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Breaking Bad Wiki

You can't give up on family. Never. I mean, what else is there?
― Donald Margolis to Walter White.[src]

Donald Margolis is the father of Jane Margolis. He originally worked as an air traffic controller and rented out the house beside Jane's.


Background information[]

Donald Margolis was born in 1948, and had a daughter, Jane Margolis, in 1982. He sent Jane to rehab once before and went with her to recovery meetings. At some point, Donald got a job as an air-traffic controller.

Breaking Bad[]

Season 2[]


Donald Margolis and Walter White strike up a conversation at a bar. ("Phoenix")

Donald owns the building Jane managed for him where Jesse Pinkman lived. He knocks on a front door of Jane's house, unbeknownst to him, she ran from Jesse's house to get her apartment door. Before he could use the keys to open the door, Jane arrives in time and greets her dad. Jesse emerges outdoors and handshakes an astounded Donald where they introduced themselves, but Jane brushes Jesse off as the "new tenant". ("Over")

He becomes furious when he discovers that his daughter is back on heroin, suspecting Jesse is at fault. He then attacks Jesse but his daughter stops him. He nearly calls the police, but relents when Jane promises to go back into rehab. Depressed, he goes to a bar and strikes up a conversation with a stranger about the heartache of raising children. His words inspire Walter to help Jesse get clean from heroin. ("Phoenix")

The next day he arrives at his daughter's house and finds medical personnel taking her out in a bodybag. He answers a few questions about Jane, says nothing to Jesse, and leaves with his daughter's body. He however doesn't get mad at Jesse, seeing that he is full of guilt and leaves him. After a hiatus, he goes back to work despite still being distraught over his daughter's death. He makes a fatal error that makes Wayfarer 515 collide with JM21 in the skies over Albuquerque ("ABQ").

Season 3[]

Donald Margolis

Donald's mugshot.

Following the crash, Donald is all over the news as the investigators question to what extent he was responsible for the accident and whether it was appropriate for him to be allowed to work so soon after Jane's death ("No Más").

While driving, Walt hears on the radio that Donald has shot himself and has been rushed to the hospital. It is unknown if he survived or died from the suicide attempt. ("Green Light").

Personality and traits[]

BB 2x12 7

Donald confronting Jane and Jesse Pinkman after learning they were using heroin. ("Phoenix")

Donald is shown to be a very caring and loving father who only wanted to get Jane off her drug addiction, though he was shown to be very judgmental and a little negligent. It went to such lengths that he threatened to imprison Jane when he found her sleeping with Jesse Pinkman.

Despite his forcefulness, Donald cared very much for her. This made him become greatly unfocused and distraught with her death, eventually leading up to a plane crash killing 167 people.


Deaths connected to Donald[]


Quotes by Donald[]

"You miserable little smackhead. Get the hell out!"
―Donald to Jesse Pinkman.[src]

Donald: "You're going back to rehab. Today. Now."
Jane: "Look, as it so happens, we were just, we were just talking about that and I was gonna tell you, okay? If you would just let me."
Donald: "You have been clean for 18 months, Jane. Why? Why do you do it?"
Jane: "I backslid, okay? Like, what? What, you think I'm proud of this? Like, I do it on purpose?"
Donald: "Lying to me, shacking up and using with this scumbag, this loser!"
Jesse: "It takes one to know one!"
Jane: "His name is Jesse, and you don't know the first thing about him. We talk about rehab every night. It's his idea."
Donald: "You talk about rehab? Well, gee, isn't that wonderful?"
Jane: "Thank you for not being judgmental. 'Cause that's exactly what I need, to be judged all the time!"
Donald: "You know what you need? I'll tell you exactly."
Jane: "What are you doing? What are you doing?"
Donald: "I am calling the police. (...) I have tried ten years of love and understanding. Maybe what it takes is you drying out in a jail cell."
Jane: "Fine, we'll go to rehab."
Donald: "I could care less about him going to rehab. I want you in rehab."
Jane: "Okay. I'll go first thing tomorrow."
Donald: "Not tomorrow. Today."
Jane: "I have to call into work. I have to stock the newspaper. The last time I went to rehab, all my houseplants died because you didn't water them, so. Please? I'll go. Tomorrow."
―Donald telling Jane to go back to rehab.[src]

"You can't give up on family. Never. I mean, what else is there?"
―Donald Margolis to Walter White.[src]

"Wayfare, 5-1-5 radio check. Wayfare 5-1-5 Albuquerque Center, roger. Climb and maintain 1-3,000. Juliet Mike 2-1, Squawk 4. Julie Mike 2-1, climb and maintain 1-7,000. Cleared direct to Albuquerque via the Aircraft calling. Please stand by. Jane Mike 2-1, turn heading Disregard. Aircraft calling, say again. Lifeguard 4-6. Cleared direct to Albuquerque. Climb and maintain 1-7,000. Juliet Mike 2-1, turn left heading 1-1-5. Wayfare 5-1-5. Traffic 3:00. Kingair, turn left heading 0-8-5. Sierra Alpha. Alpha contact Albuquerque Center 13 Contact Albuquerque Center 124. 6. Wayfare 5-1-5. Descend."
―Donald making the fatal error that resulted in the Wayfarer 515 disaster.[src]

Quotes about Donald[]

"We have the confirmation out of Oklahoma City as the FAA confirmed it was indeed a lone air traffic controller's fateful mistake which brought about the crash. Donald Margolis, a 19-year veteran of the FAA's Air Route Traffic Control Center in Albuquerque. Margolis recently returned to work after a five-week absence which was due to, quote, "a personal loss". While it's now known that Margolis had recently lost a daughter to a drug overdose a month before. His troubled daughter Jane Margolis, aged 26 apparently had a long history of substance abuse. Friends of the family say the death of his only child hit Margolis particularly hard. Coming as it did little more than a month before, many are questioning the timing of his return to work and are wondering how much blame truly lies with those who let this grieving father…"
―The news report about the Wayfarer 515 disaster, during which Donald is mentioned.[src]

"I know the moment. It was the night Jane died. Yeah, I-I was at home and we needed diapers and so I said I'd go, but it was just an excuse. Actually, that was the night I brought you your money, remember? (...) But afterward, I stopped at a bar. It was odd. I never do that, go to a bar alone. I just walked in, sat down. I never told you. (...) I sit down and this man, this stranger he engages me in conversation. He's a complete stranger. But he turns out to be Jane's father, Donald Margolis. (...) Of course, I didn't know it at the time. I mean, he was just some guy in a bar. I didn't put it together until after the crash when he was all over the news. Jane's dad. I mean, think of the odds. Once I tried to calculate them, but they're astronomical. I mean, think of the odds of me going in, sitting down that night in that bar next to that man. (...) I told him that I had a daughter and he told me he had one too. Then he said: "Never give up on family. " And I didn't. I took his advice. The universe is random. It's not inevitable. It's simple chaos. It's subatomic particles in endless aimless collision. That's what science teaches us. But what is this saying? What is it telling us when, on the very night that this man's daughter dies it's me who's having a drink with him? I mean, how can that be random?"
―Walter to Jesse about meeting Donald.[src]


Breaking Bad[]

Episodes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5A
Season 5B