Hank Schrader

Fans of Breaking Bad know DEA agent Hank Schrader, brother-in-law of Walter White aka drug lord Heisenberg. Recent reports attributing the high rate of suicide among men under 50 to their feelings of isolation reminded me of Hank and that character's obsessiveness, insecurities and anxiety. Hank was a lumbering mess of blustering impropriety whose apparent lack of an off-switch hid his nagging lack of confidence. He was an insightful investigator who refused to dig into his own dysfunction. Series creator Vince Gilligan never explained why Hank (or any other major character for that matter) was the way he was. Hank was Hank -- a fine drug enforcement agent who in Season Three was crippled less by the unsuccessful hit by the Salamanca cousins than his own brutalizing rage and self-pity. His wife, Marie, was his occasional confidante but he kept his most important and crucial demon battles to himself -- even after he discovered Walt's big secret. Keeping up appearances, as he told fellow DEA agent Steve Gomez, was of utmost importance. Living that code nearly killed him. Such a rich and remarkable character.


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