Breaking Bad Season 5A Episodes Ranked and Reviewed

Skyler White (Anna Gunn) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) – Breaking Bad – Season 5, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Oh boy, now we’ve hit the big time. Season 5 of Breaking Bad is just so unbelievably perfect, there’s no other way to describe it. Even the filler episodes are pretty darn good, but when it hits the highs the show produces some of the best television episodes ever.

Season 5 aired in two halves, so I’ll separate my lists in the same way. How would I rank the episodes in the first half of the season?

You can check out some of my other Breaking Bad lists below:

8 – Madrigal

Rating: B+

I guess you could say this and “Hazard Pay” form the dry spell of the season, but that wouldn’t be doing this episode justice.

It has a great opening which I won’t spoil, and just in general the story for season 5 is perfect, and it hooked me since the opening episode.

7 – Hazard Pay

Rating: B+

Tensions fly a bit higher in this one, so I’ll put it above “Madrigal”.

6 – Fifty-One

Rating: A-

Anna Gunn definitely deserved her Emmy for this episode, as you really feel for Skyler White and how much of a victim she has become. It’s quite extraordinary how one episode turned her from an annoying voice of reason for Walt into someone we feel the deepest of sympathy for.

5 – Buyout

Rating: A-

The aftermath of the train episode is very intense, and this season does a great job of showing great character development in fascinating stories. Not as explosive as the rest of the episodes in this list.

4 – Live Free or Die

Rating: A

An amazing season opener that turns Walter into a fully-fledged villain. The stuff with the magnet is badass, and the scene I’ve linked above where Walt intimidates Saul is one of my favourite moments of the season.

3 – Gliding Over All

Rating: A+

The prison scenes in this provided some of the toughest television I’ve ever had to watch, and Hank’s realisation sets up the second half of the season perfectly.

Also, shout-out to one of the best montages I’ve ever see, and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” playing in the background makes it perfect.

2 – Dead Freight

Rating: A+

When you ask someone what their favourite episode is, chances are they might say “the train one”.

Whilst I do think the show has produced better episodes, there’s no denying how near-perfect this heist episode is, and that sudden twist ending was one of the most soul-crushing experiences I had watching Breaking Bad.

1 – Say My Name

Rating: A+

I’ll never get over what Walt did to Mike. Ever.

That “say my name” quote might be the most famous in the show, and it’s probably Walt’s most badass moment. I’ll admit I still saw Walt as a cool anti-hero, but after his confrontation with Mike I never saw him in a positive light ever again. You know you have a great story when the viewer questions their own moralities when watching it.

Season Rating: A+

Unbelievably good, but we’ve come to expect that. Let’s see the stats:

  • 6 A (75%)
  • 2 B (25%)

75% A grades is an absolutely sensational record, even if there are only eight episodes in the season.

Next time we look at the final, perfect stretch of episodes. Until then, you should check out some of my latest posts:

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