- Breaking Bad
- Sundays, 10 p.m., AMC
1. “Crazy Handful of Nothin’” (Season 1, Episode 6) In the ongoing saga of chemistry teacher-turned-criminal Walter White (Bryan Cranston), this episode set the tone for the rest of the series: the first “Heisenberg” alias appearance (the iconic hat would come an episode later); the first of many innocent victims of Walter’s crimes (a school janitor); and Walter rocking the bald look while making a drug badass his bitch with a “little tweak of chemistry.” An instant classic.
2. “Four Days Out” (Season 2, Episode 9) The series’ blending of drama and comedy was never better than here. Walter and partner-in-crime Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) almost die in the middle of the desert, and Walter discovers his cancer is in remission, dooming him to the life he’s chosen. We’d beat the crap out of a bathroom paper-towel dispenser, too.
3. “One Minute” (Season 3, Episode 7) It’s hard to say what I liked better in this episode: Paul’s acting (I’m convinced this episode is what secured him his Emmy) or the unbelievably suspenseful showdown between White’s brother-in-law/DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and twin killers from Mexico.
4. “Box Cutter” (Season 4, Episode 1) Of all the season openers, this is the most indelible. We see just how cold-blooded and ruthless drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) really is. And the Kenny Rogers T-shirts? Genius.
5. “Face Off” (Season 4, Episode 13) As if I could leave this off the list. The return of the bell-ringing Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis), the “conflict resolution” between Walter and Gus, a special effect for the ages and a final shot that will have you replaying the whole episode—make that the whole season—in your head.