‘Breaking Bad’: Here’s How (and Why) Walter White Poisoned Brock Cantillo
Walter White commits dozens of heinous crimes during his quest for power on Breaking Bad, but perhaps one of the most despicable is poisoning a child to manipulate his partner, Jesse Pinkman. Even though Walt became increasingly depraved leading up to that moment, it was still shocking to see how low he would stoop.
Jesse doesn’t find out that Walt poisoned his girlfriend Andrea’s son Brock until much later in the series. When he does, it’s just more proof that Walt is a toxic person who would endanger a child’s life if it meant he got his way.
Here’s exactly how Walt poisons Brock without detection and the devastating effects it has on Jesse and his personal life.
Who was Brock Cantillo on ‘Breaking Bad’?
Fans were first introduced to Brock Cantillo during season 3 of the series when Jesse and Andrea meet at Narcotics Anonymous. Brock was Andrea’s 6-year-old son who bonded with Jesse playing video games and hanging out. Andrea also had an 11-year-old brother Tomás, who later kills the drug dealer Combo. Tomás is shot dead in the episode “Half Measures.”
In season 4, Jesse tries to help Andrea by leaving a lot of cash in her mailbox so she can get out of a bad neighborhood and start a new life. She buys a house for herself and Brock and tries to turn her life around. But then Brock gets rushed to the hospital after a suspected poisoning.
Walt poisons Brock to turn Jesse against Gus Fring
At first, Jesse assumes Walt poisoned Brock with the ricin he had intended to give to Gus Fring. But Walt convinces Jesse that Gus is the mastermind behind the poison as a means to tear them apart, effectively turning Jesse against Gus. It’s an evil trick that works.
The truth is that Walt did poison Brock — just not with ricin. Instead, he used a Lily of the Valley plant which was growing in his backyard. The effects of ingesting the flower mimicked the ricin that Jesse assumed Brock had eaten.
Vince Gilligan revealed how Walt probably poisoned Brock
Breaking Bad viewers are meant to deduce how Brock was poisoned based on an image of the plant growing in a pot in Walt’s backyard. Later, Gilligan explained the method Walt probably used during a San Diego Comic-Con appearance in 2013, Screen Rant reported.
The writers started calling Walt the “Evil Juice Box Man” after the episode because they assumed he injected the poisonous plant into his juice box at school. Fans never see Walt doing the deed, but they know it happened somehow.
Thankfully Brock doesn’t die from the Lily of the Valley. The repercussions of Walt’s actions, however, are longer-lasting.
Jesse stopped trusting Walt after he poisoned Brock
Over five seasons of Breaking Bad, Walt and Jesse’s relationship transforms several times. One of the biggest turning points occurs when Jesse finally figures out it was Walt who poisoned Brock, not Gus Fring.
Walt’s treachery causes Jesse to stop trusting him and permanently damages their relationship for the rest of the series. But Jesse’s issues are far from over. Later in the series, Todd kills Andrea while Jesse watches from the car as a way of punishing Jesse for trying to escape the white supremacist compound.
No one knows what happens to Brock after his mother is murdered. Fans like to imagine that Jesse eventually finds Brock again after his permanent move to Alaska in the Breaking Bad sequel, El Camino.
[Correction: An earlier version mistakenly said Tomás was Andrea’s son, not brother.]