The popular series “Breaking Bad” has come to an end (we still can’t get over it) and some fans were left feeling a little empty if not abandoned. The odd but incredible show rose to the top to receive critical acclaim and it was a habit that was hard for fans to break. It left a hole, and it might feel like there is still something missing, but we’ve got a lineup that just might help to ease the withdrawals. We did after all, hang in there to watch Walter make his gradual descent into total evilness. Here are the top twenty moments from the show to remind you of just how good those old days truly were.
Season 1:1 Pilot – Clothing Store Scene
The first episode of the series reminds us of how it all began. Looking back now, it was fairly apparent that there was something off about Walter White. The scene in which the boys were making fun of Walter, the son for having cerebral palsy gives us a strong indication that Walter was capable of some pretty dark stuff. Skylar begins to head towards them to take care of the situation, but Walt intervenes. He takes one of the guys down by kicking him in the back of the leg, then stomping on his calf. He makes a comment about knowing how it feels to not be able to walk very well. When Walter stares him down, he makes a pretty deadly threat if the bully decides that he is going to take a swing. His rage is very evident and it is at that moment that Walt is not just a mild mannered teacher. In fact, although he uses an amazing amount of restraint, the darkness seems to be just under the surface.
‘Crazy Handful Of Nothin’ – Season 1, Episode 6
This episode is all about a good time and a big explosion fits the ticket. Mercury fulminate was the magic formula as Walt blows up Tuco. The top floor of Tuco’s pad lost it’s window in the incident. This is the first time that Walt makes an appearance with his head fully shaved. It’s also the debut of his alter ego to the underworld. This scene marks the end of the mild mannered chemistry teacher and his makes his appearance, quite literally, with a bang. While the exact formulation of his home made explosive became the subject of a “Mythbusters” experiment, it still sounded good for those of us who don’t know a lot about explosives. It was a great effect anyway.
‘Gliding Over All’ – Season 5: Episode 8
Walt is at it again in the episode that shows him taking out nine of Gus Fring’s legacy members. It only takes him two minutes to wipe them all. It’s an exciting scene and it shows just how bad Walter has become. We’re not really clear as to whether all nine of them are horrible people. Some of them well could have just been delivery guys making them fairly innocent and adding to the black marks against Walt’s immortal soul. We must add that at this point, they’re adding up fast. This was certainly one of the baddest episodes. The three men that were in question were located in different prisons so Walt hired the Neo Nazi uncle of Todd’s to get the job done through his various contacts in the prison system. This was a rough one to sit through. The sound effects of all the shiv that took place could have been a little less graphic, but isn’t this the kind of horrible thing that fuels our addictions to “Breaking Bad?”
‘Crystal Blue Persuasion’
This episode had a lot of things going on but the accompanying music was just over the top. The search conducted by Jesse to “stay On The Outside,” Hank putting his clues together to “Word Mule,” and Wendy tending to her business to “Windy,” gave it an almost whimsical feeling. the very best of this thematic approach was the “Crystal Blue Persuasion that referenced the production of meth. It couldn’t have been a better choice. We guess that music really does move the plot forward and in this case, there was no way to improve on the outlay or the orchestration which was right on the mark. Every now and then, we’ve been able to experience this kind of genius on the show.
‘Cornered’ Season 4: Episode 6
This is the season that we heard “I am the one who knocks” and it was forever ingrained in our memories. Was this one of Cranston’s finest moments? You be the judge, but for some of us who still say it in jest to our buddies, we think it was pretty cool. Heisenberg is perhaps the scariest we’ve seen and it’s really smart of Skyler White to be terrified by the man that is her husband. This one was second only to the “say my name” catchphrase which became famous in the fifth season. He’s about as bad as they come but he certainly does have a way with words.
‘Say My Name’ Season 5: Episode 7
We just had to follow up with this one because it fits in here so perfectly. We’re trying to figure out why Mike left Kaylee by herself at the playground. So what if the DEA was hot on his tail. He was conflicted for certain and it’s a scene that throws a curve that has him caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. You can tell by the expression on his face that it wasn’t his preference. He had to really get worked up before shooting the park scene, which is the mark of a fine actor. He found that special place and it paid off in spades. This is one of our favorite scenes, not because it makes you feel good or anything even remotely close, but it does show us a hell of a lot about the internal workings of the character. This is where we said goodby to Mike, played by Banks and it wasn’t a happy occasion for the cast and crew either, but it was time for him to leave the show because the Mike had hit his zenith and it was time for a rapid decline.
