Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Breaking Bad: Madrigal Electromotive

Go To

This page documents the characters in Breaking Bad who work or associate with Madrigal Electromotive, a conglomerate located in Germany, which owns Los Pollos Hermanos. For the main page, see here.

    open/close all folders 


Lydia Rodarte-Quayle
"I expect to be paid."

Portrayed By: Laura Fraser

An executive of Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, working out of the company's office in Houston, Texas. She originally worked with Gus Fring as a supplier of chemicals required for his drug business in the American southwest.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's left vague whether or not Lydia has something like Asperger's Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She definitely has an unusual social manner and maintains an extremely strict daily routine, which Walter picks up on and uses to kill her.
  • Asshole Victim: Lydia was such a Jerkass that it's hard not to cheer when Walt informs her of her impending slow, painful death over the phone. At the point of the phonecall, the only other alternative left is suicide.
  • Bad Boss: Her first impulse whenever something goes wrong is to kill a subordinate. This is so ingrained in her personality that she expects it constantly from the people she works with but views as potential threats. When Walt comes up to her in the café in the finale, despite Walt's believable act of being destitute, Lydia wants Todd to kill him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Mike threatens to kill her early in Season 5, she begs him to leave her body in her home, so that her daughter won't think she's abandoned her, and also to kill her in a way that won't disfigure her body, in order to avoid traumatising said daughter. In the series finale she gets her wish, courtesy of Walt's ricin, which will give her a slow, lingering death that'll leave her corpse perfectly intact.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Jack Welker in season 5.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Jack Welker and Heisenberg during season 5 as a whole. Walter White's arc is largely disconnected from his alliance with Lydia and the Neo-Nazis.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: She could have been the Big Bad of the series overall, having the capabilities to turn the Cartel's meth making operation into an intercontinental empire, but she's so craven and spineless that Jack is able to operate as Dragon-in-Chief, while her personality keeps her from delving too deep into villainous acts herself. This is particularly the case by season 5B, where she's part of the Big Bad Duumvirate with Jack Welker, motivating the Neo-Nazis to stay in the meth game, but actively avoids having to do any dirty work. Even when Walt takes the time to poison her, she only finds out on complete accident when she tries to call Todd and he picks up instead, meaning it's possible he wasn't even going to bother telling her.
  • Big Fancy House: She sure lives in one.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: She forces this kind of scenario on Mike and Walt three times.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: She has no qualms about betraying and murdering her allies, including selling them out to the DEA to save her own skin.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: She helped Gus scout out the laundry as an ideal place for his superlab, and later works with Gus, and then Walt, to run international distribution of crystal meth.
  • Creature of Habit: She seems very pattern-oriented: she has an extremely specific tea order and always sits in the same place at the same cafe. Proves to be her undoing, since all it takes for Walt to poison her is to replace a packet of Stevia with ricin. It doesn't end there. Walt, knowing Lydia's obsession with cleaning up loose ends by making others do the dirty work, intentionally sets himself up for her to enlist Jack's gang so that he can get to them.
  • Definitely Just a Cold: Walt noted her clockwork drink order at Java Joe's. She unwittingly ingests ricin which was swapped for her sweeteners. Oh, Crap!.
    Walt: (over the phone) How are you feeling? Kind of under the weather? Like you've got the flu?
  • Dirty Coward: She has no problem with ordering hitmen to murder anyone who she feels is inconveniencing her (such as Gus' henchmen, Declan and his gang, Skyler, Walt); however, when her own life is in danger, she panics and begs for mercy.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Walt. Both are well-educated people from non-criminal backgrounds who decide to participate in the dirty world of organized crime, but they have a hilariously naive view of "the game"; yet they're still far more dangerous than they appear to be, and have zero qualms over eliminating their enemies and rivals.
  • Drink-Based Characterization: Lydia, the prim and professional corporate executive, always orders to the point of obsession, Chamomile tea with soy milk, with Stevia sweetener mixed in. This predictability ultimately gets her killed by Walt.note 
