With the second half of Breaking Bad's fifth season less than a week away from traumatizing us forever (can you believe it?) we thought it would be the perfect time to recount eight of our favorite moments from the series, so far. These are in no real order and the list is far from comprehensive, but these moments have all played a part in helping us fall in with the love the meth-drenched, adrenaline-fueled character study that is Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad. Coincidentally, each one has also shocked the living hell out of us.
It's Raining… Parts (S01E02)
Breaking Bad hinted at some gruesome feathers in the first season's opening episodes, but didn't demonstrate just how sick things were going to get until the second episode's infamous chemical-induced body-breakdown scene, where we saw a rival drug dealer's acid-soaked limbs rain from the ceiling. If only Jesse went to Lowes AFTER striking out at Home Depot.
We're guessing something inside you changes forever after witnessing -- let alone mopping up -- something like that.
Mercury Rising (S01E06)
"This… is not Meth," Walter White says before tossing a baggie full of Fulminated mercury on the ground in front of rival drug-boss Tuco Salamanca, decimating his office and winning Walter a bit of time and a whole lot of leverage. Not so "tight tight tight, chyeah", eh Tuco?
Walt begins to recognize how much power he has. Knowledge, it turns out, has its practical benefits in the drug game.
Crushing Withdrawal (S02E05)
Oh Spooge, you are one disgusting dude. You've got a methed-out face, a baby you can't even manage to put baby powder on, and a wife who just crushed you with an ATM machine. Brutal. It's hard to say whether or not your demise was ironic in some way, but we sure grimaced at it. Okay, it was definitely ironic.
We're sure Walt will never feel the same way about ATM's again, but that might be about it. Obviously seeing what meth can do to its users has little impact on his attitude towards cooking and dealing it.
Overlooking an Overdose (S02E12)
A normal human, in most situations, would look at a young girl caught up in an unhealthy relationship with one of the world's most destructive substances with a certain amount of pity, maybe even a bit of sympathy. Not Walter White! She's just a nuisance to him, a spike-strip on the freeway to… wherever it is he wants to go! So, when Walter sees Jane Margolis, Jesse's heroin-junkie girlfriend, choking on her fluids during an overdose, he decides it's best to simply turn the other cheek.
This is ice cold, even for Walter White. We're at the point where it's getting harder for him to deliberately switch between personas. "Heisenberg" begins to inch its way out of the catacombs of Walter's subconscious and into his waking identity.
Bumper to Bumper (S03E07)
In one of the series' most talked about (and best executed) scenes, Hank fends off Marco and Leonel Salamanca, the tight-lipped cousins of Tuco and nephews of Tio charged with cleaning up all of that Heisenberg mess north of the border. Hank, memorably, shoots one of them in the head with a hollow-point round and crushes the other one with a car. He loses use of his legs, rendering him incapable of detective work, for the remainder of the season (and the majority of the next), but it was probably worth it.
Walt was not directly involved with this one, but seems to show little guilt that he's gotten his brother-in-law in trouble, instead focusing on how the situation impacts his ability to cook and distribute meth. Not an immediately drastic impact, but a subtle one.
Dealers Like Dominos (S03E12)
In an effort to save an emotionally-battered Jesse Pinkman from certain death by the hand of a pair of drug dealers, Walter White plows his Pontiac Aztec through them, killing one immediately. Walt mercilessly shoots the other in the head.
Straighten Your Tie and Die Like a Gentleman (S04013)
Remember the scene where Walt uses a bomb strapped to a man in a wheelchair to blow off a drug lord's face? Of course you do.
This was classic Heisenberg: calculated, symbolic, brutal, and shocking as all hell. The transformation, for all intents and purposes, is complete.
Ehrmantraut, Out (S05E8)
Like most characters in Breaking Bad, Mike Ehrmantraut was a great character with a confused moral compass. He was a meticulously smooth operator in the game primarily to support his granddaughter. It wasn't until Walter White started poking his pork-pie hat around Mike's affairs that things started to get complicated. So, it's fitting, given Breaking Bad's sick sense of humor, that Mike meets his end via a bullet to the gut from his bald-headed rival.
Walt kills Mike while seeking the names of Gus Fringe's henchman but, after firing the gun, realizes he could simply get the names from Lydia Rodarte-Quayle. He's beginning to unravel. Walt, and all of his tactical thinking, has been replaced by the unhinged chaos of an actualized Heisenberg. Shoot first, ask questions later -- or don't ask them at all.
That's all we've got folks -- but we know there are countless others! Tell us about your favorite Breaking Bad moments in the comments!