It’s been seven years since Breaking Bad debuted and we were introduced to Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who found out that he had terminal lung cancer and no way to make sure that his family would be taken care of thanks to his meager income and a bad business decision many years prior. Powered by desperation and armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry, Walt turns to Jesse Pinkman, a former burnout student and middling meth cook to help him sell a higher caliber version of crystal methamphetamine.
Over the course of the first season, we get to watch Walt transform from a hapless teacher and family man to Heisenberg, the man who would be King while strains across the surface of his family life begin to show. If you haven’t seen the show and you’re an inch away from being pushed into a Summer binge watch thanks to the endless nudging by your friends, let this mostly spoiler free review of some of Season 1’s best moments serve as that final push. And if you’ve already seen the show, allow this to push you towards another run through one of the best shows of the last 20 years.
Apparently, the Breaking Bad writers decided it was best to start the series off with a strong hook. We first meet Walter White as he crashes a Winnebago, filled with chemicals, in the desert while wearing a gas mask and no pants. At the very least, you need to watch the whole episode to find out how this happened.
“…Pinkman?” – Walt meets Jesse
In what appeared to be destiny at work, Walt coincidentally happened to spot one of his former students climbing out of a window to avoid a police raid. After investigating further, a partnership was formed that would give both Walt and Jesse their fair share of ups and downs.
Skyler fakes labor
Walt isn’t the only member of the White family that can think on their feet. After being stopped while shopping in a jewelry store because of something her sister did, Skyler fakes going into labor to get out of a tough bind.
“Tight, tight, tight.”
Some call it over-acting. Some call it excellence. Tuco, a New Mexico drug dealer portrayed by Raymond Cruz, made it a practice to try a sample of the product before he gives it his blessing to go out to the public. His reaction to Jesse and Walt’s, in particular, puts in perspective just how good he thinks it is.
“F*ck you, and your eyebrows!”
Walt has been the doormat of everyone in his life for quite some time now. But enough was enough. Given that he didn’t think he had much time left to live, what business did he have taking crap from the manager of his part-time job? AND his eyebrows?
This is when it became clear just how far apart Jesse’s scientific knowledge and Walt’s was. In the beginning of the show, Jesse would often make Walt question if he was worth the trouble. To be fair, cutting corners and sending a bloody bathtub falling through a ceiling is a pretty bad way to start a partnership.
Walt shaves his head
As a result of his chemotherapy, Walt started to lose his hair. Instead of trying to save all of the hair he could, he decided to get in front of it and just shave it all off. And he owned that look. It’s still weird to see Bryan Cranston with a full head of hair.
This scene showed that Walter White was more than your average high school chemistry teacher. His manipulation of chemicals was so impressive that even Jesse had to respect it.
“You want a wire? I got a wire! Speak into the mic, b*tch!”
Chances are, if a character stuck around Breaking Bad long enough, Jesse called them a b*tch at least once. Which means Walt was on the receiving end of it way more than that. In this instance, his paranoia urged him to check Jesse for a wire, and Jesse responds accordingly. A fan favorite is also “Heil Hitler, B*tch!”
Walt blows up a car
At this point, Walt clearly didn’t care that much about what would happen to him. He’s battling terminal lung cancer and people around him seem to always act like jerks. So he lashed out by setting “Mr. Bluetooth’s” car on fire at a gas station.
The first moments of Heisenberg. – “This is not meth.”
And Heisenberg was born. Because he couldn’t attach his government name with his drug dealings (duh), Walt had to come up with an alias, and he looked to a scientific mind from the past — Werner Heisenberg — for motivation. It’s pretty safe to say that Werner didn’t cook glass on the side, though.
Moving forward to Season 2
By the end of the season, Jesse and Walt finally make headway in their drug dealings but they quickly find out that they may be in over their heads.