Breaking Bad

Season 3 Episode 13

Full Measure

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 13, 2010 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
650 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With Jesse in hiding, Walt negotiates a bargain with Gus to provide for his and Jesse's safety. But Gus has other plans and when Walt is cornered he puts a drastic last-minute plan in action by asking Jesse to save his life.

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  • At least season three got a great final episode.

    "Half Measures" ended on an outstanding cliffhanger and what does the succeeding episode do? It starts with a whole different setting, sixteen years before the current plot. Of course, this doesn't last for the whole 47 minutes but only for the pre-credits, however, it's still a really great way to start your season finale.

    What happens in this scene is that Walt and Skyler see their future property for the very first time, even though the first shots led me to believe that this may be a season-two-revoking flash-forward to a time when the White family has moved out, or not entirely unlikely, has died. Additionally, the dialog between the couple perfectly displays how Walt hasn't achieved anything he wanted in his life until he started cooking meth which is part of the reason why he now is unable to stop doing it. But as the plot soon goes back to the present, we are back in the perilous situation "Half Measures" established as Walt meets up with Mike, Gus, and omnipresent Victor. These five minutes include the return of Heisenberg and a goosebumps-evoking atmosphere; last but not least, Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito excel themselves yet again in a momentous debate.

    I can't mention everything about this episode that I liked, but some other things I just have to remark on are, for starters, David Costabile's return as Gale Boetticher, one of the series' best characters, hands down. As we get a glimpse of his abode for the first time, the ability of the set designers comes to shine and so do Costabile's acting qualities once he has to sing along to Spanish nursery rhymes (or whatever that was). Then, of course, there's Jesse's episode debut about 20 minutes in. As the situation gets fiercer and fiercer, Breaking Bad's two protagonists come to discuss what has to be done and what later makes for the most dramatic final seconds imaginable. Aaron Paul absolutely outshines his senior counterpart and gives an unbelievably good performance that is probably the reason for the winning of his first Emmy award.

    Over and above, there'd be many other things to go into depth about, but if you've just watched "Full Measure" yourself, you'll have already experienced the greatness of this season finale. Even if the whole season doesn't get remarkably better just through a fantastic ending note, it sure does a perfect job at making you excited about season four.

  • Intense Finale!

    Literally just finished the season 3 finale and am still reeling under its intensity. Aaron Paul brought his A Game this season and was tremendous, just like the rest of the actors. There were a couple of boring episodes in the season, but its all worth it.
  • After a very measured season, the final two episodes really let everything loose. Death and implied death can certainly raise the stakes appropriately. Spoilers within...

    It was very telling that the only gripe to come out of the season 3 finale was the angle used on the very last shot. Did Jesse aim the gun at Gale? To be honest, I had absolutely no doubt that Gale is dead. We'll see how season 4 starts out, but it would appear that Walter and Jesse have survived... for now.

    The downside about this episode? I'm now fairly certain that the only plausible ending for this TV show will be the death of most every major character. The stakes are now so incredibly high for everyone involved that the worst is bound to happen. I know some people are unable to watch the show as a result of the mounting tension, but it's so incredibly, artfully constructed that you have to keep watching.moreless
  • perfect

    With Jesse in hiding, Walt needs to cook with Gail. Gus reveals a plan to kill Walt, so Gail can be the leader and have his own assistant. Walt bargains; he wants to kill Gail before he is killed. Walt's life is in danger and the only one who can save him is Jesse. Will he rise to the occasion?

    Grand finale, and it really makes you just want to see what is in store for Walt and Jesse. I can't wait to see what happens. Did Jesse really kill Gail, or was it a fake ending where we THINK he did, and it turns out he did not? I guess I just have to find out. I wish I knew! A+ finale, one of the best episodes of the series, I think anyway.moreless
  • Walt breaks bad.

    As I mentioned before, I'm serious about rating episodes of television. 10's only go to episodes that reach the closest to perfection. That being said, I've only given 10's to three different episodes of three different shows, but I have to add this to the list. The episode before the finale set everything here up, and while I expected the season to go in one direction after the first few episodes, I never would've expected it to go here. Walt faces the consequences of murdering the two men who killed Combo while Jesse is forced to go on the run to avoid being blamed and found by Gus.

