2nd Viewing; SPOILER WARNING!
Admittedly, I was never supposed to rewatch Breaking Bad at this very time. I wanted to do some research for my media writing project, so I decided to rewatch the pilot episode of the show to gain inspiration, but as one may expect, I got sucked in. It’s been more than six years since I binged Breaking Bad for the first time, and after years of praising the program like a pathetic addict, I decided to give Vince Gilligan’s hit piece a second analysis. In doing so, I’ve decided that ranking the episodes each season from best to worst would switch up my typical TV review formats, and add a new perspective to the show that I haven’t already preached on before. With that being said, here’s every episode of Breaking Bad’s second season ranked from finest to dullest — as if any of these installments are actually “dull” though.
#13 – Episode 10: Over
Skylar: I want you to take some time off of work, Walt. You’ve earned it and deserve to be happy.
Also Skylar: Shouldn’t you be at work, Walt? I’m genuinely annoyed seeing you being too busy doing the things that make you happy.
At the beginning of episode 10, Walt asserts dominance in a great scene where he forces his son to drink alcohol until he hurls right in front of Hank — someone he feels that his son has been looking up to too often. That’s about the peak of the episode, but it’s still sick nonetheless!!! Well, Walt telling that young adult how to properly buy a meth lab was pretty rad too — he asserts dominance twice! Also, Skyler is slowly planning to cheat on Walt. Hmm.
#12 – Episode 5 – Breakage
Hank deals with toxic masculinity as he suffers from PTSD. Jesse becomes a leading businessman. And, welcome to the show Jessica Jones! That Hank PTSD stuff is great though! Hank is beginning to actually suffer in his line of work to a newly grand degree thanks to his brother-in-law!
#11 – Episode 7: Negro Y Azul
“I’M A BLOWFISH YEAH!”
This episode deals in a couple animal-related affairs. Turtle man, turtle bomb, pufferfish man, etc. I guess that’s one way to scare the Furries? Jesse’s PTSD is in-bound. Hank gets +10 more PTSD, as well. Jesse finds a girlfriend though at the end! Yay! Hopefully nothing terribly wrong happens to her!
#10 – Episode 12: Phoenix
Bros before hoes moment?
Jesse must choose between two lovers: Walt and Jessica Jones. Walt and Jessica Jones’s dad, by some miracle, have a cute “father to father” talk, one that makes Walt reconsider how important his relationship with Jesse is. It’s bad timing though that he happened to walk in right as Jessica Jones decided to OD — or maybe he inadvertently caused it??? Either way, Walt chose to express his love for Jesse’s well-being by letting his heroin-addict girlfriend die… maybe? Or was it an egotistical choice to let her die because “WE NEED TO COOK JESSE???” Yeah, nah, Walt’s a dick.
#9 – Episode 11: Mandala
Yo, RIP the man, Combo. 😦
Episode 11 is the perfect introduction to Gus Fring. He’s hiding, but he’s certainly there: an ideal representation of his slick character. Jesse does heroin for the first time — love the shot of him floating. Sucks how Jesse had to get numb on heroin though the moment Skylar had to give birth; it’s almost like this was a hellish punishment for the sins Walt had committed.
#8 – Episode 9: 4 Days Out
Walt teaches Car troubles 101:
- Don’t leave your g*****n keys in the ignition.
- If your generator blows up, use a fire hydrant, not your only water resource.
- Manually create energy by turning the generator piston to restart your car with a broken battery.
- Use zinc metals, sponges, copper, and jumper cables to make a DIY battery to power your dead car.
And, voila. Or, just don’t be an idiot and always remember rule #1.
Jesse and Walt get stranded in the desert after cooking 1.2 million dollars worth of meth. Bad timing. Walt gets a death scare too — twice — but gets extremely lucky with both cases. Now he can continue to break bad! Oh, no.
#7 – Episode 4: Down
Ay, this episode is kinda underrated, not gonna lie.
Skyler tries her best to reverse the roles so Walt can get a taste of his own medicine… while he has cancer… cruel. Tensions are rising, Walt hates Skyler. Skyler hates Walt. Walt hates Jesse. Jesse hates Walt. Jesse ESPECIALLY hates his parents. Hate, hate, hate = self-minded loneliness. So much hate and loneliness even pushes Skyler to hate her very own baby. Sheesh. Don’t smoke cigs while pregnant please.
