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Did Fear The Walking Dead Confirm "The Breaking Dead Theory"

Updated on December 4, 2017
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Jennifer Branton is a nerd by trade most often writing about books and video games. She has a BA in Journalism from Lewis University

Blue And The Walkers

What do fans love more than a nod to something familiar they also love in their media digestion? Circling the internet for years, the theory that the intentional references in AMC shows are more than just recycling props and story lines into another property to save on budget of plug the networks backlog.

Two of AMC's largest properties The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad have a rabid fan base that has been trying to link the shows for years and clump the stories into the same universe for some sort of continuation after the series finale of Breaking Bad after some of the props made an appearance on both and it seemed just conjecture until a reference on The Walking Dead prequel Fear The Walking Dead.

Armed with this new information and confirmation of an intentional use, the internet began to resurface what has been known as The Breaking Dead Theory.

What the series implies is that these two AMC shows not only take place in the same universe like something out of every Marvel and DC movie, but that Breaking Bad sets the events in motion from through Fear The Walking Dead and finally ending up with the events in the current season of The Walking Dead.

Isn't this all crazy talk?

Breaking Bad, off the air for years was one of AMC's most beloved series in which Walter White, a high school science teacher diagnosed with terminal cancer becomes a drug dealer to provide for his wife and children. As the series goes on and becomes much darker, Walt is temped by corruption and loses everything as his business crosses the cartel, puts his family in danger as they funnel their money through a fronted business venture with a car wash, and gets his brother in law nearly killed a dozen times. Where Walt wanted to just provide a legacy, he becomes corrupted by greed and loses everything to his alias Heinsenberg making some of the greatest TV drama this side of The Sopranos.

The Walking Dead , starting as a graphic novel and comic, has spun eight seasons of the show, a prequel about how the Zombie Apocalypse began, and even its own talk show about the show The Talking Dead. While the show and the story line in the graphic novels have long parted ways when it comes to series cannon often delaying deaths, changing critical details, and mashups of characters on the television interruption, The Walking Dead is at best the story of Rick Grimes and the group of outcasts he meets along the way searching for an end and the ultimate story about survival.

So how can a story of a drug dealer have anything to do with a zombie show? Check out the evidence.


How could a show about a drug dealer have anything do with a zombie show and it's spin off?

Overlapping Fear and Walking

Announced recently on The Talking Dead, the official talk show that airs on AMC after episodes of either Fear The Walking Dead or The Walking Dead depending on the time of year and which series is airing- some characters on the opposite series would soon be crossing over and eventually the shows may merge the story lines.

The Walking Dead has long stopped following what is cannon in the graphic novels and comics so such an overlap could make sense when presented in the right manner. Where the events on Fear have accurately lined up with dates presented in The Walking Dead as to when the fall of major cities, supply shortages, the failing of technology, and the fall of the CDC, compliment each other nicely despite a variety of different writers over various seasons.

Fear The Walking Dead , beginning at the time period where Rick Grimes would be in his coma in Atlanta, takes place at first in California and showcases two families trying to find their way to safety losing many along the way.

Reception for Fear The Walking Dead is getting a little better but the show paled in comparison to its bigger budget sibling which invests more time in the backstory of its characters, the complexity of its story and the overall look of its world. Maybe because the events are just starting to unfold, but season one and two of Fear just felt boring as all the modern conveniences that Rick's group only remember as the past in their show, are still working and the zombies are just people in blood other than the atrocities they decay and later become in The Walking Dead.

It isn't fair to fault Fear on everything looking too shiny and new as it was just months after the world went to hell in the series and you could bet that if the teenagers of The Walking Dead could still be texting they would be too.

Fear The Walking Dead did leave an interest breadcrumb though when it comes to The Breaking Dead Theory though: the intentional use of an all to familiar song.

According to a remark to in an article in Digital Spy, intentional placement of a song made famous throughout Breaking Bad "Negro y Azul: The Ballad of Heisenberg" was placed in an episode of Fear The Walking Dead when characters were in South America, very similar to the original use of the song on Breaking Bad about Walt's blue meth spreading into Mexico.

Where the song could just be written on as coincidence, this isn't the only time the blue meth is openly discussed in the world of The Walking Dead.

If the timing of the song being popularized during Walt's drugs spreading into Mexico, matches a timeline on Fear The Walking Dead, maybe the next set of clues aren't so crazy after all.

If the timing of Negro y Azul: The Ballad of Heisenberg being popularized can be traced to the same timeline where Fear The Walking Dead exists, it could be possible to prove the two shows intentionally overlap.

A Dodge Charger And Glenn

If this theory holds any water, Fear The Walking Dead might take place around the time that Breaking Bad's Walt and Jesse were in South America producing drugs for the cartel which would explain why that famous Ballad of Heisenberg would be playing in an area where characters from Fear are currently staying.

Breaking Bad, fits these qualifications on paper when it comes to the dates, the style of clothing popularized, and the types of cell phones and other electronics that would be available to people at the start of Fear.

Having Fear which moves from California, connect somehow to New Mexico would make a lot more sense that trying to connect characters from a decade or so later on The Walking Dead first stationed in Atlanta before the Grimes group starts heading towards Washington DC in later seasons.

Still though could use of a song be the only clue that connects the two worlds despite having different creators?

