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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Top 15 Breaking Bad episodes; by Andrew Lambert

Recently, I've come to the realisation that Heavy Metal Mouth hasn't yet featured any TV articles so expect to be reading about the likes of The Sopranos, The Wire and Lost starting now as we list off our favourite episodes and characters on the silver screen.

To kick it all off theres no better place to start than with Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and AMC's astounding drama Breaking Bad, which recently concluded at the half way point of it's fifth and final season. We'll have to wait another year for it's return, but until then let's remember the reasons we love it so much in the first place. Here are Heavy Metal Mouth's Top 15 Breaking Bad Episodes.
WARNING: For anyone who hasn't seen the show in full (that is to Season 5, Episode 8 at this point) do not continue. This article contains massive spoilers.

15. Breaking Bad (S1, E1)
The debut episode of the show opened with a memorable sequence involving Walter speeding down the motorway in an RV loaded with chemicals as he is pursued by sirens and records a tearful message to his family. It's a remarkable opening and from there we are introduced to the mundane life Walter lives with his beloved and heavily pregnant wife Skyler, and teenage son Walt Jr. who suffers from cerebal palsy. Walt's terminal diagnosis leads him to embark on a dangerous scheme involving troubled former pupil Jesse Pinkman and so Walt begins his new double life as crystal meth manufacturer, albeit comically unsuccessfully at first.

The pilot is an excellent demonstration of the mix of black comedy with drama and serves as a terrific starting point which the show quickly developed on.

14. Dead Freight (S5, E5)The first of many highlights from the incredible fifth season, this episode sees Walt, Jesse and Mike carry out a train heist for chemicals that goes to plan until a passing boy witnesses the robbery and is duly executed by new recruit Todd. Other highlights of the episode include Walter installing a bug in Hank's office as he deviously cries to his brother in law to create a diversion. An action packed finale with a shocking conclusion.

13. 4 Days Out (S4, E9)The first of several so called 'bottle' episodes in the show, and in my opinion, the best. Walt's deteriorating condition and lack of substantial money to leave behind leads him to bring Jesse deep into the desert for a marathon cook, only for the RV to die on the pair, leaving them stranded. An episode that developed the relationship between the pair and the first real indication of a father/son bond that would later become clearer.

12. Peekaboo (S2, E6)An episode which significantly developed the character of Jesse as he is faced with the task of reclaiming stolen drug money from two meth addicts following their ambush of Skinny Pete. Jesse comes to realise he's not the tough enforcer he is expected to be, and forms a strange bond with the junkie couples child. The first time we see a truly empathetic side to Jesse and a real breakthrough for Aaron Paul as an actor in the series.

11. Hermanos (S4, E8)Simply a showcase for the acting powerhouse that is Giancarlo Eposito as we are given further insight into the past of fast food empire and drug kingpin Gus Fring through a series of flashbacks involving his dealings with the cartel. Mark Margolis is excellent as the despicible Tio but it's Eposito who steals the show, and it is a true testament to his ability that he could generate sympathy from an audience who already knew his evil nature all too well.

10. Live Free Or Die (S5, E1)The remarkable opening flash forward scene of season 5's inaugral episode is enough to ensure Live Free Or Die's position among the great episodes of the series, but this episode is notable for it's complex examination of Walt's character as he begins to transform into the monster he destroyed in the season 4 finale, Gus Fring. Walt's hunger for power and status has outgrown his love of family and he is no longer in need of money. He is simply a different man than the bumbling, desperate but kind-hearted teacher we met in the pilot episode and Live Free Or Die is confirmation of Walt's dominant alter ego. Anna Gunn is superb as Skyler, who is horrified at her realisation of Walt's change.

9. Box Cutter (S4, E1)The season 4 opener is once again dominated by one man's performance; Giancarlo Eposito is mesmerizing as Gus makes a menacing statement to both Walt and Jesse following the murder of Gale. His execution of Victor before their eyes is brutal, and Eposito's cold, silent demeanour is chilling and makes for one of the most intense scenes in the show's history.

To continue reading, Visit Andrew's blog; Heavy Metal Mouth. There you will also find a plethora of reviews and features relating to the latest music and movie news as well as his latest piece on Breaking Bad.

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