VHS video footage of Gettysburg skaters shot by David Kierniesky from 1990-1992. This footage was transferred to DVD in 2013. Edited the usuable footage into…
Breaking Bad is my favorite television drama show all-time. It’s very hard to select the ten best episodes. The series consists of 62 episodes. For purposes of this list, I’m excluding the Pilot and the yet-to-be-aired Finale. The Pilot is brilliant.
Here’s my favorite ten episodes…
…And The Bag’s In The River (Season 1 - Episode 3)
Walt & Jesse are still dealing with Krazy-8 and Emilio. The episode begins with Walt & Jesse scrubbing up the remains of Emilio which came through the ceiling to the first floor. As Walt is cleaning, we see him thinking about an encounter with a woman many years earlier when he was still working/studying chemistry. It’s a great contrast of the description of what elements make up the human body as they clean up the dissolved Emilio. Krazy-8 requests a meal. Walt prepares him a bologna sandwich. As he gets to the bottom of the stairs, he passes out (Cancer symptoms). The plate shatters toward Krazy-8. Meanwhile, Krazy-8 is still alive and chained to a pole in the basement. Walt contemplates his options. He weighs the pros and cons of killing him. After sharing some beers and talking to Krazy-8, Walt comes to the conclusion that he’s going to let him go. This is where the brilliant plot twist emerges. Walt throws something in the trash can. He stares at the broken plate pieces he through away earlier. He grabs all the pieces and proceeds to reassemble them like a puzzle. As he finishes, he sees that a jagged sharp piece is not there. He frantically looks in the trash for the piece. He realizes that Krazy-8 has the piece which he will inevitably use on Walt once he is released. Walt is faced with the reality that he MUST kill Krazy-8. Once Walt reveals he knows of Krazy-8’s plan, Walt grabs the bike lock and begins strangling Krazy-8 on the pole. Walt finally kills him only suffering a stab to his lower leg as he braces it against the pole for leverage. Breaking Bad is operating on an extraordinary level.
Grilled (Season 2 - Episode 2)
This episode’s cold open is my favorite in the history of the show. We hear a sound. Debris is all over the desert ground. You see broken glass. The trunk of a car. The persistent squeaking noise. We see a wide shot of Jesse’s red car shaking back-in-forth in place. It makes you think “What the hell is THIS???” It takes the whole episode to find out what that is but it’s perfectly teased. This episode debuts Tio Salamanca. All we know at this point is that he’s Tuco’s disabled uncle. Tuco plans to take Walt & Jesse to Mexico to make meth in the jungle. Walt & Jesse, armed with the bag of ricin, try to figure out how to get out of there. They almost get Tuco to try the ricin (which they are selling as a more potent drug than meth) but Jesse mentions it has chili powder. Tuco says he can’t stand chili pepper and doesn’t snort it. Now what? Meanwhile, Hank is searching for the missing Walt. He finds out that Jesse’s car has a GPS. This leads him to the location. Walt tries to poison Tuco by putting ricin in Tuco’s burrito. Tio, who we learn is coherent, warns Tuco with his bell but Tuco has no idea what’s going on. One thing leads to another but the end result is that Tuco learns from Tio that Walt & Jesse have tried to kill him. Tuco gets pissed and takes Jesse & Walt out to be executed. Jesse manages to shoot Tuco is the leg with his own gun. Meanwhile, Walt & Jesse spot a vehicle approaching. They aren’t sure who it is so they hide. It’s Hank. Hank then confronts Tuco who goes for the M16 he has laying in Jesse’s car. During the shootout, Hank manages to kill Tuco. Walt & Jesse escape through the desert. Everything came together. Hank almost discovered Walt. Gripping episode.
Phoenix (Season 2 - Episode 12)
This is the episode where many people saw Walt really becoming Heisenberg. Jesse has been seeing Jane, his landlord and next door neighbor. Desperate to escape her father’s very understood concerns over her use of drugs (she relapses with Jesse), Jane plans to blackmail Walt if he doesn’t return Jesse’s $400,000. Walt reluctantly gives the money to Jesse. It appears they are done. He goes to a bar only to find himself striking up a conversation with Jane’s father. The father advises Walt to never give up on family. Walt decides to try to talk to Jesse. He goes around to the back door to get inside. He sees that Jesse and Jane are passed out from their heroin fix. He shakes Jesse to wake him. Jane goes from her side to her back. She begins to vomit and choke. Walt starts to go towards her as if to help then pauses. He realizes this is his way to get rid of her as a threat. He lets her choke to death. It pains him to watch because he knows that Jesse will be miserable, yet Walt is protecting him own interests. It’s a very powerful moment. It’s a haunting reminder that this show is about destruction. It’s one of the best episodes.