  • Establishing Character Moment: Upon sitting down at a diner booth, Lydia tersely asks the waitress for Chamomile tea with soy milk and then acts passive-aggressive towards her when informed that none is available. This establishes her cold, petty demeanor and her obsessive-compulsive tendencies. When she moves to sit at Mike's booth, she puts on an unconvincing show about Mike being her old friend "Dwayne," which fails to convince the waitress because she knows Mike's name. Mike then draws attention to the fact that she's wearing sunglasses in-doors in the fear that someone will see her even though she's just talking to him in a restaurant. The purpose of this exchange is twofold: firstly it shows that Lydia is paranoid, but also that she's not as attentive as she ought to be, which leads her to underestimate the intelligence of the people around her by casually lying to them and treating them like idiots. Her demeaning attitude doesn't cause any problems when she's taking advantage of a dimwit like Todd, but underestimating Walt ends very poorly for her.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Lydia's love for her young daughter is the only good trait she has. When Mike comes to try and kill Lydia, she's horrified at the prospect of her daughter thinking she abandoned her. Even more so after she learns that Walt has successfully caused her imminent death by ricin poisoning, realizing her girl will be left motherless.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Lydia is so paranoid about her safety that when she meets her accomplices in public she wears dark glasses and insists on sitting back to back as they talk. But she overlooks that meeting at the same table in the same cafe every week makes it easy for someone like Walt to find her (and poison her).
  • Fatal Flaw: Walt uses Lydia's misplaced paranoia and OCD tendencies to not only poison her tea, but to play into her Chronic Backstabbing Disorder in order to get close to Jack and his gang.
  • Foil: To a few people.
    • To Gus. Both are consummate businesspeople, who dress perfectly and try to approach the meth trade with a degree of professionalism not normally seen in the "game". However, while Gus was calm, unflinching, and relatively reasonable, Lydia is paranoid, erratic, and unwilling to accept the brutality of the drug world. The contrast is best illustrated in Gus' massacre of the cartel and her disposing of Declan's crew — he moves between bodies without fear while taunting the remains of his enemies, while Lydia plugs her ears not to hear gunshots and later has to literally be guided by hand with her eyes closed through the carnage.
    • Her personality is also very much similar to Walter's own during the first season. She dispatched others to do her dirty work for her, and is a constant nervous wreck of her criminal life affecting her personal. Just like Walter, Lydia is also obsessed with cutting off any loose ends that may implicate her. This eventually includes Walter himself. Also they both have a soft spot when it comes to their family as Lydia constantly states her concern for her daughter being left alone if she's killed. The big difference between the two is that Walt has no qualms with getting his own hands dirty, and has become hardened by his experiences while Lydia still depends on others to do dirty work for her.
    • To Saul Goodman, of all people. Both depend on others to do their dirty work for them, while using their own personal connections to make money in the drug trade, and both become increasingly paranoid by the end of the series due in part to their connections with Walt. But while Saul by and large never betrays a client and prefers to use murder only as a last resort of sorts, Lydia's primary characteristic is betraying people and using murder as an immediate answer for all problems. This key difference is crucial to their final fates; Saul's refusal to betray a client makes him a non-threat to Walt and thus he gets out alive, but since Lydia's first solution to any problem is to kill it, Walt makes sure to get rid of her first.
  • He Knows Too Much: One of her most common rationales for putting people out of the way; she's also afraid that Mike, Walter, or someone else will subject her to the same fate.
  • High-Heel Power: She is always seen wearing a pair of blue or black pumps. They receive a lot of focus when she's walking through the New Mexico desert or tiptoeing around dead bodies, showing how at odds her OCD businesswoman side is with the more brutal side of her business.
  • Hypocrite: A double dose of it.
    • As noted under Murder Is the Best Solution, Lydia's go-to response to something going wrong is ordering a hit on whoever's responsible. As noted under Dirty Coward, the few times her life is in danger, she panics and begs for mercy.
    • During said begging, her default move is to use her daughter as moral leverage. This makes it especially appalling when she sics Todd and co. on fellow mother Skyler to scare her into silence on Lydia's involvement with Walt's operation.
  • Jerkass: She's rude and condescending to almost everyone she talks to, especially when she knows she can get away with it.
  • Karmic Death: Fittingly for someone who threw around the idea of murdering loose ends like it was nothing and refused to face the results, Lydia learns on the phone that she has been fatally poisoned by Walt as a complete afterthought, as if she was barely even worthy of his notice.
  • Lack of Empathy: Aside from her own family of course, Lydia is completely ruthless when it comes to looking out for her own interests, even if it means sending people to their deaths on vague suspicions.
    • It's also worth noting that even though Lydia loves her daughter, she's coldly indifferent to the fact that many of her targets have families themselves that they were providing for. Her daughter looks to be about the same age as Mike's granddaughter, but doesn't care that she would have been traumatizing the girl by murdering her grandfather (unlike how she tearfully used her own daughter to get Mike to spare her).
