Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 13

Face Off

25
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2011 on AMC
AIRED:
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
582 votes
32

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com 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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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • My face was off as well at the end

    10
    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.

    9.5
    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.
  • Betraying the Hero.

    7.5
    How can Gilligan turn against Walt so quickly. At the beginning of the series, there was no judgement on Walt. In fact Hank was the guy we all thought was crass and very unlikeable. Let's hope Gilligan doesn't spend the next season shaking the finger at Walt. Keep it objective and keep the theme constant which is society that is the 'bad
  • Flawless

    10
    Perfect. The naysayers below are pretty much wrong on every critical point. But to each their own.



    Gus death was well executed... a pipe bomb on a wheel chair is easily missed especially after sweeping once. This show is just so dang realistic while still exciting. Is 2 seconds of Zombie Gus possible... maybe, there's some gruesome stuff you'll witness in one's final seconds.



    Walt is obviously a brilliant chemist. Putting the boy in POSSIBLE danger (poison OD) to protect your family while taking out one of the most ruthless person on the planet is both logical and reasonable in a very loose moral perspective.



    This episode isn't even close to being below a "9"moreless
  • Vince Gilligan does it again!!!

    10
    This may have been the BEST season finale in TV history!!!! Breaking Bad, may go on to be the BEST TV drama EVER!!! If you haven't seen Breaking Bad yet, I suggest you go out and see an episode!!
Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

DEA Agent

Guest Star

Jason Douglas (I)

Jason Douglas (I)

Munn

Guest Star

Gonzalo Menendez

Gonzalo Menendez

Kalanchoe

Guest Star

Ray Campbell

Ray Campbell

Tyrus Kitt

Recurring Role

Mark Margolis

Mark Margolis

Hector "Tio" Salamanca

Recurring Role

Tina Parker

Tina Parker

Francesca

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • 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.


  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • 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.

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