Anyone on my FB feed knows i am completely uberfanboy over Breaking Bad. Obviously the fact that it’s the final season has a lot to do with my hyper excitement, but i;ve watched the show slowly grow over a few years from something sort of interesting to the greatest modern Shakespearean drama i’ve witnessed.
I’ve even meant to do a homage to Breaking Bad as a post, and perhaps we’ll get to it. However, today we’re going to list my 5 favorite episodes. Naturally the format of the show means that not every episode can be some uber epic knuckle biting moment of high drama. The plot needs to be constructed, pieces put into place, and tension built. And when that building of plot and tension pay off, it’s jaw dropping. Bloody hell i’m gonna miss this show.
I’m sure some of your lists will differ, although i have a feeling some episodes are everyone’s favorites. So without further ado, my top 5 (i don’t know their real titles, i’m just gonna describe them. Oh, which reminds me, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. If you haven’t watched the show and want to, if you’re only at season 3 or something, DON’T GO ANY FURTHER. SPOILERS.
Seriously, SPOILERS. Do you not see this picture right down here?
5. Jane Buys It:
Walt shows Marie how to tuck the baby in for a nap. He rolls up a towel and put it between the baby’s back and crib. “In case of spit-up,” he tells her.
He lies to Skylar. Jane lies to her Dad. Walter and her Dad meet in a bar and they talk about family. “What else is there?” he tells Walt.
Walt decides to be fatherly to Jesse. He goes over to Jesse.
Daddy’s little girl, Jane does indeed have a case of the spit ups.
Walter, the otherwise good father lets her spit up and another big piece of his soul goes dark.
4. Gale Buys It
Season 3 finale. What wasn’t great about it?
It had a flashback to when Walter and Skylar first bought the house. It has Mike killing 4 cartel gunmen. It has this insane tension because you know Gus is ready to take Walter out and be done with him and his bullshit. It has the SuperLab. It has a good look at Gale who was a great character and awesome uber geek. And of course it has that ending which in great BB fashion was not simply a “whacking” but also a defining character moment for Jesse, the impact of which would reverberate throughout the rest of the series. This is a reason why the show stands out: deaths don’t happen and next episode they’re forgotten. They matter. They have not only consequence but changing and lasting effects on the characters. Shakesperean.
3. The Train Robbery
Let’s face it, this episode had it all. It was nail bitingly tense. It was action packed, and just when you thought it couldn’t be any more intense… BOOM, that fucking ending. Holy SHIT. There are numerous moments when watching this show that i will suddenly speak out loud to the screen, and this was a full voices “HOLY. SHIT.” moment. Fucking Todd, man…
2. Gus Buys It.
The whole season led up to this. I wasn’t sure if Walter could get out of it, even though… look logic or not i wasn’t sure Walter could win. Gus had all the advantages from the start, experience, strategic brilliance, cold murderous viciousness… but what makes the show isn’t simply what happens, it’s HOW they happen. Dingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingdingding…. the few seconds after he walked out and adjusted his tie what came out fo my mouth was “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck”
1. Gus’ Revenge
You know, the one where he went to Mexico with a bottle of tequila.
Why pick this as my favorite? Well, first of all, come on, this episode was FUCKING AWESOME. So there’s that. But it also reflects a deeper reason why the show works so well: all characters have depth (okay, we’ll forget about Jr. for just a second) and the show takes time to develop and make sympathetic the “villians”. Gus is fucking stone, cold awesome. (Mike wins for MOST stone cold awesome, but Gus comes in a noteable second.) Taking an entire episode to delve into his backstory and make him sympathtic to us is BRILLIANT. It’s real. No one’s a bad guy in their own story. No action in the show is without consequence, and for awhile i t was that way for Walter, but he has to face this last season where it all comes back to bite him.
I digress. The fact is, taking an episode to focus on Gus and give him such a great backstory and even make him a lot like Walter was sheer brilliance and reflects the type of attention to character depth that makes this show so fantastic. This episode was not only awesome in and of itself it served to make the entire season and the entire show more awesome. That’s why it’s number 1.