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I've noticed that, throughout the series, Walt picks up certain attributes from everyone that he kills, e.g. Gus' ruthlessness and one-step-ahead approach, Krazy-8's ability to manipulate people, Mike's no-nonsense attitude (and sense of humour- I'm referring to the scene in Felina when Elliott points the knife at him- "Elliott, if we're gonna go that way, you'll need a bigger knife")- attributes which, previously, he didn't have.

However, I can't think of what traits he gets from, for example, Jane, Jack and Emilio.

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I don't think we had enough time to see him adopt traits from them because they were his final enemies. –  DustinDavis Jun 11 at 23:21
Also, the argument could be made the he didn't kill Jane the overdose did. He just didn't make an attempt to save her. –  djmadscribbler Jun 11 at 23:26
@djmadscribbler Well, he definitely indirectly killed Jane, but I agree that this isn't as significant as actively killing, say, Mike. –  alexqwx Jun 11 at 23:29
There's no rule that he has to pick up traits from those he kills (or allows to die). Just when it makes sense to do so. –  Meat Trademark Jun 11 at 23:56

1 Answer 1

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I don't think Walt 'picks up certain attributes', as though it were a subconscious reflex: he more accurately mimics qualities he sees as effective throughout his exposure to the criminal world...

There were a number of fan sources that openly (and reactively) sought to quantify this as some kind of conspiracy theory, and Uprox collated the most credible of these together.

I wouldn't go as far as saying Walt automatically takes on other people's traits. More plausibly, Walt recognizes the utility of certain personality traits (ruthlessness, Machiavellianism, Humour) and understands their potency when he finds himself on the receiving end of them.

Remember that he is a scientist, and as such the classification of behavior (whether chemical, atomic or even social) is a familiar method of approach. Walt, in his bubble of relative normality within his Albuquerque Suburb, has simply never met people with such volatile and extreme personalities before (as neither, supposedly, have you or I). When he does come into contact with them, he studies them and recognizes their potential.

Walt only deploys (not neccesarily adopts, which is more permanent) qualities that are useful to him in his circumstances. It is for this reason that he doesn't compulsorily take aspects of people he kills: he just tries to acknowledge what it was about them that made them successful at what they did... until they Crossed Walter White, that is...

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