Breaking Bad

Season 1 Episode 6.1

Crazy Handful of Nothin'

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 02, 2008 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
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  • A Bit Nauseating and not Really a Nine, Yet Still Quite Terrific

    Looking at ratings, reviews, and internet forums, "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" is often regarded as the best episode of Breaking Bad's first season. Here's why I don't agree:

    After more talking than doing in the last three episodes, the penultimate episode of season one not only provides more scenes than usual, but also more important and genuinely game-changing scenes than usual. After "Gray Matter" got every audience member excited with Walt and Jesse adumbrating to team up again in meth business, this is precisely what happens in this episode plus some changes in the protagonist's appearance (Mr. White activates bad-ass mode!) and the introduction of the series' most f'd-up character yet. George Mastras' screenplay skillfully balances calm chats with intense action sequences, yet that doesn't diminish the issues I had with some really clichd plot ideas. Those include the Hank/Walt situations (Hank joking about Walt doing crime, while he doesn't know that the man is actually spending his leisure time with the concoction of crystal), the Skinny Pete character (similarly as moronic as Badger in the last episode and he, sadly, will make further appearances as well), and, most of all, the way Jesse finds out about Walt having cancer I really couldn't take that seriously. I mean, Walt unbuttons his shirt, Jesse sees some staining on his chest, and just through that, he can reason pretty much everything we've found out about Walt's illness so far.

    Now maybe other people overlooked these aspects of "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" or simply don't agree with me on them, but in my opinion, this episode is slightly overrated, especially in comparison to season four or five episodes. However, it's still really great and the final ten minutes are sheerly terrific there's no need to even talk about that; just watch the episode and marvel at it. Other great, yet not that talked about parts of it, are definitely the fantastically edited montage of Jesse's night of drug dealing and the realistic (though sometimes gross) way the side effects of Walt's chemotherapy are shown.
  • Walt made sure he got the money.

    Despite Walt saying all he wanted to do was cook I think he does a little more than that in this episode when Jesse fails to get the money off Tuco and Walt comes in asking for more At first I thought he was crazy walking in alone but exploding mercury crystals can be very persuasive and with Walt shaving his head nothing can stop him now as he walked out of the crib like he is invincible.
  • Bad physics and morrally objectionable.

    I can't overlook the exploding mercury crystals. 1. From the blast of the explosion and fire that we see coming out of the windows - it tells us that realistically anyone withing 30 feet of that blast would have been killed. Yet the people at ground-zero and unharmed.
    2. the first time the distributer is broght the crystal he smashes it up to snort it. He didn't do it this time, and would have died in an explosion if he did.

    And morally speaking, I believe that putting one's pride ahead of ruining hundreds of lives is despicable. I lost respect for the character in this episode because now he has an option of taking the job with his ex-partner to get some $ to leave behind for his family and his treatment costs. But he puts his pride above that option and decides to cook meth and ruin lives.
    I still love the twisted dark style of the show tho - and will continue to watch.
    Where else can you see someone continually vomitting and see a chemo-tainted-pee action shot.
  • Walt is forced to take charge after Jesse has trouble with a new distributor.

    Has there been anything more awesome in the show than Walt walking into Tuco's apartment with some Fulminated (?) mercury, asking him for 50,000 dollars and then blowing up the entire apartment when he doesn't follow through? Okay, maybe there has been, but I think this was the first time I was watching the show and thinking to myself, "Walter White is one of the best characters I've ever seen on television."

    We get our first glimpse at Tuco, the absolutely insane distributor of meth in the South. Vince Gilligan and the writers do an incredible job of letting us slowly learn how crazy Tuco is. However, it's also nice to see the respect he has for Walt, who seems to be just as insane as Tuco, just in a different way. Also, we have a pretty great symbol of Walt's further descent into the criminal world: the shaving of his head. So far, three seasons into the show, the shaved head has remained and with good reason; it gives Walt the look that he has the ability to do anything at all. Also, this is our first glimpse at the Heisenberg identity. Heisenberg will become more prevalent in his life over time, but boy.. it was just amazing the way we were introduced here.

    Unlike the previous two episodes, this episode had nothing in the way of filler. Every moment was great, and we even get some tense moments between Walt and Hank as over a poker game. Overall, everything was amazing and a great way to lead into the Season 1 finale.
  • Man, I like this show ...

    Breaking Bad is definitely the best show on TV since Dexter. Yep, it's that simple. I see it pretty much as a combination of 'The Riches' and 'Weeds', with some sparks of Californication (the very realistic atmosphere and camera shots), 3 of my favorites shows as well. It's brilliantly scripted and acted. This episode really impressed me, and man, the twist at the drug dealer's office was really stunning. I like how this show treats mid-life crisis( combined with cancer fight), a bit like Michael Douglas performance in 1993 movie "Falling Down". I'm 39 and sometimes feel the same and think I could easily cross the line.
  • Walter takes another step on the path of Chemistry-Fu and enters the ranks of the death-warrior. Metaphorically, of course.

    Wow. Best episode of any show I've seen this year!

    It made me think of a quote from a Frank Miller comic called Ronin: "If you intend to die, you can do anything." There's something uniquely fascinating about a character who has lost the fear of death because he has accepted its inevitability; the far inferior movie "Falling Down" from 1993 gave us a similarly meek modern-day hero pushed past the point of fear into becoming an unstoppable force of nature.

    Bryan Cranston's Walter is tremendously vulnerable and mortal but at the same time as frighteningly badass as any action hero... This show is what you'd get if Lifetime made a kung fu movie. Cancer drama meets Scarface. Sheer grim death-warrior determination plus Chemistry-Fu steamrollering over gangsta cliche. Beautiful stuff.