On Breaking Bad as Walt Jr turns sixteen, Walt upsets Skylar but giving their newly driving son an expensive sports car that is later destroyed on camera, when Walt's wife feels a brand new super charged Dodge Charger isn't exactly a great "learn to drive" vehicle for a teenager.

Losing the argument, Walt returns the car and later blows it up. But the same car is used in the first season of The Walking Dead. A simple reuse of the same prop appearing on the same network?

Walt brings the car back to Glenn's Car Lot...but the Glenn we know on The Walking Dead until his recent death was explained to be a pizza delivery guy prior to the end of the world...

Could this connection just be a strange coincidence or could it be a stretch to believe that Glenn or perhaps an older family member of the same name was the owner of the car lot?

And the car did blow up...

Call this one a lose end and a bit of a stretch that maybe young Glenn being denied the car he also wanted couldn't pass up the opportunity to steal a look-a-like car with the same paint job in The Walking Dead remembering a time in his past when a crazy customer was so upset his wife had asked him to return the car he had loving purchased for his newly driving son.


Call it a stretch but could Glenn have remembered a time when a crazy customer had returned his dream car on Breaking Bad and not have lost the opportunity to drive a similar car in The Walking Dead?

Daryl's Terrible Past

The Walking Dead often flashes back to beloved butt-kicker Daryl Dixon's sad upbringing in poverty and drugs in the South. Abused and abandoned by his family, Daryl often looked up to his brother, Merle, known to fans as drug addled loose cannon that often got Daryl in more trouble.

Given the opportunity to break away from the brother that held him back, Daryl went on in the series to shine as one of the "good guys" and became like a brother to Rick, Carol, and Maggie- the longest running survivors left in the series. When Merle became a walker and had to be put down by his own blood, the moment was one of the most heartbreaking for fans of Daryl.

Torn by both love and fear for his brother, Daryl later reflects with Beth one of his brother's drug friends and dealers had threatened to kill his once using one of the most popular cuss words to Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman's limited vocabulary.

So what, a liking for calling people the "B word."

The dealer was also described as a "janky little white guy," who peddled meth. Sounding like anyone yet?

But how would Jesse who was last seen dealing drugs in New Mexico be selling to someone in Georgia? This could be too much a stretch if it wasn't for the use of props in the first appearance of Daryl and Merle back in the camp on The Walking Dead when Rick is reunited with his family who thought he was dead back at the hospital.

While rummaging through a back of pills, the camera pans on the famous blue meth in Merle's back of drugs.


The First Walker

I've seen the entire of series of Breaking Bad at least twice and I think the fans are correct in this last fact the proves, along with the new evidence of the song on Fear The Walking Dead that there may be a way to work an intentional tie in of the two franchises.

The first walker we see in The Walking Dead stays similar to cannon of the graphic novels by Rick passing a young girl and later various other newly turned on the way back to his house after escaping the hospital.

Fear The Walking Dead shows its first walked early in the first episode when a young junkie named Nick was "doing drugs" with a female that later turns into a walker and attacks him.

Could an argument be made that something in the drugs made her change after death?

The Walking Dead tried to explain in its first season when the group visited the CDC that the zombie virus is already in all of us and the plot point was only once later referenced when character Eugene many seasons later claimed to be a scientist and know about a cure.

Breaking Bad also had its first walker in Gus after the explosion in Tito's room. With half his face horribly burned down to the bone and an empty eye socket, Gus' charred flesh doesn't seem to hurt him as he calmly walks out of the room missing most of his face and one side of his body where he straightens his tie and maybe keeps on walking after a brief stumble.

I've watched the memorable seen time and time again and it cuts without showing Gus falling to his death. He does seem to stumble but we never see him die. What is he calmly keeps right on walking and eventually his hunger sets in and his starts spreading the zombie infection? Could whatever Heisenberg put in the blue meth be the cause of The Walking Dead?

Arguably enough of the population, thankfully doesn't consume drugs to turn an entire population into blood thirsty walkers but could addicts that are dying from Walt's product be killing fast enough to spread the zombie virus?

The fact we don't see Gus die on screen is a wonderfully haunting trick of cinema, and in fact AMC even used some advising allegedly from the makeup team on The Walking Dead to gory up Gus for his final onscreen appearance.

If Walter White's drugs were the start of the Zombie Apocalypse back in the same time frame where Fear The Walking Dead's characters were arriving in South America it could easily explain the popularity of The Ballard of Heisenberg.

We know from the timeline of Fear the infection seemed to have started out West before working towards the middle of the United States as the big explosion that was seem in Atlanta is commented on in one of the episodes.

Let's say Walt's drugs started to kill South of the border first and then worked their way into America, maybe as the chaos spread people started to head for the other coast which could explain how people in the middle of the country began turning into walkers and eventually worked their way towards Atlanta where The Walking Dead begins.

It's not much of time leap between the last episodes of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead and maybe not seeing Gus Fring die and continue to "walk" after an injury that would surely kill him after taking off most of his face is a sign of the walkers starting to appear in the timeline of Breaking Bad.

Of course, both series have different creators, but wouldn't be interesting to see The Breaking Dead Theory be proven in later episodes as the opportunity to weave together two of AMC's greatest series of all time.


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