The most shocking moments so far from Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is set to resume, and conclude, in the summer of 2013, returning inspired characters Walter White and Jessie Pickman to our screens for the second half of season 5.
Bryan Cranston’s turn from Malcolm in the Middle’s Dad to terminally ill drugs baron has been the most remarkable feature of the show, but BB’s ability to throw cliff hangers at the end of almost every episode is quite stunning.
Despite being a much deeper and debate-instigating show than this list gives it credit for, here are my favourite shocking moments from the series so far:
Gustavo Fring half-face death scene
The most epic death scene of the series and one you really didn’t see coming either. Gus wanted to kill Hector for talking to the DEA, but Walter got there first and convinced the bell-ringing former Mexican drug kingpin into a bomb plot. As Gus is just about to inject him with something nasty, the silent Hector begins to show intense rage on his face and after bashing his bell a few times you know it’s about to go down. Boom! After the explosion Gus walks out hiding his injuries, but slowly it becomes clear that he has only half a face before collapsing.
Walter letting Jane choke on her own vomit
For pure brutality and shouting at the screen shock, Walt’s decision to allow Jane to choke on her own drug-induced vomit after sneaking into Jesse’s house is hard to top. After watching her asphyxiate, Walter smashes another level off his moral compass to inch closer to completely devoid of emotions. She was a pain in his balls, but to let - and practically cause - her to die showed an even darker side of the main man than previously shown.
The most bloodshed is reserved for the last episode of the show (so far). Walter meets with Lydia to get the names of Mike’s remaining people that could flip to the DEA, and they are swiftly dispensed with thanks to Todd’s uncle and his Neo-Nazi prison gang links. The music set to the killings is brilliantly unsuited but shows just how bad Walt has become.
Gus poisons the entire drug cartel
Everyone likes a flashback. And the one showing how Gus’ Pollos Hermanos brother/business partner died, went a long way in explaining how he had become such a bad egg in the first place. His calculated revenge was to poison the entire Mexican drug cartel and in doing so both reap his vengeance and widen his profit margins. The measured and meticulous manner in which he excuses himself to go to the toilet and throw up is perfect, as is Jesse’s panicky reaction to the unfolding events and Mike’s killer touch.
Walter’s ‘not meth’ business meeting with Tuco
If you were to analyse it properly, I reckon this is likely to be the point in the series where Walt’s alter-ego ‘Heisenberg’ is truly born. Storming in on gang leader Tuco and demanding $50,000 - $35,000 for the stolen meth and $15,000 for Jesse’s “pain and suffering” - looks like a terrible plan. But Walt has an ace up his sleeve. The following explosion unbelievably appears to leave no one seriously injured, but that gets forgotten as Walt utters: “fulminated mercury…with a little tweak of science” and proceeds to celebrate wildly in his car after with the stacks of cash just earned.
Tuco’s silent cousin crawls towards Walter
Walt being in the hospital to visit brother-in-law Hank whilst DEA agents litter the place puts the nerves on alert, but when he is offered to see the parking lot shooter, things really do go on edge. It is Tuco’s cousin, who clearly recognises Walt - and when he does he immediately rips out his medical apparatus, revealing two stumps for legs and crawls towards Walt as blood begins to pour out of the bandages. Nasty.
Half-measures shoot-out where Walt saves Jesse
Jesse seeks to take measures against the gang members who killed his friend by using children as gunmen, and loads a pistol and marches towards them one night in a fit of rage. Like a fish out of water he soon realises there is no positive ending in the scenario, but Walt comes to his rescue with a timely hit-and-run. While Jesse’s draw drops to the floor, Walt gets out the car and executes the one gangaster still alive with his own gun. Jesse almost mimics the viewer for this scene, which can certainly be placed in the ‘full-measure’ category.
Jesse shooting Gale in the head
Jesse had to kill Gus’ prodigy Gale so he was not rendered invalid and thereby dispensable - but the tension as he arrives at the scientist’s house to carry out the hit is overbearing. Gale is a strange man, but compared to the rest of the characters he is innocent, and the painful delay as Jesse builds up the strength to pull the trigger is cinematically powerful. Gale begs for his life as Jesse breaks into tears, but there was always going to be just one shocking ending.