The one thing I take away the most from Breaking Bad is the characterization that takes place throughout the course of the series.
Breaking Bad begins with an innocent burn out and a desperate chemistry teacher looking to take advantage of a market fueled by shoddy cooks. Almost immediately, Walt and Jesse get in over their heads which happens to be the theme for the entire series—two men pursuing an avenue beyond their expertise and experience. But somewhere along the road, darkness lines their souls enough to captivate the nation.
Early in Season 1, Walt and Jesse bicker over who shall kill the man in the basement. Neither man appears to have the ability to do so. Walt considers freeing the man because of a bond they shared over a furniture store. But, due to Walt's inexperience and lack of a criminal mindset, he nearly endangers himself by leaving a piece of glass within reach of the man. The man stashed the glass and Walt thankfully realized. Because of this inclination, he had no choice but to submerge himself in the terror that ultimately consumed him as the series wore on.
BB is all about transitions and Walt transitions from an innocent man with a terminal illness into the devil. Originally fueled by the need to provide for his family upon his departure, his mission transitions from one of love to one submerged in greed and pride. When he first dealt with Tuco, he was in the business to support his family, he did what was necessary to insure their safety. When he began working with Gus, the greed and pride began to rear their head. It wasn't good enough for Walt that he was making a ton of money in a low pressure environment, he needed to experience being the man, he needed to take a larger cut. So he plotted to dispose of Gus and did so by way of Jesse's love for Brock. Pinkman was a troubled soul who endured a lot throughout this series. An innocent, naive man child who time after time saw those he loved taken away from him. Combo was murdered, Jane od'd, Brock was poisoned, Andrea was murdered, Jesse carried a dark cloud over him because of not only his own stupidity, but his respect, loyalty and admiration for Mr. White.
The fact he consistently refers to Walt throughout the series as Mr. White shows the love and respect he held for the man, despite the danger Mr. White had become.
Walt loved Jesse as well, they had a genuine affection that unfortunately was deterred by the darkness of the industry they entered. There were times both men could have gotten away from the sadness surrounding them and done the right thing, leaving behind their life of sin, but they failed to escape the danger that encompassed their existence. Walt couldn't get away from his pride. He had to do vile things in order to appease himself. He destroyed everyone that stood in his way, including himself. The man seen in Episode 1 is the complete opposite of the man he becomes. Love for his family no longer became his fuel, rather, love for his product and the creation he developed—the very same creation that destroyed the lives of thousands of people.
BB is a composite of flawed people chasing what they felt was right, but ultimately was wrong. Skyler, due to her inability to understand Walt's choices engages an affair, cooks Beneke's books and takes Walt's money, unbeknownst to him, to try and fix her mistakes. She consistently digs Walt into a deeper hole because of her arrogance and lack of foresight.
Hank ultimately loses his life because of his inability to put his pride aside and do the right thing. Pursuing Walt, destroying his family, solved nothing but satiating his ego and pride. He could have let Walt live out his life and die peacefully, but instead, he had to be the macho, hotshot DEA agent in order to create a name for himself. His entire mission throughout the series is to stop Heisenberg and it ultimately consumed his existence. He died because of his pride, despite having the opportunity to let things go and preserve the wellbeing of his family. While Walt was wrong for the avenues he pursued, he had an honorable reason for engaging in the illicit activities. Hank on the other hand, cared solely about making a name for himself and one day working in Washington. It didn't matter who he was damaging in the process of better himself.
This was a tremendous series that focused on the inner workings of humanity. We saw how pride, lust, greed, wrath, etc. deterred people from the common good. Mistakes were made because of a lack of rational thinking and lives were unfortunately lost because of those actions. Seeing Walt go from foolish chemistry teacher to a sociopath was a destructive path that embodied the franchise, as well as the drug of focus. Meth not only destroyed the lives of its users, but it destroyed the entire White family, as well as those close to them.