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It’s finally time for Breaking Bad Season 5. This has been a moment in the making. Episode 1 of the season premiered on Sunday, and as we gear up for the next episode coming up, we wanted to take a stroll down memory lane and review the 10 best scenes of the series.
Warning: Beware of spoilers.
1. It goes without question that the first best scene of Breaking Bad has to be the beginning of the pilot episode in which Walter is seen driving the RV around the desert until he crashes. We don’t know who this man is, or what he is doing in an RV wearing a gas mask, surrounded by passed out people. What’s even more disturbing is the video message he leaves on a camcorder for his family. Who is this guy and how is this possibly happening? The scene was a great way to kick start a show full of surprises.
2. One of the greatest scenes of the whole show is the one in which Walter and Jesse get stuck in the desert. There they are cooking in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico when they discover that the RV battery is completely dead. When Walter warned Jesse not to lose the keys, Jesse left them in the ignition, which he thought would be okay since he didn’t hear a click, but of course everything goes wrong.
Walter and Jesse are stuck in the scorching desert with nearly no water until Jesse convinces Walter into doing the unthinkable: creating his own car battery. It’s an insane scene in which we see Walter and Jesse’s characters grow closer together as they tough it out against nature and brainstorm a solution that sounds close to impossible. That’s what’s so lovable about these two together: They don’t care how zany the plan sounds, if they have to do it, they’re willing to try.
3. Another really powerful scene in the show is when Walter decides to stand up to Tuco. To put it in context, Jesse goes to Tuco to ask him to be their new distributor. Tuco responds by having him beaten to a pulp, but Walter shows up for some pay back. He surprises Tuco and his gang by distracting them with a small explosion that makes him look scary. That’s pretty impressive for a high school chemistry teacher who starts off the show as a major pushover.
4. Next up is when Walter runs over the two gangsters involved in the death of
Andrea’s brother Tomas. Andrea is Jesse’s girlfriend who he met in a Narcotics Anonymous group. At first, Jesse tries to sell her meth but then changes his mind when he realizes she has a young son. As he becomes more attached to them, he is enraged when he learns that her 11-year-old brother Tomas has been shooting people and dealing meth for two gangsters, who happen to work for Gus.
At Jesse’s request, Gus asks the two men to stop using children to do business, but Tomas is later killed in a drug related shooting. Grieving and full of rage, Jesse sets out to kill the two men. Walt, who wants Jesse to remain safe and doesn’t want Gus to go after him for killing his guys, comes speeding out of no where and runs over the two men with his car. Once again, Walt surprises us with how far he is willing to go.
5. For #5, I want to talk about Skyler, who is perhaps an underrated character. We all get frustrated by Skyler from time to time. She just can’t seem to give Walt a break. But what is admirable about her is her devotion to her principles and ethical beliefs. Skyler isn’t going to stand down for anything or comprise her morals, even if it means distancing herself from the love of her life.
As Walter becomes more and more detached from his family, Skyler goes back to work at her former job as a bookkeeper. While looking through the books she realizes that Ted, the owner of the company, has been cooking his books for the past few years. Skyler is appalled and horrified to learn that Ted is going to be audited by the IRS. This would put her at great risk because she signed off on the books.
In one of the first moves that really shows us Skyler’s cunning mastermind side, Skyler shows up to a meeting with an IRS employee and pretends to be a ditzy, uninformed accountant. She acts like the complete opposite of herself: she wears a flashy top, talks like a valley girl, and bats her eyelashes. Her feigned ignorance works on the IRS employee. Instead of going to jail, Ted has to pay a fine and his back taxes. Just like Walt, Skyler can handle almost any situation, and she’s a really good actor.
6. While trying to choose between the many, many amazing scenes from this show, one that stands out is a trip that Walt makes to Lowe’s. He happens upon a man that is blatantly buying supplies to cook meth. Of course, Walt being the know-it-all that he is, and the fact that he can’t stand seeing something done the wrong way, goes up to the man and explains to him what he should buy. He also gives the man a diatribe on how careless he is being. He should never buy all of his supplies at one time, from one store. That just gives everything away.
What’s so great is what this scene builds up to. In the end, Walt follows the guy to the parking lot and confronts him and his partner. What started as a simple high school teacher and family man running some errands turns into a drug lord protecting his turf. He’s really convincing when he warns the guys to never cook in his territory. For me, this scene exemplifies one of the great characteristics of the show: it shows ordinary people in seemingly ordinary situations, but the subtle subtext says much more.
7. A scene that had us all sitting on the edge of our seats was when Hector’s twin nephews go after Hank. Hank has just sat down in his car when he gets an anonymous phone call. The unrecognizable voice warns him that he is in danger and he has to get out of there. Hank is spooked, so he starts paying closer attention to what’s going on around him. Out of no where, the twins gang up on him. He starts shooting up his car and he actually backs up, pinning one twin into another car.
Horribly wounded, Hank somehow manages to crawl away and grab a gun, just in time to shoot the second twin before he puts a bullet in Hank’s head. The scene can’t be sufficiently described in words. It was very suspenseful and orchestrated very well. I honestly couldn’t tell if Hank was going to make it or not.
8. Definitely one of the best scenes of the show is one in which Badger gets arrested. We start off the episode watching Badger in a park when a young man, played by DJ Qualls, approaches him to buy drugs. What’s really classic about this is that Badger refuses to sell him drugs at first. He goes into great detail about how he would get caught if he did. He even points out vans that could be police under cover. However, the young man convinces Badger that he isn’t a cop and Badger’s just being paranoid. Badger finally gives in and all of the sudden the guy is holding a gun at him and the vans race to them.
9. One thing you have to love about this show is watching people like Jesse and Walt B.S. themselves out of bad situations. One of the best examples of this is when Jesse has to prove himself to a group of chemists in Mexico. As Gus desperately tries to cut Walt out of their arrangement, he asks Jesse to teach chemists in Mexico how to cook their formula. Just imagine the Jesse we know from season one trying to approach this, but we’re in season four and Jesse has grown a lot.
Jesse doesn’t really know anything about chemistry compared to these guys. What he does know is how Walt does things. He can go through the motions and get it done better than anyone else. In a very nerve racking moment in which everything can go wrong at any second, Jesse stands up to the chemists and speaks as confidently as he possibly can while being terrified inside. In the end, he makes the chemists look bad and he gets to live another day.
10. For the last scene, we have to talk about Gus’ demise. I wasn’t sure that it would ever actually happen, but they really pulled it off. Tuco’s uncle Hector agrees to help Walter take Gus down. Hector gets Gus’ attention by visiting the DEA, merely to give him a reason to show up at the nursing home. As Gus prepares to give Hector a lethal injection, Hector starts ringing the bell he uses to communicate with people, but this time it’s connected to a bomb. The bomb explodes and Gus and Hector both die.
Meanwhile, Brock (Jesse’s girlfriend’s son) is alive; he’s been poisoned by a Lily of the Valley plant.What Jesse doesn’t know is that Walter is the one who did it.
With this show, you never know what to expect. Mystery is one thing, but I believe we keep watching for the characters. How far is Walter willing to go? Is he the good guy or the bad guy? Will his relationship with Skyler ever completely heal and will he get back the undying loyalty he once had with Jesse? Here’s to season five and may it be a good one.