One Minute (Season 3 - Episode 7)
Hank’s shootout with the Cousins. Heart-pounding. Gus has to protect his investment (Walt) from the Cartel Cousins who are out to avenge Tuco’s death. He authorizes them to go after DEA agent Hank Schrader. Meanwhile, Hank has just been suspended after attacking Jesse in an unprovoked and unprofessional manner after the RV incident. The stage is set. Hank receives a warning call from Gus or possibly Mike (voice scrambled) telling him he has one minute before some men are coming to kill him. Hank has no weapon. He spots the one cousin behind him and puts the car into reverse as he’s being shot at. Somehow he gets out and acquires the gun. The second cousin unpins the other cousin (who is pinned between two cars) and tries to find Hank. As the cousin turns, Hank pops out from behind a car and shoots the cousin in the chest. He’s wearing a kevlar vest. The cousin then shoots Hank a few times. Hank falls to the ground. This scene is so intense that you always find yourself getting caught up in the moment. The cousin has a chance to simply shoot Hank in the head but mutters “Too Easy” and walks away to get something. Hank finds a bullet that had fallen out of the cousin’s shirt pocket. He frantically tries to load it in the gun. The cousin returns with his shiny axe. Hank shoots him in the head just before he’s about to strike. End episode with the car alarm sound ringing.
Half Measures (Season 3 - Episode 12)
Jesse is very angry about the fact that his friend Combo was killed by Andrea’s younger brother (who was under the control of a neighborhood gang that worked for Gus Fring). He’s determined to kill the two rival gang members. Just as he about to get in a shootout, Walt run’s over the two guys. One is instantly killed by the car running over him. The other guy flies into the air. Walt grabs the gun and shoots him in the head. He simply tells Jesse “Run”. No more half measures for Walt!
Full Measure (Season 3 - Episode 13)
Jesse saves Walt by killing Gale Bedeker. Gus realizes how deadly and intelligent Walt really is. Jesse is forced to do the one thing he’s never been really able to do and that’s to kill in cold blood. Walt’s about to be taken out by Mike. They figure out where Gale Bedeker (Gus’ trained chemist who will take over when he learns Walt’s cook process fully) lives. Walt reasons that with the multi-million dollar investment, Gus cannot afford to not have a chemist. If Gale is killed, Walt & Jesse can live. It’s a major turning point for Jesse as the episode (and season) ends with him shooting Gale. Didn’t see that coming did you bitch?
Box Cutter (Season 4 - Episode 1)
Gus Fring shows Walt & Jesse that he’s even more deadly than them. Tension city. In the wake of Gale Bedeker’s death, Mike and Victor are in deep shit. They failed to protect Gus’ chemist. Victor is so mad he proves that he can do a cook. Mike calls Gus. Hours go by. Gus finally shows up. He walks slowly across the room, staring at Walt & Jesse. He calmly removes some of his clothes and puts on a lab suit. Walt is trying to make his case. This scene is eerie. It’s tremendously tense. Gus finds a box cutter. He steps in front of Victor. He then grabs Victor and slits his throat. Mike, Walt & Jesse watch in horror as Gus lets Victor bleed out. Gus cleans up. Before he leaves he says “Get back to work.” Thus begins Gus vs. Walt. Great performance by Giancarlo Esposito.
Face Off (Season 4 - Episode 13)
Walt defeats Gus Fring by teaming up with an enemy. All of Season 4 was about the chess game between super businessman criminal Gustavo Fring and former high school chemistry teacher turned Meth manufacturer Walter White. Walt had attempted to car bomb Gus in the previous episode. Gus some how some way sniffed it out. What could Walt do? He learns through Saul (via Jesse) that Gus had made visits to an old colleague at a nursing home. This person is Tio Salamanca. Walt realizes that Gus and Tio are enemies. Walt goes to Tio and proposes to join forces to get Gus. They get Gus’ attention by having Tio visit the DEA office. When he returns, Gus’ henchman checks the room for surveillance equipment. Gus visits. He intends to give Tio some sort of deadly shot. As Gus is talking to him, Tio’s face goes from submissive to menacing. He begins ringing his bell which doesn’t sound exactly right. The bell is hooked to Walt’s bomb under the chair. Gus yells and the bomb goes off. In a very understandable example of poetic license, we see Gus walk out to the hallway as the camera pans around his body. We see that half of his face has been blown off. He collapses. Walt wins. I really enjoyed the Gus character. I agreed he needed to go to move the story forward but I found myself missing Gus as Season 5 played out.
