I really liked season 1 of Breaking Bad, but I wasn’t exactly hooked – I was definitely enjoying myself, but I wasn’t at the “oh my God this is consistently amazing” phase of the show.
That phase came in season 2 – a brilliant season that starts to take the story in incredibly fascinating directions. There are some great episodes here, but how would I rank them?
You can check out some other Breaking Bad lists below:
13 – Over
Other than the Walt / Hank confrontation, this is one of the most boring and unimportant episodes in the show’s entire run. Also saved by the final “Stay out of my territory” line, but that whole series of events seems a bit weird in general.
12 – Down
Slightly more important than “Over”, but almost as boring.
There’s always a run of episodes near the start that need to set up the season, and this is right in the middle of the slump.
11 – Breakage
Part of the early season slump, except this episode has some stand-out moments like Jesse and the RV, and especially Walt and Jesse at each other’s throats.
10 – Bit by a Dead Bee
This episode is less intense than it’s predecessor, and that’s why is places in the bottom half of the list for the sheer drop in pace.
The actual episode itself is fine, and it’s interesting to see the aftermath of Walt and Jesse’s meeting with Tuco.
9 – Seven Thirty-Seven
Breaking Bad is very good at showing the aftermath of a pivotal moment, so it made sense for Walt and Jesse to be freaking out after Tuco’s threat. This gives the whole episode an uneasy feel, and it all culminates in the twist (sort of) ending that surprised me a lot when I first watched it.
8 – Mandala
So much happens in this episode, from a character death to a relationship blossoming, and finally to the introduction of the best TV villain ever – Gus Fring. Why is this episode only a B if so much happens? Because I know the show can do better.
7 – Negro Y Azul
Bonus points for the catchy as hell song and the turtle explosion that took everyone by surprise – this was really the moment that Hank went from annoying jock to flawed hero.
6 – Peekaboo
One of the weirdest episodes in the show’s run, and to be honest I can’t remember much else other than the strange house with the strange family. It’s a good kind of weird, though, so it gets a high grade.
5 – 4 Days Out
A nice little aside from the dangers of the drug world, except this time Jesse and Walt get themselves slap bang in the middle of the dangers of the natural world.
There are some amazing moments in this, but the fact it’s a sort of side episode is what lets it down.
4 – Better Call Saul
The episode that set the foundations for a spin-off, and an incredible spin-off at that.
The opening with Badger is one of the funniest moments of the season, and the various plans hatched to save him are what makes this episode what it is.
3 – Phoenix
One of the most shocking episodes of television ever. I won’t get into details, but you’ll find it hard to keep watching after this one.
2 – ABQ
In hindsight this is a sort of underwhelming season finale, but a mediocre Breaking Bad season finale is still one of the best TV episodes ever.
(Bonus fact: if you take the episode titles in this season where the episode opens with the black and white segment, you form the twist of this finale).
1 – Grilled
Episodes like “A Crazy Handful of Nothin” in season one were amazing, but I still just thought of Breaking Bad as another (pretty amazing) drama show. That all changed when I watched “Grilled”, one of the most intense pieces of television ever with one of the most badass finales.
The actor playing Tuco had to leave his role prematurely to pursue another TV role, so the writers had to come up with the best possible send-off for his character – and they delivered one of the best good guy vs bad guy confrontations in television history. Easily the best episode of the season, and one of the best TV episodes I’ve ever seen.
Season Rating: A-
Big improvement from season 1, but we haven’t quite reached the illustrious heights of the show. Let’s see the stats:
- 5 A (38%)
- 6 B (46%)
- 2 C (15%)
The stats are just getting better and better, with 5 As in a season being a phenomenal record.
Next season is season 3, and I think it’s about time we started dishing out some A+ grades …
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