Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 13

Face Off

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Oct 09, 2011 on AMC



  • Trivia

    • 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

    • Gus: (To Hector) What kind of man talks to the DEA? No man. No man at all. A crippled little rata. What a reputation to leave behind. Is that how you want to be remembered? Last chance to look at me, Hector.

    • Saul: Christ, you two. All I can say is if I ever get anal polyps, I know what to name them.

    • Tyrus: Maybe it's better if I do this myself.

      Gus: I do this.

  • Notes

    • 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

    • 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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