By now, everyone has come down from the nirvana/misery mix brought on by the series finale of AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” So now, it’s time to take a look back at some of the most memorable and shocking moments this great series gave us over its five seasons. From murders and explosions, to three simple words, these are the Top 5 “Breaking Bad” Moments.
5. Walt Kills Krazy 8 (“… and the Bag’s in the River”)
Gassing two drug dealers in self-defense is one thing. This was something else. After losing a coin-flip, our antihero finds himself charged with disposing of the very-much alive Krazy 8. After getting to know the young man, it seems he lacks the will and is about to set him free. But upon discovering his captive is armed, Walt’s inner-killer kicks in and he strangles the thug with the bike lock holding him in place. It’s a brutally violent scene, but it shows that Walt has the conviction for this line of work, which had been in question since the beginning. He’s no longer just ‘breaking bad’; this is the first real step on Walt’s descent into darkness.
4. Gus’s Revenge (“Salud”)
Gustavo Fring is just a fantastic villain and great character overall. His mysterious past in Chile, and his rise to drug emperor of the southwest make for some intriguing fan theories. Of course, when we see him as a young man pitching a deal to the cartel, only to have his friend/partner/possible-lover killed in front of him, it’s hard not to sympathize. And that pays off in season 4 when we get to see his twenty-year plan executed with deadly precision, as the entire Juarez Cartel is poisoned all at once. Gus himself nearly falls prey to the lethal dose just to ensure the Don drinks it. It’s a badass moment for a badass character, and a cathartic moment for all his fans.
3. The Plane Crash (“ABQ”)
This one was a hell of a shocker and it all stems from a series of unfortunate events. After Walter takes an extremely dark turn allowing Jesse’s junkie girlfriend Jane to OD, it becomes hard (but possible) to justify his inaction. However, her father, the air traffic controller, goes back to work too soon and causes a mid-air collision killing 167 people. This is the point when we truly see the possible consequences of Walt’s actions. It’s impossible to justify the deaths of 167 people, but Walt tried his hardest and never accepts responsibility. This is a dark moment for Walt (and Jesse) and shows a really horrid, unforgivable detachment from humanity. At this point, he’s not breaking bad. He’s just bad.
2. The Death of Gus Fring (“Face Off”)
A great end to a great villain. After the cat-and-mouse game that spanned three seasons, Gus Fring loses the battle of wits to Walter White. Lured into the nursing home of his sworn enemy, Gus comes planning to kill a helpless old man. Instead, he finds the last sound he hears a ringing bell setting off a homemade explosive planted by Walt. Our chemistry teacher single-handedly brings down a billion-dollar meth empire.
1. “Now, Say My Name.” (“Say My Name”)
This has to be one of Walter White’s most defining moments. Or rather, Heisenberg’s defining moment. With Gus dead, there are no more obstacles for Walt to overcome (unwilling partners notwithstanding) apart from a group of dealers encroaching in on the empty territory. In less than five minutes, Walt has them eating out of his hand. “I’m the cook. I’m the man who killed Gus Fring,” he says. At first they don’t believe it, but they can see he is serious. “Now, say my name,” Walt repeats. In that moment, they know exactly who they’re talking to. They’ve heard the name on the streets, in the labs. Whispers of the master cook, the source of Blue Sky. “Heisenberg,” the dealer says shakily.
“You’re goddamn right.”
In this moment, the legend of Heisenberg is solidified, and Walter’s rise is complete. As we know, after this there’s nowhere to go but down. But it makes for a hell of a peak to fall from, and kicks off arguably “Breaking Bad’s” best season.