As I mentioned in the post yesterday, with the upcoming series finale of Breaking Bad, we here at YBTV thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the journey of Breaking Bad. To do so, we are counting down the top 10 episodes of Breaking Bad, at least according to this bloggers humble opinion.
We discussed episodes 10-6 yesterday, so let’s get into the top 5, starting with:
5. Episode 505 — “Dead Freight”
Sifting through the brilliance of Breaking Bad, attempting to come up with a top 10 has been a real challenge for me. But a top 5? Come on! Breaking Bad has always had a western style to it, but this episode went full on John Ford. It’s a Breaking Bad train robbery episode. How awesome is that? It’s also a very important episode in setting the story in motion of the final 11 episodes. The death of Drew Sharp is the straw that broke the camel’s back for Jesse. This is also where we get our first glimpse into the true evil of Todd, which has come into play so much in the final 8.
4. Episode 310 — “Fly”
The first episode of Breaking Bad directed by Rian Johnson, a personal favorite, is one of the series finest. This is made even more impressive by the fact that the episode is a true bottle episode. It’s just Walt and Jesse, and they remain in the super lab the entire episode. This episode is this high on this list for a couple reasons. The first is the technical marvel of the episode. It’s one of the most beautiful and impressive episodes, due largely to the keen eye of Mr. Johnson. But it also deserves this lofty position because of the character arc of Walt in the episode. We’ve all wondered how and when Jesse would find out about Walt’s involvement with Jane’s death (which we now have answered of course), and we saw it almost happen here. What was truly amazing about that though, was that Walt did not almost tell Jesse out of anger or spite or vengence (the way he actually told him), but this was at a time when Walt still had some humanity to him, and he almost told Jesse out of pure guilt. An amazing episode, and not the last time you will see Rian Johnson come up on this countdown.
3. Episode 411 — “Crawl Space”
This show gave us many excellent “freak outs” from many amazing actors, most notably Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn, but this episode contains the best Bryan Cranston “freak out” moment. After the events of Salud, Walt knows that his time could be running out as he realizes he’s not good enough to beat Gus, and it also appears that Hank is not too far from tracking down the real identity of Heisenberg. So what is Walt to do? Make his family disappear…Only, he can’t. Skyler gave all their money to Ted. Cue amazing manical laugh.
2. Episode 507 — “Say My Name”
Maybe you expected me to embed to a video of the scene in the desert with Decland that is the name sake of this episode. But no. That’s not what makes this episode perfect, and gut-wrenching. Mike Ehrmantraut is without a doubt my favorite character of the many amazing characters this show has given us. Mike’s death is one of the most difficult I faced, and it was so beautifully played by Jonathan Banks. It’s such a great, and important, episode, that I felt it necessary to embed two videos from it.
1. Episode 514 — “Ozymandias”
And now we reach the top spot. There is only one episode that could take this spot, and it happened just two weeks ago. Ozymandias, again, directed by Rian Johnson, is not only the best episode of Breaking Bad, but is arguably one of the greatest episodes of dramatic television in the history of the medium. Techincally, it’s simply perfect. Emotionally, it will rip your heart out. Breaking Bad has often been a show where you had to remind yourself to breathe while watching, but never like this. It’s an episode so great, that even Vince Gilligan has publicly said many times that it is simply the greatest episode of his series. And he couldn’t be more right.
So kids, there you have it. YBTV’s Top 10 Episodes of Breaking Bad. I’m sure some of you are asking where your favorite episodes are, and I assure you, they were considered. This list was so difficult to make, and it kills me some of the episodes I had to leave off. Here are a few that just barely missed the cut:
- Episode 406 — “Cornered” — “I am the one who knocks”
- Episode 506 — “Buy Out” — “I’m in the empire business”
- Episode 508 — “Gliding Over All” — Hank figures out Walt is Heisenberg
- Episode 401 — “Box Cutter” — Gus kills Victor
- Episode 408 — “Hermanos” — Flashback to Gus first meeting Don Eladio