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Feature
The 25 Best Moments In Breaking Bad
From pilot to finale (so beware spoilers!) we chronicle the show’s highlights

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The 25 Best Moments In Breaking Bad | Hank Heads To The John
Hank Heads To The John

‘Gliding Over All’ – Season 5A, Episode 8

Die-hard Walt Whitman fans should have seen this coming. With the title of the episode taken from poem 271 of W.W.’s Leaves Of Grass – which you can read in full here – this cliffhanger of cliffhangers had to involve the other W.W.’s magnum opus. But the way that Hank discovers the truth is so perfectly Hankian (to coin a phrase) that perhaps we all should have seen that too. To realise what was fist-gnashingly obvious in retrospect, on the can, after he’s had a few drinks and what he thought was a nice meal, only emphasises how stupid he’s been, and feeds so well into the rage-and-shame-filled panic attack he suffers minutes later in the next half-season.

Six episodes later, Hank will have died, his last words “You're the smartest guy I ever met, and you're too stupid to see — he made up his mind ten minutes ago" and "Do what you're gonna do" echo just how stupid (in his own way) Hank had been not to have noticed Walt’s double life all along.

Incidentally, the final line of the poem ‘Gliding Over All’ is ‘Death, many deaths I’ll sing’, which makes sense, considering ten people have been shivved off this mortal coil over the course of the episode.

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Your Comments

1 Jesse's wooden box
My favourite moments in the series was Jesse's wooden box speech in therapy, and tied to this, the incredibly poetic and tragic dream that Jesse has creating this box, which is interrupted by a reality cut to his imprisonment in the meth lab. Absolutely stunning, and for me the hands down best moment in the show. More

Posted by jrewing1000 on Thursday October 17, 2013, 13:33

2 The "Assassins"
I agree with everyone here, room for a top 50 or even 100. I was late into BB and watched the entire run back to back over several nights. I loved the Assassins ruse Walter uses to ensure his money is payed to his son by the Schwarzes. More

Posted by djdarrenjames on Wednesday October 9, 2013, 22:47

3 it would be cool if this list were chronological
Then everyone who hasn't yet seen season 5 can just read it up to the point where they are within the show More

Posted by Jasper_29 on Wednesday October 9, 2013, 12:18

4 "Walt you left us, me, Elliott. This can't really be how you see it"
We don't know for certain what happened with Walt, Elliott and Gretchen and how Gray Matter fell through. When they meet Gretchen said that Walt abruptly walked out on her, and the business. Walt of course refuses to discuss that element of whatever the situation was, and that is telling. He doesn't want to see the situation as anything other than black and white. It drives him along to be able to think of himself as the victim, with everything being everyone else's fault. That's part of his hubris. Even when he kills someone, in his mind it's because they force him to kill them. Maybe he walked out because with his extreme low self esteem he couldn't handle the pressure. Maybe he met and fell in love with Skylar. We don't know for sure. But there are reasons to believe Walt was damaged long before Gray Matter fell through for him. It's possible that they did screw him over entirely, but it would seem to be a tad more complicated. More

Posted by seanj1 on Tuesday October 8, 2013, 00:06

5 "Have you turned your phone off?" - "which one?"
One of the little quirks I liked about the show was that whenever Walt was extremely tired or drugged or drunk, small elements of truth would creep out of his mouth as he was no longer capable of controlling the lies that he told. The best example of this was when (I think) he was being prepped for surgery and Skylar asked him "have you switched your phone off" and in his drug-induced haze he replies "which one", and I think at that point Skylar knew just what a master liar she shared her bed with. Enjoyed the list put together by Team Empire. Everyone will have favourite scenes that are not included. There were probably enough gems for a top 100 More

Posted by chrispdaniel on Monday October 7, 2013, 00:54

6 I was the man who watched
I have just watched the finale episode of Breaking Bad. I thought the final scene in which 'Heisenberg' is reflected in the boiler (might not be called a boiler), intentional or not, was very clever. In that moment he and Walt are connected, both have blood on their hands, and then they slip away from one another and it is Walt we are left with. Like Walter White once said 'Chemistry is about transformation,' and I think Breaking Bad has transformed television. Masterful. More

Posted by circuit on Saturday October 5, 2013, 22:35

7 Need 25 More
I think there should be another 25 added to this list, like the Crawl Space. Walt's maniacal laughter in a seemingly impossible dilemma to wriggle his way out of. The tension when the cousins come to visit Walt to bonk him off, only to be called out right at the last minute whilst oblivious Walt is in the shower. So, um, yeah. 25 more. :D More

Posted by Evolved As One on Saturday October 5, 2013, 15:02

8 RE: Crawl Space
How is it NOT on the list, I meant, obviously. More

Posted by sirisol on Wednesday October 2, 2013, 19:50

9 Crawl Space
Come on! How is the final shot of Crawl Space on this list? That is just wrong. More

Posted by sirisol on Wednesday October 2, 2013, 19:48

10 Crawl Space
The final shot of Crawl Space. Walt boxed in and cackling like a madman. More

Posted by darkside84 on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 18:27

11 I know you mentioned it but...
...how is Danny Trejo's head riding on the back of an exploding tortoise not one of the 25. I think, for me, that was the moment I realised I properly loved this show. More

Posted by LORD LIONAL on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 13:20

12 Mike and Gus Deaths
I think Giancarlo Esposito's tie shift for me after the explosion is the finest moment in the entire show. Although Mike's "Shut the f__k up and let me die in peace," was beautiful, brilliant in summing up what he thought about Walt. More

Posted by bradcam72 on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 12:39

13 Breaking Bad
When he saw the guy buying gear to cook meth in the hardware store and spoke to him, then snapped and confronted him and a big scary looking dude in the car park was the moment Walt truly became Heisenberg. More

Posted by shadozfest on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 12:38

14 Train Heist
Glad you included the post train heist scene. But in my mind, you missed the point. It's greatness is due to the transition from fist pumping triumph to utter despair... in a matter of moments. More

Posted by Old_Pyrate on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 09:40

15 I know you mentioned it but...
...how is Danny Trejo's head riding on the back of an exploding tortoise not one of the 25. I think, for me, that was the moment I realised I properly loved this show. More

Posted by LORD LIONAL on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 05:07

16 One Minute
Anything with the Cousins was brilliant on this show. Especially their visits Pollos Hermanos. More

Posted by Plainviewturner on Tuesday October 1, 2013, 04:57

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