Like everyone else in the world, I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad. I watched every episode of the show with my anticipation and fear growing. Every time the dust settled, something on the horizon loomed. It’s shadow encroaching on the empire Heisenberg built. Now that the show has ended, I’ve had time to digest and look back. After some mulling and deliberating, I’ve come up with my top 5 episodes.
5. …And the Bag’s in the River (Season 1)
I know this is an odd choice but this episode always stuck out for me as a point of no return. After dragging his feet, Walt finally decides to release Krazy-8. Instead, Walt is forced to kill him in self defense. Before this, Walt could have walked away with his soul still intact. Now, with the man dead, there was no going back. Something changed inside him. Krazy-8 was the first of many deaths at the hands of Heisenberg. (I didn’t forget about the other dealer, Emilio dying first, but that was accidental).
4. Half Measures (Season 3)
As I mentioned in my review, the half measures speech Mike gives to Walt still sticks in my mind. While the jaw dropping moment of Walt racing in to save Jesse at the end of the episode was shocking, it’s what came before. Bombastic is easy to do. It’s the quiet, reserved moments that are hard. Let alone nailing them consistently. Half Measures is the perfect example of a quiet moment.
3. Dead Freight (Season 5)
Watching Walt be a genius was always one of the most fun aspects of the show (besides the dark humor). Whether it be using magnets, dropping mercury fluoride, or setting up Gus, it was always entertaining. The train heist is one of the last times we see him do this. The complexity of this robbery was astounding, and was pulled off without a hitch. Until the end that is.
2. Salud (Season 4)
The first time I saw this I was in shock. I had a feeling something big was coming moments before, but not quiet this magnitude. I instantly rewatched the end scene, taking in the atmosphere and subtitles, wondering how I missed the obvious writing on the walls. In a few short minutes, Gus showed why he was a force to be reckoned with, and an equal to Walt.
1. Ozymandias (Season 5)
Before the final eight episodes premiered, a trailer released with Bryan Cranston reading Ozymandias. The fallen empire. Somehow, against all odds, Walt managed to keep everything together. After all this time, the near death situations, the narrow misses with the law and Skylar, he kept it all together. In one fell swoop, in one moment, everything crumbled to dust. The look on Walt’s face as he laid motionless told you everything you needed to know. Heisenberg was dead. His empire had fallen.
Not one bad episode.