Our 10 Favorite Episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’

Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston, Aaron PaulFrank Ockenfels/AMC

Although we can’t single out any episode of Breaking Bad that we’d consider a disappointment, we’ve delved back into the archives to compile a list of our 10 favorite hours from the world of Walter White. Peruse our list (in chronological order) and chime in!

“…And the Bag’s in the River” (Season 1, Episode 3)
This gem is three episodes into the series, but marks the true beginning of Walter White’s submission to the dark calls of desperation, and introduces us for the first time to the meticulous, poetic writing of the masterful drama. To think back now upon the panic-stricken, remorseful, humanistic Walt we see in “Bag’s in the River” is almost eerie…
– Michael Arbeiter

“Peekaboo” (Season 2, Episode 6)
Another relatively early turn, “Peekaboo” gave fans a special, piercing insight into just how much Breaking Bad did intend to resonate with us. In its bleakest setting yet, its lowdown failure Jesse exemplifies a degree of flickering humanity that we hadn’t yet seen in his attempts to rescue a silent young boy from the clutches of his dangerous, maniacal parents. We have seen this sort of emotional weight many times since then, but “Peekaboo” stands as one of the most impacting entries.
– Michael Arbeiter

“4 Days Out” (Season 2, Episode 9)
Walt, believing he’s on death’s doorstep, gets Jesse together for one last cook. One that will stow away enough money to provide for his family. But when the trusty RV fails to start, and the pair runs out of drinkable water, Walt doesn’t have to worry about surviving his caner, he has to worry about surviving the night. This bottle episode really allows the characters shine as they let their true feelings break through, coming close to dying in the New Mexican desert.
– Jordan Smith

“One Minute” (Season 3, Episode 7)
That scene where those seemingly emotionless twin brothers (commonly known as “The Cousins”) come to kill Hank is hands down my favorite scene of Breaking Bad. Yes, neither Walt or Jesse are in the scene, but Hank, a different heartbeat of the show, fights for his life against two well-dressed, vengeful murderers. Few scenes have incurred more yelling-at-the-screen (“Drive, you idiot!”) than during the one minute counting down to the attack. Viewers sometimes get too wrapped up in how ruthless Walt is or how misunderstood Jesse is, and forget that this show also has impressive action-packed scenes of violence and suspense. Hopefully this scene is a good reminder of that for us all.
– Casey Rackham

“Fly” (Season 3, Episode 10)
Easily the most polarizing episode in Breaking Bad‘s run watches Walt melt under the influence of painkillers, growing rattled over the presence of a pest in his lab, internally undone by his toxic secret of having watched Jane die and terrified that he might reveal this to Jesse… or worse, live with it forever. Call it a “pretentious” or boring episode if you will, naysayers, but there are few examples of such deft character work on modern television.
– Michael Arbeiter

“Half Measures” (Season 3, Episode 12)
If only for the promotion of background prostitute Wendy to a glorified heroine (complete with her own theme song!) and Mike Ehrmantraut’s first impressive speech about, as the title would suggest, half measures, Season 3’s penultimate episode stands out as one of the most memorable turns in the show’s history.
– Michael Arbeiter

“Full Measure” (Season 3, Episode 13)
Poor Gale. Poor, sweet, sweet Gale. If Breaking Bad had anything close to a pure innocent, it was definitely the hapless Mr. Boetticher, Gus’ cook-in-training who got caught up in the messy politics of meth manufacturing. His murder was an unfortunate act of self-preservation from Walt and Jesse (or so they saw it). Gale was like a sweet little lamb that had no idea the axe was swinging right towards his head.
– Jordan Smith

“Crawl Space” (Season 4, Episode 11)
After Gus drags Walt to the desert and threatens to kill his entire family, Walt scrambles home to find his money in order to vanish — but the money is missing and Walt is screwed. That instance of Walter lying in his dusty crawl space, sobbing and then madly cackling as his whole world folds in on itself, is one of Breaking Bad’s most horrific images. 
– Jordan Smith

“Dead Freight” (Season 5, Episode 5)
There was some criticism for this episode being too gimmicky because of the train heist, but it was just what the show needed. Season 5 definitely had some slow points, and the suspense involved with extracting the right amount of methylamine and replenishing it with the right amount of water under a time constraint was just the touch of adrenaline that the season needed pumped back into it. Plus, we found out just how soulless Todd really was when he shot a little boy point blank, and immediately saw the impact that it was going to have on Jesse’s fragile conscience.
– Casey Rackham

“Felina” (Season 5, Episode 16)
Maybe we just think that this episode is one of the best because we just watched it and are full of lots of feelings, but it seems like we’re going to be calling it one of our favorite episodes for years to come. We’ve all been trying to get inside Walt’s head and figure out what he’s been thinking for five seasons, and this series finale finally let us all glimpse into his genius mind for just a moment… and that’s all we needed. Long live Heisenberg. Oh, and Jesse (we love him too).
Casey Rackham

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