In timing with the premier of Breaking Bad Season 5 part 2, I feel it is time for this post. At first my intention was to do "Top Five Breaking Bad Moments", but when I started listing all of the possibilities it got out of hand. It became clear that the character development is what sticks with me the most about this show. (also cinematography, which is soon to come.) So I started two separate lists, Walt moments, and Jesse moments. First up- Mr. White.
1. I Am the One Who Knocks.
This scene, without a doubt, holds the most quotable line from the entire series. The reason I chose this moment was because this is Walter admitting, out loud, to his loved ones that he is not the same man he once was. This scene shows that not only is Walter aware of the descent he has taken, but that it does not concern him the way it concerns Skyler.
2. Say My Name.
Probably the most badass thing Walter White has ever said.
The ever-growing pride of Walter White has fully manifested, and we the viewers have no choice but to be taken wherever Heisenberg is going. At this point all we can do is watch in agony trying to figure out whether we are rooting for Walter, or just plain terrified of the chaos bound to come out of this. Maybe both?
3. Walt Pulls the Trigger.
Our first glimpse into just how manic Walter White is. The main character tried to kill himself in the first episode. Not in a well thought out, sad story moment that can only add to who this person is, but in a split-second of desperation when things got too intense for him to handle. One loaded bullet on day one would have changed everything. I think this is one of the biggest moments in the show (though often forgotten), and was one of the first that changed his course permanently.
Story and film-making gold! The way they went about creating this scene, and what it means as a story plot point is just fantastic. My husband, who is a film maker, always pin points this as the moment we realize Walt is no longer a man to feel sorry for, but as a calculated killer. (which is what we see come to fruition in the very next episode.)
5. Crawl Space.
Aside from some of the best acting I've ever seen, and Walt's terrifying-nightmare-haunting cackle, this is my favorite scene in the entire series because of the music and cinematography. The slow beats of the music give an almost "silent noise" effect that is truly haunting when combined with Walt's breakdown, and the camera pull back to look down at Walter is such strong symbolism for being trapped, and death. He is lying on his back, in the dirt, underneath the floorboards, losing all mental capacity to handle the situation. He is literally boxed into a small frame.
Walter White is dead," Bryan Cranston explains. "And Heisenberg rises from the ashes."