Confessions (Season 5 - Episode 11)
Two major scenes in this one. First, Walt & Skyler give Hank & Marie a DVD after attempting to convince them to back off from pursuing legal justice. Hank & Marie go home and watch Walt’s taped confession as to his involvement in meth manufacturing. However, Walt also implicates Hank as a party to this illegal activity by saying he made Walt do it. Amazing writing. They weaved in so many plot points and details from all the events in the show. Hank & Marie are stunned. Then, Marie tells Hank that Walt paid for his recovery with the drug earnings. Hank feels backed into a corner. He realizes his career is over. Walt has to convince Jesse to leave New Mexico once and for all. Jesse agrees to it. As he is waiting to be picked up, Jesse has a serious revelation. He realizes that Walt poisoned Brock. He realizes this because Huell (Saul’s bodyguard) had lifted the bag of marijuana from his pocket. Huell had also removed the ricin cigarette from Jesse awhile back. Jesse is pissed. He goes to the White house and starts pouring gasoline all over the place. Non-stop drama. Bravo.
Ozymandias (Season 5 - Episode 14)
The shit finally hits the fan for Walt when Hank is killed and Skyler & Walt Jr. learn about it. This episode is off the hook. Hank has been wounded seriously in the leg. Steve Gomez is dead. Walt is pleading for Hank’s life as Jack talks about finishing him. Walt pleads for Hank’s life. Hank knows he’s dead. Jack kills him. Walt crumbles. They find Jesse. He’s about to be killed but Todd convinces everyone to keep him alive…for now. Walt tells Jesse about Jane’s death to get back at him for working with Hank. Fast forward to Walt frantically grabbing clothes. Skyler and Walt Jr. are home. He wants them to leave with him. Skyler presses Walt about Hank (she was told by Marie that Walt had been arrested). Walt admits that Hanks is dead. All hell breaks loose. Skyler and Walt get into a fight involving a knife. Walt Jr. grabs his dad and gets him off Skyler. He protects his mom. Walt realizes he has lost his family. But, as he’s leaving, he picks up baby Holly. Stunning. This scene produced the most emotions and heart-pounding possible. This put the Bad in Breaking Bad. Walt calls Skyler later as the police listen to help minimize her responsibility in all of his illegal activities. He leaves Holly at a fire station. He has more work to do. Walt is now a national fugitive. This episode pays off so many things that have built up over 5 seasons. Perfection. Directed by Rian Johnson.
September 18, 2013
Breaking Bad has been the most insane rollercoaster ride this season. Vince Gilligan and the writers have pushed all-in to use a poker term. If you are reading this, you know what has developed through the 6 episodes aired thus far. Let’s see how my predictions have panned out.
I predicted that Hank Schrader would commit suicide. I was way off. Walt warned him to tread lightly. He didn’t. Hank was determined to take Walt down even though he knew it would mean the end of his career and possibly his life.
The prediction that I nailed was that Hank and Jesse would team up to bring down Walt. I technically used the word “possibly” in the prediction but I felt that the writers would go down that road in some manner, shape or form.
I successfully predicted that Jesse would realize that Walt had in fact poisoned Brock. The revelation was brilliantly constructed in the story. Jesse realizes that Huell lifted his marijuana off him before he’s about to leave town. Huell lifted the ricin cigarette off Jesse in Season 4 as part of Walt’s ruse to convince Jesse that Gus Fring was responsible for Brock’s poisoning. Jesse goes nuts and almost burns down the White household.
Declan is killed by Lydia, Todd, uncle Jack & the neo-nazi gang. Didn’t see that coming at all.
Walter Jr. aka Flynn learns from Skyler and Marie that his dad has been involved in the meth business. When he learns that Hank is dead and that Walt was somehow involved, he turns on him and protects his mom. I had no idea it would come to head in such a dramatic fashion involving a physical fight between Walt and Skyler. I think young Flynn will be dealing with more death soon.
