Breaking Bad—Season 2

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great character study

Still hate Skyler and her sister

 
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Who is Walter White?

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) discover that dealing drugs is harder than they thought.  As Walter finds himself getting sicker from his cancer as the baby rapidly approaches, he realizes he must take things farther if he hopes to earn enough to support his family after his death.  Jesse finds a potential love in a girl named Jane (Krysten Ritter), but Jane’s addiction threatens to overcome Jesse.  As Walter gets more and more involved, Skylar (Anna Gunn) begins to question her husband’s unusual behavior.  Walter is about to find out that his actions will have consequences.

Breaking Bad—Season 2 aired from March 8, 2009 to May 31, 2009.  The series aired on AMC and continued to gain garner acclaim.  The series won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Cranston) and Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (“ABQ”) with nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series (“ABQ”), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Paul), and Outstanding Drama Series.

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Every action has a reaction…and Walt should know

Breaking Bad is a great show…but it is also exhausting.  I have to admit that I have a hard time watching Breaking Bad.  It isn’t that the series is unbearably stressful (it is quite stressful), but it is painful to watch a man slowly become corrupted…which also makes Breaking Bad a great character study.

The story for this season already has Walter getting pretty dark.  There are very view signs of the teacher from the first episode of this season, but occasionally the old Walter shines through.  The season primarily focuses on the poisonous nature of the drug…Walter’s actions have actions that are bigger than personal issues.  Corruption breeds corruption and death…it isn’t as simple as just a dealer dying on a corner.

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Who you gonna call?

Cranston remains great and the role really shows his range as an actor.  This season has White’s drug life crossing over with his home life, and Cranston is having White’s roles merged.  Likewise, Aaron Paul does a great job in his role.  He could have easily been a one-dimensional tweaker, but the writers gave Paul depth.  Both Dean Norris and Betsy Brandt seem a bit more downplayed (a good thing in my opinion), but I continue to find Anna Gunn’s character rather annoying.  The season introduces the Bob Odenkirk spin-off character of Saul Goodman (in “Better Call Saul”), his associate played by Jonathan Banks, and the new distributor played by Giancarlo Esposito.  The season features appearances by Krysten Ritter, John de Lancie, and Danny Trejo.

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Nice, Walter…nice…

In addition to being a strong series, the show looks great as well.  It makes good use of the desert and landscape of the Southwest.  This season also features a lot of stylized flashforwards toward the final episode of the season (“ABQ”) and does a great job building the suspense of what the scenes could mean.

Breaking Bad—Season 2 is a good season of a great series.  It effectively works to hook the viewer while propelling the story forward.  Walter White is heading down a dark path and pulling everyone he knows along with him.  It is painful to endure but it is also compelling…I look forward to/dread the next season…

Breaking Bad—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Seven-Thirty-Seven”

2.1       Seven Thirty-Seven Airdate:  03/08/09

Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) quickly realize Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) could be a problem when he kills his associate at the drug sale and begin to worry that Tuco is targeting them.  Marie (Betsy Brandt) finds Skyler (Anna Gunn) won’t talk to her after her shoplifting incident and Hank (Dean Norris) reveals he knew about the situation…only making it worse.  Walter and Jesse learn that another associate of Tuco is dead and decide they must make an effort to stop Tuco before he comes after them.

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“Grilled”

2.2       Grilled Airdate:  03/15/09

Walter and Jesse have been kidnapped by Tuco, and Skyler calls in Hank to help locate Walter when she is unaware of the situation.  Hank’s DEA force moves in to stop Tuco but find Tuco has fled.  Held hostage by Tuco, Walter and Jesse learn Tucco has big plans…and Jesse might not be part of them.  With Tuco’s cousins on their way and Hank trying to see if there is a connection between Walter and Jesse, Walter’s secret life might be coming out soon…if he lives.

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“Bit by a Dead Bee”

2.3       Bit by a Dead Bee Airdate:  03/22/09

Walter and Jesse find themselves stranded in the desert after Hank’s shoot out with Tuco.  Walter pretends to be in a fugue state which leaves him trapped at the hospital, while Jesse allows himself to picked up by police.  Hank tries to break Jesse by using Tuco’s uncle Tio Salamanca (Mark Margolis), and Skyler questions Walt about the second cell phone.

