What we mostly love about television are the characters that we wouldn’t normally see under the light of day.
Most of the characters below are geniuses. But, when you have a genius as a protagonist, the only thing that can make the show interesting is when you have a villain that is just as smart.
That said, not all criminal geniuses are bad people.
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We are now offering you a list of geniuses who resorted to crime—may it be for survival, a grand plan, or just their personal pleasure.
Can you think of anybody else who could have been included on the list? Or did your favorite Brainiac make it?
Walter White (Breaking Bad)
A chemistry honors graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Walt became a high school chemistry teacher who was diagnosed with Stage IIIA lung cancer. Because of his illness, he resorted to creating methamphetamine and dealing drugs to guarantee his family's financial retreat after his demise. He was dragged deeper into the illegal drug deal, becoming more and more merciless as the series progressed, and later adopted the alias Heisenberg, which became identifiable as the honcho figure in the local drug business.
Mike Ross (Suits)
Mike Ross has what they call a photographic memory. If anyone had a mind like Mike Ross, there would have been plenty of options in life for them to be successful. But, Mike was so adamant about being a lawyer that he used his memory to practice law even without a degree and a license. For that, he was imprisoned in Danbury Federal Prison for being guilty of fraud.
Elliott Alderson (Mr. Robot)
Not all criminals are bad, are they? That's why Elliott Alderson is part of our list. He's a cybersecurity engineer and vigilante hacker who lives in New York City. He previously worked as a hacker for a cyber company. Ironic, because Elliott would illegally hack the likes of the company he's working in, the Evil Corp. Elliot was recruited by Mr. Robot to join a group of hacktivists called "fsociety."
Neal Caffrey (White Collar)
Neal Caffrey was an artistic genius and a polyglot, being able to speak eight different languages. He was sophisticated and charming with a wide range of knowledge about art, history, and communication, most of which were self-taught. With those abilities, he’s able to con his way into things and treasures and sometimes, even the hearts of the people around him.
Jim Moriarty (Sherlock)
Without a sense of remorse, James Moriarty probably was one of the toughest geniuses to put down. Even with Sherlock as his archnemesis—one of the greatest minds himself in television; he was still hard to beat. He was incredibly smart and highly skilled at manipulation. Even as a kid, he had been arranging deaths of others, starting with a schoolboy named Carl Powers back in the 80s. He’s that twisted. Oh, and did we mention that he managed to break into the high-level security of Bank of England and steal the Crown Jewels?
Dexter Morgan (Dexter)
Dexter was a forensic blood spatter analyst who worked for the fictitious Miami Metro Police Department and also a serial killer preying on people who are murderers themselves. Being a sociopath, he didn't really feel guilt when it came to his kills, making his high intelligence become more useful at orchestrating the perfect and spotless kill without the need to feel emotion apart from satisfaction and self-gratification. He may have had a code of ethics, but even that was distorted on its own.