Skyler also turns on Walt officially when she learns of Hank’s death. She had already caved in when Marie came to her and revealed that Hank had arrested Walt. Little did Marie and Skyler know what had actually happened in the desert after Hank called to tell Marie the news.
Stop reading now if you don’t want to hear my UPDATED predictions for the last two episodes of Breaking Bad…
Jesse is being held captive by Todd. Presumably he’ll be held until he helps Todd learn how to make the proper blue potent meth. Jesse will kill Todd before all is done. Jesse will get away and flee New Mexico at the end. This stays in line with my initial prediction (the living through all the madness part).
Skyler has legal issues to deal with let alone a ton of emotional issues. I’m inclined to say that she will kill herself, but the more dramatic end will be Marie poisoning her. Marie, distraught over Hank’s death, will be so angry at Skyler that she’ll put something in her food or drink. However, Skyler will feed Holly the same food/drink that is poisoned and both of them will die. Marie will be crushed.
Walt Jr. will live to the end of the show. He will face a dying Walt White one last time before Walt dies of cancer.
Walt will return to New Mexico to take out uncle Jack, Todd (if Jesse hasn’t already gotten him by then). He wants to avenge Hank’s death, possibly retrieve the $70 million they took and take out Lydia with the ricin. The M-60 will be used on the nazi crew in a Scarface-type shootout only Walt will walk away with minor wounds. Walt & Jesse will have a final conversation that officially ends their relationship. It is beyond repair at this point.
The White house will be vandalized because the authorities will put out the video made by Walt to the media. He’ll be on the FBI’s Most Wanted. He waits patiently in the Granite State (next episode title & state motto for New Hampshire) plotting his revenge and next moves vis-a-vis his enemies and family.
***Warning*** If you have not watched Breaking Bad (but intend to in future) or have not watched all the episodes yet, I highly you advise to stop reading. These are my predictions for the final eight episodes. They will contain spoilers. Thanks.
Breaking Bad is my favorite drama show ever. One of the main reasons it’s my favorite show is because it continues to take surprising twists and turns. It makes you discuss and think about many plot possibilities. As the show wraps up its run, it makes you think how it will all end.
Middle-aged underachieving high school chemistry teacher Walter White, married to Skyler White (7 months pregnant), son Walt Jr. (who has cerebral palsy) gets diagnosed with lung cancer. Sparked by seeing his brother-in-law’s work as a DEA agent dealing with illegal methamphetamine dealers, decides to use his knowledge of chemistry to produce meth so as to leave money for his family before he dies of the cancer, Through a chance event, he realizes a former student of his, Jesse Pinkman, is involved in the drug business and enlists him in this venture.
Thus began the saga of 54 episodes filled with Walt & Jesse’s adventures in the wild west of drug dealing. The last scene from Season 5 Part 1 shows Hank Schrader (on the toilet) picking up the Walt Whitman book, reading the inscription and realizing (or at least notably suspecting) that his brother-in-law Walt is Heisenberg, the drug manufacturer he had been chasing for over a year.
So what happens next? Knowing Vince Gilligan and the writers, it could go so many different ways. Not to mention there are still new characters that will be introduced in the final eight.
I decided to come up with predictions for the main characters (and some of the other notable characters). This show does not plan to have any happy endings. That means people will die. Here are my thoughts on each one:
Walter White: Once discovered by the DEA, flees New Mexico (goes to New Hampshire) for awhile to avoid capture by authorities and retribution by Declan/Todd/Lydia or unknown new characters; returns to NM to fight said enemies and wins (uses the ricin on Todd) but possibly injured mildly; dies of cancer at very end.
In the Season 5 first episode, we see Walter White with longer hair and a longer beard go into a Denny’s. He orders breakfast and positions his bacon in a “52” like Skyler would do on his birthday. We know this is the future. We see that he has come from New Hampshire and has a different name. He meets with the gun dealer and is seen coughing then taking a pill. Walt walks to the parking lot and opens the trunk which contains a M-60 type military machine gun. Apparently he anticipates a situation where he’ll possibly need major firepower. Having left NM under a new identity, something has drawn him back (perhaps an ultimatum by another character). I believe he uses the ricin (he’s kept) on Todd to take him out of the picture. I believe he gets in a gun battle, suffers a mild injury, but is fine. What kills Walter White? The cancer comes back. Tragically, after everything around him crumbles, he finally dies of the cancer as he had hoped to earlier in the series.