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“Down”

2.4       Down Airdate:  03/29/09

Jesse’s parents discover Jesse’s lab in the house and kick him out.  As Jesse tries to find a place to live, the RV might be his only chance.  Walt finds himself disconnected from Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) and Skylar.  When Skylar begins giving Walt the cold shoulder, Walt learns that the only thing that might calm the situation is telling her the truth.

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“Breakage”

2.5       Breakage Airdate:  04/05/09

Hank gets a big job appointment but finds himself struggling with the shoot-out with Tuco.  Jesse works to get his life together, and Walt discovers Skyler is secretly smoking.  Walt and Jesse start cooking again but decide they need to sell the merchandise themselves.  When one of Jesse’s dealers is robbed, Walt demands Jesse take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.

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“Peekaboo”

2.6       Peekaboo Airdate:  04/12/09

Jesse sets out to get his money from the people who robbed his dealer but finds more than he asks for when he discovers their neglected kid and a stolen ATM.  Walt finds his medical “benefactor” Gretchen Schwartz (Jessica Hecht), and Gretchen might expose his lies to Skyler.

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“Negro Y Azul”

2.7       Negro Y Azul Airdate:  04/19/09

Hank’s new job takes him to the Mexican border where he finds the DEA has to work in different ways.  Skyler gets a job at her old workplace and finds that there is still sexual tension with Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins) Jesse’s ATM encounter gets him a reputation and Walt and Jesse decide that it is time for their business to expand.

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“Better Call Saul”

2.8       Better Call Saul Airdate:  04/26/09

When Brandon “Badger” Mayhew (Matt L. Jones) is picked up by an undercover officer (DJ Qualls), Jesse and Walter have to make a big decision on how to keep him from informing the D.E.A. about them.  They contact TV lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) to get Badger off, but Saul doesn’t come for cheap and has a deal of his own when he finds out about Jesse and Walter’s “business”.  Plus, Jesse starts to get closer to his landlord Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter).

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“4 Days Out”

2.9       4 Days Out Airdate:  05/03/09

Walter goes in for testing and worries that his cancer has worsened.  With bad news from Saul about his finances, Walter realizes he needs to get cooking.  Pulling Jesse away from Jane, Walter and Jesse head to the desert, but when the RV dies, Walter and Jesse realize that they could be in a life or death situation.

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“Over”

2.10     Over Airdate:  05/10/09

With a positive diagnosis, Walter must rethink what happens to his up-and-coming drug business with Jesse.  Jesse finds his relationship with Jane might not be as good as it seems when she refuses to introduce him to her father (John de Lancie).  A party to celebrate Walter’s recovery ends with Walter and Hank butting heads over Walt Jr.  A repair to his water heater and house leads Walter to a decision.

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“Mandela”

2.11     Mandala Airdate:  05/17/09

The death of one of their dealers limits the amount of product that Walter can get on the market and sends Jesse isn’t a tailspin.  With a need for a new distributor, Saul sets Walter and Jesse up with a potential new employee.  Skylar uncovers a secret about her boss and the company.  Jane proves to be a bad influence on Jesse as Walter tries to get the product to the distributor…and the baby’s early arrival could be a problem.

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“Phoenix”

2.12     Phoenix Airdate:  05/24/09

Walter’s made his big score at the cost of seeing his daughter’s birth.  With no way of filtering the money back to himself without Skyler’s knowledge, Walter struggles to find a way to launder it.  Walter refuses to give Jesse his share of the money until he cleans up, but Jane’s interference leads to blackmail and a deadly choice.

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“ABQ”

2.13     ABQ Airdate:  05/31/09

Jane is dead from an overdose, and Saul’s man Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) helps Jesse clean up the scene.  The death pushes Jesse over the edge as Walt hides his involvement.  Walt Jr.’s plans to fundraise for his father take off as donations pour in from all over the country…through secret laundering from of the money into the account by Saul lead to unwanted media attention.  Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) learns about Walt’s ties to Hank.  Walt slips up preparing for his surgery leading to a discovery by Skyler.  Walt is about to discover that every action has a reaction…

Related Links:

Breaking Bad—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Breaking Bad—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Breaking Bad—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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