‘Fifty-One’ –Season 5: Episode 4
Walt is really having the time of his life here. The new car he gets for his birthday is reason for him to act like a kid who just had a very good Christmas on birthday fifty one, and he even got a heartwarming gift from Jesse. It was tough to read him, but we think it was touching. The best part of this episode was Anna Gunn’s character Skyler in her most riveting moment. It all catches up with her and we get the picture very clearly as she seems to forget that they’re having a celebration. The pool scene gave us all a really poignant look at where she was in her life. She understands who she is married to and her greatest desire is to get the kids away from him and the lifestyle that he has chosen. Anna Gunn fans will find the pool scene quite disturbing.
Forget Skyler the accountant or Skyler the Marilyn Monroe impersonator – Anna Gunn’s real stand-out moment was the pool scene, a challenge both technical and emotional for the actress. “I had to be trained to breathe with a regulator under water so we could do the stunt because it required me being taken to the deep end,” Gunn explains.
“I had to be dragged underwater by two guys, two divers, and put into a special wire cage with that blue skirt I was wearing so that it bubbled around me with that flower effect/design around my head, and then with the regulator in my mouth I had to, at the last minute, toss it off and open my eyes and float there. I am not a big water person and I definitely didn’t think I could breathe with a regulator, so to be able to do that was a big deal and I was proud of that and it was a beautiful shot, so beautifully directed by Rian Johnson, who I adore, and our amazing special effects and stunt people.” You can check out a behind-the-scenes underwater shot of the moment in question here.
‘Felina’ Season 5: Episode 8
The closing episode has so many examples of exemplary acting that it’s impossible to pick one out and call it the best, but we’re going with the final Skyler and Walt exchange. This is the last time that Walt will walk away fro his son and he fades into oblivion. Watching Walt stumbling to the lab with a hole in his stomach and making it to the lab where Jesse had been held is almost too much. Cranston delivers on this one, perhaps the greatest performance of his life so far. We see a glimpse of Heisenberg on the cooker that he reaches out for, but Walter White is the man who hits the floor the lies there without a movement, staring blankly. This truly is an end to his madness and reign of terror. Sure, this was a fitting end, but were we really ready for it to go this way?
‘One Minute’ Hit Season 3: Episode 7
Hank Schrader, the DEA agent gets a phone call that tells him, “Two men are coming to kill you. You have one minute.” He doesn’t know who it is, but the cousin assassins are coming for him. He only has one bullet for the single gun that he is carrying. It’s not a good position to find yourself in. At first, he thinks it’s a gag, but he was way wrong about that. He rethinks it, and begins to scan the parking lot, taking it more seriously now. As he glances at the clock in his car, he realizes that time is running out. The cousins show up and Hank gets shot up pretty badly, but it wasn’t free for the one that he pinned between two cars. Wounded and lying on the pavement, the remaining cousin decides that shooting him would be too easy. Instead he goes to the car and gets an axe. Hank fumbles with the single bullet that he has left and tries to load it into the gun. Just before the axe falls down on his head, he manages to fire off a round and deprive the sole standing cousin of the majority of his brains and the back of his skull with the bullet.
‘Box Cutter’ Season 4: Episode 1
Gus Fring brings us the ultimate in violence for the show in this scene. He’s got a real talent for remaining calm and collected when he’s ending someone. Mike, Jesse and Walt are charged with taking care of the body. This scene was so brutal and bloody that the cast and crew all had a little trouble with it. Some scenes can be so well done that they go beyond perfection, and it’s a lot like the event actually happened in real life, versus just in a scene from a television show. Did they take this one a little too far? You be the judge of that.
‘Cat’s In The Bag…’ Season 1: Episode 2
The second episode of the show took us all a little deeper into the tone that would get a lot darker as the season evolved. Remember the drug dealers who ended up in a rough spot on Jesse’s wooden floor? The hydrofluoric acid ate through the finish and it didn’t do the dealers any good either. Cranston’s character is making the move towards what will be a run of extreme badness and this is just the beginning. It’s a lot of fun to look back at the earlier parts of the series and compare what we were thinking then with what we know now. This is the perfect time for dyed in the wool fans to go back and watch the entire series again.
