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Breaking Bad (Sundays 10/9 Central)


Mar 20, 2010 Web Exclusive
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For those who have missed out on the first two seasons of this Emmy-winning AMC original, here’s the one sentence recap: When Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he goes in to business making high-grade methamphetamine with former student turned dealer Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in order to secure a financially stable future for his family before he dies.

In a succession of small disasters, season two of Breaking Bad left Walter and Jesse’s world and future in tatters: Walter’s wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) has left him after he misses the birth of their second child and she discovers his secret cell phone, Jesse’s girlfriend has died of heroin overdose (which Walter witnessed and let happen), and, as a tangential result of both men’s actions, an air traffic controller directs two planes into each other over the city.

As can be expected by the mess above, the first two episodes of season three are tense. In the opening scene of the first episode of season three (also directed by Cranston), Walter loads a Weber full of cash and lights it on fire only to change his mind seconds later and push the grill into his pool. At this point of his “enterprise,” money is the answer to, and the cause of, all of his problems. While Gunn, Paul, and a terrifically sleazy lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk make for a stellar supporting cast, Cranston carries the show and does an amazing job displaying a wide emotional range in playing the part of Walter. He’s conflicted and corrupted, but deep down he’s just trying to be a good guy and provide for his wife and children.

With Mexican drug syndicates on his tail, a new baby girl in his life, a confused and angry wife, a brother-in-law in the DEA, and the aftermath of a major airplane crash clouding the future, Walter does not have much breathing room left. (

Author rating: 9/10

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