Surprise! Not only are we avid movie fans, but we also love to watch TV. Dexter, The Sopranos, The Walking Dead; you name it, one of us has seen it at some point. Posts about television will be pretty rare– we like to stick to our roots– but seriously, who doesn’t love Breaking Bad?! And with it coming to an end on Sunday night, we just had to find a way to celebrate it. Therefore, we decided to give you our top five favorite episodes of the entire series.
It will be really hard to say goodbye to Breaking Bad. It has brought us phenomenal acting, unbelievable writing, and just about everything in between (hell, even Belize means something). It shouldn’t need to be said, but, major spoilers. If you haven’t finished Breaking Bad, and you intend to, I recommend sitting this one out.
As Jesse would say, “Enjoy, b!tch!”
Series Finale Teaser
5. Better Call Saul (S2, E8)
The introduction to one of my favorite characters in the show, Saul Goodman. From the get go, with his ridiculous commercial, Saul was a quirky, shady, and somehow half-decent lawyer. He proves able to get Badger out of a rough spot, and ultimately becomes Walt and Jesse’s lawyer, joining them in the meth business. Without even discussing Hank’s storyline, which features him struggling with PTSD after a bombing in Juarez, this episode was intriguing and proved to be the beginning of the excellence that was Saul Goodman. When he walked into the interrogation room, called the detective a sneaky Pete, and then gave Badger that stupid smile. Oh man. Better Call Saul.
4. Gliding All Over (S5, E8)
Since I had a ridiculous amount of catching up to do, I watched this episode a mere two months before the final episodes aired, but the final scene has to be one of the biggest cliffhangers in TV history. We see Hank look up from Walt’s book with a menacing, shocking look that would prove to change the events of the show as we knew it. Then you realize that the rest of the episode was pretty damn good too, including the fantastic prison death montage, the kids coming back home, the nostalgic references and the gigantic pile of cash that symbolized how far Walt went for his family… or for himself.
3. ABQ (S2, E13)
This episode would have been great solely because of the pink teddy bear that came out of nowhere and landed in Walt’s pool. Luckily for us, we received the start of Jesse’s fall into hell, by him checking into rehab, ironically enough. Dealing with his girlfriend’s death is one of the events that tips him over the edge and reveals the Jesse that we now know: dark and disgruntled. Additionally, the bit with the bear at the end was fantastically done. Pink the color of hearts and Valentine’s Day, is actually symbolic of death. And remind me, what color was Walter wearing?
2. Ozymandias (S5, E 14)
While not my favorite episode, this may certainly be the best one. It was intense from beginning to end, something that is difficult to have in a single episode. The beginning was charming and memorable, with a flashback to the good ol’ days when Skylar was still pregnant and Walt still had hair. Then BAM Hank is shot, Walt is crying, and the neo-nazis are in charge. Then, out of nowhere, Walt Jr. (or should I say Flynn) finds out about his dad, and Skylar and Walt are in a knife fight… it’s just too much to describe. This episode was entertaining and exhilarating from beginning to end, and may be in the conversation for the best TV episode of all time. Yes really.
1. Crawl Space (S4, E11)
The final 8-10 minutes of this episode are some of the best TV of all time. When Gus threatens Walt and his entire family, everything shifts. Walt goes from the man with all the power to the bottom of the chain. He is scared for his life. He is no longer the one who knocks. For a split second the real Walter White is seen. Then, in my favorite scene in the entire show, Walt looks for his money with desperation and when he finds Skylar gave it away, his life is gone. Walt is gone. Heisenberg has taken control. The final image leaves us with Walter White lying in the crawlspace looking through a hole in the floor; his coffin.
5. Peekaboo (S2, E6)
A lot of people dismiss this as an inconsequential filler episode of this show. Why? It’s actually a very well-written and revealing episode that was just self-contained. First off, we get a sobering reveal of Walt as he tells Gretchen off in a “Heisengerg”-y way. Later, Jesse is playing with a kid while trying to be a badass distributor like he’s always planned on. So what do we end on? We see Jesse that might be a good person trying to pretend to be bad while we see that Walt might be the opposite. We also get a fleeting glimpse of their customers in between.
4. Crazy Handful of Nothin’ (S1, E6)
If you made me write this a year or two ago before I gave the series a re-watch, this would be number one.
When I’m showing someone this series, they look at me like I’m crazy for saying that this show is nailbiting and intense. The first five episodes of the show are provoking, just not exciting. And then Tuco, in all his psychopathic and loud glory, comes in and suddenly people are on the edge of their seat. It’s an episode that raised the stakes, upped the insanity and showed us that there’s an angry side to Walt. It’s a perfect thesis for his transformation.
3. Ozymandias (S5, E14)
What a beautiful, perfect episode this is. Just from the Shelly-inspired title, you know exactly what’s going to happen, you just aren’t ready for it. This is the one everyone was waiting for from the first episode. The one where Walt’s criminal and family lives collide and here it was. As soon as Skyler began waving a knife at Walt over the cries of Walt Jr. and Holly, I didn’t think I could take it, I nearly stopped the episode for a breather. Props for one of the best openings and endings in the series also.
2. Face Off (S4, E13)
It’s a cliche choice. But if I could somehow cram all of the final 6 of season 4 into one entry, I would. Gus meets his fate. Hector gets his revenge. Walt wins.
1. Mandala (S2, E11)
When I tell people I love this episode, they usually have forgotten about it. It’s not the most exciting, action packed or clever of the show but I love it. It’s a perfect turning point for the plot and a great example of what the show is about.
The most important moment of Walt’s journey to me isn’t in the fascinating basement scenes with Krazy-8. It’s not his terrifying fit in “Crawl Space”. It’s the moment he gets Skyler’s text that she’s in labor and he smiles briefly but then realizes he has to finish the deal.
I can’t think of how many times Breaking Bad has perfectly summed up an episode in one ending image. So what do we get in this? We get Walt putting on his most serious Heisenberg expression hastily rushing to a deal with a mysterious man he doesn’t know. He’s almost certain he’s going to miss his daughter’s birth. He doesn’t even know if he’ll make it to said deal in time. But something (Arrogance, work ethic, whatever the viewer sees) drives him to go anyway.
If that doesn’t perfectly sum up the suspense and development of this story, I don’t know what does.
What are your favorite episodes? Feel free to tell us in the comment section below.
Bonus Video: Even Weird Al loves Breaking Bad! Check out his 12 minute epic “Alberquerque”. It truly is something.