When news broke that letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi Senator tested positive for ricin, concerned citizens may have wondered, “What’s ricin?” But fans of AMC’s popular television series Breaking Bad, know exactly what ricin is, because it has been part of the show’s storyline. In other words:
“And now to explain what ricin is, a clip from Breaking Bad.” – if the internet ran CNN.
— CC:Indecision (@indecision) April 17, 2013
Ricin entered Breaking Bad lore during the show’s second season, when everyone’s favorite chemistry teacher-turned-meth-chef cooked up a tiny batch of the castor bean-based toxin in a failed plot to kill a psychopathic rival meth dealer. For a chemist like Walter White (Bryan Cranston) ricin is an ideal poison, because even though it is not the fastest method of doing away with someone, it leaves behind little or no evidence of its use on a victim.
While the plot failed, that didn’t stop Walt from cooking up a second batch of ricin on season four, when he wanted to do away with yet another rival, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). It came up again in season five when Walt’s cohort, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), lost a cigarette containing what he thought was a tiny vial of ricin. Luckily, Walt helped him find it before any more damage was done.
Due to the frequency of use in the show and importance of ricin in Breaking Bad storylines, AMC can’t ignore the many tweets that make a grim joke of this being a marketing effort:
In advance of Breaking Bad’s final session, AMC launches epic ricin marketing campaign in DC.
— Jessica Coen (@jessicacoen) April 17, 2013
Someone sent a package with ricin in it to President Obama?! Breaking Bad has the most over-the-top marketing team ever.
— Charlie Stephan (@charliestephan) April 17, 2013
How can we be sure this “ricin sent to the White House” story isn’t just viral marketing for the final season of Breaking Bad?
— mr.tug(@mistertug) April 17, 2013
While ricin may be in the news now, real Breaking Bad fans know that it’s the Lily of the Valley plants that you have to watch.