Collider Picks: Our Favorite BREAKING BAD Moments

     September 28, 2013


The end here is here.  This coming Sunday marks the last new episode of Breaking Bad ever, and we here at Collider are more than a little broken up about it.  Over the past 61 episodes and five seasons, we’ve come to know, love, and loathe these wonderful characters that sprung from the twisted mind of creator Vince Gilligan, and to mark the series finale occasion, each member of the Collider staff has singled out his or her favorite moment from the show.  It was no easy task, but hit the jump to see what Matt, Adam, Dave, Brendan, and Allison chose.  Obviously, spoilers follow.

Matt’s Pick: “Crazy Handful of Nothin” – Fulminated Mercury Explosion (which is also the name of my new band)

In this episode, Walt shows up at Tuco’s and demands not only the money he’s owned from the previous batch of meth, but also payment for a new one.  For me, this scene is the true birth of Heisenberg.  A previous episode had Walt blowing up the car of a loudmouthed jerk, but he didn’t take credit for the explosion or confront the guy.  It was passive aggressive (or at least as passive aggressive as a fireball can be).  The Walt who steps into Tuco’s office is a different man.  He’s confident, determined, and is willing to act without hesitation.  As far as Walt’s come with his evil acts, the Heisenberg personality remains fairly steady.  It’s a tough guy act, and it’s terrifying.  What’s more, he has the science to back it up, and when Walt throws down the fulminated mercury to show he means business, that’s the moment where we respect him as a force to be reckoned with.

Adam’s Pick: “Buyout” – Dinner Scene

Breaking Bad is a very, very dark show, and Gilligan has shown over and over again how important humor is to keep things from becoming too depressing.  Following the tragic events of “Dead Freight,” this dinner scene in the next episode perfectly exemplifies the kind of levity that BB excels at, while also showcasing Aaron Paul’s excellent comic timing.  Skyler and Walt’s marriage is utterly failing, Jesse wants to get out of the meth business for good, and Walt is more alone than ever.  And yet, in the middle of these events, there’s still time for Jesse to compliment Skyler’s Albertson’s-bought green beans and go on a rant about microwave dinners.

Brendan’s Pick: “Face Off” – Gus’s Death 

My favorite Breaking Bad moment is Gus’s death scene.  His doom hid in plain sight in the episode title, “Face Off” (a strong contender for My Favorite Episode Title Ever).  Less than twenty seconds pass between when the somehow indestructible Gus walks away from the explosion to the instant when he thankfully, mortally falls out of frame, but it lasted ages in my head in that first viewing.  I rewinded a dozen times to rewatch the scene, getting back in line again, and again for the WTF roller coaster.  I paused the episode and walked out of the house, muttering to myself, trying to process where Vince Gilligan and Co. go from here.

It was a bold move to kill off Walt’s most iconic foil with sixteen episodes to go, but the vacuum allowed for the rise of the true villain of the series: child poisoner Walter White.

Dave’s Pick: “Dead Freight” – Train Heist 

While Walt bugs Hank’s office and Mike deals with Lydia (their supplier) early in the episode, the real treat of season five episode “Dead Freight” comes by way of the train heist.  It was an Ocean’s Eleven moment in a series that normally reserves its most intense sequences for explosive escapes or bullet-ridden attacks.  The planning stage starts at about 18 minutes in with Lydia laying out the plan, Mike spoiling the fun with a laundry list of complications, Walt using his chemistry knowledge to figure out how to boost 1,000 gallons of methylamine without anyone noticing and Jesse saving the day.  It’s one of the most anxiety-inducing sequences in the series while being a hell of a lot of fun, at least until Todd shows up and ruins the party.  Fucking Todd…

Allison’s Pick: “Hazard Pay” – Skinny Pete Plays Piano

Here’s a small moment that really means something big when it comes to the undercurrent of Breaking Bad.  For a show with so many gut-punches (of which I have many favorites), the comic relief always stands out because of how much we need it.  It’s also something the show does exceedingly well (along with how it gives even small characters such depth).  What is great about a scene like Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) playing Bach’s Solfeggietto in C minor, though, or any of his epic conversations with Badger (Matt Jones) about Star TrekStar Wars and zombie-themed video games, is how bittersweet they are.  Skinny Pete and Badger have survived while so many others haven’t, but there’s no triumph there — their lives are incredibly tragic, and are a kind of casualty.  They make us laugh because of the juxtaposition of their own brand of intelligence versus their scumbag ways, but that illustration of a loss of potential makes it all the more heartbreaking.  It also represents the show’s great legacy — no matter how far Walt goes, we want to go with him, because we desire redemption despite everything.  Inside Heisenberg, there’s still Walter White.  Right?  Unless Heisenberg drowns him out like Badger’s discordant bass.  For now, play on, Skinny Pete.