    The writers' strike derailed a lot of shows this season, so it's early to be saying this, but I think Breaking Bad is my favorite this year. If AMC doesn't renew it, they're dumber than rocks.
  • 106

    After watching the past few episodes, I was beginning to think that this show was losing it's way, it's edge, but this episode just proved me so very wrong. The premise of this show is just absolutely amazing and we got a lot of plot elements here that helped the episode. Hank, Walt's brother in law, a DEA, starts to become suspicious of Walt's school when he finds out where the mask came from. Walt has to walk around eggshells, man, you can cut the tension with a knife when they were playing poker.

    Meanwhile Walt continues with his chemotherapy and loses all his hair, he wants to continue cooking meth while Jesse sells. Once he gets beaten by a distributor, Tuco, Walt decides to take things in his own hands even though he didn't want to .

    I think this episode showed Walt's true care for Jesse, and their interactions were amazing. The ensemble of this show is just amazing, terrific acting. The beginning of this episode was perfection, from cutting back and forth to the end of the episode.

    The explosion was quite a surprise and when Walt went to go see Tuco, I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. This episode just proves what an amazing drama this show really is. A great penultimate episode, keep it coming Breaking Bad!
  • Holy explosive mercury, Batman!

    That whole episode was so freeqin' cool. I thought they had the right amount of tension, and that Walt had the right amount of naivete about approaching Tuco. "Hey, I know you don't know me, but how's about I give you a felony quantity of methamphetamine?"

    And I freeqin' loved the explosive mercury. I wonder why it didn't go up sooner. Maybe he'd already exposed the exterior of the crystal to oxygen and when the crystal shattered on the ceiling it exposed the reactive interior. However he did it, that was freeqin' AWESOME!

    And I loved his street name -- "Heisenberg." The guy who theorized you can know the speed of a particle or its position in time and space but you can't know both because the process of measuring either property changes the other. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is among my favorite aspects of quantum physics and it's a perfect pseudonym for Walt's x factor.

    I'm with Walt Jr. on his new look: Badass. :)

    And naturally I feel sorry for Hugo. He is of course breaking the law and was risking everything that happened to him anyway. But Hank is dismissing him too easily as a potential supplier of materiel to a cooker. All he needed was access and he could sell all the glassware and so forth.

    Oh well. Yay for shortsightedness!
  • Let's cook!

    When you make a show about a high school chemistry teacher cooking Meth, you need to have the high school chemistry teacher cooking Meth, and the writers--after a short 2 episode or so detour--finally reunited Jesse and Walter. Walter's obsession with taking control of his life--what little he has left--comes full steam in this episode, with an explosive ending (and beginning if you want to get technical). This is a man with nothing to lose and everything to gain, and Bryan Cranston pulls it off spectacularly. The rest of the cast has also settled into their characters, particularly Aaron Paul as Jesse and Anna Gunn as Skyler. Breaking Bad is one of the season's best new shows, and constantly keeps the bar raised every episode.
  • After the last few episodes we were in need of something like this.

    Since the first two episodes I felt the pace of the show slowed down a little bit. Although, I feel those episodes were pivotal for character development and to set up other episodes for greatness. But this episode is what I feel like this great show needed. From the opening you can feel the greatness of this episode and can sense your in for another treat just like the first two episodes offered. I don't really want to give away much for someone that may be reading this before watching, but the writers did a fine job in every aspect of this episode as far as I am concerned.
  • Back to Business

    First off let me say that this is one of the finest hours of television that I have seen in a long time! Holy cow, I was so amazingly impress, the pacing of this season has completely picked up to the action packed ways as was seen in the pilot. While Jesse goes to meet Tuco and gets his balls handed to him on a plate, Walt intervenes after Jesse is hospitalized to get their meth that was taken back and reparations for Jesse's troubles. But instead of more meth as a peace offering, BOOM! That was so bad ass!
  • Hot damn! (spoiler Free)

    This episode was magnificent. I particularly loved the opening sequence which was the perfect mix of this show's use of the flash forward technique, setting up the story and the rest of the season. I am aware that the second season has already aired in America, however I am only just catching onto the show, but it's so far been amazing.
    This episode was the best so far with certain elements of the plot reaching an interesting conclusion, while other elements were created that will no doubt be explored further in the end of the season and possibly the second.
    Amazing episode
    Amazing show.
  • Hilarious episode, well written and acted. BUT does the short season destroy the best new show on tv?

    I dont know if it was planned to be a short season or if it was shortened by the ridiculous show eating strike but next week being the "Season finale" is painful at best. The show is really taking off and developing, but it needs to catch on before they retire to the board room to decide its fate.

    Its one of the best new shows on tv, but i dont know if it has the fan base yet, especially since amc is not exactly on everyones top 5 channels to check list. But this episode was hilarious, and when he said "thats not crystal" and kaboom, i was cheering for him. Its so funny to see his dea brother clueless because he thinks hes such a "nice guy". but i am worried he might start catching on soon now that he is acting more like man.

    but great show, hopefully the short season was planned and not forced and it will be back for more later this year.
  • One of the best suspense dramas on television, and yet entirely unknown by the public. Easily the best new show this season.

    Breaking Bad is easily one of my favorite shows on television. And this episode has it all..suspense, raw emotion, witty dark humor, great acting and literal explosive energy. I'm bummed out that next week is the season finale. Bryan Cranston is the man! Who knew he had acting skills like this?! He's come a long way since Malcolm in the Middle that's for sure. And his supporting cast is just as great and cast perfectly. Get the word out on this gem. It's a 10 out of 10. Check it out if you dig shows like Dexter and The Sopranos, or dark comedies like Weeds.