Breaking Bad: Five Scenes that Defined the Show

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Breaking Bad is considered by many to be one of, if not the best television series of the 2000s-2010s. It portrays a terminally ill and mild-mannered Walter White as he breaks bad (see what I did there?), to financially support his family. He trades in the mundaneness of his day-to-day life for the insane and unprecedented reality of the Albuquerque methamphetamine trade. Here is our comprehensive list for Breaking Bad: Five Scenes that Defined the Show.

Across the show’s five seasons, there are a plethora of shocking and iconic scenes that have become engrained in modern popular culture. Unforgettable scenes revolving around Bryan Cranston’s Walter White have left lasting memories for the show’s many adoring fans. In no order, here is a roundup of ten significant moments that defined the course of the show, expect spoilers. 

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5. Jane’s Death – Season Two, Episode Twelve

Jane had a brief spell in the show; she was Jessie’s girlfriend in the second season and posed as a potential threat to Walter’s business. She distracted Jessie from being occupied with their meth game, threatened to steal away his partner-in-crime and blackmail large sums of money out of Walt. She posed a serious problem indeed. 

When Walt discovers her and Jessie unconscious following a heroin binge, Jane begins to choke on her vomit, Walter has the chance to save her, but instead, he watches her die. This is a significant moment in the lead character’s development; it shows the point in which his humanity and morality begin to be chipped away. 

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4. “This is not meth” – Season One, Episode Six

Those who indulged in the blue substance could have described Heisenberg’s high-grade crystal meth as ‘the bomb’. However, this scene takes that description to an entirely new level. In this scene, Walter enters the headquarters of Tuco Salamanca to avenge Jessie’s brutal beating and unpaid meth. Upon requesting payment, Walter utters the single line ‘this, is not meth’, before launching the small clump to the floor, nearly blowing the room up in the process. This is a hard scene to describe in simple words, so click here for a full clip

Walter reveals the contents of this bag of meth was actually fulminated mercury, of which he threatens to throw the entire bag to the ground. Tuco gives in to Walter’s threat and promptly hands over the money. This scene demonstrated two things; firstly, hiss scientific knowledge coupled with a newfound fearlessness could trump even the most challenging obstacles. Secondly, he is willing to sacrifice everything for his business. 

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3. “I am the danger – Season Four, Episode Six

You knew this one was coming. During a heated discussion between Walter and a fearful Skylar about their safety in the current situation. Walter interrupts Skylar when she questions the risks that their family is facing and begins his famous monologue that there is no danger for her to fear, as he is the danger to be feared by others, including her.  

He asks her several times if she is aware of whom she is addressing, revealing the split-personality nature of his alter ego. Walter White is a mild-mannered, nervy high school teacher; Heisenberg is a cold-blooded evil genius. This small speech demonstrates that what we knew of Walter White’s character had faded and Heisenberg was the man in the room. 

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2. “Say my name” – Season Five, Episode Seven

We could not have included number three on this list without bringing up this famous scene from the finale season. Walter, stood firmly in the shoes of Heisenberg, meets Declan and his associates in the desert to discuss a deal for methylamine. In a situation that sees Walter outnumbered and outgunned, he does not shy away from flexing on his newfound infamy to bend negotiations in his favour.

As the meeting draws to a close, Walter has one small request of Declan, to “say my name”. Considering his associates backed up Declan, the fact that he caves to Walters demand showcases the psychological power that Heisenberg Wields not just in this conversation but also in every conversation. This power trip is an example of Walter laying down the law and establishing that he is in charge. 

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1. Hank’s Death – Season Five, Episode Seven

Following a shootout between Hank Schrader, Walter’s DEA agent brother-in-law and Jack’s gang of thugs, Hank is left wounded on the ground staring destiny in the face. Walter does all he can to reason with Jack to spare Hank and put this situation to bed, but it is to no effect and Hank is killed, execution-style on the spot. 

This scene represents a significant turning point in the entire television series. It is one of the most significant consequences Walter faces as a result of his criminal aspirations. It also bookmarks the beginning of the end, the point by which Walter truly loses control over the situation. For much of the show, he was in the driving seat, however, he is no longer steering the ship. 

Final Words

So there you have it, Breaking Bad: Five Scenes that Defined the Show. Vince Gilligan’s infamous crime drama Breaking Bad has gone down in television viewing history and for good reason. It is the ultimate ‘from rags-to-riches to rags’ story that helped establish the modern pass-time of box-set binging.  

Anyone who is remotely familiar with Breaking Bad knows that this list barely scratches the surface of famous scenes and quotes so stay tuned for an indefinite Breaking Bad: Five Scenes that Defined the Show part two. Looking for a new film to stream on Netflix? Check out our formal review of Motley Crue: the Dirt for a high octane, drug-fuelled extravaganza.