  • Leave No Witnesses: Her solution to Gus's now unemployed and broke henchmen following his death. Later on, her solution when Declan's meth operation proves to be not up to her standards is order a hit on Declan, and everyone who works with him. Ends up being her Karmic Death when Walt organizes to kill her and the Nazis in the same fashion.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Especially of Todd; she plays into his crush on her to get him to do stuff. He's always happy to go along.
  • Motor Mouth: When she starts to panic (which is often), Lydia jabbers away like a dog on a speedboat.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: While this seems to be her attitude in general towards potential threats, it's especially evident in "Granite State" when her first impulse in dealing with Skyler (who has seen her face and knows she was involved in Walt's business) is to have her killed, even after Todd of all people assures her that it isn't necessary and she won't talk.
  • Nervous Wreck: Lydia is forever on-edge and terrified of being found out. At any given time, she's convinced that the DEA are closing in, Walt is planning to kill her, Mike is planning to kill her, someone is going to talk...
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Lydia becomes this in Season 5B. She's now in charge of running an international meth trafficking operation (after pretty much usurping it from Walt); but she never (directly) gets her own hands dirty, ordering Jack and his Nazi thugs to do anything violent for her.
  • Not in the Face!: Invokes this when Mike threatens her with a gun because she doesn't want her daughter seeing her like that.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She comes off as a paranoid, crooked executive with a very naive view of the game, but she plays both Mike and Walt through some emotional blackmail, connections, and ego-stroking.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Walt tells her what he had her put in her tea.
  • Parental Abandonment: Begs Mike to leave her body behind so that her daughter will know she didn't willfully abandon her, even threatens to scream if he doesn't promise to. Probably the only time she shows any moral convictions in the show, and even then it comes across like she's using her daughter as a bargaining chip to guilt-trip Mike.
  • Properly Paranoid: According to Lydia, everyone is out to get her... this paranoia is not unfounded. At one point, she refuses to give Walt information he needs out of fear he'll kill her once she's no longer a necessity to his drug empire: "You are tying up loose ends, and I don't want to be one of them." Walt scoffs at the idea he'd have her killed in broad daylight in the middle of a public cafe, but not only is he later revealed to have the ricin with him, suggesting he was intending to kill her; but when he actually does, this is exactly how he does it.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She's got a bit of this vibe going on, given her constant paranoia.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Was introduced in season 5A as a major associate of Gus's organization despite not having once been mentioned in seasons 3 or 4. This is justified to a certain extent as Lydia managed the civilian/distribution elements of Gus' operation, meaning Walt and Jesse wouldn't have crossed paths with her working as chemists. Averted with her reappearance in Better Call Saul, which gets to explore Gus and Lydia's business partnership.
  • Smug Snake: Besides generally acting self-centered and cold, Lydia feels perfectly justified in murdering and betraying her business associates on the chance that they'll defy her wishes. The way she gleefully watches as her foreman Ron takes the fall for her misdeeds shows that she takes pleasure in her treachery.
  • She's Got Legs: And the cinematography never wastes a chance to show it.
  • The Sociopath: If you're not Lydia or her daughter, then this woman simply does not give a rat's ass what happens to you and has no qualms betraying you to your possible death. Even Laura Fraser describes her as a "clean-cut, bonkers sociopath".
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Walt preemptively spikes her sugar packets with ricin in "Felina", dooming her to a slow death.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chamomile tea with soy milk, with Stevia mixed in.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Jesse was the only thing standing between Lydia being left in a ditch somewhere by Mike, and Jesse repeatedly took her side when Mike and Walt were ready to dispose of her. Nevertheless, she doesn't seem particularly troubled by Jack's gang using him as a slave to make blue meth.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Suffers these quite often thanks to her Nervous Wreck nature, with her final one being a wide-eyed look of despair at Walt revealing what he put in her tea in "Felina".
  • Wild Card: To the Walt/Mike/Jesse partnership.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When she meets with Mike and later Walter, she dons big black shades and tries to sit away from them like she's in a spy movie. Then she draws attention to herself by throwing a hissy fit about her order and generally acting like she's attended a police interview while covered in blood.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Even more so than Gus. If Lydia thinks you're becoming a liability, don't expect to live much longer.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: She ends the series with, at most, only a few days left to live due to Walt poisoning her with ricin. El Camino confirms that her death is guaranteed.