‘Thirty-Eight Snub’ Season 4: Episode 2
Catch this episode if you’re really into the use of point of view camera shots. The bottom of the meth trays, the toilet cistern, the pink teddy bear in it’s journey to the earth from the airplane and a heck of a lot more. Watch this episode and make a list of all of the point of view shots and prepare to be amazed at their creativity. This was possibly one of their most inventive efforts in the history of the series. Walt knows that it’s only a matter of time before Gus makes his move and wipes them out, so of all things, he’s given a .38 snub because of it’s “compact size,” so he’ll be prepared if something goes down fast. Hence, the title of the episode.
‘Buyout’ – Season 5: Episode 6
Walt claimed that what he was doing was strictly for his family, but was he lying to everyone else or just himself? He hid behind this philosophy anyway, but the trouble and shame that he brought into the home was definitely not something that a man who truly loved his family would do. It was apparent by this time that what Walt was really after was power and self aggrandizement. This may have been the first time in his life that he actually felt like he had some real control. He had put in his time scrubbing cars and doing other menial tasks to eek out a few bucks to survive. Making meth somehow made him feel like he was the man and this is one that we really never could figure out, but that was Walter White to a Tee.
‘Half Measures’ Season 3: Episode 12 Jesse Runs
Walter White gets the bright idea that he can get rid of his enemies by whacking them with his car. The episode is just full of grand schemes as Jesse has a plan that is almost as brilliant. He jumps out of his car and stalks up to a drug dealer duo and makes an attempt to shoot them. Jesse’s plan doesn’t exactly work out the way that he had planned, so Walter has to take care of the situation by taking the remaining drug dealer’s gun and putting a bullet in his head. We’re thinking that Jesse who isn’t really a natural born killer at heart probably ran as fast as he could to get away from the scene. It’s okay though, because Walter had told him to do it.
‘Face Off’ Season 4: Episode 13
This is one of “Breaking Bad’s” worst scenes ever. Who really wants to see an old man pee himself? Salamanca is out to get his revenge on Gus Fring and he doesn’t care what it takes to get the job done. He’s old and can’t control his bladder, but he’s still a bad ass. So what if he cant walk or talk very well. He can still spell out a few choice dirty phrases, even if it takes him a while to do so. He can also tap on his wheelchair and ring a bell. It just happened to have been connected to a bomb that deprived Fring of one half of his face. This was a pretty grim scene. It wasn’t the worst, but it did land on the disturbing side. It’s not much fun to look on the inside of a guy’s skull through his eye socket.
Hank punches Walter
This is the final scene of the “Blood Money” season, episode 9. Walt confronts Hank and even though we can see the fear in his eyes, he uses the remote to close the garage door behind Walter. You can see a shadow cross Walt’s face and he registers a little concern. He doesn’t like the look on Hank’s face, or the fact that he has just sealed the two together away from the public. This is an amazing episode that shows the tables turning nicely. Walt walked into the place thinking that he was the big man and Hank showed him a thing or two when he knocked him into the next wall and gave him a good roughing up. We all know that he had it coming.
‘ABQ’ Season 2: Episode 13
The “Dad is my hero” scene shows a stuttering Walter telling about what a wonderful father Walt is and it seems like he’s struggling to choose his words very carefully under the prying eyes of the interviewer. It’s interesting to see the look on Walt’s face when he listens to his son say how “decent” he is, and that he “always does the right thing.” He looks as though he is sweating bullets as young Walter goes on about all of the wonderful things that he father is. Walt’s a tough guy to read, but we almost see a real stir of emotion in the first part. The second half, though is the most interesting. It is a repeat of all of the things that young Walt said, except Walt is shown doing all of the dastardly deeds that he’s done that are the opposite of what his son is describing.
‘Peekaboo’ –Episode 6: Season 2
Regardless of anything else, Jesse has a heart when it comes to children. He’s taken extra pains to follow his heart on this matter and it’s perhaps a weakness because of the line of work that he’s in. Drugs and kids don’t really go that well together. He was having a good time playing peekaboo with the kid, that is until his methed out woman bashes him in the head. The dude really doesn’t like physical violence or conflict and when he had to kill Gale, the guilt ate him alive. He turned to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and started playing violent video games but it didn’t really help.
‘Hank Discovers the Truth”
Never mind the references to Kentucky Fried Chicken here. This is the scene where hank shares his hunches with his connections in the DEA. He discovers some truths about the whole Heisenberg case. It’s at this moment all of us start to get chills and the moment all of us get completely let down when the show ends and we’d have to wait another week to find out what would happen next. The show had an uncanny ability to leave us in incredible lurches like that week after week.