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  • Nick

    So much has changed, but two of my favorite Walt moments, maybe not breaking bad as a whole, but Walt moments are when he takes down the kid teasing his son in the first episode. And then when he tells to guys buying meth supplies to stay out of his territory. Walt is much more bad ass now but he is a guilty please because we all know how bad he is… Then he was just a damn pleasure

    • junierizzle

      One of my favorite moments was the Season three finale when Mike is about to kill Walt and bad ass Walt proceeds to beg for his life. Like the Joker said, when people are about to die they show you who they really are.

      • Mr. Orange

        I think you misunderstood that ending. He says he’d give up Jesse only to proceed to tell him what’s really going on. I don’t think him begging for his life was as genuine as you think.

      • junierizzle

        I think you misunderstood it. It didn’t occur to him to call Jesse until after he was scared. Why didn’t he pull the Jesse card from Jumpstreet? Why did he tell Jesse to kill Gayle until the last possible moment?

  • krstphr

    Best moment: Discovering the missing piece to the plate leading into killing Krazy 8 with the bike lock.

  • Darth Santiago

    One of my favorite/Funniest BB moments is when Walt goes to bring Flynn back to Skyler’s house and brings a huge pie pizza with him, but Skyler doesn’t let him in the house and Walt throws the pizza pie ontop of the house! lol

    • -

      I didn’t think much of it when I first watch it, but knowing that Cranston did that on his first try makes it so much more amazing, lol

    • The Cook

      That is a good one! I lol’ed at that scene.

  • Dev1359

    These are some terrible picks. Nobody picked the ending of Crawl Space?

    • Greyson

      Glad to hear you are the authority on opinions.

      • Nick

        Sorry to hear that you get upset when people have opinions in the comments section. Must make for a really sad existence. Should he have to say”I think” before every post?

  • Keegan

    1. ‘RUN’: Walt running over those two guys before they can kill Jesse
    2. Stay out of my territory
    3. Say My Name
    4. Prison murders
    5. Gus’s death

    • Tofer

      100 percent agree with choice number one. I don’t know whether it was that moment itself or the tension building up to it but I’ve never been so shaken by something I’ve seen on television. I immediately got up, walked around in a daze, and couldn’t even speak. There have been some fantastic moments in the show but that scene will always stay in my mind.

      • GrimReaper07

        Nahh, I’d say the ending of season 3 with Jesse killing Gale is more shocking and more heartbreaking than that.

      • Tofer

        I’ll give you heartbreaking because there was absolutely nothing heartbreaking about seeing those guys die. For me, it was just the way it went down, as you thought Jesse was walking to his death, and then Walt coming out of nowhere and putting the bullet in the guy’s head. I mean, Jesus. It was such a tense scene.

      • GrimReaper07

        Yeah it was an amazing scene full of shock value and very intense. It’s not my fave but its up there.

  • tarek

    just name it and it is the best moment…

  • Kwame

    Last shot of “Face Off”.

    That reveal. My God.

  • The Driver

    Not one mention of Jane’s death in “Phoenix”, really?

  • junierizzle

    This one is mine. It’s an early scene but for me this was the moment when the show went from good to great. It’s the best music que in my opinion too.

    • Melwing

      I think the silent (to the viewer) interaction between Jesse and Walt in that scene is really great. Like when Walt is pointing.

      • junierizzle

        Yeah, the look on Jesse’s face is priceless.

  • bombinUSA

    gales music video is my number one moment!

  • The Cook

    “Now, say my name.”
    “You’re Heisenberg.”
    “You’re Goddamn right!”

  • Tom

    The ending of Crawl Space.
    Mike’s Half Measures speech.
    Jesse’s Problem Dog speech.
    Walt getting Jesse from the crack house after Jane’s death.
    Walt showing Holly his money hidden behind the insulation.

    They’re the ones that come to mind plus the obligatory “stay out of my territory”, “I am the one who knocks”, “Run”, ETC.


    my favorite scenes would have to be saul’s bodyguards laying down on the pile of money, and this one: actually very surprised that no one picked that

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    Too many to count, but the first two I really loved were the the bathtub scene (as disgusting as it may be), and the junkie wife tipping the ATM over on her husband’s head.

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