    First, before I say anything else, I have to say something that I rarely mention in my reviews, even though it's something that should come first and foremost: the cinematography of this show is superb, probably the best on television right now and better than a majority of Hollywood films. There's something about the way Gilligan and his directors move the cameras around and place shots that makes it better than anything I've seen in awhile. That opening scene where Walt, Gus and Mike meet up was incredible and gave me a wild west feeling, the kind of shot that really tells you how powerful these two men are without actually saying it.

    From here on out, we get a slow build towards a haunting and powerful ending, an example of perfect storytelling. Jesse is hiding, having relapsed and finding his life in complete shambles. Everything is falling down around Walt: Gus seems ready to get rid of Walt, seeing him as a liability, and with his wife involved in the meth business now and Saul disagreeing with just about everything that Walt is saying and doing nowadays, Walt has dug himself into a pretty big hole. As a result, does it really come to a surprise the way the season ends?

    We had a couple of scenes with characters who aren't necessarily the biggest or most important. For instance, Mike, a character who has remained to the side for much of the season and only popping up when physical violence or threats need to be delivered, gets his own little scene where he kills some men who are breaking into some of Gus' associates warehouse. It's sort of an example of dark humor, and if we didn't know by now how good Mike is at his job, we know for sure. I'm not sure it really did anything for the plot, but it was certainly an eyeopener and hopefully an indication of how much we'll be seeing Mike next season. And then we have Gus, who has gone from Walt's boss to a cool, calm and collected druglord who is able to get what he wants no matter what. I've mentioned before that Gus represents Walt's only possible hindrance, a man who is just as intelligent if not smarter than Walt. Seeing him meet up with Gale, that irritating guy who is clearly smart but is a bit of a loser, something Walt was never able to deal with, really informs us of how cold Gus is; he's willing to kill off Walt and pass over everything to Gale.

    Boy, we see over time just how good Walt is though. Gus may be smart, but I have a feeling Walt will always be one step ahead. First of all, the relationship between Walt and Jesse has grown over time; they have one of the most love/hate relationships I've ever seen on television, but it's clear that Jesse is like a son to Walt and Walt will do whatever he can to protect him. However, Walt uses the deaths of the killers of Combo to his advantage: he uses Jesse in order to get a step up on Gus. The season ends with Walt about to be killed, Mike with the gun nearly to his head when Walt attempts to bargain for his life. As it turns out, Walt has set up a plan: seeing as Walt and Gale are the only two men who know about how to cook the blue meth, Walt plans on killing Gale in order to be the only one who knows. Jesse is the man who will pull the trigger. The season began with Walt suffering from guilt, knowing that he was responsible for the plane crash last season, and ending with him inviting himself into a new world of guilt: the death of Gale. Some people have argued that the final scene makes it hard to figure out what exactly happened.. did Jesse shoot Gale or not? It's obvious he did, so people should understand that.

    Each season of Breaking Bad gets better and better, and part of me is inclined to think that this finale and season is a peak for the show.. is there anywhere higher to go for the show? Or is this it? Either way, I found this season to be one of the best I've seen in awhile. Let Season 4 come!moreless
Tiley Chao

Tiley Chao


Guest Star

James Ning

James Ning


Guest Star

Louis Herthum

Louis Herthum


Guest Star

David Costabile

David Costabile

Gale Boetticher

Recurring Role

Jeremiah Bitsui

Jeremiah Bitsui


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • The balloon Mike uses to spark the power lines is rare. Most of these "metallic" looking balloons are actually made from mylar, a plastic, but there are some types that have an aluminum coating, which will cause a short in the electricity. Vince Gilligan actually had an electrician come in to help with this scene.

    • The Heisenberg hat was largely absent this season. Bryan Cranston was quoted as saying he took note of this and brought the hat back specifically for the scene with Gus to show the power Walt holds.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Walt: I'm gonna need some, some kind of assurance [that I won't die].
      Mike: I assure you I could kill you from way over here if it makes you feel any better.

    • Walt: You've always struck me as a very pragmatic man [Gus], so if I may I would like to review options with you, of which, it seems to me, you have two. Option A: you kill me right here and now. Apparently I have made that very easy for you. You can kill me, no witnesses, and then spend the next few weeks or months tracking down Jesse Pinkman, and you kill him too. A pointless exercise it seems to me, but that is option A.
      Gus: What is option B?
      Walt: I continue cooking. You and I both forget about Pinkman. We forget this ever happened. We consider this a...lone hiccup in an otherwise long and fruitful business arrangement. I prefer option B.

  • NOTES (3)