While season one of AMC’s Breaking Bad was critically acclaimed, it was pretty much “The Walt and Jesse Power Hour.” While their chemistry was fantastic and able to carry (more than) eight episodes, season two built on that by asking more of its supporting cast.
Picking up from where season one left off, Jesse and Walt are now deeper in the drug business than either of them ever imagined. With that comes a higher demand, level of competition, and perhaps, most importantly, more money. And as the great one said, that leads to more problems.
If you managed to get through season one of Breaking Bad and (somehow) haven’t started season two yet, treat this mostly spoiler-free list as a reason to hit play.
The Pink Bear Mystery
A half-burnt pink teddy bear in the opening scenes of a handful of season two’s episodes left a lot of viewers scratching their heads – which is intentional. Calling on inspiration from the girl in the red dress in Schindler’s List, it’s meaning is supposed to be open for interpretation (and eternal debate).
Note: If you put together the titles of all of the episodes that feature the pink bear, you’ll see a message that reveals an important part of this season.
Better Call Saul
Walt and Jesse were big time now. The only problem was Jesse was a small-time dealer and Walt was a high school teacher and neither had any idea what the hell they were doing. So, they hired a sleazy, yet talented lawyer that you’d see in one of those cheap local commercials to show them the ropes. Who knew he’d become a fan favorite and become the focus of a successful spin-off?
Gus: The Cautious Man
Things had obviously grown beyond a two-man operation and so Walt and Jesse needed help. After realizing that a life of standing on the corner wasn’t quite what they were looking for, the pair got tipped to a high-level distributor named Gus. But, given his justified caution, Gus was a hard man to get a hold of.
Jesse meets Jane
It’s a story that’s been told for eons. An unstoppable pair has a good thing going and then one of them falls in love and complicates everything. Jesse’s interactions with Jane, his neighbor/landlord, revealed a softer side and put a strain on his partnership with Walt.
Walter Junior’s turn with Tequila
It’s viewed as a rite of passage for young men to have their first drink with their fathers. Mine was a cold Heineken that I had to nurse for 30 minutes because I knew I wouldn’t get another. But Walter Junior’s father is a little more liberal and pours his son – not one, not two – three shots of tequila and pressures him into drinking them all. Of course, the kid couldn’t keep up; he wasn’t even 18 yet.
Skyler starts putting the pieces together
Walt’s lies and secrets had to catch up with him at some point. No matter how smart he thought he was, his minor trips didn’t go unnoticed by his wife, Skyler. With her suspicions now justified, she kept a watchful eye to find out what she could about Walt’s mysterious double life.
Walt’s fugue state
Walt picked up a few tricks from the criminal’s handbook early, but this one required a lot of acting. Essentially, when you don’t have a valid excuse, just plead insanity. Instead of sticking a handful of chunky peanut butter down his pants (a la Training Day) he stripped down to his underwear in public and claimed not to remember where he’d wandered off to for the past few days.
“Stay out of my territory.”
After a certain point, Walt started to lose sight of his priorities and became enthralled in the rush and power of being an up-and-coming drug kingpin. He started doing things that the Walter White of old would’ve never considered, like checking other dealers in public so that they knew to stay off of his turf.
Stuck in the desert
It wouldn’t be Breaking Bad if Jesse didn’t do something stupid/accidental that Walt had to figure out how to fix with chemistry. This time around, Jesse left the keys in the ignition of the RV for way too long and completely killed the battery. It was doubly stupid because they drove out further than anyone would follow, so walking wasn’t an option.
Heading into Season Three
By the end of Season Two, Walt and Jessie are both dealing with issues in their personal lives, but their drug business is still growing exponentially, with them having moved on from a lunatic distributor to one that’s extremely calculated and holds an unforeseeable amount of influence. The next season will have to focus on them trying to get their lives back in order while meeting the goals of their new business partner.