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 third season ranked from finest to dullest — as if any of these installments are actually “dull” though.
#13 – Episode 11: Abiquiu
What a tasteful opening to the episode. We finally get to see that day Jane took Jesse to the museum. For an episode where Jesse starts a new relationship, we must reconcile an old one before moving on.
Skyler destroys Saul’s logic. The gas station tactic is much smarter than the laser tag tactic, I must admit. Jesse’s gotta new girlfriend — hopefully he doesn’t ruin her life like he did to the last one!
Why’d they change the actor who played Tomas though? That was super noticeable, LOL. Also, what a coincidence he happens to be the brother of Jesse’s new love interest! Wow, so metaphorical? Hmm.
#12 – Episode 4: Green Light
Everybody is just losing their marbles in this episode, taking their anger out on others and what have you.
Hank is onto Jessie though, I’ll tell you that much!
#11 – Episode 9: Kafkaesque
We learn that Walt’s harsh criticisms towards Jesse were actually motivators to make Jesse want to become better. And I can’t lie, Skyler’s gambling story to cover Walt’s ass was pretty f**king epic and well thought-out. Gotta give the lady props! Her no-chill “I learned from the best” line to Walt was just the cherry on top of such a solid lie.
#10 – Episode 3: I.F.T.
Skyler’s Deduction: My husband is a criminal making money for my family! How dare he!
Skyler’s Solution: I should cheat on him with another criminal making money for a family unrelated to me to get back at him! Hey, when your husband is cooking up meth that therefore gives you a perfectly moral excuse to commit adultery?
Hey, at least this episode confirms that Skyler is willing to make the risky sacrifices of locking up Walt’s secret in order to benefit her children from knowing the truth; a truth that could very well destroy their entire family psychologically and financially. At least that was a somewhat true G mother move? I don’t know, I won’t mansplain or whatever.
It’s interesting though how Hank also commits something pretty immoral in this episode, as well — taking his anger out on a couple of criminals unlawfully. Skyler does it, to mention again, with the adultery, all while Walt is trying not to do it considering he’s been attempting to counteract for all the illegal things he’s been committing these past two seasons.
#9 – Episode 1: No Más
It’s kind of devious how a whole school, devastated by the plane incident, unknowingly clapped for the return of the man who took cause to the tragedy happening.
Walt tells Skyler the truth. Jesse faces up to the truth as Walt continues to deny his influence to pain. Walt, again, wants to take a break, but all because his family has decided to waddle away from him again due to his secrecy.
Also, the twins are finally in town!!!
#8 – Episode 2: Caballo sin Nombre
Skyler: Is repulsed that Walt does illegal drug manufacturing which makes their family loads of cash.
Also Skyler: Is flexible with signing illegal documents to continue Teddy’s tax fraud scheme and furthermore becomes okay with it even though she makes nothing off of it but regular pay.
“Why you gotta be such a… bitch!”
Walt Jr. finally said what we were all thinking about Skyler. Bless him. I know Walt’s your husband, Skyler, but c’mon you hypocrite! You’re living a life of crime on both sides!
Jesse getting back at his parents by dropping 400k for his old house is the biggest “FU” I’ve seen in television history. What a G move! Better call Saul! Am I right? This episode also gave us the infamous “pizza on a roof” meme, so, thanks Episode 2! It is a little convenient though that both Mike, Walt, and The Cousins happened to arrive at Walt’s house simultaneously just so Mike can save Walt’s ass at the last second. Otherwise, Breaking Bad would’ve just ended right there and then!
#7 – Episode 5: Más
The men in the family are getting too obsessed with their work, leaving their wives to panic. Hank is head over heels to catch Heisenberg and Gus has convinced Walt to join the business again with a dreamlike lab setup that could make any chemist cream. TMI? Sorry. Hey, they even play horny Tim Burton-type music over the sequence where he first sees it! Gus’s “man” speech was pretty hardcore too, not gonna lie. Funny how this was also the moment where Gus unknowingly convinced himself and Walt to their own death sentences.
#6 – Episode 8: I See You
Jesse gets his satisfaction. Gale gets cucked — thanks to Walt’s love for teaching that he just can’t deny from Jesse. Walt becomes worried but is suddenly saved by the slick cat Gus Fring, AKA The Chicken Man, or better yet, the Poison Master. Can’t believe that all it takes to get your kill shot is to distract some DEA men with fried chicken. Seems legit! However, this makes Walt a lot more aware of Gus’s power and willingness to take full measures…
I love the look of satisfaction Gus gets though when he hears one of his partners/enemies die over the phone. What a badass day this must have been for Mr. Fring.
Can someone explain to me though what Pinkman’s obsession with Jack-O-Lantern shirts are already???
#5 – Episode 6: Sunset
“Call me crazy but, I’m actually feeling good about the future.”
Classic, poor-judgement Walt, ladies and gents.
And, thus, the shortly lived bromance between Gale and Walt begins. Reciting poems for one another is true love, folks. Also, I can’t believe Marie of all people saved Jesse’s ass. Walt was inches away from being captured by Hank, and he had to put his own brother-in-law through a terrifying panic attack just to get out of it. That clutch old man seriously came to the rescue though. Shoutout to him.
BUT GG TO HANK. HE GOT SCREWED OVER IN THIS EPISODE AND IS ABOUT TO GET MCF**KED NEXT EPISODE TOO!
#4 – Episode 7: One Minute
Hector seriously taught those twins a lesson, huh? “Family is forever.” Aww?
