How Gus Fring of Breaking Bad Became a Cold Calculated Capitalist With a Profit Driven Agenda

As part of their ongoing series of deconstructing the rich symbolism and character development within the sublime AMC series Breaking Bad, film and television analysis platform ScreenPrism carefully waded into the deep end with the incredibly complex personality of Gustavo Fring. When he was first introduced, Gus Fring was very carefully balancing his friendly, respectable “Los Pollos Hermanos” persona with the much darker side he needed for his other line of work. Fring was able to maintain this balance for a long time. Yet as Walter White repeatedly challenged his authority, Fring’s gregarious persona gave way to a cold, calculated capitalist whose only ruthless agenda was getting a good return on his investment, despite the fact that his success was harmful to the public at large.

In a competition based marketplace a business is considered healthy only when it’s constantly growing overcoming competitors and claiming new territories… clearly more crystal meth is worse for society so growth in Gus’ case is a negative for public health, but the same can be said of many corporations who are so set on growing that they have no concern for public health for the environment or for whether the world actually needs more of their product. So with Gus’s growth mentality, ‘Breaking Bad’ is subtly questioning the values underlying capitalism itself.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.