#6 – Episode 3: Bit by a Dead Bee
Salamanca was like straight up “f**k the police.” Or… more like the DEA.
Jessie plays off his handling of the DEA like a champ. Heisenberg gets his nude scene. And, Skyler is picking up on the lies finally! Now that’s how you follow-up to such a top-tier episode! Problem-solving! The intensity is still lingering on!
#5 – Episode 1: Seven Thirty-Seven
“We Need to Talk About Tuco and *dot dot dot* Marie”
A great season starter. The pure adrenaline of not knowing whether a mad man is going to kill you or your family encapsulated into 50 intense minutes of television is how you get the ball rolling.
#4 – Episode 8: Better Call Saul
The opening of this episode is LEGENDARY. Badger is absolutely hilarious and it’s so darn cute that an undercover cop and a druggie were able to have a marginally thought-provoking conversation as dumb as it sometimes sounded. “Cops have to tell you they’re a cop. It’s in like… The Constitution or something.” LOL.
Yep, this is the episode that introduced Saul Goodman, the greatest character in the Breaking Bad universe — you heard me! Hank and Walt have a motivational bro talk. Saul has the best entrance out of any character in this show, single-handedly roasting a DEA agent, Badger, and HANK of all people in the span of under five minutes. And that scene where he gets interrogated by Walt and Jesse — it is beautifully shot and outrageously funny! Good finale too; this is certainly one of the more comedic episodes in the series.
But did Gomez really ask though to move in on a drug trade setup when the trade hasn’t even happened yet? This guy works for the DEA; what is he, an amateur? Gomez acted like he was the audience there for a second; it’s almost like this show is completely fictional!
#3 – Episode 6: Peekaboo
Walt confronts Gretchen with pure hatred , getting his tea out on how his life was screwed over after he left her and Elliot. Jesse is pressured by Walt to threaten their money back out of two junkies with a child. Too bad Jesse has a soft spot for kids and is certainly not the killer type — this line of work isn’t cut out for him; Jessie is just too good of a person to keep getting wrapped up in a world of merciless crime. Then, the ATM falls, the deep-in meth life destroys, and the fault becomes not just at the hands of the dealers but the users who indulge in them. Ayy, but the symbolism here: if you seek crime money, death must come first.
At the end of the day though, Gretchin is low-key a good “friend.” She handled that situation well.
#2 – Episode 13: ABQ
Mike’s introduction reminds me of how The Wolf character was painted out to be in Pulp Fiction. Walt confronts Jesse like a father. Aaron Paul brings out some truly incredible acting here, as he begins coping with the loss of his girlfriend. I like how Walt is still primarily so caught up in not getting the praise he deserves rather than being so proud that his own son went out of his way to make an entire website for Walt to fund his cancer surgery. Like, bruh.
This entire episode, however, begins molding into one serious guilt trip for Walt. He begins feeling guilty for putting down Jesse all the time. He begins feeling guilty for creating this perfect-human image for his son. I’ve always thought the exploding airplane part of this season was a bit “overkill” and exceedingly “stretching it” on the dramatic significance + realism, but I mostly respect the purpose of what it’s trying to say on how indirect tragedy can be sparked from the pain of others — the kind of pain that you may have unintentionally caused in your own pursuit, especially, one misplaced in the crime world.
And, holy s**t: give Skylar the best detective in Albuquerque award or something. She exposed Walt’s ass hardcore-mode at the end, huh?
#1 – Episode 2: Grilled
In-tense-tense-TENSE, as Tuco would say. Is its ending a bit faulted by some convenient timing? Maybe. Otherwise, this was the beginning of Breaking Bad’s A-1 on the edge of your seat, life/death presence that television at the time rarely laid eyes on. Catch is though, this entire episode makes you feel like you’re balancing on thin ice, not just in a couple scenes, but throughout its entire, alert runtime.
Season 2 Overall Verdict: A-
“Breaking Bad” season 2 is now available to stream on Netflix.