Gustavo Fring’s explosive demise will forever be one of the most spectacular deaths in television history, but it’s also one of the coolest. “Face Off” aired on October 9, 2011 and served as the finale of the fourth season of the critically-acclaimed AMC series Breaking Bad. However, since a fifth season wasn’t a certainty, it almost became the series finale with Vince Gilligan and the Breaking Bad team deciding from the start of season four that if Breaking Bad was going out, it would be going out with a bang. (And if not, they’d just have an awesome season finale, so win-win.)
The result was an episode that had critics and fans raving, particularly about the nursing home encounter between Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) and Hector (Mark Margolis), a breathtaking act of revenge from the moment Hector angrily begins ringing his bell to the camera’s slow reveal of a fatally injured Gus that is notable for a level of graphic detail that is both upsetting and remarkable. How they managed to pull off that unforgettable moment and achieve that look is, in and of itself, pretty remarkable as well.