Skylar White: Killed by unknown enemy (with Holly); her death is result of a serious error she makes in the final 8.
I realize the reason for her death is vague. However, I believe she makes a fatal mistake with another character who in turn kills her (while she has Holly, her baby girl, with her). This death devastates Walt Jr. and Marie. I do not believe that Walt will have anything to do with her death directly.
Hank Schrader: Career ruined by revelation that Walt is meth kingpin; tries to cover up Walt’s involvement and/or advises Walt but makes serious error; commits suicide (self-inflicted gunshot wound to head) at the end after things go very bad.
The reason for this prediction is two-fold: Hank’s former boss was friend’s with Gus Fring and he lost his job because of it (in wake of the revelation that Gus Fring was involved with meth). Also, Hank has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder from the shooting incident with Tuco and the turtle bomb that killed/injured his DEA colleagues. He’ll feel backed into a corner. He wants to do the right thing but it rips him apart and he commits suicide as a result of this torment.
Jesse Pinkman: Learns of Walt’s deception (poisoning the kid/lying to him). He reunites with Andrea (last girlfiend) & Brock (her son) reveals that he saw Walt before he was poisoned; turns on Walt in some way but it’s unsuccessful (possibly tries to team up with Hank); leaves NM w/leftover money; his involvement in meth production or murders is never fully discovered/understood by authorities.
Jesse has had his assed kicked many times during this show. For some reason, given that he has a heart (despite all the things he has done), I think he’ll live and leave New Mexico to start a new life. He will learn that Walt has deceived him in many ways, but his attempts to get back at Walt will not quite work.
Walt Jr.: His life ruined by mother’s, sister’s & uncle’s deaths; hates Walt and lets him know this before Walt dies of cancer.
Walt Jr. knows that something has been amiss in the last few seasons, but he can’t quite figure out what it is. He’ll learn about his parents involvement in the meth business before they die. He’ll hate his dad more at the end. He’ll forgive his mom (to some degree). His life will be shattered by the deaths of his dad, mom, sister and uncle.
Marie Schrader: She learns of Walt’s meth kingpin status; presses Hank to tell associates; shattered by Hank’s suicide; lives & becomes legal guardian to Walt Jr.
Marie figures things out. She’s done this at various points during the show. I suspect some very dramatic scenes between her and Hank in light of the discovery of Walt’s involvement with the drugs and Hank’s position at the DEA. Like Walt Jr., she suffers from all the death around her.
Thoughts about the other notable characters:
Saul Goodman: lives; advises both Jesse & Walt to leave New Mexico permanently.
Steve Gomez: lead authority who figures out Walter White mystery.
Todd: Authorities discover his involvement with motorbike kid death (remember the train heist episode); Walt ricins him when he has chance (before authorities take him in).
Lydia: Killed by Czech meth connection (angry that supply stops flowing).
Declan: Takes over Walt’s operation; finds out Walt’s bro-in-law is DEA and attempts to kill Walt and/or Hank; Walt foils his attempt.
These are my predictions. Most of them are based on close observations I made while re-watching the episodes. One plot point that I touched on in the predictions was this notion that Jesse and Hank will team up at some point to go at Walt. Breaking Bad likes to have characters who were enemies at some point become allies - people who team up against another enemy. I could see this happening. The details, however, I could not predict other than any attempts to foil/kill Walt will not work.
There are some unknowns, but based on the show to this point, these are my predictions. It’ll be fun to see which ones I nail and which ones are horribly wrong. I’ve thought about it how these predictions will affect my enjoyment of the final episodes: I will enjoy them whether I have it figured out or not. As I said in the beginning, Breaking Bad can go in so many directions - directions I’m sure will be incredibly entertaining! Let’s Break Bad…can’t wait.
Hello. I’m Dogmatic @kierniesky. I will be posting two different types of content. Primarily, this will have hip-hop articles which will be embedded on my site www.evolutionhiphop.com. Secondly, I will write about sports. I’m a Philly team sports fan and Temple University alum. Might randomly write about politics, society, technology and travel. Still getting oriented on all the features here. Take care.