Walt confirmed doesn’t like simps — AKA, Gale. Walt confirmed can never stop loving Jesse. Jesse returns no favors and savagely turns down Walt though, but then almost immediately changes his mind with a quick phone call — ayy, 1.5 million dollars is 1.5 million dollars yo; plus, Walt is the closest thing I have to a loving father, sadly! Hank finally realizes he’s broken bad in an emotionally draining scene between him and his wife. And, yes, I must mention the scene we’re all thinking of right now: Hank vs. The Twins. GRIPPING.
One thing I’ve kept from mentioning until now is that Vince Gilligan is so good at even just writing small, insignificant characters such as the gun seller in this episode who blasts off about his sexual partner’s fetishes in front of the two stern twins. I can’t believe that dude unintentionally saved Hank’s life just because he gave the twins an extra bullet. Wild.
Jessie tough-talking in the hospital with Saul and Walt was just too much, however. I laughed my ass off at that scene. Other than that though, this is a perfect episode.
#3 – Episode 12: Half Measure
Okay, that Wendy intro was low-key cruel. Like bruh, c’mon, haha. *Danny Brown’s “Ain’t It Funny” begins playing.*
This episode is just further proof that Jesse has always been the antagonist of this show with the most controlling morals. Him wanting to go A-wall because Gus uses children to sell their product is a pure gesture to how much he respects a good childhood — since he seemed to have a disappointing one himself despite money-wealthy circumstances. It’s a stupid thing for Jesse to do, sure, but his actions have sometimes always seemed self-righteous.
Hank be roasting the shit out of poor Walter Jr. due to his new-founded crankiness. Mike delivers his impeccable half-measure story to Walt — one that’ll stick as a glaring highlight in the show’s best moments. Episode 12 is truly a feast for the fans of this show, and one that puts Season 3 possibly above its predecessors.
Jesse standing up to Gus is hardcore, man. Stupid, but hardcore. It’s so unfortunate though to see that Jesse’s initiations to do good always seem to lead into misfortune. Shoutout to Walt, howbeit, with his perfect timing as he savagely runs over the two crime-douchebags who killed Tomas. A risky, yet, totally badass and redeeming move on Walt’s end!
Oh yeah, and Marie gives Hank a handy in the hospital too. That… also happens amongst everything else…
#2 – Episode 10: Fly
“You can’t order shit, Adolf.”
This episode is shot quite creatively. I love the seamless fly perspective maneuvers used here. Even some of the throwaway ones such as the POV meant to mimic the brush Jesse uses at the beginning of the episode. Sometimes the exclusiveness of a bottle episode can force creators to think of other outlets to entertain the audience, and the tactics implemented to create the visual presentation at hand are exceptional in “The Fly.” The camera movements here feel very DIY, but in the best possible way. Good focus ins/outs, as well too.
This entire affair feels very three stooges, slapstick comedy-ish in a manner too, and its pretty refreshing to watch considering how committed Walt is to this fly situation, as if such a miniature creature was an actual, threatening enemy of his. This furthermore feels like OCD therapy for Walt too, as Jesse and him create elongated conversations on either something such as the psychosis of letting things that are physically gone still bother you mentally or something as straightforward as Walt’s admission to failure — plus, the wonders of destiny, paralleling itself all the way back to some unusual events that occurred in season 2. It can come off as “expositional” at times, but I personally appreciate its clarifications, because if these characters were truly real, wouldn’t you expect them to think about these sorts of concepts?
I adore how the ladder scene here too is like the climax of all this emotion piled up, one that leads to Walt almost admitting the truth about Jane right as Jesse is dangerously standing on the ladder. It’s very Mr. Robot 407 Proxy Authentication Required-esc. I can additionally mention that the fly in which appears at the end of the episode CERTAINLY relates to something Walt is currently in cahoots with, but I’ll leave the readers/viewers to figure that one out themselves.
In some cases, this is the sitcom episode of Breaking Bad — but not really since it almost poses as more of a parody of what a sitcom-like show could have as an episode’s central obstacle, but with added realism to the burning heinousness of harmless annoyances everyday humans deal with, and what the simplistic time consumption of it can do to our thought-process as we wait earnestly for it to go away. I’m not saying all sitcoms don’t give us that sort of high-quality commentary from time to time, but many certainly don’t at the level of… well, Breaking freaking Bad.
On the laugh scale, this episode so far rivals with S2:E8 as the funniest. Fantastic stuff.
#1 – Episode 13: Full Measure
Walt makes a convincing deal of two ultimatums to the exceedingly upset Gus — one that he simultaneously cherry picks from both concepts like an unprofessional child. Mike goes full-blown badass mode, using balloons and guns to take down enemies. Walt, Jesse, and Saul plan out their scheme adroitly as they invent long-term plans to avoid being killed by the mighty Gus. The last ten minutes of this episode are sheerly flawless, on-the-curve drama, where Jesse is forced heinously to murder Gale out of his very own nature, just because the badass Heisenberg pressured him to do so and gave him the simplistic choices of life or death. When Walter White tricks both Mike and Victor with a quick telephone call, transforming from victim to master in a matter of seconds, that’s when we as the audience knew that Heisenberg was truly worthy of going up against the powerful Gus Fring.
F**K, this episode is golden. Crystal clear, television perfection. Poor, Gale, though. Rest in peace, my guy. ;(
Season 3 Overall Verdict: A-
“Breaking Bad” season 3 is now available to stream on Netflix.