Peter Schuler

Portrayed By: Norbert Weisser

The head of Madrigal Electromotive's fast food division, and criminal associate of Gus Fring.

  • The Comically Serious: His subordinates give him a jar full of tater tots and a plate of condiments they've whipped up to dip; a new type of mustard, "Franch" dressing, "Cajun Kick-Ass," and so on. It all looks delicious but he keeps slowly and glumly chewing on each of them, then grabs the whole cookie jar of tots and starts eating directly.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He was the business partner of a meth kingpin.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Suicide by AED.
  • Driven to Suicide: Knowing that the death of Gus means he'll be found out, arrested, subjected to a lengthy trial and then imprisonment, Schuler decides to opt out of all that hassle.
  • Fall Guy: He's mostly blamed for Madrigal's connection, and his death allows Lydia to get away with her own shady dealings.
  • Germanic Depressives: Played with. Schuler is presented as a stereotypically humorless German, but it becomes apparent that the other Germans around him find his behavior odd. Soon we learn the true reason for his glum demeanor: he is contemplating suicide to avoid being arrested.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Was Gus's business partner who apparently facilitated distribution for his drug empire. This is not really explored in detail.
  • Noodle Incident: Better Call Saul reveals that his association with Gus started as far back as Santiago, Chile. If what Gus said is anything to go by, Schuler did something impressive that saved both their lives and forged their bond.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Madrigal's connection to Gus' drug empire are revealed.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He has exactly one scene in the entire series. It's a scene that combines dark humor with genuine pathos, and it's pretty beloved within the fandom.


Ron Forenall

Portrayed By: Russ Dillen

A foreman for the El Paso warehouse of Madrigal Electromotive.

  • Cosmic Plaything: Lydia makes him a Fall Guy to ensure she doesn't go to prison and then Walt has him murdered in prison to make sure he never tells anyone Heisenberg's identity.
  • Death Glare: He gives one to Lydia as he's being arrested.
    Lydia: The look he just gave me was the very antithesis of "okay," okay?
  • The Dragon: He was this for Lydia at one time.
  • Fall Guy: Lydia has him arrested by the DEA when they come to El Paso.
  • He Knows Too Much: He's killed in prison on Walt's orders to make sure nobody knows who Heisenberg is.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: His own boss Lydia allowed his murder to happen to prevent him from ratting her out in prison.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: