the chaotic eldest brother Francis.
For Francis, school and work are not important priorities; he prefers to spend his time at parties or playing pranks on other people. His parents don’t know what to do and have sent Francis to military school, but this doesn’t completely break off his influence on his little brothers. Malcolm is caught in two worlds; on the one hand he has an above-average perceptive faculty and on the other hand his brothers make him engage in countless pranks.
The special thing about Malcolm’s role is that he comments on the film sequences. In doing so, he turns his gaze to the viewers and expresses his emotions or assessments of the respective film sequence. This possibility to comment was exclusively reserved for the actor character Malcolm.
In addition, intelligence sometimes gets in Malcolm’s way – and not just his brothers. Due to his photographic memory and his giftedness, there are few people who really understand him, except his friends, from the gifted class. In the series, Malcolm was dumped by his girlfriend the first time he said the word „paradox.“ Malcolm himself has a hard time accepting the opinions of others because he always thinks his views are the right ones.
Walter White – the criminal life of a chemist
Breaking Bad is one of the most successful series of all time, so much so that the series made it into the Guinness Book of Records. Apart from that, there were numerous awards for the US series, which was filmed between 2008 and 2013. The main actor Bryan Cranston has also received four Emmys for his acting performance. In his role, he embodies Walter White, a chemist who has gone astray. Walter White gets sick with cancer during his life, which increases his bitterness. In addition to the disease, he earns only moderate money as a chemist, which worsens the overall situation for him and his family.
Walter White is married; his wife is pregnant and they have another son together, aged 15, who suffers from a nerve and muscle disease (cerebral palsy). As a family man, it is an important concern for the chemist to provide for his family – even beyond death. At this critical stage in his life, he goes astray and decides to use his knowledge for criminal purposes to ensure that his family remains well provided for should he succumb to his illness.
Under the underground name „Heisenberg“, the chemist sets up a drug business with his former student Jesse Bruce Pinkman. Walter White has managed to produce pure crystal meth, which can be lucratively sold on the drug market. His financial worries are hereby a thing of the past, but new problems arise from working in the drug milieu.
Parallels between Malcolm and Walter White
Fans have studied the movie characters in detail and have come to the conclusion that there are some parallels. From this, fans conclude that Malcolm embodies Walter White in later life. Among other things, Malcolm and Walter White have in common that they are above average intelligent. This allows you to manipulate people, which Walter White in particular did.
In addition, both characters are victims of their intelligence, because they simply do not make the breakthrough, regardless of talent. Malcolm loses the connection because outsiders don’t understand him and his brothers do the rest. The chemist Walter White is a genius, but he was cheated out of a patent, so the big breakthrough failed to materialize. Despite his talent, he earns little money as a chemistry teacher.
But a main argument that supports the thesis is the fact that both characters are good at chemistry. This is because Malcolm is also enthusiastic when it comes to chemistry. He participates enthusiastically in school experiments, and thanks to his talent, it seems that he will become a great chemist one day, or not, given Walter White’s resume. One question remains: How can the different names be explained? Supporters of the theory claim that Walter is the middle name of Malcolm. Malcolm’s grandfather is named Walter in the series, so it stands to reason that Malcolm may have Walter as a middle name.
Conclusion: Is Malcolm Walter White?
So far, there have been no official statements from the actors or directors. Thus, there is no relevant evidence that fans can present. Therefore, it ultimately remains a theory that Malcolm is in fact Walter White. There was only one statement that was made by Bryan Cranston. It was about the question of whether Walter White survived in the series Breaking Bad and lives on under the name Hal Wilkerson. Bryan Cranston officially declared Walter White dead, so at least one Breaking Bad fan theory can be disproved.