Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 13

Face Off

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2011 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
607 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A showdown with Gus occurs but Jesse is held under suspicion that he has poisoned Brock. However, Jesse is able to suggest an ally for Walt through Saul's help.

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  • bad ending for a brilliant show

    Breaking bad is a top series, that's for sure. I enjoyed all episodes except this one. It's just sad and totally stupid that after a bomb exploded in McDonalds guy's face, he just walks out of the room like nothing happened and then changes to some alien who dies. The best thing about this show that it isn't very Hollywood fed, but here the opposite is revealed. Was this a inside joke of just very bad script writing?moreless
  • Holy cr@p!

    Explosive episode, let's leave it at of the best of this or any season
  • Brilliant Finale

    Just finished season 4 and this goes to show why this show is good in storyline and characterization also the black humour is fantastic (Ted death by a rug LOL ) I Think walt clearly realised that he made too many sacrifices to get rid of Gus and using his chemistry put his plan to good effect still wondering how he managed to take out the resin cigarette maybe during the fight with Jesse. But then somehow did he mange to plant the flower seeds in the boy food ? Due to this actions he will have some difficulties in Season 5 I think Gus determination and vengeance a bit like in Game of Thrones with the Red Viper got better of him. What will happen to Hank now the Drug lab gone cause now Walt didn't go for Saul offer of Disappearance so if he cooks with Jesse the DEA will be back on his case.moreless
  • My face was off as well at the end

    What is there to say? Season four's finale topped everything there has been up to that point and combines everything that makes Breaking Bad as outstanding as it is. I won't go into every detail in this review because there are really too many noteworthy things about "Face Off", but I'll at least bring up the cream of the crop.

    This episode's first quarter or maybe even more is unexpectedly tame and contains a great amount of laughs (kudos once again to Vince Gilligan's fantastic writing), but with the clock ticking, the intensity is looming until we get to "Casa Tranquila" and have Hector Salamanca's scene at Tuco's desert house seem like flyspeck. Holy shite. But "Face Off" isn't over with that ineffable moment that gives it its title prepare for something even better to come. As we have scenes showing all the main characters reacting to what has just happened in a fashion as if this is the ending of the whole series (FYI, it is not), it's the most entertaining to watch and all and I definitely would have written an acclaiming review. However, what makes "Face Off" as epic and unforgettable as it is, is the very last shot: if Hank would turn out to be a woman right now, it still wouldn't be a bigger plot twist than that. I personally didn't expect that at all (confession bear: I never really think about possibilities and stuff while watching an episode, but only after and before it) and was blown away by it, as was, in a more literal sense, a character of the series, but that's something completely different.

    Altogether, "Face Off" is just perfect combining comedy, drama, thrill, and action into one sublimely written, beautifully shot, and unsurpassably scored episode is quite a feat and the thing I would like to do most right now is erase all my memory about this episode and watch it again, not expecting anything about these perfect 50 minutes.moreless
  • Fantastic Finale.

    To the person below: When has Walt ever been a 'hero'? He has always been an anti-hero who does despicable as well as good things for his family. The theme is quite consistent.
Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

DEA Agent

Guest Star

Jason Douglas (I)

Jason Douglas (I)


Guest Star

Gonzalo Menendez

Gonzalo Menendez


Guest Star

Ray Campbell

Ray Campbell

Tyrus Kitt

Recurring Role

Mark Margolis

Mark Margolis

Hector "Tio" Salamanca

Recurring Role

Tina Parker

Tina Parker


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • For the burning of the lab, the crew rented a technocrane that is apparently very expensive because it can be controlled remotely. The crew put down water over everything that was going to be burned and then added white gas. This provided a fire but not necessarily damage to the set, which was made of wood and paneling.

    • The title of this episode came as the suggestion from AMC's Vice President of Production, Susan Goldberg, probably as a joke, but Vince actually went with it.

    • One of the writers pitched this line for Jesse at the end of the episode: "Mike is going to be pissed!" But it did not make it into the script.

    • In the episode podcast, Vince admitted that they were thinking of a "ding-boom" (a bomb connected to Tio's bell) between Tio and Gus since the middle of Season 3. But the writing team objected since they didn't want to kill off Gus in season 3.

    • Vince Gilligan felt guilty about the season finale synopsis, known several weeks in advance while in the writing stage. He phoned Giancarlo Esposito and Mark Margolis in advance and swore them to secrecy. In an interview, Vince said he had felt like he let Giancarlo down, but Giancarlo took the news in stride, saying whatever was necessary for the story was good enough for him.

    • In an interview with the New York Times, Vince admitted that there was help from The Walking Dead special effects' staff for the explosion scene.

    • The friendly neighbor that checked in on Walt's house to prevent a 'fire hazard' is actually Vince Gilligan's mom.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Although credited, Jonathan Banks (Mike) does not appear.

    • Nominations: This episode was nominated for six 2012 Primetime Emmy's: Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Michael Slovis), Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (Vince Gilligan), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing (Skip MacDonald), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (a team of 9 crew members), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (3 crew members), Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role (7 crew members).

    • Production: Vince stated that he and the other six writers will head back to the writing room in mid-November (2011).

    • When Walt listens to the radio after the explosion, Vince Gilligan actually phoned up one of the local radiostations (Coyote 102.5 in Albuquerque) and had them quickly improvise the lines regarding the parameters of the story.

    • "Casa Tranquila" means quiet house in Spanish. Ironically, with the explosion, it's anything but.


    • Jesse says he may have heard of ricin poisoning on House. House was a medical drama on Fox about rare illnesses.

    • Face Off:
      Also a title of a popular film, "Face/Off" (1997), in which an FBI agent (Nicolas Cage) agrees to alter his physical appearance via a face transplant to become a criminal mastermind (John Travolta) in order to infiltrate his crime organization.