Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Real-life Breaking Bad ends without a single machine gun robot

Photo: AMC

Here’s a silly one for all you TV fans: A pair of college chemistry professors in Arkansas have been arrested for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine, sort of like what happened in the TV show Breaking Bad! Alright, it’s not especially silly, since real drugs are bad, but it’s hard to present news like this without resorting to the tone of a morning news show host. Anyway, this very real and serious news comes from Deadline, which says Bradley Allen Rowland and Terry Bateman, both of whom are associate professors of chemistry at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, have been arrested and charged with making methamphetamine and “using drug paraphernalia” at a meth lab they allegedly set up at the school—without either of them getting kidnapped by Nazis or building a machine gun robot in the back of a car.

The pair’s downfall began when a science lab at the university was shut down in early October after someone noticed an “overwhelming odor.” Later, after an environmental services company came in and cleaned things up, it was determined that whatever was causing the smell included traces of Benzyl chloride—which Deadline says “can be used to synthesize methamphetamine.”

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But before you try to argue that “two chemistry teachers using school supplies to make meth does not a Breaking Bad make,” here’s another fun detail: Apparently, Rowland was such a big chemistry and Breaking Bad fan that the school’s newspaper once referred to him as “Henderson’s Heisenberg.” That was the name the guy used on the show! Of course, Rowland and Bateman didn’t have Vince Gilligan’s hand at the wheel, or else they would’ve recognized that having a cool younger sidekick was a crucial part of the Breaking Bad formula. Without a Jesse Pinkman, this duo’s (alleged) meth empire was shut down before it could become an award-winning hit with a straight-to-Netflix sequel movie.

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